From Chaos to Calm: Horse-inspired Healing

If you’d see fourteen-year-old Jackson* in a lighter moment, you’d see he loves a good joke and is quick to laugh. But he came to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch recently because he had great difficulty managing his behavior, and especially, his anger. He also had significant problems staying focused and functioning well in school. Much of this was because he often refused to take his ADHD medication.

    His personal struggles were so overwhelming; he fought thoughts of suicide. His parents simply weren’t equipped to deal with Jackson’s challenges.

In the company of horses

    Each child at the Ranch is given the opportunity to spend time at the stable with the horses. Horses are highly sensitive and have a unique ability to read human emotions. Sometimes they provide comfort to a child who is anxious or depressed. Other times they mirror the child’s emotions by backing away or becoming skittish if the child is feeling anxious or angry. This cues the child to identify their emotions, and to discover what they might be doing to make the horse feel unsafe.

    Regulating and controlling their emotions is difficult for most Ranch kids. Once they discover ways to be calm around their horses, they can use those skills in other parts of their lives.

    Jackson found that working with these intuitive animals helped him relax and manage his anxiety.

    “When I first got here,” he says, “I tried to intimidate the horses. They’d get hyper and didn’t want to be near me. Now I know to be calm around them and treat them with gentleness.”

    Jackson has really bonded with a horse named Weaver. He’s so excited to go to the stable and spend time with his special friend. They’ve really bonded. Their relationship is helping him deal with the challenges that brought him to the Ranch.

    “When I go to the stable, it changes my mood completely,” Jackson said. “It makes me feel good about myself and helps me cope with my troubles. My horse gives me the opportunity to be the best I can be.”

Healing trauma through movement

    The abuse and/or neglect experienced by most Ranch children stunts the development of gross motor skills that allow them to sit upright, stand, walk, run, lift, throw, and kick. Horseback riding helps build core strength, balance, coordination, and leg strength, which all aid in the development of those gross motor skills. It also helps to release the trauma that is stored in the body.

    The activities kids do with the horses depends on the needs of each child and may include riding groups, behavioral health therapy, and occupational therapy.

Bless a boy or girl at the Ranch with your gift now

    We want to continue this long and wonderful heritage of pairing gentle horses with at-risk kids. But horse therapy must be completely funded by partners who recognize that horse therapy can be so good for a child.

Won’t you give today — as generously as you can — to make horse therapy a reality for a child?  Give online at DakotaRanch.org.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch at 701-237-3123.                              

 *Name changed to protect confidentiality

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/from-chaos-to-calm-horse-inspired-healing/

Moving Beyond Survival: DOXOLOGY and Your Church’s Future

 Boom and bust have been the cycle of farmers for generations, as well as businesses in small towns that depend on farm customers. But lately it’s been mostly “bust” and very little “boom.” Plummeting commodity prices, rising expenses, and international trade wars have all taken their toll on those who live and work in America’s heartland. Combine that with the advent of factory farms and vanishing family farms, add in plunging birth rates and the exodus of rural youth, and that leaves the average congregation on the ropes numerically and financially. A whole lot of churches in rural and small-town America are in survival mode these days.

Have your members begun to look backward instead of forward? Have you adopted a survival mentality? Is there a lot of nostalgia for past “glory days” when you had a flourishing children’s Sunday School and far fewer vacant pews than you see at worship these days? Is there a growing and nagging sense of shame that somehow you’ve failed the pioneer generations who founded your congregation?

DOXOLOGY would like to be the catalyst to help your church members take a fresh look at what can be a pretty deflating picture and find the possibilities hidden behind the challenges.

