May 2012 Letters

Fan into Flame draws to a close

I read the article in the March Lutheran Witness about the Fan into Flame campaign coming to a close, and the numbers in it caught my attention.  Nearly 67 million was raised. However, the sidebar states that only 53 million of that actually materialized in cash received.  Nearly 20 million was spent on operational costs.  If my calculations are correct, this means that 33 million (of the projected 100 million) ended up being used to spread the Gospel.  Like President Harrison, I’m thankful for the souls that were reached.  But I find it to be poor stewardship that just under half of these donations went to advertise, promote and administer such a program.  In the future, wouldn’t we be better served to use special contributions like this for our seminaries and the training of pastors for our churches as well as missions overseas?  That has historically shown itself to be an effective use of sacrificial offerings like these in spreading the Gospel.

Rev. Don Meyer
Marcus, Iowa



Love the change in style and format.  Up-to-date and interesting.  Keep up the good work!

Kathy Rohlwing
Eagle, Colo.


A Church Body That Would Teach

I read with interest the LW piece “A Church Body That Would Teach” (March 2012), including the vignette on page 17 on the partner church in Papua New Guinea, where Elinor and I served with LCMS World Mission from 19481988. Through the years evangelists, pastors and people of the Gutnius Lutheran Church have been courageous witnesses and missionaries for Christ to the communities around them in their country. Today they are praying that dedicated human helpers will come again from their partners. “Come over and help us. Help us renew what has fallen down. Join with us in teaching, in raising up faithful pastors and leaders. Help us all to grow in witness, in mercy, in Christian life together.”

Rev. Dr. Willard L. Burce
Eau Claire, Wis.


Veterans of the Cross

Yesterday, Easter Monday, I received the April Issue of The Lutheran Witness and once again noted that the “Veterans of the Cross” who have been called to eternity with our Lord are once again given two lines.  Surely they, and their families, deserve more of an obituary remembrance than that after their lifetime of service to the Lord and the LCMS! 

Please change that policy!  It is totally inappropriate to dismiss those “veterans” of the Cross” without some relevant remembrance of their service! Please use an inch or two of a column (as was done in past years in the Witness) to at least mention their spouse, family and places of witness and service. Currently the families of those deceased “veterans” are neglected and truly dishonored by such brief dismissal. When I, and others, too, note that some dear friends, colleagues and partners in ministry have died are in a different district than what we remember, because they often move in retirement, it makes it even more difficult to make a connection and to continue to emphasize our “Life Together.” The small change I am recommending would help many!
Rev. David Belasic
Cheektowaga, NY


Praying and the Catechism

A recent walk through the Garden of Gethsemane can stun one into silence.  The 3,000-year-old trees add to the claim that they were there as Jesus prayed for all humankind.  In a sense, it is simply staggering to go over the words in which Jesus prayed that His Father would forgive His torturers and tormenters.  These were the days in which the saber-rattling was going on and the war dogs were at work in Syria and other places.  Praying through the days was the excellent suggestion of Pastor Matthew Harrison, and his use of Martin Luther’s technique with the Small Catechism of Instruction, Thanksgiving, Confession, and Prayer was my adopted response to all that the Middle East exposed. . . . Christ’s Resurrection cannot be stopped by anyone.
Dr. Albert E. Jabs
Lexington, SC


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