Election of a New Dean: Pastor Steve Bliss

Congratulations to our new mission district dean, Pastor Steve Bliss, who was elected this Saturday during our gathering in Brookings. Pastor Bliss leads a three point parish in Wannaska, Minnesota.  God be with him in his work!

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Save the Date: Spring District Meeting

We’ve set the date for the joint meeting with the Minkpta District and the Eastern South Dakota Mission District.  It will be April 23 and 24 at the Institute of Lutheran Theology in Brookings, South Dakota.  More info to come on agenda, speakers, registration and all the details. Hope to see you all there.

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Merry Christmas!

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  Click for a recording of the Christmas story from Luke 2.

Now it came to pass in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first census made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to register themselves, every one to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to enrol himself with Mary, his betrothed, who was great with child. And while they were there it happened that the days were fulfilled for her to give birth. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord was standing by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they feared a great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this is the sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is delighted.”

15 And it followed that when the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem to see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 And they went with haste and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the matter that was told to them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard marveled at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary stored up each of these things, pondering them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as it was spoken to them.

Source: Daily Devotions in the Lutheran Confessions

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Sola Publishing adds Crossways Studies

With the help and support of the Minkota District, Sola Publishing was able to acquire the inventory of Crossways International, which closed operations at the end of this summer. Crossways Bible survey courses, written by the Rev. Dr. Harry Wendt, have been used worldwide for over forty years, and are well-loved by many pastors and congregations throughout the NALC. The Minkota district provided financial assstance to make this transition happen.

Materials were transferred in late August from Converse TX to Graham NC where Sola’s facility is located. Instrumental to this move was the NALC Distaster Relief team, led by Mary Bates, who supplied the transportation. Since then, the staff at Sola have been working hard to incorporate the materials into their online store. They have already released a majority of the Crossways materials, making them available for purchase on the Sola website: www.solapublishing.com.

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May God’s Peace Be With You in the Storm

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Rescheduled Meeting: Thursday Feb 13th, in Mentor MN


The Minkota District will have a gathering on Thursday, February 13th, in Mentor MN. Faith Lutheran in Mentor has offered to host our rescheduled district meeting.  I’ll be a one-day event.  I hope all of you can make it.  The schedule is below, please rsvp for lunch #s to Pastor Mike Sletto at arkangel@gra.midco.net.

10 am       Coffee and conversation

11 am       Worship

Noon        Lunch

1-3            District Meeting and more discussion..

3 pm         Departure

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News from Emmanuel in Rochester

Some exciting things are happening with our sister congregation in Rochester, Minnesota. Here is a note from Pastor Dave Steffenson:

Emmanuel Lutheran Church, NALC, has recently purchased 4.9 acres of beautiful land, located on a bluff with excellent eye appeal. We purchased it for $75,000 from a member of our congregation (comparable land would have cost us $250,000). Yay God!

The location of our new church land is 1 mile east of US 52 on 75th Street; on the NW corner of 18th avenue and 75th street. It is exactly 3 miles straight north of our present location (Oasis Church). In the future, we intend to build a “hospitality house” to minister to people coming to Rochester for health treatment, as well as a childcare center.

Please take a look at the attached BROCHURE, to read more about our vision and to see how you might help to make this dream a reality.

We plan to have a land blessing service this summer. A beautiful driveway has been created into the property. Once the weather cooperates, we will begin clearing some of the land — lots of trees, for parking. We hope to have some outdoor bonfires on our property this summer. Prayers are welcomed as we open and steward this holy gift from God.

In Christ, Dave Steffenson

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District Meeting Cancelled

Do to the winter storm warnings for Minnesota and SD, the district gathering in Brookings on January 17-18th has been cancelled. Stay home and stay safe!

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Today's Devotion from the Lutheran Confessions

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From the Word: 9 Having been perfected, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 being appointed by God high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:9–10)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Seventh Petition

But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition, as in a summary, that our heavenly Father would deliver us from every type of evil — whether it affects our bodies or souls, property or reputation — and at last, when our hour of death comes, would grant us a blessed end to our earthly lives, and graciously take us from this world of sorrow to himself in heaven.

Pulling It Together: Jesus, sinless and therefore perfect in our minds, was nevertheless perfected through his suffering on the cross. Because of this perfecting, God designated his Son as our great High Priest (Heb 4:14-16). As such, he is the Mediator of our salvation, our sole deliverance from evil. Whatever suffering we endure, due to the evil that surrounds us, or imposed upon ourselves, or simply the because of the difficulties of life itself, our suffering will not merit salvation and eternal life. God requires a perfect priest or Mediator between himself and our fallen nature. This is why Jesus was perfected through death on the cross. Ultimately, we confess in this petition the hope we have in Christ alone, that when we die, we will not be taking our last breath. Because of Jesus’ death, those who believe on him will not perish but will enjoy everlasting life with God (John 3:16).

Prayer: I believe in you, Jesus, and trust in you as the source of salvation. Amen.

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Walking Together, A Bible Study on the Importance of Fellowship in our Lives as Disciples of Christ, explores one of the most important words we find in the New Testament: fellowship. The life we share with others in Christ as brothers and sisters in the family of God is a gift he gives as he he grafts us into the larger Body of Christ, giving us a place alongside one another as we journey together in faith. Walking Together will help you discover that faith is not merely between an individual and God. He God has made us a part of something much bigger, blessing our lives as disciples of Christ when we walk together with others, bound in love by "one Lord, one faith, and one baptism."

Leader's Guide

Source: Daily Devotions in the Lutheran Confessions

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Joint Mission District Convocation – Minkota & E-SD

The yearly Joint Mission District Convocation of the Minkota & Eastern South Dakota Districts (NALC) will be held on January 17-18, 2020, at the Institute of Lutheran Theology (910 4th St., Brookings, SD). All NALC pastors and members from the Districts are invited, along with interested people from LCMC — all are most welcome!

Keynote Speakers – Bishop Dan Selbo & Dr. Steve Paulson

Friday, January 17th
3:00 – Pastors with Bishop Selbo
4:30 – Registration at ILT
5:30 – Welcome & Intros by ILT
5:45 – Supper, included in registration
7:00 – Worship, with Holy Communion (Preacher: Bishop Selbo)                       
8:00 – Dessert & Q&A with Bishop Selbo  

Saturday, January 18th
8:30 – Registration and Coffee
9:00 – Morning Devotions
9:15 – Keynote – Dr. Steve Paulson
10:00 – Coffee Break
10:15 – Keynote – Bishop Selbo (Life to Life Discipleship)
11:00 – Mission District Meetings
12:00 – Installation of Officers & Sending

Registration Fee:  $15.00 payable at the Convocation.
Please contact the Convocation Registrar:
Pastor Tom Christenson – ESD Mission District Dean
pastortlc@gmail.com  or (605) 554-1002

Registration Deadline is Tuesday, January 14th, so we can plan for the meal, breaks & materials.  Please note any food allergies when registering. Lodging: Our gracious host, the Institute of Lutheran Theology, is near the center of Brookings, so any hotel is within a 10 minute drive.

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