Lutherans ENGAGE the WORLD
vol. 1 no. 1
Lutherans ENGAGE the WORLD
vol. 1 no. 1
2 2 13 17 21
Why Lutheran Education in Africa? A Witness among Mormons F ulfilling a Couple’s Mission Passion, Providing Pastors in Ghana
Letter from President Harrison
6 Engaging the Church in the work of Witness and Mercy across the globe in our Life Together. Lutherans EngagE the World is published bi-monthly by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. © 2012 The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Reproduction for parish use does not require permission. Such reproductions, however, should credit Lutherans EngagE the World as a source. Print editions are sent to LCMS donors, rostered workers and missionaries. An online version is available. To receive the print edition, we invite you to make a financial gift for LCMS global Witness and Mercy work. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are property of the LCMS. 1-888-THE-LCMS (843-5267) www.lcms.org
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
5 6 8 9 15 18
5 Orienting Missionaries Blessings by the Numbers Compassion and Healing for Body and Soul Sharing Poster Our History: We Teach 10 Questions
+ Pray + Serve + Participate + Listen + Learn + Invest
Lutherans Engage the World – yes, we do! In the pages of this bimonthly magazine, we aim to show you vividly what your Synod is accomplishing by God’s grace at home and abroad through your prayers, financial investments and personal commitment. Each issue will use a thematic lens to present a focused view of our global work as a Synod. We Teach is the lens for this inaugural issue. In it, we hope you’ll see the significance we place as Lutherans on teaching the faith, even from our earliest days. The main feature story, written by former LCMS missionary Dr. Glenn Fluegge, makes the case for our investments in Lutheran education across Africa, underscoring how vital teaching the faith is to sustainable mission efforts worldwide. You’ll read about the bold and faithful witness by the members of seven LCMS congregations who have banded together to sponsor a Lutheran high school in the heart of global Mormonism, Salt Lake City, Utah. As we spotlight two ministry areas of the LCMS, you’ll get a glimpse into how teaching the faith is central in equipping new LCMS missionaries and how it runs through our Synod’s health-ministry efforts. I’m also eager for you to meet LCMS day-school teacher Terri Bentz, the subject of this month’s 10 Questions section. And perhaps you’ll see yourself reflected in the story of a faithful couple with a heart for missions and seminary education in Ghana, West Africa. Finally, check out the Blessings by the Numbers infographic, and don’t miss the doublesided poster and the Involve section with its many opportunities to engage! There’s a lot of information in these pages! We hope what you read inspires you as a member of a globally engaged community of Christians, working, witnessing and walking together as The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. We welcome your feedback, questions, ideas and stories of Witness and Mercy work across our Synod.
Deaconess Pamela J. Nielsen Managing Editor
S TA F F Mark D. Hofman David L. Strand James H. Heine Pamela J. Nielsen Elizabeth M.Truong Carolyn A. Niehoff Chrissy A. Thomas Steve J. Blakey
executive director, mission advancement executive director, communications executive editor managing editor staff writer lead designer designer design consultant
E d itorial O ffi c e 314-996-1215 1333 S. Kirkwood Road St. Louis, MO 63122-7295 firstname.lastname@example.org www.lcms.org/lutheransengage
Cover image: Little girls in Togo carry many things on their head, including God’s Holy Word! Credit: Glenn Fluegge
INSPIRE we teach
Why Lutheran Education
Photo credit: Glenn Fluegge
by Glenn Fluegge
LCMS missionary and theological educator in Africa for the past 14 years, Pastor Glenn Fluegge reflects on the work to which God has called him and his family.
I n refle c ting on t h e n u mero u s an d varie d trials and tribulations that our family has traversed over the past years, I have asked myself some deep questions: Why are we here in Africa? Was it worth it to bring my family here for over a decade? Is it worth the financial support that so many faithful friends have donated to our ministry? Is education for the Lutheran churches in Africa really that important? Similar questions confront our Synod during these challenging financial times. Why are we as a church body involved in theological education in Africa? Is it really worth the sacrifices and resources that our church invests in it? Are our education efforts in Africa really that important?
When faced with such important questions, I’ve found it’s often helpful to look back in history, to gain a view often missed when we focus on the present. Germany, at the time of the Reformation, provides interesting parallels that help to shed light on the present situation in Africa.
Challenge: Traditional African Religion There are parallels between the challenges faced by the Lutheran churches of post-Reformation Germany and those faced by the churches in Africa today. The first of these challenges is that of the traditional religion. Christianity, nearly universal in Europe some 500 years ago, was often intermingled with the traditional folk religion of spirits, magic and witchcraft. These remnants of a pre-Christian culture lurked just beneath the surface of popular understandings of Christianity. Similarly, the traditional African religion of ancestral worship and animal sacrifices continues to seriously threaten the churches of Africa today. In many parts of Africa, even the strongest Christians are beset with temptations to revert to former beliefs and practices, especially during transitional life events such as birth, weddings and death. Syncretism, the mingling of Christianity with elements from the traditional African religion, continues to challenge the African church.
Challenge: Sects and Cults A second challenge to Christianity is the multitude of sects and cults. During and after the Reformation, a host of sectarian movements sprang up all over Europe, threatening the newly formed Lutheran churches. Luther and other reformers spent considerable time and effort combating these movements and convincing Christians of the danger these sects posed to the very Gospel itself. Today, a vast number of sects and cults have risen up and grown alarmingly popular in Africa. Mormonism, Eckankar and Jehovah’s Witness have strongholds across Africa. These sects from the United States are joined by a host of cults originating in Africa. Self-proclaimed African prophets mingle elements of Christianity with traditional African religion and gather significant numbers of followers in almost every country of Africa. Left: Pastor Jean-Lare Dabirsoa, Pastor Lare Nankabe, Pastor Likabongue Djatoite, Pastor Blaise Tchimbiandja and Pastor Tame Gotmah are all recent graduates of the Lutheran Center for Theological Studies in Dapaong, Togo. The stoles the ordinands are wearing were donated by Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Tulsa, Okla., and the pectoral crosses were donated by Geraldine Draper in memory of her late husband Rev. George Draper (Montana District).
Challenge: Islam But the third “threat” is perhaps the most serious. At the time of the Reformation, all of Europe was at the brink of war with the Muslim Turks, who were at Europe’s doorstep eagerly poised to invade. And with the Turks came their religion — Islam. Today in Africa, Islam is entering through an open door. Prevalent in Northern Africa, adherents to Islam also encompass the vast majority of the population — around 98 percent — of many countries in West Africa, such as Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger. Central and Southern Africa have fewer Muslims, but their numbers are growing. Muslim merchants, financed and sent from Northern Africa, are arriving daily to settle in countries of Central Africa (trade has historically been a primary means of spreading Islam). It is most alarming to see Muslim “missionaries” intentionally at work in Africa, building mosques in remote villages and openly proselytizing in public places.
