Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of September 18, 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.

Editor's Note: In the past we have listed the prayer names using the last name of active & retired rostered leaders. Unfortunately an unintended side effect has been that churches with more than one pastor are included more often, and churches without a rostered pastor or worship leader may have been left off the rotation. A new rotation has begun, and NE MN Synod congregations, Pastors and other rostered leaders will be listed separately, so each church and pastor/rostered leader will be included once during the rotation.
  • Lord of Life Lutheran, Baxter
  • Our Savior's Lutheran in Federal Dam, Bena
  • Pastor Gerald Augustine, retired
  • Pastor Henry Aukee, retired
  • Pastor James Bailey, retired
  • Pastor Timothy Bauer
Bishop Aitken's Reflections

Political Season
Joined to Jesus, you and I are ambassadors of the risen Christ. We get to follow our Lord into our world, and live out his life to the world. Our whole world. Our world of relationships, our jobs, school, marriage, parenting, grandparenting. We get to hold the Christ-light in the way we talk to others about life's purpose, about what we feel is important for our communities and country. Our Lutheran understanding of faith teaches us that God wants us to live responsibly as citizens of this world as well as that other, more important citizenship - citizens of the Kingdom of God.
As you can imagine, I have dozens of great conversations, like you, each week about all the above, including politics. And, I am privileged to receive notes, emails, and newsletter articles from folks that speak powerfully to these issue, including what it means to vote as a citizen of this world and of God's Kingdom. Below is a link to a very powerful article about politics and voting as a person of faith in Jesus. It was helpful to me - I hope it might be for you as well.

Bishop Thomas Aitken
NE MN Synod

Online Evangelical Mission
Evangelical Leadership - Dokimazo
The call to ministry comes to people at different times, different places and in many different ways.
One crucial way in which many are awakened to their potential for ministry is through the encouragement of people around them who can identify the spiritual and personal gifts that would serve them well as a leader in the Christian church.
According to Jennifer Olsen Krengel, director of admissions at Luther Seminary, many future seminary students are first made aware of their potential gifts for ministry by their pastor, youth director, or lay leaders in a congregation or other ministry setting.
These individuals, alone or together, may see characteristics and gifts in their congregation members, youth leaders or others that help them realize that person might benefit from a seminary education.
Olsen Krengel says that beginning a discussion about discernment often starts with simply asking, "Have you ever considered attending seminary?"
You can continue this conversation by explaining what seminary is. Discuss what discerning a call to ministry entails and describe the different paths to which a seminary degree can lead. The person you're speaking with may have questions such as, "How will I know if this is the right path for me?" or "Do I have what it takes to be successful in ministry?"
On Oct. 9-10, Luther Seminary is again hosting Dokimazo (dok-im-ad'-zo), an event specially designed to help individuals discern their invitation to Christian public leadership.
Dokimazo is a Greek word meaning to put to the test, prove, examine and discern. This two-day event at the seminary, held from Sunday evening through Monday afternoon, is designed to help prospective students explore what a future in ministry might hold for them.
If you know someone you think would benefit from a seminary education, please encourage them to attend this event. During Dokimazo, prospective students can hear others' stories, visit a local church, explore the Twin Cities community and learn more about Luther Seminary. They will also have an opportunity to reflect on their own story and God's call in their life.
You can learn more about the schedule and registration for this event here.
Pr John Dietz
Assistant to the Bishop
Director of Evangelical Mission

Discipleship Challenge!
How are you WONDERING together this fall? This year's Discipleship Challenge invites you to WONDER together for at least 10 minutes every time you gather, and we have new resources posted to help you do this! The Practice Discipleship curriculum, Wonder, has been adapted to use as five minute devotions, 10-15 minute discussions, 30-45 minute session, or use the original curriculum for a one hour discussion/study. Webinars from the curriculum can be paused for group discussion as questions are posed. Or use the writer videos to initiate discussion. So many options to WONDER together! Find out more and get these resources at
Youth Ministry News

Middle School Gathering
November 18-19 OR 19-20, 2016
Cragun's Resort
Early Registration: $65 if postmarked on or before Oct. 17
Standard Registration: $75 if postmarked on or after Oct. 18
Join nearly 1000 youth and adults in November for a weekend of faith formation and fun at the Middle School Gathering! With the theme iBelong, we will wonder together about the Apostle's Creed and how it shapes our identity as children of God and draws us into relationship with God and each other. Speaker Kari Lyn Wampler will inspire us, learning clusters will challenge us, family time will connect us, hotel life will give us time to play with new and old friends, and worship will send us out to let others know they belong to God as well!
Registration opens October 1st! For more information and to download registration forms, go to

2016 Bishop's Fall Theological Conference

All Rostered Leaders (spouses are welcome to attend as well) are urged to attend the Fall Theological Conference held September 25-27, 2016 at Ruttger's Sugar Lake Lodge near Grand Rapids. This annual event is rich in conversation, renewed encouragement, meaningful worship and fellowship as well as deep and practical theological education. 

This year's theme is a timely one; "Faith and Firearms" presented by Dr. Michael Chan, Assistant Old Testament Professor at Luther Seminary. Dr. Chan's presentation, along with our conversation, will assist leaders in practical and biblical ways for listening and engaging our people in difficult conversations regarding faith, firearms, politics, etc.

In This Issue
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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    
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

A recent Supreme Court ruling that temporarily pauses the Clean Power Plan shows no sign of slowing down the effects of grassroots organizing that is responsible for a major decline in the coal industry and the U.S. transition to clean, renewable energy. Coal-pollution loopholes are being closed as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set long-overdue standards for mercury, sulfur dioxide, coal ash, water toxics, and carbon pollution. In the effort to help the U.S. replace coal power with clean energy, 184 proposed new coal plants have been stopped, and the retirement of 1/3 of the nation's existing coal plants (232 and counting) secured. In five years, coal has dropped from providing half of our nation's power to one-third of it. As a result, U.S. carbon emissions are at their lowest level in two decades, preventing 6,000 premature deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks.