Lutherans for Life Essay Contest

Dear ND Lutheran Pastor, DCE, Principal, Teacher, Administrator:

On behalf of the Board of Directors for North Dakota Lutherans for Life, we invite your Lutheran School or Church to participate in an Essay Contest in support of life. The theme for this year’s essay contest is “Did God Really Say?…” and “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” from John 6:68. Details for the Essay Contest and the Rubric for evaluating the essays in your school or church are attached below.

Schools, we ask that you would include this Essay Contest in your curriculum or make it an extra credit assignment. Churches, we ask that you would include this Essay Contest in your Confirmation or Sunday School classes or as part of your Youth Group program.

Each school or church should select the best essay from their church or school from each of the two Grade Levels: Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12 and submit them to dakotapastor@gmail.com by March 15, 2019.

A first place prize of $100 and second place prize of $50 will be awarded by North Dakota Lutherans for Life to the best essay from each Grade Level. All first place winners will have their essays submitted to LFL’s National Essay Contest with a chance to win $250, plus free Conference Registration to the 2019 Regional Conference of their choice, plus a one night stay at the Conference Hotel.

Please see the attached documents for details and a rubric for evaluating the essays in your church or school.
Lutherans for Life Essay Guidelines 2019
Lutherans for Life Essay Contest Evaluation Rubric

God’s blessings to your church or school as you join with Christ in defending human life. And please contact me with any questions.

 

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Matt Thompson

ND State Lutherans for Life Essay Contest Committee

dakotapastor@gmail.com

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/lutherans-for-life-essay-contest/

Guthmiller 2018 Recipient of LCEF North Dakota District Scholarship

Allison Guthmiller was awarded the 2018 LCEF North Dakota District scholarship. A member of Bethel Lutheran Church, Bismarck, N.D., Allison is a 2018 graduate of Legacy High School, Bismarck, and currently attending the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.

“What I admire about the mission of LCEF is that it gives churches and individuals the support it needs in order to go out in the world fearless and make disciples just as God intended us to do, “wrote Allison Guthmiller, Bethel Lutheran Church, Bismarck, North Dakota. “The financial aspect of keeping a ministry running is often forgotten or overlooked and yet it remains such a vital part of a functioning congregation.”

 

Allison is the recipient of a $1,000 Lutheran Church Extension Fund North Dakota District scholarship, one of nineteen 2018 LCEF district awards. A member of Bethel Lutheran Church, Bismarck, North Dakota, she is a 2018 graduate of Legacy High School, Bismarck. Allison is currently attending the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. Her parents are Bryan and Tanya Guthmiller.

In her letter of recommendation for Allison, Bethel Lutheran Youth Fellowship Advisor Patricia Sebastian wrote,

“Allison’s academic performance is superior as evidenced by her grade point average and advanced course work. Her intelligence and work ethic in academics does not manifest itself in an arrogant know-it-all way. She realized early that academics are crucial to being the most competent nurse anesthetist she can be to best serve patients.

She excels in music and athletics and has been chosen for leadership roles as drum major, student council, Bismarck Public School Foundation Advisory Committee and volleyball team captain. Allison is a leader who others want to follow! I can hardly wait to see what God has in store for Allison beyond high school.”

In her scholarship essay, Allison wrote,

“I have seen firsthand what blessings LCEF can help bring. I have grown up in the same Missouri Synod Lutheran Church my whole life and since I was baptized the church has consistently grown. Unfortunately, several years previous our church reached a standstill because we no longer had the room for our growing population, that was until LCEF stepped in and helped us with a loan to expand our education wing.

… [since the addition,] our church has grown exponentially and the mission to spread God’s word remains relentless. I [have been] a Sunday School Teacher in that very education wing teaching the precious gift of God’s word that was made possible by the generosity of the LCEF loan our church was granted.”

In his letter of recommendation for Allison, Advanced Placement Senior English Teacher John Tufte, Ed.D. wrote,

“…I have come across strikingly few students with the capabilities [that] Allison Guthmiller displays on a daily basis. Academically, she separates herself with relative ease. She carries a 4.5 GPA and is ranked #1 out of 267 students at Legacy High School.

