CLMS Annual General Meeting

Due to Canada experiencing the second wave of the coronavirus, the CLMS 2020 Annual General Meeting will be held via Zoom on Sunday afternoon, November 22, 2020 at 3:00 PM Mountain Standard Time (2pm PST, 4pm CST, 5pm EST).

Those wishing to attend should e-mail to receive the Zoom meeting link.

Ukraine Prison Ministry during Pandemic

When the CoVid-19 lockdown occurred in Canada and across the world this past March, many felt they were prisoners in their own home.  Children could not attend school and many parents had to work from home, if they still had a job to do, that is.  Visitors were no longer allowed in hospitals and care facilities, leaving our elderly and ill without the comfort of family and friends.  Yet despite our hardships we are reminded there are others who live in lockdown too.  And of course, they are in prison for a reason, and not sent there for their health!

Bishop Sasha Yurchenko has for a number of years been a faithful visitor to the prison near Nikoleav, Ukraine.  The men he visits are a tough group, as you can see in the picture.  Despite their history, these men are open to the Bible studies and catechism classes offered by the Bishop.  Through his persistent efforts and the working of the Holy Spirit, he has seen lives transformed in this darkest of places.  Jesus truly is the Light of the World, even in a cold, bare prison.

Ukraine Youth – Who Knew?

       Youth from every SELCU congregation gathered on January 8, 2020 for their four-day Winter Youth Conference. Most of those who attended were male and many came from non-Christian homes.  These 60 young people gathered at the Seminary in Odessa to hear, in a nutshell, “Human life is a great adventure as God the Creator gave each of us the gift of life.  He leads us through life’s challenges, the hills and the valleys.  Yet through all this, God is with each of us and He will meet us at the end of our journey.  Along the way He gives us families, friends, church, and work to do.  Sometimes our journey is joyful and bright, but sometimes it is dangerous and difficult. The Bible provides guidance on all these different areas of life.” 

While the organizers of this conference knew there would be uneven ground ahead for these youth, none of them could have known that they were all about to face one of their greatest challenges, life with CoVid-19, a world-wide pandemic. 

Thank the Lord that these youth were given an opportunity to be together and hear about God’s loving care for them so that they could be encouraged in their faith. Because of the strict and long quarantine there, many people have become angry or depressed and always hungry. 

Join CLMS in our prayer, “Dear Lord, please keep these youth faithful to you, giving them strength to face all that will come their way.  Help them daily to look to You as their strength and stay. Thank you for them, for the facilitators of the conference, and for their desire to serve you. Amen”.

CLMS Annual General Meeting POSTPONED

Concordia Lutheran Mission Society has postponed its 2020 AGM until such time as it is entirely safe to meet together. 

In the meantime CLMS will continue accepting your donations for our mission projects.   This week we forwarded $43,000 (approximately 1/4 of our 2020 goal) for mission projects. Thank you for your help in making this possible! 

Most importantly, we will continue praying for the missionaries, pastors and deaconesses, and all our brothers and sisters, in vulnerable countries. Please join us in praying for them, as many of these countries are poorly equipped to combat the spreading virus.   

We are also praying for our faithful donors, and for all within LCC, as together we adapt to cancelled worship services and social isolation.

Do not forget, our God is the great “I  AM.”

“I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. . .” Isaiah 46:4  

CLMS Annual General Meeting – Saturday, April 4th, 2020 at 11am at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Calgary.

This is a notice of the Annual General Meeting of the Concordia Lutheran Mission Society, to be held on Saturday, April 4th, 2020 at 11am at: St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 66 – 7th Street NE, Calgary AB.

Coffee and refreshments will be served.

Agenda

  1. Opening Prayer and call to Order
  2. Minutes from 2019 AGM
  3. 2019 Financial Statements
  4. Election of Directors (confirmation of vote results and board appointments)
  5. Other business
  6. Adjournment and Closing Prayer

For any questions, please contact Joyce Loblitz at .

CLMS Board of Directors Update

Despite the frigid temperatures, seven people with a passion for missions met in Edmonton at Concordia Lutheran Seminary from January 16th to 18th to plan for the CLMS path forward in 2020. 

          We thank the Lord for two new board members: Cathy Weger and Curtis Schafer.  Cathy will be our Treasurer and Curtis will take the role of Secretary.  Continuing on the board are:

  • Joyce Lobitz – President
  • Rev. Cliff Haberstock – Vice-President
  • June Barlund – Director of Ministry and Projects
  • Marilyn Witte – Assistant to Director of Ministry and Projects
  • Rev. Roland Syens – Pastoral Advisor

(L to R) Rev. Cliff Haberstock, Joyce Lobitz, Rev. Roland Syens, Cathy Weger, June Barlund, Curtis Schafer. Missing – Marilyn Witte

         A number of items came up for discussion, one of which was to address who should CLMS consider to be a “voting member”?  We have always assumed that every donor would WANT to be a voting member, which may not be true.  And it was realized that a number of donors are not members of an LCC affiliated congregation. It was decided that to be a voting member, donors must “opt-in” by sending in a membership form.  This was mailed out with the new brochure in February to all donors who gave in the last two years.

          We are updating our membership list in anticipation of more people coming forward to say, “I want to serve the Lord and support missions using the talents with which I have been blessed.” 

CLMS plans to hold its next AGM at St. Matthew Lutheran in Calgary on April 4, 2020. We look forward to the attendance of CLMS supporters in the Calgary area.

