Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lutheran World Federation Membership

Dear Friends,

For those who were able to attend the North American Lutheran Church Convocation, thank you for your participation. For those of you who were not, we look forward to being with you August 5-9, 2013, in Pittsburgh, PA. Again, the Lutheran CORE Convocation, the Theological Conference, and the NALC Convocation will be held the same week.

One item considered at the Convocation which calls for congregational action is in regard to the NALC’s application to become a member of the Lutheran World Federation. Bishop Bradosky will send official notification. I want to encourage you to prayerfully consider this action and to schedule a congregational meeting to vote on ratification of the application.

The resolution states:
"Now, Therefore, be it Resolved that the North American Lutheran Church apply for full membership in the Lutheran World Federation, accepting its constitution, and that the NALC congregations be encouraged to ratify this application by December 31, 2012."

Our constitution requires that an action such as this must be passed by 2/3 of the delegates at the Convocation and then ratified by 2/3 of the congregations casting ballots. (If a congregation fails to cast a ballot, they are not counted as support or opposing the action.) The constitution provides for a six month voting process. The resolution requests, but does not require, congregations to vote before December 31, 2012. The reason for the shorter time is to be in sync with the LWF time frame.

If you would like to discuss this item with me, I would be happy to do so. You may respond to this blog or contact me privately.

May God Bless you.

Pr. Jim Lehmann STS

Monday, May 28, 2012

Below is the report  from Bobbie Schnitkey regarding the Sunday worship service in Mahomet.  Please keep them in prayer.  They are off to a good start.  There is much work to do, but these committed folks are excited about the future -- a future in Jesus Christ.

Dean Jim Lehmann

I hope everyone is having a relaxing Memorial Day! Yesterday was our first worship service as a new community of faith. I pray that everyone who attended could feel the Holy Spirit at work and we appreciate the prayers of those of you who were travelling and could not be with us. We had 49 members of the local community and 15 visitors from area North American Lutheran Church (NALC) congregations in attendance. Our worship experience was blessed and we had a wonderful potluck and discussion of our future. Thank you to Pastor Barbara Busboom form Immanuel Lutheran Church in Flatville for officiating our service, the area NALC pastors for donating the flowers, the Magyar family for planning the service and preparing the worship space, Dana Busch for accompanying us, Diane Schnitkey for special music, the Schnitkey family for decorating the Fellowship space, everyone who brought food and especially those who helped set up and clean up the potluck space, and all who attended and shared in God's peace and joy. A special thank you to everyone who donated to Restoration Urban Ministries, $846.75 was given.
We are joyfully and prayerfully moving forward toward establishing a NALC congregation in our community. I pray that you will join this faith journey and invite your friends! Since this journey is beginning so quickly, the area NALC pastors have offered to preside at our worship services if they do not conflict with their services. So, we will be meeting on Sunday evenings at 6:30 pm at the Sportsmen's Club of Urbana in Mahomet. We will worship at 6:30 followed by dessert and community building activities.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We have come out with a new video describing the North American Lutheran Church.  Take a look!  Share it widely!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Lutheran Church of Mahomet held its second vote on Sunday, May 20.  To reach the necessary 2/3 majority, 119 votes were necessary.  The motion to disaffiliate received 116 votes, therefore defeating the motion.  The people are disappointed, but not deterred.  A worship service for all interested is scheduled for May 27 at 10:30 a.m.  The location is yet to be determined.  Please keep these folks in your prayers as they move faithfully forward.  This does not come as a surprise.  The journey has been long and they have put up a valiant effort.  Please continue to keep them in prayer.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Executive Council

May 8-10, 2012

We spent time in strategic planning. The purpose is to discover exactly why we exist, what we have to offer, what priorities we have, and how to carry those priorities into the life of the North American Lutheran Church. Some groundwork was laid at our last meeting, and the process will be completed at our next meeting. This is important work for an organization which is just getting off the ground as well as for organizations who want to clarify a sense of direction. The thrust is to define, condense, and simplify so that everyone understands and can buy into the vision and direction of the NALC.

The NALC is working to join the Lutheran World Federation. The application is moving smoothly. The next step will be for the Convocation to pass a resolution adopting the proposal. Then congregations will be asked to ratify the decision. It will be a short turn around so that we can meet LWF schedules. Once we have completed our process, the membership committee will make the invitation to accept us. Why do we want to join LWF? The NALC is committed to working with other Christian bodies to make a clear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Part of that witness will be to speak to other member bodies. We have received encouragement from the African churches as well as the Roman Catholic Church who truly want us in the Federation.

A significant number of congregations in Canada are expected to join the NALC. A Canadian Commission has been established to work on the legal issues involved in having and international church. They cannot be direct members of NALC because of the legal, tax exempt, transfer of funds, and pastoral acts issues in Canada. Recently, a Canadian Theological Conference was held at which 90 pastors came.

When a mission congregation is developed, it can enter at several "entry points." These are in ascending order of size: Mission Post (small number of people who are meeting together at occasional times to see what may develop in their area) --> House Church (a group that meets weekly for worship and study) --> Mission Fellowship (a group that meets, perhaps in a community building, often with a pastor who may be retired or called in another setting. They are gathering funds in order to have resources in the event they become a congregation) --> Mission congregation (a congregation which is fully functional, but is very young and may need outside help) --> Mission Multiplication (a congregation which is mature enough that it can replicate itself in a larger area by establishing a second campus. This is a primary way that congregations grow in Ethiopia). Currently, we have 52 mission congregations.

Renewal of Congregations is a way of helping existing congregations get re-energized in their mission outreach. Some elements involved are: 1) renewal and discipleship conferences; 2) coaching and follow up mentoring; 3) network of congregations; and 4) recommended renewal practices and resources.
We have an Ethnic Ministry Strategy. We already have congregations representing these groups: Hispanic, Oromo/Ethiopian, Chinese/Asian, Sudanese, and Vietnamese Ministry Strategy. Look at the Diversity!!! We need to bring them into the mainstream of the Mission District!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Housing at Convocation

I am reposting the following information.  As the convocation comes closer, it will be imporant to reserve motel space.

Terry Lundeen, of Christ the King, DeSoto, has made arrangement for motel at the Convocation in August.  It is at the Super 8.  There can be a great advantage to our Mission District if our delegates and visitors can stay in the same motel.  Great fellowship and growth in mission can take place as we hang out together.  Please share with those who will be going from our congregations.  Be sure to mention that you are part of the Great Rivers Mission District.

Your Dean

The following is to confirm your stay with during the dates of August
13th - 17th. As per our agreement, the rate for the rooms will be 72.00
plus tax for a single, and 75.00 for a double. When booking, please have
each individual specify they are booking with the Great Rivers Mission
District of NAC group to get the negotiated rates. We thank you for
choosing us for your lodging needs and look forward to your arrival in
August. Please don't hesitate to call with any questions or concerns.

Andrew Mckechnie
Front Desk Rep

6300 Wayzata Blvd
Golden Valley, MN 55416
Super 8 Minneapolis/Golden Valley

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Greetings All,

Pastor Carl Rasmussen and I are in Ethiopia, learning so much about the congregations here.  Make plans to come along next year.  There is much too much to write.  Talk to us.  We would love to share with you.

Also, St. John, Metropolis, successfully passed their second vote and decided to join the North American Lutheran Church.  Great news!