Academic prowess acknowledged, the real strength of Allison is to be found in her character and demeanor…. At a time when the make-up of today’s youth is often questioned for substance, Allison reminds that there are indeed fantastic young people headed toward higher education. Classmates and teachers alike find themselves comfortable in Allison’s presence; this is a priceless reality few students possess and will serve her well for years to come.”

LCEF is blessed to provide annual district scholarships for active, faith-filled Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod students just like Allison. The 2019 scholarship application will be available beginning in September 2018 at lcefcentral.org/scholarships. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2019.

Learn how you can become a partner in ministry via LCEF investments, loans and ministry support at lcef.org.

August 28, 2018
Maria.Hendrickson@lcef.org | 612-802-9731

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/guthmiller-2018-recipient-of-lcef-north-dakota-district-scholarship/

Planning a Weekend Trip?

Are you going to be away from your home congregation for one reason or another?

Click here to find an LCMS church near your destination or along your route.

 

(The church locator can also be found at lcms.org)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/weekend-trip/

“Main Street Living” North – September 2018 Update

Beginning Sunday, October 7th, we will be premiering the re-mastered re-runs of the well-known This Is The Life” series of programs from Lutheran Hour Ministries!  These will take the place of the current “Kid’s Corner” half-hour programs which we have been showing following the MSL worship services. Also, beginning October 7th, we are pleased to welcome the broadcasting areas of both Lincoln, Nebraska and Sioux City, Iowa to the Main Street Living Network! Then on Sunday, October 14th, we will be celebrating our annual MAIN STREET LIVING SUNDAY! (Please watch for a special bulletin insert!)

 

Please continue to help spread the word to your extended family and friends! In addition to viewing the TV programs Sunday mornings, please also let them know that they can watch all of the Fargobased archived programs at any time online at www.mainstreetlivingnorth.com.

 

To add your much needed financial support, checks may be sent to “Main Street Living North,” 821-5th Ave. S., Fargo, ND 58103, or donate by Credit Card or your PayPal account at www.mainstreetlivingnorth.com.  Thank you and God’s blessing in Christ!

 

“Main Street Living North” TV Programs for September 2018:

 

September 2:     Rev. Jared Nies, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Perham, MN, presents the message: “Dressed For Battle” based on Ephesians 6:10-20.

 

September 9:     Rev. Alan Eppen, Zion Lutheran Church, Edgeley, ND and Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Forbs, ND, presents the message: “Be Strong and Fear Not!” based on Isaiah 35: 4-71.

 

September 16:   Rev. Ross Fritz, Grace Lutheran Church, Breckenridge, MN, presents the message: “He Hung Around” based on Mark 9:14-29.

 

September 23:     Rev. Paul Preus, Zion Lutheran Church, Ellendale, ND, presents the message: “Friend, Go Up Higher” based on Luke 14:1-11.

 

September 30:     Rev. David Walsh, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Menahga, MN, presents the message: “Acting in the Name of Christ” based on Mark 9:38-41.

 

“MAIN STREET LIVING is a locally produced TV program that includes a 30 minute worship service led by participating pastors of the North Dakota and Minnesota North Districts of our LCMS, along with a 30 minute children’s program called “Kid’s Crossing” (switching to “This Is The Life” programs in October 2018). Programs are broadcast at a 9:00am Central time on the following FOX stations: KVRR Fargo-Moorhead Channel 15.1, KBRR Thief River Falls-Grand Forks Channel 10.1, KJRR Jamestown Channel 7.1, KNRR Pembina Channel 12.1, and cable and satellite systems carrying these stations, and archived on www.mainstreetlivingnorth.com.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/main-street-living-north-september-2018-update/

