Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
synod logo

week of September 20, 2015  
Prayer Petitions

Each Wednesday morning the synod staff meets for devotions and prays for the congregations and people of our synod. You are invited to join us.
  • Zion Lutheran, Milaca and Pastor Stephen Blenkush
  • Salem Lutheran, Hermantown and Pastor Rolland Bockbrader
  • Pastor Karen Bockelman, retired in Duluth
  • Gethsemane Lutheran, Upsala and Pastor CJ Boettcher
  • Syrian Refugee crisis
ELCA Achieves Malaria Campaign Goal!

Five years ago ELCA members, congregations and synods came together, dreamed big with our Lutheran companion churches and partners, and set out to raise $15 million for malaria programming. Today we celebrate reaching this milestone and all that we have accomplished together.

Bishop Aitken's Reflections

On Sunday, Sept. 20th I installed the Rev Kimberly Sturtz as Pastor of Grace Lutheran/Sandstone and Emmanuel Lutheran/Dell Grove. It was a day of joy and intentional ministry focus for both congregations. Kim is married to Eric who is a graphic designer and they have a three and a half year old girl, Penny. The two congregations warmly welcomed their new pastor with exuberance.

Kim is a Wartburg Seminary graduate, has worked in Duluth at two congregations; First Lutheranand Peace (UCC) church both in Duluth in addition to her Internship congregation and other congregations she has worked at. I am proud to say she is a pastor of this church and of our synod! She is solidly focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ with a clear understanding that such a focus leads us to serving our neighbor!

Welcome her into the synod when you get a chance through a note, phone call or email or at the next synod gathering! (

Grace Lutheran Church
339 Division Street
Sandstone, Minnesota

Bishop Thomas Aitken
2015-2016 Discipleship Challenge

What's your story? This year the Discipleship Challenge will help us live out our faith practices through sharing our life and faith stories. All resources for the entire year are now on the website! Check out the STORY acronym tool to help you think of questions to learn the stories of others, monthly Story Starters you can use in your congregation and with ministry leaders/colleagues, and Study Guides to go deeper into learning about God's Story for us!
Learn more and download resources at

"Provide, Promise, Protect"
Nov. 20-21 OR 21-22, 2015
Grades 6-9
Cragun's Resort, Brainerd
Speaker: Pastor Mike Carlson
Join nearly 1000 middle school youth and their adult leaders for a weekend of fun, learning, worship and friendships! This year's Middle School Gathering will focus on the Ten Commandments, and includes large group assemblies, learning clusters, hotel life, worship and much more. Click here for more information and to download registration forms. Registration opens October 1!
Opening Our Networks
A Gathering Of Region 3 Rostered & Lay Leaders

When & Where: November 12-14, 2015 in Fargo, ND
Who: Any one involved in or interested in: World Hunger, Global Mission, Disaster Response, Campus Ministry, Outdoor Ministry, Synod Stewardship, Synod Mission Interpretation, the ELCA Campaign, Youth and Young Adult Ministry.
Cost: $85 per person including meals, plus housing

Click here for a flyer of additional information.

Click here to register online.

Bulletin Board
Office Manager Position
Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa, MN, is seeking applicants for a full time Office Manager.
Working Conditions: Work duties are performed primarily in an office setting. The position is full time with hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Supplemental Information: This is a position with benefits. The successful candidate is subject to completion of a criminal history background check. Starting salary to be commensurate with skills and job experience.
To apply for this position please complete a job application and submit it to the Senior Pastor ( An application may be obtained from the church office (218-963-2564).

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
The conflict in Syria has caused one of the largest refugee exoduses in recent history and has forced more than 4 million people, more than half of whom are children, to flee their homes in search of safety. Our faith compels us to care for those in need, including our brothers and sisters fleeing persecution in Syria. Urge President Obama to stand with people of faith in welcoming these vulnerable refugees into the United States.

National Lutheran Choir Hymn Sing
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota needs choirs like yours to help strengthen congregational singing at a special Hymn Sing with the National Lutheran Choir featuring the world premiere of a hymn that has been commissioned for our 150th anniversary.
When: Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm
Where: Central Lutheran Church; 333 S 12th St; Minneapolis
The event is FREE and open to the public with free parking available. To learn more and register your choir for reserved seating, go to: .
We welcome you to join us after the Hymn Sing at our annual Celebration for Changing Lives. Registration is available online, and tickets will go quickly! Please register at

October 10, 2015 - Gloria Dei Lutheran, Duluth, MN 
"On Earth As in Heaven: Scripture and Hope for Healing Our World" and 
"A Kairos Moment: Pope Francis, St. Francis, and the Lutherans"  
Informational Brochure
The promise of earth renewal in scripture and practice with Prof. Barbara Rossing. 8:30 am-2:30 pm at Gloria Dei, Duluth, co-organized by the NE MN Synod Creation Care Team and Lake Superior Conference WELCA. Dr. Rossing is Professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Known for her scholarship on the Book of Revelation, Rossing believes the scriptural witness speaks of God not abandoning the earth but of a vision of renewal where the New Jerusalem and the Tree of Life provide inspiration for ecological civilization. An active theologian for the Lutheran World Federation, Rossing also sees the 500th anniversary of the Reformation as an opportunity for Lutherans to embrace an Eco-Reformation for our times. Free will offering for lunch.
This free event coincides with the Lake Superior Conference WELCA Fall Gathering, but is open to all.

Two Faith Inkubator Events in One Weekend!
Life-Long Cross+Gen Faith Formation
Holding Your Family Together
With Speaker Rich Melheim
October 23-24, 2015
Grace Lutheran Church, Hermantown Friday evening begins with a visioning session for pastors, key leaders and spouses. Saturday morning. The training sessions listed above will be held Saturday. A free Family Comedy Event will be held Saturday night.
Sponsored by Grace Lutheran Church, in partnership with Thrivent Financial and the Lake Superior Conference.
Overview Flyer and Paper Registration
Online Registration
Contact Pastor Phil Berge for more information.

KAIROS/School of Lay Ministry
Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN
Dates: Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2015 - 10 contact hours
1) "No Other Name: The Power of the Good News According to Acts" w/James Boyce
2) "Luther's Small Catechism for Today: Part 2" w/ Dirk Lange, Steve Paulson and Walter Sandberg
Tuition:  $100
Course Hours: Monday 1:00-5:15pm; Tuesday 9:00am-4:00pm, Wednesday 9:00-11:00am

NE MN Synod Women of the ELCA Summer Gathering/Convention
June 9-10, 2016 (Thursday-Friday)
Sugar Lake Lodge, Grand Rapids, MN

2016 Synod Assembly
April 29 - May 1, 2016 at Breezy Point Resort  
In This Issue
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Northeastern Minnesota
Synod, ELCA

synod logo

The purpose of our

synod is to nurture a

Christ-centered climate

conducive to healthy,


congregations and

their ministries

throughout the world!

Staff Listing
Phone: 218.724.4424


Brenda Tibbetts, AiM - 122

  Assistant to the Bishop

Pastor John Dietz - 125

   Director for Evangelical Mission

   Assistant to the Bishop


   Youth Ministry 





1105 E. Superior St.,

Upper Suite

Duluth, MN  55802


FAX: 218.724.4393    

Online Reflections Editor

Anne Laechel

Latest Youth E-Chat
NE MN Synod 
Creation Care Team 
Green Tip of the Week
"Precycle" by making an effort to buy products with recyclable packaging, and by resisting the purchase of plastic containers that serve only a single use.  While recycling plastics is good, it is even better for consumers to demand more glass and other less-toxic products.

Story Starter 
Question of the Week

What is something new you are trying this year?