Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of October 9, 2016
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

Bulletin Board

Join leaders from across this church for the Rostered Ministers Gathering - the first of its kind. This event will be an opportunity for all rostered ministers from across this church to assemble for worship, education and fellowship under the theme "On the Way...Together."
Two pre-events will allow time for federal chaplains and young rostered ministers (20s and 30s) to gather and network.
Registration will open on March 1, 2017. 
Please visit in the coming months for details, speakers and more.

Questions? Contact us at [email protected].

Lutheran Disaster Response

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Hurricane Matthew, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in years, hit Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica earlier this week. It is expected to hit the Bahamas today and could make its way to the east coast of the United States.

The National Hurricane Center calls Matthew "extremely dangerous," and conditions are favorable for it to maintain its strength. In areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Hurricane Matthew has left a trail of destruction with landslides, streets flooded and homes flattened. Where the hurricane hit the hardest, Lutheran Disaster Response has local partners and companions ready to respond.
Synod Creation Care Study Available
Earth Stewardship and the Missio Dei: Participating in the Care and Redemption of All God Has Madeis the title of Pastor David Carlson's Doctor of Ministry dissertation, which he defended at Luther Seminary in March 2016 and is making available to more readers. In it, he reports findings from a synod-wide survey and four congregational interviews and evaluates their earthkeeping practices and perceptions using eight conceptual lenses: (1) sustainability, (2) globalization, (3) global civil society, (4) nature as an active subject in scripture and liturgy, (5) biblical stewardship as participating in God's mission, (6) perichoresis as modeling reciprocal relationships with nature, (7) eschatological themes of redemption and reformation, and (8) sacramental imagination.
The church in general and Lutherans in particular are well-suited to help society address ecological needs and the problems of climate change, and congregations are ideal settings for modeling the kind of earth stewardship needed for a more sustainable world. This timely resource invites clergy and lay leaders to grow in understanding their local earth stewardship as a component of participating in God's mission, and take steps to integrate creation care practically in ministry areas of worship, education, congregational life, building and grounds, and community engagement.
Signed copies are available in paperback (243 pp.) for $10 payable to Pastor Carlson at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church office located at the synod office building, lower level, or at mailing address 219 N. 6thAve. E., Duluth, MN 55805. To ship in the U.S., add $4.
School of Lay Ministry Course

Plans are now set for the November 28-30 School for Lay Ministry course. Register online at: or use the attached form to pay by check. The class hours are: Monday 1-4:30pm, Tuesday, 9am-4pm and Wednesday 9-11am.
Topics and Instructors for this course are below.

Congregational Planning and Innovation - Dwight Zscheile,Associate Professor of Congregational Mission and Leadership, Luther Seminary

How can local churches navigate a changing cultural landscape where some of the old maps don't seem to apply? This course offers biblical and theological insights and practical steps for claiming the best of a congregation's heritage while embracing experiments in order to learn how to form Christian community and share a meaningful witness with neighbors.

Martin Luther: A Grand Assortment of Insights-Part 2 - Mary Jane Haemig, Professor of Church History, Luther Seminary,Guillermo Hansen,Professor and Martin Luther King Jr. Chair for Justice and Christian Community, Luther Seminary and Mark Tranvik, Professor of Religion and CCV Senior Fellow, Augsburg College

As we approach the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, we will be considering the profound influence of Martin Luther on theology, the church and culture. Come and hear the professors reflect on how Luther's reformation insights have impacted the areas in which they teach.
Lectures include:
  • Luther's Understanding of Jesus Christ
  • Luther Around the World Today
  • Luther and Ordinary Life (vocation) 
For more information about the Luther Seminary campus and neighborhood, learn more about housing and meal options as well as access maps and directions to campus.
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.
Bishop Aitken at Lord of Life Lutheran in Baxter last night - with 9th Graders and their parents. A time of Lutheran teaching, Holy Communion, and Anointing as a reminder of their life in Christ.

Bishop Tom at LOL Baxter Conf Class
Installation of Pr. Kristin Oltmann 
as Senior Pastor at Crosslake Lutheran, Crosslake, MN on October 9, 2016.

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:


World Food Day hunger pic

World Food Day is a day of action against hunger. On Sunday, October 16 people around the world will come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime. Because, when it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number in the world is zero. 

