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Posts Tagged ‘LCMS World Relief and Human Care’

What Is In a Name?

IMG_1425When John the Baptist was in prison he sent his disciples to see if Jesus was the one they had been waiting for or if they should wait for someone else.  Jesus answered, ““Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.” Jesus reiterated the prophetic message that the coming of the Messiah would be a time of care for the poor and needy as well as a time for the preaching of God’s love and forgiveness for sinners.  It would be the whole package.

What ‘s in a name?  LCMS World Relief and Human Care showed the whole package.  We had a wonderful brand and we actually did what the bylaws of our Board said we should do and that was to express God’s love by caring for humans.  It seems like a novel idea to some theologians and even some of our lay people.

One of the ways we tried to express what we were about was through branding and images.  This picture according to some people who should now may have been one of the greatest examples of a “brand” that anyone had seen in a long time.

Divine love – Human Care was a great image.  It says it all.  Because of God’s love we care for humans.  Because of Divine Love we can care for other humans.  A CEO of a Lutheran Social Service Agency told me this poster was the greatest image he had every seen to help people see why mercy agencies do what they do.  The large image of Jesus is composed of many smaller pictures of human beings.  Some are in need and some are helping.  It was and is impressive.

The LCMS underwent restructuring.  All the Boards were placed under two Boards.  There was a definite reason for it and someday I will explain what I think it was.  My concern is that our emphasis upon Mercy has been put onto the back burner.  Our mercy workers and missionaries are great and they are compassionate folk who need and deserve our support and prayer.  But mercy and compassion as a corporate act by the church at every level is a Divine imperative, and it needs to be in the same sentence as the preaching of the Gospel.

Divine Love – Human Care.  That says it all.

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Minot Update

Water near St. Marks LCMS


Got this last night from Bill Sharpe who hopefully will blog about his experiences when he gets a chance.

“Disasters are a quickly changing environment. But, here is what I think I know.

 The two pictures were taken last Saturday afternoon near the time of the crest at St Mark Minot. The first picture shows the parking lot of St Mark, Minot. The second is looking eastward down 4th St from St Mark. St Mark has/had water in its basement. In anticipation of a much higher crest, many of the building’s content were removed.

 St Paul and Our Savior were not threatened by flood waters.

 Rev Daryl and Peggy Rothchild definitely have water in their home. I am not sure they have been able to see or assess the damages. But, their home is in an area that has a LOT of water.

 My best estimate right now based on congregational assessments is that 150+ LCMS families have been affected by high water in Bismarck and Minot. This number will probably grow as congregations “find” members who have been evacuated.

 There are many families in rural areas who continue to battle high ground water levels or standing water. They are sometimes forgotten as news coverage highlights areas with high concentrations of people. Most counties in ND have been declared a disaster area by someone.

 Our Savior’s child care center is operating using trucked in water and porta potties. St Paul is hosting two local child care centers in their building. I was told yesterday that St Paul has one operating toilet.

 Staff from LCMS Human Care and World Relief have visited both Bismarck and Minot. They have already allocated funds to congregations to help them meet immediate needs of members.

 Clean up crews will definitely be needed at a later date. This would be a good time to train clean up teams and gather supplies. If you or your congregation would like to help, please let me know. Since the waters remain high, there is not an immediate need for volunteers. The people of Minot are still experiencing a disaster. They are not to a recovery phase yet.

 I also caution against in-gatherings of items unless you have spoken directly to someone in the affected area who can use the items being donated.Cash contributions can be sent to the ND District and designated for flood relief. We will use them throughout the district as we work with those affected and identify needs.

 William L. Sharpe

ND District LC-MS  701- 361-0867

I would also suggest that donations can be given to LCMS World Relief and Human Care.  There is a give now button at

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Mercy connections – disasters

The Sevareid Stamp

"Dude, we gotta go".

The flooding in Minot has reached epic proportions.  It has gotten bad enough that the national news actually is paying attention.  That is something.  Eric Sevareid, a North Dakota native and a long time television newsman called North Dakota “a vast rectangular blank spot on the nations consciousness”.  Minnesota shares some of the same benign neglect except for Mao Clinic and the Vikings.  Disasters not only bring out the best in us, they garner us some attention as well.  It is sad but true.  Most people never heard of Grand Forks until the whole town was flooded in 1997. 

The mercy connection in disaster has a face and a name.  It’s Carlos Hernandez.  He is with LCMS World Relief and Human Care.  I was with him in New Orleans.  I was supoosed to be with him in Haiti.  I was with him in Wadena Minnesota after the tornado.  He was here in Grafton and Drayton during our trials.  He is a one of a kind and reacts to every disaster with the same statement – “Dude, we gotta go!”  He lives in Sacramento California, but if you need him he will be at your door in about a day and a half. 

He is in Minot.  Pastor Paul Krueger, whose father was a Pastor in Hackensack or Walker or somewhere up North of Brainerd is hosting him and assessing the situation in Minot.  about the situation of one of our churches, St. Marks and  about Carlos he writes, “So far, water is at the foundation of St. Marks, they’ve probably got water in the basement, but the current crest stopped short of going into the building.It was a joy to spend time with Carlos. I appreciate his insight and his great wisdom. What a blessing to me personally, and to the people I serve.”

That’s Carlos – a joy and a blessing.  That is God’s gift to us as well.  Joy even in the midst of sorrow and difficulty.  I pray that joy for my relatives.  I have a Godchild in Minot that I have been told has lost her home and an Aunt that lost her’s as well. 

Please say a prayer for these folks and if you can contribute to LCMS World Relief and Human Care.  There is a give now botton at  Also check out the “Mercy Forever” blog site.

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Your comments are welcome but will be held until approved to avoid misuse. Comments posted by visitors to this site reflect the personal opinions of individuals and may not necessarily reflect the beliefs and practices or official positions of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. Individual articles from this blog may be reproduced by LCMS congregations (i.e., in church newsletters, bulletins, etc.) without writing for permission. Such reproductions, however, should credit the "Northern Crossings" blog as the source.
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