July – August 2013, Vol. 1, Issue 6

World Lutheranism

The Moment:

July – August 2013 vol. 1 no. 6


4 10 12  13 16 21
Walking Alongside East Africa A Worldwide Partnership in the Gospel 

Chemnitz Library Initiative Strengthens Global Seminaries Partners in the Gospel 


LCMS Snapshots

A Magnificent Moment

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 ( 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)

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.


We Are Not Alone!
In an age and culture that increasingly regard Christ and His Church as the enemy, when the prevailing voices stand in opposition to the truth of God’s Word, and as the open persecution of the Church is on the increase in every corner of the globe, what a blessed thing it is to know that we are not alone as the people of God. The Holy Spirit has called and gathered faithful, confessing Lutherans into His Church in nearly every part of the world; this issue of Lutherans Engage the World focuses on what this means for us, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. It is the moment for life together with our Lutheran partners and with those Lutheran church bodies who are looking to us and desiring partnership. These are exciting days for the LCMS filled with many opportunities to advance the Gospel as we walk alongside our partners bearing witness and mercy in Christ’s name. An evening hymn, a prayer, speaks to this moment: We thank Thee that Thy Church, unsleeping While earth rolls onward into light, Through all the world her watch is keeping, And never rests by day or night. As o’er each continent and island The dawn leads on another day, The voice of prayer is never silent, Nor dies the strain of praise away.
LSB 886

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Crossing Borders in Life Together 10 Questions


National Mercy Grant 

From Student to Siberian Servant

Giving Her Firstfruits


+ Pray + Serve + Participate + Listen + Learn + Invest

With the dawn of each day, global Lutherans are looking to the LCMS. They are asking us to stand watch with them, never resting in proclaiming the Gospel. The opportunities are great, and many are the challenges. I pray this issue will inspire you to invest in this work with your prayer, your offerings and your service. May God grant it for Jesus’ sake. Pamela J. Nielsen Associate Executive Director, Communication Services
E d i t o r i a l Off i ce 314-996-1215 1333 S. Kirkwood Road St. Louis, MO 63122-7295

S TA F F Mark D. Hofman David L. Strand Pamela J. Nielsen Melanie Ave Megan K. Mertz Laura J. Seaman Carolyn A. Niehoff Chrissy A. Thomas

executive director, mission advancement executive director, communications executive editor staff writer staff writer staff writer designer designer

July – August 2013, Vol. 1, Issue 6

Cover image: Pastors of Mekane Yesus, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ethiopia.

World Lutheranism

The MoMenT:

Crossing Borders in Life Together


by Laura J. Seaman

t is a huge responsibility to have the only Lutheran Spanish-speaking confessional seminary in the world,” said the Rev. Carlos Nagel, president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina (IELA). “The IELA is also the largest Spanish-speaking Lutheran church body in the world, so we have a special calling.”

the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC), the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia (ELCL) and the Lutheran Church of Togo (ELT). This network of international Lutheran churches reaches across five continents enabling joint witness and mercy efforts around the world. As we work together, guide

“[We] visit our partner churches like a pastor visits the sheep of his flock.”
–Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III

Once a mission outpost, the LCMS first sent missionaries to Argentina in 1905. Today, the IELA is one of 35 partner churches that are in altar and pulpit fellowship with the LCMS, providing a strong arm and anchor for LCMS mission efforts throughout Latin America. For many of our partner churches, the story is similar — what began long ago as LCMS missionary work in a region resulted in the planting of churches that grew into a church body that is now a valued and respected LCMS partner. At this summer’s 65th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, we will welcome these new partner churches:

and support one another, the Gospel permeates even the most remote places on earth, providing the timely opportunity for outreach on a global scale like never before. The LCMS Church Relations office works to foster this collaboration among our partner churches through various means. “One of the goals of LCMS Church Relations is for us to visit our partner churches like a pastor visits the sheep of his flock,” said the Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III, director of LCMS Church Relations and executive secretary for the International Lutheran Council (ILC). “While we visit, we listen to their needs.” LCMS Church Relations efforts are aimed at

Top photo: First-year students from Venezuela, Guatemala and Bolivia attend Seminario Concordia in Argentina. Bottom photo: Pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya at the dedication of the first Kenyan Lutheran Hymnal.

Office of the President


building and nurturing the relationship between the LCMS and her partner churches around the world. This includes providing resources and theological education for pastors and servants of the church, helping to provide funding for special projects, sending missionaries into the global mission field, and

striving to establish effective communication with other Lutheran church bodies. “We are a partner church of the LCMS,” Nagel said. “We continue walking hand-in-hand and deeply appreciate all of the investments of time, support and people that the LCMS has given us.”

LCMS Church Relations


Annual Investment: $533,936

July–August 2013

10 Questions
with the Rev. Dr. Carl and Deaconess Deborah Rockrohr, Missionaries to Ethiopia

5. Carl, as a child, did you ever imagine you
would be a missionary?
In second grade, I had an assignment to write what I wanted to be when I grew up and I wrote, “I want to be a pastor so I can preach the Word of God.”

6. Carl, what is the most rewarding part of
your job?
Whenever I can assist or help enable the baptizing and teaching as Jesus’ Church grows, that is the reward.


by Melanie Ave

he Rev. Dr. Carl Rockrohr and his wife, Deaconess Deborah Rockrohr, are about to begin new positions in Ethiopia with the LCMS after having spent the last year and a half as career missionaries in South Africa.

