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.)

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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 or by calling 888-463-5127. “Like” us on our Facebook page at

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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

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 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

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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

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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.


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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.

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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.

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Called to Glory – Rev. Charles Johnson 1948-2018

On Tuesday, March 13, 2018, the gracious and merciful Lord Jesus Christ called home His faithful servant Reverend Charles Earl Johnson to be with Him in heaven.

Arrangements are as follows:
Visitation from 5-7 p.m. with prayer service at 7 p.m. Friday, March 23, at Beautiful Savior, 2601 23rd Ave. S Fargo, ND 58103

Funeral at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at Beautiful Savior.

Pastors should bring their red stoles for funeral service.

Click here to read Pastor Johnson’s obituary.

Heavenly Father, into whose keeping we entrust our loved ones, help us to look to You in our time of sorrow, remembering the cloud of faithful witnesses with which we are surrounded. Grant that we may one day share in the joys of those who now rest in your presence; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. (LSB p.316)

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Rural Church Experiences Blessings Working Together

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, organized in 1902, has shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people of the Upham, Newburg, Deering, and Towner communities for 116 years. In 1907 it became a two-point parish with St. John’s; in 1999, Bethlehem/St. John became one congregation with Rev. Daryl Rothchild, Pastor.  The present edifice was built in 1950.
             The winter of 2017 saw record snowfall in this north central area of the state and when it melted Bethlehem’s basement was covered with a foot of water. At the July 5, 2017 voter’s meeting, it was decided to abandon the basement and build a 2700 sq. ft. addition to the west of the present structure including parish hall, kitchen, office, and storage room. The front entrance would also be extended allowing ground-level access and a “lift” installed for handicap accessibility. Work began immediately with members using their talents, skills, and resources, giving glory to God. Working together was a time of fellowship and growth among members. The present sanctuary was also painted, and new carpet was installed, giving the entire building a unified appearance and face-lift.
             The record snowfall also became a blessing to this farming community. With very limited rainfall in the spring and summer of 2017, the sub-soil moisture sustained the crops and resulted in a good harvest.  Members were able to make generous contributions to this project, and all the bills have been paid.
             Our first Worship Service was December 17, 2017, five months after starting this project. The parish hall has excellent facilities for bible class with a pull-down screen and all-around sound system. It is great for large gatherings. The kitchen cabinets were cleaned, sanitized, and placed in the new kitchen where they are being used once again. It is a joy to worship and work together with fellow saints in these pleasant surroundings.
             During the summer of 2018, plans are to remodel the present washrooms, making them handicap accessible, also.
All Glory be to God!

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Convention Results

Convention election results are available on the convention page.

Updated after Tuesday’s sessions.

We will be live on Facebook at about 10:30 am (Mountain Time) to hear about “Unity in Mission” by Rev. Zelwyn Heide and at about noon for Installation of all elected officers and close of the convention.

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Mercy Meals Report

Report for LLL Quarterly meeting of 1/9/2018

*Activity this past quarter:

Three events held for Mercy Meals packing

October 21, 2017   –  ND Jr. High Youth Gathering, Bismarck     10,368  meals packed by 124 volunteers

November 15, 2017  –  Zion Lutheran Church, Bismarck              40,626  meals packed by 130 volunteers

December 10, 2017   –   Concordia Lutheran Church, Jamestown       231 meals packed by 6 volunteers

Running total since our first event in 2015 = 230,272 meals packed


Current total in account = $12,612.43

Planned spending for next quarter (approximate):   $10,000. for supplies/product

$150. for new sealers

$130. for gas

*Activities on the calendar

One Mercy Meals event on schedule in March (date TBD) for Grace Point church in Bismarck.  Planning to pack 50,000 meals this time (26,089 last year). Also on the calendar, the ND LWML District Convention on June 22-23 in Minot.

Other groups that have expressed an interest for a date sometime this Spring are Our Savior Lutheran Church in Minot and a Mayville college/community group.


Planning to ship to Liberia (hopefully this month) 96,768 meals.  Waiting for final paperwork before a shipping date is determined.


Respectfully submitted by Andrea Eckstein, President of Mercy Meals of North Dakota

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Do you want something published in the eNews?

Attention!! We have a new editor for the eNews!

Is there something you want published in the eNews and/or Please send your submissions to our Webmaster, Marie, at
The eNews is send it out on or around the first week of every month to people all around our District and beyond.

We’d be more than happy to share information like…

  • A congregational event, celebration, or milestone(including photos!)
  • A family event of one of our called workers (marriage of children, child’s graduation or military service, death of a loved one, etc)
  • A special speaker at your congregation and you want the members of the district invited to join with you.
  • A historical tidbit about your congregation
  • An event or announcement from your District’s task force, committee, auxiliary, or circuit
  • Well, you get the idea…

While you may think the district office knows all this stuff, we probably don’t, and we need you to tell us!


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