Congratulations candidates, vicars

Call Day 2020 was one for the record books. Everything was different, yet still the same. The Word of God was preached, hymns were sung, vicarages and deaconess internships were assigned, pastoral candidates were given their first calls. Each of the two seminaries had their own way of making the virtual service work. Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL), held Call Day on April 28; Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. (CTSFW) held its service one night later. Call Day services have been live-streamed for the past few years, however this year, the pews were not filled. Here you will find not only the men/families coming to the North Dakota District but also the men/families that have ties to the district. If you were unable to watch the services, you may access them at each seminary website:

  • CSL – csl.edu/callday
  • CTSFW – callday.ctsfw.edu

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/congratulations-candidates-vicars/

Main Street Living Media Ministry – May Update

“Coronavirus” andCOVID-19” are likely the two most often heard words during the past month or two! My hope is that you and your loved ones have been and will continue to be spared from this pandemic. Perhaps these times have already or will provide special opportunities to minister to others in the name of Christ!

Also during this time of social distancing, we hope that in addition to your own congregation’s live-streaming and podcasts of worship services, that you’re included the TV and internet ministry of MAIN STREET LIVING TV to hear God’s faith-strengthening word! 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 anytime at www.mainstreetliving.com – then click on the link under the picture identified as “North (Fargo)”. God’s blessings in Christ!

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 website. God’s blessing in Christ!

Main Street Living North” Programs for May 2020:

May 3: Rev. Chris Waldvogel, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND, presents the message: “Our Suffering Shepherd” based on 1 Peter 2:18-25. This Is The Life program is “The Big Little Lie”. Curiosity and a little “white lie” results in very serious unintended developments for the Fisher family.

May 10: Rev. Andrew Ratcliffe, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Perham, MN, presents the message: “A Life of Worship” based on 1 Peter 2:2-10. This is the Life program is: “To the End of Time”. A physicist working on nuclear weapon development is confronted with the reality of the weapon, the utility of radiation, and the blessing of Christian hope.

May 17: Rev. Matt Tooman, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wahpeton, ND, presents the message: “You Need the Holy Spirit,” based on John 14:15-21. This Is The Life program is: “A Face from the Past”. A man struggles to come to terms with the memory and feelings of guilt with his estranged father.

May 24: Rev. Jim Meyer (CRM), St. John’s Lutheran Church, Thief River Falls, MN, presents the message: “Are You In?” based on John 17:1-11. This Is The Life program is: “Love is Not Enough”. A young couple struggles mightily with the decision to marry, exploring is what truly is important.

May 31: Rev. Allen Kramp, Trinity Lutheran Church, Hope, ND, and St. John Lutheran Church, Hillsboro, ND, presents the message: “Rejoice in the Spirit of God’s outpouring in Jesus!” based on Acts 2:1-21. This Is The Life program is: “A Different Way”. In this Fisher Family episode, Cousin Stanley visits and creates a difficult situation with a neighbor.

“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-media-ministry-may-update-2/

Almost overnight, COVID-19 has radically changed life as we know it . . . across the nation, worldwide, and now, here at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.

But one thing hasn’t changed:  the need for a very special place where vulnerable children can find healing, hope, and shelter from the storms of life.

First, please know we’re praying that you and your loved ones are safe.  Our kids know that you make their treatment and education possible.  They’re truly grateful.

Most important for you to know is that we’ve had to temporarily close our Ranch Thrift Stores, and we don’t know when they will reopen. These stores provide us with up to $1 million in funding for our children each year.  We don’t know how we will recoup that.

We, like you and everyone else, are taking it one day at a time.  Our first priority, of course, is the safety and well-being of our awesome children.  We’re also concerned about protecting our hardworking staff.

Thankfully, we’re continuing to provide services.  Our campuses are open, school is in session (thanks to a special exemption by the Governor), and our children are receiving the care they need.  Still, the changes in their routine only add to the anxiety they live with every day. 

Just imagine you’re a child who has experienced great trauma, failure in the classroom, even mental illness. With little control over what happened in the past, you now have to face something called a “global pandemic.” 

They’re scared — for themselves, but also for those they love.  Many have asked our spiritual life team to pray for their families. The unknown just further fuels their fears;  It’s heart-wrenching to see them go through this.

