Call week – Advice for new pastors.

This week in the LCMS a number of men will receive their calls to serve as pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Here are some points that have been shared with me over the years since I received my first call.  No particular order to them other than the three estates as the framework.

In the Home:

Love your wives.  Too many parish ministries end in failure because the pastor neglects his wife.  You are a husband first before pastor.  Your wife has followed you to where you are.  It’s not (usually) her home and lacks so many of the normal supports that people take for granted.  She will have to listen to you, her husband preach and pastoral care for her will take on a whole different shape than what she has known before.

Teach your family.  Lead family devotions.  Teach your kids.  When troubles or complaints about the church arise from your wife or kids, help keep them in the home.  Though your family are church members, what they say or do can negatively affect your ministry (and you do not want them to fall under criticism for their complaints).  Likewise keep the congregation’s problems at the church.  Don’t bring the negatives of work home with you.

Love your children.  Children are a blessing from God.  Your kids will know a different kind of life with you as a pastor.  Yes, there is great flexibility in the pastor’s schedule.  Use that.  You are a father before you are a pastor.  Don’t neglect the children God has given you.  They come first before the parish, because first the pastor must manage his household well if he is to be a steward in the house of the Lord.

Save money.  I am the Stewardship Chairman of the district I serve.  I can only suggest with the changes in our congregations and so forth to try to save money in your household and in the parish.  Live within your means.

In the Church:

Keep up with the languages.  This will take some serious discipline, especially if you end up in a busy congregation.  Find the time.  Forgot them?  Learn them again.  See if the neighboring pastors do a text study.

Keep up with the Confessions.  Never run ahead without considering them.  Too many stupid moves are made in our Synod without first considering the Confessions.  Too many pastors take the Confessions for granted.  They are treasure.  Start a Confessions reading group.

Read sermons.  Old sermons.  Get Luther’s sermons.  Get Gerhardt’s.  Get Walther’s.  Get some other good sermons from of old.  You will find them to be a weekly teacher of your preaching and practice as a pastor.  I have had the practice of using one preacher each church year.  If you want modern sermons, I can think of no better preachers to read than Rev. Rolf Preus and Rev. David Peterson.

Use the One Year lectionary.  This ties in with the previous piece of advice and the most basic tool of teaching, repetition.  Repeating the texts each year not only helps your parish learn, but it helps you as you are shaped and formed in the parish.  There are no shortage of supportive materials nowadays for the One Year lectionary.

Mark the landmines.  Landmines are issues that you should avoid in your parish.  They are things which are easily covered in love and patience.  There are many of these.  The parish has been there with these things for years or decades, respect it.

Identify teaching that needs to be done.  Teaching that needs to be done is having to do with bad practices that should be changed after much patient teaching.  This is not teaching you want to do, but need to be done.  This means the practice is one that either comes from non-Lutheran theology or confesses something that Lutherans don’t confess.

Figure out which hills you will have to die on. The hills to die on have to do with Christ’s Words and Institutions.  Closed communion is a hill to die on.

Be cautious about changes.  This goes for dumb changes in order to make the church more trendy and hip, but it also can be changes that you think will make the church more ancient.  Realize what our confessions say about changes and read it several times before implementing things.  Talk to your circuit brothers as well about changes before you do them.

Go to your circuit and district meetings.  These can be horrible or they can be great.  Your non-attendance will only make them worse.  Get to know the pastors in your circuit.  There is no shortage to the support they can be.  Yes, you will see the problems of the LCMS on full display usually, but putting your head in the sand is an extremely unloving thing to do.  Also unloving would be to not speak to each other about false teaching and bad practices in your parishes.

Hallow God’s Name by teaching and life.  Remember our Lord’s name is hallowed by the pure teaching of the word and living according to it.  Watch the doctrine you teach and the way you speak and act among the saints.

Hear preaching.  We firmly believe in the value of hearing preaching.  It is a promise of Christ that preaching is good for us.  Pastors should seek to hear preaching.  If you are blessed with having more than one pastor in your parish, rejoice in the opportunity to hear preaching.  If you are not, find a service you can regularly attend.

Pray.  Develop a regular prayer discipline that works in your parish.  Schedule it if necessary.  Offer prayer offices if it helps and the congregation is open to it.  Pray at meetings.  Pray at Bible Studies.  Pray at visits.  Prayer has command and promise, but it also teaches.  Your members will listen and learn how to pray and what to pray for from your prayers.

Endure Suffering.  Frankly, the pastor who doesn’t suffer is not much of a pastor.  There are no shortage of things in parish life in the LCMS that bring suffering.  Some come from deep within yourself.  Some will come from in the parish.  Some will come from your household.  Some will come from visitors.  Some will come from your circuit, district, and Synod.  Then of course there is the world and the devil who never miss a chance.  Endure the suffering.  It is a blessing for you.

Remember your congregation is made of Christians.  It seems silly to say, but it needs to be said.  Walther reminded seminarians of this.  Your people are God’s people.  This means that certain things can be expected of them as they are the regenerate.  This should inform how you preach both Law and Gospel to them.

Remember you are their pastor.  Friendships are great, but remember why you are in a given place.  You will be caring for the souls of these people.  That means that you will have to speak Law and Gospel to them in many different settings.

Remember you need a pastor.  Just like hearing preaching will be important, so will having a man to hear your confession, pronounce absolution, and offer counsel to you as you serve God’s people.  Special note: Your District President is not your pastor.

Keep the ordination rite close at hand for comfort and direction.  The verses and descriptions used in the Ordination Rite of Lutheran Service Book are treasures to help keep your focus and be encouraged in your work.

Seminary began to form you.  Whether you go to continuing education, conferences, or just use your library to advance your knowledge and skillset, make sure you do.  Seminary does a great job of preparing you, but it by no means complete.  In fact, as the years go by you will likely find some deficiencies in your seminary instruction (or in what you were not paying attention to).  It’s up to you to change that in your studies.

Work hard.  Your calling will mean there is always work to do. Do not let distractions hurt your work ethic.  Social media is the first thing to come to mind here.  Find a way to be disciplined with it or don’t do it at all.

In the State:

Be a good citizen.  There are three estates, and so far the advice given has focused on the church and the home.  You as a citizen of the United States also have the vocation of citizen.  I would encourage you to not neglect this either, nor let the fact that you are a pastor overwhelm your citizenship.  They are both vocations you hold, but just as how you conduct yourself as a husband and father can bear witness to your pastoral ministry – so also citizenship has a role to play.  For instance, take stances, sure, but make sure that you are not undermining your preaching and teaching or isolating your members by this.  There are many areas of national life that involve wisdom and reason and honest debates can be had.  Christians can disagree on how to do things in government while still wanting to uphold the Commandments.

 

 

About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.

Comments

Call week – Advice for new pastors. — 44 Comments

  1. Great job in presenting the three estates in relation to the Office of the Holy Ministry. These are wonderful words for the newly called and a great reminder for all pastors presently serving.

  2. Wish I had seen or heard something like this when I graduated 26 years ago. Pay attention, you newly ordained pastors.

  3. Question? Why the push for the One Year lectionary as opposed to the Three Year? Many key days are always the same anyway (hmmmm, now I want to check again for myself). Both are good and great and offer good preaching opportunities.

  4. @David Prentice jr #4

    Many and various reasons including pedagogical philosophy (repetition), failed promises (three year was supposed to bring more biblical literacy), resources that are available to help (fifty years vs. thousands), faulty undergirding premises (bible vs. teachings of the bible), a distaste for anything that comes from Vatican II (why would we as “separated brethren” take cues from the very antichrist) … I could go on but that is not the point.

    Use the one year for three years straight and you will know the differences over using the three year for three years.

  5. I personally like the three year lectionary. There is a much more natural flow to it for both the epistle and gospel lessons. It seems much more conducive to expository preaching and teaching in my opinion.

  6. I don’t have a dog in the fight regarding use of the one year or three year lectionary.

    I would simply advise… use the lectionary (whichever one you have set before you) and faithfully preach from the texts provided. The temptation (or strong urging from individuals in the congregation) to jettison the lectionary to hobby-horse on some random ‘pop-series’ is strong in this age.

  7. Here’s some advice for any CS grad and men of new Calls. You must be ashamed of what took place last night in St. Louis.

