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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Confessing Sin; Confessing Jesus A Higher Things® Youth Retreat

Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wahpeton, ND
April 28th and 29th

Click here for registration and more event information.

“With the heart, one believes and is justified; with the mouth, one confesses and is saved.”

Friday, April 28th
6:00 PM Registration and Pizza
7:30 PM Evening Prayer
8:00 PM Welcome and Introductions
8:15 PM Plenary 1: Confessing Sin – Part 1 (Rev. Daenzer)
9:15 PM Icebreaker: Whoopie
10:00 PM Compline
10:30 PM Evening snacks
11:00 PM Optional Movie
1:00 AM Lights out

Saturday, April 29th
7:30 AM  Breakfast
8:30 AM Matins
9:00 AM Plenary II Confessing Jesus – Part 1 (Rev. Richard)
10:00 AM Icebreaker: Straw tower
11:00 AM Plenary III Confessing Jesus – Part 2 (Rev. Richard)
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Plenary IV: Confessing Sin – Part 2 (Rev. Daenzer)

2:00 PM Closing Divine Service
3:00 PM Dismissal

How to Register, Contact:

Tana McKenna
(701) 308-0411

RSVP: via online registration at
or Patrick Sturdivant
Higher Things Retreat Coordinator (888) 482-6630 or

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In Memorium

Evelyn M. Allensworth

August 8, 1950 – February 24, 2017

Evelyn M. Allensworth, age 66, of Grafton, ND passed away on Friday, February 24, 2017, at the Altru Hospital of Grand Forks after a fierce battle with cancer.

Evelyn Mary Heuchert was born August 8, 1950, in Grafton, ND, the daughter of the late Raymond and Helen (Williamson) Heuchert. She grew up in rural St. Thomas where her family farmed. She graduated from St. Thomas High School in 1968 and then attended Mayville State University where she graduated with a degree in Education.

After completing college in 1972, she taught at the Turtle Mountain Head Start Program in Dunseith, ND. She later taught first and second grade in Goodrich, ND. In 1976, Evelyn was called to serve as a missionary teacher in Papua New Guinea for both the children of missionaries and the native children of Papua New Guinea. She taught both religious curriculum and academics. Evelyn often recalled this experience as one of the best of her life.

She returned to the United States in 1978 where she taught grades 1-8 in Hannover, ND, and in 1979 began teaching religious education to the clients of the Developmental Center at the All Faith’s Chapel in Grafton, ND. She met her former husband, John “Kevin” Allensworth there, and they were married in 1982. They had two children together-Zachary born in 1988 and Laura in 1994. Evelyn moved to Grand Forks in the fall of 2015 and retired after 38 years at the All Faith’s Chapel in August of 2016.

Evelyn was a former member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of St. Thomas and currently a member of Zion English Lutheran Church of Grafton. She was active in both churches; teaching bible study and Sunday school, participating in the LWML, church choir, and helping with the confirmation classes. She enjoyed music, crafting, doing puzzles, watching musicals, and bible studies. Evelyn lived a life of kindness and serving others. She was always ready with a smile, a joke, and a hug. She will be missed by many.

She is survived by her children: Zachary and Laura Allensworth, both of Grand Forks, ND, former husband and friend John K. Allensworth, Grand Forks, ND, brother Glenn (Cathi, Aaron) Heuchert, Grafton, ND; nephew, Jeremy Lane, Grand Forks, ND, as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, infant sister Bonnie, and sister Betty Heuchert, and nephew Brian Johnson.
Cards may be sent to the family at this address:
Laura Allensworth
615 N. 39th St. 208 D
Grand Forks, ND 58203

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Youth participate in MercyCare Visit to Chilé

The North Dakota District has partnered with MOST Ministries to send four youth to engage in MercyCare and continue to cultivate the relationship with the Lutheran Church in Chilé. The group, lead by Chaplain Rick Jones and Deaconess Faith Swenson, had a great time immersing themselves in the Chiléan culture while helping the congregations in the Maulé Region with some church repairs and revitalization, evangelism, and English classes for children. This trip marks the first time a full team has gone down to Chilé to further build this partnership with our Lutheran brothers and sisters in this part of the world. Highlights from the trip (presented in the participants’ own words) can be found at

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What a Great Turn Out for the Annual Men’s Retreat!

