Tag Archive for: Together03172015

A new way to give

Online searching and shopping now have an added bonus – they’re another way to support the synod.

WELS members now can give to WELS’ operating fund when they shop online at Amazon. Through the program AmazonSmile, you’ll find the same products and deals as on the online shopping site, www.amazon.com, with the added benefit that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible purchases to your selected charity. To choose WELS as the charitable organization you wish to support, go to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/39-0842084. Then when you shop, go to smile.amazon.com.

WELS members also can support WELS through using www.GoodSearch.com as their search engine. Simply choose “Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (Waukesha, WI)” from the pull-down menu when you search. Each search will generate approximately $.01 for WELS. More than $10,000 has already been earned through use of this search program. The GoodSearch organization has also added GoodShop, which donates a percentage of your purchases from several online retailers to your charity.

Martin Spriggs, WELS chief technology officer, says, “The benefit is, you’re searching [the Internet] anyway, why not benefit the charity of your choice, in our case WELS?”

NPH to print Lutheran Bible translation

Northwestern Publishing House (NPH) will be printing and distributing a new translation of the Bible produced by the Wartburg Project, an independent Lutheran Bible translation effort by WELS and Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) pastors and professors.

Since late in 2013, more than 90 WELS and ELS pastors, professors, and others have been working through the Wartburg Project on the translation. The goal is to publish a New Testament and Psalms special edition in 2017, with a future date for the complete Bible yet to be determined.

NPH was chosen from among other publishers to publish this new translation. “Printing this translation aligns with NPH’s mission to ‘deliver biblically sound, Christ-centered resources within WELS and beyond,’ ” says Mr. Bill Ziche, NPH president. But he stresses that this will not be the only translation used by NPH in its materials. “NPH will continue to pursue an ‘eclectic approach,’ as directed by synod resolution, utilizing the best translation for the context of any given work. The Wartburg Project translation will be one translation option among others.”

Not funded, owned, or directed by WELS, the Wartburg Project formed after the 2013 synod convention. While convention delegates defeated a resolution calling for the synod praesidium to appoint a committee to explore producing a Lutheran translation of the Bible, discussion on the floor was encouraging for those who wanted to work on a translation on their own. “There were a number of groups doing that,” says Prof. John Brug, general editor and Old Testament editor for the Wartburg Project. “We thought, why not try to bring everyone together under one umbrella in a purely positive project.”

Brug says the Wartburg Project’s goal is to aim for the “middle road” in its translation. He says that means they will preserve traditional biblical idioms like “the glory of the Lord” and “manger” but also look for better ways to say things that may be confusing in other translations.

While the translation is based on the original Hebrew and Greek texts, translators also will be building on the heritage of the English translations that already are available. “From the beginning, I’ve enjoyed saying that we are standing on the shoulders of giants,” says Rev. Brian Keller, New Testament editor. “We are not trying to reinvent the wheel. Copyright laws are certainly being honored. But there is this long tradition of English Bible translation that provides a base to work with.”

About 20 pastors and professors are the main core of translators and technical reviewers. More than 70 other pastors and professors as well as additional teachers and laypeople are helping with readability. All are volunteers, working on the project in their spare time.

“One of the blessings of the Wartburg Project is the great opportunity which it is providing to many of our pastors for continuing education in the Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible,” says Brug. “The knowledge they are gaining will provide rich dividends to the church as it works its way into their preaching, teaching, and writing.”

Members of the Wartburg Project are excited that the translation is progressing so quickly. “We appreciate all the support, encouragement, and prayers,” says Keller. “We thank God for his blessing and ask for his help. If this translation turns out to be a blessing for many, may God alone have all glory and praise!”

Learn more about the Wartburg Project at www.wartburgproject.org. Download a complimentary Passion History developed by the Wartburg Project and learn more about NPH’s publishing plans at www.nph.net/wartburgproject.

Planning for the 2015 synod convention

“One in Christ.” That is the theme for the 63rd biennial convention of our synod, when 400 delegates and 50 advisory members will meet at Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, Mich., July 27-30.

It’s a fitting theme because it reminds us of who we are – sinners reunited with God and with each other. Together, we are united with God and with each other as members of his family. We confess a common faith, grounded in God’s Word. And we share a common mission to proclaim the saving gospel to a dying world.

It’s also a fitting theme because it identifies the one who creates and sustains this unity. Our oneness with God and with each other has been brought about only in Christ, only through his perfect life, his innocent death, and his powerful resurrection.

The convention is a time for us to review the blessings that God has worked in us and through us. It’s a time to see the opportunities God is placing in front of us. It’s a time when, as a synod, our representatives will make important and prayerful decisions regarding the work we do together.

At this convention, we will elect a synod president and second vice president. We will elect others to serve on various boards and commissions. We will adopt a ministry financial plan (budget) for 2015-2017, outlining how we plan to use the gifts that God provides to carry out the synod’s mission and ministry.

The convention essay, drawn from the convention theme and focused on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, will be delivered by First Vice President James Huebner. Prof. Paul Koelpin of Martin Luther College will deliver the opening sermon. There will be special presentations by missionaries and others who serve on our behalf.

The Ad Hoc Commission 2 has been working for two years to develop recommendations to improve various areas of the synod’s work. The commission will deliver its report to this convention for discussion and action.

The 2015 convention will also serve as the kick-off of the special synodwide offering (approved by the 2013 convention) to retire the synod’s consolidated capital debt. That debt was identified in 2007 and amounted to $22.4 million. In the years since, through an initial special offering and through regular payments, the debt will be less than $5 million by the time the convention meets. The special offering will be carried out under the same theme as the convention, “One in Christ.” Once it is retired, the funds used for debt repayment can be redirected to support gospel ministry.

The Book of Reports and Memorials, which contains all information regarding convention business, will be available online by May 1. The published hard copy book will be sent to called workers, congregations, and delegates during the week of May 11.

Serving in Christ,
President Mark Schroeder