The Western Region of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren is a group of congregations in the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. We have 21 churches in these four states and another that has applied for membership in the CLB..
More than half of the congregations are in North Dakota. One of the biggest issues in these churches is the vast distance between them with some being more than 200 miles from the next CLB congregation. This puts limits on how often these churches and pastors can get together. Another issue is that of the shrinking of rural America. Some of the small towns in these areas are shrinking as the farms grow larger. This has been offset lately with the drilling of oil wells in western North Dakota and eastern Montana. Half of the congregations in this region would be small town or rural congregations with most of the rest being in communities of 100,000 or fewer. This sets us apart from much of America.
For the most part ministry in this area still reflects traditional church ministry in America. That is changing as our culture continues to change, but those cultural changes come slower to rural and mid-America than to the major cities and coasts. There are in most of these congregations a self-reliance and strong sense of family that makes them very stable and strong. The congregations of this region seek to bring Jesus Christ to their neighbors while building a strong foundation of faith in those who already come.
Gifts. They are a huge part of Christmas and for the most part we love them. We love to give them and we love to receive them. Pastors often give their congregations gifts that the church never thinks about. Let me share with you our story concerning certain Christmas...read more
https://vimeo.com/187362173 Greetings from the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. It is indeed a privilege to come to you with an update on our finances. We were roughly $65,000 short of our anticipated goal at the end of August. That means we were 13% behind our goal...read more
As a teenage Christian I see problems and conflicts in the world everywhere. I see people all around that need the Lord, but I wouldn’t have thought there would be people nearby that haven’t even heard of him. In July, my church youth group went on a mission trip to...read more
At the 2016 CLB Biennial Convention President Paul Larson sat down with Steve Tonneson, the CLB’s new Associate for Advancement Ministry. Tell us about yourself. I am a graduate of Minot (North Dakota) High School and Minot State University, where I earned my degree...read more
My wife’s aunt and uncle from Brooklyn, New York had driven to Fergus Falls, Minnesota to help us celebrate our newborn’s baptism. I thought it would be nice to take uncle Olaf and my father-in-law Palmer fishing. So I did. It was a hot, very windy August afternoon....read more
“Our Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my...read more
https://vimeo.com/166547536 Dear CLB Pastors and Leaders: Today we praise God for His provision and we thank Him for you. We have closed the books on our 2015-16 fiscal year. As many of you know, we faced together a difficult challenge as we entered April, the final...read more
As a Christian and a Lutheran, I hold near and dear the truth that it is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone that I am saved. Years ago, when my oldest grandson was only five years old, I asked him if he understood what this Bible verse meant:...read more
Rev. Steven J. Brue, president of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, is stepping down from the President’s Office effective June 30, 2016. “After prayerful consideration, I have submitted my letter of resignation to the HLA Board of Directors as...read more
Chaplain Kenneth Austin, 76, of Underwood, MN died Tuesday, October 27, 2015. Ken was born on December 11, 1938, in Minot, ND. On February 15, 1959, he married Mavis Field in Minot, ND. As a layperson Ken participated in Church of the Lutheran Brethren church plants...read more
During 17 years of living as bi-vocational missionaries in a “closed” country in East Asia, my family and I have grown accustomed to the small twinges of reverse culture shock that we inevitably experience whenever we return to the U.S. for a home assignment: orderly...read more
The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, making same-sex “marriage” a constitutionally protected “right,” is rightly regarded by advocates and opponents alike as a tipping point for the nation’s sexual revolution. The decision itself was...read more
To my dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ—now the Church in Exile: I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Over the past several decades it has become increasingly clear that the world in which we live does not share at a foundational level our...read more
With Christmas approaching, I think of the story of Mary—the mother of Jesus. She is a woman of opposites. She seems to be an ordinary Jewish woman, who most likely cooked, and looked after her home, husband and children. On the other hand, the Bible tells us she had...read more
Eat your lasagna!” “No, apple first!” “You have to eat one bite of lasagna!” “No, apple first! Apple First!” “Do you need a time out?! All you have to do is eat one bite of lasagna, then you can have an apple, it’s really not that hard.” “No lasagna!… a’ done, a’...read more
On a warm September day in 1972, a letter arrived at the home of Charles and Delores Thompson. Delores trembled as she held the letter. Charles could hear the fear in her voice as she called him into the room. It had been two weeks since they had heard from their son...read more
By late September every year, Christians start posting reactions on Facebook and Twitter about something that is making less and less sense to me every year. They react to the consumeristic reality of Christmas as stores line their shelves with Christmas decorations...read more
Maybe you’ve watched an episode of the ABC’s show Blood and Oil? The whole country seems captivated by the North Dakota oil boom—everyone I speak to has heard of The Bakken and “Fracking” for shale oil. The tag line for the show is, “Sometimes you have to play dirty...read more
“Dr. Veum, can I tell you something?” The student asking is from the Dominican Republic. His name is Erick Benjamin Sede Eduardo. He wanted to tell me the story about how the Lord provided a study lamp for only six dollars. But first…a bit of background. Benjamin—the...read more