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Assignment of WLS graduates reduces vacancies

Assignments at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary

On May 23 the synod’s Assignment Committee met at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., to assign vicars and graduates. Sixty requests came to the Assignment Committee (77 last year, 57 the year before). There were 30 candidates available (34 last year, 33 the year before). All candidates were assigned; 30 of those calls were unfilled (43 last year, 24 the year before). Of those 30 candidates, 26 were seniors receiving their first call and four were from previous classes. In addition, three were reassigned to one-year calls, and three had previous temporary assignments made permanent. Several candidates were assigned to new mission starts or restarts. After the Assignment Committee did its work, there were still 104 vacancies for pastor-trained men synodwide. About 90 of those vacancies were for parish pastors.

Congregation Mission Offerings update

Congregation Mission Offerings (CMO) receipts for May of $1,826,000 represent an increase of $204,000 (12.5%) over 2018. Through May, receipts are up $153,000 (2.0%) over 2018 and are 3.3% ahead of projections for the first five months. Michigan, South Atlantic, and Western Wisconsin districts are significantly ahead of projected receipts for the first five months. This is very good news, and we can be thankful to God for moving his people to provide these offerings of thanks for the support of the work we do together as a synod.

District meetings

Most districts are holding meetings this month in a variety of formats. Some of these meetings are intended to prepare delegates for the synod convention in July; others are focusing on continuing education for called workers. The synod convention will be held July 29 through Aug. 1 at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn. Learn more about the synod convention at wels.net/2019synodconvention.

Serving in Christ,
President Mark Schroeder

 

Leaders discuss students’ needs at the Campus Ministry Staff Conference

From May 20-21, WELS Campus Ministry hosted the 2019 Campus Ministry Staff Conference in Pewaukee, Wis. Over 50 called workers and other ministry leaders from dozens of colleges came together to discuss their current efforts and goals.

WELS Campus Ministry, a ministry of WELS Home Missions, provides resources, support, and encouragement to approximately 30 ministries on college campuses and many congregations near college campuses in the United States and Canada.

Campus Ministry Committee Chairman Rev. Charles Vannieuwenhoven, Northdale Lutheran, Tampa, Fla., notes that the simple mission to connect college students to Jesus united all conference attendees no matter their individual circumstances.

“Sometimes we get in our minds that campus ministry has to be this big thing,” he says. “But just get those students into worship on Sunday. That’s campus ministry. Maybe you have four that you can get together for a little Bible study. That’s campus ministry. You can look at it as a youth group for college kids. That’s campus ministry. Serve the students that are there. Find ways to involve them.”

The theme of the conference was “Defending the Faith.” Rev. Michael Berg, assistant professor of theology at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, Wis., led a presentation about apologetics within the context of campus ministry.

“Part of a successful campus ministry,” Berg explains, “is having secular students interact with intelligent Christians so that they can see that the Christian worldview and the gospel of Jesus Christ is a viable, beautiful, life-altering thing and that it is intellectually robust.”

Attendees also learned how campus ministry might work together with other WELS ministries. Mr. Shannon Bohme, Mission Journeys coordinator, spoke about how Mission Journeys’ short-term service trips are fulfilling experiences for college-age believers.

“We can give them the opportunity to share their faith in a completely different situation with people that they don’t know and get some practice with that. Then they get to come back with that confidence and with that zeal for sharing the gospel,” Bohme says. “Hopefully then they are able to more easily put that into practice on the campus.”

Between presentations and discussions, attendees were also able to enjoy devotions, networking, and fellowship.

To learn more about WELS Campus Ministry, visit wels.net/campus-ministry. To help your organization understand the importance of campus ministry today, WELS Campus Ministry leaders are available to speak at church and synod events. Request a speaker at wels.net/speaker-request.

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WELS Night ticket deadline only days away

The Milwaukee Brewers have selected Fernanda Rocha, a May graduate from Wisconsin Lutheran High School, Milwaukee, Wis., to sing the national anthem for the sixth annual WELS Night at Miller Park on Fri., July 12, 2019. The Milwaukee Brewers play the San Francisco Giants. Game time is 7:10 p.m. Rev. James Huebner, first vice president of WELS, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Huebner is a pastor at Grace, Milwaukee, Wis.

Due to the game being sold out other than the tickets on hold for WELS members, the deadline to purchase tickets is Fri., June 14. “More than 1,200 WELS tickets have already been purchased,” says Mr. Lee Hitter, director of WELS Communications. “Groups planning to attend the game should buy tickets as soon as possible as the remaining 1,400 tickets may not last until next week Friday.”

The Brewers are offering WELS members up to 50 percent off the price of tickets. The ticket service fee will be waived for groups of 20+ if you contact Greg Souza at 414-902-4492 or Greg.souza@brewers.com.

Buy tickets online