First Call Theological Education Retreat @ Metigoshe Miistries Christian Center
Jan 22 @ 11:30 am – Jan 24 @ 1:00 pm

The annual First Call Theological Education Retreat will be held at Metigoshe Ministries Christian Center near Bottineau January 22-24. Rostered Leaders in their first 3 years of ministry are expected to participate in this annual retreat.

Event Information and Online Registration

Men’s Retreat – Lament and Laughter @ Camp of the Cross Ministries
Jan 26 – Jan 28 all-day

The first two verses of Psalm 100 in “The Message” reads: “On your feet now — applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence!” The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Lament as a way to,”express sadness or regret” and Laughter as “a cause of merriment.” 

On January 26th – 28th Camp of the Cross ministries is hosting a men’s weekend retreat that will bring together the prayers of lament and the merriment of laughter to participants as they laugh and sing themselves into God’s presence. 

Through lectures and Bible study participants will follow Jesus on his journey from the betrayal following his final meal with his disciples to the lament of Good Friday and the triumph of Easter morning. 

The weekend 
begins at 5:30 PM Friday as participants gather at Ye Olde Malt Shop in Garrison ND for an evening meal before heading to Camp of the Cross. The retreat concludes with Sunday morning worship followed by brunch, before leaving by noon. Saturday afternoon 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM is designated free time. There will be a work project at the camp or simply time to relax.  

The retreat format is an abbreviated form of the “Lament and Laughter” curriculum, using lectures and bible studies developed for Kogudus International Ministries for use in their prison retreats. Used by permission of Kogudus International Ministries. 

The cost of the retreat is $85 and includes 2 nights lodging at the camp, 3 meals on Saturday and 
Sunday brunch. Contact Rev. Gary Heaton at for more information. To register go to the website  Registration is limited to 20

LifeKeys @ First Lutheran Church
Feb 3 @ 8:45 am – 4:30 pm

LifeKeys: Discover Who You Are

Spend time discovering and celebrating the gifts God has planted in each of us. Participants will explore their own unique gifts and dream about ways to share them more intentionally in the relationships, ministry and service that fill our lives each day.

God’s Work. Our Hands (and feet and words and ears  . . .)

Martin Luther once said, “God himself will milk the cows through him whose vocation that is.”  Today, vocation is often equated with career, but a Lutheran understanding of vocation embraces much more than only the tasks for which we are paid.  In each and every relationship that we are a part of and in each and every role that we take on, we are given the opportunity to be part of God’s creative work of sharing God’s love with the world.

Using resources from our Lutheran tradition, as well as the LifeKeys materials, we’ll look at each participants’ unique mix of gifts and passions and consider how God might use our gifts more fully in our relationships in our home, our congregations and our communities.

LifeKeys: Discover Who You Are is a spiritually- based, multifaceted approach to exploring who God created you to be and how God is calling you to share your gifts in the world.  Through interactive activities that engage a variety of learning styles, small group conversation and personal reflection, this process will assist you in understanding yourself and how you might use your gifts more effectively in new ways.

 Prior to the workshop, we ask partipants to take 10-15 minutes to complete the ELCA’s Spiritual Gifts Assessment.  Please print the results grid and bring it to the workshop with you.  
Click Here to fill out the Finding Your Spiritual Gifts Assessment



Please note the extended day for this GIFTS event.  To allow participants to more fully engage the content, we will begin at 8:45 am and conclude at 4:30 PM.

Saturday Schedule:

8:30 AM – Coffee
8:45 AM –  Introduction to Life Keys
9:00 AM  Life Keys Session I: Life Gifts and Interest Areas
10:30 AM Break
11:00LifeKeys Session II:  Discovering Type
1:00 PM – Life Keys Session III: Spiritual Gifts
2:30 LifeKeys Session III: Values, Passions & Service
4:30 PM – Closing


For those needing overnight accomodations, a block of rooms has been reserved at the
Grand Hotel (1500 N Broadway, Minot).   Call: 800.735.4493 and request a room in the block reserved for “Western North Dakota GIFTS”.


The Registration fee for this event is $25 / participant.  This fee covers lunch, snacks, and a LifeKeys Workbook for each participant. 

Additional Items for sale:

Life Keys Guide Books ($12.00)
All participants will be receiving a LifeKeys Workbook with their registration fee, but if you want to go deeper in your understanding of this process, you may want to consider purchasing the accompanying book.  This updated comprehensive guide helps people discover how God has uniquely created them. Engaging stories, inventories, self-tests, and other easy-to-use exercises make Discover Who You Are a one-of-a-kind tool. It will help those longing to find or deepen meaning in life and considering how to use their gifts more intentionally in their home, congregation and community. 

2017 GIFTS Sponsoring Memberships ($75.00 annually)
The event fee simply covers the cost of meals, breaks and materials.  GIFTS participants are strongly encouraged to contribute a sponsoring gift of $75.00 annually to help cover the travel, honorariums, and other expenses associated with bringing exceptional presenters to our synod.  Your annual gifts,above and beyond your event fees, assist in ensuring that quality GIFTS events can continue to be offered in our synod.  Many congregations pay this fee on behalf of each congregation member involved in GIFTS each year in recognintion and gratitude for the many ways GIFTS participants share their learning and gifts with the wider congregation.

Presenter:  Deacon Beth Anderson

Beth Anderson serves as Assistant to the Bishop and Synod Ministry Coordinator for the Western North Dakota Synod. In her role she works alongside with those discerning the call to professional ministry, supports current seminary students, coordinates the synod Lutheran Youth Organization board, oversees synod communications, and assists leaders in the call process.  Her passion in ministry is helping people discover how God is inviting them to share their gifts with the world around them through ministry in their families, communities, and daily lives.  Prior to serving on synod staff, Beth served as Vocations Associate with the Lilly Call to Serve Project at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, for 6 years. She has served on Synod Staff since 2009. Beth is a graduate of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN and holds a Masters Degree in Youth and Family Ministry.   She lives in Bismarck, ND with her husband Dallas and two daughters.

Financial Wellness Retreat @ Camp of the Cross Ministries
Apr 6 – Apr 7 all-day

Improve Your Financial Wellness Through Increased Financial Knowledge and Literacy 

Learning about managing finances and generous giving does not happen by accident.  Therefore, as a synod, we want to provide resources that will improve financial literacy and subsequent financial practices of leaders and congregations. 

In 2018, WND Synod will focus on this concept as we embark on a Financial Wellness Initiative to encourage habits that strengthen and sustain individual and congregational financial wellness and growth.  

April 6-7, 2018. SAVE THE DATES!  To improve financial literacy and competency, we are hosting a “Financial Wellness Retreat” April 6-7, 2018 presented by Deacon Terri Endres, Regional Representative for Portico Benefit Services. Topics may include reducing debt, optimizing assets, budgeting for current situations and strategizing for multiple financial goals. (Location: Camp of the Cross Ministries, Garrison.) 

In the months following the retreat, attendees and leaders will form cohorts to provide ongoing accountability. Cohorts will meet at least three times in twelve months.  A mentor will be provided. Participation incentives will be included for attendance at both the retreat and cohort meetings. 

Also look for in June 2018 Training will be provided on congregational healthy financial behaviors for financial stability to congregation leaders, treasurers, financial committees, etc. 

Upper Missouri Cluster Spring Gathering @ First Lutheran, Watford City @ First Lutheran Church
Apr 14 all-day
“A People for God’s Name” Believing and Belonging in Luke-Acts @ Christ Lutheran Church
Apr 21 @ 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
You are invited to join the Western ND Synod GIFTS Committee and Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto for a day exploring diversity through the books of Luke and Acts.
Survey after survey demonstrates that ethnic diversity is only increasing in recent days and yet many of our churches remain culturally homogeneous. What might a church that invites diversity look like? We will turn to the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles to wonder together how God’s gift of diversity might take root in our lives together. Too ofter, our tendency has been to imagine that our faith “solves” the “problems” of diversity by making us all one, the same. In contrast, the author of Luke-Acts views our differences as a gift to be treasured not a difficulty to be overcome.
Badlands Cluster Spring Gathering @ Badlands Ministries @ Badlands Ministries, Medora
Apr 28 all-day
Western Prairie Cluster Spring Gathering @ Bread of Life, Minot @ Bread of Life Lutheran Church
Apr 28 all-day
WND Synod Assembly @ Ramkota Inn
May 31 – Jun 2 all-day