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1011 WML Office of the President

1011 WML Office of the President

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Witness Mercy Life Together Reporter Insert, October 2011
Witness Mercy Life Together Reporter Insert, October 2011

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LCMS President’s Newsletter
 
n
 
Page 1
 Witness,Mercy,Life together 
 News and Notes rom the President’s Ofce
October 2011No. 3
 
Supplement to
Reporter 
OFFICE OF NATIONAL MISSION
Lie Together
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is forbrethren to dwell together in unity” (Ps. 133:1).
By the Rev. J. Bart DayExecutive Director o the LCMSOfce o National Mission
Life Together a Gift
Life Together begins in Christ.There is no life apart from the one“through whom all things weremade” (John 1:3). The life of Christ isthe life of the world, our life together.The miracle of the Incarnation is thatour Lord descended to take up our
life. He wears our fallen human esh,
that He might bear our sin and be ourSavior. In His bloody enthronementat Calvary, He draws all creation toHimself. Here is our salvation. Here isour life together.In the Divine Service, our Lordlovingly invites us to eucharistic eat-ing and drinking. With His body and blood, we proclaim His death and
receive His life. The crucie One
gives us the gift of forgiveness andthe seal of immortality. As He is, sowe shall be. The post-Communioncollect roots our life in Christ and ourlife together in that same: “We givethanks to You, almighty God, thatYou have refreshed us through thissalutary gift, and we implore You thatof Your mercy You would strengthenus through the same in faith towardYou and in fervent love toward oneanother.”The living Christ creates “ferventlove toward one another.” The work of the Church in
witness
 ,
mercy
 ,
and
 
