Posts tagged LCMS

President of Ethiopian Church Body Visits CTS Campus

Rast Idossa GieschenIMG_5911

L-R The Rev. Dr. Larry Rast, president of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne; the Rev. Dr. Wakseyoum Idossa, president of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus; and the Rev. Dr. Charles Gieschen, academic dean, pause during Idossa’s visit to the seminary Dec. 15, 2014.

For Immediate Release
December 15, 2014

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The faculty, students and staff of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, were pleased to welcome the Rev. Dr. Wakseyoum Idossa, president of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), to the campus today, December 15, 2014. The EECMY is the largest and fastest growing Lutheran church body in Africa with nearly seven million members. President Idossa’s visit follows meetings that took place in November in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that continued the discussion concerning the relationship between The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the EECMY. Those discussions were focused especially on partnering in theological education and human care opportunities.

CTS has been providing theological education to Ethiopians for well over a decade with Ethiopian students traveling to study at the Fort Wayne campus and by having members of the faculty teach at the Mekane Yesus Seminary. “We are particularly glad today to celebrate the relationship that is budding between our seminary and the EECMY. We are partnering already with the EECMY in very important ways, especially by working very specifically and intentionally with the Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa,” commented CTS President Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr.

In his comments to the CTS community President Idossa expressed his thanks. “It is the pleasure of my church body to be partnering with the seminary and with our dear friend, President Rast, who visited us last November to discuss ways of working more closely. We are thankful for your prayers and also for the support you are contributing. I ask you to continue to uphold us in your prayers and also walk together with us as we are engaging in God’s mission to serve the Ethiopian society and beyond.”

Among several participants in the November meetings in Addis Ababa was the Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver, director of LCMS Church Relations, who commented on the visit, “I am very pleased that President Idossa was able to visit the Fort Wayne seminary. I expect great things to emerge from this and other meetings.”

“We are very blessed to be expanding our working together with the EECMY,” said President Rast. “We look forward to God continuing to bless our relationship.”

LCMS responds to Oklahoma tornado, offers resources and ways to help


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
  • 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


Additional Resources:

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

Download disaster-related worship resources for use
this Sunday, including a Bible Study, devotion, hymn suggestions and prayers.

Buzz Off! LCMS Lutheran Malaria Initiative Song

Rev. Fritz Baue wrote a song called Buzz Off! to support the LCMS Lutheran Malaria Initiative.




by Fred Baue


for The Lutheran Malaria Initiative




Buzz Off! (Buzz off, you nasty little bug!)


Buzz Off! (Buzz off, you nasty little bug!)

Am                     D        Dm

Just get on out of the a-  re-  a

E7                                                 Am        G7

‘Cause we’re gettin’ rid of you and your malari- a



C                                                   G

When God made the world, He made it right,

G                                          C

There were mosquitoes, but they didn’t bite.

C                                   G

Then along came the serpent, slick as you please.


Man fell. Then came sin, death and disease.






Then God made Jesus out of clay,

He died and rose, took our sins away,

And death and illness of body and soul.

He’ll come back and make this sick world whole.





Now God made you, and God made me,

For works He planned from eternity:

Works of mercy like Jesus done,

Right here. Right now, till kingdom come.



They’ll Be In the Mail

As conventions season approaches, we are faced with a bit of a Synod-wide dilemma. How shall our congregations become informed in a timely manner of convention- and election-related changes made by the 2010 convention, some of which are very significant?

Usual Channels of Information

District presidents surely will want to share some of this information at Fall Professional Workers Conferences, which will then be shared with congregations by the pastors and teachers. And circuit counselors surely will want to keep pastors and congregations informed in their circuits.

To facilitate this sharing of information, the Council of Presidents has set aside a bloc of time during its September 2011 meeting to review the changes that have taken place. District presidents will want to provide this information to their circuit counselors for distribution on the congregation level.

But will this provide enough notice? And will it be timely enough to enable all 6,000-plus congregations of our Synod to actively participate, especially since some of the changes have almost immediate consequences as 2012 district conventions approach?

Unusual Channel of Information

As Secretary of the Synod, I hope to lend my hand to this communication effort. With the help of my staff and others, I am putting together a mailing campaign that hopefully will provide timely information directly to congregations to help make certain that no congregation is left unaware.

On September 1, the first in a series of 18 5 ½ x 8 ½ postcard mailings (clearly labeled as official business) will be mailed to all congregations, circuit counselors, and district presidents. These mailings will provide the information they need to know at the time they will need to know it. An article in the September Reporter will alert the Synod to the receipt of these mailings over the next 20 months.

The first postcard, calling congregations’ attention to “District Convention Delegate/Alternate Delegate Elections,” will describe the change in the manner in which the President of the Synod will be elected beginning in 2013—by direct participation by the congregations of the Synod. The postcard will call attention to the important rules for participation.

The second postcard, calling attention to congregations’ need to elect their representatives to their circuit forums (which must take place prior to their 2012 district conventions) is scheduled to be mailed on September 15. The third, scheduled for September 30, will address the new process by which the 2012 circuit counselor nominations and elections must take place.

Becoming-the-Usual Channel of Information

The recognition behind the mailings is that the U.S. Mail is still the most dependable method at this time to make certain that every congregation is reached. However, recognizing that the Internet is the preferred source of information for increasing numbers of people, the content of the postcards will be posted on the Synod’s Website at following each mailing.

Raymond Hartwig
Secretary, LCMS

A Mercy Conference in Latvia

How did we get here?

A grant obtained by LCMS World Relief/Human Care is providing the resources necessary for our travel to Latvia and within the country.  We are working in each of the three dioceses of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia.  Today we are in the Diocese of Riga, the largest city and capitol of the country.  Earlier this week we were in Daugavpils, the second city of Latvia.  On Monday we will present in Liepaja, on the Baltic Sea, where there was a large military base in Soviet days.

Our hosts are marvelous, the interpreters indefatigable, the participants attentive and responsive, and the food tremendous!  We are heartened by our work with our partners, and we pray the Latvian church is strengthened in the Church’s work of mercy.  We are Christ’s body – He is the Head, but we are His hands, His arms, His feet, His mouth in the world.

Here are more pictures.


+Herbert C. Mueller

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