LCMS has a long, successful history in Hong Kong

LCMS Mission History in Hong Kong

Transparency from the United-Lister Synod leadership in St. Louis is lacking.  Without consultation with our largest partner church in Hong Kong, Office of International Mission leaders in St. Louis announced for the first time publicly on Monday, February 5, that LCMS Asia mission operations are moving from Hong Kong, China, to Chiayi, Taiwan, Republic of China. What is causing President Harrison to sell our $35 million Hong Kong property and relocate our LCMS Asia headquarters to distant Taiwan?  Did he forget the mission work of the Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod (LCHKS) he praised just four years ago during the anniversary of 100 years of ministry to China? Please watch and listen to the two minute video below.  Hear Matt Harrison honor the work of our partner church, the Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod.  How Will St. Louis Use the $35 Million? Why up to now haven’t congregations in Synod been informed

St. Louis headquarters is selling LCMS Hong Kong property without consulting our partner church, the Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod.

St. Louis Secretly Selling Hong Kong Properties?

Reliable sources in the U.S. and Hong Kong tell Congregations Matter that President Harrison and his United Lister Board for International Mission (BIM) are selling a reported $35 million of LCMS Hong Kong properties to bail out Synod finances in St. Louis. Quietly, and without contacting our partner church in Hong Kong, the BIM is moving their Asia headquarters to Taiwan to ready the Hong Kong property for sale.  According to sources in Hong Kong who saw a note on the door of the headquarters building, the move out of Hong Kong and into Taiwan will be completed by March 1st. It seems that Synod’s chose Hong Kong properties for sale because of their high value — and because it is one of the few locations where expatriation of money to the states is allowed after the sale of properties. Have such plans been approved by the LCMS Board of

United List Is The Wrong Way

United Listers Lead Synod in Wrong Direction

LCMS Boards populated by members whose names were on the infamous United List were elected at a 90% rate at the 2016 Milwaukee convention.  It’s been eighteen months since their elections.  What do we know now about their decisions? We know United Listers have increased centralized control.  Contrary to our Constitution and Bylaws, they’ve handed ecclesiastical supervision to one man to enforce a dark conformity over congregations, pastors and rostered workers. In May, 2017 United Listers on the LCMS Board gave powers to the Synod President which radically changed Synod.  Membership is plummeting — 68% faster than ever before. How did this hierarchical, centralized takeover of our Lutheran church happen? A United Lister named Sias became Secretary at Milwaukee.  He disagreed with decades of precedent and wrongly advised the United Lister Board it is OK to take ecclesiastical authority away from District Presidents (DPs).  Many brave DPs sent public letters

Disaster recovery from Hurricane Harvey Flooding in Houston, August 2017. Disaster relief funds are staying in St. Louis. They cover cash flow problems at Synod.

Millions of Disaster Relief Dollars Still in St. Louis?

Did you send a check to LCMS Disaster Relief in St. Louis and specify you wanted your dollars to go to Hurricane Harvey victims?  Do you know what happened to your contributions? The Selfless Work By Our Texas District First, some good news. If you instead sent your contribution to the Texas District of the LCMS and specified your dollars were for Harvey victims, every single dollar you sent to our Texas District is going to Harvey relief.  Not a dime will be kept by the district office as it quickly distributes your funds to families with needs.  This is selfless of our Texas District since staff time has been heavily used for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  And, this has been a labor of love for them. But, what if you sent your Hurricane Harvey donations to LCMS Disaster Relief at Synod headquarters in St. Louis? St. Louis Disaster Relief Keeps A

Concordia President Asks for Regent Selection Flexibility

“The growth and development of our Concordia University System (CUS) is one of the most remarkable stories in all of U. S. higher education,” writes Concordia St. Paul President, Rev. Dr. Tom Ries. (For a full copy of Ries’ article, click here or the link at the bottom.) Our Concordia’s are asking for support from LCMS congregations.  They want Synod to change the governance model of our university system to allow greater flexibility in the selection of members of their Boards of Regents.  They ask that we pass a CUS overture at 2018 District Conventions and again in Tampa in 2019  (the CUS overture will be the subject of a future Congregations Matter article).  As Ries writes: “The greatest need for help from the church at the Concordia institutions today is a change in the governance model, specifically the formation and responsibilities of the boards of regents….Approval by the Synod in convention

