Thursday, April 19, 2018
Mission Field USA. . . some helpful information
Subtitled a flexible framework for Lutheran church planting, this is an effort of the LCMS Office of National Mission to work with districts (and circuits, the most local judicatories) to assist in their church-planting efforts. This church planting happens through mother congregations (historically the most viable), sponsoring circuits or church-planting networks, or districts to provide the support to get things started. This initiative also seeks to help develop formal partnerships between struggling congregations — in the inner city and in rural areas — and healthy congregations that desire to help these ministries restart.
A very hopeful sign that we are not burying our heads in the sand but taking stock of the work ahead for the sake of our heritage as a mission church and, much more importantly, for the sake of the Gospel and those who do not yet believe in Jesus Christ. Look it over!!
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Thanks for sharing. LHM also has a nice video called We the Church: The Priesthood of All Believers that touches on some of the historic successes and issues that we have had in this area.
The first 6-7 minutes of the LHM video, "We the Church: The Priesthood of All Believers - History of LCMS," is the usual repetition of the Missouri Synod fairy tale about its Saxon immigrant beginnings, including the old wives tale that the Saxons were fleeing oppression to find religious freedom in America and the fakenews that Walther first discovered the doctrine of church and ministry (and the priesthood of all believers) in the works of Luther.
The Saxons left Germany because Martin Stephan decided to do so after he was suspended as pastor of his church and was facing a trial on various accusations.
And C.F.W. Walther explain very clearly what (and who) had motivated him to the position he took at the Altenburg debate:
"With deep gratitude I must here recall that document which, now almost a year and a half ago, Doctor Vehse, Mr. Fischer, and Mr. Jäckel addressed to us. It was this document, in particular, which gave us a powerful impulse to recognize the remaining corruption more and more, and to endeavor to remove it. Without this document -- I now confess it with a living conviction -- we might have for a long time pursued our way of error, from which we now have made our escape. I confess this with an even greater sense of shame, because I first appeared so ungrateful toward this precious gift of God. But although many with me handled with great unfaithfulness the light which was granted to us, yet God did not cease to cause ever more beams of truth to fall into our darkness; to tear us away from many a point which we, in our perverseness, sought to hold; to uncover to us great and perilous injuries, and to lead our hearts more and more in the way of truth." (William J. Schmelder, "Walther at Altenburg", Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, Vol. 34(3), October, 1961, pp. 65-81, referring to Walter A. Baepler, A Century of Grace, CPH, 1947, pp.47,48, quoting from J.F. Koestering, Auswanderung der saechsischen Lutheraner in Jahre 1838, ihre Niederlassung in Perry-Co., und damit zusammenhaengende interessante Nachrichten, A Wiebusch u. Sohn, 1867, p.43-45) [Emphasis added.]
Two books that have the real story:
Walter O. Forster, Zion on the Mississippi (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1953, 606 pp).
Carl Eduard Vehse, Die Stephan'sche Auswanderung nach Amerika (Dresden, 1840) There is a 1975 English translation, The Stephanite Emigration to America.
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