The Academy: It Is Good – Reclaiming Identity

Lutherans will necessarily remember Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, affirming the first article of the Apostle’s Creed: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

And the subsequent question: What does this mean?

The Catechism explains: I believe that God has made me and all that exists. He has given me and still preserves my body and soul with all their powers. He provides me with food and clothing, home and family, daily work, and all I need from day to day. God also protects me in time of danger and guards me from every evil. All this he does out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I surely ought to thank and praise, serve and obey him. This is most certainly true. (The Small Catechism, Martin Luther, Augsburg/Fortress, 1979.)

At first glance, Luther’s explanation of this article appears to focus attention on the “work” of God the Father, that He has made me and all creatures, providing for us richly and daily with all that we need! The Father does all this, however, because of who He is—because it is His nature not only to create, but also to provide, and all this, He does, “out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, tough I do not deserve it.”

Dr. Luther was always careful to emphasize that all we have and are, indeed, our justification and eternal salvation are not because of us and our words or deeds, but solely the proper work of God, growing out of the heart and being of God. For God the Father not only creates, but also redeems and sanctifies us, through the gift of His Son and Holy Spirit.

As we move throughout this new season of The Academy, each month will focus on a different aspect of the person, nature, and being of God the Father in light of Genesis 1-3, knowing that we understand Him fully through the Lord Jesus Christ, the mirror of the Father’s heart, revealed by the Holy Spirit, because of the Father’s divine goodness and mercy!   We will also be asking and connecting with very practical questions – what is life, and how do we live well?  What does it mean to understand vocation, mission, and evangelism as a way of life?

During the month of October, Pastor Tony Ede hosts the Rev. Trina Petersen, the Rev. Dr. Paul Krueger, and the Rev. Heidi Punt.  Join us on October 6th at 11 am ET as Pastor Trina Petersen connects to this season’s theme “God the Father Creates.” Looking at the first several chapters in the Book of Genesis through the lens: “It Is Good – Reclaiming Identity.”  Join us on social media: Facebook Live or Youtube.


Pastor Tony Ede graduated from Waldorf College, where he earned an associate of arts in electronic communications and a bachelor of arts in multimedia communications. Graduating from Luther Seminary in 2006, Tony worked as a graduate teaching assistant in the homiletics department, helping to teach classes on using media and technology in worship and preaching.  Pastor Ede has served at Bethany Lutheran Churches in the Danish Village of Kimballton, Iowa; as the teaching pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Webster City, Iowa; and currently serves as the senior pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran in Manchester, Iowa. As part of his commitment to lifelong learning, Tony earned an MBA in 2017 from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, with a concentration in organizational development. Following a long family tradition, Tony is a nationally certified firefighter and EMT and has used these skills to serve in the community, as well as in disaster response statewide. Tony was married to LeAnn at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hampton, Iowa, on August 17th, 2002. They have three sons that keep them busy: Carver, Liam, and Burke.


The Rev. Trina M. Petersen is pastor of A New Thing Christian Church, Lithonia, GA, a ministry entrusted to her by God, focused on the deliverance, healing, and wholeness of his people. Pastor Trina was baptized as an infant, confirmed as a teenager, and served as an adult in the Lutheran church prior to becoming an ordained pastor in the NALC. Most recently, she published two books, Irresistible and The Adventures of Clayoton (a children’s book), and became a certified coach of the John Maxwell Team. Being Kingdom minded, Pastor Petersen, serves in the position of pastor, operates with an apostolic anointing, and speaks in a prophetic voice as she helps the people of God heal from their pasts, live in the now, and walk in the power and authority given to them by God!

The Rev. Dr. Paul Krueger serves as the senior development officer for the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, a recognized ministry of The North American Lutheran Church. With a passion for making the Good News of Jesus Christ known and equipping the people of God, Pastor Krueger has extensive experience as a trainer with Tent Makers, disaster response, and congregational ministry. Prior to his call to serve with the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, Pastor Krueger served two different congregations – most recently, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Minot, North Dakota, where he celebrated serving 30 years in ministry. Pastor Krueger received a Master’s of Divinity in Systematic Theology from Concordia Theological Seminary and, in recent years, completed a Doctorate of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Missional Leadership.

The Rev. Heidi Punt was born and raised in South Africa. She completed all her formal studies in South Africa, majoring in missiology and New Testament studies at the University of South Africa and the Lutheran House of Studies. Pastor Punt accepted the call to serve in the USA about 20 years ago and began her ministry in Illinois. In 2013, God led her and her family to North Carolina, where she currently serves Union Lutheran Church. Pastor Heidi also serves as a Global Worker with SMI Haiti. As Pastor Heidi embraces her call, she shares: “Mission on the local, national and international level has always been central to my call as pastor. The Great Commission ‘to go into the all world, teach, baptize…’ (Matthew 28) is not just theoretical or theological to me. It is where the rubber hits the road! It is where discipleship and biblical authority becomes tangible and real!”

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