Call Day 2019 Calls and Placements

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/call-day-2019-calls-and-placements/

A BLESSING COMING OUT OF THE KILLING OF CHILDREN! A TIME TO CELEBRATE!

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/a-blessing-coming-out-of-the-killing-of-children-a-time-to-celebrate/

Outreach through Lutheran Braille Workers

Do you know anybody in your church or community who is elderly or sight-impaired? An aging population is an issue facing almost every church and town in the United States. Church leaders face increasing challenges regarding how to share the Gospel with individuals who may be visually impaired.

Helping Christians with Vision Impairment

Many churches offer hearing assistance technology on their websites or in the pews. Very few churches advertise support for people who struggle with their vision even though there are approximately 300 million people in the world who are mod­erately or severely visually impaired, 95 percent of whom are unchurched. While there are many resources avail­able within urban areas, rural communi­ties can struggle to serve individuals who are losing their vision. This is especially true within rural areas with large numbers of senior living communities. It is in these small towns that Lutheran Braille Workers (LBW) can provide a significant amount of free assistance and outreach support.

What does LBW offer for free?

LBW offers free specialized large print, braille and audio materials for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, including the Bible, Lutheran Service Book, Small Catechism, devotionals, and other Christian materials. Churches and other organizations are invited to order these materials for free! These materials can be a great benefit to members of a church who are getting older, losing their vision, home-bound or otherwise not able to enjoy the same connection with the Word that used to. Pastors can use these resources to make house calls or hospital visits. Members of rural communities can use these materials during inclement weather when getting to church may not be a possibility.

For a complete listing of LBW’s free resources, visit lbwinc.org or call 800-925-6092. Please also visit LBW’s Facebook page: facebook.com/lutheranbrailleworkers.

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by Daniel Jenkins, vice-president of Ministry Advancement, Lutheran Braille Workers

Upcoming RSTM Events…

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 Outreach Through Lutheran Braille Workers on May 23, followed by Witness & Outreach Resources on June 13. Find past webinars in our archive.  Watch for information on all our upcom­ing events! Register for one of our Engaging Your Community or Engaging the Wandering events at lcms.org/rstm. These partner events offer practical resources and communication skills for reaching out to wandering members and our communi­ties with Christ’s love. Join us in Waldport, Ore., on May 11 for an Engaging Your Community event. Online registration is available for both types of events. Contact your district or our office if you are inter­ested in holding an event near you.

Register now for the 2019 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference, Running With Endurance: Eyes Fixed On Jesus, Nov. 14–16 in Minneapolis. To see our calendar, visit lcms.org/rstm. Contact our office at 888-463-5127 or rstm@lcms.org.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/outreach-through-lutheran-braille-workers/

People Matter Community Carnival

The Third Annual People Matter Community Carnival is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 11, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm on the grounds of Wachter Middle School in Bismarck. 

Here is a little history.  People Matter began through a simple conversation between Pastor Les Wolfgram, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, and Wachter Middle School principal, Lee Ziegler, considering how to meet the growing needs of people in our community.   That conversation led to the first People Matter Community Carnival held at Wachter Middle School in May 2017.  The purpose of the event is to introduce families of school-age children to the many free services that are available to help them.   Bismarck Police officers and firefighters participated along with 17 help organizations and churches.  Families with school-age children connected with services that could help them enjoy a better life. The carnival atmosphere was enhanced by free food, prizes, bounce houses, a dunk tank, and various games and activities.  Wachter Middle School staff and community leaders were dunk tank “guests of honor.”   This first event drew over 500 attendees. In 2018, the event grew as 45 community organizations were represented with well over 1,200 people in attendance.  Families have been impacted as they learn about services available to them and as they build relationships with people who are here to help.  This year’s Community Carnival event is Saturday, May 11th from 11:00 am to 2 pm.  This event has provided a great opportunity for Shepherd of the Valley to reach out to our neighbors, inviting them to VBS and informing them that we are here to serve them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Follow us on Facebook at People Matter Bismarck.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/people-matter-community-carnival/

Main Street Living Media Ministry – May Update

Mass shootings, floods, and other natural disasters, a decaying moral culture – these are evidences of the fallen creation “groaning in travel” all around us! And yet, those whose trust is in Jesus live with a “peace that passes all understanding” and a sure hope in the sure promise of the resurrection! This is the message broadcast weekly by our MSL TV Ministry – and available every day at www.mainstreetliving.com (then click on the link identified as “North (Fargo)”). Please continue to share information about MSL with at least one new person each month.

