Welcoming church bodies from around the world into fellowship with us is a highlight of a synod convention. In the summer of 2019, we welcomed representatives from Kenya and Taiwan. It was amazing to hear their stories. We marveled at what it took for them to remain true to Jesus, the Scriptures, and the Lutheran Confessions in spite of many difficulties in their home countries.
What happened after the synod convention? The representatives returned to their homes and continued their efforts to proclaim salvation through faith in Christ Jesus in their countries. Here in the United States we planned how we would stay in touch and offer our support.
One way we stay in touch with members of the 34 church bodies in our fellowship around the world is the triennial convention of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC). These meetings are key times for encouragement of the small groups who remain true to the faith. After the last convention, one of the attendees wrote:
“I appreciate the opportunity for worship and study with brothers from around the world. In my own country I can feel isolated. Since God opened my eyes for confessional Lutheranism, I desire the personal encouragement from like-minded Christians.”
The next CELC convention is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. WELS representatives are planning to go. But many of the small church bodies in our fellowship struggle to pay the visa and travel costs for attendance of their representatives.
The WELS Commission on Inter-Church Relations (CICR) would like to give you the opportunity to help with those expenses. They are not a normal part of the CICR budget, so every gift will be helpful. The small church bodies will work hard to participate, but a contribution from the CICR may make the difference in allowing someone to attend.
At the synod convention, Rev. Mark Onunda from Kenya said, “My wife and I have traveled far to be with you these few days. Our short time together will secure a lifelong partnership to advance our positions in many fields of battle.” God grant similar blessings from the 2020 CELC convention in Seoul.
Cordially in Christ,
Rev. Paul T. Prange
WELS Administrator for Ministerial Education and Inter-Church Relations