And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
We live in a complicated world today. While the American culture was never truly supportive of the Church, it was not as openly hostile in the previous century as it is today. Now some of the most basic matters are called into question by a society where there is no room for God and everyone can decide for themselves who they are and what world in which they choose to live.
While laypeople may know very little about the work of the Synod, one of the most important reasons that our congregations and church workers are members of the Synod is for the support that we receive in confessing the faith in a changing world. The sixth objective of the Synod is to “Aid congregations by providing a variety of resources and opportunities for recognizing, promoting, expressing, conserving, and defending their confessional unity in the true faith.” This support is carried out through Concordia Publishing House providing materials that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, but also help our members to answer the questions of the day. The Commission on Theology and Church Relations provides documents that assists congregations in conserving our confessional unity. Our seminaries provide continuing education courses, theological journals, and faculty members to help called workers navigating the changing currents. Even our district professional conferences are among those opportunities to promote and defend the true faith. This fall’s pastors conference will help our shepherds to engage in conversation about “The Church in a Virtual Age.”
Our congregations are not autonomous. Rather, they are part of a Synod and walk together in the unity of faith, even as we confess that faith in a complicated world. We are stronger together as we assist and support that confession of faith. It is good for elders and lay leaders, new teachers and school board members, as well as pastors and principals, to be reminded of the great support that exists in aiding congregations and schools to conserve and defend the true faith today. May God bless our Synod that we might faithfully proclaim His truth to the world around us.
Prayer – O Christ, our defender, protect us from all those whose plans would subvert Your truth through heresy and schism that, as You are acknowledged in heaven and an earth as one and the same Lord, so Your people, gathered from all nations, may serve you in unity of faith; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan