June 2-4, 2008, Prof. Jonathan Kraemer, Director of the Missionary Study Centre, participated in the Mission Symposium of the C.I.T.M., the Centro Internacional de Treinamento Missionário (International Center of Missionary Training). Prof. Kraemer participated in response to the invitation by Prof. Anselmo Graf (Coordinator of C.I.T.M. and professor of Seminário Concórdia in São Leopoldo, Brazil) to CLS.
The Mission Symposium is held every 2 years under the heading of different themes in mission studies and draws pastors, professors, students and laypeople from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. The theme for this year’s symposium was “Evangelistic Methods, Theology and Practice” and featured speakers Dr. Klaus Detlev Schulz of Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne and Dr. Leonardo Neitzel of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Vancouver and adjunct professor also of CLS. One portion of the symposium was dedicated to hearing from representatives of each Church of the evangelistic efforts being undertaken in their respective Churches. Prof. Kraemer who represented Lutheran Church – Canada focused his presentation upon the challenges remote communities, particularly First Nation communities, present to evangelism to and with those communities (including pastoral formation of leaders within those communities). The C.I.T.M. was inaugurated in 1996 and, though for a brief time its work was suspended in 2003, this was the second Mission Symposium since it was restarted in 2006. Though the Mission Symposium is the main focus of the work of the C.I.T.M., the possibility of holding regional conferences throughout Brazil is being explored.
Prof. Kraemer’s participation in the conference allowed him to meet many of the faculty and students at Seminário Concórdia, including teaching a class period of Missiology with Prof. Anselmo Graf after the conference. “It was a great experience to meet our brothers and sisters in Christ of the Igreja Evangelica Luterana do Brazil and colleagues of our sister seminary,” commented Kraemer “and I look forward to increased cooperation in the future.” Director Gerson Linden of Seminário Concórdia is scheduled to be the key-note speaker for Luther Countdown in 2009.