Answered Prayers in Nicaragua

How did you travel to church last Sunday?  For pastors in Nicaragua the trip to hold services or visit with parishioners can be a complicated one.  Often pastors serve more than one congregation and may live in yet another community.

Some pastors rely on bicycles, some take the local bus or bicycle taxi, and then walk the remainder of the way.  Some have motorcycles. Very few have a car.

This is Pastor Geronimo who serves a number of congregations, all of which are rural.  The roads leading to these small villages are not paved and in some cases are not graveled either.  If you look closely you can see a machete in a sleeve he has attached to the rear wheel.  We asked why a machete?  Are there bad men?  He said no, there were bad dogs that he had to hold off or they would topple him over and take whatever foodstuffs he was carrying to his home or to his parishioners. 

For the last couple of years Concordia Lutheran Mission Society has had Motorcycles for Pastors as one of our projects.  Last year three pastors received a motorcycle. In this past month two more pastors received motorcycles!

Wow!  Look at Pastor Geronimo now!

He has the keys and the helmet (not shown) and is ready to get on the road!

What a blessing for him and for all of his parishioners.  Because there is still a need for more motorcycles CLMS will have this project again in 2020.

CLMS sincerely thanks all those who have given to this project.  Pastor Geronimo’s prayer for a motorcycle has been answered, and our donors were God’s instrument to have this come to pass. 

God bless you all!

         

Report on Special Project to Rwanda

Concordia Lutheran Mission Society occasionally receives a request for a special mission project.  Last year the A-BC District’s President Rev. Glenn Schaeffer approached CLMS with a request for CLMS to accept a special project for Rwanda.  Rev. Schaeffer assumed responsibility for raising funds for two teachers to instruct a week-long course to church leaders in Bible and theological training in the Beth Ammi Christian Fellowship and the Reformed Christian Fellowship Church of Rwanda.

Following are excerpts from Dr. Glenn Schaeffer’s report on his teaching trip to Rwanda in early 2019.

Greetings!

My wife Sandra and I just returned from a two week trip to Rwanda.  It is amazing how the bonds of faith and the shared love we have for Jesus connect us to one another despite differences in ethnicity, language, and social class. 

I led a four day conference on Romans 1-8 with heavy emphasis on the doctrine of justification – a doctrine that was “foreign” to them. There were about 35 church leaders present for the conference, mainly from the Beth Ammi Christian Fellowship Church and two pastors from the Reformed Christian Fellowship Church of Rwanda.

They are passionate about worshiping and serving their Lord, but most of the Christians, including the leaders, have a limited knowledge of the Bible and tend to live under the burden of the law. 

They are eager and hungry to learn more.  Our daily sessions at the conference started at 9 am and concluded at 4 pm with a one hour lunch break (during which they huddled to talk about the lessons).  Otherwise, they listened, discussed, debated, and prayed…with no other breaks!

Both churches are requesting ongoing biblical/theological training.  In fact, this matter is quite pressing as the government of Rwanda has mandated that all pastors of congregations are to have a theological degree/certificate from an accredited school. 

I am thankful for the opportunity that Sandra and I had to travel to Rwanda. Aside from the conference we visited four additional congregations that are extensions of the Beth Ammi located in various regions of Rwanda.  I also preached at a worship service there.

The congregation I now serve in Michigan is quite supportive of my work in Rwanda.  Sandra and I plan to return to Rwanda to continue to develop relationships with them and to provide them with biblical and practical training.

In Christ,

Glenn Schaeffer

Dr. Schaeffer and CLMS are very grateful to the people of LCC who heard about this special project and supported it both financially and with their prayers.

CLMS Annual General Meeting – July 11, 2019, 7pm, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Kitchener, Ontario

This is a notice of the Annual General Meeting of the Concordia Lutheran Mission Society, to be held on Thursday, July 11th, 2019, at 7:00pm, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 322 East Avenue, Kitchener, Ontario.

 

Agenda

  1.  Opening Prayer and call to Order
  2.  Minutes from 2018 AGM
  3.  2018 Financial Statements
  4.  Election of Directors (confirmation of vote results and board appointments)
  5.  Other business
  6.  Adjournment and Closing Prayer

For any questions, please contact Jon Oberholzer at .

Exploratory Visit to Rwanda for Theological Education

Brothers and sisters in Christ gathered in Rwanda.

After an initial visit from Rev. Dr. Glenn Schaeffer early in 2018, Beth Ammi Christian Fellowship Church and other Lutherans in Rwanda have invited Canadian Lutherans to return to help them train pastors, elders, and deacons/deaconesses through theological education and mentorship.

While this is not a Lutheran Church-Canada sponsored project, from time to time Concordia Lutheran Mission Society adopts special projects, which allow for exploratory work that falls outside of LCC’s mission areas.

We have set up a project, 1825 – Exploratory Mission to Provide Theological Education in Rwanda, to provide you with an opportunity for you to make a financial donation, with the goal of raising $7,000.00 so that two Canadian instructors can travel to Rwanda to teach a week-long course, to visit/preach in some of the churches, and to continue to build trust with the leaders of the churches related to the Beth Ammi Christian Fellowship Church and other Lutherans in Rwanda.

Rev. Dr. Glenn Schaeffer meets with church leaders in Rwanda in early 2018

I want to support an exploratory visit to provide Lutheran theological education in Rwanda.

For additional information about the project, Dr. Schaeffer has provided a video.