Today's Top Stories:
2019 Bishop's Convocation on Mental Health and Faith
The Rev. Dr. Hollie Holt-Woehl, Adjunct Professor, Luther Seminary
Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church
418 8th Ave NE, Brainerd, MN
This Convocation is open to all people; you may invite friends who are asking questions about Faith and Mental Illness.
Please register by clicking here or call the synod office: 218-724-4424
The Rev. Dr. Hollie Holt-Woehl holds a Ph.D. in Pastoral Care and Counseling with particular emphasis on the congregation. Her dissertation, "Congregations as Trinitarian Communities: Accepting, Welcoming, and Supporting People with Chronic Mental Illness," explores congregations who have welcomed people with mental illness into the life of the congregation. She teaches the course “Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families.”
2019 Congregational Information Form
We do appreciate each and every volunteer and employee our churches have working with us. Please keep us informed of your church's leadership by filling out the Congregational information form. There are mailings that go to Presidents, Treasurers and Pastors on a quarterly and annual basis. It is important we are getting that information to the correct people.
You can download the 2019 Congregational information form by clicking here. Please print, fill it out, email or mail it back to us at the Synod Office. Thank you!
“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”
Want to go to Honduras in 2019? Click here for more information!
Bishop Aitken always has an abundance of good information to be shared. Now, instead of finding it at the bottom of the home page, he has an entire page dedicated to sharing these resources. it will be found under the home drop down list or by clicking this link.
One of Bishop Aitken's greatest joys as a Bishop, is the Bishop Visitations to Confirmation Students and parents in our Synod. He takes the Teaching Office of Bishop both seriously and joyfully and loves to be part of youth faith formation in this way and has been able to personally connect with so many across our Synod. If you would like, you may supply the names of those being Confirmed to the Synod Office and he will send a pastoral letter to each one, reminding them that they are joined to Christ forever, and encouraging them in their continued journey into the gift of faith.
You may send names and addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bishop's Online Reflections : Veteran's Day
On This Veterans Day I remember the words of Jesus from the gospel of John: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) I’m thankful for our Veterans, and I honor their courage and love for others, even to the point of putting themselves in danger for another person’s sake, knowing they might die. Veterans of war live among us, twenty-five million in this country alone. Many of them find themselves unable to talk of the horrors of war. My own dad, like so veterans from WWII did not talk about his experience, it was too hard. To witness violence up close does damage to your soul. I understand now. I hope that each of us will share our respect and love for the Veterans in our congregations, in our community. I hope that we will learn from those among us who understand PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that so many of our Veterans live with. We can honor Veterans by thanking them personally, praying for them, and by encouraging our our leaders to provide for their care when then return. And we can honor them by working for peace.
Prayer: God of all Creation, lover of all people, we give you thanks for Veterans, and all who model the willingness to serve their neighbor, even to the point of losing their lives. Stir up your Holy Spirit among us, to work for an end to war, as the prophet Isaiah, and your Son Jesus taught us. Set free the gift of love and courage you’ve given us in our baptisms, through hearing the Word, and through Holy Communion that we might work to combat fear, hatred and violence in our world, and instead lift up the unconditional love that brings harmony and peace.
STATEMENT IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
March 5, 2018
As part of our work together , the bishops of the ELCA , this past week at the Conference of Bishops, discussed our precious young people, and the relentless violence that happens to them in this country, and the peaceful Kingdom God has called us to create in our personal and corporate lives together. Please read our Statement and share it widely, for we are called to be light to the world.
-Bishop Thomas Aitken, Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
CLICK HERE FOR FULL STATEMENT
My Neighbor is Not for Sale
We are pleased to present our sixth congregational discussion guide, “My Neighbor is Not for Sale.”Joining our previous studies – “My Neighbor is Muslim”, “My Neighbor is on Medicaid”, etc. – “My Neighbor is Not for Sale” brings congregations the facts, figures, and stories of the insidious world of sex trafficking of children and youth in our country. It also represents our first collaboration with Cherish All Children, a 10-year-old Lutheran social ministry, which has recently become a service of LSS of Minnesota.
It has been a shock to so many of us to learn that, what we used to call prostitution, has been quietly and quite creepily replaced by an Internet-driven industry of luring kids into phony relationships, controlling them, and selling them in the sex trade right under our noses in communities everywhere.
The images we grew up with of adult women on the corners of the “red light district” soliciting men has been replaced with an invisible web of adults preying on children and youth. Our new awareness has also made us question whether those women in the “red light district” ever really had many choices in life themselves.
Over the past couple of years, the State of Minnesota has contracted with LSS and others to offer “Safe Harbor” services in several communities that reach out to youth trapped in trafficking, help them escape the life, and support them in getting back into strong and healthy lives, utilizing our years of experience working with homeless youth.
Our new affiliation with Cherish All Children adds a rich dimension of congregational outreach and education and a focus on helping our children and youth protect themselves from trafficking by teaching them to beware of the signals that they are being lured into the danger zone.
I wish you blessings on your journey of awareness and enlightenment.
Jodi Harpstead, CEO
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
MY NEIGHBOR IS NOT FOR SALE download pdf
+Bishop’s Visitation to Confirmation Students
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 schedule so these visitations are 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.
Bible and Brew Study Retreats
Believing and Having Faith
Bishop Aitken is open to leading a Bible and Faith Study for men’s, women’s or mixed men and women’s Retreats around the theme Belief and Faith. He uses the Gospels as well as other Biblical texts around the meanings of trust, fidelity, faith and believing. You could arrange with one of our Camps (where he has done these already) or at a location of your choosing. He presents a Biblical understanding of what faith and belief really are, and in particular, as a Lutheran Christian.
You may contact the synod office to make arrangements with him.
Minnesota Council of Churches Response to Executive Order on Refugees ..click here
"Evangelicals join Letter denouncing President Trumps order on Refugees" click HERE
ELCA on Gender Identity Discrimination
Star Tribune feature: Crosslake Lutheran!
Click here to read the article!
Just what are Your Congregation's Intentions?
Lutheran Disaster Relief:
How you can help! click HERE
East Jerusalem Hospital Advocacy Update
The Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem has faced periodic financial challenges due to lack of payments from the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the treatment of patients referred to the hospital by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. To learn more about the background of the issues facing this Lutheran World Federation (LWF) run hospital see this Peace Not Walls blog.Earlier this year, the situation reached a critical level when the hospital had to turn patients away because it was running out of vital medication to treat those who were critically ill. While the PA at that time made promises to resolve the situation, in effect it has failed to do so. For further details see the latest LWF Advocacy Update.
Having been alerted to this crisis situation, on October 13 ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton wrote a letter to the PLO Ambassador in Washington, Dr. Husam Zomlot, appealing to him to bring the situation “to an immediate, positive conclusion.” You can read her letter here.
Contact your elected officials today at the ELCA Action Center, and ask them to convey these concerns to Ambassador Zomlot as well.
Ever wonder where your gifts to the church go?