Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of January 24, 2016  
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.
  • St. Mark's Lutheran (Palo) Aurora, Our Savior's Lutheran, Aurora, Faith Lutheran, Hoyt Lakes, and Pastor Barbara Hegfors 
  • Bethlehem Lutheran, Saginaw, and Pastor Daniel Holm
  • Pastor Mark Holman
  • Pastor LeRoy Holmes, retired in Tower
Peace Not Walls
NE MN Synod Young Adults Justice Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
July 7-17, 2016

Going to the Holy Land has been one of the most significant experiences of my life.  Walking the streets in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Old City, the West Bank, places where Jesus himself walked, and conversations with the average person in Palestine and Israel, as well as with our own Lutheran sisters and brothers there gave me perspective I'd never had before. Some of you know this because I couldn't help but include many experiences in my sermons over the past few years.
I want to lift up this Young Adult Trip (for ages 18-30ish) and encourage you to sign up with our own former YAGM (ELCA's ministry of Young Adults in Global Mission) Laura Mills Anderson and her husband Bjorn. This couple will help you both experience the beauty and the challenges of Palestine and Israel and will focus on peace and justice, worship and conversations with local people. This is a Pilgrimage - one that will be move beyond merely "sightseeing" and "tourism." It will be powerfully spiritual and deeply meaningful to your own life as you discern how faith, love, peace and justice belong together. It will renew your faith and enlarge your understanding of God's love for all people.
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken

For more information, click on the links below. Questions may be directed to Laura or Bjorn Anderson at [email protected]

Informational Flyer

Application Form

Luther Seminary Kairos Courses
Brenda Tibbetts
Assistant to the Bishop

Are you hungry to learn, dig into scripture, engage in lively and deep faith discussions as well as meet some wonderful people who enjoy learning?  If so, you might like to try a Life-Long Learning Session at Luther Seminary.  
Life-Long Learning Session Offered
Plans are now set for the March 7-8 School for Lay Ministry/Life-Long Learning program at Luther Seminary.  The classes are open to any who enjoy learning.  You do not need to be enrolled in the Northeastern MN Synod School of Lay Ministry to register for these classes.
Topics include:  "Corinthians - What in the world was going on in that church?" w/Dr. Sarah Henrich, Professor Emeritus of New Testament; and "Faith and Firearms" w/Dr. Michael Chan, Assistant Professor of Old Testament.  
Tuition:  $70  
Class times:  Monday, 12:30-5:45 pm Tuesday, 8 am-2:45 pm
FYI:  There are some congregations who have brought high school students to this event in the past and plan to bring some youth again this year.  Rostered Leaders please note that Dr. Chan will be our keynote speaker speaking on a variation of this topic for the 2016 Fall Theological Conference.
For more information or to register online:

Hunger/Justice Committee Report

Always Being Made New
2016, the Year of Hunger Emphasis
The Synod Hunger Committee invites all congregations to lift up hunger as an emphasis this year of 2016.  Beginning with Lent, ELCA World Hunger is making available many additional resources to bring the urgency of poverty before us.  The goal is to raise $2 million during Lent.
Register for "40 Days of Giving" at  Participating congregations will receive 40 day Lenten devotionals along with a study guide and a devotion-of-the-day e-newsletter.
Valentines are available from ELCA World Hunger using the theme of pigs, bees and seedlings.  And of course, there will be the emphasis on "Buck a Chick" during Easter. 
It's Not Too Early - Assembly Marketplace & Quarters
It's not too early to encourage quilters and crafters to make items for the Synod Assembly Silent Auction to benefit World Hunger.  Also, any special collections that are taken for world hunger can be brought for the "Quarter Collection" (in check form) to the Assembly.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I invite you to the Grace Gathering to be held in partnership with the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans Aug. 10-13. Grace Gathering will bring people together from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Participants will see the church in action, worship with Churchwide Assembly voting members, engage in experiential learning, and attend a variety of workshops that will equip congregations and synods with tools to prepare for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

And, you know that when you get a couple thousand Lutherans together the singing will be great!
As a synod bishop, I was always delighted by the wonder and excitement of first-time synod assembly attendees. People were happily surprised by the scope of the work we do as the ELCA. They found the worship inspiring and were energized by being around so many other Lutherans. So I thought, why not make it possible for people to have the same kind of experience at a churchwide assembly.

