For Immediate Release
Contact: Vicki Biggs, 314-996-1236, 314-556-3829 (cell), @theLCMS @LCMSconvention
Photo: The Rev. Michael Kumm, vice-chairman of the LCMS Board of Directors, speaks to the Wittenberg Project. This project is an effort by the LCMS, walking alongside our German partner church, the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK), and the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg (ILSW), who all envision a modern, renovated facility serving as a home for global confessing Lutherans.
Photo courtesy LCMS Communications
Encourage LCMS congregations, members to support educational center in birthplace of Reformation
ST. LOUIS, July 25, 2013—No debate necessary. The nearly 1,200 delegates to the 65th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) unanimously affirmed a resolution yesterday calling for churchwide support of The Wittenberg Project, a venue for Christian education and a platform for Gospel proclamation in Wittenberg, Germany, the birthplace of the Reformation.
In partnership with Concordia Publishing House and the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) – the LCMS sister church in Germany – the LCMS purchased the 16th century Old Latin School building in Wittenberg, Germany. It is just down the street from the Castle Church where Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses in 1517. Plans call for renovating the building to provide spaces for worship, research and educational programs, and a welcome center and guest housing for pastors, students and others. The project will offer opportunities for Gospel outreach locally and a focal point for the growing global family of confessional Lutherans.
“For Lutherans, our ministry center in Wittenberg will be their home in the birthplace of the Reformation,” said the Rev. David Mahsman, an LCMS missionary serving as director of the project. “It will be a place where they can learn more about the faith and where their faith can be deepened. And for the sake of the region — and even of the world — it will be a platform for the Gospel that Martin Luther proclaimed so clearly and boldly.”
The project has been launched in conjunction with the 500th-anniversary celebration of the Reformation. Construction is slated to begin this fall and finished by 2015. The church and its partners still need to raise $1.3 million on a $3.1 million budget to complete renovations. Immediately before the voice vote on the resolution was taken, the Rev. Michael Kumm, chairman of the project’s supervisory board, announced a campaign to raise the remaining funds needed.
“Those of us involved in The Wittenberg Project really appreciate the support shown today by the delegates,” said Mahsman. “Not a dissenting vote was heard, and we can’t ask for more than that!”
The Synod convention, which runs through July 25, serves as the principal legislative assembly for the church body. Along with the consideration of some 116 resolutions, the convention includes opportunities for worship and fellowship. Convention participants include 1,191 clergy and lay voting delegates.
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a biblical, confessional, witness-oriented Christian denomination with 2.3 million members – 600,000 households – in 6,200 congregations. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org.