life
 
together
ows from an to the
cross. What joy and freedom we havein serving our Lord and His holy bride, the Church. We are no longer burdened by the Law’s requirements.The Gospel, Christ in us, compelsus to share His Word to the ends of the earth, to share the mercy andlove of Christ with those in need,and to share in the corporate life of the Church. Life together is the best
living. Selsh ambition an prie
disappear as we pray for and supportthe body of Christ. We belong to oneanother only through and in JesusChrist.In his little book 
Life Together
 ,Dietrich Bonhoeffer offers severalhelpful insights into our life together.For Bonhoeffer, our life together isa concrete reality. God is not a Godof emotions but a God of truth. Thattruth is revealed in the divine revela-tion of the Word and the Word made
esh. The justie sinner lives in thecommunity of sanctication, a gift
from God that no man can claim. Lifetogether is a gift.
Of course, the boy an all its
members suffer under the delusionsand false advertising of the world, thedevil and our own sinful nature. Thepromise of power, prestige and pos-sessions always comes at the expenseof hurting those we love the most.
Our life together becomes a life of 
isolation. The body and communitysuffer. The powerful in the commu-nity weed out the undesirables. AsBonhoeffer notes: “The exclusion of 
the weak an insignicant, the seem
-ingly useless people, from a Christiancommunity may actually mean the ex-clusion of Christ; in the poor brother,
Christ is knocking at the oor.” Our
life together includes all for whomour Lord died: the world. The body of Christ cares and comforts in word anddeed.
As the Ofce of National Mission
(Life Together) begins it work, wepray that the Lord will strengthen andsupport the work of our Synod. The
Ofce of National Mission is oing
the work of “Home Mission.” Theworld is at our door. The challengesfacing the Church in our post-Chris-tian culture can appear overwhelm-ing. In the face of such challenges, theChurch must stand ready to proclaimthe Gospel boldly. Being a faithfulLutheran has never been more critical.The world is crying out for authenticconfession and genuine life together.The Church has both to offer.
Our Work in Life Together
The newly create Ofce of Na
-tional Mission oversees most of thedomestic work of the Synod. Therehave been plenty of challenges toface during the restructuring process, but there have also been unexpectedsurprises. As one person put it, “Therestructuring process is like cleaningout your hallway closet, the one younever touch until you are forced to.Yet once you start digging around,you are amazed at the treasures thathave been forgotten and unused formany years.” As the Synod is workingto better communicate and collaborateon projects, new and exciting oppor-tunities for mission are being discov-ered. For this we give thanks.
The Ofce of National Mission
is made up of six departments.They include the work of the former
continued on page 4
 Jesus Only
“A
nd when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no onebut Jesus only”
(Matt. 17:8 ESV).Jesus only. In this instance “Jesus only” wasa letdown for Peter, James and John. They’d just
glimpse glory on the Mount of Transguration,
complete with Moses and Elijah. No time to build booths. It was back to the grind of preaching, teaching and healing. At
the en of the transguration chapter comes another isturbing passion
prediction by Jesus:
“’The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.’ And they were greatly distressed”
(Matt. 17:22–23).Their only option was Jesus.
“Lord, to whom shall we go?”
(John 6:68). Allor nothing. Jesus or nothing. But with Jesus came suffering and death. Theirknowledge would remain partial until they’d seen the risen Christ.
“Put to
death for our transgressions, raised for our justication”
(Rom. 4:25). And then, just one thing remained: Jesus only. The apostles, just like us, wavered and
still ha the esh about their necks (Gal. 2; Acts 15:39), but trials an crosses
always threw them back upon Jesus only.
“I have suffered the loss of all things
and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ”
(Phil. 3:8).Service in the church is often very hard business. We come into thesevocations having been encouraged by our pastors, teachers, fellowChristians and family. “You’dmake a good pastor!” “You’d be a
wonerful teacher!” Soon we n
that it’s not all Moses and Elijah inglory. Not at all. Times of joy may be punctuated with long periodsof deep trials, congregations inturmoil, challenging relationshipswith staff and church members.The stress of disappointment andgossip can sap all energy, throwpastors into lethargy, parch preaching and drive us to separate ourselvesfrom the world. If I could change just one thing in the Missouri Synod bywaving a magic wand, I’d turn every bit of gossip and unhealthy complaintabout church workers into a prayer for them. Valid critique and appropriateaccountability are good things, but they also require careful and positiveimplementation, preferably while things are going well.And it’s not just the “weak” church workers who have this experience.C. F. W. Walther, Friedrich Wyneken, Franz Pieper and FriedrichPfotenhauer (and for that matter, Luther himself) all had serious and long-lasting struggles with stress-related depression and breakdown. After tellingWalther about his life-long struggle with depression, Wyneken wrote:The longer and the more I have suffered under my heavy spiritual
Anfechtungen
[i.e., trials, struggles], I have experienced in a practicalway the necessity and importance of pure doctrine. Since every
octrine is connecte with justication, an unergirs it—inee,
proceeds from it as from the center [of the faith], and leads back to
it—I have foun in this octrine my only stay in the mist of myifculties (
At Home in the House of My Fathers
 , p. 425).
Wyneken’s trials force him to the heart of it all—justication—Jesus,put to eath for our transgressions, raise for our justication. Jesus only.We all pass through times of trial an ifculty. I’m very thankful for those
trials I experienced in the parish because they have made me much moresympathetic to others and much more compassionate. Such trials leave usclinging to Jesus only.
“Lord, to whom shall we go?”
And wonderfully, andsomewhat ironically, they render us ever more to be “little Christs” to our brothers and sisters in their challenging moments, so that we can come tothem with “Jesus only:”
“Whatsoever you have done to the least of these . . .”
(Matt. 25:40). Perhaps Paul said it best:
“But we have this treasure in jars of 
clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us”
(2 Cor. 4:7).When we began the trek into this church work business, they told us,“You’ll be a good pastor or teacher or . . .” But the way we become such
workers is the Jesus way—
”the Son of man must suffer many things.”
Only
through such trials are we reduced to “Jesus only.”
n
Pastor Matthew Harrison, President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Syno
“Service in thechurch is often
very hardbusiness.”
 
LCMS President’s Newsletter
 
n
 
Page 2
From C. F. W. Walther to Hanoi
international schools
By Kim Plummer Krull
W
hen Jim Wolf served with theMarines in Vietnam in the late
1960s, it was a less than ieal rst
visit, especially, he says, for a “shel-tered German Lutheran kid.”Back then, he never imagined thathe would one day return to help buildeconomic ties between the UnitedStates and the Southeast Asia countryand even be welcomed as a friend of the Vietnamese government.And the thought of an LCMSinternational school opening in Hanoiwould have been “impossible to con-
ceive” some 40 years ago, he says—
even for the great-great-grandsonof the Rev. Dr. C. F. W. Walther, theLCMS leader called the “father of theMissouri Synod.”
Wolf—a former Marine, retire
global banking executive and LCMS
member with eep Syno roots—says
that the years-in-the-making relation-ships that both he and the LCMS havedeveloped in Vietnam “must be theLord’s plan.”
“Otherwise, it’s impossible to
fathom,” said Wolf, of Pittsburgh, Pa.,whose mother, Edna Marie Walther
Wolf, 95, is believe to be the olest
living direct descendent of the churchpioneer who played a key role in theSynod’s founding in 1847 and served
as the rst LCMS presient.
Wolf calls the new ConcordiaInternational School Hanoi (CISH),which opened in August, “a greatway to reach more people” and “shineour light” in Vietnam.“It’s a tremendous accomplish-
ment. It’s not easy being ofcially
recognized as an international schoolin Vietnam,” said Wolf, who has
longstaning ties to the country, rst
through his military service and thenhis career. “My hat is off to all thosededicated servants who worked sodiligently over the years to make it areality.”As an executive with StandardChartered Bank, Wolf’s work in tradeand investment development took him all over the globe, including back to Vietnam.The opening of the Synod’s new-est international school represents “alot of work” by the LCMS, Wolf said.“It’s a great step that’s sure to plantseeds.”
Years in the Making
After years of buildingrelationships and tackling legalities,the Concordia school receivedapproval from the Hanoi governmentand opened with about 50 studentsin pre-kindergarten through gradeseven. CISH is modeled after twosister institutions in Asia, the HongKong International School andConcordia International SchoolShanghai, China. LCMS educatorSteven Winkelman serves as theConcordia Hanoi head of school.The Synod selected Vietnam as itsthird international school site, build-ing on human care work that began
in 1995 through LCMS Worl Mission
as a registered non-governmentalorganization in Vietnam, headed by
the Rev. Te Engelbrecht. Over the
years, LCMS projects to help poorfamilies earned recognition from Viet-nam’s National Institute of Nutrition,including programs to teach mothersabout prenatal nutrition and farmers
about crop iversication.
CISH addresses another greatneed: improved education in theworld’s 13th most populous country.“I’ve spoken with leaders in both theVietnam government and in the U.S.State Department, and all agree verystrongly that education is a top prior-ity for the two countries to be work-ing on together,” Wolf said.Families connected to the U.S.embassy and Hanoi’s huge multi-national business community alsoexpressed a desire for more interna-tional educational opportunities forforeign and American children as wellas local students. At present, onlystudents holding foreign passportscan be enrolled at Concordia Hanoi,according to guidelines set by theVietnamese government.In Hanoi, the expatriate popula-tion consists of more than 20 differentnationalities, Winkelman said lastyear in a
Reporter
interview, with citi-zens from the United States, Australia,Canada and Great Britain makingup the largest percentage of nativeEnglish speakers. The largest foreignpopulations come from Japan andSouth Korea.
Strengthening Ties
As an international school inHanoi, CISH must operate differentlythan the traditional LCMS school inthe United States. Vietnam is a pre-dominantly Buddhist country, Wolf 
sai, “with a signicantly smaller
minority Christian population.”“It won’t look like our American[LCMS] schools, but it can have animpact,” Wolf said.Wolf, a member of Peace Lu-theran Church, McMurray, Pa., plansto visit CISH on his next scheduledtrip to Vietnam in November. Heretired from Standard Chartered Bank in 2006 but continues to work as aneconomic development consultant forcompanies pursuing business op-portunities in Vietnam. His desire tohelp strengthen American ties withVietnam ignited when work took him
 back to Hanoi in 2005, his rst return
since his military service.Although he “always wanted togo back,” Wolf said he was surprisedthat he and his wife, Mary, were“welcomed with such open arms” asAmericans in Hanoi.“That keyed in my mind that Iwanted to continue to do things therethat were much more positive than
my rst experience in Vietnam as a
Marine,” Wolf said.A conversation with Vietnam’s
ambassaor to the U.S. afrme
Wolf’s decision to use his expertise on behalf of two countries once torn bywar. “The ambassador told me thatmy [military] service was honorable, because my country asked me to do it.Now, he said, you are doing some-thing from your heart that is evenmore honorable,” Wolf said.As he continues his work in Viet-nam, Wolf also follows LCMS work there, including the opening of theConcordia Hanoi school. He has metwith LCMS World Mission’s Rev. J.P.Cima, who is based in Vietnam, andworshipped with Cima and his wife,Aimee, and other expatriates at aninternational congregation.
Part of theWalther Legacy
Like his great-great-grandfather,Wolf is a strong proponent of Luther-an education. He speaks fondly of his church-focused childhood in St.Louis, Mo.“When I grew up, everything
revolve aroun the church—Walther
League, Boy Scouts, the church sportsteams,” he said. “Going to a Lutherangrade school and high school provid-ed a great foundation for my life andmy faith.”He looks forward to joining inthe Walther Bicentennial celebra-tion, participating, when possible,in events that begin this fall and willextend through the 125th anniversaryof Walther’s death in 2012.Walther helped lay the foundationfor a church body that now ranks asone of the largest Christian denomina-tions in the United States, with morethan 2.3 million baptized members insome 6,200 congregations. The LCMSoperates America’s largest Protestantparochial school system.“A bit of pride swells up,” Wolf says, at the mention of the LCMSfounding father’s lasting leadership.“It’s neat to have him for a great-great-grandfather.”As the newest Concordia interna-tional school begins serving studentsand families in Hanoi, Walther’slegacy continues to grow. “He be-lieved strongly in reaching out andserving others,” Wolf said of Walther.“I know this new LCMS school wouldmake him happy.”To learn more, visit the ConcordiaInternational School Hanoi website at
www.concordiahanoi.org
.
New LCMS school in Hanoi ‘tremendous accomplishment,’ says Walther kin
Students arrive at Concordia Hanoi on August 24, the school’s inaugural day of classes. Concordia’s K-7 enrollment is approximately 50 students.The staff and educators have been preparing for months for the opening of ConcordiaInternational School Hanoi. Staff includes Hai Quang Trinh, Vietnamese Relations; AmyWinkelman, Admissions; Meg Brainard, Curriculum and Instruction; and Lia Garcia Halpin,Communications.
 
