Posts tagged Matt Harrison

Update from the President

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today is Ash Wednesday, when the Church begins her slow and measured journey to the cross, where we see Jesus: the Savior who hangs — bloodied and scourged — for us. It is a time of reflection and repentance for me and also for you, for all of us as the LCMS, and for the Church throughout the world.

And yet in the midst of our dusty Lenten ashes, we also look forward to Easter, when our Lord is raised from the dead, triumphing over sin and Satan, all for us. Yes, even during our Lenten fast, joy abounds!

That’s why I want to share two important things with you, so that you may see and know that our Lord is at work in and among each one of us, and is using us collectively as the LCMS to bear witness to Him.

First, our Synod treasurer, Jerry Wulf, shared at our Board of Directors meeting last weekend that together as the Synod we have reduced internal borrowing of restricted funds to cash flow operations from some $16 million four years ago to zero. You read that correctly. Zero! And we’re not stopping there. To get our financial house in order, we have also achieved a three-month cash reserve for operations, which is the minimum for a responsible non-profit.

Second, I’m delighted to announce that we are closing in on doubling the number of career missionaries internationally, which is a goal set by the Synod in convention in 2013. We are working to find a measured pace that will ensure that a sound system of missionary care remains in place but, by God’s grace, will also enable us to continue to add men and women, lay and clergy, to our worldwide mission team. The international moment unfolding worldwide before us as the LCMS is truly astounding!

So, thank you. Thank you for taking part in getting our finances in order so that we may be hearty stewards of all our Lord has to give. And thank you for being a part of our church’s mission work, that our fellow members may go to the ends of the earth to bear witness to Christ to those who have not yet heard that they are loved and whole on account of His death and resurrection.

Thank you. Thank you for your faithfulness to God’s Word and to the Lutheran Confessions. Lay people, thank you for loving your pastors. Pastors, thank you for loving your people.

Thank you for living boldly as the baptized children, loved by God, that you are. And thank you for the privilege of serving you. I covet your prayers and promise you mine, this Lenten season and always.

Under the cross,

Pastor Matt Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

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

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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 http://www.lcms.org/give/disaster.
  • 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 www.lcms.org/disaster

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

LCMS President introduces new Chief Mission Officer

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison introduces Rev. Gregory K. Williamson, who joined the LCMS in January 2012 as the Chief Mission Officer. Learn more in a Reporter article here.

What a Way – Embrace!

In the last of the three-part What a Way Initiative series, President Harrison addresses existing church vocation workers concerning their own service.  Using 1 Corinthians 15:58, President Harrison urges church workers to “embrace” their service in ways that promote health, wellness and continued growth and development.

The What a Way initiative’s goal is to rebuild active recruitment and retention of church workers as an itegrated part of the LCMS culture and lifestyle at the local congregation level. To learn more about What a Way go to:

Downloads:

What a Way – Explore!

LCMS President Matthew C. Harrison speaks to young people suggesting  that they prayerfully consider service in a church work vocation and investigate the programs of preparation for these vocations at our Concordia University System schools.

Click here for Transcript of the video.

Click here to download this video file.

What a Way is a LCMS church-wide initiative to rebuild active recruitment and retention of church workers as an integrated part of the LCMS culture and lifestyle at the local congregation level.

To learn more about What a Way, visit the website http://whataway.org or the blog at http://blog.whataway.org.

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