Thirty-Seven men from around the district attended the Annual Men’s Retreat at Shepherd’s Hill at the Crossroads. Pastor Jon Walla (Bethel, Bismarck) was the speaker and led the men in studying “Manhood Redeemed” on January 20-21.

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Teaching the Faith

When I was first asked to take on the role of VBS Coordinator as a junior in college I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. With the help from my Pastor and many volunteers in the church, we have been able to make a successful VBS week each summer. Here are a few of the many things that have helped our small congregation reach out to a whole community.

When planning a VBS so much or­ganization and preparation take place months before the actual week. It is highly important to be selective in the week that is chosen for VBS. In our small community, before we set the date for VBS, we check with the local swimming pool for swimming lessons, baseball/ softball schedules, and surrounding county fairs. Once a week is set for VBS flyers, postcards and a Facebook page are created and set out to families that are members of the congregation and also families that are not members but have come in years past.

The next focus is finding volunteers. It is so important to seek volunteers and helpers months and weeks before VBS. Our church is so blessed to have many teachers that can work together to make it a success! The main goal is to find helpers that can lead the main stations: crafts, music, snacks, games and lessons.
Then find younger volunteers that can help lead groups from station to station. It is very important to consider the gifts that your volunteers have. We have a volunteer that loves to sing and has an amazing voice; therefore she helps each year with the music. Encourage your church members that they are never too old. We have a member that is 90 years old and helps every year!

Many people in the congregation who are not able to help during the week of VBS are willing to help provide in other ways. It is best to get a list of donated items that are needed for the week of VBS out ahead of time to church mem­bers. Snacks and craft supply donations big or small can be the biggest blessing for VBS.

Each year it is so important to keep de­tailed records of everything. Document who was able to volunteer to help teach, lead or donate. Keep records of the children that attended. It has also been helpful for us to document the good, the bad and the ugly on how the week ran. It is so helpful when planning to know what worked well the year before. I have found it is also helpful to review what didn’t work so well to prevent the same outcome and to fix it and make it better for the years to come.

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 at

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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Campus Ministry Alive and Well in the ND District!

Pictured above are students from the NDSU chapter of LCMS U along with President Matthew Harrison. This group attended the LCMS Campus Ministry Conference in Washington, D.C. from January 3-6, and President Harrison (pictured far left) was one of the plenary speakers.

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National Lutheran Schools Week 2017

Celebrating “through the decades” at Grace Lutheran School

Lyric video for the song “(Jesus is) Louder than the Radio”. Original song was written and performed by Mr. Jay Schaefer and the students of Grace Lutheran School, Fargo ND.

Enjoying Wacky Day at Martin Luther School!

Thank you for supporting our Lutheran Schools!

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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Rev. Eckstein included as Essayist

Concordia Publishing House recently put out a book entitled The Ethics of Sex: From Taboo to Delight; Ethics of Sex. North Dakota District’s Rev. Tom Eckstein (Concordia, Jamestown) was given the privilege of writing the essay on homosexuality included in this book. Topics covered in this are male and female sex differences, marriage, polygamy, contraception, sex education, self-pollution, homosexuality, and transgenderism. Breaking through the noise of our hyper-sexualized Western culture, Ethics of Sex is a much-needed, masterful compilation that speaks to the nature of Christian sexual ethics as simultaneously positive and prohibitive. Ten distinct yet interrelated essays invite us back to a way of life in harmony with the Lord’s created order, an order that bears fruit in intimacy, compassion, love, and joy.

Embrace the wisdom and counsel of these words, reminding all that Jesus’ love for His Church forgives sexual sin and restores His people to fellowship in the kingdom of heaven—young or old, married or single. Our identity remains in Christ.
“Ethics of Sex is a remarkable book. It is biblically faithful, theologically sound, and above all, Christ-centered. While the authors responsibly draw from fields such as science and psychology, they constantly return to the cross, emphasizing themes such as forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation. Christians across denomination lines will appreciate this book for its winsome style, pastoral tone, and Kingdom focus.”

—Dr. David W. Jones, Professor of Christian Ethics, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this book, click here).

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Got Letters?

St. Andrew Niagara is looking for any “old style” changeable, black on white background steel letters for the old style church announcement signs. These are 3 1/2 inches high by
2 inches wide.
We’re thinking that possibly some church may have purchased a new announcement sign, but still had the letters in a closet somewhere. We would like to freshen up our sign, without buying a new one. If you happen to have such letters, please contact Rev. Denny Neels at Thank you!

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