Welcome to summer! I hope you have some special ways planned to share the days of summer with your family and friends. Whether it be time at the lake, a trip with family or taking time to enjoy the longer days at home. What are your summer plans for God? Will He be invited to partake in whatever you have planned? Have you ever thought about asking him what His plans are for your summertime?
Recently, thirteen individuals were to meet at the Minot airport leaving for the mission trip to Nicaragua, when God had other plans. As we gathered at the airport, our leader told us that our planned trip has just been cancelled. That was quickly followed by a request to consider a trip to El Salvador if arrangements could be made. Not one person wanted to stay home. We found enough seats on planes and a willing host that had work for us in El Salvador. The experience left us in awe, many asking what is God up to now? Could it be, no matter what plans we have laid out, often we see them changing for a wide range of reasons.
Some hear about new health concerns, others about broken relationships, where the best laid out plans are changed suddenly in a second. In those moments, we realize that we aren’t in control, followed by asking God why? Hopefully your faith kicks in and we realize how we may have been making plans forgetting to ask God what his plans are for our lives.
We often seem afraid to ask about God’s will because it might get in the way of our plans. But what turns out to be the truth is that we often grow in faith and trust in God when his plans override what we have planned. God’s desire is to be the most important part of our lives rather than sitting on a shelf until he is needed. The families we helped in El Salvador hold faith as their prize possession. Our translator Douglas framed it well for our team as he observed often the El Salvadorian people do not think of God in the past or future but find him most present in the presence. It is humbling to be referred to as God’s presence as we carry pails of dirt, concrete, or cement blocks.
Our mission trips are always intended to assist those we see in need. But, upon our return, we realize we have gained more than we have given. How important for all of us to take a moment realizing how much we like to be in control rather than letting God be in control. We often have the wrong list of priorities. We wonder why we see so much addiction, depression, conflict and unhappiness in our world today. I suspect much of our experience is based upon being jealous, greedy, and unappreciative. We so often fall into having priorities different from God’s.
Summer is here, I would hope you have relaxation and fun things planned. In addition, give thought to how your helping your family and yourself keep God in the center of your world. Then life will be complete. Ask God what he would have us do today, not only bless what we have planned.
God awaits your invitation, have a great and meaningful summer!
It’s rummage sale time!
Do you know what time it is? Why, it’s rummage sale time, of course! Time to begin picking up items for the LWR Baby Care Kits. Each kit contains 2 receiving blankets; 2 sleepers without feet (3mo-2yr); 2 shirts (3mo-2yr) not onesies; a light-weight sweater, sweatshirt or jacket with or without hood; 2 pair of socks; 2 (4oz) or 3 (3oz) bars of mild soap; and a hand towel.
BLCW will provide the 4 diapers and 2 diaper pins. Items can be brought to the church anytime. Most needed items at this time are sleepers, receiving blankets, and socks. Please make sure everything is clean, unstained and without rips or tears. Don’t bring in anything that you wouldn’t give to your children or grandchildren. As always, if you don’t want to shop, give me some money and I’ll shop for you! Thanks. Any questions, call
The BLCW Rummage and Bake sale
The numbers are in and are we thankful! We made over $4,000 on our rummage sale. This means we can give more to the charities in Minot! Before the sale started, we invited residents of the YWCA and Domestic Violence to come and select free clothes. We had lots of wonderful apparel. Our mission is to help those in need! All of this wouldn’t be possible without our support from the church. The Breakfast Boys even started our sale day with a nourishing breakfast! The Terry Stevicks and George Walkers baking all those caramel rolls! The volunteers who helped load their pick ups and haul to different destinations. A big thank you! Of course, a thank you to those ladies who helped us everyday to make this sale such a success! In remembering all of this, we can’t forget the fellowship and laughs!
Pat J., Phyllis H., and Cookie B.
Cause of the Month June
God’s Global Barnyard
ELCA Good Gifts
ELCA Good Gifts provides more than 50 different gift-giving options that grow the church, fight hunger and transform lives. These gifts, starting at just $10, provide direct support for the church wide ministries of the ELCA.
