Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Prayers, Please, For Us Lutherans

In October of 2004, my fellow church members and I of Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Decatur, IL, voted to leave the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and become an independent Lutheran congregation for now. This was no reactionary undertaking after the disastrous Convention one year ago. This was a long time coming, after approximately 15 years of tolerating error, being accused of being un-Christian in our demands that "Lutherans" act and worship as Lutherans, witnessing back-room politicking at its finest, wanting pastors to live up to their vows, and fighting just about every battle in our district that is now being played out in the Synod as a whole. Our conclusion finally was that the idea of the "Missouri Synod" no longer existed, although it still existed in name. So we left.

We were not the only ones who did so. Our two wonderful pastors, who I think literally were prepared to go work at Home Depot rather than stay in the Missouri Synod political machine one more year, were contacted by another Lutheran pastor after their own hearts, in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, named Jack Cascione. His church, Redeemer Lutheran, had pulled out of Missouri just before our church did, and when he heard what we had done, he called. It turns out he had had similar experiences as our pastors had. And so a period of trying to become familiar with each other went by. Finally, one of my pastors went to Michigan to preach one Sunday, and Pastor Cascione returned the favor to us a few weeks later. It seemed we all wanted the same things. We are Waltherian by nature.

In May, our congregation and the St. Clair Shores Redeemer congregation agreed to come together to work on planting mission congregations. That would be congregations who are orthodox Lutheran. You know, that actually use the catechism as a teaching resource, who believe the Book of Concord of 1580 to be the true exposition of the Christian faith, who believe doctrine is important stuff, that the liturgy is important stuff, and that "contemporary worship" is as silly as John Rydgren's wacko-psychedelic god-speak. And so the United Lutheran Mission Association was born.

Well, the first meeting of the United Lutheran Mission Association, is this Saturday, 7/16/05 in Chicago. The first mission site will be chosen. So far, several congregations have already asked for help. One from as far away as Germany. Most right here in the Midwest. And several congregations will send representatives to the meeting to observe, and possibly, become members of the ULMA as well. Here is the website link.

Here is what the ULMA hopes to accomplish with God's help:
"Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that Christ has commanded."

Matthew 28:16-20

United Lutheran Mission Association, ULMA, was founded in May, 2005 to unite the God-given resources of Lutheran congregations to establish and maintain traditional Lutheran Mission Congregations, and offer an organization for existing Lutheran Congregations of like mind.

Guided by the Holy Scripture, "Book of Concord of 1580" and many of the writings of C.F.W. Walther, a fine Lutheran theologian and first president of the LCMS, the Association has the following objective:

Establish and maintain independent, orthodox, Lutheran, mission congregations until they are self-sufficient. Primary duties include:

  • Consider and match funds to requests from laypersons or Lutheran pastors wishing to start or maintain a mission.
  • Seek and collect the names of orthodox, Lutheran Pastors who might wish to start or serve in mission congregations.

With assistance from the ULMA, new Lutheran mission congregations will be modeled on constitutions nearly identical to the LCMS congregational constitutions prior to 1969.

ULMA is actively seeking:

  • Potential mission sites in the contiguous United States
  • Lutheran Pastors who may wish to start/serve a mission site.
  • Laypersons and congregations interested in becoming members and supporting these new mission congregations."
Please pray that God will allow our representatives to choose the congregation that not only is most in need of support, but the congregation which He Himself wishes to be chosen. It is an exciting and yet humbling time. May we do the right thing.

So please remember us in your prayers. Thank you.


  1. I didn't know any of this. I'm glad you wrote about it. May God bless your new organization.

  2. Thank you. I'm anxious to learn about what happens. I'll make a post about it when I do.