Saturday, October 3, 2015

Annual Great Plains Mission District Convocation

The postponed annual convocation of the Great Plains Mission District was held on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at St. Matthew's. About 25 people attended, including representatives of 10 of our 15 Mission District churches. One church (Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Fayetteville, AR) and another rostered pastor (Pr. Darian Hybl, Emmanuel Lutheran LCMC, Goodland, KS) participated by Skype.

The congregations shared some of the things they have been doing. Pr. Atomsa updated everyone and asked for prayer regarding the current conflict between the Oromo people and the Ethiopian government. Government forces have killed, injured and/or imprisoned many who protest the Ethiopian government's plan to confiscate their farmland for little or no compensation, leaving the people with no means of livelihood. All of the members of the Ebenezer Oromo church have relatives in Ethiopia.

There was discussion about improving communication among the churches and a number of ideas were presented. It was decided to try a monthly on-line meeting of the pastors, the first on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Pr. Darian Hybl agreed to set up the on-line meeting place.

It was suggested that we have our future annual convocations late summer or early fall to avoid potential problems of winter weather that we have experienced on several occasions. The next meeting was scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 at St. Matthew's.  In the interim, the Board and officers remain the same. We hope to have new bylaws to vote on at the next meeting.

Dean: Pr. Dennis Beckmann (Evangelical Lutheran, Mankato, KS)
Clergy Board Members:
    Pr. Keith Falk (Peace Lutheran, Edmond, OK)
    Pr. Franz Brandenberg (St. John's Lutheran, Westboro, MO)
    Pr. Faisa Atomsa (Ebenezer Oromo church, Riverside, MO)
Lay Board Members:
    John Ross (Evangelical Lutheran, Mankato, KS)
    Jill Schroeder (Paxton New Life, Paxton, NE)
    Kirke Kickingbird (Peace Lutheran, Edmond, OK)

At lunch, St. Matthew's served pizza, salad and desserts.

Following the business meeting, we celebrated in worship and Holy Communion.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015 NALC Convocation in Dallas, Tx

The annual convocation and related events of the North American Lutheran Church was held in Dallas, TX the week of August 10.  Those attending the Convocation included the following from the three congregations that meet at St. Matthew's: Pastor Bud and Margy Elliott (St. Matthew's), Pastor Phillip and Rida Istaro (Missouri Micronesian Church), and Pastor Faisa Atomsa (Ebenezer Oromo). About 600 people attended the convocation. The theme was "Martyr: A Life-Giving Witness". We learned much about continuing persecution of Christians in the world, and we were lifted up with the hope of Jesus Christ! There were many stories of those who stand strong in their faith! We also were thrilled that folks from 12 of the 15 churches in our Great Plains Mission District - NALC were able to attend, and 26 people attended our Mission District gathering the evening of Aug. 13.

16‘But get up and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and testify to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you. 17I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ — Acts 26: 16-18
Music from Steve Bell, Canadian musician/author

Bishop John Bradosky was re-elected

worshiping and learning

Pr. Paull Spring (former Bishop) honored for 50 yrs of ministry

vendors and mission displays

The NALC now has its own seminary

One of the many who spoke of Christian persecution in the world
Pr. Mark Chavez, NALC General Secretary

The Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba, inspiring and dynamic

Pr. Atomsa, Pr. Elliott, Pr. Istaro

Pr Elliott, Margy Elliott, Rida Istaro, Pr Istaro, Pr Atomsa
Rida Istaro, Margy Elliott, and a friend from  Pennsylvania

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Great Plains Mission District Annual Convocation

The 3rd Annual Great Plains Mission District Convocation was held at St. Matthew's on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. Present were representatives from Evangelical Lutheran, Mankato, KS; Freemount Lutheran, Lindsborg, KS; Good Shepherd Lutheran, Wichita, KS; Peace Lutheran, Edmond, OK; St. John's Lutheran, Westboro, MO; First Lutheran, Rock Port, MO; Ebenezer Oromo Evangelical (meeting at St. Matthew's); and St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran, Riverside, MO. The Nebraska churches were unable to attend because of threatening winter weather.

