Story Magazine

Fall, 2010

Luther Seminary's mission ... "to all nations"

by Richard H. Bliese, President, Luther Seminary

The Lutheran World Federation Assembly met in Stuttgart, Germany, in July. The LWF comprises 140 member churches in 79 countries, representing 70 million Christians worldwide. The theme of the assembly was Give Us Today Our Daily Bread. Mark Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop and president of the LWF, spoke of our present time when "the world is in pain."

"Wars rage, creation groans under the weight of our consumption, refugees wander in search for shelter, illness and death come to those who lack access to clean water and health care," said Hanson. Included among the 1,000 visitors, including 418 international delegates, were many Luther Seminary graduates. In fact, these graduates found each other during the meeting to fellowship, catch up and discuss the important issues and ministries before them—and us. Who were these leaders? Here is a short list:

  • The Rev. Dr. Elieshi Mungure, '07, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
  • The Rev. Dr. Musa Filibus, '98, Department for Mission and Development Area Secretary for Africa, LWF
  • Bishop Thomas Nyiwe, '98, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon
  • The Rev. Mark Brown, '92, LWF regional representative in Jerusalem, Israel-Palestine
  • Bishop Dr. Thomas Tsen, '07, Basel Christian Church of Malaysia
  • Mary Steeber, Luther Seminary
  • Dr. Mariette Razivelo, '94, Malagasy Lutheran Church
  • The Rev. Dr. Fidon Mwombeki, '97, United Evangelical Mission
  • Allison Schmitt, '07, communication assistant for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the
    Holy Land
  • The Rev. Dr. J. P. Bvumbwe, '05, delegate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi
  • The Rev. Dr. Ginda P. Harahap, '05, Department for Mission and Development Area Secretary for Asia, LWF

When the resurrected Jesus appeared to his disciples (Luke 24), he "opened their minds to understand
Scriptures" and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the
dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name TO ALL NATIONS, beginning in Jerusalem" (v. 46-47).

Our mission at Luther Seminary is to equip leaders for apostolic mission ... to all nations. We start in
Jerusalem. We continue in St. Paul. But our vision is global because that is where the risen Christ has sent us.

Pax,
Richard Bliese