LCMS President’s Newsletter
 
n
 
Page 3
Help Needed to Fund TheologicalEducation around the World
supporting missions abroad
By the Rev. Dr. Albert B. CollverDirector o Church Relations—Assistant to the President
S
ince the time of the Reformationand the early days of WittenbergUniversity, the Lutheran Churchhas been a church that excels ateducation, in particular theologicaleducation. Education is a vitalpart of our LCMS heritage andhas blossomed to become a corecompetency of the LCMS. In fact,from its very beginning, the MissouriSynod emphasized the importanceof Lutheran education with thefounding of day schools, high schools,colleges, seminaries, and morerecently, international schools suchas Hong Kong, Shanghai and Hanoi.Around the world, both Christiansand non-Christians alike associateeducation with the Missouri Synod. Itis really no surprise, then, that a majormissionary emphasis of the LCMSinvolves theological education.Building on our strong traditionof education, President Harrisonannounced in May 2011 theestablishing of a Global TheologicalEducation Initiative, along witha generous matching offer of $250,000 from an anonymous donor.This initiative involves severalcomponents.
The rst provies funs to both
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, andConcordia Theological Seminary,Fort Wayne, to offer scholarships forinternational students from aroundthe world who are considered to befuture leaders of their church. Thiscomponent of the initiative helpspartner churches build capacity bothin leadership and in their ability toprovide theological education at theirown institutions. A second componentof this initiative provides supportfor the regional seminaries of LCMSpartner churches. A third componentprovides funding for LCMS
$250,000 matching gift available
Theological education support—a major missionary emphasis of the LCMS—helps partnerchurches and emerging churches raise up and train national leaders like those shown aboveattending a Lutheran theological training event in Madagascar.
professors and pastors to travel to apartner or even a non-partner churchand teach at one of their regionalseminaries or theological educationcenters. Each year, the LCMS receivesmore requests than we can meetfrom partner churches to providetheological education.In practical terms, the GlobalTheological Education Initiativewill greatly assist our LCMS partnerchurches. Currently, Concordia
Rev. Dr. Alan Ludwig, Siberia, Russia
Rev. Dr. Carl, Deaconess Deborah and TedRockrohr, South AfricaRev. and Mrs. Tony Booker, Czech Republic
Opportunities to SupportOur LCMS Missionaries
N
early 75 years ago, Friedrich Pfo-
tenhauer, fth presient of the
Missouri Synod, preached the follow-ing words at a mission festival:To be sure, when we membersof the Lutheran Church considerthat the treasure of the Gospel,which makes us so rich andhappy, should also be broughtto others, it should make uswilling to do diligent work forthe mission. By that mission andthrough our work, many will bewon for the kingdom of Christ!We should ourselves be eagerto preach the Gospel to anotherperson and toparticipate inthe missionwork of our belovedSynod, whilewe educatemessengersin ourinstitutionsand send outmissionaries near and far! [“TheDuty of the Lutheran Churchto Be a Church of Mission,”
1937;
At Home In the House of MyFathers
(CPH 2011), p. 803].The Church has always seen themissionary task as a great privilege,duty and gift given by our Lord Jesus.The Lord has called the Church wher-ever it is located to make disciples by teaching and by baptizing people
into the Lor’s holy name—Father,Son an Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19–20).
 Jesus calls for His Church to pray tothe Lord of the harvest to send labor-
ers into the el (Matt. 9:38). Jesus
also calls for His Church to support
nancially the sening of these labor
-
ers into the el. Historically, the
people of the Missouri Synod haveresponded eagerly to the Lord’s call topray and sup-port laborers in
the el.
Last July,the LCMS sentout more than30 missionariesto 16 countries.In addition tothese newly sentmissionaries, the
LCMS has many in the el who are
also in need of prayer and support.Among the new career mission-aries sent out are Rev. Alan Ludwig(
www.lcms.org/Ludwig
) who serves
By the Rev. Dr. Albert B. CollverDirector o Church Relations—Assistant to the President
in Siberia, Russia; Rev. Tony Booker(
www.lcms.org/Booker
) who will servein the Czech Republic; and Rev. Dr.Carl Rockrohr and Deaconess Debo-rah Rockrohr (
www.lcms.org/Rockrohr
),who will serve in South Africa. Pleaseremember these missionaries, as wellas all LCMS missionaries, in yourprayers, and consider supportingthem as you are able.President Harrison wrote in hisletter that accompanied the May 2011
Lutheran Witness
that a generous giftfrom an anonymous donor provideda matching opportunity for LCMS
Mission Outreach. This rst match
-ing challenge has been met, and nowwe have the chance to respond toadditional opportunities to send outlaborers into the harvest.Seminary,
St. Louis, has two professorsfrom the seminary of our partnerchurch in Argentina studying at thegraduate school so that they can returnto their country and better preparepastors for Hispanic ministry in SouthAmerica. The Evangelical LutheranChurch of Argentina is the world’slargest Spanish-speaking Lutheranchurch. By assisting the LutheranChurch in Argentina, the LCMSmaximizes its mission outreach in theregion while at the same time buildinglocal capacity for the future.In Papua, New Guinea, St. TimothySeminary is in desperate need of reno-vated toilet, shower and dormitoryfacilities. Currently, this need hindersthem from enrolling more studentsto study for the pastoral ministry.Elsewhere, the Lutheran Church inNigeria (LCN) recently celebrated its75th anniversary. At the celebration,Archbishop Ekong mentioned the needfor visiting seminary professors fromthe LCMS at their seminary.Recently, the Lutheran Churchin South Africa (LCSA) requestedthat the LCMS send a professor whocould teach the Small Catechism in apractical way so that students wouldknow how to use the catechism ineveryday ministry. We were able to
fulll this request by sending the Rev.
Randy Asburry from Hope LutheranChurch, St. Louis. Each of theseexamples demonstrates the variousneeds that the Global TheologicalEducation Initiative is designed tomeet so that the Gospel of Jesus may be spread throughout the world. Partof our Life Together as a church is torespond to the needs of our brothersand sisters, both near and far.
Time is short for the matchinggrant opportunity. Please considersupporting the Global TheologicalEducation Initiative by visiting
http:// lcms.org/projects
.Please visit one of the mission-ary’s links or go to
www.lcms/ 
missionaries
to learn more about eachof our LCMS missionaries and how tosupport them.
“The Church has always seenthe missionary task as a great privilege, duty and gift  given by our Lord Jesus.” 

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