Tag Archive for: Together05032022

Aid continues to Ukraine

We are in constant contact with the bishop (president) of the Ukrainian Lutheran Church (ULC). He reports that thus far no members of the Ukrainian Lutheran Church have lost their lives or been injured. Some of their homes have been damaged or destroyed. None of the ULC churches have been destroyed in the conflict, although three parsonages have been damaged.

The bishop (whose congregation is in the capital city of Kyiv) has been staying outside of Kyiv for safety reasons. Last Sunday he was able to return to Kyiv temporarily to lead worship and to deliver much needed supplies of food and medicine. Yesterday he provided this report: “People were very happy to see each other again especially after recent missile attacks, although we did not have as many people at the worship service as on Easter. Shut-ins also rejoiced to be visited and communed and are grateful for the food aid received. Thank you very much! Many thanks to all brothers and sisters in WELS, to the U.S., and praise to the Lord!”

Generous WELS donors have provided significant funds to enable the ULC to purchase supplies of clothing, food, and medicine. Those supplies are provided to refugees from different places around the country and for the people of the communities in which ULC congregations are located. Our synod has forwarded funds to the ULC upon its request. It’s important to note that these requests are coming to us in amounts that enable the ULC to purchase what is needed and what it can distribute. To date, $66,000 has been requested and sent directly to the ULC. We are ready to send more as soon as the ULC requests it. Another $100,000 has been sent to a reputable agency (Direct Relief) that is assisting Ukrainian refugees in Poland and other countries. We are also making plans to provide funds to our sister church in Bulgaria, which is caring for Ukrainian refugees arriving there.

The synod is also ready to provide help to Ukrainian refugees who are able to come to the United States. Ukrainians who come to the U.S. as refugees need to work with the U.S. State Department, and we are looking for ways to assist in that process.

We are also looking forward to the day when the war is over and resettlement and rebuilding can begin. Because of the generosity of WELS members, we believe that some of the funds already given will be able to be used for those efforts.

Serving with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder


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Pastors attend Celebration of Ministry retreats

Another successful year of Celebration of Ministry retreats is complete. From April 25–29, Grow in Grace, the institute for continuing education at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., hosted more than 400 people for the ninth annual retreat. Four retreats were held at the Drury Plaza Hotel on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas, for pastors who are celebrating 3, 10, 25, and 35 years since graduating from the seminary. After a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic, it was a blessing to be able to again offer encouragement and support for pastors and their wives in this way.

These retreats build relationships with ministry peers and offer encouragement through worship, Bible studies, workshops, and presentations. Bible study topics covered Ezekiel, the pastoral epistles, Psalms, and Colossians. Separate and joint workshops were offered for pastors and their wives and covered topics such as time management, caring for others and yourself, focusing on your own gifts, and financial challenges and opportunities.

Though these workshops and Bible studies are a key part of the retreats, fellowship with classmates, worship services, and a beautiful location also play a part in the experience.

When Grow in Grace initially began the Celebration of Ministry retreats, only pastors celebrating 10 years since graduation and their wives attended. In more recent years, the event has included pastors celebrating three years; 25 years; and, in 2018, 35 years since graduation.

The 2023 retreat plans are already underway, with the retreats set to take place in San Antonio from April 12–14. To the graduating classes of 1988, 1998, 2013, and 2020, make sure to check your mailboxes this month for your save the date to your Celebration of Ministry retreat.



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10 reasons to attend Taste of Missions

Join your brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world for Taste of Missions on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., starting at 11 a.m. CT.

Here are 10 great reasons you should register today at tasteofmissions.com/register:

