March – April 2013, Vol. 1, Issue 4

The World Door

@ Our

March – April 2013 vol. 1 no. 4


4 9 13 16
Mercy Opens City Doors Who’s @ Your Door?  itnessing to the World Begins W @ Home LCMS Snapshots


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. © 2013 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 (lcms.org/lutheransengage). 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.


The World at Our Door
Walk into my congregation during weekend worship and you’ll meet people you typically wouldn’t expect to see in a St. Louis LCMS church: an extended family from Nepal. Drive a few miles to another LCMS congregation and you’ll meet Frenchspeaking African immigrants. In another, converts from Bosnia. The world is at our door! This Godgiven opportunity is an about-face from generations past, when Europeans immigrated and grew their community around a familiar church building. Today, our neighbors are as likely to be atheists as Christians. They may be Muslim or Hindi. The world is in the faces of the homeless, the vagabond wanderer and the college student. Many mix a bit of this or that religion with a bit of wishful thinking, making up a belief system that fits their taste — ignorant about Jesus, denying sin and slaving for inner peace. They are spiritual, but not religious. The world is at our door! And very often, the world has no perceived use for what we offer: forgiveness, life and salvation in Christ Jesus. The world is blind to the truth, until the Holy Spirit working through Word and Sacrament opens their eyes and the door of their hearts. This issue of Lutherans Engage the World shares stories of how you and your Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod are reaching out to those around you with the life-changing message of the Gospel, through acts of both Witness and Mercy. It is part and parcel to our mission and Life Together as Lutherans. We engage the world at our door (Matt. 28:18–20).

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Present with the Gospel 10 Questions Serving the Body of Christ  International Mercy Grant National Mercy Grant 2013 National Offering


+ Pray + Serve + Participate + Listen + Learn + Invest
executive director, mission advancement executive director, communications executive editor executive editor manager of design services staff writer staff writer designer designer

Mark D. Hofman Executive Director, Mission Advancement
E d i t o r i a l Off i ce 314-996-1215 1333 S. Kirkwood Road St. Louis, MO 63122-7295 lutheransengage@lcms.org www.lcms.org/lutheransengage

S TA F F Mark D. Hofman David L. Strand James H. Heine Pamela J. Nielsen Mark R. Bacon Megan K. Mertz Laura J. Seaman Carolyn A. Niehoff Chrissy A. Thomas


March-April 2013, Vol. 1, Issue 4

The World Our Door

Cover image: The LCMS seeks to share the love of Christ with people from around the world. Credit: ISTOCK


Present with the Gospel
by Megan K. Mertz


s the urban missionary pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Kansas City, Mo., Rev. C. Robert Malone Sr. gets people where they need to go. Although he does many things — like organizing events, distributing food, and making hospital and prison visits — his most important ministry is coordinating transportation so that people can come to church, Bible class or youth group. “We don’t see many other Lutheran church vans driving around,” said Malone. “But by providing transportation, we can connect people with a parish ministry.” “It’s a real ministry of presence,” he continued, speaking of his work with Kansas City’s urban minority populations. “I want people to realize that there is someone who cares about them with the love of Jesus.” Sharing the Gospel through mercy care also is the work of LCMS Black Ministry. “Extending a helping hand to one’s neighbor has always been essential to the



The LCMS, together with other Lutheran bodies, began official outreach among blacks in the U.S.


Rosa Young & the LCMS established the first black Lutheran college, which later became Concordia College Alabama in Selma, Ala.

congregational life of a black parish,” said Rev. Quentin Poulson, director of LCMS Urban and InnerCity Mission. Since 1877, LCMS Black Ministry has provided assistance and networking opportunities to LCMS districts, congregations and organizations seeking to reach out to predominantly black populations. Currently, Black Ministry collaborates with 259 congregations, schools and service agencies. Black Ministry publishes the TimeLine newsletter and organizes the Black Ministry Family Convocation, which is held every two years. These gatherings have helped create a unified mission among black Lutherans. But even with this rich history, Interim Director of Black Ministry Rev. Dr. Frazier Odom says the struggle continues. Ministry leaders need to reach out to youth, especially those in inner cities, to show them that God loves them and has a plan for them. “There is an urgency to recruit the next generation of black church workers so that our ministry doesn’t

Peace, Kansas City, Mo., has a van to transport area residents to attend church and Bible class.

fade away,” said Odom. “The Lord chooses people for His service; it doesn’t matter what color you are. But we all need to get behind this if it is to succeed.”

To learn more, visit www. lcms.org/blackministry. Your gifts to the LCMS Global Mission Fund make this important work possible.

Office of National Mission

LCMS Black Ministry

Annual Investment: $300,000
The first Black Ministry Family Convocation was held. It is now a biennial event.


The LCMS convention authorized the creation of the Commission on Black Ministry, now called LCMS Black Ministry.



The LCMS will celebrate 150 years of black ministry.

