Shepherd News

Monthly Newsletter of Shepherd of the Valley LCMS

801 E Denver Avenue, Bismarck ND  58504

          We continue our Lenten Journey with Christ toward the cross under the theme, “Behold The Man.”  Please join us for our mid-week services each Wednesday at 7:00 PM and for our special services during Holy Week.  We will celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord with two services on Easter.  The service times will be 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM with breakfast served by the youth at 8:00 AM.

April 3       “A God With A Mother”
April 10    “A God Who Thirsts”
April 18    Maundy Thursday – “A God Who Loves”
April 19    Good Friday – “A God Bleeds, A God Who Dies”
April 21    The Resurrection of our Lord  –  “A God Who Rises”

Please also join us for the Tre-Ore Good Friday service at Messiah Lutheran in Mandan from 12:00-3:00 PM.

12:00-12:30 pm         “Father Forgive Them”                Zellers
12:30-12:55 pm         “Truly, I say to you…”                   Thompson
12:55-1:20 pm           “Woman, Behold Your Son”        Walla
1:20-1:45 pm              “My God, My God…”                      Schmeling
1:45-2:10 pm              “I Thirst”                                         Woodside
2:10-2:35 pm             “It Is Finished”                               Wolfgram
2:35-3:00 pm              “Father, Into Your Hands”           Marcis

The Rite of Confirmation

The Rite of Confirmation will take place on April 28 during the 10:45 Divine Service.  Candidates for the Rite of Confirmation include Bryanna Kitzman, Gabriel Lawyer, Max Nelson, and Lindsey Watson.  We pray God’s rich blessing on these youth as they confirm the faith into which they were baptized.  


The third annual People Matter Community Carnival will take place on the grounds of Wachter Middle School on Saturday, May 11, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.  We are in need of volunteers to host the Shepherd of the Valley booth and to assist with registration at the event.  Please visit with Pastor Wolfgram if you would like to help with this exciting event with well over 1,000 attendees.


 Zion Lutheran Church is hosting a Lock-In on Friday, April 26, for youth in grade 4-12.  Youth will gather at Zion at 10:30 pm at Zion.  The evening also involves time at Sky Zone.  Cost is $15.00 per participant.  Youth in grade 9-12 will go to Messiah Lutheran following the Sky Zone outing and younger youth will return to Zion.  The event will end at 6:00 am on April 27.  Contact Laith Hintz or Pastor Wolfgram to register or for more information.


“Miraculous Mission:  Jesus Saves The World” is the theme for Vacation Bible School scheduled to take place mornings from 9:00-12:00 on Tuesday-Thursday, May 28-20.  There will be special arrangements for parents who need to drop off their children early.  Please visit with Samantha Henke or Carrie Harling if you would like to help out with VBS or if you have a child whom you’d like to register for VBS 2019.


The scope of Human Care activities includes inreach to our congregation, outreach to our community, and global involvement. The Human Care committee “adopts” various mission opportunities each quarter of the year that are supported with one percent of general offerings and offerings designated for the special effort. A BIG thank you to the congregation for a total of $1,445.00 (as of 3/24) being donated to Christ’s Care for Children – KENYA, our mission for the first quarter of this year.

For the second quarter of 2019, we will have a three point focus. Hope Manor Recovery & Sober Living Homes will be our focus for April. The Little Free Pantry will be the May focus and Heavens Helpers Soup Cafe will be highlighted in June. We will bless each of these missions in a different way.  Hope Manor will be blessed with the monetary donations, the Little Free Pantry’s blessing will be inkind donations and we will donate hours of service to the Soup Cafe.

Hope Manor provides assistance to men and women who need a structured residential living environment in their recovery from substance abuse. The men and women served by Hope Manor are residents of sober living facilities – alcoholics and drug addicts who exhibit a strong desire for recovery from their crippling addiction. Home Manor Administrator, Megan Frankl, will be speaking to us on April 14th at the end of both services and during the education hour. Megan, a former resident of Hope Manor and currently an employee of Hope Manor, will give us the story from both of those perspectives. A “mini” pantry drive will be conducted in May for the Little Free Pantry. We will have a designated area for donations within the church with staff stocking the pantry box, as needed. We have often been asked for suggestions of what to contribute to the pantry. Here is a link to an excellent list of suggested donations: The list will also be posted at the designated donation collection site.

by Mike Henke and Korri Lang


Men’s Network will again participate in the Mandan Clean Up Day scheduled for April 27.  Meet at Dykshorn Park at 9:00 AM.  Bring your work gloves!


Mayfest will have a new look this year.  Please plan to attend Mayfest 2019 as it takes place on May 4th at the Cafetorium at Wachter Middle School.  Cost for tickets will be much less than in the past at $20.00 per person.  Silent and live auction items will be available along with the paddle game and other opportunities to support Martin Luther School.  Call 224-9070 to reserve your spot or to ask any questions you may have.  Save May the Fourth on your calendar and plan to attend!


Summer is fast approaching and with that we are excited for the prospect of offering Vacation Bible School to our congregation and community on May 28, 29, & 30 from 9am to Noon, with an early drop-off option available for those who need to get to work. Our VBS theme for this year is an exciting one. Miraculous Mission: Jesus Saves the world.  And we get to cover topics from Creation, to Jesus’ death & resurrection, and Jesus’ Ascension (Which we get to celebrate on the Day of Ascension)! Our verse is John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. What a great message to get to share with our children and the community!

VBS is always a number game and I am laying our most pressing needs at your feet. We need adult leaders to help in the rolls of: Bible Challenge Leader, Craft Leader, Game Leader (Vicar Woodside), Mission Leader, Music Leader, Opening & Closing Leader, Snack Leader, Storyteller, and Behind the scenes. These are just a few ways that you could help. It is important to remember that while there will be an amount of prep work to familiarize yourself with materials, all the really hard work has been done already. Some of these rolls will be working together as we will be doing our storytelling during our opening, so there will be lots of opportunity to work with others!

I am sure you are wondering how you can register. Well, both students and helpers can register online! We have easy online registration at . You may also contact me, Carrie Harling, at or 507-514-2713. I look forward to hearing from you!

Carrie Harling



Did you know that our local soup kitchen feeds 100-200+ people and is open 6 days a week!? Although it has only been at its present location since March 2017, it has been serving Bismarck since 2009. The soup cafe provides an opportunity for those in need to have free meal and hear the word of God. Typically it will serve homemade soups, sandwiches, salads, and dessert and sponsors Bible studies throughout the week.  Although it does run on donations, volunteering is also a vital part of its success. A common thing is for those who take advantage of the free meal to stick around and assist with the cleaning and cooking. However this alone is not enough to make it run. Typically locals will sign up for a time to volunteer and assist with the day’s work, but thanks to a goal set by our Human Care Committee, we have the opportunity to sponsor a day. This will enable Shepherd of the Valley to supply the man-hours it takes to make the soup cafe run. We are looking for about 16 people to volunteer at various times on a specific day. Time slots are generally in two hour increments from 9 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. An official date has not yet been set up, but we are looking at an upcoming Saturday at the end of April or early May. Talk with Micheal Henke or one of the members of the Human Care Committee for more information. Further information regarding the date will be shared when available.



In January, Lonny and I were blessed to go to the Encore Doxology weekend seminar with Pastor Wolfgram. During the March 17th SOTV education hour, we shared insights in how this training can help our congregation better care for souls in our congregation and community. Topics presented at the Encore event were:

Pastors and Lay Leaders Pastors Lay Leaders
Putting the Best Construction on Everything The Problem of Suffering Life in the Stained Glass Fishbowl
Congregational Stewardship Partnership Valid and Certain in Heaven Also Care and Feeding of Pastors
I Will Build My Church Suicide: Pastoral Responses Pastoral Depletion
Mutual Encouragement The Gathering in Retrospect View from the Pew
Partners in the Gospel   Homeward Bound

The area of most opportunity for our congregation came from the “Life in the Stained Glass Fishbowl” topic and, in particular, the module on needs that pastors identified as being important:  1. Time  2. Reasonable and shared expectations about responsibilities  3. A trusting confidant  4. Assistance and support in dealing with parish challenges  5. Opportunities for personal spiritual growth and feeding his soul  6. Care for self  7. Capable and effective lay leaders

The education hour attendees participated in an exercise regarding goals for Pastor Wolfgram’s time and how we can help achieve those goals. The results of the exercise are posted below. For each of the activities, the participants were asked to assign percentages of total time to both Goal and Reality (what percent they thought Pastor Wolfgram was actually devoting to each activity.) The percentages in column “Actual” are what Pastor Wolfgram developed from his time log. The participants were then asked whether the activity was the Pastor’s responsibility (P), the congregation’s responsibility (C), or a responsibility of both (B).  From this information, areas were identified where pastoral time should be decreased (DEC) and one area where pastoral time should be increased (INC).  It is important to note that a decrease in Pastor’s time likely means an increase in congregants’ time. Also, Outreach and Evangelism, the area identified for an increase in time is a shared responsibility and, therefore, also means an increase in congregants’ time.

The next step is to identify areas where the congregation can provide more/better support to Shepherd of the Valley church and assist Pastor Wolfgram in these activities. Time limits prevented us from accomplishing this during the education hour (is there not great irony in that!)  Therefore, we would like each member to reflect and prayerfully consider this and, then, provide ideas that you may develop for the congregation and Pastor to serve together in these activities. Present the idea(s) to the team or committee you think should provide leadership for the effort(s). If you don’t know whom to approach, find me and we can figure it out together.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

We have a lot to look forward to in April. We will have warmer, more spring-like weather. As a congregation, we will learn who are next Vicar will be for the 2019-2020 school year. We will have the Rite of Confirmation on April 28th – something I’m sure the confirmands are very much looking forward to. We will also be celebrating the sacrificial death of our Savior on Good Friday and His glorious resurrection on Easter. While we look forward to the day of Jesus’ return, we are reminded that his patience in coming is so that all should have the chance to repent. It is up to us to use the time given to share with others the good news of salvation and the promise of eternal life.

The Boards and Committees continue to work on activities to further their missions. A few highlights:

  • The Board of Lay Ministry has a renewed focus on building and maintaining relationships with congregational members. Each Elder will be visiting at least one person or family each month.
  • The Board of Stewardship’s Human Care Committee has reported over $1,000 having been raised for Christ Care in the first quarter. The second quarter focus will include financial support for Hope Manor, with an additional emphasis on collecting items for the Little Free Food Pantry and volunteer opportunities at the Heaven’s Helper soup kitchen.
  • The Board of Education is planning for Vacation Bible School, which will be held May 28-30.
  • The Board of Youth will be hosting a breakfast on Easter Sunday between services, with a free-will donation to assist those attending the National Youth Gathering in July. Youth are invited to participate in a lock-in with sister congregations on April 26th, which will include an opportunity to have some fun jumping around at SkyZone.
  • The VisionPath Leadership team will be meeting on Sunday, April 7th to discuss the possibility of using the LCMS Office of National Mission’s re:Vitality self-assessment.
  • Our architect has been working on potential expansion plans for SOTV. The Facility Planning Committee will meet with the architect and determine next steps.

Your Brother in Christ,

Justin Dever


Mayfest has been a Martin Luther School tradition for over 20 years.   The mere mention of the word to regular Mayfest attendees brings to mind elegant evenings at the Ramkota Ballroom,  walls lined with tables of silent auction items, and the sound of strolling violin music.

This year, you will notice some big changes.

Understand that it will be DIFFERENT. I’ve almost wanted to give it a different name. (New and Improved Mayfest? Mayfest Reset? “Not-your-mother’s-Mayfest?”)

Our goal was to make the evening more affordable so that more folks would be able to attend.   This year’s event will be held in a more casual setting, Wachter Middle School’s cafetorium.   We will have a buffet meal provided by Space Aliens (SO fitting with our Sci-fi theme!)  complete with appetizers and a dessert buffet. Due to the space limitations and the need to simplify the event, we are eliminating the multitudes of silent auction items. However, we will still have great variety of live auction items, the classroom creations, and, of course, the paddle game.  We will also include some MLS and Sci-fi trivia fun in the evening to keep things light, as well as some entertainment from some of our supporters and alumni.

Our goal is multifaceted.  We will share:

  • Our identity as a Lutheran School and our mission
  • the blessing it has been to parents and students
  • highlights of the year
  • plan for the future

Your support for this event will help us to launch forward into the future.  If you are already an MLS supporter, we hope that you will enjoy the evening and consider continued support.  Feel free to invite someone who is unfamiliar with MLS.  They will have the chance to learn more about the blessing that Martin Luther School is to the Bismarck Mandan community.

Tickets can be purchased at the school office or from board members in our BMLSA Congregations.  Seating will be on a first-come basis.  However, if you purchase a table, you will have a table reserved for you.  Tickets are available at the school office or from board members at BMLSA congregations.  We do ask that if you are planning to purchase a table of 8 that payment for that table is provided at the time of purchase.  (If you are planning to share the cost of the table with others, you will need to collect payment from them.)

Your support for MLS in financial gifts, in prayers, even in the simple question of  “How’s it going at school?” are so appreciated and have not gone unnoticed.   We ask for your patience as we try out this new model for Mayfest and look forward to seeing you there!


Denise Wolfgram

Interim Principal

Martin Luther School

413 East Avenue D

Bismarck, ND 58501

(701) 224-9070


This is the day the Lord has made!

Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24



April Baptismal Birthdays

June Hintz                            4/2

Doug Hintz                           4/5

Joe Kalonick                         4/7

Bryce Olson                          4/8

LeAndra Buchholz              4/10

Bobbie Burkhardsmeier   4/12

Dorrie Burkhardsmeier    4/12

Joel Leapaldt                       4/12

Carla Unrath                        4/13

Brent Purdy                         4/14

Cheryl Purdy                        4/17

Josh Lawyer                         4/19

Dan Houfek                          4/20

Zeva Burkhardsmeier       4/22

Corrin Fahrni                       4/26

Katelyn Kalonick                 4/29

Julie Lawyer                         4/30


April Birthdays

Brittni Williams

Pat Humann

Brad Nottestad

Jon Kapp

Hunter Peterson

Walter Rehling

Marion Meske

Andrew Wolfgram

Aaron Brewer

Ken Purdy

Lyric Purdy

Micheal Henke

Lowell Fahrni

Kinley Reinhardt

Joel Williams

Krey Ekstrom

Julie Lawyer

Kelsey Lewellyn

Irene Durant

Jim Hawley

Alexis Zeis

Kevin Olson





April 1-15     Kevin Olson             255-5532

April 16-30 Craig Helm               224-1605


April Anniversaries

Jerry & Kyleen Ekstrom     04/08/95

Kevin & Kristin Reinhardt  04/09/05

Johnny & Muriel Espinoza 04/17/16

Dwight & Shirley Cook        04/20/74

Tyler & Lynn Spomer          04/21/01





















April Ushers 2019

*Apr 7        Rob Burkhardsmeier & Robert Knutson                   815am

Cheryl Purdy & Bob Ziebarth                                     1045am


Apr 14        Don Geinger & John Hoffman                 815am Palm Sunday

Curt Krecklau & Dan Jackson                  1045am Palm Sunday


*Apr 21      Kevin Brockel & Dwight Cook                 700am Easter Service

Justin Dever & Leon Lippert                    900am Easter Service


Apr 28        Eliot Reinke & Lonny Lang                       815am Confirmation

Greg & Melvin Sutheimer                        1045am Confirmation


April Greeters 2019


*Apr 7        Marion Meske                                                             815am

Walter & Bernice Rehling                                           1045am


Apr 14        Wayne & Joy Doll                                     815am Palm Sunday

Bridget & Arianna Roll                   1045am Palm Sunday


*Apr 21      Becky & Jeremy Gildea                            700am Easter Service

Tony Aukland                                            900am Easter Service


Apr 28        Dwayne & Joyce Keith                             815am Confirmation

Bob & Heather Ziebarth & Lily               1045am Confirmation


April Acolytes 2019


*Apr 7        Zeva                                                                              815am

Bryanna                                                                        1045am


Apr 14        Gabe                                                           815am Palm Sunday

Max                                                            1045am Palm Sunday


*Apr 21      Hunter                                                       700am Easter Service

Reagan                                                       900am Easter Service


Apr 28        Miranda                                                     815am Confirmation

Blake                                                     1045am Confirmation