Pastors Leading Churches with Schools


A congregation with a school is truly a blessed place. With generations of students formed for faith and life in the world as servants of God, these congre¬gations are inextricably linked to their school ministry. However, as those generations have passed, there are increasing pressures placed upon congregations with schools. It costs more today to teach each student than ever before. Staffing costs including salary and benefits, curriculum costs and the inclusion of and maintenance for ever-changing technology have raised the cost to alarming levels. It is critical that congregational leaders take a serious look at their education ministry.
As the challenges arise, there is a temptation to cut corners. There are those who hire teachers not trained in the Synod. Others simply balance the ever-challenging budget on the backs of the faithful workers by freez¬ing salary, increasing benefit contributions and the like. When this happens, there is a rise in “institutional survival” mode. This is a mentality that says that the institution must be preserved at all cost. This makes most congregations adverse to even considering other options for educational ministry.
For educational ministry to survive and thrive, corners must not be cut. Aggressive, out-of-the-box ideas must be pursued if the local Lutheran school is going to be the ministry that the Lord has given it to be. We will explore some of those options in the upcoming webinar on this topic on Aug. 16, 2018. Join us to add to the conversation. (Or if you can’t join us for the live event, watch the recording in the RSTM archive at a time that’s convenient for you.) We will likely raise more questions than provide answers. But this is a critical conversation to be had!

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by Rev. Dr. Nathan Meador.
Rev. Dr. Nathan Meador is senior pastor at St. John Lutheran Church and School in Plymouth, Wis. He also serves as assistant coordinator for LCMS Stewardship Ministry.

Click here to read and/or print the August 2018 LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter.

LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission supports and encourages rural and small-town congregations in engaging their communities and growing together in Christ through Word and Sacrament. Learn more about RSTM at lcms.org/rstm or by calling 888-463-5127. “Like” us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/lcmsrstm

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/pastors-leading-churches-with-schools/

Churches in Chile prove insightful

The congregation at Mision Maule in Talca, Chile presented hand-stitched bags to Haley Ulland, Tami Ulland and Doris Bertsch during a recent trip the women took to the Latin American country with the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Tami Ulland, North Dakota District Business Manager for the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, recently spent time in Chile visiting partner churches. It was a chance to visit with local ministries and see how they’re developing, what problems they may have and how to fix them, as well as address funding issues. But for Ulland it was also a journey of faith.
“It was such a re-energization, a re-invigoration,” Ulland said of being immersed in a different culture and witnessing how the people of Chile approach their faith.
Since they are partner churches, they do follow the same theology and practices of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, but what’s different is that a lot of Chile’s churches are mission-based.
“The mindset is so different,” Ulland said. “They’re true missionaries. They try to do something to give back to that community, and to provide a service where they can with an act of mercy. And the church grows out of that act of mercy, or that service that they’re able to provide to the community.”
One of the churches is attached to Bethesda Lutheran Home, which provides therapy services to people with disabilities. There are also churches with immigrant ministries and two attached to schools, one with around 200 children and one with 800.
Ulland said that the city of Constitución had a tsunami wipe out a large area in 2010 and the church went in to help by talking to people in camps. A church was started there and now there’s an after-school program at that location as well.
Ulland traveled with her daughter, Haley, who is a teacher in Park River. North Dakota District President Rev. Arie Bertsch and his wife, Doris, from Minot, joined them. The four attended a pastor’s conference in Santiago and Pastor Bertsch preached at a few local churches they traveled as well.
“We got to visit every single church that’s part of the Chile partnership with us,” Ulland said. “Their faith is so different, it’s hard to explain to people exactly what it is. There’s always such a joy coming through them of being able to confess and share their faith. And none of the churches are self-supporting, and that’s why we help.”

(This article was written by Brittany Brevik and was first published in The Walsh County Record.)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/churches-in-chile-prove-insightful/

Regional Youth Partnerships

“not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Heb. 10:25).

A recent article in Reporter highlighted the importance of relationships when working with youth. Western Kansas churches have been providing opportuni­ties for collaborative youth events, with the hope of creating stronger friendships and stronger faith among the participants, for over 40 years.

One such event is the winter Confirmation Retreat, hosted by Circuits 15 and 16, which draws participants from the western side of Kansas. This is an annual event, and not only do the youth learn about the Catechism, but they also learn that the Body of Christ is larger than their rural congregation.

