Northeastern Minnesota Synod
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week of December 18, 2016
Let's kickoff the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in style!

Mark your Calendars now: FREE EVENT!
Come One, Come All!
Be sure to sign up early or you might miss out!

The Northeastern Minnesota Synod is hosting a Bishop's Convocation to commemorate this special anniversary year: on Saturday January 21st from 1:00-4:00 pm at Our Savior's in Hibbing and on Sunday January 22nd from 2:00-5:00 pm at First Lutheran in Aitkin.
We will offer several options for workshops (pick 2) and Bishop David Zellmer from the South Dakota Synod will speak about "How the Heck Did We Get to the Reformation?"

It promises to be a great time! The event is free and all are welcome. We do require registration to allow for the number of materials and refreshments needed. Please sign up at: or call the Synod office to register. 218.724.4424 x127

Eventbrite - Reformation 500 Kick-off
Bulletin Board
2017 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2017 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
  • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents for 2016
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents for 2016
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The business mileage rate decreased half a cent per mile and the medical and moving expense rates each dropped 2 cents per mile from 2016. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.  The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.
Solar for Phebe Update
We bring you glad tidings of great joy,
during this Advent season,
throughout the darkness of shortened days,
as we prepare for the Light of the World,
through the birth of Jesus,
we also prepare to bring the power of solar energy
to the people of Liberia through Phebe Hospital.
On Jan. 15, 2017 a shipping container of solar panels and related materials will leave Global Health Ministries in Fridley bound for Phebe Hospital, Bong County, Liberia! During February and March, Phebe Hospital's masons and laborers will be conducting site preparation work to prepare for the actual installation. A team of RREAL engineers and technicians plan to spend several weeks from March through mid-April working with Liberians to set up and install the solar system.
Although the PV for Phebe team is excited and grateful to finally be able to bring solar energy to the hospital, this effort still needs your support. First, energy efficiency upgrades are still needed, and a back-up power supply needs to be added in case of emergency.
So during this Christmas season as you share your bountiful gifts, please consider making a difference and a financial donation ( for an exciting gift of light and life to the people of Liberia.
Mary Jo Mettler
Diapers are a critical need for families!

The LSS Family Supportive Housing program serves homeless families 18-24. These families often have young children and essential items like strollers, car seats and diapers can be a hardship. Diapers have become a critical need for families! We welcome donations of all diapers - generic and name brand. Especially looking for sizes 1, 3, 5 and toddler pull up. Diaper wipes would also be appreciated!

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.

RevGalBlogPals is delighted to announce a joint effort with The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, a retreat specifically for women considering a call to professional ministry in the church. We hope you will share this event with women you know who are currently in discernment.
Unfortunately, a women's call to ministry is not always readily affirmed and so this event aims to provide women of all ages and experience with a space to explore what God might be doing in their life. Talented pastors representing numerous different denominations will share their stories, insights, and experiences about their journey. They include Naomi Christine Leapheart, Leila Ortiz, Katie Bombalurina Mulligan, Karyn L. Wiseman, Tawnya Denise Anderson, Heidi Rodrick-Schnaath, and yours truly, Martha Spong. Housing will be provided on campus and some meals supplied. There is no charge for the program.

This event is for women of all ages and denominations, but space is limited! Link to the registration page is on the event page. Click image above to link to the registration page.
Events Around the Synod

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.

Reformation Bus Trip - January 6th
A one-day charter bus trip is being offered on Friday, January 6th to kick-off the 500th year of the Reformation.  The day will include a visit to the Minneapolis Institute of Art with a private tour of the exhibit "Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation."  A stop at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis will be next with a private organ/choir concert.  The day will finish up with the musical "Rise Up O Men" at the Plymouth Theater by the Church Basement Ladies.  The cost will be around $125 per person which includes the bus, tickets to all of the events, lunch at the MIA and a buffet dinner.  The bus will travel Hwy. 53 to Cloquet cut-off (Hwy. 33) and then on to I-35 so if you happen to live along the way, a pick-up site can be pre-arranged.  There are still about a dozen seats remaining.  Contact Bailey Conger at 218-666-2377 to reserve your spot.

