Skip to content


* ANOTHER CANADIAN MILESTONE (This report is courtesy of Pastor Em. Bertram Naumann)

On Sunday, July 29th, the Rev. Steven E. Karp was installed as the resident pastor of Resurrection Ev. Lutheran Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Pacific Coast Conference Visitor Robert List performed the rite, assisted by Pastor Emeritus Bertram Naumann. Pastor Naumann addressed the twenty-five people in attendance in German and English on the basis of the classic text from Isaiah chapter 12: “Here am I. Send me.”

So far this sounds like so much routine reporting of seemingly rather routine facts. But of course you are aware that between such facts lie both struggles and triumphs too numerous to report with adequate impact. And so it is enough to note here that our Savior-God has blessed this determined group with the zeal to carry out the Great Commission in this vast and burgeoning urban community of almost a million people.

The CLC Board of Missions has granted Resurrection congregation full-time mission status, subject to annual review. Pastor Karp and his wife, Elizabeth, have been able to purchase a home a couple miles from the church property. Elizabeth also serves the group with her considerable talents as an organist.

When sight-seeing in the Rocky Mountain Canadian provinces, you will be warmly received at the congregation’s 11:00 a.m. Sunday worship services. The new parsonage address, phone, and e-mail are as follows: 47 Pensville Road, S.E., Calgary, Alberta T2A 4K3 (Canada). Phone (780) 204-9614. E-mail:


Your editor and his wife were privileged to be part of a Reformation Heritage tour which included thirty-two CLC folks. We traveled to Europe July 16-30, 2001. The trip began in Italy (Rome); it continued into Austria (Seefeld, Innsbruch, the Alps!) and Germany (Salzburg, Wittenberg, Leipzig, Eisleben, Eisenach, Erfurt et al.); nineteen of the group continued on to Paris for four more days, visiting and worshiping there with the small group in fellowship with the CLC.

With the exception of the Paris extension, the trip was a “guided” one by an international travel agency, with a helpful English-speaking guide telling the history of areas and sights visited (a wonderful lady who served as “mother” to this family of travelers throughout the duration of the trip), four-star hotels (some meals), “local” guides for the Luther sites (including his birth and death houses, the churches where Luther took his monk’s vows and/or preached, such places as the Coburg and Wartburg castles where as the Reformer he spent some time); besides Lutherland sights, the trip included other distinctly European experiences, such as visits to the Neuschwanstein Castle, the walled city of Rothenburg, Rattenberg (the oldest town in the Tyrol renowned for its crystal), and a cruise on the Rhine River.

For one who had never been overseas, it was a most educational and memorable journey back to the “old world.” We returned home with renewed appreciation for the many blessings–material and spiritual–we “new world” citizens enjoy under the good and gracious hand of our Creator God.

Sprinkled throughout this issue are photos from our trip.

* THE REFORMATION HERITAGE TOUR AS ONE MAN SAW IT (The following “pastoral reflection” was written for the church bulletin of the congregation we serve.)

On hindsight, it seems particularly good for the tour group to have had its first stop in the “eternal city” of Rome. How amazing just to “see” such things as the Roman Coliseum, the Pantheon, and the catacombs in which early century Christians worshiped in secret and buried their dead. In addition, the sculptured statues, the awe-inspiring museums, cathedrals, churches, paintings–more cathedrals and more churches almost everywhere you look in the area of the Vatican!–it was almost smothering. One couldn’t help but come away with an awareness of how “entrenched” has been, was, and is the “establishment” of Roman Catholicism in this “holy city” (as Luther once called it before his visit to the city, which left him totally disenchanted with the vaunted holiness of many of its inhabitants, including many of its priests).

At the same time, Lutheran Christians such as we are can’t help but come away with a renewed appreciation for what Almighty God in His grace brought about with the sixteenth century Lutheran Reformation. Just on the face of it, what courage it took for God’s instrument Dr. Martin Luther to stand up publicly and call attention to the unbiblical (superstitious!–how often our guides in Rome and elsewhere remarked: “Tradition says that . . . Legend has it that . . .”) teachings and practices of the church whose base is in Rome, whose anti-christian tentacles were spreading–and have spread–bit by bit throughout the world. What spiritual courage it took for this young monk in “faraway Germany” to challenge the very institution of the deeply rooted and firmly established church of Rome, and with that to challenge the authority of the Papacy!

One of the most eye-opening parts of our trip through Lutherland was–at least to this observer–an apparent lack of appreciation on the part of many of the locals for what we would consider genuine Reformation Lutheranism. To be sure, there are copious plaques, statues, monuments, and museums to and of Luther in those cities and fortresses which his reformation activity touched. However, with one happy exception (our guide in the Stadtkirche in Wittenberg), most of the “local” guides seemed to have little more than a superficial grasp of and appreciation for Martin Luther, his theology, and the far-reaching and long-range implications of that theology.

Along the same lines, while we were delighted to have a tour-stop in Augsburg (where the Augsburg Confession was read in 1530), we were saddened by a “story” told on the walls of St. Anne’s Church in that city. Opposite one plaque calling attention to Luther’s visit to the city to debate the papal legate, Cajetan (who sought to no avail to have Luther recant his writings; the date was October 1518), stands a glistening brand-new plaque. This new plaque is dated October 31, 1999 and marks the agreement or reconciliation–signed just two years ago in St. Anne’s Church–between supposed heirs of Luther (the ELCA) and the Roman Catholic Church. In our trip-diary we noted: “What a sad ‘spin’ for any unaware observers, which must be the majority, including non-confessional Lutherans!” (As has been noted among us–as well as in some other conservative Lutheran circles–the supposed 1999 “agreement” on the doctrine of justification was more a sell-out than anything else.)

Still, while observing various Luther sites and hearing different explanations of their historical significance, our tour family was able to keep its orthodox Lutheran stripes in tact–thanks to daily devotions by fellow tourists, Pastors Wayne Eichstadt and Dale Redlin. For example, on the evening of our day in the city of the Augsburg Confession, we noted in our diary: “We were reminded in some detail by Pastor Eichstadt what it really means that we are confessional Lutheran Christians.” Lest any misunderstanding be left, the pastor added: “We don’t worship Luther, but with him strive only to ‘Lift High the Cross’ (the hymn we then sang) of Christ and Him crucified.”

While much more could be said, we close with these thoughts. You have heard before that the huge churches and cathedrals in Europe, whether Catholic or Lutheran, sit next to empty on the Lord’s Day. This was confirmed by our guide in the familiar city of Wittenberg. We were told that the city has a population of about 50,000. Forty percent of these are baptized, three percent being Roman Catholic. Yet on a given Sunday there are only about one hundred people in each of the two city churches (the Castle Church where Luther nailed his ninety-five theses, and the nearby–across the street!–Stadtkirche where the Reformer preached hundreds of sermons). We couldn’t help but recall that–as Luther had warned his countrymen before his death–the “gospel shower” passes over those who do not appreciate it, leaving them spiritually bankrupt.

Having recently seen a number of statues and monuments to and of Luther, and speaking of them, we recall a comment of a Lutheran forefather. In our day or any day, it was said, the best monument(s) to the Reformer are churches whose pews are filled–filled with those who love to hear the Word of God and are committed to upholding its sacred teachings.

May God in His mercy and grace grant that each of our CLC churches be such a monument!

–Pastor Paul Fleischer