January 2020 Letter

 

Help from Germany

 

On January 2nd each year, the Church commemorates the life of Pastor J.K. Wilhelm Loehe. Even though he never left Germany, Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe had a profound impact on the development of Lutheranism in North America. Born in Fuerth, Germany in 1808, Wilhelm became a pastor serving in the Bavarian (southern Germany) village of Neuendettelsau.

 

Recognizing the need for church workers in developing lands, he assisted in training emergency helpers to be sent as missionary pastors to North America, Brazil, and Australia. A number of the men he sent to the United States became founders of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Through Pastor Loehe’s financial support, a theological school (Concordia Theological Seminary) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a teacher’s institute in Saginaw, Michigan, were established. Pastor Loehe was known for his confessional integrity and his interest in liturgy (how public worship is conducted) and catechetics (study of the Small Catechism). His devotion to works of Christian charity led to the establishment of a deaconess training house and homes for the aged.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd of Your people, we give You thanks for your servant J.K. Wilhelm Loehe, who was faithful in preparing missionary pastors to send to North America, Brazil, and Australia. Help us follow his example to raise up and support the training of pastors and missionaries to shepherd Your flock in 2020, so that, by Your grace, Your people may grow into the fullness of life intended for them in paradise; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.