Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of June 19, 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 Susan Smith, retired in Ely
  • Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa, and Pastor Andrew Smith and Pastor Kari Williamson
  • Pastor Larry Smith, retired in Ely
  • Pastor Richard Smith, retired in Lakeville
  • Hope Lutheran, Grasston, and Mr. Jim Sodergren, SAM
Bishop Aitken's Reflections

Many of you will remember we hosted two Deacons from our Companion Synod in Russia into our Synod back in May, which included a visit to our Synod Assembly. From June 13 through June 22nd a group of six of us (five from our Synod and one from Alaska Synod), are engaged in an accompaniment trip to Russia. We began in St. Petersburg at Bishop Arri Kuggapi's office of the ELCIR (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia), sharing stories of mutual encouragement in the ministry and mission of our two church bodies.
Visiting congregations in and around St. Petersburg, and then into the Karelia region and their various ministries of God's love, has been a powerful experience. We are encouraged by God's work in and through the ELCIR, especially the work with children and orphans here, creative day camps and foster home care that partners with the government, much like our own Lutheran Social Services. We engage in deep conversations about mutual joys and struggles, and often find similarities, if not parallel challenges, to our call in Christ to love our neighbors. We talked about contexts and changes, prayed, sang, and worshipped together.
Accompaniment Principles in Russia (and by extension, to all of our Companion synod relationships):
  • Mutuality: We work to recognize that all of us have gifts to offer to God's mission, and to value the gifts of all. Mutuality is built on giving and receiving trust as we grow together
  • Inclusivity: Everyone is included in the ministry of reconciliation - yet we know that all communities exclude someone. We look to see who is excluded, and why, then commit to change structures and habits.
  • Vulnerability: Being vulnerable is not a weakness for Christians, even though it is taught as such in most cultures. Jesus shows us that vulnerability, giving up power, is God's way of redemption and freedom.
  • Empowerment: Learning to balance and correct one or the other's exhibition of power as well as standing up to power that hobbles people in their work of faith is an example of empowering that works to the good of all, not just one group.
  • Sustainability: This means making sure the project or work we do together doesn't depend on one or two people and can continue over time.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is always first and foremost in Accompaniment; then relationships built from that, then resources follow. Tending the relationships is the key, just as it is with our relationship to God!
Bishop Aitken

Check out the NE MN Synod's Facebook Page for photos from Bishop Aitken's travels in Russia:
synod logoOnline Evangelical Mission
Welcome to the Synod
Welcome to the Synod is an opportunity to meet other people who are relatively new to service in the synod, the bishop and the synod staff, your conference dean, and others involved in the mission of the church in the Northeastern Minnesota Synod. Welcome to the Synod is a time for leaders to introduce themselves, their work, and the many ministries of the synod including: outdoor ministries, campus ministries, hunger, justice, rural life, creation care ... and many more! Following lunch, there will be an open house at the synod office across the street from First Lutheran Church: come to take a tour of the building or to sit down with a staff member to begin or continue a conversation!   
If you are within the first five years of serving in the synod as a rostered leader; within the first five years of serving as a synodically authorized minister; the dean of your conference; a lay youth and family minister working in a congregation of the synod; or a candidate/ seminarian/ intern in the territory of this synod, then you are invited to the 2016 Welcome to the Synod event!
Join us at 9:30 am - 1:30 pm, Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at First Lutheran Church - Duluth (1100 E. Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802). Please call the synod office (218-724-4424) or email Pastor John Dietz at [email protected] to let us know we will be seeing you there! (Please RSVP by August 7 so we can order food - and let us know of any dietary restrictions at that time!)
Find more information on this link:
Pastor John Dietz
Assistant to the Bishop
Director for Evangelical Mission

One of the things that people have requested is a map to locate the churches in the Northeastern Minnesota Synod. 
When you are on the map page, if you use the scroll on the right side of the page, and scroll down, you can see the physical locations of the individual churches. Please note these are physical locations and not the mailing addresses. Many have PO Boxes for mail delivery.

Heartland ConferenceKettle River Conference
Lake Superior ConferenceLaurentian Conference
Living Waters ConferenceAll NE MN Synod Churches
Directory Photos-Submissions

If you were unable to get your photo taken at the Synod Assembly and wish to submit at photo for the directory, please use the following guidelines:
  • Photo should be professional looking, collar preferred for Pastors.
  • Photo should be no smaller than 3.5x5 at 300dpi, preferred, in .jpg format. - Candids in low resolution and small size are not acceptable. They will pixelate and look blurry in print.
  • Submit photos to [email protected], with your name in the subject line. Submission Deadline July 1st 2016.
Note: there is a $10 fee per photo associated with submitting photos that Lifetouch did not take. Please remit payment to NEMN Synod with directory photo in the memo.

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
And there is still time to register for the EcoFaith Youth Camp!
June 26-30, 2016
Grades 9-12

Survey for ELCA Youth:
As the ELCA considers future priorities and directions, ELCA youth are invited/encouraged/asked to take part in a brief survey to share their thoughts in the process. Please pass this link on to youth in your congregation!
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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
   Call process
   Director for Evangelical Mission
   Assistant to the Bishop
   Youth Ministry 
    Communications/Office Support

   NE MN Synod, ELCA
1105 E. Superior St.,
Upper Suite
Duluth, MN  55802

FAX: 218.724.4393    
Summer Office Hours

This summer the synod office will have amended hours to accommodate the overlap of staff vacations. Staff will still fulfill their designated hours June-August, however, the phone will be answered by voicemail, and the office will be closed to meetings and drop-in visits on Fridays.

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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Creation Care Team 
Green Tip of the Week

The key to strengthening our local communities is to get the majority of our food produced locally.  This will produce a healthier population, more jobs, and a higher quality of life - the building blocks of a green economy.