Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of May 22, 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.
  • Pastor Thomas Renquist, retired in Bigfork
  • Pastor John Reppe, retired in Two Harbors
  • Emanuel Lutheran, Bock, and Pastor Beverly Robinson
  • Pastor Marion Rova, retired in Minneapolis
  • Pastor Emily Rova-Hegener, OLFC in Oslo, Norway
  • Pastor N. Joel Rova-Hegener, called to Global Mission at American Lutheran Congregation, Oslo, Norway
Bishop Aitken's Reflections
On Sunday, First Lutheran, Little Falls received their new pastor, Jake Dyrhaug, with joy! Installing our Rostered Leaders, complete with prayers, charges, and promises on the part of our leaders and their congregations is one of my privileges as your bishop. First, Little Falls has had wonderful Interim leadership under the good and careful guidance of Pastor Hank French, and I thank him for that leadership. Now the congregation is excited to begin working on their renewed mission plan using our synod's document, "The Mission We Share."
Each congregation is a precious community of faith in our synod. There are certainly different "personalities" and ways of doing things across this church, but all are called to healthy accountability to the good and life transforming news of the gospel through the church our Lord instituted. I am proud of the good work we do together as individual followers of Christ, congregations, our Conferences, synod, and the wider church. I'm proud of our five Deans, who met with me recently and shared their commitment to making October 31, 2017 the goal for all 137 of our congregations to have these renewed mission plans completed so we can share the good news with each other!
Keep the faith, share the faith!
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

Called Together in Christ

Called Forward Together in Christ
Evangelical Mission
Summertime is a good time for rest and relaxation ... and continuing education! Consider using some of your continuing education time and funds to attend a seminar, engage with colleagues, read some books, or do some planning for the academic year.
For rostered leaders looking for continuing education options, one great resource is nearby and all of their information is available online: Luther Seminary in Saint Paul. Among their many offerings this year, I am recommending this one: Rethinking Sunday Morning. Below is a description of the event and and online link to register. This event will help you have meaningful conversations around the topic of evangelical mission, and particularly how we can be agents of renewal in our own congregations.
Pastor John Dietz
Assistant to the Bishop
Director for Evangelical Mission

Please join us July 27-29 for Rethinking Sunday Morning!

For many, it's already happening. Whether Sunday morning finds them seated at work or at a coffee shop, in the bleachers or on a pew, they're already rethinking churchgoing. And perhaps you are, too.

But what is God up to in all of this? And to what more faithful future are Christian communities now being called? What are the practices of discipleship for a post-churchgoing world?

Join the conversation and discover the courage to ask some fresh questions and engage them more boldly. Speakers include Rich Melheim, Kathryn Schifferdecker, Theresa Cho and Rolf Jacobson.

Please visit us online to register and learn more. 

"It was helpful to see that our church is not struggling in the process alone. I felt it gave me license to think outside of the programming box towards the larger, most basic, central goal of any church work-to create missionaries for the world in a quickly changing cultural climate." -Past Rethinking participant

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 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

synod logo

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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Support organic agriculture, which avoids toxic pesticides and herbicides, reduces chemical runoff into the water supply, increases biodiversity, avoids genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and protects community health.  Find local and organic produce by joining a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, or by shopping at a nearby farmers' market, or grow your own.