by Rev. Jerry Kieschnick
I cannot help but thank God for blessing us with so many individuals who love the Lord Jesus and who are passionately committed to the proclamation of the Gospel in ways that are unique to each of these organizations.
Look to the Hills . . . God Reigns.”
“Share His Story.”
“One Mission . . . One Message . . . One People.”
Under these themes, three important groups of mission-minded LCMS women and men gathered this summer to celebrate, worship, and conduct some business with the aim of reaching more people with the Good News about Jesus.
It was a pleasure and a privilege for my dear wife, Terry, and me to visit these three conventions: the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League in Portland, Ore.; the International Lutheran Laymen’s League in Greensboro, N.C.; and the National Lutheran Hispanic Convention in Orlando.
In last month’s column, I reflected on this year’s 35 LCMS district conventions. Let me now share a little about these three groups and their conventions.
The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (www.lwml.org) is the Synod’s official women’s auxiliary and is well known for its “mission heart”—the thousands of volunteers who every day seek to make a difference in the lives of others by sharing the Gospel throughout the world. The league’s stated purpose is “to inform, encourage, and inspire women to be actively involved in supporting mission outreach.”
And support mission outreach they do! At this year’s LWML convention (“Look to the Hills . . . God Reigns”), June 25–28, the delegates adopted a goal of raising $1.825 million for mission work over the next two years. It is the largest goal yet for the LWML and will provide grants to fund 19 mission projects worldwide.
The International Lutheran Laymen’s League (www.lhm.org) began when 12 men met in 1917 to help the Synod pay off a debt that had been incurred by the church body. Over the years, the league developed a media ministry in North America and around the world to carry out its mission: “Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church.” Due to the popularity of its flagship radio program, “The Lutheran Hour,” the league identifies its media outreach as Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM).
At this year’s international convention (“Share His Story”), July 16–19, league members heard reports about expansion of The Lutheran Hour; the launch of the LHM Men’s NetWork to help men’s groups in congregations; production of new episodes of its “Woman to Woman” radio program; and continuing support for ministry centers in more than 30 countries.
The National Lutheran Hispanic Convention is the successor to the former Hispanic Conference. One of the important purposes of this gathering, which partners with the National Lutheran Hispanic Mission Society (www.hispanicmissions.org) to organize the convention, is to provide a way for the LCMS Hispanic community to articulate the joys, concerns, and needs of the community to the Synod’s leadership.
This year, more than 200 people gathered for the National Lutheran Hispanic Convention (“One Mission . . . One Message . . . One People”), July 21–24. Those at the convention focused on their Christian unity by coming together in worship and fellowship as they lifted up the mission of Jesus Christ, particularly among Hispanic people in the United States.
As I reflect on these three conventions, I cannot help but thank God for blessing us with so many individuals who love the Lord Jesus and who are passionately committed to the proclamation of the Gospel in ways that are unique to each of these organizations. Each one contributes greatly to the cause of Christ in our nation and world.
I am grateful to our Lord for all who are involved in these and the many other organizations, societies, groups, and other ministries in our Synod that seek the expansion of God’s kingdom. If you are one of them, thank you. And if you are not, I respectfully encourage you to consider personal involvement in a mission-focused endeavor such as these. What a blessing they are to our beloved Synod!
God bless you and your witness as you share His Good News with others!
Lives Transformed through Christ, in Time . . . for Eternity!
John 3:16 –17
Web page: www.lcms.org/president