March–April 2013

robert gilham


10 Questions
with Rev. Tardeli Voss

5. What’s challenging about your
mission work?
Working with immigrants is hard because some of these families are weak or more oppressed than others, and being involved in their suffering can be really sad and painful. Sometimes my challenge is to be a voice for them. That does not always make me popular.


by Laura J. Seaman

fter graduating from our sister seminary in Sao Leopoldo, Brazil, Rev. Tardeli Voss and his wife, Diani, left their home in Brazil for a missionary life in northwest Arkansas. Pastor Voss serves as a regional missionary for the LCMS Mid-South District. He is called to plant churches and serve several Hispanic communities, where he shares Christ’s Gospel in three languages — English, Spanish and his native Portuguese.

6. What’s most rewarding about what
you do?
When you plant a church and start from zero, you are really battling with the devil for the souls of people who are completely lost. It is a joy to witness the beginning of a life transformed by the power of God.

1. When did you become interested in
cross-cultural ministry?
Since I was 9 years old I wanted to go to seminary. My dream was to become a pastor. But mission work came as a passion from my vicarage. On my vicarage I was sent to another country, Uruguay. I had to learn a new language, Spanish, and a new culture for a mission congregation. I came back with a passion for cross-cultural mission.

7. How has God blessed your ministry?

In growth, and in focusing our congregation outward. It is not common to see immigrants serving our communities; they usually receive the benefits of the community . . . but will not give back. Preaching the Law and Gospel is teaching them a Lutheran perspective on missions and showing them why we give back to others. Last year we gave 1,200 hours of community service!

2. What’s the focus of
your call?
To plant churches and develop leaders that could help us continue our ministry.

8. What makes the U.S. a
special mission field for you?
The church in Brazil was started by missionaries from America, by pastors who were called to plant the church in Brazil. And now the church in Brazil is, in a sense, paying back with missionaries to serve our sister church, the LCMS. There aren’t many Hispanic missionaries . . . so it is awesome that the Brazilian church is sharing in that. And I feel blessed to be sent.

3. What’s important

about Hispanic ministry in the LCMS?

The United States is made up of 50 percent Hispanics, but our Synod Rev. Tardeli Voss and his wife, Diani Voss is less than 1 percent Hispanic. The challenge is to reflect in our Synod the national demographic. The LCMS should embrace immigrants as a blessing that brings What is your favorite Bible passage? opportunity, and see the reality that God is bringing the nations First Corinthians 9:22; it talks about being all things to all to this country. people.


4. How can the Church bridge the
ethnicity gap?

10. What do you enjoy in your free time?
I love to spend time playing soccer, going out with my wife and playing guitar.
Laura J. Seaman is a staff writer for LCMS Communications and a recent graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne.

There are a lot of connections between Anglo and Hispanic churches. The majority of Hispanics don’t know the Lutheran perspective, but there are people we can reach who are open to a Law and Gospel approach to the Bible. The preaching of the Law and Gospel is a way we bring the Lutheran treasure to life!

March–April 2013



Mercy Opens City Doors
by Pamela J. Nielsen


hat’s where he was sleeping,” notes missionary to the city of Philadelphia, Pastor Joshua Gale. The days were getting shorter and the nights colder. Each day, as the construction workers arrived to repair the dilapidated church property, they would find him in the outside stairwell of the church. James had fallen on hard times, made some mistakes and was one of



March–April 2013

approximately 4,000 homeless people daily living in the shadows of our nation’s fifth largest city. “I was so cold,” recalled James, “I went down the steps and found a place to sleep right there. One day I came down the steps and there was blankets and a pillow and I didn’t know who or where . . . I met Pastor Gale . . . and I’m just grateful.” Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries (PLM) is renovating the empty church building and the adjoining two houses to serve as the physical location for their citywide operation as well as a church plant and transitional housing for the homeless. Fresh out of seminary, Pastor Gale, who is called by PLM, hit the streets of Philadelphia on foot, engaging with the very visible homeless community. After some initial skepticism, the community embraced the tall, bearded pastor who frequently arrived with sandwiches, socks and blankets. “Lutherans were actually out there doing what the church is supposed to do, to help people in need, and that’s what made me cling right on to them,” shared CB, a formerly homeless man who now serves as the property manager for PLM and shares one of the transitional homes with James. The men have formed a strong bond with Pastor Gale and are studying the Small Catechism with him.
photos: istock; pamela j. nielsen (6) and Mark R. Bacon (1)

congregations realized that the world was quite literally at their door. PLM was established as a unified effort by clergy and church members to fund and oversee domestic mission work in the greater Philadelphia area. “What it takes, number one, is to first plant altars and pulpits and then that will be the nucleus of what we do. What makes us different is our Lutheran ethos around the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments, followed by the fruits they provide in our various vocations and callings. Having our congregations and what we do in the cities as places of refuge is key,” explains Gale. He points out that people respond to the mercy shown them, which in turn opens the door for preaching and teaching the Gospel. Pastor Tom Engler, executive director for PLM, is emphatic: “The biggest contribution we can make to the world is our teaching, our catechesis. It’s the gift of God’s Word, it’s not a program that we are pushing or methods.”

