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Posts by Al Collver
Members of the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg meet at the Luther Hotel in Wittenberg, Germany, tour the reconstruction work at the Old Latin School in the city center, and visit the Luther House.
Photographs by Erik M. Lunford, staff photojournalist at the LCMS
On Wednesday, 29 January 2014, the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg (ILSW) met in Wittenberg, Germany, to discuss the ongoing reconstruction of the Old Latin School. The LCMS Office of International Mission (OIM) area facilitators also were able to join the ILSW for a tour of the construction site.
Pastor Michael Kumm, chairman of the ILSW, conducts the meeting. Bruce Kintz, President and CEO of CPH, Rev. Dr. Lawrence Rast, President of Concordia Theological Seminary and Chairman of the CTCR, and Mr. David Rohe, executive director of CID CEF, listen to the update on the project.
– Posted by Dr Albert B Collver on 29 January 2014 using BlogPress from my iPhone
Prior to the center’s founding in 1986, mentally disabled children were hidden away in dark rooms — their very existence was denied. The German Lutheran theologian Oswald Bayer said that to be justified is to be recognized. In some cases, the recognition of people, in this case, the human care for the children brings them into contact with the church so they can hear the Gospel.
A young man learning how to make coffee.
Some at the center learn marketable life skills. The children above are baking communion hosts for the church.
President Harrison greets a diary cow who has an infected foot. The center for disabled children receives its milk from diary cows kept on the facility.
Posted around the facility is Proverbs 31:8, “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.”
The facility keeps incredibly good records.
We said goodbye the children, deeply moved and impressed by the care they receive.
Before we left we visited the library to see a 19th century Ge’ez document which sought to reform the Ethiopian Orthodox Church by teaching on the Sacraments and justification. The Mekane Yesus Seminary (MYS) has the Ge’ez and Amharic versions in their library.
There are plans to produce a triglotta version in Ge’ez, Amharic, and English.
President Harrison with Mihreteab, the librarian at MYS, examining the Ge’ez manuscript.
We look forward to visiting Ethiopia again.
– Posted by Dr Albert Collver on 27 January 2014 using BlogPress from my iPhone
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod announce formal discussions
For Immediate Release
ST. LOUIS, January 27, 2014—Representatives and leaders from the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) met at the Mekane Yesus Seminary, the EECMY headquarters, and the Gudina Tumsa Wholistic Training Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 23 – 26, 2014, to discuss the relationship between the two church bodies.
Those meeting included the Rev. Dr.Wakseyoum Idosa, president of the EECMY; the Rev. Dr. Berhanu Ofgaa, general secretary of EECMY; the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of the LCMS; the Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver, LCMS director of Church Relations and Regional Operations; and LCMS missionaries the Rev. Dr. Carl Rockrohr, Dean of the School of Theology at Mekane Yesus Seminary, and Deaconess Dr. Deborah Rockrohr.
Although the churches have diverse histories and developed in different contexts, the EECMY and the LCMS have discovered that both church bodies believe that the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God and the only source and infallible norm of all Church doctrine and practice. Both churches also subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions.
Article 2 of the EECMY constitution states the following: “The Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments are the Holy Word of God and the only source and infallible norm of all Church doctrine and practice; the Church adheres to the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed …; the Church sees in the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, which was worded by the Church Reformers, as well as in Luther’s Catechisms, a pure exposition of the Word of God.”
Article 2 of the LCMS constitution states: “The Synod, and every member of Synod, accepts without reservation: The Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice; all the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God, to wit: the three Ecumenical Creeds (the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed), the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Large Catechism of Luther, the Small Catechism of Luther, and the Formula of Concord.”
Although the two church bodies recognize they have differences in doctrine and practice in certain specific areas, both believe that the common confession they share about the Holy Scriptures and acceptance of the ecumenical creeds, the unaltered Augsburg Confession, and the Small and Large Catechisms justifies, even demands, that the two churches engage in more formal discussion regarding areas of agreement and disagreement.
As an outcome of the meeting, the EECMY and the LCMS agreed to appoint a three-member team from each church body, along with the church bodies’ respective presidents, to begin formal doctrinal discussions. This six-person team, plus the two church body presidents, will begin doctrinal discussions within the next nine months and have the authority to form other ad hoc committees for particular topics as needed.
Wakseyoum said he hopes that, “through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the study of the Holy Scriptures, both church bodies would come closer to each other.”
Harrison said: “Contact between our church bodies began almost a decade ago. We have been tremendously encouraged by Mekane Yesus’ public confession of the Holy Scriptures regarding issues of sexuality. Their zeal in outreach is something the Missouri Synod can learn from. I am glad that we have come by God’s grace to this moment of serious dialogue.”
While the church bodies engage in dialogue, both will look for areas where they can mutually support one another.
About The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY)
The EECMY was formed in 1959 as various synods started by several different mission societies merged into one church. In the 1970s the EECMY developed the theme “Serving the Whole Person,” now often quoted and referred to as holistic ministry. This has been a guiding principle for all evangelistic or developmental church work. Beginning with 20,000 members in 1959, the EECMY has grown to 6.35 million members. Learn more at http://www.eecmy.org.
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS)
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, founded in 1847, is a biblical, confessional, witness-oriented Christian denomination with 2.3 million members – 600,000 households – in 6,200 congregations. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org.
The choir sang severs songs during the service. Many of the songs were from the period of the Marxist Derg Regime, and had apocalyptic overtones. One song written when the Gospel could not be proclaimed freely described how the gospel would go out into the world and be victorious by bringing about the Lord’s kingdom. Another song said, “We are in the desert, but The Lord will remember his promise and drown our enemies like Pharaoh and his army.”
– Posted by Dr. Albert Collver on 26 January 2014 using BlogPress from my iPhone