Today in Africa, Islam is entering through an open door. Other Parallels When we talk about the Reformation, we often focus on those familiar, famous events — Luther’s vow to become a monk on the road to Erfurt, the nailing of the 95 Theses on the chapel door in Wittenberg and Luther’s courageous response at the Diet of Worms. What we often forget is that after the break with the Roman Church, the Christian church in the German lands found itself in a state of utter chaos. Though Christianity was widespread, the Church had lost its shape. Most devastatingly, in separating from the Roman Church, the new “evangelical” [Lutheran] churches lost the very structure that provided them with spiritual leadership. One result was an alarming shortage of well-prepared pastors and preachers so desperately needed to lead the newly established church. In Africa today, Christianity is also widespread and is rapidlygrowing. There are roughly 20 million Lutherans in Africa alone. Because of this rapid and pervasive growth, many Christian church bodies in Africa do not have adequate structures in place to provide desperately needed pastors and preachers. Lutheran churches all over Africa face an alarming shortage of wellprepared pastors. Reformation-era Europe was also largely an illiterate society whose inhabitants interpreted the world around them in an oral and aural way. Yet the Lutheran Reformation revolved around the written Word — the Word of God. Suddenly, there was a need for an educated clergy that could read, interpret and preach this written Word. Modern Africa, perhaps to an even greater degree, is also comprised of oral societies, and a faith based on a written Word is inherently foreign. Lutheran churches in Africa have the same urgent need for a well-educated clergy. The reformers, in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges — religious threats to the Church, chronic lack of well-prepared pastors and the inherent challenge of sharing the written Word in an oral society — set out to rebuild the church SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER 2012
from the bottom up. Where did they start? Education. As early as 1524, Luther wrote a letter, “To the Councilmen of all the Cities in Germany that they Establish and Maintain Christian Schools.” He and the other professors at Wittenberg also set about completely revamping the entire university curriculum so that it might produce the well-prepared pastors that the German church so desperately needed. Luther and the reformers understood that good, faithful leaders in society are brought about through good, Christian education. Likewise, solid Christian education was seen as of the utmost importance for the health, well-being and growth of the church. The transformation of the church (and society) would be through education. The strategic emphasis placed on education by the reformers has since become a legacy of Lutheran churches around the world. Our Lutheran forefathers arrived in the United States and immediately set about building schools with the result that, to this very day, Christian education is a hallmark of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. So, is it really worth it for us to be involved in education in Africa? History shouts a resounding, “YES!” Lutheran education (both theological and general) is one of the most important ways in which we can assist Lutheran churches and our partners in Africa today.
Long-term Investment A final concluding remark is warranted: Education is a long-term investment focused on decades rather than tomorrow — on generations rather than years, and this may discourage us. Let us bear in mind that Luther and the other reformers did not see the results of the educational reforms they worked so hard to bring about. And yet, countless generations continue to reap the harvest of the seeds the reformers planted. Has my time in Africa been worthwhile? Most certainly — the long-term good of investing in education for the Lutheran churches in Africa is immeasurable. There is little that I would deem more important than what God has called us to in Africa — building up Lutheran churches through teaching God’s Holy Word. In June, Pastor and Missionary Glenn Fluegge and his family departed Africa for Irvine, Calif., where he will continue to preach and teach at Concordia University, serving as co-director of the Cross-Cultural Ministry Center and as assistant professor of theology.
Muslims and Christians in Africa: This map shows the ratio of Muslims to Christians in each country and province. The North is heavily Muslim, and the South is heavily Christian.
Ratio of Muslims to Christians Over 200 times as many Muslims as Christians Up to 200 times as many Muslims Up to 100 times as many Muslims Up to 10 times as many Muslims Up to twice as many Muslims Approaching even numbers of Christians and Muslims Up to twice as many Christians Up to 10 times as many Christians Up to 100 times as many Christians Up to 200 times as many Christians Over 200 times as many Christians as Muslims Source: censuses, demographic and health surveys, and the World Religion Database. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, April ‘10
Witness and Mercy Dollars Invested in Africa 2012 $2,224,323 Invested Invested in Education (18.6%)
Lutheran Seminaries in Africa: Sudan Sierra Leone Liberia* Ghana* Togo Nigeria* Ethiopia Kenya* Madagascar South Africa* *LCMS Partner Seminaries
LCMS Workers in Africa:
What’s this? Download a QR Code reader on your smartphone or tablet. Scan this code with your mobile device to watch a video about our work in Africa. Use this link: www.lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage to do the same on your computer or other mobile device.
GEO Missionaries (Globally Engaged in Outreach, 1–2 two years service)
Career and GEOs Involved with Education
we teach INFORM
Orienting Missionaries by Pamela J. Nielsen
“It’s a very big and exciting week here,” noted Travis Torblaa, who helps to plan every detail of Missionary Orientation. This annual event, coordinated by the Ministry Mobilization Team of the LCMS Office of International Mission, is an intense two weeks of teaching in which new missionaries and their families interact with nearly the entire staff at the LCMS International Center, as they learn about the people and resources who will serve as part of their network of support before, during and after they arrive on the mission field. “It starts with the on-boarding here and then launching them out to service onto the field, sustaining them while they are there and repatriating them back into the United States when their time of service has ended,” said Torblaa. Following the orientation, the Ministry Mobilization Team’s efforts continue to coordinate resources and help in the areas of vocation, theological education, mental and physical health, self care, communication, crisis management, and finance. Torblaa noted, “All of this is built around Lutheran worship — that is the center — that they have access to the Word and Sacrament.” “What sets missionaries apart from the rest of us? It is that they are leaving the comfort of their homes, their families, their support systems, and they are venturing out into totally foreign territory to bring forth the Good News of Jesus. When we see that,
we say, ‘This is what the church is all about. The church coming together, in our life together, to send missionaries,” commented Pastor William Weedon, International Center Chaplain and LCMS Director of Worship, who served as the catechist and worship leader for the orientation. Built around the Apostles’ Creed, this year’s theme focused on the creed as a ready-made witnessing tool. “The goal was that they have in their heads and their hearts — a very firm understanding of the structure of the mission — that it comes from the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit to bring people by the Spirit, in the Son, to the Father,” said Chaplain Weedon. Participants worked through the explanation to the Apostles’ Creed in Luther’s Large Catechism. The daily worship services with present and former missionaries unpacking texts from the Book of
These new missionaries and their families will go out to serve the Lord in locations around the globe.
