God-given workers for his harvest field

The number of vacancies for pastor, teacher, and staff minister positions continues to present a real challenge for congregations throughout our synod. At the direction of last summer’s synod convention, a special task force has been formed to study the issue of enrollment at our synodical schools and bring recommendations regarding how we can encourage more young people to prepare for the public ministry.

Thankfully, we are approaching the month of May when some relief will be provided for the vacancy situation. The Conference of Presidents will be meeting as the synod’s Assignment Committee to assign teacher and staff minister candidates from Martin Luther College (MLC), New Ulm, Minn., and to assign pastoral candidates at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (WLS), Mequon, Wis., to their first calls.

This year at MLC, 145 candidates will be available for assignment. Some of those will be teachers who will be assigned to their first calls; others who were assigned for one year last year will either be permanently assigned to the call in which they are now serving or be re-assigned to new locations. Thirty-seven of the candidates are restricted in where they can serve due to marriage or other circumstances. Many of these will be assigned in May; others will receive assignments in the weeks and months after call day.

At WLS, 27 men will be assigned as pastors. Most of those will serve in parishes; several will be assigned to one-year calls in one of our ministerial education schools as tutors. The Assignment Committee, with the input of the seminary, will also assign 40 men as vicars in congregations throughout our synod. Many of those will be assigned as “Vicars in Mission” to home mission congregations.

Assignment days at MLC and WLS are joyful days—joyful for the young men and women who learn where God will have them serve in the ministry and joyful for the members of the synod who see God keeping his promise to send workers into his harvest field. Keep giving thanks to God for these gifts to his church and keep praying that God will provide even more workers in the years to come.

Serving with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder



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