Connect With Us Connect With Us

Fall Issue of Lutheran CORE Voice Now Online!

  • September 19, 2017 - 10:09 am
  • lutherancore
  • 0
  • News

Please find the Fall issue of Lutheran CORE Voice here: Fall 2017

Inside this Issue:

Raising Up Pastors Where Orthodoxy is Challenged… p. 1

NALC Convocation Report ……………………………….. p. 2

Helping Pastors and Congregations Connect…………. p. 3

2015 Convocation Book Published …………………….. p. 3

Empowering Laity …………………………………………….. p. 4

Encuentro …………………………………………………….. p. 5

Global Mission Forum ……………………………………… p. 6

Follow-Up to Bishop Eaton ………………………………. p. 7

Trust Is Still the Problem …………………………………. p. 7

Remembering Robert Jenson ……………………………. p. 8

Coming Events ……………………………………………… p. 8

 

LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR – AUGUST 2017

  • August 14, 2017 - 12:58 am
  • lutherancore
  • 0
  • News

 

Seeing the movie, “Dunkirk,” which is currently playing in theaters nationwide, made me think about and appreciate even more the very excellent article which Steve Shipman wrote for the July 2017 issue of CORE Voice, “Does Faith in Jesus Matter?” In this article Pastor Shipman alerts us to the very disturbing and alarming resolution which was recently passed by the New England Synod assembly, which would seek to amend the phrase “bring all people to faith in Christ” in the ELCA constitution to be more in line with the ELCA’s understanding of Christian witness and the mission and purpose of the church. A link to Pastor Shipman’s article can be found here. A link to the New England Synod’s resolution can be found here.

This movie powerfully portrays the evacuation of several hundred thousand Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, in northern France, between the dates of May 26 and June 4, 1940, a few months after the beginning of World War II. After the invasion of France by Nazi Germany, thousands of British, French, and Belgian troops were cut off and surrounded by the German army. As they retreated to the seaside city of Dunkirk, and as the Allied perimeter continued to shrink, their situation became increasingly hopeless.

The tagline for the movie is, “When 400, 000 men couldn’t get home, home came for them.” What a powerful picture of the human situation and therefore what God did. When sin, death, and the power of the devil had us surrounded and we were helpless to do anything about it, God sent His Son, to die on the cross for our sins and to rise from the dead to defeat Satan and death. As 1 Peter 3: 18 says, “For Christ also suffered for sins, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring us to God.” When we could not get to our heavenly home, Jesus came to and for us.

In the Dunkirk evacuation several hundred thousand soldiers were rescued by a hastily assembled fleet of over eight hundred boats, which included thirty-nine British destroyers and civilian merchant ships, but also a flotilla of hundreds of merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft, yachts, and lifeboats that were called into service from Britain for the emergency. These other boats came to be known as the little ships of Dunkirk.

There is a scene in the movie where the British Royal Navy is commandeering private boats to participate in the evacuation. A man by the name of Mr. Dawson cooperates without question, but rather than let a navy crew take his boat, he and his son Peter take her out themselves. Mr. Dawson and Peter are outstanding examples of people who are willing to go way beyond inconvenience to put themselves and their property at great danger and risk in order to save and rescue others.

On their way across the English channel they encounter a shell-shocked soldier on the wreck of his ship, the sole survivor of a U-boat attack. They take him aboard. When the rescued soldier discovers that Dawson is sailing for Dunkirk rather than returning to England, he tries to wrest control of the boat. His behavior reminds me of those who say, “As long as my church is here for me, I do not care about anybody else; as long as I am saved, everybody else can go to hell.”

A little bit later they encounter a minesweeper, which is under attack by a German bomber and several other fighter planes. They maneuver to take on troops from the damaged ship, which is spilling oil, narrowly getting clear before the oil is ignited. Dawson and his crew pull as many survivors aboard as can fit. As he welcomes them aboard Dawson says, “There is plenty of room; keep coming.” His words remind me of the parable of Jesus in Luke 14 of the man who gave a great dinner who said to his servants, “Go out into the roads and the lanes and compel people to come, so that my house may be filled.” God wants heaven to be full. Do we want what God wants, and are we acting like we want what God wants?

