A Message from Bp. Dee Pederson & Synod Minister, Pr. Naomi Mahler

October 23, 2023

Dear friends,
A message from Pr. Naomi Mahler's family-

It is with great sadness, hope, gratitude, and many other emotions that Grace, Sofia, and Todd share with you that our loving and wonderful mother and wife, Pastor Naomi Mahler, died in faith Saturday evening, October 21st 2023.   With the steadfast support and guidance of Hospice, we were able to care for her at home until the end.

Visitation and memorial service arrangements are detailed at the end of this message.

Through these past months, Naomi maintained her faith and courage.  Yes, she had times of anger, doubt, and depression, but if you knew Naomi, you know that she would not wallow in those feelings for long and continued to love and to be loved by others.

While our sorrow is great, we are very grateful to all who have followed us on Caring Bridge, sent texts and cards, posted on Facebook, given phone calls, donated gifts, and more.  We have not kept a good record of the gifts we have received, but please know that we are very thankful for them.

We are well aware that all of you have had painful losses and difficult journeys in your lives too, and some of you have shared those with us.  We are honored and humbled that you have been with us in this part of our journey.

May we all continue to follow the counsel of the Apostle Paul:  Help carry one another's burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2

We want to recommend to you the title of a devotional book Naomi had been using this year and which our family has been sharing this past month: “Uplift: A Little Book of God’s Promises to Give Hope and Uplift Your Soul” by Natalia Terfa.  We find much comfort in the daily readings and wanted to let you know about it.

Visitation will be Thursday, November 2nd at the Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home in Willmar, MN 4:00-7:00 pm.

A memorial service will be held for Naomi on Friday,  November 3rd at 2:00 pm at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar.  Members of the West Central Singers will share music.  Former Nordic, National Lutheran, and other choir members who will be in attendance are invited to join them.  Please contact Naomi Baker, church musician of Calvary Lutheran, Willmar at [email protected]  for details.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the “Pastor Naomi Mahler Endowment Fund” at Green Lake Lutheran Ministries (GLLM).   This is something Naomi arranged with the GLLM administration and will be used to support the ministries there.  You can do this by visiting the gllm.org website.

www.gllm.org/give-today. Under the field to choose an amount, there is a spot titled "Designate Your Donation" - there is an option for the endowment fund.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4

Thank you all so much!   You are among God’s “Countless Gifts of Love” to us.
Grace, Sofia, and Todd

Obituary and more information on clergy procession will be coming soon.

Naomi Mahler


We mourn the passing of our dear colleague and Synod Minister, Pr. Naomi Mahler. Pr. Naomi joined our staff last November. In this brief time, she has brought wisdom, joy, clarity, questions, encouragement, energy, spark, and vision to all aspects of her work as Synod Minister. We grieve and miss her dearly. I ask your prayers for comfort and strength for her husband, Todd, and daughters, Sofia & Grace, as they experience such a deep loss.

In the meantime, we pray:
Eternal God, you gave Naomi a new birth in baptism and entrusted her to us to know and to love. This time was too short. We thank you for the life we were able to share together and now pray for grace to entrust her to your eternal keeping. Sustain and comfort Todd, Grace, and Sofia, and all of Naomi's family and friends. Bring us all to that day when we will stand in your presence with all your saints in light eternal; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

+Bishop Dee Pederson and the synod staff

September 4, 2023

Continuing Prayers for Synod Minister, Pr. Naomi Mahler.

Please visit Pr. Naomi's CaringBridge site for updates.

Holy and life-giving God, whose mercy is without end, we lift up our prayers for Pr. Naomi Mahler. Surround her with your compassion and love. Be present with Pr. Naomi, her husband Todd, their daughters Sophia and Grace, and all of their family and friends. Give wisdom to her family, her care team, and all those who will accompany her in the days to come. May she be well cared-for, comforted, and surrounded by circles of love. Fill them all in your abiding love, and sustain them with your peace, which surpasses all understanding; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. 

Pr. Naomi Mahler

Dear Friends –

I am drawn to the text of this old hymn:

Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love….. our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares. ELW 656

I am sharing the note below so that, as people of this synod, walking together, our hearts may be united in prayer and support for Synod Minister, Pastor Naomi Mahler.

August 9, 2023

Dear Siblings in Christ: 

In the past week, I have received some distressing health news. 

The breast cancer that I had in 2017, for which I was treated and remained cancer free for the past 6 years, has now returned. 

Therefore, I will be taking medical leave to be treated for this reoccurrence. I don’t know exactly where this is going, but a treatment plan is being made with my medical providers.  

I covet your prayers and support.  Before long, I will reactivate my Caring-Bridge page so you can check on any updates if you would like to do so. https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/naomimahler 

I regret having to take this time away from my work at the SW MN Synod, but I am sure that you can understand the need to do this. So, until further notice I will no longer be able to be contacted for ministry support. 

I ask that you be even more understanding and supportive of the Synod staff, as this will put an even greater burden on them. I am confident that you will do so. 

Pr Naomi's Family
Pr. Naomi's Family

Thank you for holding Pr. Naomi and her family in prayer. As you do, I know that you also may wonder how to direct questions and needs. Please direct inquiries as follows:

As fall schedules begin, staff will connect with Conference Ministries as follows:

Crow River and Lakeland – D.E.M. Pr. Troy Pflibsen
Prairie, Shetek, Scenic Valley, Minnesota Valley, and Watonwan River –  Synod Minister Heather Culuris
Glacial Ridge, Great River, and Lac Qui Parle – Bp. Dee Pederson

Greetings for Pastor Naomi may be sent to the Synod Office – 175 E. Bridge St., P.O. Box 499, Redwood Falls, MN 56283.

In all times, the people of God hold close the promise of our God, The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22

Thank you for joining your hearts with ours in prayer and love.
+ grace and peace,
Bp. Dee Pederson

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