Thoughts from history for the 2010 LCMS Convention

As we as The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod prepare for our 2010 Convention, I think it is wise to remember words from J.A.O. Preus, the 9th president of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  These words come from his presidential report to the delegates of the 1977 Convention.

As a church we have been known and are still known as people who are vitally concerned that the Word of God be preached in its truth and purity, that the entire program be based upon God’s holy, inspired, inerrant, and powerful Word.  The Word brings the church into being, and the Word is truly our rule and norm for faith and life in all the activities that we carry on.  We cannot yield one jot or tittle of God’s holy Word.  And the Word is the means for carrying out our mission.  It is all we have.  It is all we need.

We have emerged from a serious doctrinal controversy, in which we are probably the only Christian church in America and probably the only Lutheran Church in the world which seriously and earnestly confronted the issues raised by modern historical-critical methods of Biblical interpretation and honestly and forthrightly dealt with them…

The strength of our beloved Synod has always been a unique blend of concern for a pure doctrine which has brought about our strong confessional stance, coupled with the overwhelming desire to carry out the Great Commission. 1

1) Quoted from A Seminary in Crisis by Paul A. Zimmerman, available from Concordia Publishing House.

HT: Issues, Etc – Web Extra: Profiles in Presidential Leadership in the LC-MS

Calls come, but not enough

This last week, Tuesday and Wednesday specifically, both of the seminaries had their vicarage assignment and candidate placement services.  Unfortunately, assignments and calls were not enough.  At Concordia Theological Seminary, it was said that there were a few vicarage-eligible men that did not receive a vicarage assignment.  This is not too terrible, as these men may petition for a delayed vicarage.  The most grievous fact is that there are approximately 30 men who, having completed their studies, having met all their requirements, and having been certified by the faculty, did not receive a call into the Office of Holy Ministry.  Of 60 eligible men from CTSFW, 21 did not receive a placement.  Lord willing, that will change and change soon. 

Rev. Matt Harrison On Friday, April 30, Rev. Matthew Harrison, Executive Director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care (and God willing, future president of The LC-MS), preached at CTSFW.  The sermon is only 6:40 in length, but I think a very well-preached sermon.  To listen to it, check out his blog here.

Candidate Placements and the 33

On Tuesday, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis held its Vicarage Assignment and Candidate Placement services.  At those services, all vicar-elects were placed, while 20 pastor-elects were not placed.  Of those 20, 3 were special cases.  That left 17 men without calls to a congregation.  St. Louis also had 5 deaconess-elects without calls.

Chapel logoOn Tuesday evening, my alma mater, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, held its Vicarage Assignment service.  All vicar-elects were placed.  The following evening, the Candidate Placement service was held.  13 men were left without calls to a congregation.  8 men also chose to pursue graduate studies.  It’s possible that those men also were left without calls and chose to pursue further studies in hopes that calls would be forth-coming.  Dr. Fickenscher said that it was his hope that all men would be placed into the Office of Holy Ministry by the end of July.  We continue to pray for all of these men as they enter the role of shepherd and for those who continue to wait for calls.