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Mission and Ministry held at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary

From February 8–10, students at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., participated in Mission and Ministry, an annual three-day event organized by the students.

Under the theme “A World Overcome,” this event highlighted the worldwide work of WELS.

Each day featured a worship service, an overview of ministry highlights by WELS leaders, an encouraging keynote address by a worker in the field, and the opportunity to attend three breakout sessions of interest. WELS organizations also set up displays to share information about their work in God’s kingdom.

In order to give these future pastors a cross-section of experiences they may face in ministry, 24 breakout sessions were offered on specific topics. These sessions included discussions on world missions using technology post-COVID, continued mission opportunities to the Hmong in Vietnam, urban ministry, restarting a mission, church culture, and graphic design for worship and outreach. Many workshops had the underlying, connecting themes that pastors need to be intentional in their work and have a curious mind toward potential new ideas.

The seminary family was blessed to have visitors each day: the pastor-track juniors from Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn., participated on the first day and the students of Bethany Theological Lutheran Seminary, Mankato, Minn., participated on days two and three. A special moment during the opening worship service was the commissioning of Missionary Michael Hartman to England.

For photos of the event, visit the seminary’s Facebook page.

 

 

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Understanding cultural diversity

Martin Luther College’s (MLC) Cultural Engagement Center offered several opportunities for students to grow in cultural awareness this January and February. The Cultural Engagement Center (CEC) works to welcome and support diverse students, provide opportunities for cross-cultural understanding, and promote community on campus—all to help students better carry out the Great Commission, Jesus’ command to share the gospel with all nations and peoples.

In January, MLC planned a full day of activities to commemorate Martin Luther King Day, including a special worship service, workshops, social simulations, and thought-provoking films. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher and Patricia James, members at Divine Peace, Largo, Md., presented the keynote address.

In February, the Center featured decorations explaining and celebrating the Lunar New Year, a traditional festival celebrated by Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese people. The Center also partnered with the campus’ Art In Ministry group to sponsor a Lunar New Year crafting event to teach students more about traditional Chinese art.

Earlier in the school year, students also learned more about the cultures of the international students attending MLC during International Education Week, which included ethnic food nights, student presentations, and panel discussions.

According to Mrs. Megan Kassuelke, director of cultural engagement at MLC, the CEC is meant to cultivate diversity and culture-related discussion in respectful, mindful, and authentic ways. She says, “My goal is to foster a sense of belonging for all by inviting the entire campus family to join in the conversation about diversity awareness and cultural competency.”

Rev. Aaron Robinson, cultural diversity coordinator at MLC, says events like these offer students opportunities to grow in their understanding as WELS’ future called workers. “The reason we use days like this to talk about culture is not to divide but so we can better serve,” he says. “I want to continue the conversation and these moments—meeting the students where they’re at—so they can grow as God wants them to grow and minister to those who are not like them.”

 

 

 

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Treptow accepts call to be seminary president

On Monday, Oct. 1, Prof. Earle Treptow accepted the call to succeed Prof. Paul Wendland as president of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., at the end of the 2018–19 school year. Treptow, the seminary’s vice president, joined the faculty in 2016. He teaches systematic theology and Old Testament.

“Prof. Earle Treptow is an experienced leader, an excellent scholar, and a gospel-hearted and humble man. He will make an outstanding president,” says Wendland.

Wendland, who joined the faculty in 2001 and has been serving as president since 2004,  will remain at the seminary and transition to a teaching-only role.

“I’m grateful for this transition time,” notes Treptow. “I will have time to observe a bit more carefully what the president is asked to do and to talk with him about why we do what we do. I have been trying to remind myself, though, that I have not been asked to replace Paul Wendland but to take over the duties he has carried out. There is only one Paul Wendland. The combination of his love for the gospel, his intellect, his passion, and his zeal for missions have been a great blessing for the seminary and our synod.”

Rev. Jonathan Scharf, chairman of the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Governing Board, agrees. “We thank President Wendland for his work leading the seminary,” says Scharf. “He has kept the seminary focused on its mission of preparing workers to serve God’s kingdom in the pastoral ministry. We’re also thankful to the Lord of the church that he’s given the seminary a man such as Prof. Treptow, whose many gifts will be a blessing to our church body as he serves as seminary president.”

For more information on Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, visit wls.wels.net.

 

 

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