Monday, June 20, 2011

Postal Strike Affects Financial Support

While the postal workers and Canada Post are bargaining, there are ways to donate to Concordia Lutheran Seminary.
  • OnLine: you can make donations anytime through CanadaHelps.
  • Pre-Authorized Debits: download the forms here. Fill them in and return them to us by fax, by email (scanned images), or drop them off at the Seminary.
  • Through your local LCC church: drop a donation designated for the Seminary into the offering plate or give the donation to the church Treasurer. It will be forwarded through the District office to the Seminary.
  • Come in to the Seminary with your donation. We love to meet with donors and there may even be a cup of coffee available!

Monday, June 06, 2011

LCC Synod Convention News

Several seminary faculty and staff have been in Hamilton, Ontario, the last few days, participating fully in the activities of Lutheran Church Canada's 13th Synod Convention. Every three years, Synod Convention is the place where the members of Synod (pastors, deacons, and congregations, through their chosen delegates) discuss, decide, and direct Synod how to act between conventions.

While it may seem curious that CLS sent four of its own across the country to the convention in Hamilton, all four hold distinct roles in the convention process. Dr. Stephen Chambers is an Advisory Delegate as a member of the Synod's Commission on Constitutional Matters and Structure. Dr. Edward Kettner is an Advisory Delegate as the Chairman of the Synod's Commission on Theology and Church Relations. Dr. Manfred Zeuch is an Advisory Delegate as a function of the office of the President of the Seminary. Jeffrey Nachtigall is an Exhibitor responsible for the seminary's exhibit booth, providing information and related material to delegates and guests.

There are many resolutions discussed over the three days of meetings, and while the seminary community likely has some degree of interest in all the resolutions, there is one resolution that many are most interested in hearing about.

Resolution 11.2.02a (see full details at bottom of post), was introduced on Saturday afternoon. Almost immediately, a substitute resolution - to consolidate all seminary activity at a single location, in Edmonton - was moved and seconded from the floor. Through the parliamentary process, the convention, with some discussion, decided to distribute the Memorandum of Understanding to the delegates, and defer the discussion until Sunday's afternoon session. On Sunday, Rev. Nolan Astley, representing the Task Force on Cost-Efficient, Sustainable Seminary Education, presented his overview of the Memorandum of Understanding, and discussion among the delegates continued for nearly an hour. The substitute motion was defeated by a near unanimous vote, and the original motion was passed by a wide margin.

The seminary faculty and staff are grateful to all who have offered past and continued support, look forward to putting this time of uncertainty behind us, and are eager to move forward in increased cooperation with Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catherines, Ontario.

Resolution 11.2.02a
To Support the LCC Board of Directors and Synod's Seminaries as They Respond to Resolution 08.3.04
Ref. Overtures 2.01, 2.02, 2.03, 2.04, 2.05, and 2.06; Report 20 “Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton, AB (CLS), Report 21 “Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines, ON (CLTS). Pp. E53-E.69; “Task Force on Cost-Efficient, Sustainable Seminary Education, “pp. G. 34-G. 66;

WHEREAS the synod authorized the Board of Directors (BOD) in Resolution 08.3.04 “To Implement a Cost Efficient Seminary Program for Lutheran Church-Canada;” and

WHEREAS the BOD established a Task Force to devise a cost-efficient seminary program; and

WHEREAS this Task Force presented its findings to the BOD in the report, “Task Force on Cost-Efficient, Sustainable Seminary Education” (Convention Workbook, p. G.34-G.66); and

WHEREAS the Task Force presented to the board further projections of income and expenses for both St. Catharines and Edmonton seminaries until the 2013-2014 school year; and

WHEREAS on April 14, 2011 representatives of the Boards of Regents of the two seminaries and the BOD signed a Letter of Intent outlining the progress toward developing a “Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement” (MOU); and

WHEREAS the intention of these three parties was “to continue negotiations in good faith with a view to developing and entering into a written MOU by the time of the Synod Convention in June 2011;” and

WHEREAS these developments show the willingness of Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines, and the BOD to work toward sustainable, cost-efficient seminary training in Canada utilizing the existing two seminaries at their current sites; and

WHEREAS in order to effectively implement Resolution 08.3.04, many complex factors requiring extensive negotiations continue to take place so that Lutheran Church-Canada will have cost-efficient seminary training; therefore be it

RESOLVED that the synod in convention commend all parties involve for their efforts thus far, and for their commitment to continue negotiations in good faith, with the Board of Directors retaining the authority to approve and implement the agreements that are reached; and be it further

RESOLVED that we implore our gracious heavenly Father to direct all our decisions on this matter so that the labourers which He provides for His harvest field may faithfully reflect Christ as the only Light to the church and world; and be it finally

