Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of September 25, 2016
Bishop Aitken's Reflection
Today (Monday), at our Fall Theological Event, our Rostered Leaders and Youth Leaders are in deep conversation about "Faith and Guns" led by Dr. Michael Chan (Luther Seminary). Dr. Chan leads by way of table conversations after framing the questions about this issue in our culture here in the USA. In addition to digging deep into the issue of our history of guns in this country, we explored the stories and feelings and understandings of guns and faith in our own lives, very personally. This kind of real sharing, listening to others so that we can articulate their story enables us as people of faith to be  good models of decent, careful, thoughtful conversations about any number of controversial issues that we face. 
One of the reasons I am glad to be a Lutheran, is that we can live with dialog and paradox, and it strikes me that this is something our world needs modeled right now.
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
  Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

Please see our ELCA Bishop's Pastoral Letter on Violence, March 4, 2013 (On our own Synod Website, under Bishop's Resources, and also on our ELCA Website)

Bulletin Board
A Note from the Editor -
Contact Information Change
Due to upcoming changes in employment law, I will no longer be checking my [email protected] email address on evenings and/or weekends. Because I do the work of editing these Online Reflections during those off-hours, I have created a new email address to be used for correspondence that is not related to my primary job at Lord of Life Lutheran in Baxter.
Beginning immediately, please contact me at [email protected] with items related to the weekly Online Reflections, NE MN Synod Assembly and/or WELCA Summer Gathering.
Thank you for your cooperation,
Anne Laechel
Online Reflections Editor

Politics in the Church
As we head into another hotly-contested election season, we tend to see a rise in questions about permissible versus impermissible political activities.  We have some helpful resources available through our resources page:


Bishop's Visitation to Confirmation Students and their parents

Bishop Aitken invites you to request him for a Bishop's Visitation to your Confirmation Class.  What works best for his schedule is to do these Visitations to clusters of congregations. He encourages parents to come that night as well so he can meet them and include them in the teaching time. He will teach the gospel, talk about Christian Vocation, the role of the Christian in our world, our call in Christ and end with Communion and Commissioning for service with Anointing oil from Palestine.
Does your congregation have a LSS Ambassador?
Lutheran Social Service of MN will host a meeting to kick off this LSS Ambassador year October 8th at First Lutheran Church in Duluth, from 10:00am-noon.
The purpose of our meeting will be to define the Ambassador role with continuing and new Ambassador members, as well as share LSS updates and hear from Ambassadors. We will take some time to look ahead into the next year to see what service projects/programs the group is interested in engaging their congregations to support and learn about.
With program needs in mind, we hope partnering congregations will participate in our diaper drive for the Crisis Nursery in November and December 2016. At our meeting we will come up with ideas for service projects for February-March. Our NE MN Youth Services luncheon will be May 11th, 2017. And, in June/July we will have a grand opening/service project focusing on the Center for Changing Lives, Duluth.
We would love for all NE MN Ambassadors to attend the October training, and we welcome a second or third Ambassador from each congregation to join us as well!
Please contact [email protected]org to RSVP, or by phone at 218-302-6837.
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.

Fall Festival at First, Brainerd
First Lutheran Church of Brainerd is having a Fall Festival on Saturday, October 1, 5 -7 pm. Menu: Beef stew, homemade dinner rolls, coleslaw, apple crisp, ice cream and beverage. Entertainment by Shaffer's Lost 40 Blue Grass Band. There will be a silent auction, marketplace table and face painting. Tickets: $10.00/adults and $5.00/children 5-12. Nursery care will be provided. Proceeds will benefit ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Social Services. Sponsored by Thrivent.

Bethany Lutheran, Cushing to host Chicken Dinner
The annual chicken dinner at Bethany Lutheran Church of Cushing will be Saturday, Oct. 1, with serving from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Dinner will include baked chicken with all the fixings, vegetables, beverages and dessert. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Bethany is located at 25430 Bison Road (County Road 11) just south of Highway 10 at Cushing.
Entertainment throughout the night will be provided by The Woodland Strings with folk, bluegrass and spiritual music in the church sanctuary.
"Grandma's Pantry" will be back this year, with the Women of Bethany bringing baked goods and many other items for sale. There will be raffle tickets also with prizes including the Grand Prize of an "Up North" 85 by 90 inch professionally quilted quilt, plus two walking sticks, a wooden stool with handle and many other prizes.

