Event to be held in late June, early July

By Tucker Henderson


A long time tradition in the Apostolic Lutheran Church will be taking place during the end of June and beginning of July in New York Mills. This tradition has early roots in the community and has been an annual staple of the congregation’s ministry.

The annual Apostolic Lutheran Convention will gather delegates from the 50 plus member churches of the Federation, as well as other national and international visitors including a group from Finland.

NY Mills was host to the second ever convention in 1909 and has hosted a number of conventions through the years. The event was last held in the city in 2015 by the Spruce Grove congregation, but the NY Mills congregation is hosting the convention for the first time since 2003.

A total of 1,000 people are expected to attend this year’s convention.

“It happens once a year and it rotates between the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast,” said Pastor Nicholas Kandoll of the NY Mills congregation. “The main purpose of it is the annual voters meeting, where each congregation sends a delegate and there’s matters to be voted on and discussed. There’s also a ministers meeting where there’s usually some kind of presentation and discussion on doctrine and things like that.”

The convention is not limited to the business meetings as there are four days filled with activities for the entire family.

“There’s a weekend of services around God’s word with preachers from all the various different areas,” said Kandoll. “There’s a nursery for kids and a playground at the school. There are also youth gatherings every evening. There’s going to be a couple nights at the Maslowski Center in Wadena, a night at Finn Creek and a night in Wolf Lake. There’s a speaker there who gives a brief service and some songs and then hanging out. Usually volleyball and whatever activities are on site there.

“There’s food at everything,” laughed Kandoll. “There’s going to be lunch and dinner at the school. At least come for lunch.”

Services will start during the evening of Wednesday, June 28 at 7 p.m. and will take place at the church on South Main Street. All of the following services held at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., as well as meals at 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. during Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are open to the public and the congregation encourages community members to join them in sharing the faith.

“It brings us together once a year, it keeps us up to speed with what’s going on in people’s lives,” said Kandoll. “But most importantly, it’s all centered around the proclamation of the Gospel and God’s word. As Lutherans, that’s what we’re all about. People might look at the service schedule and be like ‘who can sit through that many services, that’s really old school,’ but that’s kind of part of who we are. We’re a group that’s dedicated to God’s word, so we get together around it.”

Kandoll has been attending the convention since he was a child, but for those attending for the first time, he said that “there are a lot of people from a lot of different places,” and that attendees would “see a Christian community.”