Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of October 30, 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.

  • Trinity Lutheran, Bruno
  • First Lutheran, Buhl
  • Pastor Benjamin Buchanan
  • Pastor Lisa Buchanan
  • Pastor Paul Buettner, retired
  • Pastor Jacob Burkman
Bishop Aitken's Reflection
Baptism; Preparation for Life, not death
I had the privilege of preaching, presiding and also baptizing Pastor Erika Foss's little baby girl, Maren, yesterday during worship at Grace Lutheran, McGregor. It gives me joy to be able to take part in the Holy Sacrament of baptism, the sacred act that joins us to Christ and brings us into new life as St. Paul says in Romans 6:3. These moments are gold for us as Christians, gathered together in the Body of Christ, not only to celebrate with parents and sponsor, but to add voice to the promises first made by God, then by the people of God who will nurture the gift of faith given in baptism. And, as it was also Reformation Sunday, it was good to bring Martin Luther's passionate words into the sermon. From Luther's 1528 sermons on the Catechism, "Hence you cannot hold the opinion that baptism is a human invention or any kind of command or thing, such as putting a wreath on one's head - it is God's command. Consequently, you must esteem baptism as something high, glorious, and excellent; for here there is a divine word and command, which institutes and confirms baptism... Therefore, it is impossible that this should be simple water when through it salvation, forgiveness of sins, and redemption from death and the devil is given.
How fortunate that the church of Christ has re-discovered baptism as preparation for life, rather than its cheaper version as mere "fire insurance" which is all about saving one from hell. In that case, baptism is only a preparation for death. In Luther's view, and in the New Testament witness, baptism is for this world, this life here and now. It is the sacrament that joins us to Christ and gives us the Holy Spirit Who will work in and through us all the days of our life so that we may know God, and serve our neighbor.
Like Luther, this week let us be joyful that we have been baptized, for life!
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

Middle School Gathering
November 18-19 OR 19-20, 2016
Cragun's Resort
The SATURDAY event (Nov. 19-20) of the Middle School Gathering is now full, and registration is CLOSED for NEW GROUPS. If you are already registered for the Saturday event, you may make additions as space allows. Please contact Marilyn Hull at before sending in additional registrations.

The FRIDAY event (Nov. 18-19) is still OPEN to new groups and additions until November 7 (or when full)!
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 or 218-724-4424, ext. 120. Email is preferred and will get you a quicker response! 

Pre-order pizza for your group by November 1st!
Large cheese, pepperoni, and sausage pizzas from Little Caesar's (not Cragun's) will be available for purchase during Hotel Life at 10:00pm. Cost is $6.00 each if you pre-order, $7.00 each for walk-up orders during Hotel Life. Pizzas not pre-ordered are available on a first come first served basis until they are gone. To receive the discount and guarantee the quantity and type of pizzas your group wants, please pre-order pizzas at this link: by November 1st! Pre-orders will not be available after this date. Please make sure only one leader orders for your congregation!
For more information and to download registration forms, go to
Lunch and Learn: "Staying Focused in a Distracting World"
November 10, 11:45am - 1:15pm
Lakeview Covenant Church, Duluth
Come be encourage and equipped by Tiger McLuen, one of the best youth ministry speakers and equippers in the nation! With over 40+ years of ministry in various settings, Tiger brings a unique perspective on changes in ministry, cultures, families and churches and offers practical tips and words of wisdom you can take home and immediately use. Cost is $10 and includes lunch. Click here for more information, or register today at

(Bonus! Those who attend this Lunch and Learn will receive a secret discount code that will allow you to register for the February 11th Recharge at the Super Early Bird rate after the deadline!!)
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Northeastern Minnesota
Synod, ELCA

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Staff Listing
Phone: 218.724.4424
Brenda Tibbetts, AiM - 122
   Assistant to the Bishop
   Call process
   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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