Larger churches with multiple staff are often able to invite smaller churches to participate in their events. For instance, Trinity Lutheran Church in Garden City invited churches within the circuit/dis­trict to their annual Mexico mission trip and annual canoe trip. Other events have included the Fall Junior High Rally; the Wild, Wild West Paintball event; Youth Quake and the Mystery Bus Tour, an all-night event.

The LCMS Kansas District also spon­sors events for youth, such as Senior High Summer Camp at Lutheran Valley Retreat near Divide, Colo. and District Youth Gathering. Often, one key person receives information of such events and forwards it to the smaller churches. Usually, a bus is used for transportation and picks up youth along the way to the event. Sharing trans­portation is another way for youth to gather and build friendships.

When churches collaborate, several outcomes occur: First, the workload can be spread among a larger group of people. If there are 13 pastors and two directors of Christian education (DCEs) represented in the circuit, then each can take a part of the planning process. Secondly, smaller churches that don’t have resources to do events on their own can join an event that has already been created. Also, youth have an opportunity to interact with a variety of their peers and adults.

One key factor in collaborative events is the involvement of parents in the local congregation. Youth need to be encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and par­ticipate with others, and parents can serve as the contact person within that congrega­tion rather than the pastors all the time.

As a DCE of 35 years, 25 of those spent in Western Kansas, it has been encourag­ing to see youth make new friends from a different part of the state. Youth friend each other on Facebook and encourage one another to participate with the next district or circuit event. I heard a story told of col­lege students who met on a college campus and recognized one another as past partici­pants of a circuit youth event.

In Western Kansas, we have worked hard to build relationships with one another and with Christ, who empowers us to live lives that make a difference in our churches and in our community. Our chief aim is to bring glory to God through collaborative youth events.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16).

 

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by Leland Jackson.

Leland Jackson is a director of Christian educa­tion in Garden City, Kan.

 

LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission supports and encourages rural and small-town congregations in engaging their communities and growing together in Christ through Word and Sacrament. Learn more about RSTM at lcms.org/rstm or by calling 888-463-5127. “Like” us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/lcmsrstm

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/regional-youth-partnerships/

“MAIN STREET LIVING” TV MINISTRY – JULY UPDATE

This month we introduce Carole Borchers, our MSLN Secretary. Carole and her husband (Glenn), are retired and have lived in Moorhead the past 18 years. Carole states: “God has blessed us with a wonderful family of 3 children spread out through the US, all 3 in varying educational jobs. God has blessed me with many experiences in life that prepared me for my role as Director of Christian Outreach at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Moorhead for eight years, retiring in 2012. My husband and I lived in West Africa as volunteer agricultural missionaries for one year and have gone on numerous mission trips to many parts of the world. It is a joy to share the Good News and serve people wherever; thus my interest in Main Street Living North. My passion is encouraging people, especially women of all ages, in their walk with the Lord. I enjoy facilitating small group Bible studies and working in the LWML. Thank you, Carole!

Please continue to help spread the word to your extended family and friends! In addition to viewing the TV programs Sunday mornings, please also let them know that they can watch all of the Fargo-based archived programs at any time online at www.mainstreetlivingnorth.com.

To add your much needed financial support, checks may be sent to “Main Street Living North,” 821-5th Ave. S., Fargo, ND 58103, or donate by Credit Card or your PayPal account at www.mainstreetlivingnorth.com. Thank you and God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” TV Programs for July 2018:

July 1: Rev. Leo Deitemeyer, First American Lutheran Church, Mayville, ND, presents today’s message: “The Steadfast Love of the Lord” based on Lamentations 3:22-33.

July 8: Rev. Scott Muehlberg, St. John Lutheran Church, Frazee, MN, and Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Osage, MN, presents today’s message: “Offensive and Weakness: Acceptance and Strength” based on 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 and Mark 6:1-13.

July 15: Rev. Robert Hill, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Wimbledon, ND, presents today’s message: “More Than a Prophet” based on Mark 6:14-16.

July 22: Rev. Jacob Wagner, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Vergas, MN, presents today’s message: “One In Christ” based on Ephesians 2:11-22.

