Posts tagged ILC
About 50 pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG), a member of the International Lutheran Council (ILC), attended the opening session of the pastors’ conference held at the ELCG’s seminary in Accra, Ghana.
The pastors’ conference has 6 sessions scheduled over 2 days. Session 1: Preaching of the Saving Gospel by Rev. Steven Schumacher, Session 2: Leadership in the 21st Century by Rev. Solomon S. Ayagri, Session 3: Understanding Prayer by Ps. John S. Donkoh, Session 4: Creation by Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Session 5 was originally supposed to have been done by Rev. Dale Kaster but due to illness the Rev. Dr. George Black will present instead, and Session 6: ELCG The Way Forward by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Paul Kofi Fynn. The presentation most significant to the immediate future of the ELCG is Bishop Fynn’s which we will cover in more detail tomorrow.
Rev. Steve Schumacher presents at the ELCG Pastors’ Conference on “Preaching of the Saving Gospel.” Consider supporting the work of Rev. Steve Schumacher by clicking here.
Bishop Paul Fynn of the Evangelical Lutheran Church stands in front of the seminary sign.
Although the seminary was dedicated just on 2 February 2014, the ELCG has completely repainted the seminary as part of its ongoing maintence program to keep various church properties in good condition. Arguably, the seminary looks better today than it did when it was brand new on its dedication day.
Dr. Albert Collver and Bishop Paul Fynn listening to a presentation at the pastors’ conference.
— Posted on 6 November 2015 by Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations
23 August 2015
Several news items from Africa this past week in Ghana, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
GHANA AND THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF GHANA
Last Sunday, 16 August 2015, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG) held a conference on same sex marriage and homosexuality in Africa. The conference was broadcast on Ghana Television (GTV). Below is a clip from the conference with an interview with Dr. Paul Kofi Fynn and Dr. Albert B. Collver. (The video can be seen on YouTube at https://youtu.be/UdTJQrEg63I)
NIGERIA and the Lutheran Church of Nigeria
The Lutheran Church of Nigeria (LCN) has a synod theme called, “Christ Lives in Me.” The theme is tripartite: “Christ Lives in Me for Witness”; “Christ Lives in Me for Mercy”; “Christ Lives in Me for Life Together.”
The chorus of the theme song:
Christ Lives in Me
he lives in Me
Christ lives in me
He has given us the grace
He has given us the grace to rule the world
He has given us the grace to overcome the world
He lives in me
Christ lives in me
Christ lives in me for witness
Christ lives in me for works of mercy
Christ lives in me for life together
The song can be listened to at: https://soundcloud.com/collverab3/christ-lives-in-me-lcn
TANZANIA — Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania Elects New Presiding Bishop
This past week (16 August 2015) the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) elected a anew presiding bishop, Frederic Shoo.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) is the second largest Lutheran church in the world with about 6 million members after the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), which has about 8 million members. The Missouri Synod is not in altar and pulpit fellowship with the ELCT, however, the Missouri Synod does have friendly relations with some of the bishops in the ELCT.
Presiding Bishop Frederick Shoo is known as the “tree bishop” due to the large amount of trees he and his North Diocese have planted to help preserve the glaciers on top of Mount Kilimanjaro. PBS did an interview with Bishop Frederick Shoo a few years ago here: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2012/07/13/july-13-2012-kilimanjaro-trees/11790/#
— Rev. Albert B. Collver, Ph.D., Director of Church Relations
Pictured (left to right): Hjalmar Bø, Øyvind Åsland, Albert Collver
On 19 August 2015, Øyvin Åsland, Executive Director of Norwegian Lutheran Mission (NLM), and Hjalmar Bø, Director NLM International Department, came to Saint Louis to visit with the Missouri Synod and to learn more about the International Lutheran Council (ILC). The Norwegian Lutheran Mission (NLM) was formed in 1891 as Det Norske Lutherske Kinamisjonsforbund (the Norwegian Lutheran Federation for Mission in China). NLM is connected to the revival movements in Norway and adheres to the Holy Scriptures, the Ecumenical Creeds, the Augsburg Confession and the Small and Large Catechisms. NLM’s slogan is “The World for Christ.” The Norwegian Lutheran Mission operates in several of the same countries where the Missouri Synod also operates. For instance, the Norwegian Lutheran Missionaries established Tabor Evangelical College in Ethiopia. Currently, some of the faculty from Tabor Evangelical College are attending doctorate classes at Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis. Missionaries from NLM have frequent contact with Missouri Synod missionaries in places such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Latin America, and Africa. Although there have been many informal contacts through the years, this is the first time that the Norwegian Lutheran Mission has sought official contacts with the Missouri Synod and with the International Lutheran Council.