    Contact CS to tell them to end the non-sense at the Placement and Call Services. The Vicarage and Call Services were marked by frivolity, irreverence, many references to go see a dog for help, much joking around beneath the dignity of the Gospel. The man presenting the Assignments/Calls would give commentary to make you think that they play favorites for Placements. All of this-mind you- during the Service, not after.

    You think there are no differences among CS and CTS? Watch the Placement and Call Services of both. Stark contrast. Huge differences.

    Vicarage Service. If you took a drink shot every time the sermon mentioned “experience” you would be drunk 3 minutes in. Spoken maybe 20 times. Almost no gospel. Lots of goofiness.

    Call Service. Yelling and applause like at a high school graduation for several of the Candidates when their Call was spoken. But the tone for it was already cast. For the Sermon a stuffed comfort dog is noteworthy on top of the pulpit. Almost no gospel in the sermon too. Dogs referred to more than Jesus! DOGS! Aside from the goofy poem and bad hymn sing-a-long… wait for it…wait for it… a dog comes up to the chancel area and gets a rousing applause for its ministry. What a great highlight!

    Is the Church for which martyr’s spilled their blood? May God have mercy on us!

  8. @Rev. William Ringer #8

    Agree. Most of the time doing the topical sermon thing tends to provide a temptation to read into various texts cherry-picked from across the Bible meanings that the larger passages don’t support.

  9. @JoeW #9

    Thanks for sharing this sad testimony. To my knowledge, CSSL has not had a history of lack of calls, and yet CTSFW has…what a sad state we are in as a church body.

    The first thing I do when I meet a new LCMS pastor (or come across their writing/blog/etc) is plug their name into the LCMS “Locate a Worker” website to see where they got their MDiv. Not surprisingly, I’ve not met/read a single non-confessional Lutheran pastor from FW, but I’ve met/read many from SL…is there anything we can do to change the course of SL?

    I thank God for FW and for allowing some SL grads to come away with their confession intact.

  10. Pastor Sheer, I am a St Louis grad. I resent the broadbrush smear you are allowing in this blog. It is not speaking well of others or explaining everything in the kindest way. please do some editing.

  11. @Pr Kory Boster #12

    Pr Booster, have you contacted CSL concerning their use of pizza and dogs during sermons in the chapel?

    What happened last night there was shameful and irreverent. Sadly it didn’t surprise me and I didn’t even watch it for that reason. I feel bad for all the men who worked hard to be eligible for calls to serve in the Office of the Holy Ministry to have their solemn ceremony of receiving such gracious gifts soiled by the gimmicks put on display there.

    I am from CTS. I have already talked to them and expect tonight’s call service to be reverent as is due for such a sacred occasion. Perhaps as an alumni of CSL you can help prevent future offensive and irreverent innovations from being put forward to Christ’s Church.

  12. Whether I have contacted the seminary or not is not germaine to my complaint of you allowing people to broadbrush breaking of the 8th commandment on this blog. If you are going to allow a seminary call service as a means test to characterize the confessional integrity of all CSL graduates, there is nothing you more I can say.

  13. @Pr Kory Boster #12

    It is absolutely objective to mark how often the Gospel or Jesus is in the Sermon. Whether or not there was widespread joking and talk of dogs. Whether there was a stuffed animal on the pulpit and a dog brought up to recieve recognition. What comments were made. Watch the Service. Its not a smear or a matter of opinion. Objective facts. Watch it for yourself and point out where I am wrong. I mourn over what I watched.

  14. @Pr Kory Boster #15

    Can you show where I have broken the 8th? I see comments which express disgust at actual things that happened and then one which talks about that person’s practice in checking out pastors. The 8th Commandment does not demand we lie or not express opinions that may be critical.

    A call service is a public service of the seminary and confesses what it believes. Every church service is the same and more. The second Commandment is involved in such things.

  15. @Pr Kory Boster #12

    Brother,

    With all due respect:

    You graduated from St. Louis nearly a decade and a half ago. What does that have to do with what may or may not have transpired during the call/placement services this week?

    If you desire to brandish the 8th Commandment, at least give us an explanation as to what you find to be in error – or perhaps unsavory. Not all of us watched those services (I didn’t). I would love to hear your two cents as to what/who is being mischaracterized or what falsehood is being perpetuated by those comments you are so unhappy with.

