Higher Things 2017


Dear Pastors, Youth Leaders, and Congregations:

This past July, 71 youth and chaperones from all across the North Dakota District traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado for the Higher Things Youth Conference. The feedback that we received from the youth was phenomenal and it was decided that we need to continue to provide the opportunity for them to attend Higher Things conferences. Next summer the conference is in Valparaiso, IN on July 25-28.

Tana McKenna, Zion Lutheran’s Parish Assistant, has agreed to take care of registration responsibilities for those wishing to attend. Unlike last year, we will NOT be coordinating a mass group transportation effort. In other words, all registrations, questions, and finances will be directed through Tana; however, your individual congregation will be responsible for arranging transportation and lodging both to and from the conference. We will still caravan where possible and most likely will arrange an overnight in a church for anyone wanting that option.

Higher Things traditionally fills up fast with conference registrations, so it is VERY important to get your registrations in early. Furthermore, Higher Things has deadlines in place, and in order to comply with those deadlines we have established the following to ensure an efficient registration process:

Early discounted registration ($375) opens on November 1 and ends February 1. Registration forms (attached) and a $100 non-refundable deposit (payable to SEND Youth) should be submitted to Tana as soon as possible!

If you wish to take advantage of the discounted registration rate, registration forms and
PAYMENT IN FULL MUST BE received NO LATER THAN January 25.
After February 1, registration cost increases to $405 per person.
The Higher Things Registration Policy states: Partial payments (including non-refundable deposits) do not “lock-in” your registration rates. An additional change fee of $25/change will apply for substitutions made after May 1, 2017.Unpaid balances and new registrations on or after May 1, 2017, will be charged a Late Fee of $25/person. Per-person rates are based on the date your group’s registration fees are PAID IN FULL!

Note that we are charging a $20 per person administrative fee, which will get you a ND group T-shirt as well as a no-hassle registration experience.

You can reach Tana at Zion Lutheran through email (ziongwinner@gmail.com), phone (701-678-2401) or mail (PO Box 118 Gwinner, ND 58040). We look forward to hearing from you as we continually challenge our youth to “Dare to be Lutheran.” “Here I stand.” That’s daring to be…Lutheran! What words! What a theme! So on this 500th anniversary of Dr. Luther’s firing the Gospel shot heard around the Church, Pastors and Youth from across North Dakota are excited to continue to stand and confess the Gospel with Dr. Luther at Higher Things 2017 Summer Conferences.

In Christ,
Rev. Adam Moline, ND Southeast Circuit Visitor
Rev. Dr. Matthew Richard, Zion Lutheran Church, Gwinner

Click here for the 2017 Higher Things Registration Forms.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/higher-things-2017/

2017 National Essay Contest

For students in Grades 6 through 12
(Any Lutheran student or student in a Lutheran school)
Sponsored by the Council of Federation Presidents, Lutherans For Life


Contest Guidelines:

  1. Students will write a life-affirming essay based on the 2017 Conference theme: Hope For Life and 1Peter 3:15 “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”
  2. Examples of topics the essay could deal with are: abortion, the handicapped, infanticide, cloning, stem cell research, physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia.
  3. Essays should include student’s name, grade (Identify school or church) and email address.  All entries submitted by a teacher or pastor should include their name and email address. This information should be submitted on the rubric page used in grading the essay.
  4. All sources for references, statistics and quotes should be incorporated within the essay and then included in a bibliography at the end.
  5. Winning state entries (one from Grades 6-8 and one from Grades 9-12) from each State
  6. Essays should be submitted digitally by May 1, 2017, to: essay@lutheransforlife.org
  7. Grand Prize for national winning entry at each level: $250 plus free conference registration to the 2017 Regional Conference of their choice and 1 hotel night at a conference hotel.
  8. All entries become the property of Lutherans For Life.

For questions or resources on the sanctity of life, see: lutheransforlife.org

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/2017-national-essay-contest/

Grace Lutheran School News

Check out Grace Lutheran School’s new blog,
AND check out GLS on Facebook!

http://gracelutheranschoolfargo.blogspot.com/

www.facebook.com/gracelutheranschoolfargo

PLUS….. (Have you heard?…..)
Grace Lutheran School students are working hard and it shows! Through the marvelous educational system, we have been blessed with here at Grace Lutheran School, our students are learning, thriving and making our community proud! Please come and shine some well-deserved light on these students who are shining examples of not only academic success, but personal and spiritual success as well!

We are very proud that our ENTIRE MIDDLE SCHOOL CLASSES have all made the honor roll in the fall quarter!!!

Grace Lutheran School has been a stronghold in our community for over 67 years. Grace Lutheran School strives to keep Jesus in school, but not from others. We teach a Christ-centered education, in order to strengthen faith and to love and to serve church and community for the glory of God.

