Prudentius the Helpful

The message of Christmas is huge, of eternal proportions and significance: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman….” (Galatians 4:4-5). This hugeness of Christmas is so important to bear in mind, its dimenions having been so diminished in our day, often reduced to mere tinsel and trappings.

No hymn captures that hugeness better than that of Prudentius of the 4th century, aided by the 12th century plain-song tune we have sung many times (TLH 98). We do well this Christmas season to devote a little personal time its proper perspective:

Of the Father’s love begotten ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the Source, the Ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been, And that future years shall see
Evermore and evermore.

Oh, that birth forever blessed when the Virgin, full of grace
By the Holy Ghost conceiving bare the Savior of our race,
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer, first revealed His sacred face
Evermore and evermore.

O ye heights of heav’n, adore Him; angel hosts His praises sing;
Pow’rs, dominions, bow before Him and extol our God and King.
Let no tongue on earth be silent, ev’ry voice in concert ring
Evermore and evermore.

This is He whom heav’n-taught singers sang of old with one accord;
Whom the Scriptures of the prophets promised in their faithful word.
Now He shines, the long-expected; let creation praise its Lord
Evermore and evermore.

Immersed in and bombarded by a society and culture that have relegated Christmas to a cute little story in a faraway little town, we do well to join Prudentius in pondering the eternal dimensions of this holy day and its celebration:

Christ, to Thee, with God the Father, and, O Holy Ghost, to Thee
Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving and unending praises be,
Honor, glory, and dominion, and evernal victory
Evermore and evermore.

Ray Hartwig

CPH Missionary Gift Registry

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Concordia Publishing House (CPH) in cooperation with the Office of International Mission (OIM) has launched a Missionary Gift Registry to benefit the work of sharing the Gospel overseas. In a joint meeting between the LCMS Regional Directors and Dr. Bruce Kintz of CPH, the Regional Directors asked if CPH could find a way to help missionaries get CPH materials onto the mission field, where emerging churches could make use of the material. CPH created a webpage that contains a list of materials LCMS missionaries would like to sue on the mission field with partner churches, emerging churches, and converts to the Christian faith. The web address is


Each quarter the regional directors will update the list and provide CPH with a list of needed resources. CPH also is working with LCMS missionaries to identify resources to translate into other languages. Please take a look at the CPH site created to help our LCMS missionaries.


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The CPH website helpfully shows the regions of the world where the LCMS works and provides the name of the regional director.

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This is part of the Latin America list of needed resources. As the image shows, a number of resources have been identified with the quantity required and the amount fulfilled.

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Eurasia is looking to get LSB hymnals for the Old Latin School in Wittenberg.


Thanks CPH for working with the Office of International Mission on this. It is a great way to collaborate.


— Rev. Albert B. Collver, Ph.D, Director of Church Relations / Regional Operations

Visit to the Silesian Lutherans (Bohemia)

Left to Right:  Deaconess Dorothy Krans, Deaconess Grace Rao, Rev. Peter Lange, Rev. Tony Booker, Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Rev. James Krikava, Kay Kreklau

Left to Right:
Deaconess Dorothy Krans, Deaconess Grace Rao, Rev. Peter Lange, Rev. Tony Booker, Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Rev. James Krikava, Kay Kreklau

On Sunday, December 14th, a group from the Missouri Synod arrived in Prague for a week long conference with the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (SECAC). In 2010, the LCMS and the SECAC, who are not in altar and pulpit fellowship, signed a working agreement describing how the two churches will work in the area of human care (particularly in the area of people with disabilities through Slezská diakonie) and in the realm of theological education and conferences. (Read more about that at

Dr. Collver Presenting to Slezská diakonie on Theology of Mercy

Dr. Collver Presenting to Slezská diakonie on Theology of Mercy

The Slezská diakonie requested that the Missouri Synod present on the topic of the theology of mercy, so that the church can remain closely connected to human care work. Dr. Collver presented on the Biblical view of mercy, both to the Slezská diakonie and to a pastors’ conference at the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (SECAC).

