TLO Disciple
August 2016
LCMS 2016 National Convention

Pastor's Message 

Dear Friends in Christ
During the month of July the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod met in Convention in Milwaukee under the theme: Upon This Rock: Repent Confess Rejoice.  This month's TLO Disciple is focused on work of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and includes a summary of messages and actions of the Convention.
Also this month, the Synod mourns the death of a dedicated churchman who served the Lord faithfully during a very difficult time for our Synod.  The Rev. Dr. Ralph Bohlmann, who served four terms (1981-92) as president of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and was named as the church body's first president emeritus, died July 24 in St. Louis. He was 84.
I pray that you hear these messages and review the resolutions that were approved, that we would join with The Synod in serving the Lord with gladness dedicating our hearts to faithfully stand upon the Rock of Christ in faith, Repent, Confess and Rejoice in the Salvation that He has won for us.
Pastor James Kroonblawd

In Memoriam
Former LCMS Seminary President, Ralph Bohlmann dies

The Rev. Dr. Ralph Bohlmann, who served four terms (1981-92) as president of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and was named as the church body's first president emeritus, died July 24 in St. Louis. He was 84. Bohlmann was one of five Concordia Seminary faculty members who remained on the faculty following the "confessional crisis" and "walkout" there in February 1974.

Harrison re-elected to third term as LCMS President
The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, having received 56.96 percent of the votes cast, is the president-elect of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod for a third term of office, 2016-2019.
The nomination process for the position of Synod president began last fall with the mailing of nominations ballots to all congregations of the Synod. All nominations were required to be submitted by Feb. 9, 2016, or five months prior to the start of the Synod convention, when the ballots, received by an outside auditor, were tallied and delivered to the secretary of the Synod.  The resulting candidates for the office of president were the three ordained ministers who received the highest number of votes in the nominations process and who consented to serve if elected. The three nominees for Synod president were Harrison, the Rev. Dr. David P.E. Maier and the Rev. Dr. Dale A. Meyer.

Ofgaa encourages delegates 
to have 'joy in the Lord and Him alone'
We as Christians are called to rejoice in the Lord. This includes rejoicing both in His suffering and in His glory," the Rev. Dr. Berhanu Ofgaa, general secretary of the 8-million-member Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) and convention essayist, reminded delegates on Monday morning during the 66th Regular Convention of the  LCMS.

Delegates adopt resolutions on fertility issues, persecuted Christians

Resolutions encourage Lutheran ethos of schools, address decreasing enrollment

"Our schools are a signature ministry of our identity as a teaching church," said the Rev. Dr. Dean Nadasdy, chairman of Floor Committee 8 - Parochial Schools. "Historically, many of our older churches began with schools. Some churches actually were preceded by a school ... My guess is many of us here at some point spent some time in a Lutheran school."
Despite 458 Lutheran schools having closed since 2005, Nadasdy reported that there are still 1,173 LCMS early-childhood preschools, 804 elementary schools, 91 domestic high schools and three international schools, with a total of some 200,000 students attending these schools.

Delegates act on marriage, same-sex marriage, outreach to Muslim neighbors

By Sara Bielby
MILWAUKEE (July 12, 2016) - Action on issues raised within the church by changes in the culture continued on Tuesday at the 66th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

After discussion on Monday, the convention adopted Resolution 14-06A, "To Encourage Outreach to Muslim Neighbors," Tuesday. In addition to condemning "illicit acts of violence" motivated by fear or religious conviction, the resolution calls for resources to assist the church in carrying out the task.

After pointing out that marriage was instituted by God, not the state, Resolution 14-02A confesses the sanctity of marriage of one man and one woman as an estate which cannot be altered. The resolution also charges pastors, commissioned workers and congregations to provide responsible care with mercy, gentleness and respect to those wounded by sin.

A third, related resolution, 14-03A, states that although the Supreme Court has ruled the legality of same-sex marriage, the LCMS confesses it to be contrary to Scripture and to "God's design for His creation." At the same time, it resolved compassion for persons experiencing same-sex attraction and their families.
Discussion revolved around friendly amendments to the resolutions, most of which were amenable to the committee. Delegates expressed a desire to love their neighbors while upholding Scripture. Both motions on marriage and same-sex marriage carried nearly unanimously.

Sara Bielby is a deaconess at University Lutheran Chapel, Ann Arbor, Mich., and at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Monroe, Mich.

Convention delegates select emphases for national witness

LCMS recognizes relationships with six church bodies
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in convention  on Monday formally recognized and endorsed official relationships with six church bodies in Europe, South America, Central America and Asia.

Editor's note
TLO Disciple, with a topical study in each issue, is distributed primarily via email on the first of every month.  Print copies are available by contacting the TLO Church office at 651-454-7235 or the Church Office via email.

Calendars, volunteer information, serving groups and the like will accompany the TLO Together, on the last Wednesday of the month. Click here for the July 27 issue .  This publication is also mailed upon request.
Soli Deo gloria

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