Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of November 15, 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 Richard Erickson, retired in Pequot Lakes
  • Pastor Richard Lloyd Erickson, retired in Baxter
  • Trinity Lutheran, Duluth, and Pastor Jerome Evavold
  • Pastor Timothy Faust, OLFC, in Cavalier
Bishop Aitken's Reflections
ELCA Church Council Meeting last week
So much has happened in our world, and in our church this past week. Please continue to hold the light and love of our Lord high and keep the victims of violence - everywhere- in your intercessory prayers this week. And let us remember that ISIS does not represent Islam, rather, ISIS represents its own sad and twisted ideologies.
The regular November meeting of our ELCA Church Council met last week. These people are the elected Lay and Clergy members of our church that meet together like your congregation's church council meets. I was privileged to be one of the nine Liaison Bishops who have voice, but no vote at the church council. Our Presiding Bishop and the Bishop Chair of the Conference of Bishops have both voice and vote. It was a good meeting, filled with prayer, committee meetings, reflections of faith and deep conversations around the good work of our church.
A Summary of the Meeting:
-Some elections took place for vacancies
-Reports given from our Presiding Bishop, Vice President and Secretary
-Reports given from the Conference of Bishops, Ecumenical guests, and Program Units
-Prayerful and thoughtful deliberations on the issues of our church including recommendations from Task Forces and memorials coming from Synods
How does the church, called by Christ to join in the ministry of healing for the world by its witness in faith, hope, and love make a difference in a world of violence? We discussed at length the "Gender-based Violence" document, a new Social Message of the ELCA which tries to get at the issues of so much horrific violence in our culture and world. We spent time talking about the work of the Word and Service Task Force which has been responsible for the work of reducing the three Lay Rosters ( Associate in Ministry, Diaconal Minister, and Deaconess) to one Roster called Word and Service Roster. Time was spent on "Table and Font Conversation", which is a discussion of a memorial to the Churchwide Assembly to review our Communion practices and the report and recommendations of the "Ministry to and with Same-Gender Couples and Their Families" document. The new Candidacy Manual for Rostered Leaders received comments and editing, and we talked about the Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunity strategy (AMMPARO) document going forward. Separately incorporated Ministries: Augsburg Fortress, Lutheran Men in Mission, MIssion Investment Fund, Portico, and Women of the ELCA reported out.
Proposed amendments to the Constitutions, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the ELCA were reviewed, amended and edited for presentation and possible adoption at the Churchwide Assembly in August of 2016. I'll send information out in weekly Onlines with links to more details of our work together going forward.
I'm proud of the voting members of our Church Council, and the sincere commitment they have made to do the business of this church in between Churchwide Assemblies. And I commend each of your leaders who do this same kind of good work as Congregational Council members in between your annual meetings. When you get a chance, thank your church council members for stepping up to the plate on your behalf.
Peace in Christ our Lord,
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
"Confronting Racism: A Holy Yearning" Webcast

As racism remains an enduring crisis in the United States, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is continuing her call to the 3.7 million member church to address the complexity and implications of the issue in "Confronting Racism: A Holy Yearning" - a live webcast Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. (CDT). This is Eaton's second live webcast on the topic of racism.

Among other topics, the January webcast will raise the question of the racial disparity in the U.S. criminal justice system, emphasizing the ELCA's commitment to pray for the incarcerated, their families and communities, and those wrongly convicted, as well as to pray for law enforcers and those who work in the system. The webcast will also underscore the denomination's declaration to name racism as a sin and highlight the ELCA's ongoing work to eliminate racial, ethnic discrimination in the church and society.

Information about the webcast is available at, where a link to the live webcast will be embedded. A live stream also will be available at Twitter handle is #ELCAConfrontRacism. ELCA members are invited to submit a question to be considered during the live webcast at [email protected].

Eaton's public statements are available at

The ELCA's social statement "The Church and Criminal Justice: Hearing the Cries" is available at and its accompanying study guide.
ELCA Grace Gathering
August 10-13, 2016 - New Orleans, LA

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is an opportunity to rejoice in the life-giving, liberating power of the gospel. As part of the observance, we invite you to attend the Grace Gathering, in partnership with the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. This will be an opportunity to experience the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) when gathered as the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, prepare for further observances of the 500th anniversary and reflect on how the Reformation can continue to guide us today.

Grace Gathering Invitation
Grace Gathering Invitation

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.

