With staff changes that took effect June 1, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod can expect a host of new resources from Ambassadors of Reconciliation (AoR), an LCMS Recognized Service Organization based in Billings, Mont., that has prepared 160 reconcilers for the Synod since 1997 and conducted numerous reconciliation seminars and training events internationally.
Ted Kober, who had served as AoR’s president since its founding in 2004, is now the organization’s senior ambassador. The new, full-time position enables Kober to spend more time writing and developing reconciliation resources while continuing to serve AoR as an international speaker and trainer.
Dwight Schettler, AoR’s former vice-president for Advancement, now serves as its president. Schettler brings to the post five years of experience as a leader in reconciliation training and Christian conciliation as well as international-business management experience and leadership in nonprofit and ministry organizations.
“This is a great move for the ministry of AoR,” Kober told Reporter via email. “In 10 years, we have developed a number of resources that have benefitted individuals, churches and educational institutions. But we have been limited in how much we can produce. With this move, I will be able to devote more time to developing new seminars and written materials for cultivating lifestyles of reconciliation.”
Kober said he is “excited about being freed up from administrative responsibilities so that I can develop new resources.” Concordia Publishing House has asked him for a proposal on a new book about healthy churches, he said, and he is currently co-authoring another book about “overcoming unforgiveness.”
New Bible studies AoR plans to produce will address anger, using Luther’s Small Catechism in reconciliation, applying confession and forgiveness in daily life, and other topics.
“Dwight is a gifted conciliator and trainer who brings excellent administrative skills from his experience as an executive for a Fortune 500 company,” added Kober. “He and I enjoy a great relationship. I am pleased that he is available to assume AoR’s administrative responsibilities.”
Schettler called the move “exciting” because it “unlocks many opportunities that were previously beyond our reach” and “focuses each of us on areas where our relative gifts can be used to a far greater degree than in the past.”
Calling Kober “an exceptionally gifted reconciler, trainer and coach,” Schettler said “hardly a week goes by where I don’t hear a story from someone about ‘when I first encountered Ted’ or ‘how Ted’s teaching has impacted my life.’
“His impact on people is thoroughly biblical, impactful and long-lasting. His passion for reconciliation has, in large part, made Ambassadors what it is today.”
Said Schettler: “Our vision for Ambassadors of Reconciliation is that one day, every Lutheran church, school [and] organization will have in her midst trained reconcilers who can do these four things:
- Teach biblical peacemaking;
- Coach parties in conflict;
- Mediate disputes; and
- Arbitrate disagreements.
“We believe this [staffing] change will accelerate us along this path.”
AoR’s counseling ministry, CrossLife Ministries, Seymour, Ind., continues to be led by Founding Director Rev. Ed Keinath.
Posted Aug. 7, 2015