Another one of the characters in the movie, Farrier, a British Royal Air Force fighter pilot, is making his way across the English channel to provide air support to the troops waiting at Dunkirk. He and the other pilots in his squadron have been instructed on how much fuel they can spend before they need to return. Farrier’s fuel gauge malfunctions, but he continues with his mission. After burning all of his regular fuel in maneuvers along the way and switching to reserve fuel, he finally reaches Dunkirk, where evacuation efforts are being attempted under heavy enemy bombardment. He takes out a bomber, saving ships and troops. As he flies over the beach, Allied soldiers clap and cheer for him. Finally out of fuel, he glides towards a landing on the beach and barely cranks his landing gear down in time. But he lands outside the Allied perimeter, so he sets fire to his plane before he is taken prisoner by the Germans. Here is another person who is an inspiration and a huge source of encouragement to others because of his commitment, dedication, and sacrifice, and willingness to pay the price in order that others might be saved.

I saw that movie and I was saddened even more that there is a movement in the ELCA to eliminate bringing people to faith in Christ as a prime part of the mission of the church, and to do so in the name of cultural sensitivity and interfaith dialogue.

For Dawson, Farrier, and the other characters in the movie, and for all the real-live people who participated in the Dunkirk evacuation, it did matter whether Allied troops were rescued from the Nazi German army. It did matter whether several hundred thousand soldiers were rescued or whether they were slaughtered on the beaches of northern France. But there is a movement within the ELCA – and we assume that it will be a growing movement – of people who say that faith in Jesus does not matter, at least in the way that the Bible says that it matters because “there is salvation in no one else.” (Acts 4: 12) We understand that this resolution passed overwhelmingly, and that there was little or no expressed objection.

That a resolution like that would pass should be a cause for great concern, sorrow, and soul-searching for all Biblically faithful Lutherans of all Lutheran church bodies. The fact that there is a movement within one Lutheran church body that is saying, “Faith in Jesus does not matter,” should lead all of us to ask ourselves, Do I believe that faith in Jesus matters? Do I care whether people know Jesus? And if I say that I do, what am I doing about it?

UPCOMING TRAVEL

As I am writing this, I am preparing for the NALC convocation in Nashville August 9-11. By the time you receive this, the convention will have happened. Many thanks to everyone who stopped by the Lutheran CORE table. I am looking forward to telling you about the event in the September 2017 issue of CORE Voice. We of Lutheran CORE value our ministry partnership with the NALC. It is a joy to be so warmly welcomed at the convocation, to reconnect with friends, and to make new friends.

I am also looking forward to attending two events in October – the LCMC gathering October 8-11 in Minneapolis, and the Lutheran CORE-sponsored Latino ministries Ecuentro in Chicago October 17-19. We also highly value our ministry partnership with LCMC, and we count it a great privilege to help sponsor the Hispanic ministries gathering which gives encouragement and resources to those currently involved in Spanish speaking ministries, as well as to those considering transitioning their emphasis or beginning a new, additional emphasis in outreach to Latino people. Many thanks to Keith Forni, ELCA pastor and member of our board, for all his hard work putting together such a great event. For more information about the Encuentro, or to register, contact Pastor Keith at 815-600-3030 or KeithLForni@gmail.com.

Blessings in Christ,
Dennis D. Nelson
President of the Board and Director of Lutheran CORE
dennisdnelsonaz@yahoo.com
909-274-8591

New Issue of Lutheran CORE Voice Now Online

  • July 25, 2017 - 4:05 pm
  • lutherancore
  • 0
  • News

Please find the Summer issue of Lutheran CORE Voice here: 4.2017

There is a lot going on, including:

Inside this Issue:
Praying to the Lord of the Harvest…….. p. 1
Why We Need Each Other ……………….. p. 2
Substitutionary Atonement ……………… p. 3
Does Faith in Jesus Matter? ……………… p. 7
Coming Events ……………………………… p. 8

 

Praying to the Lord of the Harvest (Report on Pastoral Formation Summit)