Reformation Bus Trip - January 7th
In 2017 Lutherans all over the world celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  The Minneapolis Institute of Art has an exhibit Martin Luther, Art and the he Reformation from October 31, 2016 through January 15, 2017. The story of Martin Luther and the Reformation will be brought to life through artworks and historical objects, traveling outside Germany for the first time ever.   Tickets are going fast. Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd is organizing a day trip to the MIA on Saturday, January 7, 2017. In order to get tickets, we need to know how many can commit to joining the group. Tickets for the show would cost $16 plus another $5 for audio, if desired. A round trip ride in a 52 passenger motor coach would cost $20. We are hoping to cover the cost of the bus by a grant. We are inviting other ELCA churches in the community to join us. If you are interested or want more information, contact Rosemary Guttormsson [email protected] or call her 218-728-4037.  She needs a commitment to get tickets by December 15. 

Lake Superior Conference Gathering
Friday, January 13 - Epiphany Service and Dinner, at Lakeshore. No Tuesday gathering.
6 PM - Epiphany Service of Lights Planning Team: Pr. Peter Kowitz and team. Please contact Pr. Peter ([email protected]) or Lyle with names of pastors or spouses who have been commended to God since the 2015 service.
7 PM - Epiphany Dinner: Lyle Northey ([email protected]) - Menu below. Reservations to Lyle after Christmas and by January 9th, 2017. Dinner Menu ($23/plate includes meal, tax and gratuity): Salad bar, Maple glazed pork loin, Chicken Marsala, Vegetable, Wild Rice pilaf, Assorted Rolls, Velvet Cake dessert, Vegetarian dish available

Greece: In the Footsteps of Paul the Apostle - Gethsemane Lutheran, Virginia
Sep. 27-Oct. 7, 2017 - Next year, you are invited to join a handful of people from the Iron Range on a visit to Greece!  We will visit cities that Saint Paul visited, including: Athens, Corinth, Thessaloniki, Philippi, Ephesus (in Turkey) and the island of Crete. If you would like a brochure that details the trip, please ask Pastor Nathan Sager ([email protected], 218-741-4961).

Employment Opportunities

Director of Children & Family Ministry - Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa
Lutheran Church of the Cross (LCC), a vibrant congregation in the heart of the Brainerd Lakes area, is seeking a Director of Children and Family Ministry. The Director that we seek has a passion for Children's Ministry, experience in this area, education degree and is excited to be a part of dynamic staff and team that works with Children and Youth ministry. Our Director will be responsible for leadership, development, and implementation of ministry for the growing number of children and families at LCC, targeting children from birth to sixth grade and their families. Compensation rate for this position is commensurate with experience. This position is 32 hours a week.  If you have questions about this position please contact Pastor Kari Williamson (218-963-2564 or [email protected]) To apply for this position, submit a written letter of interest, together with a resume, addressed to Pastor Kari Williamson at Lutheran of the Cross, P.O. Box 29, Nisswa, MN 56468. The position will remain open until filled.

Church Secretary - Our Savior's Lutheran, Duluth
Our Savior's Lutheran is accepting applications for church secretary. 15 hours per week at $12.50/hour. Contact Our Savior's at 218-624-3648 or send resume to [email protected]

Organist/Pianist - Zion Lutheran, Milaca
Zion Lutheran of Milaca is in search of a part time organist (pipe organ) and/or pianist (Kwai grand piano) to play every other Sunday alternating with our current organist/pianist. Contact Pastor Stephen Blenkush at 320-983-3368 for more information.
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Staff Listing
Phone: 218.724.4424
Pastor Amy Odgren - 125
  Director for Evangelical Mission
  Assistant to the Bishop
Deacon Brenda Tibbetts - 122
  Assistant to the Bishop
  Call process
   Youth Ministry 
 Kathy Wimer - 126
   Office Administrator
Tammy Segel-Crilly - 127
   Communications/Office Support

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FAX: 218.724.4393    
Online Reflections Editor

Anne Laechel

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