Our job is to provide the best care possible; we will do that. Our job is to provide the best care possible; we will do that, no matter what. But we need you to stand with us now more than ever.

I realize you have your own financial hurdles.  If money is tight, I ask only that you pray for us.  But if you have the resources to help close the gap caused by the Thrift Store closings, your help would be such a blessing.  I hope you’ll make a special gift, above and beyond your already generous support.

Your partnership will help ensure health, safety, and ongoing treatment for the kids you care so much about during this very difficult time.

Whatever you decide to do, the most important thing you can do is pray for our children, for our team of caring professionals, and for an end to this pandemic.   We are praying for you.

In His Love, Joy Ryan, President/CEO – Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Donate online at DakotaRanch.org/Donate or mail your donation to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, P.O. Box 5007, Minot, ND 58703.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/almost-overnight-covid-19-has-radically-changed-life-as-we-know-it-across-the-nation-worldwide-and-now-here-at-dakota-boys-and-girls-ranch/

Main Street Living Media Ministry – April 2020

YOU AND I HAVE the most crucial message in the world! That message is that our Creator God loves us so much that He left the splendor of heaven to come down to earth and redeem His fallen creation, including each person reading this article, and every person watching any an episode of MAIN STREET LIVING! This He did through the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God the Son – the benefits of which are received freely by grace through faith! May we always take this to heart and share it – and especially during this special season of Lent!

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 anytime at www.mainstreetliving.com/north 

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 website. God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” Programs for April 2020:

Apr 5: Special Palm Sunday Program:  The documentary “The Holy Land-The Eternal Rock Tour” is a one-hour tour of the Holy Land. It will air for the entire hour, replacing both the regular MSLN worship service and the This is the Life program.  

Apr 12: Rev. R. Dale Meyer, President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, will present the Easter Sunday message. The Lutheran Hour Ministries animated program “Easter Is” will replace the regular This Is The Life program today.

Apr 19: Rev. Clark Jahnke, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, West Fargo, ND, presents the message: “Recognizing Jesus,” based on Luke 24:13-35. The Lutheran Hour Ministries animated program, “3 Days,” will replace the regular “This Is The Life” program today.

Apr 26: Rev. Kirk Lee, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Parkers Prairie, MN, presents the message: “That You May Believe,” based on John 20:19-31. The “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 (usually 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-media-ministry-april-2020/

Main Street Living Media Ministry – March 2020 Update

AS I WRITE this article on February 10th, the Coronavirus epidemic continues to capture the headlines, the recent wide fires in Australia are still somewhat fresh in our minds, and the nightly news is a constant reminder that we are indeed living in a fallen, broken world. In the last two weeks, I’ve attended the funerals of two younger friends who have been struggling with health problems for years. And on March 5th, I too will be undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, for which your prayers will be greatly appreciated. Indeed, as we read in Romans 8:22: “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:57  (-Ken Koehler, Volunteer Coordinator for Main Street Living North)

Special programming for the Easter Season begins on Palm Sunday, April 5.  Palm Sunday will be a one hour tour of the Holy Land.  The documentary “The Holy Land-The Eternal Rock Tour” will air for the entire hour replacing the This is the Life segment and the local worship service.  The documentary shows the locations where many Biblical events occurred.  Easter Sunday, Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer will deliver a special Easter message. Rev. Meyer is President of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  Mark your calendars for these two special services.  If you are attending services at the time the program airs, you can see these presentations on the website, www.mainstreetliving.com, until Friday of the week following the broadcast.

“Main Street Living North” Programs for March 2020:

March 1: Rev. Adam Harvala, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, West Fargo, ND, presents the message: “Sweet Merciful Relief,” based on Psalm 32:1-7. “This Is The Life” program is: “Man Adrift,” a Fisher Family episode that discusses the relationship of faith and works.

March 8: Rev. Jacob Wagner, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Vergas, MN, presents the message: “Change?!?!?!,” based on Gen. 12:1-9, Rom. 4:1-8, 13-17, John 3:1-17. “This Is The Life” program: “Time Out for Bill.” What is proper when Christians face adversity?

March 15: Rev. Robin Fish Sr., Immanuel Lutheran Church of Bartlett Township (Verndale), MN, presents the message: “True Blessedness,” based on Luke 11:14-28. “This Is The Life” program is: “A Gift for Grandpa.” Freddie goes to great lengths to get a gift for Grandpa Fisher and learns valuable lessons along the way.

March 22: Rev. Steve Schulz, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND, presents the message: “Blinded by the Light,” based on John 9:1-14. “This Is The Life” program: “Boy on the Fence.” Young Tom is faced with a dilemma as he chooses new friends when his family moves to the city.

March 29: Rev. Kevin Mann, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Henning, MN, presents the message: “Life from Death,” based on John 11:1-53. “This Is The Life” program: “The Sin of Roy Baxter” deals with a man who is overcome with guilt, after making a decision that goes terribly bad.

“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). 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-media-ministry-march-update-2/

Mercy in Action – February 29, 2020

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/mercy-in-action-february-29-2020/

Disaster Response in Rural and Small-Town Areas

Greetings! My name is Pastor Jim Daub, and I serve St. Paul Lutheran Church in Havelock, North Carolina. I have had the joy of being the pastor here for almost 18 years. On Sept. 13, 2018, our city was hit with the major brunt of Hurricane Florence. It was absolutely amazing to see the power that is in a hurricane. We sustained almost 36 hours of downpouring rain, and steady wind speeds of about 50–60 miles per hour, with gusts upwards of 100 miles per hour. Our community has about 20,000 residents, and a major air station for the United States Marine Corps. However, we are the only LCMS church within an hour in either direction. 

We truly became an island unto ourselves. Many of the roads were either washed out, flooded, or had power lines and trees across them. It was a great challenge for people to get basic necessities, as well as items to help clean and muck out their homes. Many people did not think to have these supplies on hand because Hurricane Florence had been downgraded from a Category 5 storm to a Category 1. The problem for many was that they did not heed the warning and became complacent in the days leading up to the storm. That complacency ended up hurting many people.

We were very blessed to become an unofficial distribution center for supplies for our community at that time. It began with a load of 1/3 of the supplies from an Orphan Gran Train truck that was being loaded in St. Louis while we were in the midst of the storm. In addition to distributing the supplies from Orphan Grain Trian, I had the opportunity to work very closely with a county commissioner who called me each day to say what items he had available and to see how much of it our church family would be willing to accept to hand out to others. We didn’t have major resources to begin with, being such a small parish, but the Lord was able to use us in a very mighty way.

I look forward to the opportunity to share with you more of my experiences of being in the parsonage during the storm, how we were able to share the love of Jesus with others, and what things we learned to do and not to do in the event of another storm that might hit our coastal area. I invite you to join the webinar live on Feb. 13, or listen to the archived recording.

Contributed by Rev. Jim Daub, pastor, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Havelock, N.C.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/disaster-response-in-rural-and-small-town-areas/

Main Street Living Media Ministry – February 2020

“Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

Romans 10:17

Sharing that Word of Christ is what Main Street Living is all about!

One of our regular viewers recently informed me that he and his wife set up a charitable gift with the LCMS Foundation, designating Main Street Living North as one of the recipients. This gave them a tax deduction now, plus ongoing income for the rest of their lives, most of which is not taxed. They encouraged me to suggest this idea to others. Maybe this would work for you.

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 anytime at www.mainstreetliving.com/north.

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 website. God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” Programs for February 2020:

Feb 2: Rev. Dan Suelzle, Wittenberg Lutheran Chapel, Grand Forks, ND, presents the message: “The Presentation of Our Lord,” based on Luke 2:22-32. “This Is The Life” program is: “The Point of No Return.” This presentation discusses God’s limitless Grace.

Feb 9: Rev. Dave Suelzle, Grace Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND, presents the message: “The Salty Disciples,” based on Matthew 5:13. “This Is The Life” program: “Mr. Big.”

Feb 16: Rev. Leo Deitemeyer, First American Lutheran Church, Mayville, ND, presents the message: “The Heart of the Matter: A Holy Heart,” based on Matthew 5:21-37, plus I Samuel 16:7. “This Is The Life” program is: “The Day We Lost Ella Mae.” Social Responsibility and Christian witness are the topics of this program.

Feb 23: Rev. Tim Schiller, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Alexandria, MN, presents the message: “Jesus’ Transformation Is for Our Transformation” based on Matthew 17:1-9. “This Is The Life” program: “Out of Bondage” examines the Christian approach to alcoholism.