Øyvind Åsland and Hjalmar Bø at Concordia Publishing House
Since 1891 (three years before the Missouri Synod engaged in international mission work), the Norwegian Lutheran Mission has been seeking to plant Lutheran churches around the world. NLM always has been a movement within but not under the Church of Norway and has been primarily a lay movement that sought to engage in missions. The Norwegian Lutheran Mission does not support the ordination of women. Most recently, the Norwegian Lutheran Mission voted to “establish religious communities” by a vote of 548 in favor to 121 against.
The vote for the Norwegian Lutheran Mission (NLM) to establish “religious communities” is rather significant as it marks the shift of NLM from being purely a mission agency to also a church. As such NLM has begun to wrestle with the implications of this decision, such as how it will relate to other churches in the world and what sorts of relationships it will seek.
Pictured (left to right): Rev. Paul McCain, Dr. Albert Collver, Jonathan Schulz, Øyvind Åsland and Hjalmar Bø
At Concordia Publishing House, the representatives from the Norwegian Lutheran Mission received an overview of CPH products that might be of interest to the mission field. In the past, NLM has translated a few books from CPH into Norwegian. They also received a tour of the facilities.
After visiting Concordia Publishing House, the NLM representatives had the opportunity to visit Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis. Once again, the Norwegian Lutheran Mission is familiar with Concordia Seminary as some of their missionaries and leaders have studied there in the past.
Dr. Jeff Kloha Provides An Overview of the Campus
At Concordia Seminary, the representatives from NLM saw highlights of the campus including the rare book room, where they saw the Bach Bible and Codex Vaticanus. The representatives from NLM noted how it is amazing that an institution remained faithful to the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions for 175 years, which only happens by the grace of God.
The first formal visit with the Norwegian Lutheran Mission went well and we are looking forward to more visits in the future.
— Rev. Albert B. Collver, Ph.D., Director of Church Relations
On Sunday, 16 August 2015, we attended worship at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG) in Accra, Ghana. Approximately 300 people attended the morning service. The service was fuller than usual due to a youth conference which was held at the church and a symposium on same-sex marriage after the service.
The Choir at St. Paul’s Lutheran sang “God is our Protector” before the sermon.
The choir sings.
Rev. Steven Schumacher preached on John 6.
After the sermon, people come to from to give their offering. During their offering, the entire congregation sings and sometimes dances.
The congregation sings and dances during the presentation of the offering.
Immediately following the service, a symposium on same-sex marriage was held in the congregation. The recent decision of the US Supreme Court to legalize same sex marriage in all fifty States has had worldwide effect. The panelists discussed the topic of same sex marriage from a variety of perspectives including updates on the situation in the United States, perspectives from the Ghanian legal system, Biblical perspectives, and from a Ghanian cultural perspective. LCMS people participated in the panel including Dr. Albert Collver, Dr. David Erber, and Rev. Steve Schumacher.
Approximately 300 people attended the symposium on same sex marriage. The event was broadcast on Ghanian television and covered in the local newspapers.
Rt. Rev. Bishop Paul Kofi Fynn listened attentively to the presentations.
Presentations also covered how Ghanian culture viewed marriage and how the Ghanian legal system viewed civil rights and homosexual activity. A challenge for nations such as Ghana is that Western development aid and loans are often tied to adopting a human rights perspective that allows for same sex marriage.
The Lutheran Church Of Nigeria (LCN) was the LCMS’ first African mission start. The church began in 1936 in Uyo, Obot Idim. Archbishop Christian Ekong in the video above outlines some basic information about the Lutheran Church of Nigeria and speaks about the challenges of needing to train 100 pastors immediately at the Jonathan Ekong Memorial Seminary (JEMS) while only having a handful of professors to teach. The church has about 133,000 members in 355 congregations with 250 pastors and 50 evangelists.
Archbishop Ekong in Seminary Library
Jonathan Ekong Memorial Seminary Sign
Student at JEMS holding his CPH Book Lutheranism 101