Principal, John Hagge, says “Our students are excited about learning and thrive greatly in their small classrooms taught by caring, extremely intelligent teachers. I think our success shows, and we feel good to be given the chance to mold these young minds into even greater young adults!”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/grace-lutheran-school-news/

President Arie Bertsch? Now, Who is He?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/president-arie-bertsch-now-who-is-he/

Getting to Know Our District Pastors – Rev. Timothy Stout

In this new web feature, we will get to know the pastors serving in Our District. Each pastor was presented with several questions to answer so that we can all get to know them better. Check back each week to learn about a different pastor from Our North Dakota District.

Rev. Timothy Stout – St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, and Grace Lutheran Church, Lakota.

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a nerd. I’m a theological nerd, and one of my favorite things to do is to relax with a good cup of tea and an ancient book of theology. And if you tell me that some modern theologian is a dangerous heretic, I’ll probably go find every book of his I can find to discover what is wrong or not wrong with him. I’m also a science nerd, and I love to learn about the latest in scientific discoveries, but I’m frustrated at the extent to which modern science is directed according to political motives and the religion of scientism. And when I am not studying theology or science, I am reading a good science fiction/fantasy novel, watching the same kinds of movies or TV shows, and I think that the latest run of Marvel and DC comic book movies is the best thing to happen to movie cameras since BBC invented Doctor Who.

  • What areas of theology have you been studying this past year?

In the last year I have been reading C. F. W. Walther’s works. I finished the new translations of Law and Gospel and Church and Ministry and am starting to work on his sermons. From him I am learning more deeply the things I was taught at seminary, how to preach, and the importance of the office I hold. I have also been reading Gerhard Forde, because I heard he was a dangerous heretic. What I have learned is that he was not as much a heretic as I was led to believe, and the most dangerous thing about him is the tendency people have of taking pithy quotes from him and using them out of context. As this is the most annoying tendency in his own writings, as he often did the same thing with the works of Luther, it seems a bit of ironic justice. From him I have learned to preach the Gospel so that it doesn’t sound like Jesus made it possible to get God’s blessings by “being good enough to earn them” for us.

  • How would you define “the Gospel?”

The simple answer is that the Gospel is the forgiveness of sins and eternal life purchased and won for us by the precious suffering and death of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and made securely ours by His resurrection from the grave. In this Jesus takes all that is ours, our sin, our death, our darkness, and makes it His and then suffers the consequences in our place, and gives us all that is His, righteousness, holiness, and eternal life as an heir of the kingdom of heaven. This is important because we were made to be in an eternal loving relationship with our Creator, but because of the fall into sin, that has become impossible. If we die in our sin we will be eternally separated from the loving mercy and kindness of our God, and that is an unimaginable torment that none of us has ever known, and were never meant to know. But in His conception, birth, life, suffering, death, and resurrection, Jesus has reconciled us to the Father and restored to us our place in His eternal kingdom. There is nothing more important than that this message of salvation be preached to all of God’s created people.

  • Do you have a personal mission statement, or maybe a Bible passage that is the foundation of your faith and life?

“Sir, we would see Jesus”.” (John 12:21) “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/getting-to-know-our-district-pastors-rev-timothy-stout/

Getting to Know Our District Pastors – Rev. Dr. Matthew R. Richard

In this new web feature, we will get to know the pastors serving in Our District. Each pastor was presented with several questions to answer so that we can all get to know them better. Check back each week to learn about a different pastor from Our North Dakota District.

Rev. Dr. Matthew R. Richard, Zion Lutheran Church, Gwinner

RevDrMatthewRichard

  • How long have you been in the ministry?

I have served in the church for 17 years; 10 of those as an ordained pastor.

 

  • How long have you been called to serve in the North Dakota District?

I have been in the North Dakota District for a little over 2 years.

  • Tell us something interesting about you that you feel comfortable sharing with the people of the North Dakota District. This could be about you and/or your family, a hobby you enjoy, favorite sport/team, favorite movie, etc.

I have been married to Serenity for 16 years. We have three children. I enjoy fishing, pheasant hunting, watching movies with my family, writing, and a good book with a warm latte.

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  • What areas of theology have you been studying this past year? What did you learn?

I have spent a lot of time studying in the area of philosophy over the last year – from a Christian perspective. What I have learned is that philosophy is the art of asking big questions about who we are; philosophy is all about understanding the wonder of life and the wonder of the great cosmos. With that said though, there are two types of philosophy. The first way of philosophy goes the way of mankind, whereas, the other type of philosophy goes the way of Christ. In other words, we all seek answers and wisdom, but do so according to either the traditions of mankind or the wisdom Christ. The philosophy that we need most in our day and age is that which goes the way of the wisdom of Christ.

  • How would you define “the Gospel?” Why is the Gospel so important?

The Gospel is the good news that God justifies the ungodly through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. The Gospel is a message of forgiveness, life, and salvation for sinners; it is for sinners only – which includes me.

  • Who are your favorite authors and books?

I enjoy reading books and sermons by John Kleinig, Robert Kolb, Norman Nagel, and Martin Luther.