Besides our classic program for pastors, lay leaders and clergy couples, the break­out session in Minneapolis (at the RSTM National conference) will give you a fuller picture of what we have to offer you. In broad strokes, here’s what we have to offer your congregation:

  1. We’re no miracle workers; there’s no magic wand or button you can push to make all your problems go away. There’s only this promise of our Lord Jesus: “I will build my church.”
  2. We need to explore what Jesus’ prom­ise means in your specific location: What does Jesus mean by “church?” More im­portantly, how does He build His church?
  3. What is a pastor? How can you as God’s people join together to enhance your pastor’s ministry in mission to an increasingly paganized culture?
  4. Which invisible people groups have moved into your community since the days of the founding of your congregation? Where do they live and work? How can you get to know them (and speak to them, if they converse in another language)?
  5. What are the resources the Lord has given uniquely to you in this generation to reach out anew with His changeless Word?
  6. Which aspects of our Lutheran theology connect well to a world in spiritual free-fall?
  7. Which points of connection have you been given in your daily lives with those who do not know the Lord Jesus and His church?
  8. How can you partner with sister congregations in your vicinity to better address the work the Lord has given you to do in our generation?
  9. What can you do to encourage fellow members to live more deliberately as the family of God, lifting each other’s burdens and multiplying personal joys?

Join me for the webinar “Moving Beyond Survival: DOXOLOGY and Your Church’s Future” on October 10 at 1 p.m. CST, as we discuss these and other matters facing church leaders in these momentous times.

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by the Rev. Dr. Harold Senkbeil, executive director for Spiritual Care, DOXOLOGY

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/moving-beyond-survival-doxology-and-your-churchs-future/

Main Street Living Ministry Update – October

    It’s hard to believe that 18 years have gone by since the Twin Towers in New York City were destroyed. As I write this newsletter article on “9-11” of 2019, all of the news programs are remembering the horrific actions flowing from mankind’s sinful hearts which killed and injured so many people! Holy Scripture tells us that “Out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft false testimony, slander.” Matthew 15:19. But thanks be to God through Jesus Christ, there is power in God’s word to renew our fallen hearts and minds – and to forgive repentant hearts!

    Please continue to share information about our LCMS “Main Street Living” media ministry with others. In addition to being broadcast each Sunday morning – you can view all archived programs at any time at www.mainstreetliving.com (then click on the link under the picture identified as “North (Fargo).”

    Thank you for 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 on the web site. God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” Programs for October 2019:

    October 6: Vicar Richard Daily, Bethel Lutheran Church and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Bismarck, ND, presents the message: “Christ Has Made Us His Worthy Servants” based on Luke 17:1-10. The “This Is The Life” program is: “The Missing Ingredient” (Bob (Jack Nicholson) and his fiancee Lynn (Susan Crane) are planning their wedding when she overhears her parents planning to separate after the wedding. Suddenly, Lynn has some reservations.)

    October 13: Rev. Lester Wolfgram, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Bismarck, presents the message: “Be Strengthened” based on 2 Timothy 2:1-13. The “This Is The Life” program is: “The Visitation” (Pastor Andrew Burdick (Dick Sargent) is having problems keeping his congregation together. Bishop Smith (Parley Baer) visits him to identify some troubling leadership spots and to renew faith in his ability to get things done.)

    October 20: Rev. Zelwyn Heide, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Grassy Butte, ND, and Saint Peter Lutheran Church, Belfield, ND, presents the message: “Pray Without Ceasing” based on I Timothy 1:12-17. The This Is The Life program is; “Happiness is Dirty Hands” (School teacher Kent (Daniel Travanti) lives and teaches High School in a troubled metro area. He and his wife (Ann Whitfield), live in a poverty area and in a troubling marriage. Kent’s friend Art (Mike Farrell) offers some help.)

    October 27: Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, Director of the LCMS Center for Religious Liberty, and former Lutheran Hour Speaker/ message to be announced. The This Is The Life program is; “Destination Unknown” (Paul Werner (Leonard Nimoy) is a nuclear Scientist. He plans to reject American values and defect to the Soviet Union. He reconsiders when he has a conversation, on the airplane, with a Pastor and an airline stewardess.