  1. Attend in-person OR virtually! Don’t live close enough to enjoy the festivities in person? Virtual attendees will be able to watch all events via livestream and view other bonus content online.
  2. Help send off new missionaries into their fields of service. Two missionaries will be commissioned during the opening worship service at 11 a.m. CT: Rev. Keegan Dowling and Rev. Benjamin Foxen, both heading to Lusaka, Zambia. Additional missionaries will most likely be added to that list as calls are accepted and graduates are assigned to home and world mission fields in the next month.
  3. Learn what it’s like to prepare for a mission call by asking questions during the Q&A with newly commissioned missionaries.
  4. Sample tasty ethnic food using the three tasting tickets that come with registration. Three different food trucks will be onsite: Meat on the Street (Filipino), Marco Pollo (Tex-Mex, Chinese, and Malaysian/Indian chicken dishes), and Falafel Guys (Middle Eastern). Additional food can also be purchased. Online attendees can try their hand at making one of the new ethnic recipes shared by missionaries and their families at tasteofmissions.com/recipes.
  5. Ask what it’s like for a family to serve in a mission field during the Missionary Family Q&A. Michael and Rachel Hartman (London, England), Craig and Christina Wilke (Brandon, S.D.), and Paul and Aneela Jordan (South Asian outreach) will serve as panelists.
  6. Get to know home and world missionaries through mission field updates shared on stage or fellowship throughout the day. Even more “Moments with Missionaries” video updates will be shared at tasteofmissions.com.
  7. Hear the latest updates from World and Home Missions from Chairman Paul Janke (World Missions) and Chairman Mark Gabb (Home Missions), including a sneak peak of the 100 missions in 10 years initiative that will launch in 2023!
  8. Check out mission field display booths, view Missions artifacts, and collect recipe cards from around the world as you learn about the 141 home mission congregations and 62 countries where WELS Missions is conducting/exploring outreach.
  9. Bring the kids to learn about mission work and enjoy activities like a passport challenge, missions-themed coloring pages and activities, a bounce house, face painting, and more.
  10. Enter for your chance to win a missions-themed raffle basket or purchase pre-assembled recipe booklets and Taste of Missions t-shirts to show your support of WELS mission work.

Registration is $15 per person, with children 13 and under attending for free. Or attend virtually for free! Learn more at tasteofmissions.com.



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New leadership at Northwestern Publishing House

On May 2, Mr. Jeremy Angle began serving as the president of Northwestern Publishing House (NPH). As president, Angle will focus on supporting the mission of NPH—delivering biblically sound, Christ-centered resources within WELS and beyond. Angle will oversee all the functional areas of this ministry such as product development, production, distribution, customer service, human resources, accounting, technology, and sales.

“NPH is without a doubt a mission,” says Angle, “but also a business. I see my job as combining the two and being a steward to NPH—the mission, the business, and all its team members.”

His predecessor, Mr. Bill Ziche, retired at the end of 2021 after eight years in that role. Ziche helped NPH pivot from operating out of a physical storefront to a digital one. At its February meeting, WELS’ Synodical Council noted that Ziche displayed “outstanding leadership in strategically repositioning NPH to support the gospel ministry for years to come.”

Angle is focused on continuing that support for gospel ministry. “I look forward to building on the traditions and legacy of NPH while adapting to best deliver the resources and teachings,” he explains. “Having worked in the secular business world my entire career, I find myself asking the questions, ‘What can NPH do and build on to support the leaders of today and tomorrow in both the church and secular world? How do we more closely link the two?’ ”

Helping Angle navigate which resources NPH should produce going forward is Rev. Chris Cordes, who began his work as NPH’s editorial vice president in February after Rev. Curtis Jahn retired after serving NPH for 29 years. Cordes and Angle will work closely on developing future projects.

“I am really looking forward to working with the team at NPH and its board of directors, learning and getting to know them and their growth desires,” says Angle, “as well as working with the synod, our congregations, and our schools on how we can best serve all and help grow. I am also excited about looking beyond and how we can best serve the world keeping to God’s true Word and teachings.”

Visit Northwestern Publishing House online at nph.net.



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Report to the Twelve Districts available online

The 2022 Report to the Twelve Districts is now available online. Report to the Twelve Districts contains current information from WELS areas of ministry and committees that help guide district convention delegates. Each WELS congregation will receive one printed copy at the end of May. Copies will also be available at district conventions.

All of WELS’ 12 districts hold a convention in even-numbered years. (The synod convention takes place in odd-numbered years.) Each male called worker, in addition to a lay delegate representing each congregation, attends his district’s convention as a voting delegate. District conventions are held to carry out the business of a district, such as electing district officials, as well as to hear updates on synodical ministries and to react to synodical initiatives. Delegates also enjoy worship and fellowship during their conventions.

“District conventions offer delegates the opportunity to learn, to ask questions, to debate issues, to offer advice and guidance to those called to serve them,” says WELS President Mark Schroeder. “In the end, delegates have the opportunity to see God at work, uniting WELS members in a stronger faith and in a greater commitment to carrying out his work together.”

View Report to the Twelve Districts online.


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