Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of July 24, 2016  
Synod Office Summer 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.

A Chance to Change
When our kids were little, they loved reading books that offered alternate endings whereby they had the chance to change the outcome of the story. There seemed to be at least three different endings-each of which had a very different outcome. There would be a sense of unrest if the ending they chose did not match up with their hopes. But, what a deep, satisfactory smile would come to their faces when the chosen ending brought about their anticipated conclusion!
As the body of Christ, as individual congregations working together to be synod, we are like readers of a book for which we too, both individually and corporately, have a chance to choose the outcome of the story.
We are living in a chapter of time where the clergy shortage is real. We are also inhabiting a chapter where there are too many physical facilities (aka church buildings) to maintain while still being able to carry out the mission Christ calls us to be about.
We are characters in this book. We are readers of this book. We are writers of this book. And, we have a chance to change the outcome. Working together, utilizing creative imagination (which is a gift of the Spirit!), conversing respectfully with one another, looking for possibilities of doing outreach ministry together are just some beginning possible choices for writing the next chapter.
At the 2015 Synod Assembly, the Northeastern MN Synod body of voting members chose to move forward with the Renewing the Promise Campaign which seeks to raise important funding to provide scholarship monies for our people in the Candidacy Process (ordained ministry and lay rostered students) as well as funding to assist our First Call Pastors with Seminary Debt Reduction.  By giving to this campaign, we have a chance to change the outcome of not enough called and trained leaders moving into the next decade(s).
Renewing the Promise Campaign funds will also assist our mission partners at Lutheran Campus Ministry, Twin Ports Ministry to Seafarers, our companion synods in Honduras, Ingria-Russia, and South Andhra, India. These funds will also benefit our local School of Lay Ministry which provides excellent opportunities for lay leaders to grow in faith as they study scripture and Lutheran theology. We have a chance to change the outcome for both present and future church leadership!
Choosing to participate in these types of chapters offer hope and excitement, new life and a re-energized desire to share Jesus' love with our neighbors. Yet, there is another chapter that congregations can continue to use the same old formula which perpetuates dead-end thinking of "It has always been done that way" - to which we know the ending.
However, we are people of the Gospel and therefore people of the resurrection! Even in making a choice that may lead to closing a congregational building for the sake of joining forces to strengthen our mission, even that choice can plant seeds for new ministries, new life, new hope.
The Apostle Paul said, "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" (2 Cor. 5:17) Thanks be to God who provides us with new creation along with A Chance to Change!

Mrs. Brenda Tibbetts, AiM
Assistant to the Bishop
NE MN Synod
synod logo"Welcome to the Synod" Event
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
Bulletin Board
As the 2016 Churchwide Assembly nears, you are invited to participate in 6 weeks of prayer prior to the Assembly, Daily Prayers for each day of the Assembly, and a Prayer for the Sunday after the Assembly.

The prayer for Week 5 (July 31) is:

By your word, eternal God, your creation sprang forth, and we were given the breath of life. By your word, eternal God, death is overcome, Christ is raised from the tomb, and we are given new life in the power of your Spirit. May we boldly proclaim this good news in our words and our deeds, rejoicing always in your powerful presence. Direct the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by your word as this church prepares to gather in assembly. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Northeastern MN Synod's School of Lay Ministry!
Are you hungry to learn more about scripture and the Lutheran tradition? The School of Lay Ministry offers a wonderful 2 year opportunity to dig deeper for personal spiritual enrichment.  See the website for more info and for an application form.  Deadline for applications and a $50 registration fee for the 2016-2017 year are due by Aug. 15.
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 [email protected] No PDF flyers please
. Only the text information will be included.

"Viva la Justicia"- Witness for Peace summer fundraiser, July 28th - 
The annual Witness for Peace fundraiser will be held this year on Thursday evening, July 28th, at the Red Herring Lounge, 208 E. First St., Duluth. From 6:30 - 8:30 pm there will be light refreshments and a cash bar available, along with music, presentations about Witness for Peace with a focus on our work in Honduras, a display of art produced by local artists inspired by the movement for eco-justice and indigenous land rights in Honduras, and a silent auction. Donations to support WFP's work with our partners in Latin America are gratefully appreciated. - After 8:30 pm, there will be a concert performance by the popular local music group "Chase Down Blue," with a cover charge for those coming only for the concert. Please come and support the work of Witness for Peace as we celebrate the struggle for justice and human rights in the Americas. - For more information, contact Lyn Clark Pegg at [email protected]

