As wildfires rage across California, local LCMS pastors, congregations and members have found opportunities to care for one another and their communities, while sharing the Gospel of Christ.
During the first 100 years of the LCMS’s history, mercy ministry exploded. “By 1928 the number of hospitals, orphanages, child welfare societies, homes for the aged and institution missions totaled
Christ Lutheran Church in Hilo, Hawaii, has been working to help those affected by the eruption of the Kilauea volcano.
Over the last 15 years there has been a resurgence of congregational mercy work within congregations in the LCMS. Much of this was due to the guidance of the Rev. Matthew Harrison, who in his capacity as executive director of WRHC wrote to pastors and lay leaders of the LCMS on the theology of mercy and how to incorporate a mercy that flows from Lutheran congregations to the needy in their community. In addition, the 2001 Synod convention opened up the possibility of a deaconess program at both seminaries for women to study deaconess ministry as a vocation. This expansion of the deaconess program, has increased the number of deaconess church workers, has created a greater awareness of mercy work, and has had a lasting influence across the Synod.
Paul’s ministry was also an example of caring for people in every need. Paul gives a model for congregations and individual Christians to care for their members and for the unchurched community around them. Paul encouraged the Galatians, “Let us not grow weary of doing good … So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:9–10).
During a crisis people tend to turn to God and their faith for strength. During these times it is common to make supplications or petitions to God. It is a godly and pious act to pray and to bring one’s petitions to the Lord. The Large Catechism calls this “calling upon God in every need” and it says, “He [God] requires this of us and has not left it to our choice.”
The act of pastoral blessing is nothing new. In fact, Aaron gives a blessing in what is referred to as the Aaronic benediction, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift us his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Num. 6:24–26).
Tragic events—including the death of a loved one, a grave medical diagnosis or a catastrophic natural disaster—peel back the façade that covers this broken world. Tragedy often allows people to see with greater clarity the destructiveness of a fallen world and sin’s consequences.
Registration is open for the 2018 LCMS National Disaster Response Conference, set for Oct. 16–18 at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
At the foundation of Luther’s spiritual care was visitation. During visitation, or when he could only write, Luther often gave comfort with Scripture, he recommended hymn singing and he often concluded with a blessing.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 29, Immanuel Lutheran Church in St. Charles, Mo., experienced a devastating collapse of the entire baptismal side of its interior sanctuary ceiling facade. The building was empty at the time, and no one was hurt.
Meeting in St. Louis May 18–19, the LCMS Board of Directors adopted a fiscal year 2019 operations budget of $69.4 million, a figure nearly $8 million lower than that of the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.
Volcàn de Fuego, or “fire volcano,” violently erupted without warning Sunday, June 3, burying whole villages and farms near the Central American city of Antigua, Guatemala.
On May 18, a shooter opened fire on students and faculty at Santa Fe High School, ultimately killing 10 people and injuring 10 more.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Milwaukee was destroyed by the four-alarm fire on May 15, but there were no injuries.