Gospel Seeds… April 2012

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Gospel Seeds… April 2012
A Monthly Update from the
Western North Dakota Synod Office

Do You Have An Outreach Idea???

We are looking for some good outreach ideas in need of financial partnership to make them happen. At our February Synod Council Meeting, an Outreach Grant Fund was established. $16,000 has been set aside to help congregations try something new in their community.
Watch your mail for details on the grant application process. The application process is meant to be very easy. The goal is to reach into our communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ in new ways.

Getting Ready to Welcome New Pastors…

On the first of March, seven soon- to-be seminary graduates were assigned to the Western North Dakota Synod for their first call. Included among the seven are two clergy couples. A couple of the candidates have already interviewed. Others will be interviewing in the coming days.
Training students to be pastors is one of the things that we do together as church. As part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America we are blessed to have eight seminaries where pastors and other rostered leaders explore what it means to faithful leaders in God’s church .
Pray for these new leaders and the congregations who will be interviewing them. Several of these new candidates will be with us at our synod assembly, please be ready to give them a warm welcome.

Speaking of Assembly…

Registration for Synod Assembly will soon open. We will gather in Minot. Activities begin Thursday afternoon with the annual pre-assembly workshop. Join Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman in a presentation about “Re-Rooting the Gospel in Your Community.” This will be a discussion-based gathering, pondering how God might be at work in your community and inviting your congregation to join in God’s mission that all should know Jesus Christ.

The assembly itself begins Friday morning with worship and will continue through Saturday afternoon.

Activities around the synod…

Welcome to Rev. Bob Edwards who has begun a call to Calvary Lutheran Church, Lemmon, South Dakota.  We are glad to have you as a ministry partner.

This spring we will be saying farewell to a couple of pastors who have served congregations of this synod well. Rev. Joel Sherer and Rev. Dan Paulson will be retiring in May. We give thanks to God for their ministry and we pray for the parishes they serve as they enter into a time of transition.

We say welcome to Rev. Emily Nesdahl who is serving as interim minister at Peace Lutheran, Burlington. Rev. Nesdahl is originally from Minot and has most recently been serving in Eastern North Dakota.

They are swatting mosquitos at Bethlehem Lutheran in Ross with $20 bills. The church council has set a goal of gathering $1,000 which will be sent to the ELCA Malaria Campaign, an effort to eradicate malaria in a number of African countries. In the entry way of the church a net has been set up with 50 pipe-cleaner mosquitos hanging out. For each $20 donation a mosquito will be removed.

We continue to pray with the people recovering from last spring’s flooding across the synod. In Minot an ecumenical effort known as Hope Village is about to open. This site will house hundreds of volunteer laborers this summer. This Village is set up at Our Savior Lutheran on the Southwest edge of Minot thanks to the work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the Presbyterian Church, the United Methodist Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Episcopalian Church.

Meanwhile we ask that you continue to keep the Minot Area Churches in prayer. Soon ground should be broken for Peace Lutheran, Burlington’s expansion. First Lutheran continues their capital campaign for an expansion, Christ Lutheran continues to plan for the rebuilding of their facility and Augustana Lutheran members, now worship at Minot State University while discerning their future.

God Bless, Mark Narum – serving as Bishop