Adding to the Archives


As congregations celebrate their anniversaries, remember to send a copy of the publications that they make for these events to ND LCMS Archives located in Fargo. Lutheran Annuals from 2004 to 2014, would be greatly appreciated, as well.

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Salary Guidelines

The 2018 Ordained Salary Guidelines are here and ready for your congregation planning.

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Little Free Pantry

You might have heard of Little Free Libraries, that you can put books in and out of, but have you heard of a Little Free Pantry? It’s the same concept as the library, but this box holds food instead of books.
After months of building six pantries for the community, students who go to Career Academy in Bismarck finally got to see their hard work pay off. Boxes were placed at Shepherd of the Valley Church, Bismarck, and Pioneer Elementary School. People who walk by can either take or place a food item in the pantry.

“It’s one of those acts of mercy as Christ cares for us. He cared for us so much that he died and rose again for us, and he wants us to care for those in need. This is just one simple way that we can be caring for people in need,” said Pastor Les Wolfgram.

Click on the link below to see the video in its entirety as it was reported by KFYR TV news.

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Austin Bieri Awarded 2017 North Dakota LCEF Scholarship

Austin is the 2017 North Dakota District (NDD) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 Scholarship winner.

A member of Concordia Lutheran Church, Jamestown, North Dakota, Austin will graduate from Jamestown High School (JHS) this spring. He plans on attending Minnesota State University of Moorhead in the fall.

“The points I like most [about] LCEF’s mission are ‘sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ’ and ‘ensuring that funds and services are available now and in the future,'” wrote Austin in his scholarship essay. “I have served on North Dakota’s LCMS youth council for three years now, and I know firsthand how incredibly pleasing it is to share God’s Word . . . and how difficult and expensive it can be. …It’s comforting to know that a Christ-centered organization is out there and willing to help.”

Both Austin’s pastor, Rev. Tom Eckstein, and his JHS English Teacher and National Honor Society Advisor Tammy Mullowney wrote about Austin’s involvement at church, his extensive leadership skills and a willingness to serve in their letters of recommendation.

“Most notably, Austin is the President of North Dakota Lutheran Youth Fellowship. …Austin’s ability to successfully juggle school, work and a state office is a testament to his responsible and serving nature,” wrote Mullowney.

North Dakota District LCEF is blessed to provide annual scholarships to active, faith-filled Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) students such as Austin. A total of 16 scholarships were chosen this spring. There are seven scholarships remaining to be announced; three from Minnesota South District and four from North Wisconsin District. Follow our newsfeed and Facebook page for the most current awards.

For more information on how you can become an investment or loan partner with the ministry of church extension, visit or call 800-843-5233.

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DBGR Youth Sharing a Sweet Act of Love!

Youth at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch in Minot helping a 10-year-old girl they have never met!

On Saturday, March 4th as part of a Spiritual Life Event, youth at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch baked and packaged over 450 caramel and frosted cinnamon rolls as a fundraiser for Jurnee Rust. Jurnee is a 4th grader from Minot who has an inoperable brain tumor and has been undergoing treatment at the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. One female Ranch resident said, “No matter how much I help, even if it is just packaging a few caramel rolls, I know I help.” Another shared, “[the] best thing was knowing I was helping a little girl that needs help.” Ranch staff placed orders for the rolls and generously donated toward the cause.

The Ranch youth also made beautiful and powerful posters and cards for Jurnee. Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Chaplain, Rick Jones, shares, “The youth at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch have been through a lot so they know what it is like to go through a struggle like this. When they see an opportunity to connect with someone else who is going through something similar, it is a powerful thing. They are so gracious and supportive. They don’t want to see anybody hurting or in pain. It was incredibly humbling to see our residents reach out with compassion and mercy to this girl that they have never met.”

This was the second of two roll sale fundraisers for Jurnee Rust. The first, in February, was led by Erin Dodd and friends at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Minot (where Jurnee and her family are members), baking and selling over 1300 rolls! Thrivent Financial generously issued a grant to get things started with the purchase of some supplies and feeding volunteers. Erin Dodd shares, “When we learned of Jurnee’s tumor, I immediately wanted to do something to help in a financial way. I am a mom of three girls and my oldest is the same age as Jurnee. So, it hits close to home. The support we have received has been overwhelming and incredibly humbling.”