  • July 1, 2017 - 8:54 am
  • lutherancore
  • 0
  • News
LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR – REPORT ON PASTORAL SUMMIT
PRAYING TO THE LORD OF THE HARVEST
Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  (Matthew 9: 37-38)
Thank you for joining with the board of Lutheran CORE in praying to the Lord of the harvest for a whole new generation of Lutheran pastors who believe that the Bible is the Word of God and who are passionately committed to reaching people for Jesus Christ.
As an expression of our concern, and in response to the concern that we have heard from so many pastors and congregational leaders who wonder where their next orthodox and outreach-oriented pastor will come from, Lutheran CORE held a summit on pastoral formation on June 21.  It was a remarkable event.
It was remarkable because of the pan-Lutheran make-up of the group that were gathered.  Where else and when else have leaders from the ELCA, Missouri Synod, LCMC, and NALC gotten together to share a common concern?
It was remarkable in that it was held at an ELCA college – Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.  What other ELCA educational institution would be not only willing but eager to host an event planned and held by Lutheran CORE?  Grand View’s hospitality was over the top, and we were all inspired to see the group of young people on campus who were enrolled in the Nexus Institute and to meet and hear from the director, Kyle Fever.  Nexus is a year-long program in which high school juniors and seniors join with others to deepen their understanding of God and the Bible and to explore how they could be builders of innovative and effective ministries.  A link to the website which will tell you more about Nexus can be found here. In a day when so many of the “feeder programs” that used to challenge and motivate young people to enroll in seminary no longer exist, we were excited and very encouraged to meet Dr. Fever and to hear about Nexus.  The board of Lutheran CORE feels a total kinship with the religion faculty at Grand View, Drs. Mark Mattes and Ken Jones, as well as Russell Lackey, senior campus pastor, in their commitment to the authority of the Bible, the Lordship of Jesus, and the Great Commission.
The list of those who were invited to participate in the day includes –
Eugene Bunkowske – chair of the board of the Institute of Lutheran Theology, Brookings, South Dakota – former professor at Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Indiana – retired missionary to Africa
Anthony Cook – former director of curriculum design and development at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri – currently director of United States Ministries for Lutheran Hour Ministries
Mark Granquist – associate professor of church history at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota
Ken Jones – professor of philosophy and theology at Grand View University
Russell Lackey – senior campus pastor at Grand View University
Maurice Lee – pastor of NALC mission church that meets on campus of Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California – adjunct professor of theology, North American Lutheran Seminary
Mark Mattes – professor of philosophy and theology, department chair at Grand View University
Julie Smith – dean of students at Saint Paul Lutheran Seminary – LCMC pastor – secretary of the board of trustees of LCMC
Jonathan Sorum – academic dean at the Institute of Lutheran Theology, Brookings, South Dakota
Gene Veith – provost emeritus and professor of literature emeritus at Patrick Henry College, Purcellville, Virginia
Presenters offered valuable insights into such vital issues as the following –
  • The reasons for the recent major decline in seminary enrollment, graduations, and ordinations, and the long-term impact of that decline
  • The challenge provided by the increasing number of Lutheran congregations who cannot afford to pay a pastor full-time, especially in light of the heavy debt load that many students are carrying upon graduation from seminary
  • The reasons for the recent significant increase in the cost of seminary education and alternatives that could make seminary education more affordable
  • The challenge of helping students maintain spiritual passion during seminary training
  •  The effectiveness and value of the “apprenticeship model,” which was used for centuries as the major way to prepare pastors, and the reasons for reintroducing that model today
  •  The need to develop a Biblical worldview, and the need to raise up pastors who can help people develop that same worldview
We were encouraged as we were told about the mission societies in Scandinavia, groups of Christians who believe in the Bible, care for the poor, and are active in mission.  Existing alongside of the state church and its educational institutions and providing an orthodox alternative to the state church, they offer tuition-free training for those who want to prepare for Christian outreach and ministry.
Pastors present were asked, How much time are you spending with the young people in your congregation?  Are you spending at least as much time with them as you spend on the budget?  We were also challenged, If you have a retired pastor as a part of your congregation, have them spend time and energy not just visiting shut-ins, but also building for the future by nurturing the congregation’s relationship with its young people and by encouraging those who have the gifts and might have the calling to consider going to seminary.
We were told to make sure that young people have opportunity to be involved in “real ministry” and ministry of real significance in the life of the congregation, and not just acolyte.  Giving them the chance to deliver part of the sermon was given as an example.
A summary and/or excerpts from most of the presentations can be found on the Lutheran CORE website under Pastoral Formation and on the blog. The board is pursuing other possibilities for disseminating the presentations that were made at the summit. You will also find audio presentations on our new CORE Voices podcast.
We are also working on the following next steps –
A summit after the first of the year where we will gather for conversation a group of people who are putting into practice some of the principles which were discussed at the June 21 meeting.
A gathering later in 2018 which will be open to all, will be inspirational in nature, and which will focus on the theme of Matthew 9: 38 – “Praying to the Lord of the Harvest.”
We are very grateful for all our friends who are praying for this process.  Thank you also to those who have given a special gift to help cover the cost of these events.
The harvest truly is plentiful.  Current trends are going to lead to an extreme shortage of pastors.  An increasing number of churches will no longer be able to call a pastor full-time.  Pastors are graduating from seminary with a crushing debt load.  And the priorities of many seminaries will not be to teach future pastors that the Bible is true, Jesus is God, the resurrection happened, and that it does matter whether people know, believe in, and put their trust in Jesus.
Thank you for joining with us in praying to the Lord of the harvest for the next generation of faithful, orthodox, and missional Lutheran pastors.

