Here’s the wrap-up from Call Night as well as from Vicarage and Deaconess Internship Assignment Service the night before. We go over some numbers, thank God for His rich gifts, and remember our brothers and sisters in St. Louis, whose services take place today (Assignment at 3 p.m. and Calls at 7 p.m.–in Central Time, so 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. if you’re in our eastern time zone). You can watch their services at callday.csl.edu.
As to the livestream, our videographer gathered some interesting facts:
We had viewers from 45 states (none in Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, Delaware, or West Virginia, though we did have some views from Washington DC) and 11 countries: America, Canada, Scotland, South Korea, Germany, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Australia, France, Belize, and Puerto Rico. Our videographer was sorry to report that we had no viewers in Antarctica. However, he expects these stats to change (though probably not the Antarctica one) over the next week as more people take the time to check out the services and find out where our candidates have been called and where our new vicars and deaconess interns will be sent. You can also check out our interactive map, showing where all these men and women are headed, at callday.ctsfw.edu/map.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CTSFW)—“Go then, take heed unto thyself and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made thee an overseer, to feed the Church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood.”
So begins the charge to the pastoral candidates, read by the Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr., President of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), after these men received their Divine Calls to the Office of the Holy Ministry. The Candidate Call Service on April 30 concluded two days of services at CTSFW, following the Vicarage and Deaconess Internship Assignment Service the night before on April 29; students at the assignment service learned where they will serve in the field for the next year of their formation as future pastors and deaconesses. To see where each candidate, vicar-elect, and deaconess intern-elect have been sent, or to re-watch either of the services, go to callday.ctsfw.edu.
“[God] does promise to be with you always, never to leave you or forsake you,” President Rast concluded, following the charge—just one of many words of promise and encouragement to the candidates that evening. “And for that be thankful, as we are thankful for you and your commitment, which you have shown over these years, now preparing to go forth. It is an honor to be your colleague.”
CTSFW announced assignments for 41 vicar-elects and five deaconess intern-elects, followed by calls for 39 students in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Alternate Route (A.R.) programs. Later today, May 1, our sister seminary, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, will announce 66 vicarage assignments and calls for 41 MDiv and A.R. students. Along with those students who completed their training through SMP and Colloquy-SMP, 126 calls will be answered in all.
As has been the case for a number of years, more churches asked for men than received them: 15 congregations did not receive a vicar and 22 will not receive a candidate. As we pray to the Lord of the harvest for more workers, in particular we ask that you keep those congregations who did not receive a candidate in your prayers. If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about the pastoral and diaconal programs at CTSFW, go to www.ctsfw.edu/Admission.
Yet we remain hopeful, standing firmly on Christ our cornerstone. “Though we recognize that we need more pastors,” President Rast said, “we know at the same time God the Holy Spirit is currently calling, gathering, enlightening, and sanctifying future workers for his harvest field, and we look forward to welcoming them to the campuses of our church.”