Welcome to some of our newest members in our Shepherd family!!

James Barrett

Tyler, Samantha & Sophie Boespflug

Chase Gerer

John, Kimmy, Miguel, & Martha

Bradford & Tamara Dallmann Holeton
Norman Colby IV and Jason Colby

Ken and Mary Bergstad


Shepherd Volunteers at The Banquet on November 12.

Benevolence Fund Making A Difference

Hello, my name is BONNIE HAGINS. In September I moved to Bismarck North Dakota and was staying with friends up until Friday, November 1st 2019. Then I was given the keys to my new apartment which the pastor of your fine church helped me with.  Thank you so much Pastor Lester Wolfgram. And thank you to the congregation as I was just brought in a beautiful new table and chairs for my new cute little apartment. And food! I feel so loved and blessed.  Thank you so very much.

December Hangout

The next Hang Out will take place on Tuesday, December 10, 6:00 pm. Bring a dish to pass and share. Vicar Dailey will lead a brief study on the book of Romans.

Christmas Special Events Worship Schedule

December 5   6:30 PM Martin Luther School Christmas Concert @ Zion Lutheran Church
December 7   10:00 AM Christmas Tree Set Up and Decoration along with Church clean up
December 12 12:30 PM LWML Christmas Lunch at Red Lobster
December 18   6:30 PM Sunday School Children’s Christmas Service
December 22   2:30 PM Christmas Caroling and Fellowship
December 24   6:30 PM Christmas Eve Worship Service
December 25   9:00 AM Christmas Day Worship with Holy Communion

Thrivent Opportunities

If you are a member of Thrivent Financial through life insurance or an investment product, you may direct Thrivent Choice Dollars to any non-profit including Shepherd of the Valley. Here’s how…   1. Visit Thrivent.com/thriventchoice. 2. In the “GET STARTED” section on the right, click Direct Thrivent Choice Dollars. 3. Log in by entering your ID and password. (If you haven’t yet registered on Thrivent.com, click “Register for account access.” 4. Choose the organization to which you want to direct Choice Dollars: a. To direct to a previous organization: click “Direct Now” next to the organization’s name, or Click on the “View activity history” link, scroll down and click on the name of the desired organization. B. To direct to a new organization, enter keyword like name, ZIP code, and click SEARCH. 5. Choose “Direct All” or enter a specific number and click “Direct Now.”

You may also simply call 800-847-4836 and when prompted, say “Thrivent Choice.”  


Lutherans Engaged in Mission Informational Meeting

December 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm

MLS South Classroom: 413 East Ave D, Bismarck

This year, LEM is going to be serving the community of El Cenizo, Texas (on the US side of the border). This is a small, very poor community with a church we have helped in the past. We will be there February 14-23, which is over Presidents’ Day, so students only miss 3 days of school. We plan to drive on the weekends, and serve the church & community with VBS, donations, and a work project on Monday through Friday. The group will stay at the Latin-American Lutheran Mission site in Laredo as we have in the past. The cost is only $400 for the entire trip! Please join us to learn more about how you might serve God as we prepare for the mission trip.

Here is a list of items that can be collected all year long & donated at either Messiah Lutheran Church, or Zion Lutheran Church. Feel free to use these items as a Sunday School offering project, or a church in-gathering:

  • Layette Kits – Goal of 10
  • School kits – Goal of 100
    • Pencils, pens, notebooks, crayons or markers, kid scissors, pencil sharpeners, erasers, construction paper, rulers, backpacks
  • Hygiene kits – Goal of 50
    • Full size towels (new or gently used), washcloths, bar soap, combs/brushes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner (even hotel size), band-aids, nail clippers, small lotion bottles
  • Quilts from church groups
  • Clothing for kids & adults – Gently used & laundered shirts, undershirts, sweatshirts, jeans/pants, practical shoes or flip flops (no dressy shoes, or heels please), socks in all sizes, undergarments, etc.
  • Walmart gift cards to help with the cost of the volunteer meals, and to purchase dried beans and rice to hand out as giveaways.
  • Toys – small gently used toys work best. Some ideas would be small stuffed animals, balls (especially soccer balls), outdoor games, blocks, bubbles, etc.
  • This year we do not need suitcases because we are not crossing the border, but we would store them for future years.

Ways YOU can help:

  • We are looking for an individual or group who can gather, sort and label the clothing items!
  • A volunteer/group to put together layette kits for new mothers. Many items have been donated already, they just need to be assembled.
  • Help with maintenance or oil changes for our van
  • Attend our “Fiesta Fundraiser” – details TBA
  • Sponsor one of the people going on the trip

If you have questions, please contact:

Pastor Zellers revkcz@gmail.com or Kristin Nistler Kristin.nistler@gmail.com


The Formula of Concord: Articles I & II

Article I: Original Sin

One of the foundational teachings in the Bible is that mankind is sinful and in need of a savior. As Paul says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rm 3:23). When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, sin entered God’s good creation and corrupted everything. Since everyone is sinful, no one can become righteous by themselves or even believe in the Gospel. This is what we confess in the Small Catechism when we say, “I believe that Jesus Christ… has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person.” And, “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength, believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to Him.” Original sin was a main area of contention in the Reformation because Roman Catholic theologians viewed original sin as merely a weakness of mankind. The Lutheran reformers disagreed and said that original sin was such a problem that it “brings eternal death on those who are not born anew through Baptism and the Holy Spirit” (AC 2). Original sin has thoroughly corrupted human nature and continues to cling to people even after they become Christians, which is why Christians continue to sin.

This teaching, that original sin is a corruption of the whole human nature and not just a weakness, was not widely disputed in Lutheranism until Matthias Flacius began disputing with Victorinus Strigel. Flacius was a stout champion of the Lutheran faith who fought against Strigel and those who elevated human ability and lessened the consequence of sin. In one debate, Flacius said that original sin was the substance of mankind. In other words, after the fall into sin original sin IS human nature. This was a problem because Hebrews says that Jesus is like us in every way, yet without sin (Heb 2:17, 4:15). If human nature after the fall IS sin, then Christ is either sinful or He does not have a fully human nature. Also, since God creates all people, even after the fall into sin (Job 10:8), then God would be the creator of that sinful nature. The authors of the Formula of Concord met and found that Flacius had gone too far. They said that original sin is certainly no minor thing, but it is also not indistinguishable from human nature. Original sin is like a terrible disease that has thoroughly infected our human nature and it causes us to sin. Only God can separate us from our sinful nature, “which will fully come to pass through death, in the blessed resurrection” (Ep I 10).

Article II: Free Will

Rooted in the discussion on original sin, the topic of free will is another teaching that came under debate among the Lutherans. On one side were the followers of Philip Melanchthon, Luther’s right-hand man. On the other side was Flacius, the one we talked about in Article I. Melanchthon was trained as a humanist, a way of thinking that emphasized the ability of the human will and the freedom to act. Luther was able reign in Melanchthon while he was alive, but after Luther died in 1546, Melanchthon began to fall into error. Melanchthon’s followers such as Johann Pfeffinger and Strigel said things like, “man cooperates… [in conversion] by preparing himself for God’s grace and by not resisting when grace comes to him” (Klug and Stahlke, 1977). However, as noted above, original sin has thoroughly corrupted human nature since the fall into sin and therefore cannot cooperate with God in any way when it comes to becoming a believer. The Formula cites Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:14 and in Romans 8:7 where he says that the natural man (the nonbeliever) cannot understand the things of God and is an enemy of God. Paul also says that unbelievers are spiritually dead (Eph 2:5). The Formula states that we cannot do anything and have no part in coming to faith in Christ Jesus.

These two articles confess the Gospel of Christ. We are completely sinful creatures with a sinful nature, yet God did not create us that way. Since the fall into sin, we have been helpless in our own power when it comes to spiritual matters. We cannot come to Jesus, save ourselves, or cooperate in our conversion. All people are born spiritually dead and deserve nothing but punishment. “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rm 5:8). This is how much God loves us! Let us rejoice in the fact that God has done it all for us. Thanks be to God!

-God’s blessings, Vicar Dailey.


Greetings Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I hope you had a filling Thanksgiving holiday; we are truly blessed. Thanksgiving reminds us to take time to focus on how God has blessed us and the people we are thankful for. We fed our bodies and indulged our families with Thanksgiving treats, for without food we would waste away. A similar case can be made for our faith. If we do not feed our faith, it too wastes away. It may not die off like our physical forms would, but our faith can – and does – get weak, making us vulnerable to the Devil’s attacks.

Before you know it, it will be January. January brings about a new calendar year, and with each new year come resolutions. You’ve commonly heard resolutions ranging from eating better and exercising more, eliminating bad habits, or making time for friends or family. Whatever the case may be, chances are we have all made them. You may be thinking ”It’s only December – why all the talk of New Year resolutions?” December, or more accurately, Advent, is the start of the New CHURCH Year. One could say that, resolutions are not out of place after all. If we’re honest, we can all see opportunities for improvement in our faith walk and should set spiritual goals for ourselves. Here’s an idea for a faith-based resolution: The book of Luke has 24 Chapters. If you read one chapter each day, beginning December 1, you will finish the book of Luke by Christmas! The book of Luke gives us, a somewhat quick reminder of that message of WHY there is a Christmas season to celebrate. The whole reason for Jesus’ birth was so that He could take our sins to the cross, die and rise to life again. It is because of His death and resurrection that we have eternal life. Let us not forget the REASON for all the joy that Christmas brings.

As we enter this New CHURCH Year, I urge us all to turn our focus back to Jesus to feed our faith by attending church & Bible Study, reading the Bible, completing daily devotions (check out the Portals of Prayer or Lutheran Hour Ministry devotion app) and spending time in prayer. There really is no better time than the present. And Jesus’ coming – Christmas – is truly the greatest PRESENT of all!

Blessings to you and yours this Christmas,

Carrie Harling


Board of Youth

The Board of Youth and the Human Care committee are partnering together to provide Christmas Bags for Wachter students in transition. It is our goal to provide packages for 40 students consisting of personal care products, hats/gloves, fleece blankets, games, and snacks. A display board and collection location will be setup in the Narthex and we will be packaging all items received Sunday December 15th after the late service. Cash will also be accepted and can be given to Laith Hintz, Justin Dever, or Pastor. The second half of this quarter proceeds to Human Care will also go to help provide items for the Wachter project.


Greetings Church Family!

I am very happy to report that the Vision Path Committee has been making progress addressing the concerns of our congregation that resulted from the RE: Vitality Survey. It was revealed from that survey that our in-active members are our greatest concern. An in-active member is someone that is a member of the church but has stopped coming to worship. I am glad to know that this weighs on us as a church body. It indicates that we care about the souls of our family and friends that once worshipped beside us and we are troubled about where they will spend their eternity.

Vision Path hosted two workshops to prepare us, the congregation, to reach out to our inactive members in a way that will address each inactive member’s situation in a loving, caring way. The second workshop, Shepherding Our Strays, is six sessions and to date three of the session have been completed.

The next three sessions focus on building Care Teams so that we can put what we have learned into action in reaching out to them. The Care Teams will come from the congregation and we will need everyone to thoughtfully consider helping. When you come to service please complete “The Commitment to Service to my Lord “Serving in Faith”” form. There are activities on this sheet that are specific to reaching out to our inactive members such as sending a hand written note, visiting an inactive member and several others.

Session 4 and 5 will be held on January 4th from 9:00 A.M. to about 10:30 A.M. and will focus on building the Care Teams. Session 6 will be held on February 1st from 9:00 to 2:30 PM and will focus on witnessing to our inactive members. Please consider coming to these last three sessions even if you haven’t attended the others. Contact me, Ann Willoughby, at anncwnd@gmail.com so the committee can ensure there are materials for you.

Your sister in Christ,



Recording Attendance at Service

If you were in worship this last week you may have noticed a new slide at the beginning of the service. The slide encourages you to sign the record of worship. The record of worship is the red folder found in the back of the pew in front of you or sitting on the chair if you prefer to sit in the chairs instead of the pews. It’s important to sign the book when you attend worship so that we as church can get the best picture of your attendance.


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

We don’t all have the same gifts and talent, yet we are all called to serve and make use of those gifts and talents unique to each of us. A list of opportunities to serve at Shepherd of the Valley has been created to aid in connecting those with certain gifts and talents with those opportunities. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to review the list of service opportunities and let us know which are of interest to you. This can either be done by filling out the blue sheet in the bulletin or electronically at http://tiny.cc/SOTVservice.

A year ago, we celebrated 40 years of ministry in south Bismarck. Our 41st year has been one of improvement and building towards the future. This has included an active VisionPath Committee led by Ann Willoughby, as well as a Facility Planning Committee working with an architect on plans for a potential expansion.


The VisionPath Committee commissioned a survey earlier this year to assess where we are as a congregation. We discovered some positive things, such as the congregation perceives itself as ministering well to families and children, to be welcoming to visitors and guests, and overall has a good morale. However, we also found that we have more work to do regarding support for inactive members, as well as communicating our financial strength to the congregation.

The VisionPath Committee has hosted two workshops aimed at improving our outreach, including a specific focus on outreach to inactive members. Everyone His Witness laid the groundwork on the LASSIE approach, which consists of Listen, Ask, Seek, Share, Invite, and Encourage. Shepherding Our Strays is a new workshop developed as part of the LCMS Re:Vitality program. Initial steps in this program include identifying inactive members and building a CARE Team to reach out and serve these members. We will continue to work towards this CARE Team with a workshop on January 4th.

Facility Planning

The Facility Planning Committee has been meeting over the past year looking at options for improving and possibly expanding our facilities. A congregational survey had identified priorities including an improved kitchen, more Sunday School space, and a larger fellowship area. We have been working with a very capable architect and are getting closer to identifying potential options for the congregation to consider. Once the options have been finalized the next steps include the Church Council and the Congregation deciding to move forward with a Capital Campaign. Ultimately, we can only move forward if there is congregational support and a successful capital campaign. The Committee’s next meeting with the architect is Tuesday, December 3rd at 4:00 p.m. Any interested member of the congregation is welcome to participate.

Human Care Committee

The Human Care Committee has been a fantastic addition to our church family. Through their efforts, and the efforts of others within the congregation, over $5,000 has gone towards worthy causes including Christ’s Care for Children helping kids in Kenya, Hope Manor sober living home, a Benevolence Fund, and The Banquet serving meals for the less fortunate. Fifteen SOTV member helped with The Banquet on November 16th, serving 180 meals.

Looking Forward to 2020

The congregation approved some exciting things as part of the 2020 Budget.

We have been in partnership with Bethel for eight years on a shared worker, with Vicar Dailey being the fifth vicar serving both of our congregations. Through discussions among both church leadership teams, we are looking at taking the next step by calling former vicar Justin Woodside to serve as a shared Assisting Pastor. The approved budget includes about $30,000 out of the Assistant Pastor Fund, which would be our share for the second half of 2020. While the funds are now budgeted, the actual decision to call Justin Woodside as Assisting Pastor will occur at Congregational Voters’ Assembly scheduled for January 12, 2020.

As recommended by the Board of Youth and the Church Council, the approved budget has funds to hire a part-time youth worker to help coordinate youth events and to form relationships with our youth. This position is patterned after a similar position that Zion has and is budgeted based on 10 hours per week.

We also have $4,300 budgeted for Capital Campaign expenses. These funds would be for congregational expenses, while the current Capital Campaign Fund may be used to pay for a third-party to coordinate the effort. These funds would only be spent if the Congregation approves moving forward with a Capital Campaign.

As always, if you have any questions, or wish to discuss any of these matters, please reach out to me. You can give me a call on my cell phone at 701.220.0185.

Your Brother in Christ,

Justin Dever


Main Street Living North is aired on WDAY extra channel 594 at 10:00 am each Sunday morning.  

Dec 1, 2019  Rev. Christopher McCarthy of First Lutheran in Wall, SD and Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Creighton, SD.

Dec. 8.2019   “We Are All Sinners” is presented by Rev. Luke Edwards of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Rapid City, SD.

Dec. 15, 2019  Rev. John Fries of Grace Lutheran Church in Deadwood, SD.

Dec. 22, 2019  Rev Matthew Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod presents a special Christmas message.

Dec. 29, 2019  Rev. Dr. Roger Paavola, President of the Mid-South District LC-MS, bring us the message “Satan Fails; Prophesy is Fulfilled”.

December     Baptismal Birthdays

Robert Kramer                      12/1

Jason Kuusisto                    12/1

Blake Nelson                        12/3

Hudson Hintz                       12/5

Keaton Hintz                         12/5

Logan Peterson                    12/5

Kathie Strum                         12/6

Susan Brockel                      12/10

Josie Gienger                       12/10

Roger Lawyer                       12/10

Sophie Gienger                    12/12

Arlan Kostek                         12/13

Becky Gildea                        12/14

Shari Zeis                              12/14

Clair Sorge                            12/15

Darlene Kautzman              12/21

Emma Lewis                         12/24

Adam Dever                          12/25

Jordon Kitzman                    12/25

Jaden Austin                        12/27

Jeremy Kuusisto                  12/27


December     Birthdays

Dan Jackson

Beth Robinson

Nate Harling

Kennedy Williams

Donte Brewer

Norman Sorge

Paul Pansegrau

Jeremy Kuusisto

Curt Carlson

Clair Sorge

Pat Hintz

Doris Weidrich

Lonny Lang

Dwight Cook

Jesse Kitzman

Kristin Vranicar

Shirley Cook

Don Albrecht

Donna Aukland

Adam Dever

Tammy Urness

Patrick Reiman




Dec 1-15       Dick Dever    

Dec 16-31 R. Burkhardsmeier


December Anniversaries


Jacob & Jayne Fetzer                     12/12/88

Dennis & Gloria Dollinger              12/19/89

Melvin & Marilyn Sutheimer           12/28/74

Brad & Darlene Kautzman             12/30/82

Dale & LaDonna Kitzman              12/30/82



December Ushers 2019

*Dec 1        Chuck Falkenstein & Robert Knutson                              815am

Kari Kramer & Laith Hintz                                              1045am


Dec 8           Don Gienger & John Hoffman                                        815am

Curt Krecklau & Dan Jackson                                         1045am


*Dec 15      Kevin Brockel & Micheal Henke                                    815am

Bob Ziebarth & Justin Dever                                          1045am


Dec 22        Dwight Cook & Lonny Lang                                          815am

Cheryl & Ken Purdy                                                       1045am


*Dec 29      Craig Helm & Dick Dever                                               815am

Greg & Melvin Sutheimer                                               1045am


December Greeters 2019

 *Dec 1        Joyce Keith                                                                    815am

Bridget & Arianna Roll                                                   1045am


Dec 8           Carrie & Nate Harling                                                    815am

Tony Aukland                                                                1045am


*Dec 15      Don Gienger                                                                   815am

Bob & Heather Ziebarth & Lily                                       1045am


Dec 22        Lowell & Corrin Fahrni                                                  815am

Leon & Jerry Lippert                                                      1045am


*Dec 29      Marion Meske                                                                815am

Chuck & JoAnn Falkenstein                                           1045am


December Acolytes 2019

*Dec 1        Hunter P.                                                                        815am

Kallen H.                                                                        1045am


Dec 8           Keityn H.                                                                       815am

Reese D.                                                                         1045am


*Dec 15      Paige S.                                                                          815am

Brekken Z.                                                                      1045am


Dec 22        Miranda A.                                                                     815am

Emma V.                                                                        1045am


*Dec 29      Blake N.                                                                         815am

Reagan D.                                                                      1045am