Mission Update


Pastor Peter Kelm, Missions Exec

January 2014 


"I have other sheep that are not of this  
sheep pen. I must bring them also. They  
too will listen to my voice..." (John 10:16)

Registration for the Passionate Believers Conference on Feb. 22, 2014 will soon be open. Watch for this on our swd.lcms.org website, your church's news/bulletins, or your mailbox. I'd love to see you there!  



A good friend of mine is in the ad business. Billboards, radio, TV commercials. He also happens to be pretty insightful about the work of the church in our culture.


We had a conversation a few weeks ago over lunch that has stuck in my head for a bunch of different reasons. He was talking about a client of his - a large client - that had done a complete reversal, a 180. The client reversed an earlier decision to drastically cut its advertising and marketing budget. The client's original decision made some sense: the industry as a whole was declining; the revenue coming in was, too. It seemed prudent to be wise with resources and accept the new reality of the market.


But then a wise man stood up in a board meeting with a different plan, a different approach. "Why not double our ad budget?" asked the man. Huh? Double the budget? The wise man went on to explain his reasoning. "Yes, our industry is declining, and yes, income is down. But unless we want to just sit back and watch our industry disappear, we ought to at least make a good pitch to consumers why we're still important, still relevant."

The clinching argument for the man - a point on which all could agree - was that their product was indeed a good product, and it did indeed positively impact their communities. They were important and relevant.


Okay, maybe you know where this is going...


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INTRODUCING: Dr. Carl and Dr. Debbie Rockrohr


Over the Christmas break I had a chance to re-connect with some old friends. Carl and Debbie Rockrohr were missionaries in Northern Ghana in the 90s, and my wife Angie and I were in southern Ghana for my vicarage at the same time. Since those missionary days in Ghana, the Rockrohrs have served the Lord in several parish ministry settings, including at Oklahoma Avenue Lutheran Church here in Milwaukee. Carl has also taught at Concordia-Ann Arbor, at our sister seminary in Pretoria, South Africa, and most recently he has accepted a position as the Dean of the Theological School at the Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Debbie is a deaconess, and also recently finished her doctorate in education.


The Ethiopian Evangelical Mekane Yesus (EEMY) is one of the largest Lutheran church bodies in the world, with nearly 6 million members. Yes, 6 million. In the past, this Lutheran church body relied heavily on the Lutheran World Federation and some of the liberal European state churches. However, their General Assembly broke fellowship with both the Church of Sweden and the ELCA in early 2013 because the acceptance of homosexual clergy. Recently, they asked the LCMS for help. The Rockrohrs moved to Addis Ababa just a few months ago so Carl could begin his work at the Seminary there. One of his tasks is to develop the graduate school so there is a larger pool of Ethiopian scholars to teach the next generation of Lutheran pastors and church leaders. The EEMY is growing tremendously, and needs all the help it can get to train pastors and leaders.

If your congregation doesn't support an LCMS missionary, consider the Rockrohrs! You can find out more about them at their website:
www.rockrohr.net. We are thrilled that the LCMS is has been given this opportunity to form and train Lutheran pastors, and pray that the relationship between our two church bodies will become even stronger.
WHAT IS MISSION U??? Mission U logo


Maybe you've heard of this Lutheran Hour Ministries witnessing training program. If not, take some time to peruse their website: www.whatsmissionu.com 


"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10:13-15).  


One in four American teens and young adults claim no religious connection whatsoever. How will they hear the message of salvation through Jesus Christ if no one reaches them? As a follower of Jesus, you have been commissioned to make disciples of all nations. Become equipped through MISSION U to help you fulfill your mission with boldness to the diverse mission field around you.  


MISSION U is Lutheran Hour Ministries' new witnessing training program. It is designed to give you the tools and training to confidently accept your mission: reaching people with the real news of Jesus Christ. MISSION U provides multiple course options addressing topics that meet your congregation's specific witnessing-training needs. By participating in MISSION U courses, your church will gain tools that sharpen and enhance your witnessing efforts to reach people of all ages and backgrounds.  


The style and format of MISSION U mirrors a 21st-century university classroom - sequential yet flexible that offers personal training from speakers and additional online instruction.

At MISSION U the focus is equipping you, God's chosen ambassador, to carry His message of hope and salvation into a world urgently in need of good news.

Rev. Eiljah Ndon

After serving Holy Ghost Lutheran Church as vacancy pastor, Rev. Ndon will soon be installed as their pastor on Sunday, February 16, at 3:00 p.m. The Rev. Christian Ekong, President of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria, will preach at this service. A reception will follow the service. All are invited to attend.

Clergy are encouraged to attend and wear their red stoles for participation in the rite of installation.
ABOUT THE MOVIE  "Come Follow Me"

"If you ever question the importance of Jesus in your life, watch this film and see what it means to follow the One who loves you so deeply."  Pastor Michael Hintz 


Jesus said, "Come follow Me," and a man named Peter listened and responded. Yet Peter struggled, failing again and again. When Peter fell to his lowest point, Jesus demonstrated his eternal message. Walk with Peter on his journey from pride to humility, guilt to forgiveness, and doubt to faith. You are invited to hear Jesus' saving message for all to "Come Follow Me." Written and produced by an Emmy-winning team of Lutheran filmmakers, this acclaimed film offers a dynamic new opportunity to reach people with the story of Jesus--a valuable tool your congregation can use this year.

If it's as good as its predecessor, "Road to Emmaus", it's worth taking a look at. I am sending a free copy to every District parish pastor. Let me know what you think, and how you might use it as an outreach tool in your ministry!  
Rev. Peter Kelm SWD logo

In a constantly changing world, the South Wisconsin District discovers, celebrates and advances vibrant models for growing discipleship, missional leaders and church worker wholeness.