(Editor’s Introduction: We thank David Atkinson, a BJS steering committee member, for this description of the confessional group that meets regularly out in Orange County, California. They will be keeping us abreast of their activities via their entry on the “Regular Columns” page. Their membership includes some familiar names like Pastor Bill Cwirla, Craig Parton – an advisory board member of BJS, Rod Rosenbladt – professor of theology at Christ College, and Robert Meyer, also a BJS steering committee member.)
SOCO or South Orange County Outreach is a mission society of Faith Lutheran Church of Capistrano Beach – Pacific Southwest District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.” The church website is: www.faith-lcms.org.
Our Mission Statement reads: “South Orange County Outreach (SOCO) will facilitate a broad evangelical outreach to the existing, new, and future communities in South Orange County in order to provide hope for the future through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
We have been in existence since 2000 (over 8 years now!) and have “morphed” into regular luncheons and community gatherings at Concordia University in Irvine for the main purpose of gathering both laymen (some lay women too) and pastors to hear quality Lutheran speakers. Our topics revolve around the high value that we put as a group on Christian apologetics and how we can make an intelligent presentation of the Gospel to the world around us. This is not to mention the high value we ascribe to Confessional Lutheran Theology!
We’ve had such speakers ranging from local pastors to internationally-known theologians. Such well-known men as Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, Craig Parton, Dr. Gene Veith, Dr. Angus Menuge, Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto, Dr. George Forell, Dr. James Nestingen, Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, Dr. Horace Hummel, and Dr. James Bachman have been among the distinguished speakers featured at our gatherings.