The partnership of the Grace Gathering and the 2016 Churchwide Assembly will provide a place for all members to prepare for the Reformation anniversary - which is an opportunity to rejoice in the life-giving, liberating power of the gospel - by connecting, reflecting on and discovering ways the Reformation continues to guide us today.

Registration for the Grace Gathering opens today. Learn more and register at

I hope to see you there!

God's blessings,

Rev. Elizabeth Eaton
Presiding Bishop

Grace Gathering Invitation
Grace Gathering Invitation

ELCA World Hunger & Disaster Appeal Event hunger pic

On Saturday, February 27, from 9:30-11:00, First Lutheran in Duluth will host the Rev. Robin Brown, Asst. Director of ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal for a special event. This event that is free and open to all in the conference, lay and clergy alike. We hope you and others from your congregation can attend.
Most will probably not need a primer on ELCA Hunger and Disaster relief - in fact several pastors just had a good review at our monthly conference gathering in December. Robin's 2.0 presentation will take participants to a deeper level, focusing mainly on what projects and programs are being conducted currently through the ELCA in hunger and disaster work and how our gifts make a difference - specifically in regard to the refugee crisis in Europe, Syria, and North Africa.
This is a rare opportunity for us to have an ELCA representative from Chicago with whom we can converse and learn first-hand how we as a church are participating in hunger and disaster relief around the world today.
Please share this opportunity with your congregations. Hope to see you there!
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
Year-End Report Time!

The links are up for the annual reports to the bishop for rostered leaders.

There are two places where these forms can be found.  
Under the second link you need to use the "Synod" tab.

Cardia Deo Logo
Cardia Deo
March 4-6, 2016 - Big Sandy Camp, McGregor
Cardia Deo is a retreat for high school youth in grades 9-12 and their adult leaders. As Christians, we are Called, Gathered, Equipped and Sent to be the Heart of God (Cardia Deo) in the world. Bible Studies led by the LYO Board, servant learning, worship, mystery event, camp life, and an adult track led by the retreat chaplain all make this event a deeply meaningful, fun and faith-nurturing event.
Registration is open! Early-bird registration deadline is February 1st. For more information and registration forms:

EcoFaith Youth Camp
June 26-30, 2016 - Duluth, MN
Do you have high school youth interested in exploring the intersection between environmental, economic, and racial justice in a faith context? The NE MN Synod, in partnership with the NE MN Synod Creation Care Task Force and Peace United Church of Christ, invites you to be part of a new opportunity this summer.
The EcoFaith Youth Camp - This week-long day camp will begin on Sunday, June 26 and will end on Thursday, June 30. Our week will be spent exploring our role as God's people and understanding our call to care for all of God's creation and people. Throughout the week we will be in conversations with local indigenous communities and local farmers, learn the history and story of the St. Louis River, and explore the complexities of our food systems. Our week will also involve one night of camping, a morning of canoeing, and time to learn, play and grow together!
More information can be found at
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, January 22 or when the position is filled. 

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

To create healthy yards and gardens, use compost instead of synthetic fertilizers to feed your soils.  Fertilizers cause quick growth, but runoff can cause residual harm to amphibians and watersheds, and the salt-based synthetics accumulate in the soil, causing adverse effects over time.  Pesticides can help with an immediate problem, but have been shown to harm beneficial insects, wildlife, and even humans in certain cases.  Mother Nature can do pest control if you plant to attract beneficial birds, butterflies, bees, and other insects that help your garden to thrive.

Story Starter 
Question of the Week

What is your favorite (or least favorite!) church potluck dish?