7. What is the most challenging aspect of
your job, Carl?
In ministry, learning a new culture and language is always a great challenge. In our family life, it is challenging because all our children will be apart from us.

1. Carl, your new title will be dean of the

school of theology at Mekane Yesus Seminary of the Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY). What will you be doing?

8. What is it like, Deborah, living in Africa?

I will work at the seminary to help it transition from an accredited seminary at the bachelor level to an accredited seminary at the graduate level.

2. Why is the seminary converting to a
graduate school?
Because the church, which has about 6 million members, also has five regional seminaries that need their professors trained to the master and doctorate levels.

We see the full range from highly developed infrastructure and conveniences to extremely rural without electricity or running water. However, what has impacted me the most is how strongly Africans value family, community and friendly communication.

9. Carl, is there a language barrier, and if so,
how have you overcome it?
Mekane Yesus Seminary operates largely in English. There are about 80 languages in Ethiopia, however. Amharic is the national language, and we will be studying it. I will be doing the language study part time, but Deborah will have a chance to study full time.

3. Why is the LCMS’ work in Ethiopia
The EECMY is the second-largest Lutheran church in the world and is growing by about 300,000 a year. There is a great need for training pastors and other church leaders … The LCMS has a strong commitment to scriptural doctrine and a historic emphasis in education. So when Lutheran brothers and sisters, active in outreach while also trying to faithfully follow Christ, approached the LCMS to help better train their pastors, theology professors and other church workers, how can the LCMS not help?

full-time, career missionaries?

10. Deborah, is there a need for more LCMS
YES! Our congregations in the United States value full-time pastors who stay with their people, learn their culture, minister to family difficulties, pray in times of suffering and joy. Christians in Africa desire to have long-term relationships with missionaries from the United States.

4. Deborah, why is it important to learn the
Details of daily culture and language deeply reflect and influence how people think. One is always learning something new and perhaps dismissing old assumptions about a culture. And it happens over a periods of weeks, months and years.

>Watch video:

Rev. Dr. Carl Rockrohr, Deaconess Deborah Rockrohr and their son, Ted. July–August 2013


Walking Alongside

East Africa
by Jeni Miller


July–August 2013 ISTOCK


he news is often disheartening. Fox News reports, “In Ethiopia, after a Christian was accused of desecrating a Koran, thousands of Christians were forced to flee their homes when ‘Muslim extremists set fire to roughly 50 churches and dozens of Christian homes.’ ”
Timothy Quill, associate professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions and dean of International Studies at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. “They also want to send their brightest and best to study at LCMS seminaries so they can return home to teach in their seminaries, Bible schools, evangelist training centers and to serve as leaders in their church bodies. “The Lutheran church will not survive without educated pastors who can read and understand Scripture and then preach it, teach it and put it into liturgical practice and pastoral care,” he said. “At the same time there is a large migration to burgeoning urban centers where the number of educated Africans is mushrooming. Educated Lutherans urgently need educated pastors.” And at this moment, support in theological education couldn’t be more important to the EECMY. In February 2013, the EECMY officially severed its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Church of Sweden over the issue of homosexuality. But the Ethiopians’ faithfulness to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions came with a cost. Because of the EECMY’s decision to stand firm on God’s Word, the ELCA discontinued its support — including funding — for Ethiopian students at their seminaries. Meanwhile, the LCMS was at the ready to step in and assist its brothers and sisters in Christ by providing Global Seminary Initiative (GSI) scholarships, as we, in turn, received from them an example of bold faithfulness to God’s Word. In an interview with Reporter, the Rev. Berhanu Ofgaa, general secretary of the EECMY, said the EECMY is a “fast-growing church, active in mission but placed in an economically poor country. Like the lame person that was healed, when Peter and John said, ‘Gold and silver I don’t have, but I give you what I have’ [Acts 2:6], we say the same thing. Even if we don’t have gold and silver, we exchange with the LCMS a rich society. We have rich experiences and culture. We share with the church in the west, but still, we expect the support in our needs, in areas of economic need, and your expertise in training pastors. So there is a lot we both can exchange and nurture [in] one another in ministry.” As the church in Ethiopia clings to Christ and His
July–August 2013

And yet, there remains a brightness in Ethiopia amid the darkness of evil and persecution. The Gospel continues to have its way with the East African churches, and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is right there beside them, participating and supporting them as their story unfolds. But this support looks a bit different than one might think. “The churches in East Africa are older churches, approximately the same age as the LCMS,” explained the Rev. Dr. Albert Collver III, director of LCMS Church Relations. “These are not new mission starts. They have their own mercy work and schools. They are fully autonomous and doing things like caring for the poor, evangelism, and training pastors and church workers. With mission plants, we do a lot of the work, but in these churches they are doing all of this themselves.” These mature churches in East Africa — namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania — are growing at a rapid pace as they hold Lutheran pastors in Tanzania. fast to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. The Lutheran church of Ethiopia, known as the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), began with Norwegian Lutheran mission efforts nearly a century ago and was officially founded in 1959 with 50,000 baptized members. Today, the EECMY is a church of more than 6.1 million, organized into 8,000 congregations, with a desire to continue spreading the Gospel. “The EECMY has a goal of training 12,000 pastors and reaching out to 30 million people over the next five years,” said Collver. “They’re primarily growing in areas where African traditional religion is prevalent. In some sense, because Islam hasn’t moved there, it’s the firstfruits of the Gospel proclamation that they’re experiencing. They recognize that part of the growth is related to demographics, and because of that they want to be sure that their Lutheran identity is clear and they have solid theological education.” According to the East African churches, theological education is one thing that the LCMS does particularly well. “In the past decade, Lutheran churches in East Africa have been pleading with the LCMS to send missionaries who are thoroughly trained in Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions to teach at their seminaries,” said the Rev. Dr.


The churches in Tanzania and Madagascar feel empowered by what Ethiopia is doing and they know it is possible to do the same.

promises, especially through its brave move to break ties with Madagascar. the ELCA and the Church of Sweden, the other churches in “Now is not the time for the LCMS to stand idly by but to East Africa are not far behind. confidently and compassionately share what the Lord has Collver noted, “There is a saying, ‘Where Ethiopia goes, given us to confess,” said Pless. “Our first priority in East the rest of Africa follows.’ The churches in Tanzania and Africa should be theological education. In this way we can Madagascar* feel empowered by what Ethiopia is doing and equip our fellow Lutherans in these countries with resources they know it is possible to do the same.” to shape a strong confessional witness in doctrine and The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania has a practice in their context.” current membership of about 5.6 million, and they too are While the LCMS is in partnership with the Evangelical seeing rapid growth in areas Lutheran Church in Kenya, where African traditional religion but not yet with the churches exists. However, as membership in Ethiopia, Madagascar or grows, the church’s single Tanzania, we look forward to limiting factor is a widespread the day that we can be in full shortage of pastors. Most fellowship with all of East Africa. Lutheran pastors in Tanzania “They’re looking for church serve multi-point parishes, so partners now,” Collver said. “They when the LCMS assists them in look out into the world and ask, training even just one pastor, ‘What is a church that teaches that pastor then has the ability to the Bible and the Confessions?’ plant five or more churches. And so we continue to encourage In Madagascar, the Malagasy them. We still have doctrinal Lutheran Church has a rich differences, but in the meantime and impressive history dating we look for areas that we can to the 1860s. Since that time do projects together that do not Above: Students from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, include church fellowship, like it has grown into a vibrant Ind. partake of the seminary’s annual “Mercy Mission Expedition” church of about 4 million human care, consultations about to Madagascar. Top: Bishop Hailu Yohannes Bulaka of the members. Just like the other how they set up schools, etc. They Ethiopian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mekane Yesus, holds an Amharic Book of Concord. East African churches, those in want us to walk alongside them.” the Malagasy Lutheran Church Quill said as Christianity desire to be faithful Lutherans, holding fast to God’s Word continues to disintegrate in Europe and America, many and reaching out to their hurting neighbors in mercy. The people are astonished to hear about the rapid growth Rev. John Pless, assistant professor of Pastoral Ministry in Lutheran churches in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and and Missions at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Madagascar. Wayne, Ind. coordinates the seminary’s annual “Mercy “The preaching of the Gospel moves about the earth Mission Expeditions” to Madagascar to support this growing like rain, bringing life and salvation,” he said. “When it is church. Pless and the group of visiting students distribute rejected, as the prophet Amos proclaimed, a famine of the books, deliver funding to specific institutions and provide Word follows. The Gospel is raining down across East Africa encouragement to the churches and seminarians in and being received to the great blessing of many.”

* Editor’s note: Read President Harrison’s note at the end of this issue to learn about recent developments in Madagascar.
6 July–August 2013

Jeni Miller is a deaconess, freelance writer and pastor’s wife. She lives with her husband and daughter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Why do we need missionaries?

with the Rev. Dr. Edward Grimenstein, Director of LCMS Missionary Services
What do you want to say to the church about mission work and the need for missionaries?
July–August 2013

Christ has called the Church to “proclaim the Gospel,” and Christ has set up His Word to come to us through people — through baptizing, teaching and the Lord’s Supper. So if we want the Gospel to be shared with people, if we want them to believe, we need actual people: pastors, teachers and missionaries.

One congregation doesn’t provide the full support for a missionary. Can you explain how the support network works?
We have a really great way to do this; it’s called Together in Mission. A congregation, group or individual can select a missionary to support financially and — by way of email, Skype calls, newsletters and so on — personally connect with him. When the missionary returns for home service, his supporters can visit with him and hear his presentation. It’s a way to be a part of and live out the mission of Christ. By God’s grace, through Together in Mission, congregations, groups and individuals in the LCMS are stepping up to the plate and partnering with our missionaries to care for their needs and to care for this world by speaking Christ to all nations.

What’s different about LCMS missionary service today?
Often when people think about doing missions, they picture a lone missionary holding a Bible and speaking to people in a remote village who have never heard the Gospel. Nowadays when we do mission work, we are usually doing it in conjunction with a partner church already there in a country.

Do we send missionaries out alone?
Of prime importance is that each missionary we send is connected with other Lutheran pastors and laypeople. They are never sent alone. We want them connected to one another and their lives centered on the pulpit, font and altar from which all of our work stems. That is what we do, and we do it together, not alone.

How is the LCMS national church staff part of the network of support?
The staff at the LCMS International Center recruits and trains missionaries. While our missionaries are on the field, we are here caring for them, ensuring that each missionary, spouse and child has what they need physically and emotionally to survive overseas. Most importantly, we strive to ensure they are receiving Lutheran pastoral care. We are here to care for the caregivers, and we do that 24/7.

How is the church back home involved in sending missionaries?
Christ calls LCMS congregations to support His mission in this world. This happens whenever a congregation, member or other group is so moved to pray for a missionary, keep in touch with the missionary’s spouse and children to assure them of their work, and when missionaries are financially supported. In the LCMS, a congregation or individual can participate in the missionary support network.

If there is one thing I’d like to put in every LCMS member’s mind, it’s this: Foreign mission work should not be foreign. Doing the work of the church is what Christ has called all of us to do. Whether that means we actually go ourselves or we are supporting someone who does, that is simply what Christ has called us to be as Lutherans, as Christians. And we simply cannot do otherwise.

>Check it out:


National Mercy Grant

The Healing Gospel in a World of Law

Rev. Dr. Dennis Lucero

Rev. Dr. Dennis Lucero, senior pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colo., serves as the sheriff’s department chaplain for El Paso County, Colo., where he has ministered to those involved with the recent forest fires in the region.

Participants of the 2012 law enforcement chaplaincy workshop held at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.


by Laura J. Seaman

ore than 900,000 law enforcement officers risk their personal safety daily to defend and protect their fellow citizens in communities large and small across the country. While patrolling crime-ridden neighborhoods and responding to crimes and emergencies, they often encounter the raw edges of sin and death in a broken world. The demands of such a job take a toll on the emotional, mental and spiritual stability of those who serve. It is into this world that law enforcement chaplains enter with the promise and peace of Christ. Chaplaincy in the context of law enforcement is a very specific ministry and requires specialized training. Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL), and Peace Officer Ministries offer an annual workshop for law enforcement chaplains. The “Christian Law Enforcement Chaplaincy — Theology and Practice” workshop offers training and networking for seminary students and recent graduates to prepare them for service in this mission field. This

“As a chaplain … you are the presence of Christ in their midst.”
— Matt Mau, a 2013 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

year, the LCMS provided a $2,000 grant to help defray registration costs for students attending the workshop. “Law enforcement chaplaincy is a meeting of two different cultures,” said Sol Grosskopf, a recent graduate of CSL and a May conference attendee. “It typifies the nature of the two kingdoms as we seek to serve man and serve God.” Matt Mau, another recent CSL graduate who attended the conference, said the ministry is an “opportunity to minister not only to the ones who protect and serve us, but to be a voice of hope in the community. As a chaplain … you are the presence of Christ in their midst.” Presenters at the conference address a variety of aspects to chaplaincy, both

theological and practical, including topics such as crime scene and investigation awareness training, and proper response to line of duty deaths. Theological topics include the Lutheran understanding of the two kingdoms, vocation, and a Law and Gospel approach to service. The conference provides an opportunity for seminary students to meet chaplains from across the country. “It’s exciting to see we are united in our Lutheran theology in the specific context of law enforcement chaplaincy,” Grosskopf said.

Recipient: Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Amount: $2,000 result: Seminary students were able to attend the law enforcement chaplaincy conference to learn about the theological and practical aspects of this unique ministry setting.


July–August 2013

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

From Student to Siberian Servant


by Laura J. Seaman

t is very important that in large Siberian territories our pastors be thoroughly trained theologically,” said the Rev. Alexey Streltsov, rector of Lutheran Theological Seminary (LTS) in Novosibirsk, Russia. “They must preach the Gospel and administer the Sacraments correctly, because the salvation of their people depends on it. So that’s why we … are so serious about how we prepare pastors and teachers for the Church.” Formal pastoral education in the LCMS begins within the walls of our seminaries and impacts Lutheran church bodies around the world. Thanks to a special grant 15 years ago, Streltsov was able to study at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind., and afterward was called to be the rector of the newly established LTS in Novosibirsk, where he has been serving since 1997. “My education at the seminary formed my theological vision, character and understanding,” he said. “It also provided me with the hermeneutical key to Scripture, the Confessions and the totality of theological expression.”

Pictured are first-year seminary students of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk, Russia.

This building in Novosibirsk, Russia, is home to both the local church and the seminary where Rev. Alexey Streltsov is rector.

LCMS Church Relations


Global Seminary Education is a key component of training, equipping and preparing servants of the Church for LCMS partner churches around the world. LCMS partner churches have more than 20 seminaries globally that teach and nurture pastors in Lutheran theology, in order that they can serve in their local church bodies with Word and Sacrament. In partnership with the two LCMS seminaries in the United States, professors have traveled to places including Siberia, South Africa, India, Latvia, Argentina, Kenya, Lithuania, Chile and many other countries to instruct and advise students in confessional Lutheran theology. The Rev. Dr. Timothy C.J. Quill, director of Global Seminary Education for the LCMS Office of International Mission, said there is still a need for Western missionaries in the 21st century. He said, “Everywhere I travel bishops, seminary presidents, faculty and pastors are pleading with the LCMS to (1) send qualified professors to teach at their seminaries and (2) make it possible for the brightest and best (the next generation of teachers and church leaders) to study at our two seminaries in Fort Wayne and St. Louis.”

Pastors like Streltsov who are being trained by LCMS seminary professors, domestically or abroad, are able to serve their native lands with proper preaching and teaching of the Law and Gospel. The LCMS has had such an impact on the seminary in Novosibirsk and, Streltsov said, “Russian Lutherans have found their identity, which is allegiance to the Lutheran Confessions.”

“My education at the seminary formed my theological vision.”
–Rev. Alexey Streltsov

Global Seminary Initiative


Lutheran theology speaks beyond our cultural understandings, and the world is becoming attuned to that reality. That means LCMS mission fields are changing, and the focus is shifting to the emerging churches that are discovering their Lutheran identity. When these churches seek out the LCMS for guidance toward clear proclamation of the Gospel, it is in a position to help provide training and encouragement to them as their churches mature and grow.

Annual Investment: $1,200,000
July–August 2013


A Worldwide Partnership
in the


North America
Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC) 1.  Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton 2.  Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary The American Association of Lutheran Churches (TAALC) Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (ELCH) The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) 3.  Concordia Seminary 4.  Concordia Theological Seminary











12 6


14 8


11 10



Latin America
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina (IELA) 5.  Seminario Concordia 6.  Avda. Santa Ana 7.  Instituto “La Paz” 8.  Instituto Concordia 9.  Colegio Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil (IELB) 10.  Seminario Concordia 11.  Universidade Luterana do Brazil Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile (IELCHI) 12.  Instituto Biblico Luterno Lutheran Church of Guatemala (ILG) 13.  Lutheran Center for Theological Education Lutheran Synod of Mexico (SLM) The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay (IELP) 14.  Instituto Biblico Adolfo Dilley Lutheran Church of Venezuela (ILV) 15.  Juan de Frias Theological Institute

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ethiopia, Mekane Yesus (EECMY)  Mekane Yesus Seminary, Addis Ababa Tabor Evangelical College Seminary, Hawassa Hosanna Mekane Yesus Seminary, Hosanna Nekemte Christian Education College, Nekemte Ghimbi Holistic Seminary, Ghimbi Onesimos Nesib Seminary, Aira Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG) 16.  Theological Education by Extension (T.E.E.) 17.  Lutheran Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (ELCK)  18.  Matongo Lutheran Theological College Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia (ELCL) The Lutheran Church of Nigeria (LCN) 19.  Jonathan Ekong Memorial Lutheran Seminary Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (LCSA) Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSISA) 20.  Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane 21.  Center for Lutheran Theological Education, Togo


July–August 2013










30 31






16 NIGERIA 21 17












LCMS Partner Church Non-Partner Church # Seminary

* This map reflects the locations in the world where we are doing the most significant theological education.
©2013 LCMS

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Belgium (ELKB) Evangelical Lutheran Free Church in Denmark (ELFD) The Evangelical Lutheran Church of England (ELCE) 22.  Westfield House Theological Training Program Evangelical Lutheran Church—Synod of France (EEL-SF) Independent Evangelical - Lutheran Church (SELK-Germany) 23.  Lutherische Theologische Hochshule (Seminary) Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia (ELCL) 24.  Luther Academy The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania (ELCL) Portuguese Evangelical Lutheran Church (PELC) Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR) 25.  The Theological Institute of ELCIR Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC) 26.  Lutheran Theological Seminary

27. Australian Lutheran College, Australia China Evangelical Lutheran Church (CELC) (Taiwan ROC) The Lutheran Church—Hong Kong Synod (LCHKS) 28.  Concordia Seminary India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC) 29.  Concordia Theological Seminary Japan Lutheran Church (JLC) 30.  Japan Lutheran College 31.  Japan Lutheran Theological Seminary Lutheran Church in Korea (LCK) 32.  Luther Theological University Gutnius Lutheran Church (GLC) (Papua New Guinea) 33.  Timothy Lutheran Seminary 34.  Martin Lutheran Seminary The Lutheran Church in the Philippines (LCP) 35.  Lutheran Theological Seminary and Training Center Lanka Lutheran Church (LLC) (Sri Lanka)

July–August 2013


Global Seminaries
could be more appropriate? The major task of the CLI is the development of library collections, including books and journals, training local librarians and staff in library science, improving facilities and environmental conditions, upgrading the technological capability and providing textbooks for seminary students.” According to Rast, “The goal of the CLI is to strengthen confessional seminaries around the world by providing materials, expertise and training. For the past two decades, CTS faculty have been actively involved in international theological education.

Chemnitz Library Initiative

from its beginning, Lutheranism
has recognized that a church committed to the Word of God requires pastors and teachers who have access to biblical and theological literature. As a reform movement begun in a university setting, one of the great strengths of the University of Wittenberg (founded in 1502) was the library built by Frederick the Wise at great expense and made available to both faculty and students. This emphasis on the importance of libraries has been part of the Lutheran tradition ever since. Martin Chemnitz (1522-86), “the second Martin” and great Lutheran Reformer, is well known as one of the principal authors of the Formula of Concord. He also was the castle librarian under Albert of Prussia. Since 1997, two professors at Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS) in Fort Wayne, Ind. — the Rev. Dr. Robert Roethemeyer and the Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill — have worked together with Lutheran seminary libraries in such places as Russia, the Baltics, Argentina, Brazil, India, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, South Africa and Ethiopia. During the past 12 months, Quill, who also serves as director of Theological Education for the LCMS Office of International Mission, and Roethemeyer, director of Library Services at CTS, have been developing a comprehensive strategy, with the support and encouragement of seminary President Dr. Lawrence Rast Jr., to resource the libraries of LCMS mission and partner churches around the world. “We chose to name the program the Chemnitz Library Initiative (CLI) after the second Martin,” Quill said. “What 12

“The Chemnitz Library Initiative will serve Christ’s mission by providing the best theological resources for Lutherans around the world and strengthening them for the service God has entrusted to them.”
–Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr. The library staff has been assisting partner seminaries around the world under the leadership of Professors Quill and Roethemeyer.” In February 2012, Roethemeyer began asking how this assistance could become more intentional. Visits to sister seminaries in Africa and India provided answers. At the Lutheran seminary in Obot Idim, Nigeria, for example, they met with the faculty to better understand the challenges facing the library. “The challenges are immense: harsh environment, lack of updated

holdings, unreliable electricity, limited Internet access, to name a few,” Roethemeyer said. “However, what struck me most is the lack of textbooks for the students.” During the past four centuries, Lutheran churches have been established on every continent. Lutheran missionaries translated Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions, liturgy, hymnody and the theological literature necessary for training indigenous pastors. They built Lutheran seminaries with libraries to support the work of the faculty and students. Unfortunately, many missionaries were withdrawn in the 1980s. The support for global Lutheran seminaries dropped dramatically and many libraries deteriorated. In numerous places, few if any new books have reached the shelves in the past two decades. The Chemnitz Library Initiative seeks to recapture this key aspect of the Lutheran identity. The CLI will be located in the new CTS library, where it will be well positioned to make use of the library’s resources and expertise. To date, the focus has been on Africa, Eurasia and India. The next phase will include an assessment of library needs in South America and Asia. The initiative will maintain close ties with the International Lutheran Council and its member seminaries, the LCMS Office of Church Relations and the LCMS Office of International Mission. “The ILC is very pleased that Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, has agreed to partner with us to improve the libraries of confessional Lutheran seminaries around the world,” ILC Executive Secretary Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III said.

July–August 2013

in the

July–August 2013

by Megan K. Mertz


A pastor preaches in a Lithuanian Lutheran church.


or biblical Christians, the world is becoming a cold and lonely place.” These words come from the Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee, president of the Lutheran Church—Canada, a partner church of the LCMS, and reflect what he says is the present reality.

In a world where the culture is openly hostile to the Church, with open season on the persecution of Christians and many who call themselves Lutheran abandoning the truths of God’s Word, faithful, confessing Lutherans are compelled to join others of the same mind both far and near to find encouragement in a life together. Seeking a strong bond through the unity of faith, many Lutheran church bodies are looking to walk together with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). Throughout its history, the LCMS has made it a priority to seek out and cultivate partnerships with diverse Lutheran bodies. Currently, the LCMS is in altar and pulpit fellowship with 34 partner churches across the globe — in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. Some of the partnerships grew out of the LCMS’ early mission work while others started through the mission work of other groups who later approached the LCMS seeking fellowship. Although the outward trappings of these churches may differ, they are all united in one confession and one shared hope in Jesus Christ. “There are tremendous opportunities now because we hold to teachings and values that some of these other churches desire,” said the Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III, the Synod’s director of Church Relations, who receives several requests from other church bodies requesting fellowship with the LCMS each month.

For Mutual Benefit
Partner churches strengthen and encourage each other in many ways. The LCMS provides its partner churches with resources, guidance and sometimes even mediation during times of internal disagreement. However, for many churches around the world, the greatest gift the LCMS can give is theological education. For instance, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana has about 29,000 members in 200 congregations and 800 preaching stations, yet it reports only 60 pastors and some 50 evangelists. Ghana’s situation may be extreme, but it is not unique. Many LCMS partner churches face a shortage of well-formed and educated pastors and often even lack the faculty and educational resources necessary to train and nurture them. “Our partners don’t need missionaries, they need theological educators to train their pastors,” said Collver. But the advantages of church fellowship go both ways. The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) recently opened the door to future fellowship discussions with the LCMS. This large Lutheran church, which has about 6 million members, makes up for its lack of resources through a great passion for a faith that has been tried by fire. “Much of the strength of the EECMY … comes from the experience the church has undergone during the


July–August 2013

Altar and Pulpit Fellowship

communistic government,” said the Rev. Berhanu Ofgaa, general secretary of the Ethiopian church. “That experience we had during those horrible times has strengthened and trained us. Even during the occupation, the energy was from the laity. Not from the leaders, the laity went beyond and stood for the truth and said, ‘This is not right, we stand for what is right and face whatever it costs us.’ ”

What does it mean to be in altar and pulpit fellowship?
Altar and pulpit fellowship allows church bodies to partake in the Sacraments together. Full doctrinal agreement is required for this form of fellowship in order to preserve the integrity of the witness to the Gospel of Christ as it is revealed in the Scriptures and confessed in the Lutheran Confessions.

One Big Church
Although separated by culture and location, the LCMS and its 34 partner churches make up one large Lutheran church that can accomplish more together than any of the individual church bodies can do on its own, Collver said. Our partnerships with the Lutheran Church—Canada and others have been a blessing when political tensions kept the LCMS from working directly in areas like Cuba or Nicaragua. Working together with European Lutheran partners is furthering the spread of the Gospel across Europe and into formerly communist countries. When earthquakes and tsunamis struck in Haiti and Chile, the LCMS worked with South American partners to respond with Christ’s mercy. Paul and Timothy’s words to the church at Philippi sum up the importance of establishing partner church relationships around the world: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:3–5 ESV).
Page 13: Rev. Prof. Antonio Schimpf serves as the celebrant for the Divine Service on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Concordia Seminary, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The seminary serves the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina and nine other Spanish-speaking Lutheran church bodies. Below: 120 Lutheran church leaders representing 20 million Lutherans from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Australia and North America gathered at the International Conference on Confessional Leadership, held in October 2012, Peachtree, GA.

What are the criteria for entering into fellowship with another church body?
Altar and pulpit fellowship is a relationship based on agreement in both doctrine and practice between two institutionally viable church bodies.

What is the process?
Entering into altar and pulpit fellowship is not a decision that is made lightly. It involves a lengthy process of formal doctrinal discussions between the two church bodies and input from other involved parties. Following this, if the president of the Synod and the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations are in favor of the agreement, the issue is forwarded to the next LCMS convention for final approval. 

here are tremendous opportunities now because we hold to T teachings and values that some of these other churches desire.

July–August 2013


witness, mercy, life together


The Sunday school at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Ladysmith, Wis., recently raised more than $1,000 for the Lutheran Malaria Initiative to help end malaria deaths in Africa. Even though there are only nine children in the class, they wanted to raise enough money to buy 100 bed nets.

Meredith Davis teaches a patient how to have her temperature taken, a concept that was new to the woman, during a Mercy Medical Team trip to Madagascar in March. The team treated 1,321 patients and filled 4,000 prescriptions during the 10-day trip.

Trinity Lutheran Church, Litchfield Park, Ariz., recently hosted more than 50 South Sudanese guests for a worship service, a luncheon and to talk about mission outreach into the South Sudanese “Dinka” community in the Phoenix area.


July–August 2013

The Women’s League at Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bad Axe, Mich., sewed and tied 126 quilts. Sixteen were given to the Rescue Mission in Saginaw, 15 went to the Safe House Women’s Shelter in Bad Axe and the remaining quilts will go to Lutheran World Relief, Baltimore.

During a recent short-term mission trip, members of Memorial Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, S.D., traveled to Peru to hold vacation Bible school for children in Los Olivos, a suburb of Lima.

Ashley Comparet, a Purdue University nursing student, conducts a health check at Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care (YLM) in El Paso, Texas. Comparet is part of a team of students, members and others from University Lutheran Church, West Lafayette, Ind., who travel to the border each summer to share God’s love through various projects at YLM.

#tell us your wmlt story...
Please send your parish or district photos to: OR Lutherans Engage the World 1333 S. Kirkwood Road St. Louis, MO 63122

On Easter Sunday, Leya was baptized in Macau by LCMS missionary Rev. Joel Scheiwe. Leya is active in the church, where she helps translate for the American missionaries.

July–August 2013


Giving Her Firstfruits


by Melanie Ave

laire Kuddes, 83, is a widow living on a fixed income. But at the first of every month, she immediately tithes to Messiah Lutheran Church in Independence, Mo., and sends $50 to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) to support its disaster response and mercy work around the world. “I am a believer in firstfruits giving,” said Kuddes, a retired Lutheran school teacher who taught for 30 years. “You take the cream on top and you take it off first. The truth being, I don’t even miss it. The key word for me is response.” Kuddes said, as a Christian and follower of Jesus Christ, she believes in the Great Commission — to go out into the world and spread the Gospel. She may not be physically able to spread the Gospel around the world, but she said she can help support those who do through her local church and the LCMS. Kuddes said her monthly contribution is one easy way she can help carry out the mercy work of the church throughout the world, including in the aftermath of disasters like the recent tornado in Moore, Okla. “They need money,” said the mother of three grown children,

seven grandchildren and one greatgrandchild. “I can’t go bodily. But I can support that effort financially. That gives me comfort knowing that in some way, I can do my part.” Years ago, Kuddes said she started out “very carefully” in contributing to the LCMS on the fifth Sundays of the year. “I was living with a certain amount of money and only had a certain amount of money to give,” she said. “As time went on, I said, I can do better than that.” Kuddes said she wanted to be a part of the LCMS’ mercy efforts, especially after the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, which killed more than 200,000 people.

Claire Kuddes

LCMS Mercy Medical Team trip, his mother supported him. Her charity isn’t limited to the international work of the church. When Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in

“I am a believer in firstfruits giving. You take the cream on top and you take it off first.”
The daughter of a Lutheran pastor, Kuddes said she has been blessed with a great life — good health and children who are faithful to the church. When her son, the Rev. Jeffrey Kuddes, traveled to Madagascar to help with an Kansas City burned down late last year, Kuddes gave a gift to help with the church’s rebuilding effort. “This is what we need to be about,” Kuddes said. “This is our response to the blessings we have.”

Left: Sri Lanka damage from the 2004 tsunami. Right: Rev. Jeffrey Kuddes sorts medications on an LCMS Mercy Medical Team trip to Madagascar in 2010.


July–August 2013

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

participate + pray + invest√ + serve + listen

Ways to Support Our Mission and Ministries
Before July 1, 2012, when you made a gift to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), it might have been designated to LCMS World Relief and Human Care or LCMS World Mission. As the result of the 2010 Synod in Convention that restructured the way the LCMS works, your gifts now support the Synod’s international and national mission efforts under the banner of Witness, Mercy, Life Together (WMLT). These describe how the church lives and works together to proclaim the Gospel and to provide for our neighbor. Gifts build capacity to respond most effectively to WMLT opportunities, wherever they may be. Your gifts may be designated for a specific program/area, or “where needed most.” Where Needed Most “Where needed most” gifts are an opportunity to exercise faith in God and in our brothers and sisters who work on our behalf globally. Properly audited and spent under solid fiscal management, such gifts cost the Synod less to disburse and monitor. Fewer hands touch the gift between the time it is received and the time it is disbursed. This means more of each gift goes on to do actual witness, mercy or life together work. Make no mistake: the spending of these gifts is carefully monitored, and

For Missions
Our Father in Heaven, who gave Your only begotten Son into death for the sins of the world, extend Your kingdom so that Your salvation reaches to the ends of the earth. Send messengers to proclaim Your Word in every land. Raise up pastors in every nation under heaven. Bless those the world over who baptize and teach in Your name. Defend them from all evil, give them a rich measure of Your peace and joy, and enable them to speak Your Word with boldness. Open doors for the Gospel, and empower by Your Holy Spirit those who hear it to believe it and be saved. Hear us for the sake of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. their use adheres to the budget plan. However, it takes less time to audit and account for an undesignated gift than a designated one. Global Mission The ministry work carried out under the brands LCMS World Relief and Human Care and LCMS World Mission continues and is still felt worldwide, albeit under new names and a new structure. The LCMS still sends and supports missionaries and chaplains, responds to disasters, revitalizes churches, feeds the hungry and much more! A gift designated for Global Mission provides resources used wherever the need is greatest to carry out work nationally or internationally in a cost-effective manner. Use the enclosed envelope to make a gift to Global Mission, or contact Mission Advancement for other ways to give a Global Mission gift. International Mission If your passion is for international witness and mercy work, you can
July–August 2013

Go to and click: Make a Gift. Search our giving catalog, which accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, to discover the many mission and ministry opportunities you can support. While online, register your “myLCMS” account. Track your giving history, manage e-newsletter subscriptions and receive the latest information from the LCMS. You may also apply gifts to your existing pledges to ministry.

designate your gift to LCMS work overseas. Your gift will be used to for witness and mercy efforts outside the U.S. Each “where needed most” gift gives our international staff the agility to direct funds where they can have the greatest impact. Write “for International Mission” on the memo line of your check or in a note. To designate an international mission gift for a specific purpose, contact Mission Advancement. National Mission If your passion is LCMS work here at home, you can designate your gift to support our national mission work. Every “where needed most” gift gives our national mission team the flexibility to direct funds where they can have the greatest impact. Write “for National Mission” on the memo line of your check or in an accompanying note. To restrict a national mission gift for a specific purpose, contact Mission Advancement.

Please call 888-930-4438 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST to speak with one of our Donor Care representatives.

Contact a Mission Advancement representative: 888-930-4438 or missionadvancement




Wash. Teach. Feed.
Become a missionary.

Doxology Insight Conference
Speaking the Truth in Love: A Compassionate Response to Same-Sex Attraction and Same-Sex Marriage
August 14-15, 2013 University of St. Mary of the Lake Retreat Center Mundelein, Ill. Register Online:

College is tough. You need Jesus. We’ll help.

Visit us online: Like us on Facebook: Or call us: 888-THE LCMS (843-5267)


July–August 2013

A Magnificent Moment!
We are living in the period of the greatest shift in the history of modern Lutheranism, and the Missouri Synod has a vital, divine vocation at this very moment. In fact, our worldwide purpose has never been so expansive, and it is growing daily. I was recently informed that more than three-quarters of the district presidents of the Malagasy Lutheran Church in Madagascar, a church of some 4 million members, want their church body to seek fellowship with the Missouri Synod. Just a few months earlier, the 6.2 millionmember Ethiopian church, Mekane Yesus (the second-largest and fastest-growing Lutheran church in the world), did the same, while also requesting that we provide leadership for their seminary system. We are doing so. They want what is our most precious gift — good, solid, biblical Lutheran theology. We are witnessing a “tectonic shift” in world Lutheranism toward the global south, particularly Africa, and just as significantly, African Lutherans by the millions have the backbone to say “no” to the aberrations of northern Lutheranism. The same foment of deep concern over weak and non-biblical theologies in European and American Lutheran churches is present also in Asia, Southeast Asia and India, not to mention smaller churches in the former Soviet block. We cannot ignore these “Macedonian cries.” “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us’ ” (Acts 16:9). Our existing partner churches face the same challenges that we do, particularly in societies succumbing to postmodern idolatries, but they represent vibrant Lutheran communities — especially, for instance, in Central and South America. Why concentrate on international opportunities for assistance and mission when America is a mission field? As many have noted, the world is ever smaller. We are a nation of immigrants, and immigration levels are as high as they were when Germans were flocking to this country toward the end of the 19th century. Our world is both global and local (“glocal”!). How we relate to Mekane Yesus in Ethiopia will have tremendous ramifications for relationships and outreach to thousands of Ethiopians now in the U.S. The same can be said of the plethora of Spanish/Portuguese-speaking cultures where we have partners (Argentina, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic, Brazil and elsewhere). Asia offers the same “glocal” challenges and opportunities. We now have LCMS clergy fluidly moving between mother country and the U.S. (e.g., Sudan), working among the same ethnic populations in both places. In short, it’s just a magnificent moment for us to be exactly who we are — conservative, confessional Lutherans who stand on the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions without reservation.


Pastor Matthew C. Harrison
July–August 2013



Support The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Global Mission Fund through the Thrivent Choice® program!
Through “Thrivent Choice®,” individuals who own select financial products from Thrivent Financial can direct a portion of Thrivent’s mandated annual charitable distribution to LCMS Global Mission Fund. It’s easy to direct your support, visit and enter “LCMS Global Mission Fund” for the organization name in the search form. For a list of additional LCMS ministries, visit Choice dollars earned during a calendar year can be directed to the ministry of a Thrivent member’s choice until March 31 of the following year. For more information, please visit or call 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836) and state, “Thrivent Choice®.”

Limited time offer for our LCMS educational institutions!

Giving back has been and continues to be an important part of Thrivent Financial’s mission. That’s why we’re launching a special campaign – Give “Back to Schools” – that encourages eligible members to direct Choice Dollars® through our Thrivent Choice® charitable grant program to one or more of their favorite Lutheran educational institutions between May 1 and September 30, 2013. Through this campaign LCMS educational institutions will have two separate opporunities to receive an additional $2,500 grant from Thrivent Financial.

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