In June, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil (IELB) held its 63rd national convention in the coastal city of Guarapari, Brazil. The theme, “Vivendo Em Cristo” (“Living in Christ”), centered on Colossians 2:6–7. More than 500 pastors and nearly as many laypeople attended the convention, which culminated in a closing worship service.
The Rev. Geraldo Walmir Schüler, president of the IELB, said the LCMS and IELB are “walking together, closer and closer, strengthening confessional Lutheranism and accomplishing better and better the mission of bringing Christ to all.”
At the convention, LCMS Chief Mission Officer Rev. Kevin Robson — part of a delegation with the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Shaw, director of LCMS Church Relations, and the Rev. James Sharp, LCMS missionary in Uruguay — signed a memorandum with Schüler setting the criteria for the LCMS Alliance Missionary Project.
“The Alliance Missionary Project, as now firmly established with our beloved brothers and sisters in the IELB, represents the very best of LCMS capacity to creatively collaborate with and learn from our international church partners in overseas regions around the globe,” said Robson. “The LCMS and IELB together have painstakingly, comprehensively planned for the call, deployment and ongoing support of IELB missionary pastors (church planters, chaplains and theological educators) into new mission fields in Latin America and Africa. This is simply great stewardship of the church’s assets — the Word, church workers and financial resources — in the extension of the Gospel into all the world.”
Schüler later signed a document with Shaw outlining the sharing of pastors between church bodies. Shaw noted the significance of the document. at the convention: “Just as the LCMS began to send pastors to Brazil as missionaries over 100 years ago, this working agreement will help IELB pastors come to the U.S. to serve — especially Portuguese-speaking diaspora from Brazil and around the world. ‘Cast your bread upon the waters and it will return’ [Eccl. 11:1]. The Word goes south so that it might return north.”
Robson and Shaw addressed the convention and brought greetings on behalf of the LCMS and its president, the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison. “We felt so blessed to receive such a warm welcome from our IELB hosts at their convention,” said Robson. “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
Posted Aug. 16, 2022
I’m thankful for Pastor Sharp’s faithful ministry in South America. His work as a missionary in Uruguay is bearing much fruit.