Multi-Ethnic Symposium to explore 'Gifts of Hope'

The third LCMS Multi-Ethnic Symposium is planned for Jan. 30-31 at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. This year’s topic is “Gifts of Hope,” a discussion of the “gifts of cultural diversity that inform and enliven the fullness of the body of Christ in a unity not bound to one culture but embodying the contributionsmulti-ethnic.gif of many cultures,” according to symposium planners.
 
Previous symposiums in 2008 and 2010 focused on “Expressions of Hope” and “Conversations of Hope,” respectively.
 
This year’s keynote introduction on theology and culture will be given by the Rev. Dr. Leopoldo Sánchez, director of the Center For Hispanic Studies, St. Louis. Responding from the perspective of the social sciences will be Dr. Jack Schultz, professor of anthropology at Concordia University, Irvine, Calif., and a missiological perspective will be provided by the Rev. Dr. Douglas Rutt, director of International Ministries with Lutheran Hour Ministries, St. Louis.

Reflections will be shared by members of various ethnic groups, including the Rev. William and Patricia Main, co-directors of the Haskell LIGHT campus ministry to Native Americans in Lawrence, Kan.; the Rev. John Deang, missionary at-large to African immigrants for the LCMS Nebraska District; and Melissa Salomon, a member of the mission-planting team at Concordia Lutheran Church, Chula Vista, Calif.

Perspectives from district and Synod leadership will be offered by the Rev. Dr. Larry Stoterau, president of the LCMS Pacific Southwest District; the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission; and the Rev. Roosevelt Gray Jr., assistant to the president — Missions/Evangelism for the LCMS Michigan District.
 
A discussion on “best practices” also is planned.
 
“As our communities and local mission fields become more ethnically diverse, we have wonderful opportunities to reach across cultures with the Gospel message,” said Stoterau, who also is a member of the symposium planning committee and chairman of the LCMS Council of Presidents. “I am excited for the opportunity this symposium provides for district and congregational leaders to come together and learn from one another.
 
“How do we effectively take the Good News to ‘All Nations’ next door and across the street? As the planning committee has discussed, what will a truly multi-cultural LCMS look like in 2017 when we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation together?”
 
The symposium will be followed by the 7th Annual Lecture in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Missions, beginning at 7 p.m. Jan. 31. The Rev. Gregory Klotz, associate professor at Taylor University, Upland, Ind., will address the topic “Dealing with Culture in Theological Formation.”
 
The lecture, also at the seminary, is free and open to the public, and will be given in English.
 
Registration for the Multi-Ethnic Symposium is $70 and includes five meals. For more information and to register, visit the seminary’s website at www.csl.edu (click on “Events”).
 
Questions may be directed to symposium planning-committee members Kaye Wolff at kaye.wolff@aol.com or the Rev. Dr. John Loum at loumj@csl.edu.

Posted Dec. 1, 2011

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