Office of International Mission t Ministry Mobilization t Missionary Orientation
Annual Budget: $80,000 Acts, helped underscore that the missionary’s job is not to convert people. “A missionary’s job is to preach the Word of God, which converts where and when the Holy Spirit pleases in those who hear the Gospel,” noted Weedon. A pattern of daily prayer and devotions was taught and modeled using resources such as the Lutheran Service Book and Treasury of Daily Prayer, published by Concordia Publishing House. In our life together — when we pray for the missionaries and give our financial support, and hear their stories about the people they have cared for — we become part of their missionary story, and it becomes our story! For more details about how you can be part of this story by supporting LCMS missionaries and their work, go to:
INFORM we teach
20,883 Youth Confirmands 15,770 Adult Confirmands Parishes 4,893 Sunday Schools 2011 Stats 355,945 Sunday School Children students 247,499 VBS 52% of whom were un-churched in midweek 82,655 children religion classes
FUTURE Pastors 295 132
Residential M.Div. students Concordia Seminary INFORM Blessings by the Numbers St. Louis Alternate route to ordination students Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne
175 Residential M.Div. students 49 Alternate route to ordination students
(Contextual ministry student numbers will appear in a future issue.)
UNIVERSIT Y S
average tuition cost at a Concordia University
Early Childhood Centers teach LITTLE ONES
BY THE NUMBERS
The LCMS has
34 Partner Churches and
18 have Seminaries that we support.
24 out of 98 34 out of 68 29 out of 54
Career Missionaries involved in GEO Missionaries teach English as Short-term mission teams in teaching of some sort in 20 countries INFORM a means to share the Gospel - Blessings by the Numbers 2011 were involved in teaching the faith
• Theology • Evangelism
• Agriculture • Healthcare
the number of church-work career certification programs offered by CUS schools
students enrolled in churchwork career programs
Elementary Schools teach
High Schools teach
T E E N S
INFORM we teach
Compassion and Healing for Body and Soul by Maggie Karner
The LCMS has, along with the whole Christian church on earth, historically believed that the Church is called to bring compassion and healing to body and soul in a broken society. Through the coordinated efforts of LCMS Health Ministries, which provides educational resources, relief projects and hands-on medical volunteers, thousands of people at home and abroad receive the healing and compassionate touch of the Great Physician. Complementing the witness of the church, LCMS Health Ministries promotes Christ-centered health and wellness of body, mind and spirit. Through the popular Mercy Medical Team (MMT) program for short-term medical mission service, medical and lay volunteers have cared for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Thousands suffering with malnutrition, parasites, serious wounds, malaria and other tropical diseases as well as illnesses associated with unhealthy drinking water and sanitation receive hands-on clinical care. Since 2006, the LCMS has sent a steady stream of international medical teams, providing primary care clinics for over 20,000 people in locations such as Kenya and Madagascar. Our medical professionals were literally covered in the blood of disaster victims in Haiti. MMTs cared for thousands in the aftermath of the tsunami that decimated Indonesia and India in recent years. LCMS Health Ministries also provides funding and leads community health-education initiatives as well as health and nutrition programs both domestically and overseas.
Through the stewardship of LCMS donors, LCMS Health Ministries has cared for the unmet health needs of thousands of people in dozens of the world’s least-developed countries. Since 2006, more than $1 million in needed medicines have been administered through our mercy work overseas alone. And through the Lutheran Malaria Initiative, LCMS donors have touched the lives of 1.6 million people in East Africa, especially the women and children who are most affected by the disease.
Over $1 Million The amount of pharamacueticals LCMS MMTs have administered and donated since 2006. In the United States, LCMS Health Ministries also carries out this model of Gospel-centered health outreach. Through the development and coordination of the LCMS Disability Task Force, the LCMS intentionally advocates for the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities and chronic mental illness, as well as the underserved in LCMS congregations, schools and surrounding communities. In each of our 35 districts, LCMS health ministries help Registered nurses in the India Evangelical Lutheran Church receive parish nurse training in Ambur, India.
Offices of National and International Mission t Health Ministries
Annual Budget: $234,188 organize, mentor, provide continuing education and encourage the vocation of theologically trained parish nurses. These registered nurses support the work of the pastoral ministry in local congregations and communities. With representation on the newly formed Lutheran Parish Nursing International (LPNI) cooperative, the LCMS promotes parish nursing worldwide with our partner churches. This summer, in Ambur, India, the first certificate class in Lutheran parish nursing was conducted. Registered nurses in the India Evangelical Lutheran Church now have the theological and practical training needed for service in this LCMS partner church. In a recent lecture for parish-nurse training, the Rev. John T. Pless, assistant professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, explained that mercy is not something we do or earn. Instead, he said, “The body of Christ humbly receives Christ’s gifts and then His mercy ‘takes shape’ for the world through our vocations of healing and hope!” This is the mission of LCMS Health Ministries. To learn more, go to
Maggie Karner is director of LCMS Life and Health Ministries and is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bristol, Conn., where her husband, Kevin, serves as pastor.
National Mercy Grant
Benefits Men’s Shelter in Ohio by Kim Plummer Krull
Recipient: Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM) volunteer program Location: Cleveland, Ohio Grant Award: $17,500 They “helped me take the next steps,” said Eric, an Army veteran who arrived at the Men’s Shelter at 2100 Lakeside last year with no job or housing. By this past spring, Eric was living in his own apartment and doing maintenance work for eight apartment complexes. Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM), an LCMS Recognized Service Organization, operates the shelter, linking residents with housing, GED classes, job-readiness preparation and work experience. Volunteers play an important role as they help people in transition and crisis move toward self-sufficiency. “The shelter’s volunteer program is providing vital interaction and service with those who are oppressed, forgotten and hurting. Such service was central in the life of Jesus,” says LMM Volunteer Coordinator Lydia Bailey, citing, “Whatever you did for the least of these you did for me”(Matt. 25:45). With the help of an LCMS Mercy Grant, the shelter continues to draw a strong force of helping hands and enhance connections with residents. Some highlights of the volunteer program that comprised more than 1,800 volunteers serving more than 2,600 residents between January and May 2011 include:
•S trengthening the legal clinic and computer lab with new volunteers from businesses, churches and other partnerships. •D onating and Eric, an Army veteran serving 19,000 meals, reducing shelter expenses by $11,450 in food alone. •L eading a poetry group that resulted in the publication of residents’ work. In addition to providing an avenue for self-expression, the book continues to raise awareness of homelessness and generates funds for GED classes. •P lanting a vegetable garden. Volunteers and residents worked with the Ohio State Agricultural Extension to grow produce for shelter meals and promote a goodneighbor spirit. Just as Bailey and co-workers thank LCMS supporters who made possible the Mercy Grant, Eric expresses his gratitude to LMM and volunteers. “Now that I’m back on my feet, I want to volunteer with LMM, with all the other great volunteers and staff at the shelter,” said Eric. “I am grateful to you all.” Learn more about LMM at
High school students from Lutheran West High School in Rocky River, Ohio, work with residents to grow produce for shelter meals. Photo credit: LMM
t o h s p a n CMS S
h om e
Easter 2012: Rev. Samuel Ruiz welcomes 20 new members through confirmation and affirmation of faith at Jesus of Galilee Lutheran Ministry. Rev. Ruiz works with the 30 member congregations of the Lutheran Federation to minister to the Indianapolis-area Hispanic/ Latino community and the Hispanic/Latino community of Jackson County, Ind. The congregations support this ministry through the federation with assistance from the LCMS Indiana District.