July 29: Rev. Richard Biberdorf, Grace Lutheran Church, Carrington, ND, presents today’s message: “Remember the Rainbow!” based on Genesis 9:8-17.

“MAIN STREET LIVING” is a locally produced TV program that includes a 30-minute worship service led by participating pastors of the North Dakota and Minnesota North Districts of our LCMS, along with a 30-minute children’s program called “Kid’s Crossing.” Programs are broadcast at 9:00 am Central time on the following FOX stations: KVRR Fargo-Moorhead Channel 15.1, KBRR Thief River Falls-Grand Forks Channel 10.1, KJRR Jamestown Channel 7.1, KNRR Pembina Channel 12.1, and cable and satellite systems carrying these stations, and archived on www.mainstreetlivingnorth.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/main-street-living-tv-ministry-july-update/

Recap of the Ark Encounter Bus Trip

Immanuel, Fargo’s third annual bus trip took 48 people to Kentucky to see the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. This year, the bus originated in Bismarck, picking up people in Jamestown and Fargo. The weather was spring-like in North Dakota but we experienced snow from Fergus Falls all the way to Chicago. The accumulated snow was heaviest from Alexandria through Madison, Wisconsin. Our bus driver did a super job to get us to our destination!
Watch for future trips! People are interested in going to see a Minnesota Twins baseball game maybe in late August or September.  Also, there are lots of requests to see Christmas in Branson in 2019. Those two trips will fill a tour bus very quickly! Dates will be announced upon finalization of cost.
Ed Bean, Coordinator

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/recap-of-the-ark-encounter-bus-trip/

Higher Things Retreat

On April 20-21st, the Southeast Circuit hosted its Second Annual Higher Things Retreat. This year’s theme was, “The Christian Conscience,” which was taught by Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller. There were about 80 registrants at this year’s retreat, which was held at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Hankinson. The individuals, from approximately a dozen churches, attended 4 Services and 4 Sessions, along with games, a movie, and snacks.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/higher-things-retreat/

New Clavinova at St. John’s, McClusky

For many years the services at St. John’s Lutheran Church in McClusky, ND were faithfully accompanied by member organist, Shirley Jorgensen. Following her passing the congregation was left without an organist to take her place. Church member, Deb Sparrow, graciously stepped forward to provide piano music for the congregation, but the organ music was missed. Thoughts o purchasing an electronic piano which would allow us to switch between piano and organ music for church services began to emerge.
A committee was formed to research electronic keyboard brands, features, versatility, and connectivity to the sound system already in the church. In February 2018, the congregation voted to purchase a CP 405 Yamaha Clavinova, using money from the Church memorial fund.
Several church members dismantled and moved the large Baldwin organ in preparation for the Clavinova delivery and installation.
Psalm 95:1 says: “O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.”
The ability to layer “voices” (additional instruments) to the piano or organ feature adds beauty to the service which would not be available in a small rural congregation such as ours. The voice of a trumpet and a clarinet was added to LSB hymn #457, Christ the Lord is Risen Today, for Easter service.
As we gather for worship at our Sunday services, along with the saints who have gone before us, we at St. John’s are thankful to those families who donated in memory of their loved ones, to use for the enhancement of our worship service.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/new-clavinova-at-st-johns-mcclusky/

Women’s Coffee Retreat – Redeemer, Dickinson

A Women’s Coffee Retreat held on April 21 at Redeemer, Dickinson, with the theme, “Sip, Savor, and Drink Deeply” was a great success with almost 35 in attendance! What a wonderful “coffee party” around God’s Word and author Deb Burma’s devotional materials.  Enjoyed food, fun, and fellowship and six women went home with a door prize, a beautiful coffee mug, designed by Kari Morast, owner of Mama Bear Creations and member of Redeemer.  Everyone received a purple keychain created by Megan Fair, LWML Young Woman Enthusiast, and owner of Meg-nif-o-cent Creations. Everyone also had the opportunity to mix and take home a vanilla latte mix with a special attached label “Sending You a Latte Love” and Bible verse.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/womens-coffee-retreat-redeemer-dickinson/