For June’s Cause of Month we are featuring God’s Global Barnyard. Monetary gifts are given and they are used to purchase animals. For instance a donation of $10 purchases 10 little chicks. Within months of birth, chickens are already laying eggs. With an ongoing supply of protein-rich meals and eggs to sell at the market, this gift is a great leap forward for a family struggling with hunger and poverty.
Use the global mission envelope in your offering box to support God’s Global Barnyard.
Cause of the Month July
We are Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota. We are purveyors of hope, especially for people who thought all hope was lost. We reach out to people of all ages, all across the state. We counsel children and families, support over-burdened young parents, fight head-to-head with addiction, work to maintain our elders’ dignity & independence, provide housing to people with no place to go, and offer support to childcare providers who care for our littlest ones.
Use the global mission envelope in your offering box to support Lutheran Social Services.
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month–an opportunity to join the global conversation about the brain, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Everyone who has a brain is at risk to develop Alzheimer’s, a fatal disease that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. During the month of June, the Alzheimer’s Association® asks people around the world to take the Purple Pledge and use their brains to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
Visit alz.org/pledge to take the pledge today!
Join us for Heavenly Harp in worship, Sunday, July 22, 2018, 9:00 AM. Enjoy inspiring and peaceful music featuring harp, piano and vocals along with wonderful stories of God’s presence and provision. This is a great opportunity to reach out to friends and neighbors, so invite someone to join you.
CDs and DVDs will be available and author, Karin Gunderson, will be signing her book, “Encounters with Heaven~ Stories of God’s Surprising Presence.” See you there!
May Ministerial Acts
Baptisms: Kameryn Caroline Stober, Bennett Brian Harvey, Emily Jane Dennis
**Please let the office know if you would be willing to receive Newsletter’s via e-mail to reduce paper costs!**
Lutheran World Relief
May 10th all of the LWR projects were loaded on a Midwest Motor Express truck and shipped to the warehouse in St Paul. Thanks to MME, who have charged the same minimal fee forever, and to the strong-backed men who did the loading. The following items were shipped: 265 quilts, 215 health care kits.
You always amaze me with your generosity! (and I should have learned by now). These quilts and kits are so desperately needed in so many places. Thank you seems inadequate to express how much they are appreciated. You are truly doing God’s work! Please continue to pray for all in need. Thanks again to all. Sue
“Fishing in Faith”
Retreat being planned for August
The Annual “Fishing in Faith” weekend is being planned at Camp of the Cross on Lake Sakakawea, August 3, 4, 5. Please mark the dates for a fun weekend of fishing, great eating and faith fellowship, headquartering out of Camp of the Cross at Garrison.
Rooms are available at the camp for Friday and Saturday evening with meals planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday noon. Friday evening events begin at 7:00 pm followed with a campfire music and story-telling to follow. Registration begins June 15th. To register you can go online at campofthecross.com or talk to Pastor Gerald.
Annual Work Day
June 2, 2018
Pelican Lake ● 9:00am
These are the senior graduates from Bethany:
Noah Abel, Jonathan Mathistad, Spencer Polsfut, Rhett Pederson, Logan Krueger, Jayden Okeson, Harleigh Reimche, Matthew Thrailkill and
Sierra Cook, Nathan Johnson
June 6th 9:00am
Cleaning the Kitchen!
May Council Highlights
Since there was no quorum, we were unable to approve/vote on anything.
The LYO will be leaving for Houston on June 25th and will be returning on July 3rd. If you would like to follow them, you can do so on Bethany Lutherans Facebook page!
will take place 2nd sunday (June 10th) @
10:00 AM (July to be announced)
May Offering Report
Thrivent Simply Giving by Members $5600
Come and help Boyd & Phyllis Hanson celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary with coffee and cake on June 10th after service.
Pastor Janet’s Joke!
Two nuns were shopping at a 7-11 store. As they passed by the beer cooler, one nun said to the other, “Wouldn’t a nice, cool beer taste wonderful on a hot summer evening?” The second nun answered, “Indeed it would, sister, but I would not feel comfortable buying beer, since I am certain it would cause a scene at the checkout stand.”
