Each of WELS’ 12 districts met in convention this June, considering local ministry topics along with issues that apply to the entire synod.
Delegates of the Michigan and Minnesota Districts elected new presidents to replace retiring pastors Rev. John Seifert and Rev. Charles Degner, respectively. Rev. Snowden (Gene) Sims is now leading the Michigan District, and Rev. Dennis Klatt is president of the Minnesota District. Both men will join the other district presidents as well as the synod president and two synod vice presidents to form WELS’ Conference of Presidents, which maintains the synod’s doctrine and practice and is responsible for funding the synod budget.
Three districts celebrated 100th anniversaries—the Southeastern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pacific Northwest Districts. The anniversary celebrations were reflected in the districts’ worship services, essays, and fellowship activities.
Synod leaders presented ministry updates regarding WELS’ schools, committees, and areas of ministry. Rev. Jonathan Hein as well as other representatives from WELS Congregational Services presented on the current state of the synod and how WELS members and congregations can serve their communities with the gospel. Delegates to the Dakota-Montana and Northern Wisconsin District conventions heard Hein’s presentation titled “God’s country—a vision for 21st-century rural ministry in WELS” that encouraged delegates to reach out with Christ’s love to their communities intentionally and strategically. Rev. Jason Liebenow, a pastor of a tri-parish near Florence, Wis., called the presentation “a life-changer.”
District convention delegates also were treated to a sneak peek of the new WELS evangelism movie. Titled To the Ends of the Earth, the movie follows the apostle Paul’s visit to the city of Philippi, recorded in Acts 16. It shows how Paul connected with people from all walks of life, demonstrating that the good news of Jesus is for all people. This is the fourth and final movie in the award-winning series that includes Road to Emmaus; Come Follow Me; and My Son, My Savior. To the Ends of the Earth will be released on Sept. 1. Visit wels.net/to-the-ends-of-the-earth.
More district convention news and photos will be shared in the August issue of Forward in Christ magazine.
To the Ends of the Earth trailer
View all the articles in the full issue.
WELS churches and schools featured in their local media.