Today's Top Stories:
Fall Theological Conference
September 23-25, 2018
Ruttger's Sugar Lake Lodge
The Rev. Dr. Sarah Henrich
“The Tyranny of Joy”
It was a time of great empire, polarity and very much a pluralistic society. Sound familiar? It was to such a time as this that the Apostle Paul was called to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Add on hardship, nakedness, peril, shipwrecks, imprisonment, beatings, along with many, many miles traveled. How did Paul find joy in his call? How did he encourage other church leaders in their calling?
It is to such a time that we, too, are called to share the good news of Jesus Christ. What can we learn from Paul’s life and writings to assist and sustain us as we wrestle with “The Tyranny of Joy” in our call?
Journey with Paul and The Rev. Dr. Sarah Henrich as we take a closer look at Paul’s letters and what we can learn from him for our own sense of call and God’s people we are called to love and serve.
for more information and
to download flyer and registration form
2018-2019 Young Adults in Global Mission
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 for Sept 27, 2018
When you look at the big picture, we are all in it together. Last night, friends and guests of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) celebrated neighbors helping neighbors by giving a breathtaking total of $1,028,175 – and we could not have done it without you!
On behalf of the tens of thousands of individuals and families impacted by LSS every day of the year, thank you for taking part in our 2018 Celebration for Changing Lives. Your generosity really does make it possible for all Minnesotans to access the support they need to live full and abundant lives, and we are truly grateful.
We are particularly grateful to the exceptionally generous matching donors who inspired guests to give more generously; to our Premier Gala Sponsor, Thrivent; to all who sponsored tables and invited their friends and neighbors to attend; to our volunteers; and of course, to everyone, both far and near, who supported our work by giving.
Once again, from all of us, thank you for joining our Celebration.
With heartfelt gratitude,
Vice President and Chief Development Officer
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
Bishop's Online Reflections Sept 3 2018
Our Labor in the Lord
Bishops have the unique honor and responsibility to ordain pastors in this church. Summer has been the usual time for this Rite to take place as graduations from Seminary generally happen in spring and candidates are ready for a “call” to a congregation. These are powerful gospel moments for this bishop. Ordained in our synod this summer were: Rebecca Hinz serving Bethlehem Lutheran rural Aitkin, Sarah Fike serving First Lutheran in Hibbing, and Erin Coutts serving First Lutheran in International Falls and Bethany Lutheran in Loman. These three servants of God took vows of faithfulness and leadership in our church, synod, and congregations. Each of those solemn and joyful occasions of ordination centered on the ancient charges, vows, gestures and blessings that remind us that setting aside those who have proved qualified and ready to serve in this office are vital to our life together.
The work of pastors is first and foremost to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ centered on God’s love. It includes announcing God’s forgiveness, teaching theology and a Lutheran understanding of Scripture, Presiding at the Holy Sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, where the mystery and power of the Spirit and Christ’s presence strengthen faith in us. Pastors also listen to the joys and pains of their flock and lead in missional planning. Their labor is one of servant leadership; it is gentle and strong, spoken and modeled, done with humility and confidence both.
I am proud of our newly ordained: Proud of their education, their unique gifts, their faithful work to prepare themselves and their acceptance of calls to congregations to do the good work of a pastor. When they were installed in their respective congregations, congregational members where asked if they would regard these new pastors as servants of Christ, pray for them, honor their work, and live in the peace and unity in Christ that pastors regularly preach and teach.
Their response? “We will and we ask God to help us.”
Our world needs to hear and see from each one of us in the church, the Christ-way of living, the way of life that loves others, includes all people, works for peace, sees the good in others, stands up boldly against evil (and not merely personal evil, but corporate evil) and sees Christ in others, especially those who are sick, in jail, hungry and homeless. This kind of life is the “way of the cross” which seeks not to lord power over others, but empowers others to a life of good deeds that will bless the whole world. It is our labor, our good labor in the Lord as Scripture says.
As we begin our fall programming in each congregation, may we think on these things in our congregational life together and bless our communities
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
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?