ULMA Spring 2012 Meeting Report

Some of the commission and mission members at ULMA’s Saturday morning meeting. Rev. Shaw is setting up a video link to members of his congregation in Virginia.

Commission members from Redeemer – St. Clair Shores, Michigan, and Pilgrim – Decatur, Illinois, along with Pr. Brock Abbott from Pilgrim, attended the spring General Meeting of the United Lutheran Mission Association (ULMA). They were joined by commission members and Pr. John Hafermann from Our Redeemer – Forsyth, Illinois. All of the representatives from Pilgrim and Redeemer were delighted to welcome them aboard. You will recall that Our Redeemer joined ULMA last fall.

Our mission churches were represented by Rev. James Shaw from Agnus Dei Lutheran Church in Virginia, Rev. William C. Mack from Christ the Rock Lutheran Church in California, and Rev. James Behling and Patrick Schiefelbein from Sola Scriptura in Wisconsin.

The two-day event was hosted at the Wyndham Lisle-Chicago Hotel and Executive Meeting Center. This was our first time at this facility, located in a southwest suburb of Chicago. It served us well, and will be the site of the fall meeting. The closed session of the Commission members took place the afternoon of Friday, April 20th, followed by fellowship in the lounge and dinner at a nearby restaurant. The General Meeting began the following morning.

ULMA mission pastors Rev. James Shaw (VA), Rev. William C. Mack (CA), and Rev. James Behling (WI).

All three missions are continuing their outreach efforts. New prospects have been attending, and each pastor shared uplifting stories from their respective mission fields. They continue to find personal contact best for spreading the Word.

Sola Scriptura is finding their setting to be an attraction. The open-door chapel allows for people passing by to hear their services and Bible study classes. Members of another Lutheran congregation that meet next to them have also visited.

Pastor Shaw at Agnus Dei has been able to make an impact as the volunteer chaplain for the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. In May, at the local library, he will present a lecture series on church history.

An interesting outreach opportunity came up with Chaldean refugees in El Cajon, California. Rev. Mack is researching the use of Arabic language materials to help the large number of displaced families that the local churches cannot accommodate.

All three missions expressed their sincere thanks to the ULMA for their continued support and prayers. Some of their members had unfortunate experiences within the churches and church bodies from which they came. As one mission pastor stated, “The ULMA works the way the church is supposed to.”

Commission members and Rev. John Hafermann from ULMA’s newest member congregation, Our Redeemer – Forsyth, IL.

The representatives from Our Redeemer expressed their thankfulness at becoming an active member congregation. Prior to joining, the congregation had contributed to ULMA mission work in years past. ULMA has become a way for them to pool their mission resources with like-minded churches to help spread the Gospel.

YOU can become a member congregation and join us in supporting ULMA’s mission work. The commission members and their congregations are pleased to have made a difference. If you are interested in supporting our efforts, or wish to find out more, please contact us. Send an email by clicking here. Check our website for more information.

The next meeting of the ULMA will be in mid to late October.

In Christ,
Brad Vincent

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.


ULMA Spring 2012 Meeting Report — 2 Comments

  1. I would wager that Our Redeemer in Forsyth, IL is a former LCMS congregation.

    Isn’t this the denomination started by the (now retired) LCMS dissident pastor Jack Cascione? Many of his “Reclaiming Walther” ideas have recently become more mainstream within the LCMS — years before “Grandpas Church” came into vogue among confessionals.

    I would love to see the various Lutheran micro-synods engage in unification talks. What are the chances of this happening. There is power in numbers………….

  2. Lumpenkönig, you won the bet. Yes, “Our Redeemer in Forsyth, IL is a former LCMS congregation”. The ULMA while not technically a “denomination” or “synod”, is an association of churches. While it may be seen by some as an advantage to be “large” and take part in unification talks to make that happen, the “micro-synods” more than likely see advantages in staying small. They see an advantage in being more unified and consistent in their doctrine across their churches. This serves as a better witness to others who never ask questions like, “How can you be a member of the ___(name) Synod when you ___(doctrine or practice)”?

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