Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of April 10, 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.
  • Mr. Lyle Northey, SAM in Two Harbors
  • Pastor Richard Nysse, retired in St. Paul
  • Calvary Lutheran, Mora, and Pastor Dean Oelfke and Mrs. Susan Williams, AiM
  • Our Savior's Lutheran, Pequot Lakes, and Pastor Donna Olsen
  • Our Savior's Lutheran, Hibbing, and Pastor Kevin Olson
Bishop Aitken's Reflections:
Last Wednesday I was honored to do a Bishop's Visitation in our synod where two congregations gathered their Confirmation students and parents to eat together, learn together and have Christian fellowship. I love these invitations to get to know our Confirmands, teach the faith and commission them for service in Christ. Yesterday I preached and held a Forum in a different congregation, and was blessed to get to know those folks better. In a conversation with one member about preaching, I was reminded that this week I will videotape my Sunday May 1st (Easter 6) sermon so it will be available both in video and in print form for all of our congregations who want to use it by April 20th.
As we move closer to our Annual Synod Assembly, (April 29-May 1) at Breezy Point I ask you to keep your synod's ministries, which are many, in mind and in your prayers. I'm thinking especially of Twin Ports Ministry to Seafarers, our three Companion synods: Russia, Honduras and India, Lutheran Campus Ministry, Seminarian Scholarships and Seminarian Debt Reduction Fund.
Live into and out of your Easter faith,
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
Evangelical Mission
Dear friend in Christ,

Easter greetings! I'm writing to you with exciting news - Living Lutheran, the new flagship publication of the ELCA, has officially launched.

Beginning with its April issue, The Lutheran magazine will be called Living Lutheran and will have an accompanying website, Our new name, Living Lutheran, signifies this church's living, daring confidence in God's grace.
Your new Living Lutheran has a bold, modern look and will continue to offer stories, reflections and news that illuminate Christ's presence in the world.
Visit LivingLutheran today for:
  • Stories and commentary from the 3.7 million members, 9,300 congregations and partner organizations that make up the ELCA
  • An exploration of issues important to Lutherans
  • Resources to help deepen your faith through worship, stewardship, arts, music and more
  • Best practices and ideas for mission and ministry
  • Opportunities to witness our church at work in this country and around the world
  • Monthly reflections from me and others
  • Ideas and resources for parents, grandparents and families who are passing faith on to children and youth
  • Coverage of ELCA religious news and events
  • A free e-digest highlighting the latest and most popular stories, an introductory offer on new print subscriptions and more!
I'm grateful to everyone who took part in research and surveys, and offered feedback that influenced these changes.

Join the conversation! Visit the new Living Lutheran today.

In Christ,

Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

P.S. We want to hear from you! Let us know what you think of your new website and magazine by emailing [email protected].
Were you there sitting at your computer filling out the Portico Health Assessment on-line before Holy Week? If not, now after Easter and before April 30 is a great time to do so! 
Full Disclosure Here: It is on my calendar to complete it this weekend. I had misplaced my Dr.'s report with all those important numbers but now the lost has been found! I also found out that if there is a question you or I may not have an answer for, Portico's Assessment has a handy box to check that says, "I don't know." Alleluia!
It is so important to take care of your health. We need healthy leadership in all of our congregations. It is also important to take advantage of the discount we receive through Portico just for taking the time to fill out the Assessment. Please make the time to fill yours out today.

Our Synod will receive a 1% health contribution discount if we exceed 65% participation in the Health Assessment. As of April 1st, the NE MN Synod was at 50.36% participation. Help us reach our goal of 100% participation! Take the Assessment by April 30th!

Brenda Tibbetts, AiM
Assistant to the Bishop

2016 Synod Assembly
April 29 - May 1 at Breezy Point Resort
Theme: Living Forgiveness

The Bulletin of Reports will be posted to the Synod Website early this week. 

Eventbrite - 2016 Northeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly

Dr. Anna Madsen wants your Questions!

Members of the NE MN Synod are invited to submit questions about forgiveness to Rev. Dr. Anna Madsen for her to address at our 2016 Synod Assembly. To submit a new question, visit the link below and "Start a New Topic", or comment on one of the questions that has already been asked.

Congregation Observers at Churchwide Assembly
Churchwide Secretary, Rev. Wm. Chris Boerger

Each congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America may register one congregation observer for the Churchwide Assembly prior to May 31 in the year of a Churchwide Assembly. 


a. Provision shall be made for such an individual to have reserved seating in the observers section of the plenary hall. Such congregation observers will receive a copy of the report of recommendations for assembly action and also materials distributed on the plenary floor to voting members, advisory members, and non-voting members during the assembly. Such observers shall have neither voice nor vote in plenary sessions of the assembly.

b. A registration fee shall be established by the secretary of this church for registration and related costs, including enabling observers to receive the same meals as are provided for voting members. 

c. Transportation costs, housing, other meals, and related expenses shall be the responsibility of the registered observer or sending congregation.


The registration fee for congregation observers is $100. Please note the meal package is not included in the registration fee, but may be purchased separately when registering. Online registration will open in April at Please contact the assembly hotline at 800-638-3522 ext 2911 or the registrar via email to [email protected] if you have any questions.

ALT Year OpportunityFor Young Adults, ages 18-25
Sites: Toledo, OH and St. Paul, MN
ALT year is an intentional, Christian gap year for young adults to discern what's next for them vocationally and how they want to live out their lives as Christian disciples in a changing culture and a changing church. Participants live in intentional community as a full-time commitment for 9 months while they experience Service, Mentorships, Community Faith Practices (Bible Study, Spiritual Practice, Worship), Common Content around monthly themes (conversation about texts, speakers and visits to community organizations and cultural centers), and Community-Based Focus Areas utilizing local resources, mission opportunities, justice issues, and interfaith and ecumenical partners. ALT Participants will gain a greater self-awareness, lifelong learning practices, leadership skills for fully engaging community, and an ability to see and invite others into God's mission in the world. - Applications are due April 15. For more information: 

EcoFaith Youth Camp
June 26-30, 2016 - Duluth, MN
Grades 9-12 (at time of registration)
Cost: $125 per person

The EcoFaith Youth Camp is a week long day camp for high school youth and their adult leaders that explores the intersection between environmental, economic, and racial justice in a faith context. Each day will include field trips, activities and conversations with different local groups including organic farmers, canoeing the St. Louis River, and meeting leaders from local indigenous communities. There will also be one night of camping along the north shore as we visit an "off the grid" home!
The EcoFaith Youth camp is sponsored by the NE MN Synod, in partnership with the NE MN Synod Creation Care Task Force and Peace United Church of Christ. For groups outside the Duluth area, free housing options at local congregations are available. Contact Catherine Anderson for more information.
More information can be found at
Bulletin Board

Look for the bulletin board in Thursday's Part 2 email!
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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

Make your grass "greener" by choosing drought-tolerant species, mowing to a height of three inches or higher (which promotes deep roots), watering during the coolest part of the day (to minimize evaporation), and leaving grass clippings and chopped leaves on your lawn (which returns nutrients and additional carbon to the soil and decreases the need for additional fertilizers).

Story Starter 
Question of the Week

How does your faith give you hope?