Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Here is the official invitation for the Service of Installation for Rev. Matthew C Harrison, The Praesidium, and other Officers, Boards and Commissions of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod on September 11 at 10 am.
At least as far as I can re-call, this is the first time in recent history that such an installation has invited all clergy of the LCMS to participate in the processional and the service.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
On 13 July 2010, Rev. Matthew C. Harrison was elected President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod on the first ballot at the 64th regular convention of the LCMS. Below is the video and text of his address to the convention.
If one member suffers, all suffer together. If one rejoices, all rejoice together. Right now there are many rejoicing and there are many suffering. Luther says when you’re walking along and you strike your little toe on a chair or a table, a table leg, what happens is the whole body bends over, the face grimaces and grabs that little toe. And there’s no use saying “that’s just a little toe,” because the whole body suffers.
This I realize is a tumultuous change in the life of our Synod. I wish to thank President Kieschnick for his heart for evangelism, and his deep desire to move this Synod forward. Many are suffering, and it will be very challenging times to work together.
I wish to inform you that you have kept your perfect record of electing sinners as presidents of the Missouri Synod. [applause] I guarantee you I will sin and fail. I will fall short. I will sin against you. I wish also to say, that right now I forgive all who have in any way have sinned against me or anybody else, and plead your forgiveness for anything that I said or did that offended you. I beg of you your prayers, I beg of you your daily prayers and intercession. These are challenging times. I promise you that I will be as straight with you as I possibly can, to the best of my ability, guided by the Spirit of God. I pledge to you that I will not coerce you. I will do my best by the Word of Christ to lead with a generous Gospel of Jesus Christ, which forgives us all of our sins, and motivates us to love and care for our neighbor in mercy and compassion. And I will work as hard as I possibly can for unity around the clear and compelling Word of God and nothing else.
I wish to just introduce my dear wife to you, Kathy. Please Kathy, would you stand. [applause]
I’m so impressed by you at this convention, how you have borne with one another, been patient, asked for forgiveness. This is the greatest privilege and honor of one’s life to stand before this body in this fashion. I could never imagine it. And I pray the Lord will bless you in the days to come to work for unity and love and compassion, that the Gospel of Christ may go forth from all of us, in every single place, everywhere around the world, that many may know, many many more may know, the Gospel of Jesus for eternal life. The Lord be with you. [“And also with you.” Applause.]
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
This morning in Houston, I was able to greet my dear friends from Kenya, Bishop Walter Obare and Rev David Chuchu of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya. At LCMS World Relief and Human Care, we have worked closely with Bishop Obare and Rev Chuchu on human care projects, particularly with orphans. David Chuchu is in a matter of speaking the counterpart to Rev Matthew Harrison for the church In Kenya as he oversees the human care projects there. Rev. Chuchu also had the opportunity to address Floor Committee 6 (Human Care) about our joint work together. Since the volcano in Iceland this spring canceled my trip to Kenya, it was a joy to see my friends.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Last evening we arrived in Houston after an extended airline flight that included circling the city for an hour before being diverted to Austin for refueling. A two hour flight became something like 5 hours but fortunately we arrived safely. When the plane touched down at the Houston-Hobby airport, the cabin broke into applause -- something unusual for flights in the USA but more common overseas, especially in the two-thirds world. In fact due to weather -- Houston is inundated with rain, thunder storms, and flooding -- Rev. Matthew Harrison, who left Saint Louis three or so hours after me arrived nearly the same time. All things work for good and in this case we were able to head to our lodging together. Houston 2010 is a long way from Chicago 1847 -- might be a toss up where the weather was better but I suspect Chicago. While travel by barges and steamship were slower than a 737, you could at least enjoy a cigar along the way (at least a pipe) -- as we know C.F.W. Walther did. He and his associates thought it helped them ponder theology better. It was a different time and I am not suggesting a cigar is needed for theology. One thing pondering theology over a cigar gave Walther and company was time. Time to study the Scriptures and Confessions, think, mediate, pray, and discuss -- mutual conversation of the brethren. May We have such opportunities in Houston.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Here is a quotation from the last two paragraphs of the article:
The reality is the Church should be doing both: serving the needy and spreading the gospel. This is what makes the humanitarian work of Christians different than that of the American Red Cross. Both are motivated by the desire to help others, but Christians are spurred by that Jesus thing.
The Rev. Albert B. Collver, an executive with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's World Relief and Human Care division, sums it up well: "It is the recognition that Christ died, that he wants everyone to be saved and that his love for the church is a love for all of mankind."