Many Nations
PLM’s efforts extend beyond the homeless population to the many immigrants pouring into the city. “This is an international mission field right where we are,” notes Pastor Gale. The Philapelphia area pastors regularly gather to study God’s Word together. A fruit of these lively theological discussions is Pastor Cho, a Presbyterian pastor from Korea who was invited to join the study sessions. He and his congregation, Philadelphia True Light Lutheran Church, became Lutheran and were brought into membership in the English District of the LCMS this past year. Rev. Arthur Zogar, a pastor at Christ Assembly Lutheran Church, serves the largest and most thriving congregation in Philadelphia. It is a

Where does a group of congregations surrounding a city that has only 3 full-time pastors and a mere 356 members begin to reach out to a population of 1.5 million? Some years ago, the LCMS
T to B, preceeding page: CB, property manager for PLM; Pastors Tom Engler, Joshua Gale and Rob Kieselowsky of Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries; homeless in city park; Jason Mercado, formerly homeless, has a cookie baking business after help from the PLM Enterprise Division.

T to B: James, homeless for 2 to 3 years; Outdoor stairwell where James slept; PLM Transitional House where James and CB live.
March–April 2013 lcms.org/lutheransengage


lcms: pamela j. nielsen

time between a small parish and development work for PLM. “Our district president told us they were here in the area. LCMS President Rev. Matthew Harrison put us in contact with Darin Storkson, the LCMS regional director for Southern Asia and Oceania. Darin sent us 20 Large Catechisms in Indonesian. . . . The Indonesian pastor is using them to teach his flock.“ Pastor Arthur Boone works largely with Hispanics. Noting the unique challenges of urban ministry, he points to the fact that city churches no longer have older, lifelong Lutherans. Instead, they are filled with younger families who don’t know anything about Christianity. “I’ve taught ESL classes, and we had a couple of Chinese teenage brothers who had never heard of Jesus before. Through that class we have seen about every nation on the earth and many religions and sects; it’s a real challenge.”

Each Saturday, Lutherans are among the volunteers who gather to feed the homeless in downtown Philadelphia. A chef prepares the hot, delicious meal that is served tableside by the volunteers inside the Broad Street Mission.

Any City, USA
Replace Philadelphia with any large city in America and the story is the same: the church has largely moved out, poverty is endemic and people from every country in the world are flocking to these gutted urban centers. Engler is passionate: “One thing I want to get across, I want the Synod to know, is that we have these large populations with very little presence, and its going to take a Synod effort to get back into the cities. Yes, we are doing it locally, as the church we are the body here and if we concentrate our efforts we can reclaim the city and reintroduce ourselves to it.”

congregation of African immigrants, many from his native Liberia. The church is involved in an effort to strengthen and foster economic development among this immigrant population. Through PLM’s Enterprise Division, business training and mentoring along with microloans help establish a strong community in and around the churches, providing beachheads in otherwise crime, drug and poverty-stricken areas. “We are just getting involved with Indonesians, they are worshiping in a home,” said Pastor Rob Kieselowsky, who divides his

Executive Director Rev. Bart Day, along with the ONM directors for Recognized Service Organizations, Church and Community Engagement, and Urban and Ethnic Ministry, have made several trips to meet with the pastors and lay leaders in Philadelphia. Bringing their varied knowledge and skills to the table has provided valuable guidance and expertise for the work in Philadelphia. The ONM has facilitated bringing the Lutheran Housing Corporation on board as part of a joint effort to revitalize the communities surrounding Lutheran congregations in the city. Additionally, PLM has been encouraged to apply for ONM grant dollars that will provide initial funds for various projects. The ONM is committed to walking alongside PLM and will be playing a significant role not only in Philadelphia but other urban areas as well. They are eager to provide congregations and districts with resources, assistance and guidance as requested. Day sees PLM and the work they are doing as both a model and testing ground for urban ministry across the Synod. “ONM is looking to support and share successful models of ministry that can be duplicated in other cities. PLM is doing great things, and we believe even better things are yet to come.”

Philly Facts:
w 5th largest city in US w 1.5 million residents w 9 percent immigrants w 4000 homeless people (estimate) w 4 LCMS congregations w 3 full-time pastors w 356 baptized LCMS members

ONM in the City
That’s where the Office of National Mission (ONM), with its many ministries, grant funds and other forms of church revitalizationfocused assistance, comes in.