“MAIN STREET LIVING” is a locally produced TV program that includes a 30-minute worship service led by participating pastors of the Minnesota North and North Dakota Districts of our LCMS, along with a 30 minute Lutheran Hour program (normally This Is The Life,” along with occasional church-season specials).  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 at 10:00 am Central (9:00 am Mountain) on the following WDAY & affiliate Xtra Channels:WDAY Xtra Channel 6.3 Fargo-Moorhead, WDAZ Xtra Channel 8.3 Grand Forks,KBMY Xtra Channel 17.3 Bismarck/Dickinson, and KMCY Xtra Channel 14.3 Minot/Williston – as well as the cable and satellite systems carrying these stations. (For a list of cable & satellite stations and their channel assignments in your area, please contact your church office.) MSLN programs are also archived and can be viewed at any time on www.mainstreetliving.com then click on “North (Fargo).”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/main-street-living-ministry-update-october/

Trip to Greece – In the footsteps of Paul the apostle

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/trip-to-greece-in-the-footsteps-of-paul-the-apostle/

Pre-Lent Retreat! – MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

This Retreat is for all the pastors of our District.  It is being held January 6-8, 2020 in Bismarck.  Rev. Bernie Worral of Immanuel, Fargo will present on Hebrews 11. 

Worral writes, If you’ve ever been to the nation’s capital in Washington D.C. then you’ve seen the statues in the hallways. Each state has two statues…North Dakota has John Burke (Governor, US Treasuer, Chief Justice) and Sakakawea (Explorer). Hebrews chapter 11 also has a great hallway of faith filled with living memorials those who have walked in faith before us.  Hebrews 13:7 says “Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”

    In our mid-week Lenten services we will be doing just that in the outline of Hebrews chapter 11.  We will start with Abel who by faith offered a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain. We will continue with Noah who by faith built an ark for the saving of his household. We will walk with Abraham who by faith “obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.” We will look at Abraham again who by faith offered up his only son yet believing that God could raise him from the dead because of the promise: “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” We will walk with Joseph who by faith “made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.” And we will travel with Moses who by faith choose “rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” 

    The stories are all familiar, but often misunderstood. I’ve found this notion of moral progress (even in Lutheran commentaries) to be the central way most people look at the narratives of the Old Testament, especially Abraham and Jacob. Yet Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, takes up the “early” Abraham (Gen 15) to say he was justified by faith….before circumcision (Gen 17).  So instead of bringing emphasis on the end product…Abraham the hero offering his son in faith….Paul points us to the faith in the promise from the outset.

Hebrews chapter eleven is the definitive commentary on the Old Testament. And the narratives become the basis for understanding the doctrine of faith. All Christians talk about faith, but what is it exactly? Faith is never in faith…but always points to its object….even if it be unseen.     Lent is far more focused on the passion of Christ….so an Old Testament emphasis might seem out of order. But this idea of sacrifice that is first with Abel, and is seen with Noah who builds the first altar of the bible, and in Abraham offering his son, his only son, Isaac, whom he loves….well this all points to the cross.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/pre-lent-retreat-mark-your-calendars/

Church Reflections

Check the Mirror, Pastor — After Five Years, Your Church Looks Like You.” This was the headline of an article that caused me to stop and reflect. If it’s true that after five years the congregation I serve will look a lot like me, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

If congregations begin to reflect their pastor over time, it might lead the pastor to think about what he should do to shape his congregation. The pastor will be tempted to think about how he can and should shape it: How can I make my congregation enthusiastic for evangelism? How can I make my congregation take the Word of God seriously and want to study it? How can I shape my congregation to make an impact in our community?

But if those are the first questions the pastor asks, his focus is in the wrong place. When I first read that headline and the accompanying article, the reality that my congregation would reflect me as a pastor felt like a heavy burden to bear. Do I really want my congregation to look like … me? To paraphrase St. Paul, Do I really want my congregation to look like the chief of sinners?

And yet, St. Paul also wrote in 1 Cor. 11:1, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” How can Paul claim to be the chief of sinners and yet say, “be imitators of me”? How can a pastor do the same?

