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Updates from congregations around the Church of the Lutheran Confession


“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

When I was asked to write this article about what is new at Berea, I kept coming back to what isn’t new, but has been consistent. We know that we are sinful by nature and incapable of leading the life that would earn us a heavenly home. However, Christ Jesus, our Savior, led a perfect life, died a painful death, and in so doing, paid for our sins. Through His sacrifice, we have been redeemed and made acceptable before God and will live with Him in His glory for all eternity.


One of the blessings of a Christian congregation is the ability to fellowship with others to share the Word of God; to be strengthened by and to receive comfort from our fellow Christians. Being near other CLC congregations, Berea is afforded the opportunity to do a pulpit exchange during Lent. Although each preacher delivers this message of Christ’s suffering and death in his own unique style, they all proclaim the same clear message from Scripture.

Berea has learned that technology offers us the ability to expand our reach so that more can hear this Good News. What started as the recording of services on a cell phone from the pews by then-high school student Sam Radermacher has turned into an investment in audiovisual equipment to live stream our services. This also provides an option to view archived services. We have a team of individuals who prepare the liturgy slides, run the equipment during service (our stream team), and make certain that we have the licenses for the use of the music that we use to praise our Lord. This allows those who are unable to attend services to still hear and share in this wonderful message. Although we do not know everyone who views these services, we know that for some it is their only method to hear the preaching of the Word of salvation that God offers to us.

Thanks to more volunteer efforts at Berea, we have recently begun publishing the audio of our sermons as a weekly podcast. This extends our Gospel proclamation to yet another channel of communication and makes great devotional listening during that daily commute.

There are a few items that our Evangelism Committee has undertaken that may not be new to other congregations but are new to us here at Berea. One is the creation and distribution of “Blessing Bags.” The bags, assembled by our Youth Group, contain some simple daily needs for the body, but also Scripture messages on sin and grace and the hope that can be found only in Christ Jesus. These bags can be handed out to the homeless individuals that we often encounter at major intersections in the Twin Cities. This not only helps to satisfy some of their physical needs, it also provides nourishment to feed their hungry souls.

Last summer Berea participated in the Inver Grove Heights Day parade. A float was built and many in the congregation, both young and old, passed out flyers and treats with information on Berea and the Word of God that we preach.

Berea Parade
Parade Float

Another blessing we have is our Christian Day School, which continues to grow. For this current school year, we have seven students in preschool and thirty-two students in K-8th grades. Although our school primarily serves our members, we have seen an increase in interest from non-members. We now have thirteen non-member students enrolled at Berea. This interest is partially due to dissatisfaction with the public school system. Regardless of the reason, it provides us with the opportunity to share the Word of God with these precious souls.

Children of Berea
Children of Berea

Berea Lutheran School is blessed with a capable and dedicated staff. Many have served for numerous years. Christy Moen teaches our preschool and kindergarten classes. Christine Starland serves as a teacher’s aide. Cathy Augustin shares her love of music as music teacher for all grades, as well as teaching various other classes to grades 1-5. Claire Abbas, our newest teacher, is serving now in her second year as our lower grade teacher. Our principal and upper grade teacher, Matt Thurow, has served Berea for twenty-one years. He has accepted the call to ILC to replace retiring professor Mark Kranz. Although Matt will be greatly missed, we know that our Lord provides all that we need. Many of our children will look forward to being in his classroom again up at Immanuel.

Teaching Staff at Berea Lutheran School
Teaching Staff at Berea Lutheran School

Our congregation is near the airport, so if your travels should take you through the Twin Cities, please join our worship. We would love to see you.

Steve Ludvigson is a member of Berea Lutheran Church and serves on the CLC Board of Regents. His home is in Apple Valley, Minnesota.