A reminder of the matching funds offer from the Main Street Living NETWORK continues until $16,000 of new donations are received! 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 on the website. Thank you and God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” Programs for May 2019:

May 5: Rev. Chris Waldvogel, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND, presents the message: “A Public Reinstatement” based on John 21:15-19. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: “The Big Little Lie.”

May 12: Rev. Tom Eaves, St. John Lutheran Church, Barnesville, MN, presents the message: “The Good Shepherd” based on Psalm 2. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: “To the End of Time.”

May 19: Rev. Clark Jahnke, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, West Fargo, ND, presents the message: “God’s Cure for Loneliness” based on Revelation 21:1-5. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: “Face from the Past.”

May 26:  Rev. Brett Hartwig, Trinity Lutheran Church, Sabin, MN, presents the message: “Take heart, I have Overcome the World” based on John 16:23-33. Today’s This Is The Life program is: “Love is not Enough.”

“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 amCentral 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, ANDat 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)”.

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

Main Street Living Media Ministry Month – May 2019

Brothers and sisters in Christ,

First let me thank all of you for your support and sharing of the Main Street Living Program for those who cannot make church services and also as an outreach to our neighbors. 

Something that may be helpful in keeping Main Street Living on the minds and in the prayers of the saints here in North Dakota is an observance of “Main Street Living Sunday,” the first Sunday of May (this year it will be May 5). 

But what does it mean to “observe” Main Street Living Sunday? 

  • It can be as simple as pastors publically praying for MSL on May 5 (a prayer is attached). 
  • I strongly encourage your congregations to enclose the attached bulletin insert in their bulletins that Sunday. 
  • Pastors can use or adapt the attached sermon, too, making reference to the surprising (to us) ways God is using MSL to bless the viewers.  The sermon, based on the Acts 9:1-22 text (conversion of Saul), was written by one of the South Dakota pastors, who wishes to remain anonymous.
  • Many congregations receive free-will/door offerings for MSL on this particular Sunday.

Thanks for considering how you and your people can celebrate and support Main Street Living in your viewing areas. 

And, especially, thank you for your partnership in the Gospel in this and in many other ways.

Your servant in Christ,

Rev. Arie D. Bertsch, ND Dist. Pres.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/msln-may19/

Work Day at Orphan Grain Train, Jamestown

There will be a spring work event at the Orphan Grain Train warehouse in Jamestown on April 25, 26, and 27, 2019.

Come and lend a hand!

Contact Kirk Rosin, Branch Manager, for more information. Use the form below.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/work-day-at-orphan-grain-train-jamestown/

Engaging a Changing Community

My entire 30 years as a parish pastor have been spent serving LCMS congregations in rural and small-town communities. That’s remarkable when you consider the fact that I grew up in Houston — the fourth largest city in the country. I’ve truly been “converted” to the small-town way of life, serving the hard-working people whom I’ve had the privilege and blessing to know and love.

Yet, dramatic changes are sweeping across the rural plains of America. No doubt about it. I’ve seen it. We’ve entered an era of congregations closing because their memberships have literally died off. Offerings have dwindled dramatically. Pastors are becoming “bi-vocational,” meaning they are employed and working outside of their called pastorates to supplement insufficient and declining salaries. Pastors are absorbing personally more of the costs of the routine day-to-day operations of their congregations. These changes can be nothing short of terrifying to a pastor and his family.

As is always true, the Lord nonetheless brings amazing and oftentimes surprising blessings and opportunities in this newly emerging ministry landscape. As some con­gregations die, others are born. Pastors who find themselves becoming “entrepreneurs” can be involved in their communities in truly remarkable ways.