Join people from around the world to mark World Food Day as a special occasion to take action, learn more and join together to fight hunger. Consider taking a special offering for ELCA World Hunger in your congregation and support our church's work in sustainable solutions that get at the root causes of hunger and poverty.

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.

WELCA Fall Gatherings
Lake Superior -Saturday, Oct. 15th, Elim, West Duluth
Heartland - Saturday, Oct. 22nd, Lord of Life, Baxter

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.

Annual Smorgasbord, First Lutheran, Hibbing
First Lutheran Church of Hibbing will hold its' Annual Smorgasbord on Thursday, October 27. The Smorgasbord will run continuously from 4:30-6:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy a delicious variety of Scandinavian foods. (Sorry, take-outs will not be available.) Tickets prices are $10 for adults and $4 for children ages 10 and under. For ticket purchase information call the church office at 218-263-8388. Profits will be shared with the First Lutheran Salvation Army Soup Kitchen Fund. Thrivent will assist with this fund-raising project.

Family Safety Night with Alison Feigh from the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center
Wed., Oct. 26, 6:15-7:45pm, at Zion Lutheran in Grand Rapids, Sanctuary. "Teachable Safety Skills" is the topic. This free event is for parents, grandparents, caregivers and children ages 10 and up. Influenced at an early age by the abduction of classmate Jacob Wetterling, Alison became an avid spokesperson on issues of personal safety. How do I talk to my children about personal safety without scaring them? Practical tools in talking with youth of all ages in a positive and empowering way. Donations of used children's clothing (clean and in good condition) accepted for Zion's Open Closet. Childcare available. Sponsored by Zion's Women of the ELCA.
Book, Bake & Lefse Salem, Zion, Grand Rapids
Sat., Oct. 29, 10:00am-5:30pm, at Zion Lutheran in Grand Rapids. Browse for books of all kinds, buy baked goods and enjoy coffee or tea with treats at the Sidewalk Café. All proceeds for WELCA outreach programs.
Swedish Meatball & Lefse Dinner, Zion, Grand Rapids
Sat., Oct. 29, 4:00-6:30pm, at Zion Lutheran in Grand Rapids, Christian Life Center. Sponsored by the Zion churchmen. Tickets at the door-adults-$10, children under 12-$5, family-$25. All proceeds for Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry camperships and Camp Hiawatha work projects.

Women's Refresh:  An Overnight Retreat at Camp Onomia - Balance & Boundaries
Nov 4-5, 2016
Our annual women's retreat begins at 6 pm on Friday and runs through 4 pm on Saturday. Lodging will be in our year-round retreat center, double occupancy rooms with private bathrooms. Please bring your own bedding and toiletries. Cost: $60 one night, 2 meals Register Online at by Oct. 30th or mail your registration with name, address, phone number, fee, and email to Camp Onomia, 14202 Shakopee Lake Road, Onamia, MN 56359

Employment Opportunities

Worship and Music Director
Full-Time Music and Worship Director wanted for Zion Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Grand Rapids, MN. Located among the beautiful and serene lakes and woods of northern Minnesota, Grand Rapids is a vibrant community with lots of big city amenities and cultural opportunities. Our equally vibrant congregation is searching for candidates with music degree and training/experience in conducting, pipe organ, piano, and music writing software programs. Can you 'play well with others,' and enhance our faith journeys through exceptional music and worship experiences? Zion offers a competitive salary and benefits package (Synod Guidelines). For position description and application information, contact Pastor Paul Leslie -[email protected]. October 24, 2016 application deadline.

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Duluth, MN seeks a full-time custodian.  Successful candidates will be enthusiastic, energetic, detail oriented, and will support the mission and service of the church by providing professional assistance to staff, volunteers, and church members, and visitors. The custodian is responsible for providing and insuring overall cleanliness of the building and grounds, and maintaining safety and security. Responsibilities include janitorial work, grass cutting and snow removal, set up and take down, building and equipment maintenance, etc. Flexible schedule, including some weekend hours.  Apply in person or submit resume, [email protected] 1325 N. 45th Avenue East, Duluth, MN 55804 (218-525-1922). Deadline 10.28.16.

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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