Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of March 27, 2016  

Thursday, April 14 - 6:30 pm
6:30-8:00 - Presentations
8:00-8:30 - Q and A/Discussion

Live-stream Event & In Person Event:
Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN
Jackson Campus Center

- Why are we, who have experienced the grace of God in Christ (Eph. 1, 2, 3), so unlikely to talk about Jesus? 
- What holds us back? - What sets us free? 
- What practical practices might be put into place to offer testimony to others? 

In this TED-talk style event we will explore these questions, as well as offer foundations and approaches, to practice "Grace-based evangelizing." Through foundational material from Luther's "Freedom of a Christian" (Mark Tranvik) we move to how we talk about Spirit-led conversion to the Way of Jesus (Christian discipleship) in a multi-faith culture, how we testify without shaming our family or heritage (Salim Kaderbhai). We'll explore how grace is the base for evangelizing. Then, talks about evangelizing in community (Peggy Hahn) and through the congregation (Tim Olson) will offer practical ideas and examples to witness the Spirit's work in, with and through us as we live and tell the Story of Jesus today.

Click Here to register!
Heartland Spring Gathering

Saturday, April 9, 2016
First Lutheran - 309 2nd Street North
Pine River, MN
Registration & coffee starts at 8:30 am
Program starts at 9:30 am
RREAL, PV for Phebe, Kitchigami Library
Holy Communion, Synod Update, Silent Auction
Optional tours afterwards
Cost is $8 this includes lunch
Great News! Dr. Jefferson Sibley, medical director of Phebe Hospital, will be at First Lutheran in Pine River MN for the Heartland Conference WELCA Gathering. He will be speaking at 11:30 a.m. Please come join us and meet Dr. Sibley.

Here are his comments from two weeks ago. "Surely, PV for Phebe will be a reality, because our Great Lord knows the difficult task we are going through to provide electricity for Phebe and bringing quality healthcare to our people. As we speak, the only generator (350KVa) that provides electricity for both the hospital and the compound has been down for about a week now. we are currently hanging on a 125KVa that provides electricity straightly for the hospital only. We are doing everything possible to have it repaired as quickly as possible, as we are assured that the spare parts will arrive in Liberia by this coming Monday. We continue to pray for the success of this project.

Mary Jo Mettler
Russian Deacons Visiting Apr 21 - May 5
Evgeny Raskatov

This spring we are very pleased to welcome two Deacons from the Ingrian Lutheran Church of Russia as guests of our 2016 Synod Assembly - Evgeny Raskatov from the central office of the ELCIR in St. Petersburg, and Sergey Anikin from the Lutheran parish in Saratov, Volga Deanery.
During their two-week visit, they will be giving a greeting at synod assembly, speaking at congregations in different parts of our synod about God's work in and through the Ingrian Church, learning about the ministry of the Northeastern MN Synod, and visiting Luther Seminary.
Our Synod is funding all of their travel expenses, which amount to approximately $2,200. The Task Force welcomes any gifts from congregations, conferences, or individuals sent through the Synod Office and so marked in the memo, to help cover their costs. Dates, times, and locations of their presentations will be announced soon.

Pastor David Carlson, Chair
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR) Task Force
+Bishop's Visitation to Confirmation Students
Bishop Aitken continues to invite you to do a Visitation/ Teaching/Anointing on a Wednesday night (or whenever you meet) for your Confirmation Class. He encourages parents to come that night as well so he can meet them and include them in the teaching time. Pastors and Confirmation teachers are welcome of course to be there, but he will teach about Christian Vocation, the role of the Christian in our world, our call in Christ and end with Communion and Commissioning for service with Anointing oil from Palestine. It's best to gather a cluster of congregations for this - that has worked well in the past.
Synod Photo Directory

Hello Ordained Ministers, Associated in Ministry, and Deaconesses!
Bishop Aitken would like every Rostered Leader to have their picture taken (free of charge) for an updated Synod Directory. It's been seven years since the last one and we are overdue.
The Synod Pictorial Directory helps us all stay connected. Plan on taking a few minutes and getting your picture taken. Collars on pastors are encouraged.
Lifetouch Studios will be holding 2 photo sessions during the Synod Assembly. Friday from 2pm-5pm in the Pelican Room.Saturday 8am-6pm in the Pelican Room.
Please stop by and have your photo taken. You will receive afree 8x10 photo. No Appointment Necessary. Take a 5 minute break and get your photo taken.
What do we need from you? Your smiling face of course! Also, the name, location and address where you serve, phone number and email. We will have a list on hand, you will need to verify for accuracy.
Year-End Report Time!

Annual Rostered Leaders to the Bishop

Congregation/Parochial Report
Congregation ID and Password are found on the paper form sent by the ELCA

Bulletin Board

Honduras Trip Openings
The next synod-sponsored Companion Trip to Honduras will be May 25-June 2, 2016. This team of 8 people will be representing NE MN at the ordination of Rolando Martinez and visiting some of the congregations of the Iglesia Cristiana Luterana de Honduras as well as the Lutheran kindergarten in La Canada. Also on the agenda are home visits to some of the congregation members and the distribution of water filters. Cost of the trip is $1,600 which includes airfare, housing, transportation and meals while in Honduras. For more information or an application form, contact Brenda Wagner at
mbwagner965@gmail.comor 218-341-1831. An initial deposit of $100 is due with the application. We'd like to have commitments from team members by March 31.

Immanuel in Brunswick is spring cleaning! 
We have found a supply of hymn books. We hate to recycle them if someone could use - we realize that getting to a new location is costly but we are willing to work with them. Available hymnals:
*Hard brown cover - The Hymnal - about 36 copies
*Hard red cover - Favorite Hymns of Praise - about 40 copies
*Soft burgundy cover - Christian Hymns - about 40 copies
*Soft purple cover - Maranatha Music Praise Chorus Book - 100 copies
*Hard green cover - Lutheran Book of Worship - 50 - 55 copies
Please let us know by April 1st if you would like any of these books. Contact Gladys Nelson at Immanuel of Brunswick or 320-679-2015
Peace Not Walls 
NE MN Synod Young Adults Justice Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
July 7-17, 2016
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. For more information, click on the links below. Registration Deadline is April 15th. Questions may be directed to Laura or Bjorn Anderson at 

Events Around the Synod

We have recently changed the policy regarding the inclusion of congregational fundraising events in the Online Reflections. If you would like to have your event included, please send a brief press release, including the Who, What, Where, When & Why of your event, in an email to No PDF flyers please
. Only the text information will be included.

25th Anniversary - Lord of Life Lutheran, Baxter
6190 Fairview Rd
Lord of Life invites you to join us as we celebrate 25 years as a congregation!
Sunday, April 10th - One worship service at 9:30 a.m.

Norske Torske Lunsj - First Lutheran, Brainerd
424 South 8th St
May 1, 11:00 am-2:00 pm
Tickets: $12 for ages 10 and up; $6 for kids 9 and under. - Join us for a plate of deliciousness! Torske is baked, flakey cod fish served with boiled potatoes, bread and vegetables. There will also be some Scandinavian delicacies and dessert!
All proceeds benefit camperships for local students to attend Bible Camp at Camp Hiawatha, Camp Vermilion, and Voyagers Lutheran Ministries.

Employment Opportunities

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 when the position is filled.

Music & Worship Director
Full-Time Music and Worship Director wanted for Zion Lutheran Church of Grand Rapids. Searching for candidates with music degree and training/experience in pipe organ, piano, conducting and music writing software programs. Can you 'play well with others,' and enhance our faith journeys through exceptional music and worship experiences? Zion offers a competitive salary and benefits package. For position description and application information, contact Pastor Paul Leslie - May 23, 2016 application deadline.
Shepherds Wanted
Ever thought about serving those who serve?  The US Navy is looking for exceptional men and women for full time (active duty) or part time (reserve duty) in the Navy Chaplain Corps.  Training, travel, and mentoring provided, along with outstanding military benefits.  Navy Chaplains not only serve the sailors of the US Navy, but also the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard.  This is a rewarding mission, as the fields are white with harvest.  With max age recently changed to 58, you may now be eligible to apply. Sound interesting?  Then we should talk.   Call, text, or email at the contact info below, with no obligation or hard sell. LT Dayton Nelson, Officer Recruiting, US Navy 
5905 34th Ave S. - Minneapolis, MN 55450 - Cell: 612-749-1545
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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

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