March–April 2013

Serving the Body of Christ
by Megan K. Mertz


March–April 2013



photo: fred kramer

hen Trinity Lutheran Church, Portland, Ore., moved to its present location in 1959, it was located in a remote suburb of the city. But times changed, and a populous neighborhood grew up around the church — including a Mayan community of more than 2,000 from coastal Mexico. “We saw the changing demographics, so we decided it was an opportunity, a challenge and our responsibility to reach out,” said Dr. Frederick Kramer, a long-time member at Trinity. In collaboration with Concordia University, Portland, Ore., Trinity began offering English classes to the community. The congregation later added computer classes, fellowship meals, counseling services, immigration assistance, a community garden and a food program, which currently distributes 32 tons of He engaged folks in conversations about spiritual and food each year. physical needs,” said Hernandez. “Mercy softens the Trinity also invited Rev. Dr. Carlos Hernandez, director of LCMS Church and Community Engagement, heart to receive the Gospel Witness so that the hearer may be drawn by the Spirit to offer insights on how the into our Life Together.” congregation could better But Hernandez stresses engage the community. that engagement begins “At every home I visited, I with the household of God heard the same question: (Gal. 6:10). His ministry ‘Puden venir a la escuela?’ includes providing Can our children enroll financial assistance and in the school?” said pastoral care to current Hernandez. and retired church Since most of the parents workers in crisis through were working in low paying Soldiers/Veterans of service jobs and could the Cross. The current not afford the tuition, “We economic climate has put began raising money to additional stress on small make it happen,” recalled A volunteer instructs a student during one of the free computer congregations, which are Kramer. Today, Trinity classes offered by Trinity, Portland, Ore. sometimes unable to fully provides scholarships to provide for their workers’ needs. During tough times, eight Latino students, and the congregation has some Soldiers/Veterans of the Cross helps church workers 80 Latinos who attend its Spanish or English worship cover unexpected medical expenses, utilities or other services. Mercy resulted in opportunities to Witness. financial burdens. Helping congregations to recognize changing demographics and community needs is an important To learn more about how this ministry supports the part of the work of LCMS Church and Community body of Christ, visit www.lcms.org/gospelseeds, www. Engagement. Hernandez does this through an on-site, lcms.org/votc or www.lcms.org/sotc. four-day “Planting Gospel Seeds While Serving Human Needs” training workshop, where congregational Megan K. Mertz is a staff writer for LCMS Communications. She and members and staff go out into the community to meet her husband, Jonathan, are members of Mount Calvary Lutheran with local agencies and residents. Church in Brentwood, Mo. “Jesus is our model for community engagement.


of National Mission

Church and Community Engagement

Annual Investment: $870,000


International Mercy Grant

A Bridge to the Gospel for Muslim Refugees

A group of Iranians gather at the font as Rev. Hugo Gevers baptizes a family member. In the Church, God’s Word strengthens and gives hope to immigrant refugees and their families.

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Leipzig, Germany, has been empty for over two decades. God’s work through Die Brücke is bringing the nations to St. Luke’s, a church home for new believers.

by Laura J. Seaman


n Luther’s homeland today, the sad fact is that few Germans respond to the Gospel message of salvation in Christ Jesus. Yet God is bringing to the Church new, unexpected opportunities to preach His Word on German soil. In Leipzig, the largest city in the state of Saxony, Germany, there is a large immigrant, Muslim community. It is there that our partner church, the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) of Germany, is working to spread the Gospel to those who are willing to receive it. Hugo Gevers, a South African missionary with German heritage, is called by the SELK to witness and show mercy to these refugees — many of them Iranian — through a mission effort called Die Brücke.

Die Brücke, or The Bridge, is based out of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, a Leipzig church that is more than 100 years old but has gone unused for the past two decades. Many Iranians, after fleeing their country, find themselves homeless in the land of Luther. Die Brücke provides physical and spiritual assistance at hostels, where families receive food, clothing and shelter. As Pastor Gevers visits the hostels to lead worship, teach the Catechism and baptize new believers, hungry souls hear the saving Word of God and lives are changed forever. Iranian immigrants are responding eagerly to the salvation and forgiveness found in God’s Word. Bishop Hans-Jörg Voigt of the SELK says, “Every time I meet these people from Iran I can see in their faces the joy of the Gospel.” The Word is working so strongly,

those closest to it call it a “second Iranian revolution,” and about onethird of the congregation are former Muslims. The LCMS is walking alongside our partner, the SELK, providing a $15,000 mercy grant to enable them to continue to provide merciful care for refugees, leading them to Christ, their Savior.

Recipient: Die Brücke (The Bridge), Leipzig, Germany Amount: $15,000 result: Iranian refugees receive spiritual care, housing and help with basic needs.



March–April 2013

photos: GRACE RAO

Who’s @Your Door?
by Megan K. Mertz ccording to the U.S. Census Bureau’s yearly American Community Survey, there were an estimated 40 million foreign-born people living in the United States in 2010. Although a majority of these people resided in the traditional “gateway” states of California, New York, Texas, Florida and New Jersey, the survey found that those arriving after 2005 were more likely than their predecessors to settle in nontraditional destinations. Today, there are foreign-born residents living in every state in the country, even Alaska! The people living in your community may surprise you. From Sudanese in Fargo, N.D., to Pakistanis in Denver, Colo., to Brazilians in San Antonio, Texas, the world is truly at our door. LCMS members like you are demonstrating the love of Christ to immigrants through English


classes, job training, Bible studies, driving lessons, food and clothing distributions, and in many other ways. In the Pacific Southwest District alone, 81 congregations offer nonEnglish worship and social ministry outreach to immigrants from Africa, Asia and Latin America. In addition, the Missouri Synod’s Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs) also extend the reach of the Church by providing additional services and resources to spread the Gospel. “The face of the LCMS must change in the coming decades if the LCMS is going to remain a strong and vibrant church,” commented Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the Office of National Mission (ONM). “That’s why the Office of National Mission is expanding its work among ethnic groups, specifically by increasing staffing

and resources in Hispanic ministry, creating a stronger network among our African immigrant communities and reaching international students via campus ministry. With the continued financial support of people across the Synod, the ONM will continue to offer domestic grants and other funding to help expand ethnic work at the local level, through districts and congregations.” By bringing people of all nations to the LCMS, God is giving us opportunities to share the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus through our witness and mercy. “The future of the LCMS is an ethnically diverse church that reflects St. John’s vision of heaven in Revelation 7,” Day said. The following pages provide a snapshot of the world at our LCMS doors. Do you know your neighbors?

March–April 2013




Is Your Door Open?
Is your congregation ready to engage the world at your door? The LCMS Office of National Mission is ready to be your partner in witness and mercy. The ONM has resources, expertise, grant dollars and a network of Recognized Service Organizations and other agencies with services to expand your reach into the community.

Black Ministry Susan.Green@lcms.org Disaster Response Glenn.Merritt@lcms.org Evangelism & Outreach (The 72) Al.Tormoehlen@lcms.org Gospel Seeds Carlos.Hernandez@lcms.org hispanic ministry Carlos.Hernandez@lcms.org Life and Health Ministries Maggie.Karner@lcms.org

Christian Friends of New Americans helps connect immigrants with area churches. The organization works with eight ethnic groups, including St. Louis’ large Bosnian population.

Several congregations in the LCMS Atlantic District minister to the area’s Chinese community. These churches offer catechism classes and outreach in the Mandarin and Cantonese languages.

Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska partnered with a local LCMS congregation to open a boutique for the Latino community. By attending parenting and lifeskill classes, families earn credit for food, diapers and clothing.

Disciples of the Way Ministries (formerly POBLO-TX) reaches out to Muslims in Texas. Female leaders teach local Muslim women life skills like sewing through the Sewing Seeds of Faith program.



March–April 2013

Immigrants entering the United States since 2005 have settled in every state of the union.

Recognized Service Organizations Dorothy.Krans@lcms.org Rural and Small Town Mission Todd.Kollbaum@lcms.org Amy.Gerdts@lcms.org Schools Bill.Cochran@lcms.org Urban and Inner City Mission Quentin.Poulson@lcms.org Youth Terry.Dittmer@lcms.org
Percent ■ 5.0 or more ■ 2.0 to 4.9 ■ 1.0 to 1.9 ■ 0.5 to 0.9 ■ Less than 0.5

The largest number of immigrants to the U.S. come from Central America and Asia, with the number of Asians outpacing Hispanic immigrants since 2008.
Africa Asia Europe Caribbean Central America South Other America regions

Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest helps refugees start new lives in Arizona. Many of these refugees come from the African countries of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan.

















Source for map and graph data: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2010. March–April 2013 lcms.org/lutheransengage


National Mercy Grant

African Immigrants and a New Foundation

PHOTOS: dan hougard

Rev. Kasongo Gui delivers God’s Word through preaching. A Congo native, Gui reaches out to people in as many as five languages.

Children of FAIME at Benediction Lutheran Church in Milwaukee receive school supplies from an annual school supply drive sponsored by area Lutheran churches. FAIME receives about 100 school packs each year.

by Laura J. Seaman


“I share the

mmigrants arriving in America often experience a flood of emotional and spiritual upheaval. They find themselves lost and confused in an unfamiliar new world. Without jobs or even sometimes a home, they have nowhere to turn. That’s when our Church reaches out with the Good News to bring hope and love. Rev. Kasongo Gui actively works to bring the Gospel message of Christ to refugees through a mission called French African Immigrant Mercy and Evangelism (FAIME). Based in Milwaukee, Wis., FAIME reaches refugees through Bible and Catechism classes, housing support, jobtraining classes and seminars on the biblical perspective on social issues, including marriage and vocation. “Most of the refugees come from other religious backgrounds,” said Pastor Gui. “That is why it

Gospel of Jesus Christ, that we are saved by grace! We don’t have to do anything, but God comes to us in Word and Sacrament.

is important to me to catechize, baptize and confirm them with Lutheran teachings. I love to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ!” Rev. Don Hougard, pastor of Benediction Lutheran Church in Milwaukee and Gui’s circuit counselor, said that Gui uses and teaches the Catechism as “a compass for life.” Thanks to your generous gifts to the Global Mission Fund, FAIME has received $18,500 in LCMS mercy grants, dollars that will help with informational, educational,

physical and spiritual resources for French-, Swahili-, Lingala- and Chiluba-speaking West African immigrants. Hougard said the grants help families in a very real way and that “every penny went to help somebody in need.” “In Africa people think they have to fast more, pray more,” said Gui. “I share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that we are saved by grace! We don’t have to do anything, but God comes to us in Word and Sacrament.”

Recipient: French African Immigrant Mercy and Evangelism (FAIME) Amount: $18,500 result: African immigrants receive Bible and Catechism classes while adjusting to life in America.


March–April 2013

Witnessing to the World Begins @Home
by Megan K. Mertz


ach year, some 200,000 new international students arrive in the United States with little more than what fits in a suitcase. As they adjust to life in a foreign country, they have many basic needs: friendship, furniture, English conversation practice, transportation and help navigating everyday situations.


March–April 2013



christ the king lutheran chapel

L to R: International and American friends attend a Christmas party at Central Michigan University; Rev. Eric Andrae, campus pastor at First Trinity, Pittsburgh, Pa., baptizes a Taiwanese student.

The countries that send the greatest numbers of international students — like China, India and Saudi Arabia — are often indifferent or even hostile to the Gospel message. Over the years, LCMS congregations and members have embraced these opportunities to share the Gospel with people who may not have otherwise had the chance to hear the Good News. In 1996, the Synod guided the formation of International Student Ministry, Inc. (ISM, Inc.) to foster intentional outreach among international students. Today there are more than 90 ministries across the country serving students in every type of institute of higher learning, even community colleges.

The Harvest Is Plentiful
“Last year there were more than 760,000 international students in

the U.S., and 70 percent of them will finish their studies without ever visiting an American home,” said ISM, Inc. founder Rev. Dr. Carl Selle. As Selle and others emphasize, building relationships with international students is the best way to minister to them. Programs that are successful at witnessing first start by offering practical services, such as English classes, furniture giveaways, free meals, pumpkin-carving parties or iceskating trips. “I met a Chinese student at a welcome dinner, and our first conversation was about cereal. She was asking about all the different kinds at the store,” said Rev. Paul Hoemann of University Lutheran Chapel at Texas A&M University. “Just over an innocent conversation like that, God opened the door and she was later baptized.” Location also plays a role in what services or events might be offered. “A lot of students aren’t prepared for how cold it

>Annual Investment in Campus Ministry: $80,000
is in Michigan. We try to help by providing winter clothes,” said Anne Bakker, director of international ministry at Christ the King Lutheran Chapel, Central Michigan University. International Student Ministry— St. Louis serves more than 400 international students each semester. New students learn about the ministry through the furniture giveaway in August and later join Bible studies and conversation classes. ISM—St. Louis has seen more than 50 Baptisms over the years. But as Rev. Lawrence Mitchell, senior pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, Bloomington, Ind., notes, “It is likely that we will never see the end result of the ministry that we do here. But we’re planting the Gospel seed, and these students



March–April 2013


Meet Hao
In 2009, Hao Yang came to the United States to work on a doctorate in chemistry. At the time, the Chinese national was curious about why so many people believed in Jesus and the Bible, but he wasn’t a Christian. In his spare time, Hao began attending events organized by International Student Ministry— St. Louis. He also joined a Bible study led by one of the organization’s volunteers. During the next two years, he was “naturally convinced” to become Lutheran. “I thought [Christianity] is a religion which encourages kindness, but I did not think it represented truth,” said Hao, reflecting

Hao was baptized at Timothy Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Mo., where he regularly attends worship.

on his earlier notions. “But as I read the Bible more and understood more, I realized I was already changed.” In 2012, Hao was baptized at Timothy Lutheran Church in St.

Louis, Mo. No matter where life takes him in the future — to the U.S., China or beyond — Hao now finds comfort in knowing that God is in control.

will take Christ with them when they leave.” Campus ministry in general — and especially to international students — takes many forms. Some, like Mitchell’s ministry to Asian students at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., are supported primarily by the local congregation and community. Others are made possible through the combined support of dedicated people, districts and Recognized Service Organizations, in partnership with the Synod. “Nowhere is Witness, Mercy and Life Together more tangible than in international student ministry. We show mercy through ESL, friendship programs, dinners and so on, which ultimately leads to witness as students become curious about why we do what we

do for them. Then international students are invited to be brought into this life together through the font,” said Rev. Eric Andrae, campus pastor at First Trinity Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, Pa. In January, the LCMS Office of National Mission renewed its commitment to campus ministry through the announcement of LCMS U (www.lcms. org/lcmsu), a new initiative to strengthen the collective work of these ministries around the country. LCMS U will connect and support those involved so that they can boldly bear witness to Christ on the nation’s college campuses. “One of the greatest ways for the LCMS Office of National Mission to support the global

expansion of the Gospel is to work with international students,” said Rev. Bart Day, executive director, LCMS Office of National Mission. “Having heard the Gospel of Christ at school, many of these students will spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth as they return home to become leaders in their communities. The world is at our door. Thanks be to God.”

you can make a difference!

• A gift to the LCMS Global Mission Fund will help support campus ministry and other work at home and abroad. • Contact the international student office on a campus near you to reach out to those who are far from home.
March–April 2013 lcms.org/lutheransengage


witness, mercy, life together


(Above) Women at Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Tulsa, Okla., produced 122 quilts to donate to Lutheran World Relief (LWR). The congregation also collected school supplies and personal care items for LWR projects.

(Left) New or handmade mittens, scarves and hats were brought in and pinned to or hung on this six-foot snowman. This human care mission project from Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and School in Crookston, Minn., was a fun winter project for kids.



March–April 2013

Rev. James Walter, John Ketcher, Jim Marvin, Rudy Bischof and Robert Richter of Grace Lutheran Church in Little Rock, Ark., help load donations for Lutheran World Relief (LWR). Little Rock was one of eight locations throughout the MidSouth District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod visited by the LWR Care Van, which traveled to several local circuits to collect quilts, school supplies, baby care supplies, soap and other personal care items.

Women from LWML Dorcas and LWML Women in Mission at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas, participated in collecting the “Noisy Mites” (coins) offering on LWML Sunday. They are, from left, Lois Wolf, Jo-Ann Samsel, Pauline Flatness, Joyce Reed, Joann Moerbe and Laura Font.

#tell us your wmlt story...
During a recent trip to India, Rev. Carlton Riemer and his wife, Arlene, from Stillwater, Okla., assisted in reaching community members with the Gospel and preparing college-aged women for jobs that require English speaking skills. The Canadian and American Spoken English Course (CASEC) was led by Lutherans from the U.S. and Canada. Pictured, from left, are Analis Groh, Jennifer and Ian Voelker of Ottawa, Canada, the Riemers and Sharyn Heagle, also from Ottawa, Canada.

Please send your parish or district photos to: Lutheransengage@lcms.org OR Lutherans Engage the World 1333 S. Kirkwood Road St. Louis, MO 63122
March–April 2013 lcms.org/lutheransengage


Together as Synod


2013 National Offering

for This Moment

It begins in an instant. A bold move is made. God Himself baptizes us, redeems us and prepares us for His work. Baptized for this moment, we move forward in forgiveness, boldly sharing Christ with the world.
This moment is full of opportunity to bear witness and mercy. It comes with an invitation for members of every LCMS household, congregation and organization to participate in the 2013 LCMS National Offering, “Baptized for This Moment: Together as Synod.” When your household or congregation participates in the “Baptized for This Moment: Together as Synod” offering, you help fund our global witness and mercy work in a tangible, visual example of our life together. Kicking off a three-year synodwide ingathering of financial gifts, initial National Offering gifts will be received during the worship services at the 2013 Synod Convention in St. Louis. For the next three years, the 2013 National Offering presents five options through which you can share Christ’s forgiveness and mercy both at home and abroad. It also affords LCMS congregations and their members an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to our life together as the world’s leading confessional Lutheran body. The offering is voluntary, and we trust that the Lord will bless the response. Baptized for this moment, we give fearlessly and sacrificially because we have been redeemed by God’s grace through His Son. He has prepared us for this work because our future is secured. Please join with your brothers and sisters in Christ and give generously on “National Offering Sunday,” set for June 2, 2013, and also regularly throughout the next three years.





March–April 2013

Baptized for This Moment

National Offering Designations
> Together As Synod – Sustaining and strengthening our work as the LCMS, your Together As Synod gifts will be used where needed most according to the financial priorities set by the Synod’s Board of Directors. Goal: $200,000 > LCMS Global Mission – Restricted to funding Witness, Mercy and Life Together efforts carried out by the Office of National Mission and the Office of International Mission, your Global Mission gifts are the resources that fund mission-critical personnel, services and resources at home and abroad. Goal: $200,000 > Lutheran Malaria Initiative – Your gifts to LMI equip LCMS mercy teams to join in a coordinated battle to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015, in ways that shine the life and hope of the Gospel on afflicted homes and communities. Goal: $200,000 > Joint Seminary Fund – Supporting our two world-class seminaries as they prepare our future pastors, deaconesses and leaders for service, your Joint Seminary Fund gifts are equitably disbursed between the two seminaries according to an agreed-upon formula. Goal: $200,000 > Global Seminary Initiative – Your gifts for global seminary eduction will ensure that the LCMS will continue to play the leading role in preparing international partner church pastors to serve as leaders and teachers within their home church bodies, in and through our two seminaries. Goal: $200,000

Here’s how YOU can participate

Individual households wishing to participate in the National Offering can do so in a number of ways: y Support your local congregation’s effort to gather gifts for the National Offering y Make an online donation by going to www.lcms. org/nationaloffering

y Mail a check, made payable to “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.” On the memo line of the check, write “2013 National Offering.” Include a note indicating one or more of the five designations to which you would like your offering applied. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod 2013 National Offering P.O. Box 790417, St. Louis, MO 63179-0417

Gifts for the 2013 National Offering are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Whenever possible, individual tax-deductible receipts will be issued to the donor making the gift. Reports on our Synod’s response to the National Offering will be made available during the 2013 National Convention in St. Louis, and in the months following, through the Synod’s website, www.lcms.org.

Call the Donor Care line at 888-930-4438.
March–April 2013 lcms.org/lutheransengage



participate + pray + invest√ + serve + listen

For the mission of the Church and her missionaries: Almighty and gracious God, You want all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Magnify the power of the Gospel in the hearts of Your faithful people that Your Church may spread the good news of salvation. Protect, encourage and bless all missionaries at home and abroad who proclaim the saving cross that Christ, being lifted up, may draw all people to Himself, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
(Adapted from Lutheran Service Book: Altar Book, p. 428)

2013 National LCMS Youth Gathering • San Antonio, Texas • July 1–5, 2013
There is still time to register! Visit www.lcmsgathering.com for more information.

Please use the enclosed postage-paid envelope in this issue to send in your gift. If using your own envelope, please address it to: The Lutheran Church– Missouri Synod P.O. Box 66861 St. Louis, MO 63166-6861

Contact an LCMS Donor Care representative to make your credit card gift Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST. Please call 888-930-4438 to speak with one of our Donor Care representatives.

Contact a Church Information Center representative by calling 888-THELCMS (843-5267) or email infocenter@lcms. org.

Employer Matching Gift
Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made by their employees. If your company is eligible, request a matching gift form from your employer, and send it completed and signed with your gift. We will do the rest. The impact of your gift to the LCMS may be doubled or possibly tripled! Some companies even match gifts made by retirees and/ or spouses.

are allocated to support a ministry of the LCMS. Members can select from a list of LCMS ministries and other Christian organizations. Make your ministry selection by visiting www.thrivent.com/ thriventchoice.

Go to www.lcms.org and click on Make a Gift. Search our giving catalog to discover the many mission and ministry opportunities you can support. Make your gift using our safe and secure credit card form, which accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. While online, register your “myLCMS” account. Track your giving history, manage e-newsletter subscriptions and receive the latest information about LCMS mission and ministry opportunities. You may also apply gifts to your existing pledges to ministry.

Planning for Gifts Tomorrow and Forever
The LCMS Foundation gift planning counselors can help you establish your Lifetime Plan for GivingTM that supports your family and ministries of the LCMS through your will and estate plan. Discover creative, tax-efficient ways of giving that will support ministry, including some that would provide you with regular payments. No matter what your age or financial situation, a gift planning counselor can help you accomplish your stewardship goals. Contact us today at 800-325-7912 to get started.

Memorials/ Honorariums
Consider making a gift in honor of a special occasion, such as an anniversary, graduation, wedding, birthday, or in honor or in memory of someone you admire — a pastor, teacher, parent, caretaker, or a special friend or loved one. If you choose to make a tribute gift and want us to notify the individual or family being honored or in the case of a memorial, the family of the deceased, we will be happy to do so. Simply fill in the form with all the information to notify the proper person or family.

Thrivent ChoiceTM
If you own a Thrivent financial product, you can recommend how a portion of Thrivent’s required charitable dollars



March–April 2013


The 65th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod
July 20-25, 2013 America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis
and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” The 2013 convention logo captures the movement out from our Baptism. By water and the Word, the Spirit of God unites us with Christ and moves us to confess His name, so that His Good News continues to ripple outward into all the world. Until Christ returns, we live by His promises and go forward as His body in the happy confidence we are “Baptized for this moment.” The LCMS national convention serves as the principal legislative assembly for the church body and includes opportunities for worship, inspiration and fellowship. LCMS conventions are held every three years.

Short-term Missionaries Needed!
Short-term Missionaries: LCMS members are needed to join shortterm missionary teams or to serve with LCMS missionaries for 2 weeks to 6 months. Find out more at www.lcms.org/ short-term. Mercy Medical Teams: Individual medical professionals, LCMS pastors and hard-working laypeople are needed to meet the health needs of communities around the world. The length of service is 10–14 days. Final out more at www. lcms.org/mercyteams. Short-term Mission Teams: Congregations are needed to send short-term mission teams to serve with our missionaries or LCMS partner churches for 10–14 days. Find out more at www.lcms.org/teams. Questions? Ready to apply? Call 888-The LCMS or email us at mission. recruitment@lcms.org. (Applications can also be downloaded online at www.lcms.org/service.)

The Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod (LCMS) has selected the theme and logo for the 65th Regular Convention, set for July 20-25, 2013, at America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Mo. The theme, “Baptized for this moment,” is based on Acts 2:38-39 (ESV): “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children,


KFUO Radio

Worldwide KFUO: We Are Where You Are

KFUO-AM 850 Lutheran talk radio in St. Louis, Mo. KFUOam.org and Classic99.com streaming classical music online — 24/7.

March–April 2013




2013 LCMS National Offering
The National Offering embodies our walk Together as Synod, supporting the witness, mercy and life together work to proclaim the Gospel and to provide for our brothers and sisters in Christ in our congregations, communities and throughout the world. Together we work vigorously to make known the love of Christ by word and deed to everyone, no matter their need or season of life. See how you can participate. Visit us at: www.lcms.org/NationalOffering Call us at: 888-930-4438.


• AS





March–April 2013

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