“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). 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-media-ministry-february-2020/

The Lord Is My Helper

“So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”

Hebrews 13:6

Have you ever felt down or even depressed about the challenges facing congre­gations in rural and small-town America? It’s altogether too easy to fall into that trap. Between the perceived shrinking populations, the aging congregations, and members with competing interests, it can seem difficult at best to carry out ministry, at least to carry it out the way we’d like to or have in the past. These factors often bring about a lack of hope and a sense of fear of the future. Yet, it’s helpful for us to remember that the Lord of the Church always has work for us to accomplish.

There are so many opportunities for us in rural and small-town congregations. There is still an enormous mission field all around us. Out of 6000+ LCMS congregations, some 3,136 are in rural and small-town settings. These numbers show us that there are nearly 17,000,000 people living in and around these congregations. With a conservative estimate of 50 to 60 percent of those folks being unaffiliated with a church or a faith of any sort, the possibilities for outreach are most assuredly there. Not to mention that there are studies which show us that in many of these areas there is beginning to be a positive net in-migration of people and even a “Brain Gain” of sorts, where in the past it was mostly a loss.

Of course, we must deal with the realities of our age. But we simply cannot forget that the Lord of the Church has it all under control according to His will. Bear in mind what we are told at the close of Hebrews 13,

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by the Rev. Todd Kollbaum, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Madison, Neb. and director, LCMS RSTM.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/the-lord-is-my-helper/

Main Street Living Media Ministry – January Update

Another new year has arrived. And though we don’t know when our Lord will be returning – we know that it’s another year nearer! MARANATHA – come quickly Lord! We also pray that God will use each of us mightily throughout the coming year to share the Good News of His forgiveness and love through trust in Jesus!

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).”

God’s blessings in Christ!

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 website. God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” Programs for January 2020:

Jan 5: Rev. Bernie Seter, Zion English Grafton, ND, Trinity Lutheran Church, Drayton, ND, St. John Lutheran Church, Crystal, ND, presents the message: “Who is in Charge Here?” based on Ephesians 1:3-14. “This Is The Life” program is: “A Friend in Deed,” which explores the Christian’s duty to forgive those who have done us wrong.

Jan 12: Rev. John Bumgardner, St. John Lutheran Church, Red Lake Falls, MN, presents the message: “To Fulfill All Righteousness,” based on Matthew 3:13-17. “This Is The Life” program: “God of Love,” illustrates that we as Christians all have responsibilities to bear

Jan 19: Rev. Michael Suelzle, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Niagara, ND, Grace Lutheran Church, Lakota, ND, and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, ND, presents the message: “Jesus Revealed,” based on John 1:29-42.  “This Is The Life” program is: “Adrift,” which discusses the effectiveness of children who witness for Christ.

Jan 26: Rev. Thomas Puffe, St John’s Lutheran Church, Thief River Falls, MN, and Zion Lutheran Church, Warren, MN, presents the message: “Matthew 4:16,” based on Matthew 4:12-25. “This Is The Life” program: “The Hand of God” deals with making opportunities from problems.

“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). 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-media-ministry-january-update/

Ascend Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist Certification

Approved for:

  • 12.5 Nursing Contact Hours by the ND BON
  • 10.5 Social Work Contact Hours by the NDBSWE
  • 2 Education Credits through Minot State University

    Are you comfortable talking or teaching about sexual health? Are you confident in giving clear guidance that is evidence-based, and relevant to everyone? If not, the Ascend Sexual Risk Avoidance course is for you! This Specialist Certification is being brought to North Dakota for the second time by Dakota Hope Clinic.   The program will be held at the Grand Hotel in Minot on March 10-11, 2020.  The program has been approved for 12.5 nursing contact hours, 10.5 social work contact hours, and 2 education credits through Minot State University.

    Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) is an educational approach based on the public health model of primary prevention to empower youth to avoid all the risks of sexual activity.  Ascend is the nation’s leader in the Sexual Risk Avoidance field. For over a decade, they have helped thousands of America’s youth make smart, forward-thinking choices about their sexual behavior, and is committed to supporting parents in their role as educators of their children.

The SRA approach fits perfectly with the mandate for the type of sex education described in ND Century Code 15.1-21-24, “ each school district and nonpublic school shall ensure that the portion of its health curriculum which is related to sexual health includes instruction pertaining to the risks associated with adolescent sexual activity and the social, psychological, and physical health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity before and outside of marriage.”  

    The certification will provide proficiency on the SRA model and sets a standard of excellence for the field.  Pre-course reading is required that is estimated to take 25-40 hours to complete.  There are 9 modules with quizzes that must be completed prior to the training.  The goal is that the certified SRA Specialists will increase the overall quality and reach of school and community sexual health education.  Everyone, including parents, policymakers, and clergy, are invited to attend.

    The Certification is good for 2 years and can be renewed by online coursework.  Ascend will provide ongoing consultation support for the specialists as needed.  The cost of the course is $125 for ND residents, $200 for non – ND residents, and includes breakfast and lunch.  A discounted lodging rate of $79 per night is available at the Grand Hotel if reserved by Feb. 20 in the Dakota Hope Clinic block of rooms. 

    For more information or to register, call Dakota Hope at 701-852-4675, or click on the partner with us tab at www.dakotahope.org.  Registration deadline is February 18th. 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/ascend-sexual-risk-avoidance-specialist-certification/

Messiah, Mandan members create stained glass project

Using horseshoe nails to hold elements in place, Messiah members, from left, JoAnn Dilger, Renae Hoggarth and Kristi Dilger work on individual pieces to form a stained glass window for the sanctuary.

    It’s a labor of love that started about a year ago after a modern problem — lack of funding — halted the Messiah Lutheran Church congregation’s idea of hiring a company to update the existing sanctuary windows with a stained glass project. The $60,000 bid for the project was “way more money than what was available,” the Rev. Kevin Zellers said.

    He offered up a solution. He’d share his knowledge of stained glass — learned a few years ago by going to classes “like some people go to bowling once a week,” he said — with anyone interested. Once they had some basic skills, they could make their own stained glass windows.

    Each 2-foot by 4-foot window for the sanctuary has the same basic design, which includes a circular centerpiece called a medallion. The medallions will be painted, not stained, and each will depict a scene from the life of Christ. When completed, likely in another year, the windows will be placed into the sound baffles on the sides of the sanctuary. Some new age technology — LED lights — will illuminate the windows from behind.

The project draws together a cross-section of the congregation. Participants range in age from 20 to 83. They work for a few hours each Sunday, taking a day off only if the community room of the church is booked for another function.

    The windows are being built two at a time, with a team working on each window. Each is going a little faster than the previous, said Kristi Dilger, a lifetime member of the church. She thought the process would be as simple as putting the pieces together and hanging them up, but she’s learned there are many more steps than she anticipated.

    The roots of stained glass are tied to architectural developments of the 1200s and 1300s in western Europe, said Nicole Derenne, an instructor at the University of North Dakota’s Department of Art and Design. Builders began using arches and buttresses to support the weight of buildings, which allowed for thinner walls that did not have to support as much weight. That in turn allowed for the use of glass in the walls.

Stained glass was a storytelling and communication medium in a time period when many people were illiterate, Derenne said. Churches at the time were in the heart of communities and were gathering places as well as places of worship, so the stories in the glass were meant to reach many people and be educational, she said.

    Some of the workers at Messiah Lutheran cut the glass into shapes, while others trim it to exactly fit the design mapped out for each panel. Once the pieces fit, they are soldered into place with lead came — pliable H-shaped strings of lead into which the glass fits –between the pieces. Putty will be added around each piece of glass to make the panel more firm. One of the final touches is the application of patina, a coating that keeps the glass from oxidizing and turning black.

    Anthony Steele, 20, has been part of the project since it started. His participation “just kind of happened,” he said, and he’s enjoyed working with a group to complete a project that will last for generations.

A dedication service will mark the completion of the project. The group hasn’t set a strict deadline, Ames said, adding “everybody is more interested in doing it right.

Original article first appeared in the Bismarck Tribune written by Travis Svihovec. We have shortened the article for the eNews but you could read it in its entirety at https://bismarcktribune.com/community/mandannews Search for Church Members Chip in to Create Stained Glass Project

Permanent link to this article: https://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/messiah-mandan-members-create-stained-glass-project/