To the Reader

by Adriane Dorr

When people want to poke fun at Lutherans, their jokes usually involve a Minnesota accent, men named Sven and Ole and a line or two about a propensity for sitting stoically in the church’s back pew. But being Lutheran is more than that. It’s not about geography, background or ethnicity. It’s about what Lutherans confess to be true.

Lutherans proclaim Jesus Christ, the one who is in the business of reconciling sinners to the Father. They live around the world. They have a common faith. They can’t help but share the Gospel. And whether they are American, Kenyan or Brazilian, Jesus Christ clothes each one with His perfect righteousness.

Our theme for August is “Lutheran Confession, Lutheran Mission.” Prof. John Pless takes an in-depth look at what makes Lutheranism distinct and why Lutherans are uniquely equipped to share God’s Word with others around the globe.

In “A Lutheran Hymnal for Kenya,” Prof. Richard Resch shares the exciting collaboration of professors from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, with musicians from Africa in the creation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya’s very first hymnal.

In “The Language of Christ’s Church,” Rev. Mark Sell explains the universal connection between humans that spans language and culture: sin and the need for forgiveness and life in Jesus Christ.

Rev. David Mahsman describes the work of missionaries in Russia and Eurasia in “The Gospel According to Bach.” Pastors there are using the classical music of Bach, Luther and others to start conversations about Christ with the unchurched.

Finally, we learn about the enduring and robust relationships the LCMS shares with other Lutheran church bodies around the world, several of which send students to the Synod’s two seminaries each year to be formed for the Office of the Holy Ministry. In “Churches in Fellowship,” four exchange students give brief histories of their churches and the blessings and challenges each encounters.

Lutheran Confession, Lutheran Mission. For the LCMS and those with whom she is in partnership, the two are inseparable, from America to Argentina to Australia.

Adriane Dorr, Managing Editor
The Lutheran Witness
adriane.dorr@lcms.org

Correction: In the May special issue of The Lutheran Witness, the Central Illinois District’s pledge to the Synod was reported incorrectly. The district has pledged $552,000 for 2011–2012, the same as its 2010–2011 pledge. It has not, as was printed, decreased its pledge by $76,500.

August 2011

The Lutheran Witness — Providing Missouri Synod laypeople with stories and information that
complement congregational life, foster personal growth in faith, and help interpret the
contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.

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