By Megan Mertz and Stacey Egger
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Board for National Mission met Oct. 14–15 in St. Louis to discuss matters of policy and hear presentations from LCMS executives and ministry directors.
The Rev. Kevin Robson, LCMS chief mission officer, provided the board with updates on the work of corporate Synod, including:
- The Synod’s current financial position, which is “the best it’s been in over three decades,” due in part to the largest number of unrestricted donations the Synod has ever received in one fiscal year (just over $4 million), “a measure of donor confidence in the positive impact their generous contributions are making on the mission and ministry of Synod,” said Robson;
- The ongoing search and interview process for a new director of LCMS Communications;
- The development of a “Together as Synod” video series designed to educate seminarians and others on the operations of the Synod, including information on its boards, Bylaws, auxiliaries, structure, resources and more; and
- Upcoming projects to connect with immigrant communities in the U.S., and a new Spanish-language Lutheran hymnal.
The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, LCMS president, also updated the board on several topics, including:
- Upcoming resources for pro-life and care ministries that will be rolled out around Dec. 1; and
- The Making Disciples for Life (MDFL) conference scheduled to take place Jan. 10–12, 2022, in St. Louis. The hybrid conference will offer both in-person and virtual attendance options.
The Rev. Robert Zagore, executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission (ONM), reported to the board on the latest national mission work being conducted by the LCMS, such as:
- The ongoing work of the ONM to conduct the tasks assigned by various Synod resolutions, including witnessing resources being created and promoted through MDFL and LCMS Witness & Outreach Ministry;
- Multi-cultural outreach initiatives;
- Efforts to create a standard American Sign Language version of the liturgy and videos offering training on it;
- Resources on pastoral care surrounding issues of mental illness;
- The development of a network of pro-life advocates across the Synod through LCMS Life Ministry; and
- The LCMS Youth Gathering, set for July 9–13, 2022, in Houston.
The board also heard a presentation from Debbie Larson, president of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML). Larson provided a recap of the LWML’s convention this past summer in Lexington, Ky., where a $2.15 million mission goal was approved to support both national and international mission efforts. The LWML has already started distributing grant checks, Larson said. Of the 28 mission grants approved, 15 will go specifically to support national mission efforts.
The board also heard a presentation from its subcommittee on 2019 Synod Res. 4-04A, and discussed plans for BNM members, along with members of the LCMS Board for International Mission, to meet with the leadership of each of the Synod’s districts ahead of the 2023 Synod convention, discussing and hearing feedback on the current mission priorities of the Synod.
The BNM’s next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 10–11, 2022.
Meeting minutes, when they are finalized, will be posted here.
Posted Nov. 22, 2021