Blessings in Christ,

Dennis D. Nelson
President of the Board and Director of Lutheran CORE
909-274-8591
dennisdnelsonaz@yahoo.com

New Issue of Lutheran CORE Voice Now Online

  • May 22, 2017 - 8:24 pm
  • lutherancore
  • 1
  • News

Inside issue no. 3 of the 2017 CORE Voice:
Call to Prayer for Pastoral Summit…p. 1
Beyond the Barn…………………………..p. 2
Clothed and Forgiven……………………p. 3
Spanish Language Resources…………p. 3
ELCA and Abortion………………………p. 4
CORE in the ELCA……………………….p. 5
Speak to What They Trust…………….p. 6
Looking for a Pastor?……………………p. 7
The Pastor as Sheepdog………………..p. 8
Braaten-Benne Lectures……………….p. 9
Events………………………………………..p. 10

Read it here: Lutheran CORE Voice 3.2017

 

Lutheran CORE Voice Lenten Edition, 2017

  • March 20, 2017 - 4:15 pm
  • lutherancore
  • 0
  • News

Inside this issue:

I Gave My Life for Thee……………..p.1

Pastoral Summit meets………………p. 2

Small Places, Big Mission……………p. 3

Encuentro Announced………………..p. 4

Parents and Faith Formation……….p. 5

No Response (as usual)………………p. 7

Remembering Jocelyn Chavez………p. 7

Devotions and Sermon Starters…….p. 7

Why We Need Each Other II…………p. 8

News and Events………………………p. 10

 

Read it online here: 2.2017.

The New Lutheran CORE Voice (1.2017) Now Online

  • January 17, 2017 - 9:04 am
  • lutherancore
  • 2
  • News

What you will find in the January 2017 Voice?

Inside this issue:
Forming Pastors and Your Congregation…….p.1
CORE at Synod Assemblies……………………..p. 2
Leaders Announced for Summit………………..p. 3
Who’s the Boss?……………………………………p. 4
Why We Need Each Other………………………..p. 5
Reformation Medals………………………………p. 7
Coming Events……………………………………..p. 8

Read it here: 1.2017

 

The New Lutheran CORE Voice (6.2016) Now Online!

  • November 21, 2016 - 10:36 am
  • lutherancore
  • 0
  • News

LCORE Rose

Inside this issue of CORE VOICE 6.2016:

Summit On Pastoral Formation…page 1

CORE at LCMC……………………….page 2

Martyrdom Book Published………page 2

Global Connection………………….page 3

Reparative Therapy………………..page 4

Thrivent Choice……………………..page 5

Encuentro……………………………..page 7

Report from the Far East………….page 9

Coming events……………………….page 10

Lutheran CORE Voice (5.2016) Now Online!

  • September 14, 2016 - 9:05 am
  • lutherancore
  • 0
  • News

core logo

Inside issue 5-2016:
ELCA Churchwide Assembly Report……p.1
NALC Convocation Report…………………p.2
Protecting Your Ministry……………………p.5
Thrivent Choice Dollars…………………….p.5
New Book on Holy Spirit……………………p.7
ILT Begins New Year…………………………p.7
Pressing Needs………………………………..p.8
NALC Mission District Events…………pp.8-9
Northwoods CORE Conference…………..p.9
Coming Events………………………………..p.10

Who Will Preach at Your Preacher’s Funeral? Season of Pentecost CORE Voice (2016 no.4)

  • July 18, 2016 - 8:13 am
  • lutherancore
  • 0
  • News

core logo

Who will preach at your funeral? This is the question Pr. Steven K. Gjerde asks in the lead article of CORE Voice 4.2016 . We believe this issue is one of our best offerings yet, highlighting the work that is . . . faith. Please read, forward, and share widely.

Other articles inside this issue:
Parish Encuentro Planned…………..p. 2
Our Political Calling…………………….p. 3
CORE at National Gatherings………p. 5
Not Just for Professionals…………..p. 6
Thank You to Lynn Kickingbird……p. 7
Big Changes at ILT……………………..p. 7
Discussion of Same-Sex Marriage… p. 8
Youth Institute at Grand View………p. 9
Coming Events………………………….p. 10