Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of May 8, 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.
  • First Lutheran, Aitkin and Pastor Darrell Pedersen and Pastor Melissa Carmack
  • Pastor William Perkins, retired in Duluth
  • Pastor Dennis Peterson, retired in Two Harbors
  • Ms. Janet Peterson, AiM, retired in Eveleth
  • Pastor Keith Pillar, retired in Walker
Bishop Aitken's Reflections

Preaching at Bethlehem Lutheran, rural Aitkin
Yesterday it became my privilege to preach and preside at Communion for Bethlehem Lutheran, rural Aitkin with Pastor Cynthia Gray. Pastor Gray has been their pastor for the past 12 years, and this year Bethlehem celebrates 125 years! In addition to the warm hospitality and great spirit regarding their 125 years, Bethlehem was smiling about something else: Pastor Cynthia's upcoming Wedding this Saturday to Jim Sodergren, Synodically Authorized Minister at Hope Lutheran in Grasston, MN. Jim has been serving among us both as pastor and as Synodically Authorized Minister for years in the synod. I am happy for this fine couple and their witness to love and joy - and to their many years of faithful service.
During conversation at coffee, I was pleased with the theological conversation at the table about who Lutherans are, where we have come from, our witness to Christ and the gospel, and the fact that we don't have to "get it perfect" or "be perfect" to be of use to our Lord in this world, right here and now.
Proud to be Lutheran,
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

GOOD NEWS!  We Did It!
The Northeastern MN Synod reached 86.33% participation in the Portico Health Assessments by April 30!  Thank you for doing your part. There are still 29 people who can take the health assessment to earn their wellness dollars.
Women of the ELCA Summer Gathering/ Convention

Thursday, June 9 & Friday, June 10
Sugar Lake Lodge, Grand Rapids, MN
An invitation to all Women of the NE MN Synod of the ELCA to "Live in the Spirit"!
Our Keynote Speaker (Friday) will be Alison Feigh, who serves as the program coordinator at the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, a program of the National Child Protection Training Center. Influenced at an early age by the abduction of classmate Jacob Wetterling, she became an avid spokesperson on issues of personal safety. Alison has been tackling the problem of missing and exploited children for over a decade-providing education and support to families and communities.
Thursday workshops include timely topics such as "Refugee Resettlement", the new LSS bible study "My Neighbor is Muslim", "Grief", and "Life, Humor, Motherhood, Personal Development and Spirituality".

New this year - You must register separately for the Gathering and Housing/Meals. Please make sure to complete and submit both forms to the appropriate person(s).

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Center for Changing Lives Breaks Ground

I'm writing to share the exciting news that the Lutheran Social Service of MN (LSS) Youth Services Luncheon and Groundbreaking for the Center for Changing Lives in Duluth yesterday were both huge successes.
The luncheon raised more than $140,000, a record amount for our services!
We continue to sing praises to you and the entire community of support as gifts to sustain LSS youth services continue to come in. In addition to the incredible financial support, we are grateful to share that we had a record-breaking attendance at the luncheon of more than 380 people.
On behalf of LSS staff, the LSS Foundation and Board of Directors, and the youth whom we serve - thank you for joining us at the luncheon and groundbreaking. We appreciate your partnership as we head on to our next century of serving this community.
This memorable day truly sends a message to young people in our community, a message of hope that we as a community will never give up on them. Thank you for being a part of it.
With gratitude,
Robin (Maxwell) Pestalozzi
NE MN Development Officer
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota

As you start planning for the 2016-2017 program year (and beyond!), make sure these dates for synod events are on your calendar!
Events for Youth:
November 18-19 or 19-20, 2016
Grades 6-9
March 3-5, 2017
Grades 9-12
June 22 - July 2, 2018
Grades 9-12
(Registration/Info meetings will be held spring 2017)
And there is still time to register for the EcoFaith Youth Camp!
June 26-30, 2016
Grades 9-12
Events for Adults who work with Youth:
January 20-23, 2017
Louisville, KY
February 11, 2017
Duluth, MN

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.

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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

Online Reflections is a semi-weekly e-newsletter from the Northeastern Minnesota Synod.

Online Reflections Part 1 is published on Monday of each week and contains articles from Bishop Thomas Aitken, Synod Staff, and information from the ELCA.

Online Reflections Part 2 is published on Thursday of each week and contains late breaking news, information about events occurring in the congregations of the NE MN Synod, and job postings.

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Green Tip of the Week

Landscape for water quality by avoiding the use of phosphorus and pesticides on lawns, pointing down spouts away from paved surfaces, and if possible, installing on-site storm water retention.  Replace outdoor hard surface paving with permeable surfaces to prevent water run-off into storm sewers and wetlands.  Collect rainwater from gutters to water plants, build rain gardens, and plant native drought-resistant plants.