  • What do you see as some of the greatest concerns in the Church in the North America?

We are in a time where we need robust catechesis. As the church we need to know what we believe and why; we need to know our theology and to be rooted deeply in the scriptures. The challenge for the North American Church is that she needs to plunge deeply into the Scriptures, our Lutheran Confessions, and our historic liturgy in order to remain steadfast in a culture that blows around like a reed in the wind.

  • Do you have a personal mission statement, or maybe a Bible passage that is the foundation of your faith and life? Would you elaborate?

I have always been drawn to 2 Timothy chapter 4 where Paul calls young Timothy as a pastor to “preach the word; be read in season and out of season.” This reminds me that the office of pastor is a preaching office and that a faithful pastor preaches consistently regardless if it is received (i.e., in season) or rejected (i.e., out of season). I am also drawn to Paul’s epistle of Galatians, for it provides such a clear message of Justification – apart from works of the Law.

  • What are your personal disciplines for spending time in the Word and in prayer? Why do you think this is so important?

My family and I typically read from the Treasury of Daily Prayer in the mornings and each evening we have been singing the Psalms. It gives me such joy to hear my children’s voices singing the Word. As a family we have found that we need this gift of the Word in the morning and evening to ‘frame’ in our days.

 

Rev. Dr. Matthew R. Richard
 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/getting-to-know-our-district-pastors-rev-dr-matthew-r-richard/

Getting to Know Our District Pastors – Rev. Mark Drews

In this new web feature, we will get to know the pastors serving in Our District. Each pastor was presented with several questions to answer so that we can all get to know them better. Check back each week to learn about a different pastor from Our North Dakota District.

Rev. Mark Drews, Messiah Lutheran Church, Mandan

  • How long have you been in the ministry?

I spent eleven years as a Lutheran School Teacher (1 year in Sheboygan, WI; 7 years in Orange, CA; and 3 years in Ocala, FL) before I attended seminary in St. Louis.
I have been in the Pastoral Ministry for nearly thirteen years (2 & 1/2 years in Hilbert, WI; 4 years in Mt. Pulaski, IL; and 6+ years in Mandan, ND) for a total of 24 years in the ministry.

Mark Drews Family

  • How long have you been called to serve in the North Dakota District?

As I mentioned above, I have been serving in the North Dakota District for more than six years now.

  • Tell us something interesting about you that you feel comfortable sharing with the people of the North Dakota District. This could be about you and/or your family, a hobby you enjoy, favorite sport/team, favorite movie, etc.

I have been married for 15 years to my wife Melanie.  God has blessed us with three daughters: Grace (10 years old), Hope (7 years old) and Joy (5 years old).  We are all avid Green Bay Packer fans.  We are also strongly committed to Lutheran Education.  My wife teaches Kindergarten at Martin Luther School in Bismarck and I serve on the School Board for MLS (I also teach and direct the band at MLS and currently have 14 band members).  Our daughters attend 5th grade, 1st grade and preschool at MLS and hope that they continue in Lutheran Schools as long as possible.

  • What do you see as some of the greatest concerns in the Church in the North America?

The church is under attack from within and without in North America (especially the United States).  Christian business owners are being coerced under the guide of “health care” to provide all sorts of birth control including abortions and abortificants.  Christian photographers, bakeries and other businesses are being punished and fined heavily for refusing to serve at same sex “weddings” and other things that go against our Christian conscience and religious liberties that, until recently, were guaranteed by the Constitution.  Christians are forced through taxation to subsidize Planned Parenthood which has performed thousands of abortions a day.

In Christ,
Pastor Mark R. Drews
Messiah Lutheran, Mandan, ND

Mark Drews Family

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/getting-to-know-our-district-pastors-rev-mark-drews/

2017 is a big year for Lutherans – it is the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

While Synod is preparing for this anniversary in some special ways, so are each of the districts.

Rev. Sean Daenzer (task force chair of LIFE TOGETHER: Ordained and Commissioned Ministers) and I have been working on this together.

 

Please put this on your 2017 Calendars:

Date 

October 14 & 15, 2017

 

Main Speaker

Rev. Dr. Lawrence Rast, President, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN

 

Locations

  1.    October 14, Messiah Lutheran Church, Mandan
  2.    October 15, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fargo

 

Program        

  • 4:00pm – Early Vespers, Preacher to be announced
  • 4:30-5:00pm – Social Time
  • 5:00-6:30pm – Rev. Dr. Larry Rast Presentation, “The Significance of the Reformation Then and Now”
  • 6:30-7:00pm – Question and Answer with Rast
  • 7:00pm – Oktoberfest Meal and Gemütlichkeit

 

 

(Dr. Rast is also tentatively scheduled to preach at Messiah Lutheran Church, Mandan, on October 14).

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/2017-is-a-big-year-for-lutherans-it-is-the-500th-anniversary-of-the-reformation/