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Historical Markings

Where Have We Been?

Where Are We Going?

(Editor’s note: The following excerpt reveals that literally “from the beginning” the new synod–yet in its earliest formative stage–placed the matter of missions on the front burner. The selection appeared in the essay under the heading: Activities Of The Interim Conference.)

From the very beginning the Interim Conference brethren recognized the fact that it would be highly inappropriate to center all their energies upon the combating of errors that were currently causing divisions and offences. To leave the cause of missions to those who were defending and propagating error, however seemingly small, would be an abdication of responsibility on the part of those who were contending for the truth once delivered to the saints. The Lord expects, and rightly so, that His children who bow in submission to His Word of Truth in all its parts, should be active in the proclamation of the Gospel wherever the call may lead them. Therefore it was that steps were taken at an early date to activate the work of missions according to the Lord’s leading. Already at the December 1957 meeting at Mankato, a modest program of mission work was initiated. . . .

. . . That the cause of missions in the Interim Conference was alive and well is evidenced from the report of the meeting held at Mankato, Minnesota January 13-15, 1959, which brings the information that gifts were being received for the Japanese Lutheran Mission, for the mission in Winter Haven, Florida, and for the fund being gathered to provide a furlough for the missionary in Japan.

. . . The minutes of the recessed convention held at Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, January 24-26, 1961 included a report of the mission committee as well as a report of the correspondent designated to keep in touch with the Japanese mission. . . .The treasurer’s report shows that the receipts for the third quarter of 1960 totaled $5,856.79 and that receipts for the fourth quarter totaled $9,218.75. Allocations for these two quarters were made to the following: Berea Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN; Redemption Lutheran Church, Seattle, WA; Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Opportunity, WA; St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Denver, CO; Immanuel Lutheran Church, Winter Haven, FL; Messiah Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, WI; Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Phoenix, AZ; Redeemer Lutheran Church, Cheyenne, WY; Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Monroe, MI; Confessional Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, WI; North Platte, NB; Immanuel Lutheran College and Seminary, Mankato, MN; Japan Lutheran Mission. Thirty-six congregations were listed as contributing.

— From ‘A HISTORY OF THE CLC’ (Prof. C. M. Gullerud, 1978)