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Working Together for the Lord

Every week, like-minded Christians gather together to hear God’s Word, receive His blessing, and build each other up in the faith. Depending on the size and location of your congregation, at times one can feel quite small in the scheme of the world. That’s why it is such a blessing that we share an even larger synodical connection with believers across the United States, in Canada and Mexico, across Africa, and throughout Asia. In the early days of our synod, it was agreed that we would hold biennial conventions in order to deal with the business of the church. Due to a COVID-related cancellation in 2020, we held convention last year and now have the rare privilege to attend two summers in a row. This will enable us to get back on an even-year cycle. Here is a quick snapshot of what is in store for our delegates.

Theme: The theme for convention is “The Light of the World.” Professor Mark Weiss and Pastor Cory Drehle will enlighten and guide us with their essays on this theme.

Devotions: Convention sessions begin and end with devotions to keep hearts and minds focused on the fact that we are doing the Lord’s work. Pastor Samuel Rodebaugh will be encouraging us in this capacity.

Communion Service: Anyone who has attended the communion service at Convention will surely remember the uplifting singing and edifying messages. Pastor John Hein will be the speaker and Pastor Robert Sauers the liturgist at our service this year.

Memorial Service: Every convention takes a few moments to reflect on God’s gifts in the form of servants of our fellowship who have fallen asleep in the Lord since the last convention. Pastor Nathan Pfeiffer will speak at the memorial service.

Doctrine: “Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.” (Acts 15:2 NIV84) The early church seemed to set a precedent by gathering together to discuss doctrinal issues. Differences then troubling the church were thus laid to rest in a God-pleasing manner. This summer we will continue to address recent doctrinal discussions with the WELS/ELS.

Finances: “Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside.” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) The Lord has given us opportunity to support our church with our time, talents, and treasure. This applies to our synod as well as to our local congregations. Our synod’s finances can be used for mundane things such as paying off loans or bills, as well as exciting ventures such as overseas missions. Discussion will be needed to set budgets for the various boards, home and foreign mission spending, and the proposal to build an athletic center on the campus of ILC.

Missions: “And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.” (Acts 15:12 ESV) The CLC is active in missions both in North America (domestic missions) and elsewhere (foreign missions). Mission pastors will be presenting reports showing what the Lord is accomplishing through our efforts.

This is merely a glimpse of the work in store for our delegates. Much could be said about the committee meetings, food, fellowship, and bonding that takes place. Please consider representing your congregation as a delegate and pray for the Lord’s will to be advanced through our synod convention.

David W. Bernthal is a retired teacher. He lives in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.