“I can handle that without a problem,” the other nun replied, and she picked up a six-pack and headed for the check-out. The cashier had a surprised look on his face when the two nuns arrived with a six-pack of beer. “We use beer for washing our hair,” the nun said, “back at our nunnery. We call it Catholic shampoo.” Without blinking an eye, the cashier reached under the counter, pulled out a package of pretzel sticks, and placed them in the bag with the beer. He then looked the nun straight in the eye, smiled, and said, “The curlers are on the house.”
There will be a 2018 Bus Trip!
The Bethany Bus Trip will be “Heading West” finding surprises hidden on the North Dakota Prairie. It is with great enthusiasm that we share the details about an upcoming Bethany Bus Trip August 27-29th. We again have hired our chartered bus out of Rugby with our regular driver, John, at the wheel to explore sites in western North Dakota.
We will leave Minot on Monday morning, August 27th, and travel to the Falkirk Mine near Washburn to explore the coal mining industry finding treasures beneath the prairie. After lunch we then travel to Bismarck to the newly expanded North Dakota Heritage Center. That evening we will be enjoying a steamboat ride down the Missouri before settling for the night at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Mandan.
Tuesday brings us to Medora stopping first at the Badlands Bible Camp for a servant project and our noon lunch. We then will have time to explore downtown Medora, attend the pitchfork fondue and the Medora musical.
Wednesday brings us to the North Unit of the Theodore National Park, The Watford City Oil Museum and Fort Union Historical Site. After an evening meal in Stanley we return into Minot having explored some of the hidden surprises on the Western North Dakota Prairie.
The bus trip is limited to a total of 50 people with the Bethany members having until April 30th to make their $100 non-refundable deposit on the trip. From May 1 until June 30 members from other church and friends can join on a first come basis. Total cost of the trip is $420 for double rooms and $545 for single rooms. We hope you will consider traveling with us and having a meaningful and fun time! Please contact the office with reservation information. Final payment be due by July 25th.
1st – Sylvia Iverson, Murial Rostad
2nd – Mary Ann Lafontaine
3rd – Shaun Walker
4th – Kaylee Armstrong, Chance Thompson
5th – Barb Sanden
6th – Charlie Bovee, Chassis Luther
7th – Genhard Holen, Nadine Holmly,
8th – Cookie Berning, Betsy Casey,
9th – Melody Johnson
10th – Odena Dopp
11th – Janette Beyl, Bruce Schonberger
12th – Madison Lehner, Ken Stroklund
13th – Luke Heilman
14th – Karie Chilson
15th – Myrna Anderson, Mary Larson,
Arlin Pederson, Petter Thunshelle
16th – Courtney Bourquin, Duane Engstrand,
Clifford Nelson, Adrienne Norby, Betty Olson
17th – Beckham Opperude, Deanna Reiten
18th – Preslie Everson, Pastor Timothy Johnson,
Michael Klimpel, Nicholas Lommen
19th – Lorraine Grondahl
20th – Harold Harmon, Elwood Sandvol,
21st – Dalton Walker, Laura Westmeyer
22nd –Tony Meiers
23rd – Phyllis Hodnefield
24th – Rene’e Arnold, Robert Pederson,
25th – Holly Johnson, Emily Seier,
26th – Matthew Anderson, Katie Coffin,
Al Dietz, Deanna Ennis
27th – Dallas Johnson, Eric Knutson,
28th – Michele Filipek, Summer Gutknecht,
29th – Mary Duchsherer, Bryce Murphy,
Lucille Ofsthun, Rosella Tollefson
30th – Mark Grunewald
1st – Terry Olander, Makenna Rosencrans
2nd –Jeffrey Alvin, Matthew Evanoff, Ashley Lucy,
Duane Olson, LuAnne Roise, Dianne Walter
3rd –Vicki Amon, Mark Scharmer
4th –Toni Davey, Shawna Froseth,
Shondell Gantzer, Karla Raciborski,
5th –Dana Bjertness, Shane Hill, Shane Morlang,
Matthew Norby, Parker Polsfut,
Marlene Schoenberg, Avery Zietz
6th –Noah Files, Dawn Peterson, Ronald Schimke
7th –Paislee Everson, Haley Seykora
8th –Megan Eisenbeis, Shea Froseth,
Hailey Johnson, James Vannett
9th –Patricia Ofsthun
10th –Christopher Johnson, Karen Kuhnhenn,
11th –Lenhart Mindt, Trevor Ofsthun,