Pictured Left to Right: Volunteers Erin Dodd, Betsy Jones, Chaplain Rick Jones

If you are interested in learning more about Jurnee Rust, visit her Facebook page “Healing for Jurnee”. Cards can be mailed to Jurnee:
Jurnee Rust
Ronald McDonald House
621 Oak Street
Minneapolis, MN 5541

Please pray for Jurnee’s healing!

To learn more about Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch and the work they do for at-risk youth, go to or call 1-800-344-0957.

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Our Savior Lutheran, Minot’s Mission Trip to Mexico!

From February 25th through March 4th, a group of 16 members from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Minot, ND traveled down to Juarez, Mexico for a mission trip. Together with Ysleta Lutheran Mission out of El Paso, TX, they built two homes for families in great need!

High school student, Ashley Davis, shares this about her experience, “This trip tested me; it tested my patience, trust, and level 1 Spanish skills. It also overwhelmed me.

Mark Haugen said this at the first meeting: there’s so much hurt in the world- so much hurt in Juárez and in Kilometer 30- and you can either do a little, or you can do nothing. And I want to do a little. For me, that looked like making bracelets, hanging laundry, and chasing kids. It also looked like spreading tar, hammering nails, and carrying sheetrock. It can look like so many different things, but there’s one thing I know for certain: I want to keep doing what I can. I want to keep doing a little.”

A little becomes A LOT when Jesus is in it! Though sponsored by Our Savior Lutheran Church, this yearly mission trip is open to anyone in the district.

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Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

By Rev. Dr. Matt. Richard
Zion,Gwinner, ND

New book exposes twelve false christs of modern culture
In our world, there is no shortage of false christs. Like the Elvises who roam the streets of Vegas, these counterfeit christs look and sound like Jesus, but they couldn’t be further from the real deal.

In Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? 12 False Christs, author Matthew Richard exposes these false christs for what they are . . . mere impostors. Richard reveals to readers who the real Jesus of the Bible is, but also reveals to us twelve false christs who are embraced, loved, promoted, and revered, even by well-meaning Christians.

“My hope is that readers will connect with the different stories in this book, but will do so in a way that they can see how people’s false theology and bad presuppositions lead to taking up false christs,” says Richard. “In other words, this book attempts to combine the art of story and the discipline of theology, so that the reader can see flesh-and-blood examples of how easy false theology can lead someone into idolatry.”

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? exposes the following false christs: The Mascot, The Option among Many, The Good Teacher, The Therapist, The Giver of Bling, The National Patriot, The Social Justice Warrior, The Moral Example, The New Moses, The Mystical Friend, The Feminized, The Teddy Bear. Beyond merely exposing these false christs, Richard provides a framework for responding to them.

“I believe this topic is of utmost importance,” says Richard, “for if we misunderstand the person and work of Jesus Christ, we will misunderstand Christianity. Everything hinges on Jesus-forgiveness, life, and salvation.”

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? will be available for purchase in June. For more information on the author or to request a review copy, please contact Lindsey Martie, Public Relations, by phone at 314-268-1303 or by email at

Check the following link for more information and reviews regarding Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? Click HERE!

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He’s in heaven!

To read more about Bill’s cancer journey, visit Bill’s Caring Bridge (click here)

It has pleased almighty God in his good and wise providence to call the soul of our brother in Christ and District Business Manager, Bill Sharpe, to himself in heaven in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bill was to begin his radiation treatment April 7th at 12 PM. But God called him home before all this (4-6-17)and spared his life a difficult road. Now we must follow in his way trusting in the same promises that have been delivered to us in the gospel. We commend his soul to God and so too ourselves as we now live in the promises of God every day of our lives.


Bill’s Celebration of Life Arrangements

Sunday, April 9 Brief Prayer Service at 6:00 pm with visitation from 5:00-6:00 pm

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church
2601 23rd Ave. SW
Fargo, ND

Celebration of Life Service

Monday, April 10 at 11:00 am
Immanuel Lutheran Church
1258 Broadway N
Fargo, ND

Memorials may be sent to:

Project 24 Christ Care for Children Kenya

133 S Kirkwood Rd.
St. Louis MO, 63122

Alms at Immanuel Church

1258 N Broadway N
Fargo, ND 58102

Centre Inc.

