WELS Together Newsletter:
|» ||Conference of Presidents spring 2018 meeting summary|
At its recent meeting, the Conference of Presidents (COP) reviewed the pastoral vacancy situation. It was reported that there are 125 vacancies for pastorally trained positions, with 106 of those in parishes. The vacancy rate remains high, although it has not increased since last fall. The COP has received questions about whether the Scouting organizations Continued.
|» ||Home Missions approves new mission starts|
On April 13, the Board for Home Missions approved support for seven new mission congregations as well as support to enhance mission-minded ministry at seven other congregations. “Being a part of the process that determines which new starts and enhancements to support is challenging but rewarding,” says Rev. Wayne Uhlhorn, chairman of the Board for Continued.
|» ||Cameroon mission update|
Cameroon Missionary Jeff Heitsch and his wife, Stephanie, will be leaving Cameroon and be temporarily relocated to the United States due to internal political unrest in the country. They arrived in Cameroon in October 2017. Conflict between the English-speaking and French-speaking parts of Cameroon began to intensify about the time of the Heitsches’ arrival, and Continued.
|» ||Deadline approaching for hymns feedback|
May 1 is the final deadline to submit feedback about the WELS Hymnal Project’s initial decision about which of the 700 currently published hymns in Christian Worship (CW) and Christian Worship: Supplement (CWS) will be included in the new hymnal. For the past 10 months the WELS Hymnal Project has been posting a selection of Continued.
|» ||Series highlights new members’ journeys of faith|
In April 2008, Forward in Christ (FIC) magazine started a new series called “Confessions of faith,” in which WELS adult confirmands share their journeys of faith to a WELS congregation. What was intended to be a one-year series has now been a staple of the synod’s magazine for the past ten years. It’s also one Continued.
|» ||Exciting ministry opportunity in Vietnam|
Since 2015, WELS has consistently been sending members of the Global Hmong Committee and the Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI) to train leaders of the Hmong Fellowship Church (HFC) in Vietnam in sound, Lutheran doctrine. While much needs to be done before fellowship can be declared with this church body, its leaders have expressed a desire Continued.
|» ||New president for Michigan Lutheran Seminary|
Rev. Mark Luetzow, pastor at Bethel, Bay City, Mich., has accepted the call to serve as the next president of Michigan Lutheran Seminary (MLS), Saginaw, Mich., one of two high schools in the WELS ministerial education system. He will be taking over for Rev. Joel Petermann, who after six years of serving as MLS president, Continued.
|» ||New training to help protect children|
A new training program to help people recognize and respond to child abuse is being released in April by Freedom for the Captives, a WELS organization that works to protect children and empower survivors of abuse. The program—entitled “Standing up for Children: A Christian Response to Child Abuse and Neglect”—consists of four videos that review Continued.
|» ||Social media expands reach and offers more connections|
It started with wanting to offer more women in a congregation the opportunity to study together. Corissa Nelson, wife of the pastor at Good Shepherd, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, decided to start a midweek women’s Bible class using 2000 Demons by Professor E. Allen Sorum as the base of the study. With short chapters, already included Continued.
|» ||Appeals court to hear case on clergy housing allowance|
For many years the federal government has allowed ministers of the gospel, as defined by the IRS, to deduct the cost of housing from their salaries (often referred to as the “Clergy Parsonage Allowance”). Last year, a lawsuit challenging this tax benefit was filed in a federal court in Wisconsin, arguing that this benefit provided Continued.