Arnold Olander, Samantha Westmeyer
12th –Steve Coffin, Lanae LaBonte,
Karen Olson, Elise Parizek
13th –Wally Berning, Sherry Dyke, Steve Heilman,
Ashley Horner, Bill Jensen
14th –Brian Everson, Timothy Herzig,
Cleo Nicolaisen, Michael Thompson
15th –Teri Aufforth, Mabel Ennis, Heather Paul
16th –Ted Selfors, Sue Stewart, Michael Wold
17th –Joshua Hummel, Eric Johnson,
18th – Ronald Everson, Tammy Wolf
19th –Lola Eide, Becky Jones, Alexis Schonberger
21st –Noran Olson, David Overvold
22nd –Zachary Peterson
23rd –Betty Solwey
24th –Kenneth Clark, Josceline Fix,
Lucas Gotvaslee, Isaak Johnson,
Judy Johnson, Kaitlyn Rademacher,
25th –Camden Aufforth, Mary Bovee,
Addison Herzig, Tamara Rodgers,
26th –Terry Alexander
27th –Eric Angell
28th –Weston Hartleib, Matthew Thrailkill
29th –Kirk Hochsprung, Pat Julson, Alexis Lehner,
30th –Spencer Ellingson, Rhonda Grindy,
Braden Hodenfield, Arlyce Holtz,
Carole Mehl, Kiley Schuster
31st –Mary Carlson, Curtis Moen, Kelly Rodgers,
Duane Tollefson, Tyler Vilandre
May 2018 Memorials:
In Memory of Maxine Kramer
Sound System from Terry & Karn Stevick.
In Memory of Edith Anderson
Church School from Ernie & Helen Medalen.
Undesignated from Tammy Meier, Colleen
Sherven, James Schweyen, Dianne Kaatz,
Gary & Clara Sue Price.
Quilting from Thomas & Anita Seymour,
Charles & Sue Taft.
In Memory of Rosie Knoepfle
Ministry of Care from Lolly Rostad.
Undesignated from Floyd & Nancy Martin,
Nolan & Judy Willing, Larry & Tammy Schafer,
Rhea Finneseth, Winnie Palm, Sue Bianchi,
Quilting from Charles & Sue Taft.
Music from Bill & Bev Jensen.
In Memory of Terry Peterson
Music from Bill & Bev Jensen.
In Memory of Ruth Hagen
Choir from Gloria Hauge.
Undesignated from Kathy Sherwood.
In Memory of Alice Johnson
Undesignated from Myrna Undlin.
In Honor of Evan Holmly Graduation
Choir from Gloria Hauge.
Kari Files, Deacon
“No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I’m clinging. Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?” When you read these words, does the tune pop into your head? Most of us have favorite hymns whose words or melodies speak to your heart. You can probably sing them by memory, and you may have heard stories of people with dementia who suddenly start singing and reconnect with those around them when they hear a song from their childhood. Putting melodies with words is a natural tool for teaching and for memorization. Martin Luther, in fact, wrote hymns to teach biblical concepts to his parishioners. Many of his hymns are in our hymnal. If you ever want to see which ones he wrote, besides “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” look on page 1191 in the hymnal’s index.
Think about all music from around the world. All cultures have music in some form or another.
Neurobiologist and author Mark Changizi believes that music directly affects our nervous systems, redirecting our energies. He believes humans would have been unable to become socially organized and connected without music. Music has shaped us as a species. Music, as a gift from God, and tied with the Word of God, shapes us as a congregation. Luther preached that it was not enough to just be present at worship, but that the liturgy, which means the work for the people, should be something we participate in. Congregational song connects us in praising God and being strengthened for His service. It serves alongside and supports God’s Word. Is there anything more beautiful than our voices raised together in proclamation of God’s saving grace?
Music ties to the Divine message throughout the Bible as early as the creation story in Job 38.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
Our congregational song connects us to each other and to those who have sung the same words before us and those who will sing them in the future. The Holy Spirit moves through our song, “with sighs too deep for words to express.” This song paraphrases Romans 8.It is important for us to put our voices together in timeless adoration of the God we love and who loves us and claims us as his children.
