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Month: January 2015

6 Degrees of Separation – Organists/Ada revisited

There is always a great danger when writing a blog that you forget someone.  It is never meant, and when you are caught in the mistake the flat of the hand goes to the fore head and a giant slap is accompanied with the exclamation, “how could I miss that?”  I wrote and article awhile back in which I listed the organists that had served over the years and how blest we were to have them.  I had a greater blessing than I had remembered because there were two that I had neglected to mention and that was Cathi and Eileen Schultz.  They played the organ all through High School and Cathi came back from college and took up where she left off.  Cathi is now the only one left. The 6 degrees comes about because of a visit I had with someone from Ada Minnesota and all the old connections came rushing back.  Cathi’s Aunt still attends the church in Ada and Cathi’s mother was the sponsor for Roger Drevlow my old friend.  Rogers wife Joann was in one of the first groups we took to Kenya in the early Project 24 days. Rogers father was a Pastor in Ada years ago.  There are churches in Ada proper and one in Golden Valley and all of them are connected in ways that are interesting.  Recently former North Dakota District...

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6 Degrees of Separation Fenton MO, Hallock MN and India

For the full story on the picture please visit. (Left to Right): Rev Gopinathan, former Secretary, IELC; The Rev. Raja Gambeeram, President, IELC; Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations / Regional Operations; Rev. Sukumaran, Vice President, IELC; Mr. Darin Storkson, Senior Regional Director, Asia and Oceana; Mr. Ravi  Jesupatham, Country Coordinator -India for the LCMS. The new President of our partner church in India were visiting in St. Louis this week  It was great to see Mr. Ravi  Jesupatham in the picture.  Mr. Ravi was a gracious host and source of wonderful information and help when I visited India a few years ago with LCMS World Relief and Human Care.  He has been in touch and often comments on this blog.  The mercy work that we have done and continue to do in India is an important part of our life together.  The Indian Church has suffered some difficulties as have our friends in Kenya but by the grace of God they will all work through it. So the six degrees of separation – this picture is taken at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Fenton MO.  My wife was called to Our Saviors in Fenton to be a parochial school teacher when I went to the Seminary.  I can still remember my fear in driving the U-Haul truck in the hilly streets of Fenton.  When I took my first...

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Mercy, Mission, and Resolutions

There is a sense that organizations that gather together to do things decently and in order fall into the trap that the Law likes to lay for us.  There is a way, and a very effective way, that the Law pretends to be the Gospel.  It moves us into areas that we might not otherwise go.  It makes organizations and planners say things like, “where there is a minimum of 50 and they follow the model constitution we will plant a church or do mission work,.” or  “if the plant isn’t producing, close it, or “we are looking to locate congregations in growing communities and, therefore, we’re not interested in you rejects out in the boondocks.”  Sometimes it couches itself in language about the use of scarce resources.  “Let us not do mercy work because our task is to preach the Gospel, and Jesus himself said that the poor would always be with us.” That was never said at the North Dakota Convention but it has been said by others.  Nothing like that was said in our convention and nothing like that has been said in any meeting that I have been involved in and yet some have the feeling that it is said and believed by some. The reason I believe is that the Law is hiding in good and Godly planning and pretending that we can use it. Again...

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North Dakota District Planting Churches.

The North Dakota District in convention passed resolutions to plant churches and foster mission churches and has suggested guidelines for those mission starts.  There was probably more conversation on this issue than anything else.  Mission starts, church plantings, are wonderful things and I am not denigrating anything that happened however, I was a bit taken aback by what some read into the resolutions on both sides of the issue.  The guidelines were seen by some as a way to do things decently and in order and by others as a “nose under the tent” to “control” worship forms and deny Christian freedom etc. James Nestingen was a Professor at Luther Seminary in St. Paul for years and had many battles with hierarchy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  He is never dull and never at a loss for words.  Here is a bit on missions and church plants from his perspective.  His reference to Chicago means the ELCA headquarters on Higgins Road in Chicago .  I am making no comment – just quoting. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name. I can’t help myself. I mean if there are just two or three, I’ll be there. Because, if there are two or three, we can start a conversation. I’ve got another chance to give myself away.” That’s him, spilling over with goodness, gracious beyond any measure, giving himself....

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North Dakota District Convention is Over

President Harrison Installing President Baneck as North LCMS District President The North Dakota District Convention is over and many decisions that were made that will effect mission and ministry here and around the world for years to come.  The District in Convention decided to start a new mission in Stanley and decided on “mission Guidelines” to be used in mission starts.  There were decisions made about Project 24 that will be discussed in the future and there were many great Bible studies and papers presented by Rev. Daniel Preus. One of the simple statements that has really struck me was from Pastor Preus paper on being Lutheran – he said – “where there is the forgiveness of sins there is life and salvation.  The opposite is also true, where there is no forgiveness there is no life and there is no salvation”.           Share this on:...

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