By Daniel Fickenscher (photos by Erik M. Lunsford)
Despite its 50-plus years of history, the Lutheran Synod of Mexico (known by its Spanish acronym, “SLM”) has only three pastors — definitely not enough to serve its 10 congregations — mainly because the church body has no clear route to ordaining pastors.
To help its partner church south of the border re-establish such a route, the LCMS now has two (soon to be three) missionaries serving in Mexico City. That’s after 20-some years when there were no Missouri Synod missionaries living and serving there.
LCMS Career Missionary Rev. Daniel Conrad has been in Mexico City as a mentor to Mexican seminarians since mid-November, to clarify that route to ordination. He currently oversees the pastoral formation of four men studying through the joint online program of Concordia Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Until a new national pastor is formed and able to take his place, Conrad also serves as interim pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church (an SLM congregation) and assists at another (Good Shepherd) in Mexico City.
One of his students, Alejandro Lopez, describes Conrad’s work as a “miracle of the Lord,” confident that it will bring stability to his congregation and to the SLM.
Tyler McMiller, an LCMS Globally Engaged in Outreach (GEO) missionary, helps Conrad, Lopez and others with the ministry of the two congregations by leading music lessons, youth groups and catechism classes.
The Rev. Andrew Schlund is due to join Conrad and McMiller soon as an LCMS missionary who also will lead theological education and be a temporary pastor.
Now, with a clear route to ordination developing — and with the help of LCMS missionaries — the SLM is on its way to more churches, members and pastors.
Daniel Fickenscher (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the former communications specialist for Latin America and the Caribbean Region, LCMS Office of International Mission.
Erik M. Lunsford (email@example.com) is managing photojournalist with LCMS Communications.See Photo Gallery
Posted May 11, 2016