A senior at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary was talking to a coworker at his part-time job. The student mentioned that he was about to graduate and would soon learn where he would be serving as a pastor. “What do you mean when you say that you ‘will learn’ where you will be serving?” The student replied, “In our synod, you are assigned to your first congregation; I don’t get to decide where I will go.” Needless to say, the coworker found that incredible.
What a blessing it is, and what an expression of faith, that our pastor and teacher candidates for ministry don’t insist on deciding where they will go. They put themselves into God’s hands, and the Lord of the church, working through his church, calls them to serve in the very place where he wants them to serve.
We experienced this gracious working of the Holy Spirit on May 24, when 34 men were assigned (or reassigned) as pastors and 26 men were assigned as vicars. All available pastoral candidates were assigned. In fact, after the assignments were made more than 40 requests for graduates could not be filled.
Anyone who has ever attended a call service at Martin Luther College or Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary is moved by the way that God provides workers for his harvest field. And even if you were not able to attend, you joined with our entire synod in thanking God for his gift of called workers.
With the many pastoral vacancies that remain, we are reminded of the important role that each of us plays in encouraging young men to consider preparing for the pastoral ministry and in praying for more ministers of the gospel. The harvest is still plenty, and the workers are still few.
A complete list of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary assignments can be viewed at wls.wels.net.
Serving in Christ,
President Mark Schroeder
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