RESOLVED that Overture 2.01 “To Provide a Cost-Efficient Seminary Education,” Overture 2.02 “To Establish a Single Site Seminary Education in Lutheran Church-Canada,” Overture 2.03 “To Amalgamate Seminary Education on a Single Campus,” Overture 2.04 “To Declare and Support Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton the Only Site for Seminary Education in Canada for Lutheran Church-Canada,” Overture 2.05 “To Decline the Plan Proposed by the Task Force on Cost-Efficient, Sustainable Seminary Education,” and Overture 2.06 “To Consolidate Seminary Education at One Site” be respectfully declined.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Building Missionaries... part 2

Servants for Jesus’ Sake Build A Home, Relationships and Understanding
“Connections” was the theme of CLS's 2011 Servant Event lead by Pastor James Avery, Director of the Missionary Study Centre.  From May 9-17  Ian Wemyss, Mark Schultz, Keith Hoveland, Roland Starke, Cody Cooper, Professor Jonathan Kraemer, and Steve Fonnyadt, a homebuilder from Calgary and brother-in-law to Pr. Avery, engaged in building a house addition in Juarez, Mexico with Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care (LCMS), El Paso, Texas.  While the main task was to complete a 12ft x 24 ft addition to a home (doubling its size), an equally important task was to build connections with people in the community, with those working for YLM, and with one another. The participants also considered the connections between sharing the mercy of God in word and deed; and the connections between their servant event and the ministry of YLM.  

Construction proceeded quickly and was completed after only three and a half days out of the five estimated for the build, despite having to re-shingle the original home in addition to shingling the addition. Even with such quick progress team members regularly took time out from construction to play soccer, basketball and other games with the many curious children who came by the site. Local pastor, Pr. Hernandez of YLM, visited and brought out his guitar, singing songs with the children. Team members were also able to connect with homeowners, Lilia and Jorge.

“This servant event was fantastic” said Professor Jonathan Kraemer “Not only were we able to make a difference in the lives of Lilia and Jorge, but we were able to support the ministry of Pr. Hernandez and to form our students in a way which cannot be duplicated in a classroom. This kind of event forms our students in so many ways; to be compassionate servants of Christ, to reach out with the Gospel of Christ, to make connections with people of every age, nationality, and social standing.”

In addition to the servant event, the group was able to attend three services on Sunday. In El Paso they attended English and Spanish services at San Pablo Lutheran Church. A Spanish service at Santisima Trinidad in Juarez followed in the afternoon. Even at those services the theme of connections was apparent. One student shared “I was moved by both Spanish services on Sunday because I could see how wide the cultural gap was between us and the congregation, yet because of Christ, I also felt a close unity. The same God that called me to faith also called them.” 

Preparation for the servant event began almost a year in advance. In addition to making contacts with YLM, Pr. Avery met regularly with those who planned to participate. He not only prepared the group for the servant event, but shared his experience in organizing short-term mission trips so they would be prepared to do the same in their own congregations. Pr. Avery, worked for LAMP for two years and has been involved with various short-term mission trips for an additional 5 years. The group also considered the relation of short-term missions to long-term mission organizations as well as the benefits and challenges of short-term missions.

The groundwork for this trip had been laid long before the crew from CLS began preparing to leave Canada. The couple who were to receive this addition to their house, Lilia and Jorge, had been on a waiting list for four years.  Pr. Hernandez, whose ministry is supported by YLM, identified Lilia and Jorge as ones who should receive assistance. Lilia had met Pr. Hernandez through her friend whose home serves as a preaching station. Now with this addition and the small covered area they plan to create, Pr. Hernandez indicated that this is likely to become the location of a new preaching station for the community. CLS's short-term involvement is not the beginning nor the end of the ministry in Juarez, but a crucial part in the long-term ministry of Ysleta Lutheran Mission.

On the final day of construction, a key ceremony was held along with a community organized lunch. Seminary students Cody Cooper and Keith Hoveland led the service, reading the account of Jesus washing the disciples feet and reminding all gathered why the group from CLS was there: “It is because of Jesus’ example of servanthood and the fact that He died for our salvation that made us want to come and build this addition for you…We pray this building will help you to be a blessing to the whole community.”
The servant event was sponsored in large part by the Missionary Study Centre of CLS as well as with donations from congregations and individuals. The MSC was founded in 1997 to assist in the preparation of ministerial candidates who have mission hearts and are not afraid to cross cultural barriers for the sake of the Gospel.

Read more about our servant event and see more pictures on the YLM site: http://ylm.org/blog/2011/05/24/the-synagogue/
 
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