Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
synod logo

week of January 29, 2017
Bishop Aitken's Reflections
A Pastoral Letter

Dear Pastors, Deacons, and members of congregations in this Synod,
At a breakfast table in the home of one of our congregation's family members, a mother texted me this week to tell me about how her family discussed the recent orders to close down immigration and refugee resettlement in this country. They read Scripture and discussed what it means to follow Jesus. They used this Bible passage for their conversation around the table: "When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as you native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 19: 33-34
I speak to you as your Bishop in strong, encouraging, and gospel terms. Jesus Christ, crucified and raised for the life of the whole world, has claimed you. Be bold in following him. Fear, racism, degradation of others, half-truths and hate are disseminated today with increasing fervor. The number of suffering refugees seeking help today is greater than ever before. What's needed is the good news of God's love, as shown to us in Jesus: Matthew 25:35-40 "...For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."37Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?"40And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,you did it to me."  Jesus knew, didn't he, the ancient words from Zechariah, "Do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do no devise evil in your hearts against one another." (Zechariah 7:10)
In times like we are experiencing today Christians do what we are always called to do;
+ Hear the gospel and proclaim it in word and deed
+ Love our neighbor (as defined by our Lord, this means anyone who needs our help)
+ Welcome the stranger, give them food and drink, clothing and shelter
+ Be courageous, stand up against oppression and injustice, Christ lives in you!
+ Take care of the widow and orphan, stranger and alien
+ Bear witness to the incredible depth of God's love for all people - no exceptions!

Bulletin Board
Year-End Reports are due now!

Congregation ID and Password are found on the paper form sent by the ELCA or by contacting Kathy Wimer at the Synod office.

School of Lay Ministry
Plans are now set for the March School of Lay Ministry course at Luther Seminary.
The next session is scheduled for Mon., Mar. 6-Tues., Mar. 7, 2017. 
These sessions are open to anyone interested in Life-Long Learning.
Tuition is $70.
Topics are:
* Learning to Pray with Martin Luther: Martin Luther changed both the theology and practice of prayer in the sixteenth century. This course will examine Luther's teaching on prayer, examining a broad range of writings and thinking about their implications for today.  Presenters are Steve Bonesho and Mary Jane Haemig.
* Developing Intercultural Competence: The Impact of Lay Leaders in the Church: Building "Beloved Community" among persons who are culturally and racially different continues to be challenging in church. This set of class sessions will examine how developing intercultural competence utilizing a prescriptive set of tools can yield effective outcomes that support lay ministries in an ever-changing church community; Presenter- Richard Webb.

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.
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.

Annual Chili Feed - Our Savior's Lutheran, Duluth
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017-4:30-6:30 pm.
Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 4831 Grand Ave., Duluth, MN 218-624-3648
Come and enjoy a variety of chili, dessert and beverage Vote for your favorite chili. Individuals and/or groups are invited to enter their best tasting chili. The entry fee is $20.00 and must be submitted to the church office by Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Please make approx. 3 crock pots of chili. Total prize money is dependent on the number of entrants. The best tasting chili will be determined by a vote of all people attending the event. Cost: A free will offering to benefit the local Food Shelf will be collected.

2017 Northeastern Minnesota Men's Retreat - Lord of Life, Baxter
Join us February 17 & 18 at Lord of Life, Baxter MN. Friday, February 17 from 4:30 pm to 9 pm and Saturday, February 18 from 8 am to 4 pm. Featuring Bp. Thomas Aitken and Richard Bruxvoort Colligan. Register with the attached form or by email to Bob Nelson at [email protected]. $40 for repeat attendees and $30 for first time attendees (includes registration and meals). $65 for attendees who need lodging (includes double occupancy, registration and meals). Please register by February 14.

Employment Opportunities

Worship Accompanist - Grace Lutheran, McGregor
Grace Lutheran Church of Big Sandy, near McGregor, MN is looking for a worship accompanist for our 9:00 am service and other worship services throughout the church year. For more information, please contact Pastor Erika Foss at 218-426-3343 or [email protected]

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.
In This Issue
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Northeastern Minnesota
Synod, ELCA

synod logo

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
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

1105 E. Superior St.,
Upper Suite
Duluth, MN  55802

FAX: 218.724.4393    
Online Reflections Editor

Anne Laechel

Latest Youth E-Chat