Also present were Bishop John Bradosky and outgoing Dean Russell E. Saltzman.  Bishop Bradosky spoke concerning things going on in the NALC.

Pr. Dennis Beckmann was elected Dean of the Mission District. Pr. Faisa Atomsa was added to the Council and no other changes were made for the present.

A chili lunch was served by the St. Matthew's ladies.

Convocation closed with worship and Holy Communion.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2014 NALC Convocation in Charleston, SC

The 2014 Annual Convocation of the North American Lutheran Church was held July 24-25 at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Earlier in the week was the Lutheran Core Convocation and Theological Conference.  Here are a few pictures.  Attending from St. Matthew's were Pastor and Mrs. Elliott and Pastor Saltzman. There were also representatives there from other churches in our Great Plains Mission District, including Peace Lutheran (Edmond, OK), Trinity Lutheran (Gothenburg, NE), Faith Lutheran at St. Peders (Dannebrog, NE), Evangelical Lutheran (Mankato, KS), Good Shepherd Lutheran (Wichita, KS), St. John's Lutheran (Westboro, MO) and Trinity Lutheran (Ava, MO).

The theme of the Convocation was “Standing Withstand” (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Videos are available at

Monday, October 7, 2013

Oct. 5, 2013 Great Plains Mission District Annual Convocation

The Great Plains Mission District met on October 5, 2013 at St. Matthew's.  Elections were held for Board openings.  The Board consists of 3 clergy and 3 non-clergy, as follows:

Clergy Members:
     Dennis Beckmann, Evangelical Lutheran, Mankato, KS
     Keith Falk, Peace Lutheran, Edmond, OK
     Bud Elliott, St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran, Riverside, MO

Non-Clergy Members:
     John Ross, Evangelical Lutheran, Mankato, KS
     Jill Schroeder, New Life, Paxton, NE
     Kirke  Kickingbird, Peace Lutheran, Edmond, OK

The Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba, NALC Missions Director, presented an inspirational Bible Study on Acts.

Sharing with the convocation about various activities of their ministries included Pastor Jeff Cottingham (Trinity Lutheran, Gothenburg, NE), Pastor Keith Falk (Peace Lutheran, Edmond, OK), Pastor Fritz Brandenburg (St. John's Lutheran, Westboro, MO); Pastor Gerald Berggren (Freemount Lutheran, Lindsborg, KS); Pastor Tamara Keen (Good Shepherd Lutheran, Wichita, KS), Mr. John Ross (Evangelical Lutheran, Mankato, KS); and Pastor Bud Elliott (St. Matthew's, Riverside, MO), Pastor Mary Fast (Interim pastor for a LCMC church, Christ Lutheran Church in Blair, NE), and Pastor Richard Reumann. Faisa Atomsa (Oromo Evangelical Christian Church of KC) was also present and his ordination coming up the next day was discussed.

After a delicious meal served by the ladies of St. Matthew's, the convocation ended with worship, sermon by Pr. Russ Saltzman (Mission District Dean), and Holy Communion.

NALC Ordination of Faisa Atomsa

On October 6, 2013, Faisa Atomsa, of the Oromo Evangelical Church of KC, was ordained into the Holy Ministry of the North American Lutheran Church.  The ceremony was held at St. Matthew's, with the Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba (NALC Missions Director) preaching and presiding over the ordination.  Rev. Challa Baro, of the Ebenezer Oromo Evangelical Church in Minneapolis, MN baptized a little one from the KC Oromo congregation.  There was music by the Oromo choir from Minneapolis and the Micronesian Evangelical Church that meets at St. Matthews.  The service was followed with fellowship and Oromo food.  Click on the pictures to enlarge and see pictures as a slide show.
Pr Russ Saltzman opens the service

Pr Challa Baro baptizes a little one

Pr Russell E. Saltzman, Mission District Dean

Pr. Bud Elliott, St. Matthew's

Oromo music