The last of the 12 district conventions concluded last week. Pastors, teachers, staff ministers, and lay delegates met to review reports on the work we have been doing together as a synod, to discuss plans for future synodical efforts, and to provide input from the districts for the 2019 synod convention.
Two of the districts elected new district presidents. Rev. John Seifert, who has served as the president of the Michigan District, is retiring later this summer. He has served as the Michigan District president since 1994 and was the longest serving member of the Conference of Presidents. Rev. Snowden Sims, serving at St. Paul’s, Columbus, Ohio, was elected to succeed Seifert and has already begun to serve as district president. Rev. Charles Degner has served since 2008 as president of the Minnesota District and has also announced his retirement. Rev. Dennis Klatt, serving at Holy Trinity, New Hope, Minn., was elected to succeed him and has also begun his work as the Minnesota District president.
We thank God for the faithful service of Seifert and Degner, and we ask for his gracious blessings on Sims and Klatt.
100th anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of our sister synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS). The ELS traces its history back to 1853, when the first Norwegian Synod was organized in the midwestern United States. In 1917 the Norwegian Synod merged with two other Norwegian groups. A small group of pastors and congregations were opposed to the merger for doctrinal reasons; they met to form a new church body that was called the Norwegian Synod of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church. The name was later changed to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
The ELS comprises approximately 20,000 baptized members with approximately 150 congregations. The ELS operates Bethany Lutheran College and Bethany Lutheran Seminary in Mankato, Minn.
We join our ELS brothers and sisters in thanking God for his blessings on our sister synod.
Serving in Christ,
President Mark Schroeder
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WELS churches and schools featured in their local media.