We are in this together

PSW President Opposes Ecclesiastical Supervision Change

Last summer, District President (DP) Larry Stoterau of the Pacific Southwest District wrote a powerful pastoral letter in opposition to the recent Ecclesiastical Supervision bylaw change.  You can download a copy of it here. Several District Presidents have addressed their concern with the centralization of control in the Synodical President’s office, especially as it relates to the recent changes in the area of ecclesiastical supervision.  Pacific Southwest District President Larry Stoterau’s letter to his District clearly outlines their cause for concern. IT IS TIME TO ACT More and more LCMS leaders are voicing their opposition to the unconstitutional change to Bylaw 2.14. First, Council of Presidents Chair, Texas DP Hennings stood his ground against this dangerous development in Synod.  DP Hennings was voted by a majority of the Council of 35 District Presidents, the Synodical President and the Regional Vice Presidents as their trusted leader.  You can read the Congregations Matter article

Broken Egg -- Broken Promises

Seminaries Scramble to Cover Synod’s Broken Promises

In early 2017, our Fort Wayne (CTSFW) and St. Louis (CSL) Seminaries suddenly learned Synod was backing away from $400,000 in budget commitments to help with the two seminaries’ ongoing expenses for Synod’s Global Seminary Initiative (GSI).  With no warning, each seminary has to manage a $200,000 loss of promised financial support from the International Center. Worse Than a Budget Shortfall, It Was a Broken Promise All of us are familiar with budget shortfalls.  They happen.  But here’s the rub.  Both of our seminaries have been participating in Synod’s Global Seminary Initiative knowing that money to assist them with the real costs of these programs is in the LCMS operating budget.  The Global Seminary Initiative Has Been Successful Through the GSI, dozens of foreign students came to Fort Wayne and St. Louis to study.  These students received various amounts of seminary subsidies.  Fort Wayne and St. Louis professors traveled around

Denninger Stands with COP Chair

SE District President Denninger Also Opposes Dangerous Bylaw Change

With a letter to the congregations and rostered members of his district,  District President (DP) John Denninger of the Southeastern District joined the growing number of LCMS leaders voicing their opposition to recent and unconstitutional bylaw changes giving final ecclesiastical supervision to President Harrison.  At President Harrison’s request and Secretary Sias’ hand, the United List majority of the Synod Board of Directors (BOD) wrested the constitutional, historic responsibility of ecclesiastical supervision from District Presidents.  Without vote or action of the Milwaukee Convention, the BOD gave this responsibility to one man. The President of Synod now is the de facto ecclesiastical supervisor of the LCMS.  Harrison has taken ecclesiastical supervisory decisions away from our 35 District Presidents.  He relocated those life-changing decisions to his own desk inside the secretive International Center in St. Louis. Wrested Power Over Congregations First, Council of Presidents Chair, Texas DP Hennings stood his ground against this dangerous

Writing A Letter

COP Chair Challenges Ecclesiastical Supervision Decision

Last Friday District President (DP) Ken Hennings sent an unprecedented, public letter to the rostered members of his district. The letter explains the drastic change that the United List majority of the Synod Board of Directors adopted in May regarding ecclesiastical supervision. But Hennings did more. The letter explains why District Presidents in Synod are no longer the final ecclesiastical supervisors of churches, pastors, teachers, DCEs and other church workers.  Our new, changed reality? Synod President Harrison has taken that job for himself. District President Hennings clearly warns of the consequence this bylaw change brings: “It is necessary that I personally make you aware of the significant changes to the process of ecclesiastical supervision in our church body. The board of directors of the Synod has adopted bylaw changes that give the ultimate responsibility for your (and your congregation’s) ecclesiastical supervision to the President of the Synod. In other words, if