Bringing Lutheranism to . . . Wittenberg? (Mollie)

The Washington Post has an interesting story about the work the LCMS is doing to bring Lutheranism to a town overrun with atheists:

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the second-largest Lutheran body in the United States, has bought a building next to the old Town Church, where Luther used to preach, and plans to turn it into a welcome center for U.S. visitors. The Missouri Synod also plans to start a congregation by reaching out to German atheists, although organizers acknowledge that won’t be easy in a city still recovering from 40 years of communist rule.

“In east Germany, you actually have to go up to people and tell them who Jesus was,” said Wilhelm Torgerson, a German Lutheran pastor who serves as the Missouri Synod’s representative in Wittenberg. “They say, ‘Oh yes, Christ. Didn’t he have something to do with Luther?’ ”

“We would like to proclaim the Gospel to unbelievers, and there are certainly a lot of them here,” Torgerson added. “Obviously, there is enough work for all of us without stepping on anyone’s toes.”


Bringing Lutheranism to . . . Wittenberg? (Mollie) — 6 Comments

  1. It will be nice to go to Wittenberg and see some friendly LCMS faces. The one time I went there I actually had a tour from an American. He was not LCMS but he was a student at Iowa State University which was nice since I grew up in the Hawkeye state. (It would have been even better to have a Hawkeye intstead of a Cyclone. That will make sense to about 12 of our readers – if even that many.)


  2. Pastor TR, I have friends in the Big 10 and the Big 12. So either Iowa university goes well with me. 😉

    When I get rich, I want to go. There doesn’t seem to be much drilling for oil in Germany.

  3. Dan,

    It really is a great trip. We studied up on Rick Steves’ (an ELCA Lutheran BTW) approach and recomendations and were able to stay at some wonderful places at inexpensive prices. However, we went a few years ago when the dollar/euro (it was still the deutsch mark) ratio was much more in favor of the dollar.

    I recommend some time in the northeast in Berlin and Wittenberg and then spend the rest of the time in Bavaria drinking beer. The people are friendly all over the country but even more so in Bavaria.


  4. I had friends who regularly travel to Germany. They sent an email ahead to let the people in Wittenburg know they were coming and were willing to help with some of the work. They arrrived and no one was home and no answer to their calls or their further emails. Were they at the correct place some may ask. Certainly.

  5. Mollie,
    I had the pleasure to meet Pastor Torgerson last fall.
    He has a passion to re-introduce the Gospel and Lutherans to Wittenburg. The project is large and is in need of support. IMHO this is a good project for support. How sad that the birthplace of Lutheranism needs an infusion.
    Then again the LCMS may need the same later.

  6. We have been to Wittenberg twice now. Once in 2000 and once on one of the Luther Tours in 2004. The change in the town economically was radical. More upscale shops, ice cream parlors and beauty salons. In 2004, my husband and I were taunted by some probably drunk teens who made fun of us as we read the inscriptions on Luther’s statue in the town square. They threw beer bottles at the statue and left broken glass all around. Then they followed us to the Castle Church where they were urinating on the lawn and using foul language from their limited English vocabulary. The town is so wonderful other than that and we would go back again and again. The work that the LCMS will have to do to bring this town to Christ will be enormous but rewarding I am sure. Wish I could be there to be a part of it. So sad that Lutherland is so Christless at this point in time.

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