In my own ministry here in southwest Iowa, we have given birth to a new congrega­tion. I substitute teach in the public schools in five local school districts. The opportu­nities to witness and share my faith, to minister and pray with students, teachers and administrative people abound. Sometimes, I say tongue in cheek that I have the largest youth group in the Synod with over 6,000 kids, referring to the student populations of the schools in which I teach, on their own turf.

That we must engage our community is a fact of our ministry and congregational outreach that hasn’t changed. How we engage our community is changing dramatically in ways we could never have imagined.

Personally, I love this new ministry field. I embrace it. To be able to maintain our Lutheran confessional integrity and continue to proclaim salvation only in the Lord Jesus Christ provides a Gospel message people need and desire to hear even today.

Ready or not, the future is now. It’s here. And our Lord is still touching lives and bringing people to faith in Jesus. For that I will always rejoice.

Rev. Dr. Keith Schweitzer

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter.


Upcoming RSTM Events…

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 Community Engagement on April 11, followed by Outreach Through Lutheran Braille Workers on May 23. Find past webinars in our archive and watch for information on all our upcoming events!

Register for one our Engaging Your Community (EYC) or Engaging the Wandering (ETW) events at lcms.org/rstm. Upcoming events include an EYC on 5/11, in Waldport, OR in partnership with Northwest District. These partner events offer practical resources and communication skills for reaching out to wandering members and our communities with Christ’s love. Online reg­istration is available for both types of events. Contact your district or our office if you are interested in holding an event near you.

Register now for the 2019 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference, Running With Endurance: Eyes Fixed On Jesus, Nov. 14–16 in Minneapolis. To see our calendar, visit lcms.org/rstm. Contact our office at 888-463-5127 or rstm@lcms.org.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/engaging-a-changing-community/

Ysleta Mission Trip to Mexico

From February 26th through March 2nd, a group of 11 members from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Minot, traveled to Juarez, Mexico for a mission trip. Together with Ysleta Lutheran Mission out of El Paso, TX, they built two 12X24 foot homes for local families in great need! Everything was funded by Mission Team fundraisers throughout the year. Hear from some of the people that have gone on the mission trip about the impact it has had on their lives…

“To be humbled is a gift in and of itself; going to Juarez and seeing the state and way of life will humble you to your core. These are people with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts, and by our ‘standards’ they have nothing. At the end of the week, you are given so much more by these people than you give. We may have given a home, but they gave us the gift of love, the gift of faith, and the gift of perspective.”

Matt Geinert, first-time attendee, shares this about his experience

“The lack of simple comforts like running water, heat, or even a solid floor make Americans think of the settlers on the wild frontier. The families of the shantytowns of Anapra or k30 survive in little more than pallets covered in cardboard.  A spliced extension cord overloaded with the lights of 4 or 5 neighbors. Hungry dogs littered with ticks and burrs run wild. This place exists just past the Mexican/American Border, but it may just as well be halfway around the world.  In the middle of it all a salesman, a trucker, a retiree, couple of high schoolers, and an oilfield worker come together joined by the same faith and compassion. This is where you see your faith grow.  Together for 5 days we wrestle to build what to us would be a large shed with power.  The families watch as it takes shape. The team and families crowd into the dwelling for a few songs and prayers.  A small cross is hung over the threshold. Now it hits me, and I am humbled. This isn’t a shed or a house. This is a Home. A warm safe place to raise a family, to share memories and laughs. The structure is the physical gift. But the emotional, spiritual gift is so much more.”


Ryan Schaan, After going on the mission trip for the last 3 years

“Our team prayed together daily that the Lord Jesus would make us useful in the work of His kingdom. And He was faithful, as always.  The people became so important to us in such a short period of time. Their faith and ours was strengthened as we built not only two homes, but Christ-filled relationships. It’s difficult to leave at the end of a week, but we entrust them to the Lord and that He will continue the “building” that we began in His name.”


Six-year veteran, Bonnie Rennich

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. Feel free to contact the congregation at 701-852-6404 for more details on this amazing opportunity to spread God’s love with others!

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/ysleta-mission-trip-to-mexico/

“Main Street Living” Media Ministry – April 2019 Update

“Faith comes from hearing the message – and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17).  We are so privileged to be used of God to communicate the message of Christ crucified and risen – through our television and internet ministry! Please consider sharing information about MSL with at least one new person this month.

