HOUSTON—Two congregations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod—Our Savior Lutheran Church, Plantation, Fla., and Tallmadge Lutheran Church, Tallmadge, Ohio—were honored for their emphases on mission and ministry in the Synod.
The congregations were recognized at the 64th Regular Convention of the Synod meeting July 10-17 at the George R. Brown Convention Center under the theme “ONE People—Forgiven.” Among the approximately 3,000 participants are some 1,200 clergy and lay voting delegates.
During the convention, congregations that have demonstrated excellence in at least one of three mission and ministry areas are being recognized. The three emphases are revitalization of existing congregations, planting new mission congregations and enhanced focus on time, talent and treasure.
Dr. Terry D. Tieman, president and executive director of the Transforming Churches Network, introduced representatives of the two congregations.
Representing Our Savior was Rev. Edwin J. Nicklas.
Tieman, who also led the afternoon devotion July 12, said members of Our Savior discovered that people in Plantation “didn’t know much about Our Savior.” Members needed a new way to do ministry, he said. Members adopted a local elementary school, and 30 members volunteered each week at the school. They also helped a school choir perform at a local nursing home once a month and participate in a community singing program.
Rev. David Zachrich and Wayne Schneider, of Tallmadge Lutheran Church’s board of directors, represented that congregation.
Tieman said the congregation, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, had “lost its passion for outreach.” Now, the congregation is living out its vision through its theme, “God’s work, through our hands, transforms lives in the community.”
The congregation’s average weekly attendance increased by 28 per week in the past year, Tieman said. It hosted an end-of-year luncheon at a local high school and hosted a community luncheon for police and fire personnel on Sept. 11. Members gave cookies to all 175 teachers in the community. Tallmadge also initiated group Bible study, fellowship and prayer.
“The Lord through His Spirit has opened new opportunities for Tallmadge Lutheran Church,” Tieman said.
Synod President Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick presented mementos to the congregational representatives. He thanked them “for allowing us to celebrate with you today in this special way.”
Posted July 12, 2010