Other Upcoming Events: 
January 16, 2016 - Duluth

February 5-8, 2016 - Anaheim, CA
Four, $100 scholarships are available through the NE MN Synod to assist leaders in getting to the Extravaganza! Please contact Catherine Anderson by December 1 to request a scholarship.
PV for Phebe Update

Thank you for your generous support in bringing solar power to Phebe Hospital. To date donations received at the synod office amount to just over $133,000. We are closing in on our commitment of $200,000, but I think we can exceed that. With RREAL expenses at $52,500, we have $81,000 on hand.
To reach donors beyond the church, a *fun* crowdfunding campaign started November 1st with a goal of $35,000; the cost of one month's fuel bill at Phebe. Here is the link to the crowdfunding campaign.  Please share this with your family and friends, and let your light shine so others may have light. If we can reach 60,000 people who donate just $10 each, we will have the funds to begin phase one. Together, we have the power to make a difference for Phebe Hospital!
Please follow the project on Facebook. The Facebook page is titled Skip The Grid

Mary Jo Mettler
Bulletin Board

Youth Director Position  
Lutheran Church of the Cross (LCC) in Nisswa, MN, is seeking a full-time Director of Youth and Family Ministry to revitalize the ministry to youth in grades 7-12 and their families. We seek someone who has the skills for relational ministry to both youth and their parents.  This person will also be part of a team that works on an integrated birth-to-graduation children's and youth ministry structure at LCC. Our congregational mission centering on the six  marks of discipleship (prayer, scripture reading, worship, service in Christ's name, stewardship and hospitality will be a central part of all youth and family ministry programming. Most importantly, a love and passion for Christ and youth ministry is essential. The person in this position will work closely with the Director of Children and Family Ministry and Associate Pastor. For more information or questions, please contact Pastor Andy Smith.  Resume can be sent to: Lutheran Church of the Cross, Attn: Pastor Andy Smith, PO Box 29, Nisswa, MN  56468.  Deadline is Friday, December 4, 2015.  

Organist Position
French River Lutheran Church is seeking a dynamic, enthusiastic person to fill our fill-time organist position. If interested please contact Sue at 218.525.5659 or
[email protected] FRLC is located at 5310 Ryan Road, halfway between Two Harbors and Duluth, MN.

Executive/Theological Director Position
Lutheran Braille Evangelism Association seeks an Executive Director and a Theological Director to lead the transition, continuation, and growth of this 63-year-old ministry for blind and sight-impaired individuals. Responsibilities include producing a monthly devotional magazine and other communications, developing and distributing biblical and catechetical resources, maintaining financial records, encouraging donations, and providing new direction in which the ministry might grow. We encourage interested parties to explore our website,, and respond via email to [email protected]

Organist/Pianist Position
Family of God Lutheran Church in Duluth is seeking applicants for a part-time Organist/Pianist. To apply for this position please send a cover letter and resume to Family of God Lutheran Church, 
4097 Martin Rd, Duluth MN 55803,or email to [email protected] (218) 724-9210. Click here to view job description.

EQ-HR Workshop
January 4-8, 2016 - Joy Ranch, Florence, SD
The Center for Emotional Intelligence & Human Relations Skills EQ-HR Workshop is an intensive five-day session that revolves around the five keys of emotional intelligence: Self-perception, Self-expression, Interpersonal, Decision making and Stress management. For more information about this and other EQ-HR workshops, click here.

National Lutheran Choir Event
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

Meeting in Thin Places: Spiritual Friends and Companions on the Dementia Road
Serving persons who live in an altered state of consciousness is one of the most challenging areas of ministry. Join Dr. Susan McFadden is professor emerita of psychology (University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh) and Rev. John McFadden, memory care chaplain at Appleton (WI) Health Care Center, for one of three learning events hosted by Essentia Health being held in our synod: Virginia-November 17th; Grand Rapids-November 18, and Duluth-November 19th. Click here for more information and for registration information.

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary Events
Praxis: Lifelong Education for Faith and Practice - Online Continuing and Community Education - Spring Term begins January 18, 2016

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
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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
Unlike conventional plastics, bio plastics (made from corn, soy, sugar cane, and other crops) biodegrade relatively quickly under the right conditions, and they're made from annually renewable crops rather than petroleum.  They can also be recycled into more of the same product repeatedly, while plastic can't.  For more information:  Green Earth Office Supply -; Biodegradable Products Institute -  Share this information with restaurants, hotels, and motels that you patronize so they can switch to more environmentally-friendly products.

Story Starter 
Question of the Week

What are you thankful for?