Silesian Diacony

Silesian Diacony

Approximately, One hundred of the 600 staff members attended the conference. Deaconess Grace Rao and Deaconess Dorothy Krans also presented to the staff of the Slezská diakonie.

Rev. James Krikava

Rev. James Krikava


Pastor James Krikava, Eurasia missionary to Czech Republic and associate Eurasia regional director, presented to the pastors’ conference at the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (SECAC) in Czech. His paper addressed the topic of mercy in pastoral care through confession and absolution.


Above is a short video (15 seconds) of Rev. James Krikava presenting at the SECAC pastors’ conference in Czech. The LCMS believes it is very important for her missionaries to know the local language. Rev. Krikava, born and raised in the United States, learned Czech at home from his parents and attained fluency during his 15 years of experience as a missionary to the Czech Republic.


Rev. Peter Lange and Rev. James Krikava in Poland

Rev. Peter Lange and Rev. James Krikava in Poland

Rev. Peter Lang, 1st Vice-President of the Kansas District and Pastor at St. John’s in Topeka, KS, was part of the LCMS delegation to Silesia. Pastor Lang’s congregation has supported the international mission work of the LCMS for the past 15 years, primarily through the Network Supported Missionary (NSM) model. In the video below, Pastor Lang describes how his congregation provides support for Rev. James Krikava in the Czech Republic.

If there is interest to support the work of Rev. James Krikava in the Czech republic please visit:



Kay Kreklau, President of from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML), came to the Czech Republic and Poland as part of the LCMS delegation. Kay Kreklau was particularly interested in how the LWML can work more closely with the Office of International Mission (OIM) to better support LCMS missionaries and their work.


The future work of the Eurasia team under Rev. Tony Booker, Regional Director for Eurasia, is looking bright with many opportunities for strengthening Lutheran identity in Central Europe. Rev. Tony Booker also serves as the pastor of St. Michael’s English Congregation in Prague.

— Rev. Albert B. Collver, Ph.D., Director of Church Relations / Regional Operations

Krikava Doing Mission Work in Czech Republic

Pastor James Krikava, associate Eurasia Regional Director, speaks about doing mission work in the Czech Republic. He and Rev. Tony Book, Eurasia Regional Director, are based out of Prague working to strengthen Lutheran identity through out Central Europe, as well as working with established and emerging LCMS partners throughout Europe.

Pastor Peter Lange, 1st VP of the Kansas District and pastor at St. John’s Topeka, KS, speaks about his congregation’s partnership with the Office of International Mission for the past 15 years and most recently through its support of Pastor James Krikava as a Network Supported Missionary (NSM) in the Czech Republic.

To support Rev. James Krikava’s work in the Czech Republic (as Pastor Lange and St John’s have) please visit

Part of the video was shot in the Jesus Church (Kościół Jezusowy) in Polsky Tesin. The Jesus Church holds between 6,000 and 7,000 people. The church was constructed between 1709-1750. It is the largest Lutheran church in the region.


Altar area of the Jesus Church




Looking toward the nave of the Jesus Church.


IMG_7346Entrance to the Jesus Church


Ethiopian Church Body President to Lecture at CSL Campus


Rev. Wakseyoum Idossa

Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 4 p.m. CST

Presidents Room, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

Live stream:


The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) has a history of struggle and growth, including persecution under communist rule. With well over 6 million members today, the church continues to grow and strengthen its ministry.


Dr. Wakseyoum Idossa, president of the EECMY, will lead a discussion on the church’s holistic model of ministry that has enabled it to respond effectively and compassionately to the needs of its people.


This lecture is free to attend and will be streamed live. Set your browser to to watch and hear the lecture on your computer.


For more information, contact Becky Pagel at 314-505-7377 or

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