LCMS Specialized Pastoral Ministry (SPM) invites nominations for the newly created Henry F. Wind Award for Outstanding Leadership in SPM in the areas of advocating and promoting chaplaincy, pastoral counseling and/or clinical pastoral education.
The award is named for the Rev. Dr. Henry F. Wind (1891–1966), who was the first executive secretary of the LCMS Department of Social Welfare, which operated from 1953 to 1967. (In 1967, the department’s name was changed to Board of Social Ministry, and in 1969, it was merged with the Board of World Relief into the Board of Social Ministry and World Relief.)
Nominees for the Wind award should:
- be a member of the LCMS or an employee of an LCMS-related organization/ministry;
- have 10 or more years in SPM leadership;
- have created and/or expanded LCMS SPM in his/her organization or agency; and
- have advanced, promoted and/or advocated for SPM within the LCMS.
Wind was ordained in 1916 after graduating from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Before being appointed executive secretary of the Department of Social Welfare, he served as vice-president, and later president, of Associated Lutheran Charities.
At Wind’s funeral in 1966, then-LCMS President Rev. Dr. Oliver R. Harms described him as “a man of faith who was dedicated to his work because he loved his Savior. He was anxious to serve both young and old … . Despite his years, he could out-work, and often out-think and out-serve, men who were much younger.”
Dr. Martin Mueller, editor of the Lutheran Witness Reporter at the time, wrote of Wind following his death in 1966: “Seldom does a man of God bring to his calling so many gifts, capacities, and skills. Dr. Wind was a parish pastor, camp pastor, institutional chaplain, social worker, counselor, administrator, author, editor, lecturer, and above all a preacher of the Gospel. … In his far-flung, unorganized parish were unwed mothers, deprived children, teen-aged lawbreakers, alcoholics, and down-and-outers. To all he brought not only assurance of divine love and forgiveness but also compassionate counsel and, whenever possible, material help.”
SPM Director Rev. Joel Hempel says Wind was chosen as the namesake for the new SPM award because “he was one of us — a specialized pastoral minister who spent his ministry on the edge … of organized church and society. In his ministry as a chaplain and later in … the Synod, he identified with broken and hurting people and carried the Gospel into the corners of society, into institutions and a military camp. He challenged our church body to be as welcoming and attentive to the stranger as was Jesus.”
Wind’s granddaughter, Susan Baerwald, says her mother, Margery W. Baerwald, fondly recalls attending Sunday services with her father and brothers at the prison where Wind was chaplain.
“They loved to go with him,” Susan relates, “but had to promise not to laugh or otherwise disturb things. The laughter was an issue when Grandpa would sit down at the piano — there was no one else to do it — and start ‘bellowing’ out the hymns. Those are my mother’s words; he was always enthusiastic and vigorous at whatever he undertook. They knew he would know if they laughed at all.”
The Wind Award for Outstanding Leadership in SPM is distinguished from another SPM award, the Christus in Mundo (Christ in the World) Award, in that it is geared specifically toward SPM leaders and administrators as opposed to practitioners.
Says Hempel: “With this new award, we will be able to recognize those leaders and administrators who have demonstrated a heart for SPM and a commitment — like Dr. Wind — to not only care for those who are suffering various kinds of crises, but also make the decisions that assure they receive the pastoral care that will support them during critical times of need.”
The first recipient of the Wind Award will be announced at the SPM Educational Event scheduled for Oct. 2–4 in Belleville, Ill. Nominations should be submitted to the SPM office by Aug. 2.
Posted May 10, 2018