Missouri Synod Pres. Rev. Matthew Harrison has said on numerous occasions that this is the time for the Missouri Synod. Our time has come because so many people around the world truly want to be Lutheran. In studying the pamphlet on “The Church at Work in The World at War” over the last two days I’ve come across statements much like that. This advisory council was rooted in the fact that the time immediately after the end of hostilities, would be monumental and special time that the Missouri Synod was called to work in the Kingdom. They were not only concerned about the people here in the United States, but the church in Germany, the church in China, India, and Latin America. Then we find this interesting statement.
“Before the war 90% of all Protestants in Europe or classified as Lutherans….. surely our church blessed as it is spiritually and physically, probably more than any church body since the days of the apostles, will not confine his postwar relief to the Freikirche. Our labor of love to the fellow members of the body of Christ in stricken Europe we’ll have to extend as far as our means permit. Before the war there were 7 million Lutherans in Russia. In Slovakia there was an Evangelical Lutheran Church of more than 400,000 members, a Silesian church of 178,000 members, Denmark is almost wholly Lutheran. The same applies to Norway and Finland. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have large Lutheran populations. Germany numbered over 35 million nominal Lutherans before the war.….We do believe that the Missouri Synod is vitally concerned with the preservation of Lutheranism in all of Europe.”
It is here that the authors introduce something called the Lutheran World Convention. I have never heard of that and hope that some of you who have might enlighten me. It seems that there was a reorganization of the Lutheran World Convention especially its American section. The document goes on to state “to effect physical relief and rehabilitation of Lutheranism in Europe is a bigger job than anyone Lutheran Church body in America can carry out. To do it as efficiently and economically as possible, it is necessary that in some fields we coordinate our work of physical relief and rehabilitation with other Lutheran churches in America.”
Sounds like Witness, Mercy, and Life Together, and also cooperation in externals to me.