A Message from Bishop Bill Tesch

Dear Siblings in Christ,

We are a people so emboldened by God’s grace in Jesus Christ that we are freed to be wholly devoted to loving Jesus and loving our Neighbor. Thank you for demonstrating that love with your prayers for farmers and all who draw their living from agriculture. I would invite you to deepen your prayers in these ways:

1.) Be part of your neighbor’s resiliency plan! Ask them how they’re doing. Listen, express care, and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. Be ready with offers of help.

2.) Be aware of resources for helping:

  • The Minnesota Farm and Rural Help Line: 1-833-600-2670.
  • Every county has a mobile crisis response team that can respond quickly and provide in-person, short-term counseling or mental health services during a crisis or emergency. Calls are answered immediately 24 hrs/day. Responders travel in private vehicles and generally arrive within 2 hours. Click the link or call the 833 number above.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
  • Crisis text line: text “MN” to 741
  • Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota has mental health resources across the region: 1-888-881-8261
  • Click on this link for business and financial help.

3.) Learn this acronym: ACE – Ask – Care – Escort. If you suspect someone is in extreme distress:

  • ASK: “Ask” the question — ‘Are you thinking about killing yourself?”
  • “CARE:” listen to what your friend is thinking. Suicidal people feel that they lack the love and support of others, so showing that you are willing to listen is an important way to help. Take the subject seriously.
  • “ESCORT” Accompany your friend to help – a medical facility, law enforcement, a pastor or mental health counselor.

Remember that we are strong together. We are one people united in our faith in Jesus Christ and with a common commitment to following Jesus by loving each other and our neighbors!

In Christ Jesus,

Pastor Bill Tesch

Bishop of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA


Bishop Bill Tesch on TransFARMation Podcast

With low commodity markets and continued harvest delays, farm stress is a reality. Do you know a farmer or rancher who is struggling? Bishop Bill Tesch of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America says it’s time for straight talk. “Get past the price of corn and soybeans, right? Get to how’s it really going and if you think someone is really in trouble don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions.” There is an acronym Bishop Tesch likes to share: ACE – Ask, Care, Escort. “Ask the question, offer care and escort or help them get to the services they need.” Hear more from Tesch in this episode of TransFARMation.

TransFARMation: Faith and Farming