3501 Westrac Dr.
Fargo, ND 58103

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Teaching the Faith: Confirmation

Do your students enter your con­firmation room with the same look they have entering the dentist’s of­fice? Do you ever feel like your lessons are like last week’s leftovers … a little stale? Do you ever wonder how much is really sinking in their little heads?

If so, I do not have all the answers. However, here are few which I have found to work.

Consider offering confirmation in­struction during a week in the summer or as a series of retreats.
We have found students are much more engaged in the summer and enjoy getting to see their friends again. We offer our “Basics Camp” on Sunday from 3-5 p.m. and then from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This gives us a large chunk of uninterrupted time to teach. As an added bonus, we have found children with atten­tion disorders have an easier time engag­ing during the daytime hours.

Work to build relationships.
We begin each morning by getting youth moving and interacting through games like “Minute to Win It”. We have found this is a fun way to get youth comfort­able with one another and fired up for another awesome day. This also seems to help youth focus and engage in the morning lessons.

Try using objects to teach.
Jesus did this throughout His ministry. We use objects for each of the six chief parts. For example, in teaching the need for the Holy Spirit and the work of the Holy Spirit we give each student an unlit candle and turn off the lights. Sitting in a circle, we discuss why we all need the Holy Spirit because we are all spiritually in the dark. Then we bring in a lit candle along with the Bible and the baptismal bowl filled with water. We talk about how the Holy Spirits brings us the light through the Word and Sacrament to shine in our hearts through faith. After lighting each student’s candle, we continue this light/darkness metaphor of the Gospel throughout the lesson.
Other ideas include guest speakers, video clips, skits, sign language and small group discussion.

Look at your overall structure.
Our structure includes: First Communion (7th grade), Confession Sunday (8th Grade), Confirmation (10th Grade) and Commissioning Sunday (12th grade). With each of these steps we provide oppor­tunities for youth and parents to learn the basics of the Christian faith.

Make review fun.
This summer we are going to use a fun online learning resource called Kahoot! ( It is a great tool that we will use to reinforce the basic teachings of the Christian faith.

If you want more information, I invite you to join the free RSTM webinar March 9th at 1 p.m. as I present on teaching the faith to junior high youth. You may also email me at or give me a call at 308-995-2208. I would love to assist you in any way I can.


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. If you have a good idea for outreach or a story you’d like to share so that we can share it with others, please email Amy Gerdts

Learn more about us at , by calling our office at 888-463-5127, by email at or “like” us on our Facebook page at

Click here for the Rural and Small town Ministry newsletter

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Thank you for your generous support for Lutheran Education!

During Giving Hearts Day, your gifts totaled $33,000 for Grace Lutheran School, Fargo, and $22,000 for Martin Luther School, Bismarck.
Your support is greatly appreciated!

Grace Lutheran School
Mr. John Hagge, Principal
Martin Luther School
Mrs. Kathy Jones, Principal
Preschools in the District
Grace, Fargo
Immanuel, Grand Forks
Immanuel, Wahpeton,
Martin Luther, Bismarck
Our Savior, Minot
Redeemer, Dickinson

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Arndt Earns Education Award

Cynthia Arndt, a member of Immanuel Lutheran, Hankinson, earned statewide recognition as a Title I Educator of Excellence!

Arndt is excited about education and her role with Lidgerwood’s Title I program, which moved to an all-school program three years ago, so she oversees kindergarten through 12th grade. That attitude earned Arndt a Title I Exceptional Educator award, joining nine other teachers recognized in North Dakota for this honor.
Her big and ready smile is a trademark of this small, yet vivacious educator. For her, the lines are blurred between being a teacher and mother, more like teacher – slash – mother.
“I really kind of see myself (as their mother). All of these kids,” Arndt said, spreading her arms wide, “they are my kids. I feel that my most important role as a teacher is to be an advocate for all of our students.”


What a blessing to see Cynthia use her gifts to the glory of God in her vocation as teacher!

Click here to see the article featuring Arndt in the Wahpeton Daily News.

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Elder’s Retreat

Topic: Marriage in Today’s World 
30 elders from the Southeast Circuit met at the Coteau Des Prairies Lodge on February 11, 2017, to discuss the topic of marriage.The topic was marriage is a gift of God, and how we can address some of the issues we face in regards to marriage in this day.

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