Today, on the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels (29 September 2013), the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic (ECAV v ČR) celebrated it’s 20th anniversary. The ECAV v ČR was established in 1993 when Czechoslovakia was divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Saint Michael’s Congregation on V Jircharich Street in Prague was established as a Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in 1946 when German Lutherans were transferred out of the country after World War II. Prior to this, the Saint Michaels had been the German Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia.
|The Saint Michael’s Congregation on V Jircharich Street in Prague|
The service on Saint Michael and All Angels marked the highpoint of three days of celebration which began with an organ concert, followed by lectures with the theme “Our Lutheran Heritage in Central Europe.” The service was broadcast on national Czech radio.
Shortly before the benediction and closing hymn, guests from various churches were able to give greetings. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod was offered the opportunity to present greetings first. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations, presented the greetings to the ECAV v ČR:
On behalf of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and President Matthew Harrison, I bring you greetings in the Name of Jesus!
Today, the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels marks the 20th anniversary celebration of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic (ECAV v ČR). This is fitting as Satan, the accuser of the Lord’s people has been cast down from heaven, no longer able to slander God’s people before His throne. Satan and his evil angels were defeated by the Word of God.
In Martin Luther’s famous hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” one little Word from the Scriptures sends Satan to flight. Over the years, the ECAV v ČR has faced many challenges, but the Word of God has preserved you.
The Missouri Synod only became involved with you a short time ago. We are happy that our churches have formed a working agreement that allows one of our pastors to serve the English speaking congregation. We pray that our churches may grow closer together and that Christ would bless us both.
As you celebrate your 20th anniversary, may it be a time of remembrance: Remembrance of how the Lord has blessed you through the years. A time of prayer: Prayer that the Lord would preserve the pure preaching of the Word of God among you. A time of thanksgiving: Thanksgiving for the Word of God in this place, for the pastors who preached to you, and for the tremendous grace the Lord has shown you. May it be a time of repentance: Repentance for neglecting the Word of God and for unthankfulness for His blessings.
As you celebrate today, remember Christ and his forgiveness. May He grant you many more years in His service.
The bulletin for the service is provided below.
Posted by Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver, LCMS Director of Church Relations
Luther Academy hosted lectures for the 20th Anniversary of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Czech Republic (ECAV v ČR) at Saint Charles University Theological Faculty in Prague on 28 September 2013.
The theme is: Our Lutheran Heritage in Central Europe
Lecture 2) History of Lutherans in Bohemia and Moravia – Dr. Jiří Just, church historian at Charles’ University in Prague and contributing author of “Lutherans in the Czech Lands Through the Centuries,” the most recent work on the subject.
Lecture 3) German Lutherans in Bohemia and Moravia – Professor Dr. Karl Schwarz, church historian from the University of Vienna with expertise in the area of German Lutheranism in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia.
In between lectures, the group went to the coffee shop for further discussion and fellowship. The lectures were well receive. Some were described as provocative. Much discussion ensued, particularly around the topics of the authority of the Scriptures and subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.
When the lectures concluded, the participants went to St Michael’s for a sausage supper. On the next day, on St Michael and All Angels, St Michael’s will celebrate her 20th anniversary in the ECAV v ČR.
- Posted by Rev. Dr. Albert Collver using BlogPress from my iPhone
Mr. Darin Storkson, Dr. Timothy Quill, Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, Rev. Tony Booker, Dr. Albert Collver, Dr. Michael Rodewald visit Guder Waterfall near Ambo, Ethiopia. The purpose of the trip was to become better acquainted with the Mekane Yesus in Ethiopia.
President Wakseyoum discussing relations between the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) with Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, Executive Director of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) and Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations.
Dr. Carl Rockrohr, Dean of Theology for the Mekane Yesus Seminary (MYS), Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, and Dr. Albert Collver look at the construction of a dinning hall at MYS, being completed with LCMS assistance.
- Posted on 21 September 2013 by Dr. Albert Collver using BlogPress from my iPhone
What is the Kingdom of God? Answer: Simply what we learned in the Creed, namely, that God sent his Son, Christ our Lord, into the world to redeem and deliver us from the power of the devil and to bring us to himself and rule us as a king of righteousness, life, and salvation against sin, death, and an evil conscience. To this end he also gave his Holy Spirit to teach us this through his holy Word and to enlighten and strengthen us in faith by his power. The Second Petition, Large Catechism
Another senseless tragedy. Americans awakened to another horrible outbreak of murders on Monday morning. Men and women went to the Navy Yard in Washington, DC to begin another work week, but instead, a lone gunman attacked and murdered them without an apparent motive. Law enforcement officers engaged the assailant, Aaron Alexis, in order to protect those under attack. Mr. Alexis was killed—either by law enforcement officers or by his own hand.
Over the next weeks, government agencies will sort through the events and produce a comprehensive report. The report, no doubt, will include the timeline of events, the murderer’s personal and professional histories, the security measures that are in place to prevent such attacks, and recommendations to improve personnel screening and methods to increase security. Lawmakers will conduct hearings and government executives will respond to questions and render their professional assessments.
Will such senseless attacks ever stop? Will men, women, and children no longer be safe in their schools, churches, work places, entertainment venues, and their own homes? People from across our nation are pondering such questions . . . again.
What can anyone do? Is it hopeless? Within the arsenal of governmental capabilities nothing exists to address the hopelessness of humanity’s condition. As Jesus said to His disciples,
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Yet, there is hope.
The nature of humanity is desperately evil and inclined to selfishness, indifference, and pride. Laws and ordinances do suppress evil acts; yet, they do not resolve the core problem. God addresses this matter, human depravity, through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
God’s intervention in and through the person and work of Jesus Christ addressed sin and gave humanity the only way of hope. St. Paul wrote to the Romans of humanity’s condition and the only hope of humanity. That way is the way of Jesus Christ. As St. Paul says,
But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
St. Paul continues,
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
This hope the world will never understand. Only by the preaching of Christ will mankind receive hope to endure. Nations have ascended to unparalleled heights and sunk to great depths, but the Kingdom of God remains forever. This eternal Kingdom of God is the gift of hope for sinners through the grace of God in Christ. Be assured that no man can wrest it away from the baptized in Christ, be it in life or in death. Amen.
Rev. Gregory K. Williamson
Chief Mission Officer