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Dear Friends:

One of the most enjoyable parts of my work as executive director of Lutheran CORE is the group of young adults that I meet with via zoom once a month.  One of them, Ethan Zimmerman, has just begun his seminary studies at the North American Lutheran Seminary (NALS) and Trinity School of Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.  He writes –

“My first week in seminary has been exactly what I hoped for and more! The professors are all

filled with genuine faith and have a desire to rightly teach orthodox Christianity, which is in stark contrast to the time spent at my undergrad, where the religion professors approached the classes with a cold and scientific outlook, using various critical methods to teach. The other students are also genuine, orthodox Christians, with similar interests and temperaments, which has made it easy to make friends. Trinity School for Ministry is filled with amazing people who love God, and if the rest of my time here is as great as the first week, then seminary will be one of the best times of my life!”

Two others in our group also are planning on enrolling in the North American Lutheran Seminary after graduating from college.  I told them, as Ethan was sharing his experiences starting seminary, that I was reliving my own days starting seminary fifty-three years ago.  How much I would love to be able to enroll once again in seminary and learn many things I did not learn the first time.

Thank you for your faithful prayer and financial support of the work of Lutheran CORE, including your gifts to our Pastoral Formation Fund, so that we are able to provide financial assistance for these outstanding young people who are preparing to be pastors.

As I am contacted by many churches who are unable to find an orthodox pastor, and as I watched the recent ELCA Churchwide Assembly and heard many people speak at the microphone that I would never want to have as my pastor, I am convinced even more of the importance of the work of Lutheran CORE.  Because of you we are able to –

  • Resume our in person Spanish language and bi-lingual ministries Encuentro, which had to be cancelled twice because of the pandemic.
  • Through our Congregations in Transitions ministry initiative provide assistance, guidance, and support for now a total of twenty-four congregations that are between pastors, will soon be losing their pastor, and/or are not able to find or afford a pastor.
  • Alert the faithful within the ELCA to actions taken by the recent Churchwide Assembly, including the motion to authorize revisions to the 2009 social statement, “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust,” and to explore a “reconsideration of the four stated positions of ‘bound conscience.’”  This is nothing less than a blatant, complete breach of trust and the next step in the ELCA’s rapidly and intentionally becoming a “church body” that will have no place for those who hold traditional views.  We will certainly continue to monitor the situation leading up to the ELCA’s next triennial churchwide assembly.    

A couple years ago – because of your generosity – Lutheran CORE was able to make a contribution of $15,000 towards the NEXUS program of Grand View University.  This outstanding ministry provides a week of Bible study, theological reflection, fellowship, service, and vocational discernment for high schoolers, challenging them to consider attending seminary and/or pursuing some other form of Christian service. 

Lutheran CORE would like to be able to make another gift of that same size in support of NEXUS in 2023.  Please find below a link to a flier which contains testimonies from some of the high school participants and college-aged mentors in past years, as well as a description of the way in which the leadership would like to be able to expand NEXUS through a retreat for past participants and mentors. 

Please also find below a link to a form which you can use to designate a gift either for our regular operating expenses or to help us reach our goal of financial support for NEXUS during 2023.  Any donations not designated will be given to the fund for our regular operating expenses.  Please also let us know how we can be praying for you and for your prayer concerns.

I am reminded of how the apostle Paul wrote to his young friend Timothy, “What you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well” (2 Timothy 2: 2).  Thank you for helping us be a Voice for Biblical Truth and a Network for Confessing Lutherans today, and to raise up pastors and other church leaders for tomorrow.

In Christ,   

Dennis D. Nelson

Executive Director of Lutheran CORE

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