Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of October 25, 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.
  • Pastor H. Arthur Dale, retired in Soudan
  • Bethany Lutheran, Remer and Pastor Dale Degner
  • Holy Cross Lutheran, Duluth and Pastor Michael DeKraai
  • Hope Lutheran, Moose Lake and Pastor Reggie Denton and Wendy Hjelmberg, AiM
Bishop Aitken's Reflections
Men and Faith
What do you get when you gather 22 men up at Wilderness Canoe Base off the Gunflint trail out of Grand Marias for a couple days?  You get deep faith sharing, good food, laughter, canoe paddling, singing and fantastic fellowship! I was honored to lead a Bible study this past week-end at the invitation of Pastor Mark Dittmanson, Bethlehem Lutheran, Grand Marias. We all met at the famous landmark camp in the heart of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Pastor Mark invited some Christian Alliance and Baptists as well, and it turned out to be a great way to learn from each other and dig deeply into what it means to believe and live out your belief.

After watching the movie, "Do you Believe?" we shared our reactions and did a Bible study on the words "faith" and "believe." The conversation and insight flowed honestly and easily. Over the years, the biblical understanding of both words (believe and faith) has often been usurped by a scientific and post-modern way of thinking that makes believing more about doctrine, data and statements, than its original meaning: "be-love" which has as its object God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. And this makes all the difference. Faith as gift, as trust, and as the action of giving one's heart to, by the grace of God is a far cry from believing certain doctrines in order to go to heaven. Belief creates a certain power that propels us out of complacency, helping us love others and serve others in ways that may defy conventional wisdom and that cost us.
When I hear people tell me, "Men don't really share faith" I say, 'maybe you haven't set the table right, if you did you would be really surprised'!
May the gift of faith propel you out into service and witness this week!
+Bishop Aitken

Craig Settlage, former director for ELCA Mission Support, dies
CHICAGO (ELCA) -The Rev. A. Craig Settlage, former director for Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Mission Support, died Oct. 21 in Bradenton, Fla. He was 73. A memorial service will be held Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Venice, Fla.
As director for ELCA Mission Support, "Craig traveled across this church encouraging synods and congregations to be generous. Not always an easy task. Craig did this in the conviction that all of life, including our financial resources, is a gift from God. We entrust our brother to God's never-failing care and love and give thanks for the gift that was Craig," wrote ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton in an Oct. 21 email to staff of the ELCA churchwide organization.
Settlage began his work at the ELCA churchwide organization in 1988, serving as director for candidacy and later as associate executive director for the former ELCA Division for Ministry, and director for rostered and authorized ministries in the former ELCA Vocation and Education unit. In 2007, Settlage became director for ELCA Mission Support and retired from that role in 2012. He moved to Florida and served as interim pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Venice, Fla., from 2013 to 2014.
"Craig was a very special colleague and friend who served this church with faithfulness and joy. He was one who called us all to be strong partners in stewarding the gifts of this church for ministry. I am deeply grateful for his life and witness so generously shared for the sake of the gospel," said Christina Jackson-Skelton, executive director for ELCA Mission Advancement.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Settlage earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theology and sociology from Valparaiso University in 1964; a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary in 1968; and a Master of Sacred Theology degree from Yale University in 1969. After attending Yale, Settlage served as a parish pastor in Palos Hills., Ill., from 1969 to 1987.
Craig is survived by his wife, Rachel. Memorial gifts may be directed to the ELCA Fund for Leaders
The Rev. Robert G. Schaefer, bishop of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod, will preside and the Rev. Mark Bernthal will preach at the memorial service.

"Provide, Promise, Protect"
Nov. 20-21 OR 21-22, 2015
Grades 6-9
Cragun's Resort, Brainerd
Speaker: Pastor Mike Carlson
The early registration deadline has passed, but there is still time to register for the Middle School Gathering! NEW GROUP registrations are still being accepted for the Friday event (Nov. 20-21). Click here for registration forms and more information.
Please note: Registration for NEW GROUPS has CLOSED for the Saturday event (Nov. 21-22)!Additions to existing group registrations can be made as space allows. Please contact Marilyn Hull to verify space before sending in additions.
If you have questions regarding your registration or housing, please email registrar Marilyn Hull or call 218-724-4424, ext. 124.
Got Fleece?! Middle School youth will have the opportunity to tie fleece blankets for homeless youth during the Gathering. If you have or would like to donate fleece for this project, please email Catherine Anderson or call 218-724-4424, ext. 124.
Two important early bird deadlines this week!
January 16, 2016
This national caliber event to equip and encourage paid and volunteer leaders in children, youth and family ministry is coming to Duluth - don't miss out! Super early bird deadline is October 31.
February 5-8, 2016
Anaheim, CA
The Extravaganza is an annual 4-day conference that draws together 500-750 adults who work with youth in congregations of the ELCA for the premier renewal, education and networking event of our church. It is for the professional and the volunteer. It is for the old and the young. It is for the urban, the suburban and the rural. It is for pastors, it is for laypeople. It is for all who share in the adventure we call youth and family ministry. Early registration deadline is October 31!
Pre-Retirement Webinar Series

You're invited to participate in a brand new opportunity for plan members age 50+ or within 15 years of retirement. We're converting our popular day-long pre-retirement seminar into a convenient online webinar series. We're offering this series for the first time nationwide this fall.
The four webinar sessions will cover a variety of retirement topics, from retirement budgeting to estate planning. Each one-hour session will feature live presenters from Portico and Ernst & Young, as well as live Q&A - all at no cost to you. Sign up for all four or as many as you can. As this is a series, you will receive the most benefit from participating in all four sessions.
Session 2: Investments and Accumulations, 
Oct. 29, 3 - 4 p.m. (Central)
Explore these investment questions and more:
  • How can I manage my investment risks?
  • What investment options are available in the ELCA Retirement Plan?
  • What resources are available to help me determine which investments are right for me?
Register for session 2.

Session 3: Income in Retirement, 
Nov. 12, 3 - 4 p.m. (Central)
Explore these retirement income questions and more:
  • What distribution options do I have from my ELCA Retirement account?
  • What strategies should I know so that I can maximize my Social Security payment?
  • How might I use different sources of retirement income to fund my retirement?
Register for session 3.

Session 4: Estate Planning
Nov. 19, 3 - 4 p.m. (Central)
Explore these estate planning questions and more:
  • What steps should I take today so that I can leave a legacy?
  • Why do I need a will?
  • What benefits and assets might my beneficiaries receive from Portico Benefit Services after my death?
Register for session 4.

We hope you can join us!

Grace Pomroy                                         
Financial Education Specialist
Portico Benefit Services 
P.S. Still not sure if you want to participate? Check out the feedback we received from those who participated in the webinar series pilot this summer:   
   "I'm pleased you offered it to us. It provided affirmation to my spouse and me on how we are preparing for retirement."
   "Appreciated the overview with each of the topic areas . . . Easy to follow. Personal. Educational."
   "I learned a lot I didn't know about the ELCA/Portico options at retirement."
   "Help[ed] to shape the questions that I need to do more work on, and resources for following up with those questions." 

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
Bulletin Board

Communications Coordinator Opening at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd Duluth
We are seeking a creative individual with strong communication skills and a passion for the mission of LCGS to join our staff as the Communications Coordinator. The position at 20 hours a week offers a flexible work schedule with some ability to work from home. The Communications Coordinator ensures the publication of the following: weekly worship bulletins, monthly newsletter, weekly electronic news alert, social media and website updates. Looking for candidates who are comfortable creating relevant and inspired communications on a variety of platforms to share our mission and events. Apply by sending a cover letter and resume to Patti Hallback, [email protected] by October 30, 2015.

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 [email protected]
Kenwood Lutheran Church, 2720 Myers Avenue, Duluth MN 55811, (218)724-9291.

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!

Creation Care - The Intersection of Faith, Climate Change and Weather
Saturday, November 7, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., at the Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church in Prior Lake (3611 Shepherdspath NW)
This event 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. 
PS - Childcare will be available. Please register in advance so we can plan appropriately.

National Lutheran Choir Events
"Blessed Are They" - A Concert for All Saints by the National Lutheran Choir  -  Sunday, November 1, 4:00 p.m. at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi and Friday, November 6, 7:30 p.m. at St. Bartholomew Catholic Faith Community in Wayzata. -  For more information, or to purchase tickets, call Brown Paper Tickets (800) 838-3006 or order online at Tickets will also available at the door on the day of the concert. The box office opens one hour prior to the concert. 
National Lutheran Choir Christmas Festival - "The Spotless Rose"  -  Friday, December 11, 2015 - 4:30pm & 8pm and Saturday, December 12, 2015 - 8pm  -  Basilica of Saint Mary (88 N. 17th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55403) - Call Brown Paper Tickets (800) 838-3006 or order online at

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

Vibrant Faith Training Event and Year Long Coaching
Luther Crest is hosting this event, May 1-5, 2016 in Alexandria, MN.  Come for the week of intensive ministry training for all church ministry people, including lay and rostered.  Then experience a year long coaching agreement to live out your ministry goals.  Check out Luther Crest's website for more detailed information,
Tuition is $2,000 for the event and the year long coaching agreement.  Flexible payment options available.  Sign up today!

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

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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
The ancestor of the modern cow was the Auroch, described as fierce, intelligent, self-reliant, wild creature that lived, as bison do, on grass, and contributed to the health of plains and prairies by sequestering carbon in the soil that grew perennial grasses.  Modern cows, raised mainly in confinements, eat annual cereals, such as corn, which instead puts net soil carbon into the atmosphere every year.  Eating organic, grass-fed and -finished beef is healthier for you and for the earth.

Story Starter 
Question of the Week

Who are the wise elders that have nurtured and shaped your family?