  16. this is what I was responding to: #11 “The first thing I do when I meet a new LCMS pastor (or come across their writing/blog/etc) is plug their name into the LCMS “Locate a Worker” website to see where they got their MDiv. Not surprisingly, I’ve not met/read a single non-confessional Lutheran pastor from FW, but I’ve met/read many from SL…” Or are you suggesting there is no innuendo in the comment?

  17. @Pr Kory Boster #19
    He is stating his practice and experience. It’s sad that he has not met any pastors from CSL that he deems faithful. I have met some very faithful pastors from CSL. Many of them are my friends and help fight the good fight in the LCMS.

    It may be possible that you broke the 8th against him by assuming the innuendo of him.

  18. that is a nice twist. I have a better understanding of how this blog stuff works now.

  19. @Pr Kory Boster #21

    “that is a nice twist. I have a better understanding of how this blog stuff works now.”

    Pastor Boster – in your request for clarity, your last comment is rather enigmatic.

  20. If I have the pattern down correctly, I am now to twist your comments, and turn them back on you. If that is the way this goes, I am supposed to now ask you, where did I ever request clarity? Then apparently I follow up by saying, it may be possible you are being enigmatic. And then you ask me what I think of CSL or if I have contacted them. and we can do that for a couple more rounds so others can add their comments to the loop, all the time ignoring what my original complaint was. In that way my comment 21 was attempting to demonstrate my disgust.

    What I was commenting on was that the innuendo in comment 11 is a clear violation of the 8th commandment. Apparently I am the only one who read the dropped off sentence in comment 11 that way. And now it has been suggested I may be the 8th commandment violator for defending the confessional character of CSL grads, and asking the moderator to stop allowing people to post broad brush smears.

    What some DP did or did not do in a service should be no reason to suggest aspersions on all CSL pastors. if you don’t like what the DP said or how the service was conducted, contact the appropriate people, (ie those with vocation to do something about it) and let ‘er rip.

    But I call for a full stop to anyone who uses any occasion to broadly suggest CSL grads are less confessional than CTSFW grads (or vice versa). And that’s what I asked Pastor Sheer the moderator to do. “It is not speaking well of others or explaining everything in the kindest way. please do some editing.” He’s the moderator. I contacted the appropriate person who can do something about it. Apparently he doesn’t think any action on my complaint necessary. So there we are.

  21. Gentlemen, let’s cool down a bit here. The brush was broad. I think it came from a position of frustration as well as personal observation and experience. I won’t nail a person on the 8th Commandment for being a bit general with their language. The statement could have been a bit more charitable to our faithful brothers who came out of CSL.

    The fact remains, however, that there are some clear differences between our two Seminaries. It is a bit concerning for some folks to see such things taking place… and they should rightly wonder how that is going to impact the clergy coming out of that institution.

  22. I have been a member of the LCMS for most of my life. I can honestly say that I have never gone to the LCMS website to locate a worker and check which seminary they attended prior to attending a church. Most of the pastors I have had were CSL graduates, although I have had one or two CTSFW grads that have served as my pastor. I have however walked out of a church because the Associate Pastor referenced some of the articles on this site. This thread has only sufficed to reinforce that decision. I will say that of the two seminaries, I have never had to listen to CSL grads openly disparaging Fort Wayne grads. With regard to the complaint that CTSFW usually has a problem placing pastors, my guess is that the behavior demonstrated here is probably symptomatic of why. I doubt that the behavior shown on this blog is limited only to this blog, and I shudder at how that kind of attitude must negatively impact a congregation. Its not fair to the faithful Fort Wayne grads that are out to serve God, but a poor reputation impacts both the guilty and the innocent.

  23. @Sean #25

    “With regard to the complaint that CTSFW usually has a problem placing pastors, my guess is that the behavior demonstrated here is probably symptomatic of why. I doubt that the behavior shown on this blog is limited only to this blog, and I shudder at how that kind of attitude must negatively impact a congregation.”

  24. @Sean #25

    Hmm, you should get around more. I can easily find a few CSL grads (from the Seminex era especially) cut down Fort Wayne often and very uncharitably. I live in the Northeast, so you know… But I have seen some recent St. Louis grads get placed here who are solid as anything. I don’t think there is a ton of differences between the seminaries, but I wouldn’t call them the same at all. The CSL leadership concerns me more because of how they allow if not encourage some of this goofy stuff. Which is why I find a broader variety from St. Louis grads. The Fort would discourage this type of thing, and those students prone to shenanigans of this sort. My observations….

  25. Great article, Pastor Scheer! Fantastic advice, which edifies me, having been out for almost four years.

    On another note: We should fear God. Bringing out dogs in a call service where God is announcing where he is sending men to serve in his harvest is a disgrace, especially in light of how the comfort dog “ministry” has undermined the preaching of repentance to those who desperately need it (Orlando two summers ago). We are quick to pull the 8th Commandment card. What about God? It doesn’t seem like a display of the fear of God when pizza is handed out with no regard for the pulpit and when dogs are given the front row. Our Lord’s Words to the Canaanite woman lose their weight when we allow such foolish displays.

    My loyalty is not with my alma mater. It is with God’s Word and reverence for the same.

  26. CSL students were very rude about CTS to my face when I mentioned that my son graduated from CTS. That was some years ago already but apparently nothing has improved…quite otherwise.

    (And, as it was at a CSL concert tour, they were trying to sell me their CD’s at the same time! I bought one, to support the seminary; now, I wonder about that.)

  27. @Andrew J Preus #30

    Thank you Pr. Preus. Tonight’s sermon at CTS was outstanding. Pres. Hill did a great job of being a faithful preacher. There was a downer when the Placement guy got up and called the men of God who have sought out a desirable thing and worked for four years to be eligible for their calls “turkeys”.

    We should fear God more than men. We should love God more than men. We should trust God more than men.

  28. @Pastor Joshua Scheer #34

    Good Lord!

    Irreverent at the very least. For those men, it is probably the most reverent moment in their lives! I know it was for me 32 years ago, and I suspect the same for most WCW’s* who post here. It is a shame that an individual sought to gain a “laugh line” at the expense of those led by the Lord to set their lives in accord with the Gospel, and follow the hard course to get there. It is to trivialize such an accomplishment.

    Since it was public – who is/was the “Placement guy?”

    * Weird Collar Wearers

  29. @Pastor Joshua Scheer #32

    And, Good Brother Josh –

    Your advice in your column was great, and I caught your explanation of the 1st Commandment in your comment (#32) –

    We should fear God more than men. We should love God more than men. We should trust God more than men.

    Amen! Good job!

  30. @helen #31
    Is this the CD they were selling? https://scholar.csl.edu/csl175years/105/

    featuring this CoWo perennial favorite?

    How many roads must a man walk down
    Before you call him a man?
    How many seas must a white dove sail
    Before she sleeps in the sand?
    How many times must the cannon balls fly
    Before they’re forever banned?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    How many years can a mountain exist
    Before it’s washed to the sea?
    How many years must some people exist
    Before they’re allowed to be free?
    And how many times can a man turn his head
    And pretend that he just doesn’t see – the answer
    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    How many times can a man look up
    Before he sees the sky?
    How many ears must one person have
    Before he can hear people cry?
    And how many deaths will it take ’till he knows
    That too many people have died?
    The answer, my friends, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind
    Oh, the answer, my friends, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

  31. I have seen one of these “ministry dogs”. I really didn’t take offense to the presence of the dog, but was a bit perplexed when the Pastor called her a “ministry dog”. A very well behaved dog, to the point of being a really boring dog. She administered nothing to me. So, I went and found another parish. Much better.

  32. @Pastor Joshua Scheer #20

    Hi,
    I didn’t say I never met a faithful CSL pastor, just that I’ve been surprised over the years that the more conservative, faithful pastors are coming out of CTSFW. During the call I chaired at my last church, it was a well-known trend among the laity.

    As I said in my closing, “I thank God for FW and for allowing some SL grads to come away with their confession intact.”

    If I’ve offended Pastor Boster, I apologize. I’m just sharing my own experiences in the southeast and northeast at a fairly large number of churches.