 While the number of questions about the website changes have decreased; perhaps one more brief reminder that you need to drop/delete the word “north” when making an internet search for archived programs – or you’ll get a furniture store in Colorado called Main Street Living. Now that our MSL NETWORK is broadcasting in six different areas in the upper Midwest, a decision was made to use just one central website address at www.mainstreetliving.com. On the home page you will then need to click on the link identified as “North (Fargo)”. The picture will be the same, but you will be on our ND and MN North District page.

 A reminder of the matching funds offer from the Main Street Living NETWORK continues until $16,000 of new donations are received! 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 on the web site. Thank you and God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” for April 2019:

 April 7: Rev. Ed Borchardt, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Frazee, MN, presents the message: “Strength Doesn’t Come From Within” based on Philippians 3:8-14. Today’s special LHM Easter program is: “The Puzzle Club Easter Adventure”.

April 14: Rev. Chris Brademeyer, St. John Lutheran Church, Oakes, ND, presents the message: “Who is this King?” based on Matthew 21:1-9. Today’s special LHM Easter season program is: “Easter Is”.

April 21: Lutheran Hour Speaker, Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler, delivers today’s Easter message: “Destroyed Is Death” based on 1st Corinthians 15:19-26. Today’s special LHM Easter season program is: “3 Days ”.

April 28: Rev. Robert Wentzel, Trinity Lutheran, Bemidji, MN, presents the message: “My Name Is Thomas” based on John 20:19-31. Today’s This Is The Life program is: “Miracle in Chinatown”.

“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, some of which may have a different channel number, and archived on www.mainstreetliving.com (then click on “North (Fargo)”.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/main-street-living-media-ministry-april-2019-update/

Minneapolis, Here We Come!

The LCMS 2019 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference will be held Nov. 14–16 in Minneapolis, Minn., at the Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington-Minneapolis South. Registration opened March 15th!

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

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/minneapolis-here-we-come/

National Youth Gathering Information

Held every three years since 1980, the LCMS Youth Gathering provides thousands of youth and adults the opportunity to come together as a community of God’s people to learn more about Jesus Christ, the Christian faith and their Lutheran identity.  The next Gathering will be held on July 11-15, 2019 in Minneapolis, MN.
During the five days of the Gathering, youth and adults will spend time together in God’s word, worship, service, and fellowship with others from across the synod. This event is organized by LCMS Youth Ministry, Saint Louis, MO.

District Coordinator
Pat Sebastian, Bethel Lutheran, Bismarck, is serving as ND District Coordinator for the National Youth Gathering. She is arranging transportation options, coordinating housing (seven congregations responded to the request that ND registrations be mailed in together so we will be assigned to the same hotel), a District event, District booth and providing training to adult leaders amongst other responsibilities.  You can reach her via email patsebbis@aol.com or (701) 281-1381 or (701) 471-3289 with any questions or concerns.

Registration

Participants will now be admitted to the Gathering on a space available basis. Registrations materials and tons of other information including Adult Leader Resources and Bible Study Resources can be found at  http://www.lcmsgathering.com/

Choir and Wind Symphony auditions due April 22

The LCMS Youth Gathering will conclude with the Divine Service Worship.  Over 20,000 people will join in worshiping our God and Savior.  Youth have opportunity to be involved in sharing their artistic gifts and talents through participating in the Gathering Choir or Wind Symphony.

All applications and audition videos must be submitted online by April 22. Applicants will be notified by May 22 of their selection.  Members of the choir and wind symphony will receive a pack of music and CD so the music can be learned in advance of the Gathering.

Members are expected to attend rehearsals at the Hyatt Regency from 3:45-5:15 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There will be a final rehearsal at the U.S. Bank Stadium early Monday morning. Rehearsals will not conflict with other Gathering programming.

The choir and wind symphony will participate in the Monday morning worship service on July 15, 2019.

Your District Coordinator is willing to accompany students to rehearsals so adult leaders are available for the rest of their family group.

Watch the North Dakota District LYF Facebook page for upcoming announcements!

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/national-youth-gathering-information/