Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of October 9, 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.

  • Zion Lutheran, Boy River
  • Bethel Lutheran, Brainerd
  • Pastor Brian Birk, Interim
  • Pastor Barbara Birkeland, retired
  • Pastor Paul Birkeland, retired
  • Pastor Stephen Blenkush
Welcome to Our Visitors from India!
Rev. Dr. David Udayakumar Kurapati and his wife Mrs. Nirmala Vendoti will be visiting the Northeastern Minnesota Synod on October 15-17. Rev. Dr. Kurapati is the president of Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute in Chennai, India. Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute is both an academic and applied centre of theology. It conceives theological education as a means to understanding the Gospel in the Indian context and to prepare students for both pastoral and other Christian ministries. In its Mission Statement Gurukul affirms that it is an ecumenical theological community for communicating the liberative Gospel of Jesus Christ by training and empowering the community of God's people towards Peace, Justice and Integrity of God's Creation.
Rev. Dr. Kurapati is also originally from the South Andhra Lutheran Church in India, a Companion Synod to the Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA and he will be preaching at Zion Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, MN on Sunday, October 16 at the 8:30 and 10:30 am worship services and will speak during the education hour at 9:30 am. Everyone is invited to come and learn a bit more about what Lutheranism looks like in a different context and different country, one where it is in a very small minority.

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

Ecumenical and interreligious witness and the Reformation anniversary webcast on Oct. 27, 7-8 p.m. CDT

Join Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton on Thursday, Oct. 27, from 7-8 p.m. CDT for a live webcast that will explore ecumenical and interreligious witness on the eve of the Reformation anniversary.
  • What was the Reformation, and what does it mean for Lutherans and ecumenical partners?
  • What is "Declaration on the Way," and why is it significant for Lutheran-Catholic relations?
  • What might ecumenical and interreligious relationships look like in the future, and what does this mean for our faith community?
Check back here for additional information concerning webcast participants and resources. We invite you to participate and join the conversation by using #ELCAwebcast on social media.
You are also encouraged to view the webcast with your congregation, group or committee. This may help conversation as you plan for and discuss your observation of the Reformation in 2017. Find additional information on how ELCA synods and congregations are observing the Reformation here.

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
Middle School Gathering
November 18-19 OR 19-20, 2016
Cragun's Resort
Registration is now open!
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!
For more information and to download registration forms, go to
If you have registration questions regarding your Group Registration, Housing, Additions/Cancellations/Changes or Forms, please contact our Middle School Gathering Registrar Marilyn Hull at [email protected] or 218-724-4424, ext. 120. Email is preferred (and will get you a quicker response!) Marilyn is available for questions and to respond to messages on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

If you have programmatic questions regarding the event, please contact [email protected].

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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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