In short, Paul wasn’t seeking to have the focus on him, but on Christ. He understood that the example he set would impact how those to whom he was ministering would see Christ. By speaking of himself as the chief of sinners and as the least of the apostles, Paul modeled the reality of the need for Christ and His forgiveness.

Pastors follow Paul’s example not when they seek to hold themselves up as the perfect example to be imitated, but when they show the congregation that they too are sinners in need of Jesus. By spending time in God’s Word on a daily basis, devoting time to prayer, forgiving and seeking forgiveness quickly, valuing and hungering for the Lord’s Supper, and being honest about their weaknesses, pastors model the very things they want to see in the flock they serve.

There’s much more to discuss concerning this topic, but I think it starts with pastors echoing the words of John the Baptist: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter By Rev. Benjamin Meyer, Hope Lutheran Church, Sunbury, Ohio


Minneapolis, Here We Come!

The 2019 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference will be held Nov. 14–16 in Minneapolis, Minn., at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Bloom­ington-Minneapolis South. Registrations made after Sept. 1 are available but at an increased rate. Register before Sept. 1 for the early registration rate!  Late registration open until 9/20!

The blessings and challenges facing rural and small-town con­gregations today will be addressed. Congregations will be encouraged to cul­tivate ways to become healthy churches, eager to bear witness for Christ, able to show mercy to those in need in communi­ties and develop a robust life together with fellow members.  We hope you’ll join us by registering now and reserving your spot!

Speakers and Session Topics

Keynote speakers will include Rev. Todd Kollbaum, director, LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission and Dr. Harold L. Senkbeil, Executive Director for Spiritual Care, DOXOLOGY. Rev. Robert Zagore, execu­tive director, LCMS Office of National Mission, will lead the theme Bible study of the conference based on Hebrews 12:1b-2a.

Breakout topics include dealing with addictions, mental health, young adults in ministry, bi-vocational pastors, steward­ship, community engagement, partnering with LERT, online education and many other topics affecting our rural and small-town congregations. There is something planned for everyone … from layperson to pastor, student to teacher!

We encourage you to bring your whole family to spend a few days together! Enjoy the Mall of America and take advantage of the special family rates that include access to all conference activities.

Don’t forget that a special track for Youth Ministry will be returning this year, led by youth peer leaders and spe­cially meant for your youth to join you as well; this option will have a limited number of seats and require attendance in all six sessions.

Registration

Adult registration for the conference is $225/person and includes all plenary and breakout sessions, materials, Thursday dinner, Friday lunch and dinner and more. See our full registration form for discounted rates for youth, students, families, couples, LWML members, meals only and groups. Contact our office with questions.

Hotel reservations must be made separately from conference registration. The Doubletree is offering a rate of $100/ Single or Double plus applicable taxes for our group including breakfast buffet per day per occupancy level; complimentary self-parking; complimentary airport and Mall of America shuttle.

More information and online regis­tration can be found at lcms.org/rstm/conference


RSTM Events Update

Don’t forget that Rural & Small Town Mission provides free monthly webinars on topics important to congregations in town and country settings. Up next is “Church Reflections” with the Rev. Benjamin Meyer on Sept. 26, followed by “Moving Beyond Survival: DOXOLOGY and Your Church’s Future” with the Rev. Dr. Harold Senkbeil on Oct. 10. Find past webinars in our archive.

Register for one our Engaging Your Community (EYC) or Engaging the Wandering (ETW) events at lcms.org/ rstm. These partner events offer practical resources and training in communication skills for reaching out to our wandering members and communities with Christ’s love. Contact your district or our office if you are interested in holding an event near you.

The LCMS South Dakota District will partner with RSTM to hold two ETW events, at St. John Lutheran Church, Groton, S.D., on Oct. 26, and Trinity Lutheran Church, Hartford, S.D., on Oct. 27. Online registration is available for these ETW events.

