The February newsletter covers the book titled We Believe that will be published in the next couple months by Faith & Fellowship Publishing, written by Dr. Timothy Ysteboe who sadly passed away in November 2009. Below is an interview with Dr. Ysteboe's wife, Rachel, about the process and purpose of writing the book. The book is a wonderful commentary on the Church of the Lutheran Brethren Statement of Faith. Part One was an article by Rev. Robert Overgaard, former president of the CLB, about why we have a statement of faith and why this book is important to us as a family of churches.
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An Interview with Rachel Ysteboe
What is your earliest memory of this project that eventually became “We Believe”?
I seem to recall that “We Believe” began as a class and progressed into writing a document to accompany his lecture notes. I think this was in the mid-90’s.
Tim used this class to teach at the seminary, weekend retreats, weekly Bible Studies and other venues. It was well received and many expressed how they had gained a new perspective on the Lutheran Brethren theology and it had come “alive” to them.
Describe Tim’s passion for teaching and training elders and church leaders. How do you believe this book will help in that area?
Tim has had a passion and concern for elders and all leaders of congregations that they know and understand our Lutheran perspective well enough to teach it to others. Frankly, as he traveled and did elder retreats, he was surprised by the lack of this knowledge. Putting what “we believe” all in one book that could be read, studied and taught was a way to help leaders and elders.
Tim understood that because of disgruntled Lutherans in other denominations, our church had the potential for growth. But beyond that, he had a passion for the lost and wanted us as parishioners to be familiar with what we believed, so that we could make the best use of every opportunity that was placed in our way—to be salt and light to all around us.
Can you talk about Tim’s passion for the Church of the Lutheran Brethren and its understanding of Lutheran theology?
Tim, along with his parents and siblings, were charter members of Triumph Lutheran Brethren Church in Moorhead, Minnesota. It was the first Lutheran Brethren Home Mission church and was pastored by Joseph Rangen. At a very young age, he was involved with the Lutheran Brethren. His dad was an elder at Triumph for many years. Following the death of our son, Charles, in l972, God began a new call on Tim’s life and he entered the Lutheran Brethren Seminary in l977. He loved to read and debate scholars in his mind and sometimes aloud (!). He would have lengthy conversations with Dr. Boe on books they were reading, and of course with Bruce Hillman here at Hillside Lutheran Brethren Church.
This book is obviously going to be an essential training tool in our churches, but what most excites you, personally, about this book finally being published?
I am so happy that Tim got to see his book in print before he died. I received a call that said 7 copies were being sent to us. We kept it a secret from Tim, so he had no idea when he was opening the package. He was thrilled to see it, thought the cover was great, was glad it was a good picture of him (!). We prayed together that the book would be used to further His Kingdom in whatever way God wanted to use it. My thanks to President Joel Egge for his diligence in getting this accomplished before Tim went home to Jesus.
About the Book
“What do we believe?” That is a question we have all asked at one time or another. It’s important for us to know what we believe and why we believe it. Our theology is not just a feeling or an experience and our Statement of Faith is more than just rules to follow or guidelines to live by. For us in the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, our Statement of Faith summarizes the biblical foundation of our living, teaching and witnessing.
This book, “We Believe,” is a wonderful commentary on our Statement of Faith. It presents the Statement of Faith in eleven chapters, and includes questions for group discussion. It is ideal for elder training, small group Bible study and personal education. This book was born in discussion with young adults and later honed for congregational leaders and elders.
The book is in the final stages of editing and is set for printing soon. It will be available for purchase in the next couple months. We were able to print copies for Dr. Ysteboe before he passed away but it did not include the indexes, which we are working on at the moment. Because of Dr. Tim’s passion that the church be anchored in Scripture, money has been set aside to send copies to each CLB congregation. We pray that this work will encourage elders, Sunday classes and home Bible study groups to engage this book in their growing into that which “We Believe.”
Related Post > CLB Newsletter February (Part 1 of 2)