(Editor’s Note: ULMA is the United Lutheran Mission Association. They are an independent conservative Lutheran group of congregations. We publish regular reports from them to expose our readers to as large of a group of confessional Lutherans as possible and in an effort to give conservative Lutherans a chance to dialogue, better understand one another and remain united against the questionable tactics of the church growth movement. Other posts from ULMA can be viewed on the regular columns page.)
This one especially caught my eye because it reports that the surveys of “where did you hear about us” from one of their churches reports the LutheranLiturgy.org website — a website for Evangelical-Lutheran Confessional Congregations that I support.
Commission members and pastors from Redeemer – St. Clair Shores, Michigan and Pilgrim – Decatur, Illinois attended the fall General Meeting of the United Lutheran Mission Association (ULMA). Our mission churches were represented by Rev. Shaw from Agnus Dei Lutheran Church in Virginia and Rev. Mack from Christ the Rock Lutheran Church in California.
The two-day event was hosted in Columbus, Ohio at a local Sleep Inn & Suites. We began on Friday, October 29th, with an afternoon closed session of the Commission members, followed by fellowship at a local Olive Garden Restaurant. The general meeting was the following morning.
Written reports were presented by all three missions, with the pastors of the above-named missions being present to review the reports and answer questions. There was no representation from Sola Scriptura in Wisconsin due to scheduling conflicts.
Some Mission Details
All three missions have been busy with sharing the Word in their respective locations.
Christ the Rock in Carlsbad recently had the privilege to baptize two children. Pr. Mack and the congregation have realized that with all the various outreach efforts attempted, the best is still the one-on-one contact with family, friends, and acquaintances. (Pr. Shaw from Virginia echoed this.) Even so, they are continuing with a newspaper ad and are working on access to a local cable TV network which airs “spiritual” shows of local interest. Christ the Rock would be one of the few with a solid Christian message to balance the non-Christian presentations on the network.
Sola Scriptura in Muskego (Milwaukee) was unable to attend as noted above but we did have a written report to review. They are continuing with outreach efforts in their church and member neighborhoods. Rev. Behling is also busy with an active prison ministry. They are holding two active Bible study classes.
Agnus Dei in Fredericksburg continues with their worship service at Germanna Community College. While the old fashioned word of mouth has proven quite effective, they were surprised when they questioned visitors to find the most popular response to, “How did you find us?” was their listing on a website that shows Lutheran churches with traditional, liturgical worship, LutheranLiturgy.org. Just like Redeemer and Pilgrim, all ULMA missions use such a worship format.
The ULMA gained some welcome funding from member and non-member congregations. It’s a real blessing to see the commitment people have around the country for the proclamation of the Gospel.
We are continuing in discussions with those who have shown an interest in joining ULMA as member congregations but not yet acted. Some have shown generous financial support, as just mentioned, to which we thank the Lord. Some are looking perhaps for something larger. We have encouraged their prayerful consideration, since their joining helps ULMA grow in resources and mission impact.
There were numerous constitutional changes proposed for the ULMA Constitution. They need to be approved by the member congregations of the ULMA before they take effect. Most of the changes are for clarification and the points were reviewed when presented for a vote at the member congregations. Both Redeemer and Pilgrim’s voters approved the changes.
Bob Linsdeau presented a paper he wrote regarding Lay Apathy. The paper was well received by the Commission members and the member/mission pastors present. They recommended the publication of Bob’s paper on the ULMA site, its release to “Christian News”, and other methods to share it.
Our next meeting will be sometime in March in or south of Cincinnati, Ohio. Interest was expressed to be in close proximity to the Creation Museum for visiting.