The BLCW Council will be tailgating at MSU Summer Theater on June 15th at 6:30 for the production of Sister Act. The meal will be provided, but each person will need to pay for his or her own ticket. Ticket prices are $15.00 for adults, $10.00 for seniors, and $5.00 for anyone 18 Years and younger. If you are interested in attending, please see Debbie Lee or contact her at 340-1889. All are welcome! Thank you and hope to see you there!
Gospel Seeds - June 2018
A Monthly Update from Western ND Synod Staff
Again and again I am amazed by Bible Stories – where God unexpectedly shows up. An Ethiopian eunuch traveling a dusty road encounters a follower of the risen Christ and is baptized. God showed up! The Chosen People are enslaved in Egypt – they cry out through prayer and Moses is called to lead them out of Bondage. God Showed UP! A baby is born – angels announce it – shepherds give witness – Immanuel, God With Us has arrived. Indeed, God Showed Up.
God shows up when we least expect it, catching us up by surprise. I invite you to be on the look-out for God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who by the power of the Holy Spirit shows up, offering grace, peace and forgiveness.
God shows up and uses people just like you and me to be the Good News in our communities and neighborhoods, counties and congregations. How has God gifted you? How might those gifts be used for the sake of serving others that they may come to know God’s redeeming love through Jesus Christ?
Brothers and sisters in Christ we have been given incredible gifts. With limitless imagination we are invited to dream and pray, wonder and ponder how God might use each of us. You are exactly what is needed for the Gospel to continue to spread.
A sabbatical is a time of rest, rejuvenation with some learning added into the mix. Synod policy provides a sabbatical every 5 years for Executive Staff. Beth Anderson will be on sabbatical this summer from June 19th through August 10th.
We honor the sabbatical time by not contacting Beth during her time away. Other synod staff will step in to provide support to our congregations and groups, just let us know what you need.
Thanks be to God!!!
We celebrate with Kayla Hill and Annie Langseth as they graduate from seminary this spring. Both are candidates of the Western North Dakota Synod. May God Bless them as they enter into Word and Sacrament ministry.
Considering Your Calling…
Do you have questions about your vocational calling? Are you wondering if Rostered Leadership in the ELCA should be a consideration for you? Or is the call to explore ways to serve faithfully in your current callings? The Western North Dakota Synod Candidacy Committee will meet June 15th and 16th. Friday evening June 15th the committee will host a discernment dinner at 6:30PM at the synod office.
You are invited to come with your questions, your uncertainties and just talk with others who are in discernment. Bring a friend, a pastor or a mentor with you if you would like. Just come, as you are and explore where God might be calling you.
GIFTS Committee to Engage in Strategic Visioning…
For almost 30 years Western North Dakota has been blessed to have a excellent lay ministry academy known as GIFTS (Growing In Faith To Serve). Over the years the program has shifted as the needs of participants and congregations have shifted. This summer a group of people will gather to once again wonder what God is calling GIFTS to be in this particular time.
We invite you to pray for the leadership of the GIFTS Program. Know that raising up lay leaders for congregations is essential to the future of our synod’s ministry.
Staff on the move…
What have synod staff been up to in the last month or so?
-Faith Simoneig has worked with Zion, Towner, Metigoshe Lutheran,
met with Pastor Dorothy Williams at Killdeer as well as Pastor Michael
HarriSon with the Prairie Hope Parish. Faith also hosted a Live-
Streamed event in Dickinson and is providing scholarships to a couple
of conferences – contact her for more information.
-Beth Anderson has met with the LYO board, been deep into organizing
Synod Assembly and Candidacy Committee, as well as to a meeting of
the Luther Seminary Alumni council.
-Sherie Heine had lunch with Minot State President Steve Shirley, Vice
President Kevin Harmon and Campus Minister Anna Dykeman to say
thanks for the partnership in ministry. Sherie also represented the
synod at ground-breaking ceremonies at First Lutheran and Bread of
Life in Minot, as well as meeting with several of the conference
Rev. Mark Narum
Serving as Bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod