Opening worship for the 62nd Biennial Convention of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod was held at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota.


Christus Solus (“Christ Alone”) chapel at Martin Luther College.


The chapel was entirely full with delegates for the convention.


The singing filled the chapel.


After the service was over, the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society (LWMS) conducted a flag ceremony demonstrating the mission work of the Wisconsin Synod around the world. This practice serves to educate the delegates of the Wisconsin Synod about their Church partners and the location of their mission work. This is an idea that might be adapted for the Missouri Synod. Of interest was that some of WELS mission work began jointly with the Missouri Synod during the days of the Synodical Conference. Other of their work began immediately following the break up of the Synodical Conference.

The Wisconsin Synod vividly remembers the Synodical Conference (the fellowship of the Wisconsin Synod, Missouri Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and Slovak Synod). In fact, the Wisconsin Synod’s hymnal Christian Worship published in 1993 notes:

“The story of Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal actually began in 1953 when the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) initiated work on a revision of The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), the hymnal shared by the synods constituting the Synodical Conference. In 1959 the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) accepted the invitation to share in the revision work. In 1965, however, the LCMS abandoned this project in favor of a new pan-Lutheran hymnal, leading to the publication of Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) and Lutheran Worship (1982).”

Based on conversations with people in the Missouri Synod, it does not seem that memories of the Synodical Conference is in the forefront. The preface to the WELS hymnal is correct. The LCMS became enamored with pan-Lutheranism, some of which led to the events of Seminex and the production of a hymnal unusable by much of the Missouri Synod (Lutheran Book of Worship).

In 2013, WELS sent observers to the LCMS convention. Likewise, the LCMS sent Dr Albert Collver, Rev Jon Vieker, and Rev Larry Vogel to the WELS convention.

May The Lord grant fruitful and ongoing contact with WELS.

The 2013 LCMS convention adopted a resolution to seek contact with both WELS and ELS.

The resolution reads:

To Encourage Further Discussion with Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and Evangelical Lutheran Synod

RESOLUTION 4-05

Report 1-7; President’s Report, Part 2 (CW, p. 10; TB, p. 23)

Preamble

After more than 50 years, mostly of silence, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) held informal discussions in late 2012. Although differences exist between the church bodies, the informal discussions demonstrated that there is a basis to explore further conversations between the churches. When WELS suspended fellowship with the Missouri Synod in 1961, the president of WELS was charged with seeking opportunities to continue the conversation with the Missouri Synod.

WHEREAS, the Synodical Conference (fellowship of LCMS, WELS and ELS) was a great blessing to confessional Lutheranism both in America and throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, although the Synodical Conference dissolved, many commonalities still exist; and

WHEREAS, since the ending of the Synodical Conference there have been few opportunities for discussion between the LCMS and the WELS and the ELS; and

WHEREAS, the President of the WELS has been charged with seeking opportunities to continue the conversation with the LCMS; therefore be it

Resolved, that the President of the LCMS seek opportunities to continue the conversation with the former members of the Synodical Conference.

Attending the WELS convention in New Ulm is the first step in fulfilling this resolution.

– Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations on 30 July 2013.

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Location:Waldheim Dr,New Ulm,United States