sion teams from the South 3 Two short-tedermtomis College Ma Chan Duen Hey Memorial
District travel school is run by The Lutheran in Hong Kong. Although the y about 10 percent of Church–Hong Kong Synod, onl mbers of the two teams Me the students are Christian. s during the school day, and assisted with English classe students during the youth they shared the Gospel with youth fellowship program is fellowship after school. The sionary Judy Newhouse. organized by LCMS GEO mis ry
menta Unity Lutheran Christian Ele 4 2012 matrkegraddua ated in loc , ool sch The ting class.
School’s firs August 2003 as a mission East St. Louis, Ill., opened in 12 ois District. In the 2011–20 project of the Southern Illin ts. den stu 1 18 ed ber y num school year, the student bod g l.or yes nit w.u ww re: Learn mo
Images including depictions of Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark and Jesus Christ were painted in the education wing of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Irving, Texas. Artist Natalie Rahberg commented: “I hope it helps people who may not read the Bible understand the stories and understand how much God loves us.”
RCY, LIFE TOGETHER a bro a d
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Deaconess Grace Rao, LCMS Director of Diaconal Project Development, led a two-week deaconess colloquy course for the Girija Kristian Lutheran Indonesia (GKLI) church body. Bishop Aladin Sitio is pictured with the group.
Deaconess Deborah Rockrohr is shown with the advanced and fulltime deaconess students at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Pretoria, South Africa, where she teaches.
LCMS workers teach good hygiene practices to children in Phu Tho, Vietnam.
Carolyn Holbird teaches a nutrition class in India during an MMT trip in July 2011. She is a member of First Lutheran Church, Tahlequah, Okla.
8 Tell us your WMLT story!
Send your parish or district photos and captions to: Lutheransengage@lcms.org
Lutherans Engage the World 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, Mo. 63122
Pull out this center spread for use as a double-sided poster to share what the Lord is doing through the LCMS at home and abroad.
International Mercy Grant
Funds Micro-Loan Project in Kenya Recipient: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (ELCK) Deaconess Training and Micro-Loan Project Location: Kenya, Africa Grant Award: $20,000 Deaconesses are “tireless workers, carrying out God’s mercy and compassion for people throughout Kenya,” says the Rev. David Chuchu, the ELCK Diakonia Compassionate Ministry (DCM) project coordinator. But deaconesses also struggle with many of the same financial strains that affect the people they serve. Today, small-business training and a micro-loan project made possible with help from an LCMS Mercy Grant encourage deaconesses who pursue their own entrepreneurial projects. Messiah Lutheran Church, Danville, and Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Rocklin, both in California, have also provided financial support. Mary Khainga, right, is a deaconesses with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya.
The goal is to help the women “gain confidence, financial independence and a sense of pride in their work, both as a businesswoman and as a deaconess,” Chuchu says. “This will, in turn, allow them greater freedom to serve others through the love and mercy of Christ.” Deaconess leaders completed project training last year in Kisumu. Grace Jobita, a micro-loan consultant, taught business components; the Rev. Dr. Arthur Just, professor, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Deaconess Pamela Boehle-Silva, RN, of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, led theological insights and made home visits. Now the trained deaconesses are shepherding groups in dioceses of the LCMS partner church in Kenya, helping others form savings groups and apply for micro-loans to start businesses. Entrepreneurial pursuits include brick making, dairy farming, importing shoes and raising rice and vegetables. The project is open to all ELCK deaconesses. Long-range plans are for ELCK pastors, evangelists and congregations to also participate. Mary Khainga, a deaconess trainer in the Central Diocese, is selling eggs. The micro-loan will enable her to purchase more chickens and feed to make her business, which has operated in the red, more successful. “With a greater number of chickens, [Khainga] will reach and be able to surpass the break-even point to begin generating additional income for herself and her family,” Chuchu says. “She is thankful for the support and benevolence that this program is providing to the deaconesses of the ELCK.” Learn more about DCM at
we teach INSPIRE
Concordia students work together on a group project. Photo credit: CPS
Mormons by Gretchen Roberts
We may have fewer members and churches, but Lutherans lead Mormons in the number of schools in Utah.
Lutherans Mormons Total members 3677 1.9 million # of congregations 18 4815 # of schools 11 0 Concordia Prepartory School Photo credit: CPS
W hen S alt L ake L utheran H igh S chool was founded in 1984 as a cooperative among four area LCMS churches, the school faced several immediate and long-term challenges. For one, the real-estate mantra “location, location, location” was an ongoing issue. Having begun in a church basement, the school eventually moved to an area of the city that wasn’t supportive of private faith-based education, and the school struggled with low enrollment and poor finances. Plus, Lutheran is practically a foreign word in Mormon country. “We had a lot of prospective parents asking, ‘Do we need to be Lutheran for my child to attend?’ and ‘What is a Lutheran, anyway?’” says principal Darren Morrison. The school has historically enrolled about 80 percent of its students from three “feeder” schools — Lutheran grade schools whose students go on to Lutheran high school. But only a quarter of the student population is actually LCMS Lutheran, which means a huge opportunity for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the student body and their families.