In partnership with Minnesota South, RSTM is also rolling out a new type of event, Welcoming, in Pipestone, MN on Oct. 12 that we think you and your congregation are going to love and benefit from! We will address the little known “brain gain” of rural and small-town communities. These day-long events will help congregations to be more wel­coming places that provide God’s Word to both current members and guests. They are also great opportunities for leadership and volunteer training.

For more information about our events or to see the rest of our calendar, visit lcms.org/rstm or contact our office at 888- 463-5127 or rstm@lcms.org.

Register now! The 2019 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference, “Running With Endurance: Eyes Fixed On Jesus,” will be held Nov. 14–16 in Minneapolis. Watch for updates and more information at lcms.org/rstm/conference.

For more information about our events or to see the rest of our calendar, visit lcms.org/rstm or contact our office at 888-463-5127 or rstm@lcms.org.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/church-reflections/

Main Street Living – September Update

How do you watch the weekly MAIN STREET LIVING worship services and “This Is The Life” programs? On cable, satellite, antenna, or over the internet? This, of course, varies depending on what TV services you have AND where you live. In general, the eastern half of North Dakota and the western half of our Minnesota North Districts receive the MSLN broadcasts over the FOX stations between 9:00-10:00 am each Sunday, plus the entire state of ND and the eastern half of MNN also receive these broadcasts over the WDAY XTRA stations between 10:00-11:00 am Central (9-10am Mountain time).

Lately, we’ve had several requests for a complete listing of the specific cable & satellite companies and their channel assignments that carry our program in an attempt to make locating MSLN easier for everyone. These lists have now been sent to each of our ND & MNN District offices, and then forwarded to each pastor and congregation in both districts – so if you are wondering which cable and satellite stations are carrying MSLN in your area, please contact your church office for this information.

Please continue to share information about our LCMS “Main Street Living” media ministry with others. In addition to being broadcast each Sunday morning – you can view all archived programs at any time at www.mainstreetliving.com (then click on the link under the picture identified as “North (Fargo).”

Thank you for 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 on the web site. God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” Programs for September 2019:

September 1:          Rev. Terry Finnern, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Miltona, MN, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Parker’s Prairie, MN, presents the message: “Our Host for Eternity” based on Luke 14:7-11. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: Run Away”(Away we go, back to where we started from).

September 8:          Rev. Paul Preus, Zion Lutheran Church, Ellendale, presents the message: “Healed Through the Word” based on Mark 7:31-37. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: “The Sin of Sue Bradley” (Misguided meddling leads to jealousy threatening loving relationships).

September 15:          Rev. Daryl Rothchild, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Upham, ND, Faith Lutheran Church, Towner, ND, and Zion Lutheran Church, Kramer, ND presents the message: “Abundant Grace” based on I Timothy 1:12-17. Today’s This Is The Life program is; “Old Smiley” (For over forty plus years, Charlie Grebs was certain that his “Happiness God” from the Orient brought him good luck. In less than a day, he fully realized that things are not always what they seem to be.)

September 22:          Rev. Jonathan Walla, Bethel Lutheran Church, Bismarck, ND, presents the message: “The Debt is Cancelled” based on Luke 16:1-15. Today’s This Is The Life program is; To Take a Life: (A devoted son’s loving father is terminally ill, suffering severely and pleading to die.)

September 29:          Rev. Dennis Voss, vacancy pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, New Salem, ND and St. Peter Lutheran Church, Hannover, ND presents the message: “The Job of Angels” based on Matthew 18:10. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is:  “Sharing the Gospel” (Sharing the Gospel is neither swift nor easy, but truly rewarding in the end.)

