Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of October 11, 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.
  • Essentia Health-St. Mary's Hospice and Craig Carlson, Chaplain
  • Pastor Earl Carlson, retired in Chippewa Falls, WI
  • First Lutheran, Aitkin, and Pastor Melissa Carmack and Pastor Darrell Pedersen
  • Immanuel Lutheran, Tower and Pastor Elizabeth Cheney
Bishop Aitken's Reflection
This week, Pastors and Associates in Ministry from both the Kettle River Conference and from the Laurentian Conference will meet to Re-Affirm their vocational promises to Ordained, (pastors), Commissioned, (Associates in Ministry) or Consecrated (Deaconesses) Service in this church. Pastor John Deitz and Brenda Tibbetts (AiM) from our Synod Office will assist me in leading worship, and following that, we will look at what it means to be faithful stewards as Rostered Leaders, as congregations and as members of our congregations.
Whether the promises/vows we took as Rostered Leaders were made this summer (I ordained two new pastors for service this summer) or 40 years ago, it is good and right and spiritually vital to re-visit those promises from time to time, and remember we are accountable to God and to the church for how we live them out.
Will you preach and teach in accordance with the Holy Scriptures and with the confessions of the Lutheran church?
   "I will, and I ask God to help me."
Will you carry out ministry in harmony with the Constitutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?
   "I will and I ask God to help me."
Will you be diligent in your study of scripture, and in your use of the means of grace?
   "I will and I ask God to help me."
Will you love, serve, and pray for God's people, nourish them with the word and sacraments (pastors), and lead them by your own example of faithful service and holy living?
   "I will and I ask God to help me."
Will you give faithful witness in the world, that God's love may be known in all you do?
   "I will and I ask God to help me."
Last month, we did this same thing in the Heartland Conference and Lake Superior Conference. A number of our Rostered leaders have now shared with me how powerful these Affirmations were for them. Promises are deeply imbedded in the Scriptures, theology and in the history of the Church; First and foremost are the promises of God which are always followed through on. But our promises are important too, and so is the grace needed to fulfill them, and to forgive when they are not fulfilled.
Carry on in the promises of God!
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
Online Evangelical Mission
Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many. Mark 10:43-45
Within the people of God and for the sake of the Gospel ministry entrusted to all believers, God has instituted the office of ministry of Word and Sacrament. To carry out this ministry, this church calls and ordains qualified persons. ELCA Constitution 7.21.
My work this past week has been primarily focused on candidacy. I visited two out-of-state seminaries to be part of endorsement interviews for two of our synod's seminarians - both very different from one another in almost every way. What struck me about both of these candidates was their common understanding that this call to public ministry, to the office of Word and Sacrament, comes from the church, for the church. Though each of these seminarians have discerned a unique sense of call to be a pastor of this church, they understand that this call must be tested and approved by the whole church through their seminary faculty, candidacy committee, and bishop. They understand this is a call to use the gifts they have been given for the sake of others, and not simply to fulfill some personal desires of their own.
On October 30-31, the synod is hosting a 24-hour retreat for our seminarians and for our first call rostered leaders. We will spend time in worship, discussion, fellowship and focusing on healthy leadership: leadership that flows from Christ's call to serve and not to be served. Bishop Aitken, Brenda Tibbetts, Catherine Anderson and I are looking forward to the time we will spend together with our future and newest servant-leaders. If you haven't registered for the event, please do so now by emailing or calling me. 
Gracious God, you call servants to proclaim the good news of your Son Jesus. Use your church to identify, encourage, and support them. Amen.
Pastor John Dietz
Assistant to the Bishop
Director for Evangelical Mission
Northeastern Minnesota Synod | ELCA
Fall Theological

The 2015 Fall Theological Conference was held September 27-29 at Ruttger's Sugar Lake Lodge in Grand Rapids. "Living in the Promise of the Holy Spirit" was the theme and Dr. Lois Malcolm, Systematic Theologian from Luther Seminary was the presenter. Dr. Malcolm gave a wonderful, highly energetic presentation which challenged, encouraged and provided practical biblical and theological wisdom! Click here to view her power point presentations.
The Fall Theological Conference is always an excellent opportunity to be refreshed and recharged by continuing education, meaningful worship, great food and fellowship along with some "down time" to catch your breath.  Rostered leaders and their spouses, as well as Directors of Youth & Family Ministry are invited to mark their calendars for the 2016 Fall Theological Conference, to be held Sept. 25-27 at Ruttger's.  Theme and presenter to be announced. 