  33. @Pr Kory Boster #19

    Hi Pastor Boster,
    If I have offended you with my comments, I apologize. You are exactly the kind of CSL graduate I cherish, as I said in my closing, “I thank God for FW and for allowing some SL grads to come away with their confession intact.”
    My statement was based on personal experience and exposure to dozens of pastors in the northeast and southeast from both seminaries. I’ve observed a very clear trend. I also realize that my personal observations do not constitute the entire reality about CSL, and that many fine, confessional pastors are being called from there.
    Nevertheless, what I have observed is not out of the norm and many Lutheran laypeople will share similar experiences.
    You seem to care deeply about how CSL is presented publicly, and for that we’re all grateful. I’ll be more careful with my words in the future and qualify them specifically as my perceptions and try not to broad-brush so much.

    Peace,
    Jason

  34. Jwskud#40 Brother, I assume you are a layman. I mean nothing negative by that except to say I am not your pastor, and I hope you will discuss my comments with the man who is. Please accept my kindest intention in pointing out that an apology that begins with the conditional “If I have offended you” is not really an apology for the broader offense. I really don’t matter. I would ask if your words reveal a heartfelt negative bias against others, a breaking of the 8th commandment. I don’t know you or your heart, so all I have is what is indicated by your words. When you write, “what I have observed is not out of the norm” or Pastor Sheer writes #13 “Sadly it didn’t surprise me” or Pastor Ringer writes “they should rightly wonder how that is going to impact the clergy coming out of that institution” I sense a broad negative bias towards CSL, all its profs, and all its grads. It doesn’t seem to me to fit Luther’s explanation of the 8th commandment. Your words treat everyone as guilty of the offense of a few. You would be ostracized for bigotry lumping any other group of people that way. As Pr Sheer rightly says, “The 8th Commandment does not demand we lie or not express opinions that may be critical.” But it does urge us to defend reputations, and to speak well of others and explain things in the kindest way.

    Comments indicate many people are disturbed and annoyed by the way things were done at the CSL Call Service. Some here would raise CTSFW as the standard we should all follow. But apparently events at last night’s Call service indicate CTSFW staff are just as capable as DPs and CSL staff of doing disturbing and annoying things. I am not commenting on what they did. My reason for commenting here has all along been that just because a DP or a staff member or a graduate does something you find inappropriate, discourage people from painting with the same brush the “perpetrator”, and his institution, and all those however associated with him.

    Pastor Sheer’s OP offered advice for young pastors. My advice would include be slow to post on the internet (I am convinced the devil loves the internet); choose your words carefully; show some grace, patience, and understanding—we are sinners interacting with sinners. Clarify before accusing. Get the log out of our own eye before trying to get the speck out of another’s eye.

    Seeking to heed my own advice I apologize to you. I should have asked you what you meant by your comments and to clarify them before accusing you of breaking the 8th. If you are guilty, repent. And take comfort in the forgiveness Jesus earned for you.

  35. @St Stephen #37

    As I recall, they weren’t singing CoWo, so I don’t think it was on the CD either. [And now, even if I could find the CD, I don’t have anything to play it on.]

    I like the song, but I wouldn’t like it in church.

  36. Dear Pastor Scheer,

    I want to compliment you for an excellent set of recommendations for the newly graduated, newly ordained, newly called candidates.

    Dear BJS BLoggers,

    I highly recommend Pastor Scheer’s advice as reading material for all our young pastors–and it wouldn’t hurt older pastors to remind themselves too.

    I want to emphasize one of the points: that our pastors, old and young, should be connected with their brothers pastors in the circuit and district. Attend all of your circuit pastors conferences, district pastors conferences, and district conventions. Your congregation should pay for your mileage and expenses.

    Also, if the congregation is willing to pay for your expenses to attend other conferences, or you can manage it yourself, find a regional or national conference and attend it regularly. Both seminaries offer great annual Symposia (always my first choice) and other organizations do too: Steadfast Lutherans (the guys who host this blog, at various places), Lutheran Concerns (LCA at Fort Wayne), Congress on the Lutheran Confessions (ACL and Luther Academy at Minneapolis), Doxology (at various places), Concordia Catechetical Academy (Sussex, WI), ACELC (at various places), etc. I find the teaching just as refreshing as the fellowship at such venues.

    Dear Pastor Scheer:

    Thanks for all the great writing published here by you, the editors, the authors, and Norm!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

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