Oct
29

LCMC Gathering Highlights!

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Peace was represented at the annual LCMC Gathering in Des Moines, IA, by Pastor Wandrey, Pastor Gail, Steve Hagler, and Ruth Leib in October. What follows are some highlights!

 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I want to thank you, the members of Peace Lutheran Church (PLC), for your financial help in sending me to the Beyond the River Academy (BTRA) gathering as well as the LCMC Gathering in Des Moines. Both gatherings were inspiring and educational. You and I, as members of PLC and LCMC, are involved in mission for Christ in several ways. One specific way you are involved is by supporting me in my seminary studies. When I am finished with my courses, you will send me out to be a pastor in another congregation to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I thank you for your monetary support, but more importantly, I thank you for your prayers!

In Christ’s Love,

Steve Hagler, BTRA Seminary Student

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Dear Peace Lutheran Members,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for giving me the chance to represent our congregation at the national LCMC Gathering in Des Moines, IA in October. It was truly a most heartening, uplifting, and powerful experience for me, as it was, I’m sure, for the other hundreds of members who attended. I have come home so thankful to be a member of this faithful community of believers, and to be a part of this new movement that is faithful to the Reformation goals of Martin Luther – to do away with the organizational hierarchy, and to put the mission, ministry, and power of the Holy Spirit back into the hands of the people in the church body. We are no longer told what to do and how to do it, but we as congregations are given the freedom in Christ to pursue our ministry and mission in the way we feel best for our particular place here on earth. Mark Vander Tuig, who is the Service Coordinator for LCMC, says that he prefers to call us Loose Cannons In Mission For Christ. The hidden rebel in me sort of likes that name!

In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul tells us to “present ourselves as workers who do not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.“ We are extremely blessed to be doing this in our congregation already, with such good and faithful workers for the cause of Christ.

At the convention, I was very thankful to observe the healing that has taken place in our network of LCMC congregations across the country. The conversation is no longer about the hurt caused by the splitting of congregations, but it is now about HOPE, and a confidence in our Christ centered future. Some church-wide ministry missions that are already in place in the national body of LCMC are:

                The goal to plant 1000 new churches around the country in the next 10 years. We have a dedicated and very     able team of people working on this who intend to meet that goal.

                Creation of a national prayer chain, where we can register to participate on the LCMC website.

                A Disaster Relief Fund, currently holding $142,000. A large donation was sent this summer to the Western                 Washington community of Oso that suffered from a horrible mudslide.

                Meals from the Heartland, started in Iowa to prepare, package, and distribute individual meal packets to the                 hungry in our country as well as abroad. The most special and edifying part of the conference for me took place                 Tuesday evening when hundreds of conference participants met in a huge warehouse—type room in the                 convention center, and packaged meals together for Meals from the Heartland.

The project was exceptionally well organized. Organizers of the project had table assembly lines set up where each person had a specific task to put the meals together in sealed plastic bags. Each bagged meal consists of a vitamin pack, a scoop of dried vegetable, a scoop of flaked soybeans, and a scoop of rice. The final tally of meals prepared was 290,000. Other volunteer groups will have the opportunity to complete the meal bagging project to reach the goal of 400,000 meals this fall. It was incredible to be a part of this huge mission project.

Walt Sundberg, one of the keynote speakers who is a very learned historian, made two statements that will remain in my mind and heart. He told us that, “The committed congregation is THE agent of mission and conversion in our Christian world today. WE are the people God is depending on to get out HIS WORD, and to minister to those who don’t know HIM. And the second thing he told us is that, “The church works ONLY when it obeys the Gospel and is AUTHENTIC.”

I am honored to be part of the authentic and faithful people who comprise our congregation here at Peace Lutheran. And again, I thank you for allowing me to attend this conference. May God richly bless each one of us as we strive to do HIS will.

Ruth Leib