WELCA Fall Gatherings
Living Waters - Saturday, Oct. 1, Zion, Grand Rapids
Kettle River - Thursday, Oct. 6th, Immanuel, Brunswick (near Mora)
Laurentian - Saturday, Oct. 8th, Grace, Ely
Lake Superior -Saturday, Oct. 15th, Elim, West Duluth
Heartland - Saturday, Oct. 22nd, Lord of Life, Baxter

In Our Words - The Courage of Living with Mental Illness: An Informational Forum
Sunday, October 2nd at 1:30 p.m.; Messiah Lutheran Church, Mountain Iron, MN
Did you know that one out of every one hundred people has schizophrenia or that three to five percent of all adults have depression?  Chances are that you or someone you know has a mental illness. Often we don't know how to react or what to say to someone with a mental illness. The first step is education and respectful listening. The guest speaker for the informational forum will be Sue Abderholden, Executive Director for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Minnesota. The forum will also include a panel of people sharing their own experience of mental illness. The forum is sponsored by Messiah Lutheran Church's Health Ministry Team, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Range Mental Health Center, Essentia Health, and S.A.F.E (Supporting Allies, Families, Friends + LGBTQ for Equality). This free two-hour event is open to everyone.  Refreshments will be served.
Messiah Lutheran Church, ELCA, is located south of Highway 169 on 8590 Enterprise Drive South in Mountain Iron. For more information, call Messiah's Administrative Office at (218) 741-7057.

German Supper at Immanuel, Princeton
Monday, October 3, 2016 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 401 So. 8th Ave., Princeton, MN. Craft & Bake Sale also. Adults $10.00, Children 10 & under $5.00. Menu: Roast pork, Spaetzle, German potato salad, homemade sauerkraut, dark breads, apple dessert. Serving times: 5:00, 5:15, 5:45, 6:00, 6:15, 6:30. Live music. For more information, call 763-389-1420

Fall Harvest Potluck at Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa
The Creation Care Team at Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa, invites everyone to attend their Fall Harvest Potluck on October 4th at 6 pm in the church Celebration Center. Prairie Bay Restaurant is catering the main entrée of provolone stuffed organic chicken with mushroom cream sauce. If possible, please bring a dish to share using locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Following the potluck there will be a presentation by Seth Goreham, MN Army National Guard Environmental Program Director regarding Camp Ripley's recent energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives including energy (solar, geothermal), water reuse and capture, waste, organic composting, and recycling.Their goal is to achieve net-zero waste at Camp Ripley, fulfilling the U.S. Military's stance on the environment being a national defense issue.
Don't miss out on this presentation, the many door prizes from local artists that will be offered throughout the evening and the potluck! This also will also be the first opportunity to sign up for a 2017 plot in the LCC Community Garden.
Please plan now to join us for this Fall Harvest event!

Church Basement Hot Dish Dinner, Our Savior's, Duluth
Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 4831 Grand Ave. Duluth, MN 218-624-3648 - Three hot dishes, rolls, jello, relish tray and dessert. Thursday, October 6th from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Tickets:  Adults: $10:00; Children 6-12 years: $5.00

499th Anniversary of the Reformation
The following Brainerd Lakes Area Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations will gather for worship to celebrate the 499th Anniversary of the Reformation at 11:00 am on Sunday, October 16th at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd: Bethlehem (Brainerd), First (Brainerd), Trinity (Brainerd), Lord of Life (Baxter), Lutheran Church of the Cross (Nisswa), and Cross Lake Lutheran (Cross Lake). Bishop Tom Aitken (ELCA Bishop of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod) will be present to preach and preside during communion. The service will include a mass choir from members of the six congregations under the direction of Marcus Aulie, the Trinity Lutheran bell choir, and a joint procession of retired and active clergy along with other lay leaders. We give God thanks and praise as we celebrate and seek to engage God's ongoing mission in the world through Jesus Christ in the power and promise of the Holy Spirit.

Employment Opportunities

Audio/Visual Technical Director (Paid position)
Celebration Lutheran Church, Sartell MN is currently searching for someone to fill this position. If you have knowledge and experience with Audio/Video technology, and a passion for great worship, we would like to talk with you! To find out more, contact Terry Hagen, Director of Operations, [email protected]

NE MN Synod's School of Lay Ministry Coordinator
The Northeastern MN Synod's School of Lay Ministry Advisory Board is now accepting applications for the position of SLM Coordinator. Requirements: Must have completed the 2 year SLM program, good organizational & communication skills,work with the Advisory Board and attend 2 Advisory Board meetings, plan & host 2 yearly retreats, keep track of student progress & payments, order materials, promote & recruit students for the School of Lay Ministry at various Synod events. Modest stipend. Interested persons may send a Letter of Intent along with a resume to Brenda Tibbetts, Assistant to the Bishop, 1105 E. Superior St., Duluth, MN 55802. Please include the date of completion of the SLM program.
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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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