The Academy – November 2019

The NALC is committed to the renewal of all our congregations, working to develop and deliver resources that challenge and open the NALC to the work of the Holy Spirit in our ministry and mission.

Bishop John Bradosky writes: “Instead of talking about the process of discipleship, we would like to examine the context of discipleship.  What is the nature of Christian community that nurtures people as faithful followers of Jesus, equips them to reach others with the Gospel of Jesus and provides for their growth and development as disciples of Jesus?  Following the amazing miracle of Pentecost, Peter’s bold preaching, explaining who Jesus is and what He has done for them and the transformation of more than 3,000 people who came to faith in Jesus we read these important words about the formation of the community that was able to sustain and grow the Church, the body of Christ.”*

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. – Acts 2:42-47

Join us for November’s session of The Academy, as we continue to wrestle with these deep questions.  Pastor Tony Ede will host Pastor Trina Petersen, Kari Hilpert, and Pastor Henry Graf on Tuesday, November 5th at 11:00 AM EST.

We will continue to take the next steps in the vision Bishop Bradosky laid out for Life-To-Life Discipleship and mission, as well as dive headlong into Acts 2:42-47. The month of November will focus on the second key point found in Acts 2:42 as the disciples shared fellowship with Jesus and one another, they led the church to do the same. Their fellowship was focused on sharing meals together and praying together. Is this still an intentional focus in our congregations? With the ability to find “community” in a variety of places in our culture, what gift does the church still have to give? Do we have real relationships inside our congregations or only a surface-level friendship? How does this connect with Life-To-Life Discipleship?

To register for Panel Q & A Webinar or for more information, please visit: November 2019 Academy Webinar.


The Rev. 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. Henry Graf co-authored More Than a Story. He is the pastor of Promise LCMS in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Promise is congregation that is intentions in their focus on discipleship and mission as they are: “Deliberately Discipling People into Fully Devoted Followers of Christ.” Pastor Henry holds both a Master of Divinity and a Master of Art in Communication. As a pastor, professor, and author, he has long straddled two worlds—the church and academia. While some say it’s a collision of worlds, it is where Pastor Henry thrives. Pastor Henry is passionate about helping people reach their full potential. He shares: “many people spend their lives pursuing the wrong calling. In Hebrew, the word is “tov.” It’s translated into English as “good,” but it extends way beyond the Western concept. It means things are working the way they were created to.” You can follow his blog ( to keep up with his latest thoughts, devotions, and projects. He is married to his beloved Tricia, and they have two daughters, Kaitlyn and Adeline.

Kari Hilpert and her family live near Nashville, TN. She has been involved with the World Mission Prayer League since 1985 when she served with WMPL workers in Kenya, has served in many other short-term opportunities and on the WMPL Board, and currently serves full time on their staff. Prior to her time with the Prayer League, Kari has also served with Youth Encounter, the Lutheran Bible Institute in California, and in a variety of ministry positions. As a professional songwriter and musician, Kari was able to travel the world for a few years, meet some wonderful people along the way, move to Nashville and the songwriting community she loves, and enjoys the process of pouring out her hopes, fears, and joys. And, to her continual amazement, others seem to relate to those same emotions. She says: “it’s an incredible connection to the world, and I believe, to the One who created us to be creators ourselves!” Kari’s husband Tom is a pastor and writer. They are the parents of four adult children.

*To access Bishop Bradosky’s quoted presentations, please visit:

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