“MAIN STREET LIVING” is a locally produced TV program that includes a 30-minute worship service led by participating pastors of the Minnesota North and North Dakota Districts of our LCMS, along with a 30 minute Lutheran Hour program (normally This Is The Life,” along with occasional church-season specials).  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 at 10:00am Central (9:00am Mountain) on the following WDAY & affiliate Xtra Channels:WDAY Xtra Channel 6.3 Fargo-Moorhead, WDAZ Xtra Channel 8.3 Grand Forks,KBMY Xtra Channel 17.3 Bismarck/Dickinson, and KMCY Xtra Channel 14.3 Minot/Williston – as well as the cable and satellite systems carrying these stations. (For a list of cable & satellite stations and their channel assignments in your area, please contact your church office.) MSLN programs are also archived and can be viewed at any time on www.mainstreetliving.com then click on “North (Fargo).”

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

OGT Newsletter July/Aug/Sept 2019

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/ogt-newsletter-july-aug-sept-2019/

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Your generosity is the key to healing and hope for our awesome kids.

You’re a friend and partner of the Ranch, so you know all about the good work your support makes possible. But there may be a few things you don’t know about us. And, I believe you’ll find the six Ranch facts below both enlightening and encouraging. For instance, did you know…?

  • The Ranch’s Dakota Memorial School is the only fully accredited school system in North Dakota that’s not a public school.
  • Many of our children were barely passing their classes before coming to the Ranch. Yet two out of five made the honor roll last semester, while meeting the same rigorous requirements you’ll find at any public school.
  • Many of our kids never had a birthday party until they came to the Ranch.
  • This year, many of our students returned to their original schools to graduate with friends and peers.
  • We care for and cherish a herd of twenty three horses. The children are encouraged to ride and make friends with the horses. They often experience healing as they ride and work with a horse.
  • Ranch thrift stores process more than eleven million donated items a year. Sales at our stores provide an important source of income to help kids.

I hope you learned something you didn’t know about why the Ranch is such an incredible resource for children who have struggled to find peace, stability, and success in life. Children like Sara . . .

Sara’s mom was young, single, and unable to provide for her. Violence and instability were constants in their home. No wonder Sara was angry, verbally abusive, disrespectful of authority, and hamstrung by learning disabilities that made school a daily battle.

At the Ranch, Sara experienced a very different kind of environment. Because our team recognized her struggles — and also her many strengths as a unique child of God — she responded positively.

Sara says, “It didn’t feel safe at my old school. But at the Ranch, if I need more help or things aren’t going well at home, I can tell someone and feel safe. I don’t have to worry that more bad things will happen because I told.”

Sara has been with us for about a year now. Her improved attitude, behavior, and school performance have earned her the admiration of her peers, who increasingly see her as a role model.

There’s a lesson here: With your partnership in this work, even a deeply wounded child can find healing, academic success, and spiritual growth. But we need your prayers and partnership so we can provide the specialized support these kids need.

Will you give now to equip a Ranch child to overcome the odds and move forward with confidence in school, in their healing, AND at home? Through your gift, you’ll provide the specialized support that makes it possible for a Ranch child to grow, learn, and prepare for a life of confidence, independence, and accomplishment. In His Love, Joy Ryan, President/CEO  |  Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/dakota-boys-and-girls-ranch/

The No-Casserole Illness

AND HOW THE CHURCH CAN RESPOND

It’s a conversation I’ll never forget. While visiting with a local pastor one day about the mental health focus of The Lutheran Foundation, he shared something he did one Sunday morning in church.

 As people gathered for worship, everyone received a sheet of paper with a list of ten questions related to mental health is­sues. There were questions like, “Have you ever been depressed?” and “Have you ever been prescribed medication for mental health issues?” Each person was to circle any question that applied to them.

When everyone finished answering their questions, the ushers collected them. They shuffled the papers and walked to a different part of the church to pass out those same sheets of paper. Each person was now holding someone else’s paper (no names were on them.) The pastor then started to read the questions, one by one, and asked people to stand up if the ques­tion he read was circled on the sheet they were holding.

When people in the congregation saw the number of people standing up in response to each question, there was an audible gasp from the congregation. “Everyone thinks they are the only one living with mental health issues,” the pas­tor said. Too often, the stigma is so great in the church that people are afraid to talk about mental illness.