125th Anniversary at Bethlehem Lutheran, Aitkin.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church of rural Aitkin, Minnesota, is celebrating its 125th Anniversary on Sunday, July 31, 2016. Everyone is invited to join the festivities. The day begins with worship at 9:30 a.m., a picnic lunch at 11:30 a.m., and a program at 1:30 p.m. Many pastors preached at Bethlehem while they were students in college and seminary, all are welcome to attend. Bethlehem is located at 36696 320th Street, Aitkin, MN  56431; phone 218-927-3935.

Benefit breakfast at Bethany, Cushing
The public is invited to a benefit pancake breakfast beginning at 10 a.m.Sunday, August 7, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cushing. A free will offering will be taken, with pancakes, sausage and eggs, plus beverages, being served in the Bethany dining hall. All proceeds from the breakfast will benefit the Iringa Hope micro-financing cooperative in Tanzania's Iringa province. Four members from Bethany, Lois Brenner, Tom Crawford, Norm Siekman and Peggy (Edeburn) Howell are among the Tanzanian 10 mission group, which will be headed to Tanzania in October.  One of several projects they will be working on is continued growth of the micro-financing co-op within the several villages that make up their sister parish in Tanzania. Bethany is at 25430 Bison Road (County Road 11), Cushing, just south of Highway 10.  For further information, contact Tom Crawford at 218-575-2845.
Employment Opportunities

NEMN Synod's School of Lay Ministry Coordinator
Position Qualifications:  Must have completed the 2 year SLM program. Position Responsibilities:  Good organizational & communication skills, plan/host 2 retreats/year, attend SLM Advisory Board meetings, Recruit & Promote SLM, Work closely with Advisory Board and Synod Liaison. Contact Clara Edin, SLM Advisory Board Chair [email protected], or Brenda Tibbetts, Assistant to the Bishop, [email protected] for more information and complete job description.  Modest stipend.  Deadline for receiving Letter of Intent and Resume is August 31.  Please include the year of completion in the SLM program in the resume.

Youth and Family Minister
First Lutheran Church in Little Falls, MN is looking to fill a position for a full time Youth and Family Minister. The Youth and Family Minister of First Lutheran Church will develop and carry out ministries of faith formation for children, youth and families to live a life centered in Christ.The Youth and Family Minister will lead by example, work creatively and collaboratively, and provide dynamic leadership, vision and organization. Experience in youth ministry is preferred but not required. Previous experience in a similar role could apply. Intended start date is September 1, 2016. For more information, contact Pastor Jake Dyrhaug at [email protected]
or (320) 632-6667.

Director of Youth, Families & Christian Education
Faith Lutheran Church in Staples, Minnesota is seeking a full time position as Director of Youth, Families and Christian Education. The position includes coordinating high school, middle school (including participation in Confirmation) and elementary school groups and vacation Bible school and Sunday school as well as providing intergenerational opportunities for the entire congregation. It is desired that the applicant be prepared to take initiative, become involved in sharing the faith with youth and their families at church, school and in the community, and be a vital participant in the life of the congregation. Support and mentoring will be available for a person filling this position. For a complete job description and application form you may contact our church office at: Faith Lutheran main office (218-894-1546); [email protected]. For other question or more information about the job and compensation, please contact: Joyce Anderson (218-894-1574); [email protected]

High School Ministry Leader
St. Mark's Lutheran Church in North St. Paul, MN is looking for a High School Ministry Leader! This position encompasses leading a ministry of accompaniment, compassionate action, and faith formation with high school youth. You must be able to coordinate a year round ministry to foster an atmosphere of faith and learning with a diverse group of young people and dedicated adult leaders as well as collaborate with other staff on inter-generational events. Part-time-25 hours/week. For more information contact Pastor Ivy Huston at 
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Northeastern Minnesota
Synod, ELCA

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The purpose of our

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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 
 Kathy Wimer - 126
Tammy Segel-Crilly - 127
   Communications/Office Support

1105 E. Superior St.,
Upper Suite
Duluth, MN  55802

FAX: 218.724.4393    
Online Reflections Editor

Anne Laechel

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