Brenda Tibbetts, AiM
Assistant to the Bishop
U.S. Flooding

Sisters and brothers in Christ,

The rain may have stopped, but the catastrophic damage from record rainfall in the Carolinas is just being realized. Rivers have yet to crest and unprecedented scenes scatter the state. The flooding has led to the deaths of more than a dozen people, tens of thousands are without power, major highways have been compromised, and homes have been destroyed.

Bishop Herman Yoos of the ELCA South Carolina Synod says, "We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for the people of South Carolina in the midst of severe flooding. It is the worst storm since records have been kept in this state."

Lutheran Disaster Response will work to bring God's hope, healing and renewal to those who have been affected by the floodwaters. We are a church that rolls up our sleeves and gets to work. Together, we stand with synods, congregations, pastors and Lutheran-affiliated social ministries to help serve those most affected.

Gifts designated for "U.S. Flooding" will be used in full - 100 percent - to help disaster survivors recover and rebuild their lives. Your generous offerings of prayer and financial support will help address the unmet needs of those affected in the Carolinas and other areas on the long road to recovery.

Please join me in praying for all who are affected by the floodwaters. Use this bulletin insert in your congregation to help support those devastated by the flooding.
In service,

The Rev. Daniel Rift
Director, ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Creation Care Event
Dear Friends,

As we transition to fall, climate change and global warming continue to make news headlines. Faith leaders, including the Pope, have issued statements about the potential consequences of inaction. But how do we, as local faith leaders, interpret the many messages in the media today and inspire our congregation members to play a role in creation care?
We invite you and your congregation to join faith leaders and experts in the fields of climate science and weather on Saturday, November 7, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., at the Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church in Prior Lake. Creation Care - The Intersection of Faith, Climate Change, and Weather assembles a panel of distinguished, nationally-recognized experts to help us explore how God calls is to respond in our changing world. Download materials here to invite your faith community to participate in this free event.
We hope to see you there!
Pastor Laila Barr
Pastor of Lifelong Learning
Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church
PS - Childcare will be available. Please register in advance so we can plan appropriately.

Boundaries Workshops

Did you miss out on the August 18th Boundaries Workshop? Here are some additional workshops throughout the state to help you meet your every-three-years requirement:

October 29, 2015 (Thursday) - 9:00 am-4:00 p.m.
House of Hope, New Hope, MN
Cost - $25
Note: Their online course option does not meet the requirement.

November 5, 2015 (Thursday) - 9:00 am-3:00 p.m.
Faith Lutheran Church, Spicer, MN
Cost - $40
Presenters: Aaron Suomala-Fokerds, Karen Bockelman and Rick Loseth
Further information and registration to come
Youth Ministry News

"Provide, Promise, Protect"
Nov. 20-21 OR 21-22, 2015
Grades 6-9
Cragun's Resort, Brainerd
Speaker: Pastor Mike Carlson
Early registration deadline is October 19!
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 or more information and to download registration forms. Registration opens October 1!
Lunch and Learn!
October 22, 11:30am - 1:00pm
Lakeview Covenant Church, Duluth
FREE! Lunch included!
Come be encouraged and equipped by Tiger McLuen, President of Youth Leadership! Network with local children, youth and family ministry leaders and get a preview of the January 16, 2016 Recharge event coming to Duluth! For more info and to register, visit

Bulletin Board

Agape - Rise Up tour
Bethlehem Lutheran, Grand Marais, MN
October 23-24, 2015
Green Lake Bible Camp, Spicer, MN

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.

Women's Refresh Retreat at Camp Onomia November 6-7!
WOMEN'S REFRESH retreat is scheduled for November 6-7, 2015. It begins Friday at 6 PM and ends Saturday at 4 PM. Experience twenty hours under the theme of "SACRED SPACE." Exodus 20.8 will form the basis for our Bible study time plus you can expect fun, laughter, and lots of coffee! One night, two meals for only $58 per person. Sign up before November 1st either online (Online Registration) or send us your information and a check by mail.
Bring a friend...Let us be your personal escape next month!

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.

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

Office Administrator Position
Kenwood Lutheran Church in Duluth MN is seeking applicants for a part time (20 hrs/wk) Office Administrator.
To apply for this position please send a cover letter and resume to Kenwood Lutheran Church or email to office@kenwoodlutheran.orgKenwood Lutheran Church, 2720 Myers Avenue, Duluth MN 55811, (218)724-9291.

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  
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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
Find a local business that does printer cartridge recycling, or contact the manufacturer of your current toner cartridge and ask about a cartridge recycling program.

Story Starter 
Question of the Week

What faith rituals do you practice in your home?