It Takes a Synod Many Synod organizations have “walked together” with Concordia Preparatory School by providing training, tools and support for their school ministry and mission.
umber of LCMS congregations N that financially, physically and prayerfully support Concorida Preparatory School
Concordia University graduates on staff plus Board Chair (3 from Concordia University Nebraska, 1 from Concordia University, St. Paul, Minn., and 1 from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Employees whose benefits are provided by Concordia Plan Services
Number of Lutheran Service Books from Synod’s publisher — Concordia Publishing House — used in the school chapel
Member of: Lutheran Education Association (LEA) and Association of Lutheran Secondary Schools (ALSS)
Accredited by: National Lutheran Schools Accreditation (NLSA)
Bridge loan: Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) support for old building, bridge loan between property closings, and help with relocation demographic survey
Concordia’s volleyball team bears mercy in the community by raising money to fight cancer. Photo credit: CPS
“Four years ago, one of our students was baptized in a chapel service, and his family joined one of our partner churches,” Morrison says. “Our biggest blessing is the continued opportunity to share our faith in Jesus Christ with students who have never heard the Good News. They often enroll for the quality education, and then they take theology classes, where we can see the Spirit working in them and bringing some of them to faith.” Still, the school’s ongoing budget issues and declining enrollment, even with generous financial support from its association congregations, demanded change. In 2010, with an opportunity to buy a building on the west side of Interstate 15, SLLHS and its partner churches executed a makeover. With help from the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, they conducted a market-feasibility study and found that parents in the new area were willing to pay for private education — and that they would be the only private high school west of I-15. Shortly before the move, Salt Lake Lutheran High School was renamed Concordia Preparatory School. “Because there is a lot of ignorance about Lutherans in Salt Lake City, we wanted a name that would immediately signify we’re a college prep school, but that would incorporate our Lutheran roots,” Morrison explains. Concordia — a traditional Lutheran term that means “harmony”— fit the bill perfectly. Tia Donohoe, director of admissions and marketing and CPS’s business officer, says she has been successful presenting Concordia as an academic powerhouse to parents who don’t see faith-based curriculum as a priority. “Utah’s public school graduation rate is around 78 percent, while ours is 99 percent. We promote our collegiate atmosphere and then we get to do a little ministry,” she says. “It’s an amazing experience.” Running a Lutheran high school among a large Mormon population has its challenges, but Morrison doesn’t think being in the religious minority is one of them. “I grew up here, so it’s all I’ve ever known. What was shocking for me was attending college at Concordia, Seward, where the majority of people were of my faith. My familiarity with the Salt Lake area has prepared me for this position.” In school, students learn how to carry out their vocations at home and around the world. Their chapel offerings sponsor a little boy in the Dominican Republic. Students work with the school’s partner congregations and with area nonprofits to do service projects. One year, students helped with fundraisers to bring three girls in from the Themba Trust, a Lutheran, South African, faith-based organization that equips young people to live for Christ. The girls, along with LCMS member and jazz singer Erin Bode, performed a concert open to the Salt Lake valley. “We see God working here every day. So many times our school should have closed, but didn’t. We have seven amazing congregations as our partners. Our kids know their stuff,” Donohoe says. “What the Mormons do just makes our job at Concordia that much more important,” she continues. “Latter-Day Saints are ardent missionaries, and they question you. You have to know your theology around here.” Gretchen Roberts is a freelance writer and a member of Praise Lutheran Church, Maryville, Tenn., where her husband, Derek, serves as parish pastor. In addition to her vocations as wife, mother and writer, she serves on the Concordia Publishing House board of directors.
we teach INFORM
Our History: We Teach Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Louis, Mo., circa 1950.
Trinity Lutheran Church Preschool, St. Louis, Mo., circa 1980. Photo credit: CHI
by Laura Marrs
When 12 pastors representing 14 congregations gathered in Chicago in 1847 to form what we know as The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, one of their reasons for coming together as a synod was “the promotion of special church projects,” which included school books. The first constitution of this new church body notes under the heading “Conditions under which a congregation may join Synod and remain a member” is the “provision of a Christian education for the children of the congregations” (Concordia HistoricaI Quarterly 16:1, April 1943). Histories have been kept on 13 of our founding congregations, and each had a day school right from the start, demonstrating the importance of Christian education within these Lutheran communities.
Shoes, Ships and Short School Terms
St. Paul’s in Fort Wayne, Ind., is the earliest Lutheran school in continous independent operation. Founded in 1837, this year is the 175th anniversary of both the church and the school. St. John, Maryville, Ohio, records that Pastor Adam Ernst was both teacher and pastor. A cobbler by trade, he cobbled shoes in the evening to earn a living. First Trinity Lutheran, Buffalo, New York, notes in their 1929 anniversary service booklet that the church was organized by “immigrants who came to this country to escape the persecutions of a tyrannical government that forbade them to conduct Lutheran services and to instruct their children in Luther’s Catechism.” Trinity, St. Louis, Mo., dates the beginning of the school to 1839, but in reality, school lessons took place
on board ships, as her founders immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1838. St. John Decatur, Ind., had a school term that lasted only four to six months. This was lengthened when a teacher was installed. Located in a rural community, school was often dismissed during times of harvest.
In Our DNA From these humble but determined beginnings, the LCMS now has more than 1,300 early childhood centers and preschools, 879 elementary schools and 88 high schools educating over 229,000 students all across America. Of these, 700 schools are accredited under the National Lutheran School Accreditation program. International schools in Hanoi, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Shanghai are part of this story. On mission fields across the globe, the LCMS has sent missionaries assigned to Christian education in the day schools of partner churches. By 1900, the Synod also had seven colleges. Located in Ft. Wayne, Ind. (1838); River Forest, Ill. (1864); Milwaukee, Wis. (1881); Bronxville, N.Y. (1881); Concordia, Mo. (1893); St. Paul,
Minn. (1893); and Seward, Neb. (1894), they trained Lutheran teachers for service in the rapidly growing number of LCMS parish schools. Today, LCMS colleges and universities number 10 and total enrollment for the Concordia University System is near 30,000 students annually. These places of higher learning not only train workers for service in the church, but they also prepare students for service in this world through more than 360 undergraduate and graduate programs. Add to these the fact that our two LCMS seminaries in Fort Wayne and St. Louis have been in existence longer than the Synod itself, and it is clear that Lutheran education is part of the DNA in The Lutheran—Church Missouri Synod! Laura Marrs is head reference assistant at Concordia Historical Institute. She is a member of Concordia Lutheran in Maplewood, Mo. First Trinity Lutheran Church Buffalo, N.Y., circa 1953. Photo credit: CHI
Happy 175th Birthday S t . Pa u l ’ s F ort Way n e , I n d .!
