Posts tagged Lutheran
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
The Lutheran Church of Nigeria held a deaconess conference with the LCMS on the theme, “Deaconesses in Mission.” Approximately 200 women attended.
The women were very eager to join the conference.
Deaconess Grace Rao spoke about the role of women in the church.
Dr. Collver reflected on the Lutheran Church of Nigeria’s Theme, “Christ Lives in Me,” and used the Gospel of Mark to describe the Christ that lives in you, while tying it to mercy works.
Dr. David Erber assisted with the conference.
Nigeria in the rainy season.
Opportunities in Africa (Ethiopia in this case) abound for theological education. Opportunities exist both for a person who wants to travel overseas to teach a class and for students who are taught at a local insinuation or who receive a scholarship to study at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, or Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis.
The video highlights how the Global Seminary Initiative (GSI) is helping connect qualified volunteers with teaching opportunities overseas and students with opportunities to study locally or possibility at an LCMS seminary. Two students are interviewed: a future deaconess who has been accepted to Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne and a PhD student who has been accepted for study at Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis. Two instructors are interviewed about their experience at Mekane Yesus Seminary. Finally, Rev. Shauen Trump, Area Director for East Africa, speaks about how theological education is the single largest request he receives in Africa.
For more information about the Global Seminary Initiative please visit: http://www.lcms.org/makeagift/gsi
Last evening, President Matthew C. Harrison asked me to bring additional greetings to you here in Palanga and to the Lutherans in Lithuania on his behalf and on that of the people of the Missouri Synod in the Name of Jesus! It is a great privilege and honor to be here among you today. It is a joy to see this church completed and ready to be used in worship.
For as long as I have served with President Harrison (both as President and when he worked as the director of Diakonia for the LCMS), he has spoken of the need to help our brothers and sisters in Christ who suffered under communism. He said we need to help them, to show mercy to them. Today, we heard Bishop Sabutis say, “This is a house of mercy.” Indeed it is. It is the place the Lord comes and shows mercy.
It is a privilege and honor that the Lord allowed the people of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, in particular the Iowa East District, to participate in the building of this church in Palanga. It brings us joy to see this day.
We also heard how after the corner stone was laid in July 2005 how plans were made to dedicate this church in 2007. Yet those plans were delayed and now 5 years later we celebrate the opening of this church. Some may have thought the promise to build the church would not come true. Some may have even thought the Lord failed his promises. Hear this word of Scripture after Solomon finished building the temple, he “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise.” (1 Kings 8:56)
Indeed, today the Lord has given rest to his people as he has promised. Today he has given you rest in his promises. Not one word of the Lord has failed you. The Lord has given you his precious Gospel and his forgiving gifts. He has given you this sanctuary to worship him.
Today, we celebrate and rejoice with you at the completion of the Lutheran Church in Palanga. We pray that it will be blessing to you and to the people here. Remember that the Lord is faithful to his promise. He will never fail you. It is our duty to given him thanks and praise, for his Gospel and for this place of worship.
The Blessing of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with you. Amen.”
President Harrison led the discussion this morning at the second disaster relief “war room” meeting at the International Center since the quake and tsunami hit last Friday.
Reports and information were coordinated and shared from the following departments and individuals–either in person or by phone.
- John Fale
- Dennis Fangmann
- Glenn Merritt
- Darin Storkson
- Al Dowbnia
- Hans Springer
- Chrissy Thomas
- Dave Birner
- John Mehl
- Kama Bernabo
- Travis Torblaa
- Stacey Grapengater
- David Strand
- Jim Heine
- Adriane Dorr
- Joe Isenhower
- Melanie Ave
- Matt Harrison
- Jon Vieker
- Kim Vieker
- Blake Tilley
For the latest information on LCMS relief efforts, check back often at www.lcms.org/help.
Following chapel this morning, staff at the IC gathered to wish President Harrison a happy birthday.