Commission members from Redeemer – St. Clair Shores, Michigan, and Pilgrim – Decatur, Illinois, along with Pr. Brock Abbott from Pilgrim, attended the spring General Meeting of the United Lutheran Mission Association (ULMA). They were joined by commission members and Pr. John Hafermann from Our Redeemer – Forsyth, Illinois. All of the representatives from Pilgrim and Redeemer were delighted to welcome them aboard. You will recall that Our Redeemer joined ULMA last fall.
Our mission churches were represented by Rev. James Shaw from Agnus Dei Lutheran Church in Virginia, Rev. William C. Mack from Christ the Rock Lutheran Church in California, and Rev. James Behling and Patrick Schiefelbein from Sola Scriptura in Wisconsin.
The two-day event was hosted at the Wyndham Lisle-Chicago Hotel and Executive Meeting Center. This was our first time at this facility, located in a southwest suburb of Chicago. It served us well, and will be the site of the fall meeting. The closed session of the Commission members took place the afternoon of Friday, April 20th, followed by fellowship in the lounge and dinner at a nearby restaurant. The General Meeting began the following morning.
All three missions are continuing their outreach efforts. New prospects have been attending, and each pastor shared uplifting stories from their respective mission fields. They continue to find personal contact best for spreading the Word.
Sola Scriptura is finding their setting to be an attraction. The open-door chapel allows for people passing by to hear their services and Bible study classes. Members of another Lutheran congregation that meet next to them have also visited.
Pastor Shaw at Agnus Dei has been able to make an impact as the volunteer chaplain for the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. In May, at the local library, he will present a lecture series on church history.
An interesting outreach opportunity came up with Chaldean refugees in El Cajon, California. Rev. Mack is researching the use of Arabic language materials to help the large number of displaced families that the local churches cannot accommodate.
All three missions expressed their sincere thanks to the ULMA for their continued support and prayers. Some of their members had unfortunate experiences within the churches and church bodies from which they came. As one mission pastor stated, “The ULMA works the way the church is supposed to.”
The representatives from Our Redeemer expressed their thankfulness at becoming an active member congregation. Prior to joining, the congregation had contributed to ULMA mission work in years past. ULMA has become a way for them to pool their mission resources with like-minded churches to help spread the Gospel.