While author Amy Simpson was growing up, her mother had serious psychotic episodes and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. The family was always active in church. But when it came to her mother’s mental health issues, there was silence and shame. “We needed community and loving friendships,” she says. “The church is one of the only places left in society where that is readily available — at least in theory.” Amy tells her family’s story in her book, Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission. Amy says the phrase is not original with her, but she often refers to mental illness as the “no-casserole illness.” It’s not uncommon for people from church to bring a casserole when a family member is in the hospital, or when there has been a death in the family. But when it’s mental illness, people often don’t call or visit, or bring casseroles.

However, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that one in five adults will experience a mental illness in any given year. That also means one in five in our churches. Most people don’t re­alize that mental illness is more common than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined.

The Lutheran Foundation is focused on promoting mental wellness and reducing stigma around mental illness. Starting the conversation and silencing the stigma is one step toward healing. Sometimes those caring conversations happen best across the table… over a casserole.Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter By Rev. Dr. Dennis Goff, director of Ministry Programs for The Lutheran Foundation, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/the-no-casserole-illness/

Installation Service – St. Peter, Sawyer

You Are Cordially Invited to an

Installation Service for Rev. Timothy Stout

at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Sawyer, North Dakota 58781

 Sunday, August 18, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Central Time

Fellowship meal to follow installation.

Clergy are invited to process.  Please bring vestments (red stole).

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/installation-service-st-peter-sawyer/

“MAIN STREET LIVING” MEDIA MINISTRY – AUGUST UPDATE

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction” 2 Timothy 4:2. With this in mind, please continue to share information about our LCMS “Main Street Living” media ministry with others. MSLN is broadcast each Sunday morning – and also available every day at www.mainstreetliving.com (then click on the link under the picture identified as “North (Fargo)”.

Thank you for 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 on the web site. God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” Programs for August 2019:

August 4:           Rev. Bill Aufdenkamp, Christ Lutheran Church, Elbow Lake, MN., and Zion Lutheran Church, Hoffman, MN., presents the message: “A Rich Harvest; Remember Who Grows the Crop!” based on Luke 12:17. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: “The Visit” (During war time, A Christian’s response to tragedy becomes a witness to others.)

August 11:           Rev. Richard Biberdorf, Grace Lutheran Church, Carrington, ND, Grace Lutheran Church, Cooperstown, ND, and Zion Lutheran Church, Binford, ND, presents the message: “Don’t Give Up On God” based on Genesis 15:1-6. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: “One Hour to Live” (Divine forgiveness for the truly penitent assures a man … and in the nick of time.)

August 18:          Rev. Dr. Larry Harvala, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Euclid, MN and Trinity Lutheran Church, Fischer, MN, presents the message: “By Faith” based on Hebrews 12:1. Today’s This Is The Life program is; “Trial By Fire”.

August 25:           Rev. Robert Hill, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Wimbledon, ND, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Kensal, ND, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Pettibone, ND, and Redeemer Lutheran Church, Woodworth, ND, presents the message: “For the Sake of a Few” based on Genesis 18:25. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is:  “Red Trap”.

“MAIN STREET LIVING” is a locally produced TV program that includes a 30 minute worship service led by participating pastors of the Minnesota North and North Dakota Districts of our LCMS, along with a 30 minute Lutheran Hour program (normally This Is The Life, along with occasional church-season specials).  Programs are broadcast at 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 at 10:00am Central (9:00am Mountain) on the following WDAY & affiliate Xtra Channels:WDAY Xtra Channel 6.3 Fargo-Moorhead, WDAZ Xtra Channel 8.3 Grand Forks,KBMY Xtra Channel 17.3 Bismarck/Dickinson, and KMCY Xtra Channel 14.3 Minot/Williston – as well as the cable and satellite systems carrying these stations, some of which may have a different channel number, and archived on www.mainstreetliving.com (then click on “North (Fargo)”.

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