St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Fort Wayne, Ind., circa 1889 and 2012. Photo credit: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
LCMS Charter Congregations 1836 1837 1838 1839 1840 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 B C
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Synod’s Story Keeper
H I J K L
St. Paul, Fort Wayne, Ind. 1837-present St. John, Neuendettelsau (now Marysville), Ohio 1838-present Zion, Friedheim (now Decatur), Ind. 1838-present First Trinity, Buffalo (now Tonawanda), N.Y. 1839-present Trinity, St. Louis, Mo. 1839-present St. Paul, Femme Osage, (now New Melle), Mo. 1844-present St. John, Bingen (Decatur), Ind. and St. Peter, Fort Wayne (N. Decatur), Ind.1845-present St. Lorenz, Frankenmuth, Mich. 1845-present St. Peter/Immanuel, Fort Wayne (now North Decatur) Ind. 1845-present St. John, Nashville (now New Minden), Ill. 1846-present Zion, Willshire, Ohio 1846-present St. Paul, Mishawaka (now Bremen), Ind. 1846-present
A I C G
Concordia Historical Institute 804 Seminary Place St. Louis, MO 63105-3014 314-505-7900 email@example.com www.lutheranhistory.org
Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) gathers, keeps and safeguards the story of our life together in the LCMS. Serving as the official archive for records of the Synod, its agencies, congregations and workers, its holdings include more than 2.5 million documents and 7,500 artifacts tracing Lutheran history in the United States and the world. In addition to operating the CHI museum at the LCMS International Center, CHI maintains and administers the Saxon Lutheran Memorial and Hill of Peace (Friedenberg) in Perry County, Mo., and publishes Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, the oldest journal devoted to American Lutheran history. CHI’s headquarters and archives are located on the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Its research facilities and museum with rotating exhibits are open to the public. Please contact CHI for additional information and hours.
Photo credit: istockphoto.com/thepalmer
A B C D E F G
Tell the Story to Future Generations To ensure that the story of our life together in the LCMS is preserved for future generations, we invite you to invest in the LCMS and Concordia Historical Institute with your financial gift. To do so, or for further information on the impact of such an investment, please contact:
LCMS Mission Advancement
Toll Free: 1-800-248-1930 Email: Mission.Advancement@lcms.org
we teach INSPIRE
Fulfilling a Couple’s Mission Passion:
Providing Pastors in Ghana by Kim Plummer Krull
Growing up in St. Paul, Minn., Marion Johnson and Orville Lundstrom took an interest in mission work. Although Orville considered becoming a Lutheran missionary in Africa, he pursued a career as a geologist. His future wife, Marion, became a teacher. Above: The mission field held a special place in the hearts of Marion and Orville Lundstrom. Photo credit: Lundstrom family
Below: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana seminary near Accra, Ghana, under construction.
The late couple never served as missionaries. Still, they served the Lord on the continent that held a special place in their hearts. “For our parents, supporting the mission field was a very special commitment to spreading the Good News of salvation around the world,” say the Lundstroms’ daughters. “Supporting the new Lutheran seminary in Ghana, West Africa, to train future pastors in God’s Word was a way to do that.” Several years ago, the Lundstroms, members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Houston, began sharing their blessings to help replace the cramped seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG), one of the oldest LCMS partner churches in Africa. The current seminary, located in the ELCG headquarters in Accra, can graduate only 14 students every four years. More pastors are needed to serve the church body, which has some 29,000 members in 200 congregations and 300 preaching points served by 25 pastors.
Thanks to generous donors such as the Lundstroms, a new seminary is under construction that will accommodate up to 60 students. “Marion had a passion for Ghana and enthusiasm for making a significant contribution to the seminary,” says Terry Biesboer, one of several mission advocates serving in Synod’s Mission Advancement unit. “Orville was a very keen and astute businessman who loved the Lord and sharing the Gospel. And his wife meant the world to him.” Marion went home to be with Lord in 2000, and Orville honored her memory and wishes with ongoing support for the effort in Ghana. Orville fell asleep in Jesus in late 2011. The Lundstroms’ daughters continue to support the seminary that meant so much to their parents, fulfilling a cherished dream for Marion and Orville – and their beloved mission field. To learn how you can help support Global Seminary Education or to discuss your own passion for the Lord’s work and how your gifts can be used to change lives, please contact: CMS Mission Advancement L Email: Mission.Advancement@lcms.org Phone: 1-888-930-4438 Kim Plummer Krull is a freelance writer and member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, Mo.
INFORM we teach
10 Questions with Terri Bentz, teacher by Kim Plummer Krull
Although this fall marks her 23rd year as a Lutheran school teacher, Terri Bentz is embarking on big firsts. After teaching second through fourth grades throughout her career, Bentz will instruct music and art along with continuing to direct the spring musical at Trinity First Lutheran School, Minneapolis, Minn. The veteran teacher is also a new mother. She and her husband, Todd, an instructor at Bethany Academy, Bloomington, have a newborn son, Isaac, who joined their family through the blessing of adoption. Bentz graduated in 1990 from Concordia University Nebraska, in Seward, with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and earned her master’s degree in teaching and learning in 2005 from St. Mary’s University, Winona, Minn. Her career began at Our Redeemer Lutheran School, Honolulu, Hawaii, followed by Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Collinsville, Ill. For the past 13 years, Bentz has taught at Trinity First in the LCMS Minnesota South District, a school she says is “blessed by a very diverse population of students in ethnicity, socio-economic background and religious viewpoints.” “Despite that diversity, we have developed a culture where we are family,” Bentz says. “Each day in our team ministry we get to do seed planting and faith nurturing, both of which I love!”
1 When did you know you wanted to
be a Lutheran teacher?
People told me I would make a great teacher, but I didn’t want to hear that. I was the child of a Lutheran pastor and a Lutheran teacher, the Rev. and Mrs. Donald and LaVona Taylor of Shakopee, Minn., and I wanted to do something “different.” After working at a summer camp in college, I realized that I loved working with children. God put my feet on this path. Students with teacher Terri Bentz at Trinity First Lutheran School, Minneapolis, Minn. Photo credit: Terri Bentz
2 What is most rewarding about
The most blessed days are seeing my children as they discover new spiritual concepts.
3 Teaching’s greatest challenge?
I search for techniques, tools and ideas to reach each child and help him or her make the most of abilities. Finding time to do all I want to do is a challenge.
4 How have students and families
changed during your career?
We are getting more into a techno-savvy world where children are concerned. I know they know more than I do in this area.
5 What makes Lutheran schools unique? I get to teach children that they are one-of-a-kind people, created in Christ Jesus to do things only they can do in this world.
6 How do you integrate your faith into
I love to show how our God is a God of mathematical and scientific principles because He made them! I love to weave the faith into literature. Art and music are natural places to celebrate the creative spirit that God has given everyone as well.
7 What do you say to parents seeking a
Remember children learn from their mistakes, so don’t be afraid to let your child have a few bumps and then process those together.
8 Your favorite Bible verse?
One that especially resonates in my life: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’’’ (Jer. 29:11). I also love: “For this child I have prayed” (1 Sam. 1:27) because our son joined our lives after praying for this for so many years!
9 What’s the last best book you read?
I’ve been reading lots about newborns and infants since Isaac blessed our lives.
10 Any hobbies?
My husband and I love to hike and do home improvement projects. For that past eight years, Todd and I have served on a planning committee for the National LCMS Youth Gathering. These days I spend a lot of time holding my son and thanking God for the amazing blessings in my life.
we teach INVOLVE
P ray + S erve + P articipate + L I S T E N + L E A R N + I nvest
Pray For Teachers of the Faith: Almighty God, fount of all wisdom, by Your Holy Spirit, You have entrusted to Your people the task of teaching all nations. Enlighten those who teach and those who learn that the joyous truth of the Gospel may be known in every generation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen For Missionaries and Mercy Workers: Father in heaven, You cause the light of the Gospel to shine among Your people. By Your Holy Spirit, help the missionaries and mercy workers sent by Your Church to share the good news of Your salvation that all who hear it may rejoice in Your eternal gift; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen Pray for Us monthy prayer calendar: www.lcms.org/prayforus Missionary Prayer Cards: www.lcms.org/prayercards
Serve 2013 MISSIONARY OPPORTUNITIES These are just a few of the places and ways you or someone you know might serve as a missionary in the LCMS. Czech Republic Hong Kong Indonesia Poland Singapore Taiwan Vietnam West Africa Business Manager Church Planter Communication Specialist Deaconess Trainer Relationship Builder through English-as-a-Foreign-Language Mission Facilitator Pastor — International Congregation Pastoral Mentor/Trainer Theological Educator Career missionaries (3–5 years or more), GEO’s (1–2 years), and short-term (1–2 week) missionary assignments are available. Mission service inquiries and applications for 2013 are being received now. Contact Ministry Mobilization at 888-843-5267 for more information.
2013 MERCY MEDICAL TEAMS These short-term teams offer medical professionals opportunities to volunteer abroad in a variety of clinical and health-related settings. Primary Care Clinical Teams (PCC) include: Medical professionals/students with clinical experience, pharmacists, physical therapists, general volunteers and ordained LCMS pastors. Community Health Education Teams (CHE) include: those with experience as health or medical educators, experience in public health, health professionals who desire to educate others and ordained LCMS pastors. Madagascar, Mar, 14–24 (PCC) Kyrgyzstan, April (CHE) Haiti, June (PCC) Kenya, July 11–21 (PCC) Madagascar, Aug. 1–11th (PCC) Peru, Oct. (CHE) Kenya, Nov. 7–17 (PCC) Mercy Medical Teams are being formed now for these and other locations in 2013. To learn more, visit: www.lcms.org/ mercyteams or contact: Jacob.Fiene@lcms.org or call 800-248-1930 ext. 1278.
Lutherhostel ’12: One King — Two Kingdoms: Living as a Christian American
Worldwide KFUO: We Are Where You Are
Oct. 6–9, 2012 Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. www.csl.edu/resources/continuinged/lutherhostel-2012/ 314-505-7486
Christ Academy College/Phoebe Academy College Oct. 18–21, 2012 Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne For college-aged men and women http://ctsfw.edu/christacademycollege
The listener-supported broadcast ministry of the LCMS. KFUO-AM 850 Lutheran talk radio in St. Louis, Mo. KFUOam.org and Classic99.com streaming classical music online — 24/7.
Learn The Lutheran Witness’ September issue offers a transparent look at our Synod’s expenses and revenues, restructuring, refreshed branding, district giving and much more. Subscribe today by email at LWsubscriptions@cph.org or call 1-800-325-3040, ext.1414.
Lectures in Church Music Oct 21–23, 2O12 Concordia University, Chicago, Ill. www.cuchicago.edu/experience/arts/music/about-themusic-department/lectures
Confirmation Retreat The Sixth Commandment: Untangling of the Mess of Love and Dating in Today’s World
Oct. 26–28, 2012 Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne Retreats@ctsfw.edu 260-452-2204
LCMS National Rural and Small Town Mission Conference Nov. 1–3, 2012 Storm Lake, IA firstname.lastname@example.org 888-463-5127
The Reporter is the official newspaper of the LCMS. To subscribe, contact jennifer. email@example.com.
report on conventions
Czech Lutheran, LCMS leaders sign agreement
Official Newspaper Of The luTheraN church—MissOuri syNOd
Synod commissions 29 new missionaries for service By Paula Schlueter Ross Twenty-nine new missionaries will soon be starting work in more than a dozen countries on behalf of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. The missionaries — who range in age and experience from recent college graduates to mid-career couples — completed a two-week orientation at the Synod’s International Center in St. Louis that focused on training, equipping and encouraging them under the theme “Credo: Created to Live ... Forever!” (from 1 John 5:11). The orientation ended with a July 6 “sending service” at the International Center chapel. Preaching at that service, LCMS First Vice-President Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller Jr. told the missionaries, “You are sent by Christ Himself. He has filled you with His precious Gospel. ... In His strong name, you are sent. You are never alone, for the living Lord Jesus will never abandon you. Confessing His name, you can go, knowing that you are not the one who builds the church. Jesus is.” About half of this year’s group will be serving as long-term career
LCMS Communications/Frank Kohn
LCMS First Vice-President Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller Jr. congratulates deaconess student Rachel Powell during the July 6 “sending service” for new missionaries at the Synod’s International Center in St. Louis. Powell, a student at Concordia University Chicago, will be serving her internship as a missionary in Lima, Peru.
Powell said “the idea of serving in the foreign mission field is something that’s been floating around in my mind and my heart for some time,” but that “God orchestrated the whole thing” to make it happen when she met a missionary at the Synod’s 2011 Beautiful Feet mission conference for college students. She kept in touch with that missionary, Bruce Wall, who encouraged her to apply for mission service. Ziegler said her interest was sparked by a seminary presentation by the Rev. Ted Krey, regional director for Latin America with the Synod’s Office of International Mission. She thought the timing was right for overseas service, since she’s young and single, and the idea of working with a mission team rather than on her own appealed to her. Both said the orientation was very helpful because it answered a lot of questions and because of the personal connections they now have with other missionaries — “a neat support system, even if it’s not face-to-face, definitely in prayer,” said Powell. (See Missionaries, Page 4)
missionaries; the others, as GEO (Globally Engaged in Outreach) missionaries, serving one- to twoyear terms. The latter group includes two deaconess students who will be serving internships on the mission field. Rachel Powell, a 22-year-old from Concordia University Chicago, will serve in Lima, Peru, and Katie
Ziegler, 27, who attends Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind., is headed to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Both will serve human-care ministries — caring for the physical and spiritual needs of the poor — and both say God “opened doors” for them to serve as overseas missionaries.
Black ministry’s ‘new song’ envisions new engagement
By Joe Isenhower Jr. GREENSBORO, N.C. – Participants in the 2012 Black Ministry Family Convocation here July 11-15 heard plans for a new association of congregations and individuals in black ministry to stay connected and remain as a driving force in the Synod’s mission and ministry. This convocation — sponsored by the LCMS Southeastern District Coalition of Lutherans in Black Ministry and drawing some 225 registrants – was the first one since restructuring resolutions adopted at the 2010 Synod convention led to elimination of the Synod’s Board for Black Ministry Services (BBMS). Previously, that board planned and sponsored the biennial convocations, which would continue with the new association. “Sing to the Lord a New Song” (from Psalm 96:1) was the theme as convocation-goers gathered at North Carolina A&T State University for worship, Bible study and hymn singing, presentations by speakers including Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, interest centers, meals and other fellowship opportunities. The A&T campus holds
Nov. 4–6, 2012 Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. www.ctsfw.edu/GSI 260-452-2224
UNWRAPPED: National LCMS Campus Ministry Conference Jan. 5–8, 2013 St. Louis, Mo. http://lcms.org/campusministry
special significance as the site of Immanuel Lutheran College (ILC) and Seminary, a school of the former Synodical Conference, which closed it in 1962. Many ILC alumni (including graduates of the college’s high school) were at the convocation. Also participating, in their own convocation youth-track activities, were about 18 young people. Harrison, speaking on the last full day of the convocation, led a Bible study on the Synod’s Witness, Mercy, Life Together emphasis and provided an update on a wide range of topics of interest in the Synod. Touching on “countless struggles” and concerns of AfricanAmericans down through the years, Harrison told the assembly, “I find it amazing that you are in the Missouri Synod and that you love it. I thank you for being Lutheran.” Other speakers included: n the Rev. Donald Anthony, pastor of two LCMS congregations in North Carolina and chairman of the LCMS Black Clergy Caucus. n Martha Mitkos, LCMS
campaign director of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI). Mitkos spoke about LMI after the opening Communion service – at which the offering was designated for the initiative. n the Rev. Dr. Lawrence Rast, president of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., who gave a detailed historical overview of black ministry in the Synod. n the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the Synod’s Office of National Mission (ONM), who described that office and how it exists to serve the needs of congregations and districts. Day said he thinks the new black-ministry director position with the ONM — expected to be filled by later this year — “is a great opportunity to sing a new song, expand and integrate black ministry into parts of the Synod
where it has never been before.” n the Rev. Gregory K. Williamson, the Synod’s chief mission officer. Williamson spoke about the Synod’s mission statement, its Witness, Mercy, Life Together values, its mission priorities, and its vision (with goals of being “globally integrated, culturally focused and seamlessly unified”). n the Rev. James McDaniels, pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church, High Point, N.C., who was instrumental in planning and making the convocation a reality, along with his wife, Janis. n the Rev. Dr. Victor Belton, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Decatur, Ga., and a member of the Synod Board of Directors. n Nikki Rochester, chair of the Southeastern District Coalition of Lutherans in Black Ministry. She (See Black convocation, Page 4)
LCMS.org is the place to find out about the LCMS. Learn what we do, discover resources and find out how to get involved. www.lcms.org
LCMS Communications/Joe Isenhower Jr.
Members from several congregations sing in a choir for the opening Communion service of the 2012 Black Ministry Family Convocation, July 11-15 in Greensboro, N.C. “Sing to the Lord a New Song” was the convocation theme.
LCMS Life Conference (with special youth track)
Jan. 25–26, 2013 Washington, D.C. www.lcmslifeconference.org/
Lutheran Hymnwriters Conference Jan. 27–29, 2013 Columbia, Ill. www.lcms.org/hymnwriters
Good Shepherd Institute — Shepherd of Tender Youth: Connecting Post–Moderns to Christ
New magazine to debut in September
To personally invest in the global witness and mercy work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod through a gift, please use the enclosed envelope, call 888-930-4438, email Mission.firstname.lastname@example.org or make a gift online at lcms.org/give/globalmission
Photo credit: istockphoto.com/evirgen
Lutherans Engage the World! Our heavenly Father acts. His sacred covenant name in the Old Testament is “I am who I am” (Ex. 3:14). When Yahweh speaks “let there be light” (Gen. 1:3), it happens. Jesus lays rightful claim to the very same powerful, potent, active, divine being: “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). And Jesus acts. “Let’s go!” (Mark 1:38). Jesus is the quintessential peripatetic teacher and healer bar none! “He set His face toward Jerusalem” (Luke 9:53). “No one takes My life from Me, I lay it down of Myself ... and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:18). And just as God the Father acted to send His Son, so the Son lays His claim on us, and by the Spirit we are driven to go, to act, to engage the world. It’s post-Easter. It’s post-Pentecost. We disciples are no longer locked up in an upper room for fear. “Go, therefore” (Matt. 28:19). “If your brother sins against you, go” (Matt. 18:15). “I have other sheep ... and I must bring them also” (John 10:15). Go! “You shall be My witnesses!” (Acts 1:8). Go! “You give them something to eat” (Matt. 14:16). Go! We are offering this new publication for several reasons: 1. It reflects the new structure of the Synod. All the witness and mercy work of the Synod is now “under one roof” organizationally. 2. This publication eliminates multiple mailings, making the most effective use of funds. 3. We are convinced that we are able to do this work of witness and mercy, and that we are doing this work better than ever. 4. We are convinced that, being informed about the work of the Church, you will be inspired and want to be involved in the Witness, Mercy and Life Together of the LCMS. Lutherans engage, so “Let’s go!” (Mark 1:38).
Pastor Matthew Harrison
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To get started, order the congregation starter kit or school starter kit online at lutheranmalaria.org, call 888-THE LCMS or send an email to email@example.com.