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Posts by Al Collver
A field cut video about the request from the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) to the Missouri Synod for assistance with theological education. Mekane Yesus means “Place of Jesus.” The EECMY is a 6.1 million member Lutheran church in Ethiopia.
– Posted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 16 June 2013 by Dr. Albert Collver, LCMS Director of Church Relations
LCMS international mission work around the world abides in and by these three: Baptism, teaching (catechesis) and the Lord’s Supper. Download the hot-off-the-press LCMS International Mission Reporter insert to learn more about those three gifts and the way in which LCMS missionaries are sharing Christ’s Gospel to the ends of the earth!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In the coming weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the legality of same-sex marriage. As Lutherans, we believe that marriage consists of and is based on more than just feelings. We believe men and women both are created in God’s image. We believe that they complement one another physically, psychologically and emotionally. And we believe that, from this balance of father and mother, children flourish.
To help begin a discussion on what our Lord has to say about marriage, we have assembled a marriage “toolkit.” It includes a Bible study, an insert that can be used in your church newsletter or bulletin, marriage-related worship resources and links to helpful information — such as “What You Need to Know about Marriage” – from other organizations. I believe you will find these resources helpful discussion starters, especially among your congregational members, confirmation classes, Bible-study groups, family and friends.
Also, along with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has released a statement affirming marriage. This statement resulted from ongoing study and discussion among the four church bodies about the need to affirm what Scripture clearly teaches about marriage and sexuality. You can download that statement here.
As we await the Supreme’s Court decision, we still have much to do. As LCMS President Matthew C. Harrison explained, “We repent, and we pray. We confess Christ and elevate marriage among us. We do what the church does best: We bear witness to Christ, show mercy to those in our midst, and we care for all in our life together.”
These resources are offered as part of the church’s ongoing efforts to preserve the traditional definition of marriage. We pray they are useful to you.
The Rev. Bart Day
Executive Director, Office of National Mission
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Marriage Toolkit Resources
Marriage Affirmation Statement
Aug. 14–15, 2013
Additional Resources and Links
- Press Release: “LCMS President Harrison signs letter supporting traditional definition of marriage, religious freedom”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
After May 20 tornadoes devastated parts of the Midwest and especially Moore, Okla., killing at least 24 people – some of them school children – we are requesting prayers and gifts to help with The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod’s ongoing relief effort.
The tornado swept dozens of homes and buildings off their foundations, shredded cars and trucks, littered streets with debris and power lines, injured at least 145 people in the Oklahoma City suburb and struck two schools and a hospital.
Aaron Uphoff, a vicar from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., is serving at Trinity Lutheran in Norman, Okla. He spent Monday evening in Moore, praying with and comforting those who survived the devastation. “I prayed with as many people as I could,” he said. “I asked Christ for comfort and for the peace that that surpasses all understanding, which is ours by virtue of Good Friday and Easter.”
At the same time, there is a great deal of mercy that needs to be shown to the people who have been hurt by this spring’s tornadoes. You can help support your Synod’s disaster response relief effort by contributing today to LCMS Disaster Response. The Rev. John Fale, associate executive director of the LCMS’ Mercy Operations Group,said, “The needs are going to be huge. We don’t know yet the extent of what they will be, but, by the grace of God, we will be there to respond with the love and mercy of Christ to help those affected by the tornado to regain some sense of normality.”
When the 6,200 congregations of the Synod respond, together we make an enormous difference by bringing our resources to bear where people are hurting. (Download a letter of encouragement I’ve written for our LCMS members and congregations here.)
Now is the time to help. Support those in need by:
- Making a donation online at http://www.lcms.org/give/disaster.
- Mailing checks payable to “The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod” (with a memo line or note designating “LCMS Disaster Relief”) to The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861.
- Calling toll-free 888-930-4438 (8:10 a.m. – 4:10 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday).
Pastor Matthew C. Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Give a gift to help the LCMS provide immediate and ongoing response when disasters happen.
Watch LCMS President Matthew C. Harrison’s video message of Christ’s help and hope.
Keep up-to-date on the LCMS response to disasters around the globe at www.lcms.org/disaster
Download disaster-related worship resources for use
this Sunday, including a Bible Study, devotion, hymn suggestions and prayers.
Photo courtesy of Jouko Makkonen.
Dear Praying Friends,
I am filled with deep gratitude to you who have prayed for my meeting with the Tunsberg bishop today. An extra thank you to all of you who responded so quickly. Assured of prayers and support from all of you, I traveled to Tønsberg with confidence. During the meeting, I felt comfort and peace.
The conversation in Tønsberg was characterized by a surprisingly calm seriousness. The Church of Norway has placed Mrs. Laila Riksaasen Dahl as bishop of Tunsberg diocese. Since I now live in Tunsberg diocese, it is her official duty to make the final decision on disciplinary measures, because I let myself be consecrated bishop in violation of applicable canon law provisions of the Church of Norway.
In the conversation I elaborated the basis for the actions that began with doctrinal conversations at my initiative with my then Bishop of Nidaros, and ended with my episcopal ordination in Tromsø in 2012. Laila Riksaasen Dahl listened attentively and sympathetically, revealing good theological insight and respect. She expressed, in an unexpectedly clear manner, her understanding that this matter shall at the Last Day be of profound seriousness to both parties.
I pointed out that when the bishops and CoN’s General Assembly accept unbiblical teachings in the Church, they break apart the unity of the Church of Norway. Because of the new doctrine of the bishop of Nidaros, I had to exclude him from the church communion fellowship. And when church members, because of what has happened elsewhere, have no shepherd and call me to help, my ordination vow commits me to take care of the flock – even as a bishop. With fervent desire I encouraged her, along with my former Bishop of Nidaros, to change their doctrine, and I promised my prayer for that to happen.
Laila Riksaasen Dahl concluded the conversation by stating that, particularly due to the episcopal ordination in Tromsø, she decided to terminate my authorization as a pastor in the Church of Norway. To this I replied that the new doctrine contrary to Scripture has led us to this rupture, and to the consequences that are now taking place. There and then I put on my episcopal cross and made visible in this way our claim to be a diocese in the church. Explicit notice was taken of this symbolic act.
I see an image of the Norwegian church as a large and pleasant area, built on floats. Priests, bishops – and laity in the CoN General Assembly – cut away the tendons that keep this area secured to land – one mooring after the other. When the floating area now drifts from shore, it can easily seem that they who control developments are sending us who have other foundations under our feet away from themselves. But we, who stand on the firm ground, know that really it is they who drift away from the mainland of Christ’s Church; they drift away before the weather and wind of this age.
Let us pray that the Lord may have mercy!
Yours in Christ