Easter Baskets: Serving Our Neighbors

The day before Easter, four of our seminarians and their families got together in the Student Commons to assemble Easter baskets for the men and women at one of the assisted living centers here in Fort Wayne.

You can see their children working on the cards that went into each basket, making each gift more personal. They delivered sixteen in all, staying for awhile to visit with the folks at Coventry Meadows.

Rosa Young Scholarship

In 1961, a remarkable woman by the name of Dr. Rosa Young received an honorary doctorate from Concordia Theological Seminary (still located in Springfield, IL at the time) in recognition of her service.

God had first brought together the African American schoolteacher and the Lutheran Church in January of 1916, at a special meeting of the LCMS Mission Board. Just over a hundred years later, CTSFW would officially partner with the LCMS Foundation in August of 2016 to fund and promote the Dr. Rosa J. Young Scholarship endowment.

Through the Rosa Young Scholarship, we hope to continue her legacy, particularly by encouraging men and women in the African American community to pursue training in church work. If you would like to join in the effort to support future faithful servants of Christ, visit www.ctsfw.edu/support, email Advancement@ctsfw.edu or call 877.287.4338.
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Only a single generation removed from slavery, Rosa Young was a teacher in the early 1900s, serving central, rural Alabama. Desperate for the funds to continue her school, she applied to many organizations and individuals. Finally, Dr. Booker T. Washington wrote her a letter, suggesting she contact the LCMS as they were doing more for African Americans than any other denomination he knew.
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Their partnership in 1916 led to the establishment of 30 schools, 35 congregations and a college. Here in her own words, Dr. Young explains why she first wanted to build a school and how that desire shown a light in the darkness:

“Though the teaching of the Bible and of the Six Chief Parts of the Christian religion was neglected, I cannot say that this was one of my reasons for wanting to build a school for my race, for in this respect I was in the dark myself. Sad! Sad! We were all blind and leaders of the blind. We did not know the Bible, neither did the preachers know it. We did not know what we must do to be saved, neither did the preachers. They were preaching false doctrine, and we did not know it. We did not know that Jesus has done all that is necessary for our salvation, and the preachers did not know it. We did not know what Jesus, the Savior, meant to us. We did not know that we were sinners. We wanted to go to heaven; but we did not know the way, and the preachers did not know it. We were trying to work our way to heaven, and the preachers were doing the same. We were not following our Bibles, neither were the preachers…

“The Lord, our Savior, who loved us saw all this and had compassion on us. He saw that the sad plight of our immortal souls was far worse than our physical condition. The Lord looked down from heaven upon us. He saw this hellward-leading teaching, this man-made doctrine of salvation by works. He saw darkness had covered our land. Our eyes were blind to the knowledge contained in His blessed Gospel. The Lord saw that we were all on the wrong road, regardless of how well we meant, and could never reach heaven that way.

“God saw that I was concerned, that I was worried, about many things pertaining to the temporal welfare of my people. God saw my eager desires and longings to do something for Him and my race. I did not have the least of what was to be done. I could not preach, for women are not allowed to preach. But the Lord instilled in me the thought of building a school, gave me strength to begin this work, and sustained me.

“At that time I knew nothing about the Lutheran Church and its pure Gospel preaching; but God knew all about it and was pleased with it. God was going to use my school as an instrument to put the true Church in this dark land.”

The above is quoted from her autobiography “Light in the Dark Belt.” To learn more about her work and the generations that she has touched since then, read an additional CTSFW article by CLICKING HERE.

Tanzania Pastoral Training Program

Bishop Emmanuel Joseph Makala and a delegation from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) met with the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) yesterday.

The bishop signed a copy of his book for President Rast, Chair of the CTCR. Bishop Makala is a long-time friend of the Seminary, having requested CTSFW’s help in developing the Tanzania pastoral training program. We have been partnered with them in that endeavor since 2013, which you can read about by CLICKING HERE.

Allen County March for Life 2018

The Allen County March for Life took place here in Fort Wayne on Saturday. Dr. Peter Scaer, who is a bold and commonly heard voice for these and other such issues, opened the rally with greetings and prayer. He also wrote a reflection on the event, quoted here from his Facebook page:

“Life and death have never been friends. Where death reigns, there is no hope, no future, no friends or family. In a strange mystery, it took Christ’s death to defeat death, his resurrection to give us new hope. But today, with Allen County Right to Life, we celebrated life, together, as a community. Over 2000 strong. And what a celebration it was.”

There was a good showing of Lutherans for the march. You can see some of our professors and seminarians (and a few family members) alongside the CTSFW sign, and that’s our own Rev. Dreyer from the Admission Office taking a picture of all the Lutherans together.

Article Share: Great Sinners

As we move deeper into the Advent season, our focus turns evermore to the baby in the manger and the promise of salvation for all people. We receive mercy though we are merciless; forgiveness for the unforgivable. In this present day we have much to drive us to repentance.

Rev. Dr. Scott Murray, current member of our Board of Regents and a 1983 CTSFW grad (as well as pastor at Memorial Lutheran Church in Houston), wrote this piece about abortion over two years ago, in November of 2015. You can click on the link or go to https://blogs.lcms.org/2015/great-sinners to read it. The message is as timely as ever. Not only because we are still sinners but because we are still saints, forgiven in Christ and called to serve our neighbor.

If you are looking for pro-life opportunities, our Seminary Life Team is planning on attending both the March for Life in Washington, D.C. (January 19) and the Allen County March for Life here in Fort Wayne (January 27). Led by Jacob Benson, a fourth-year seminarian, and Hanna Hoffbeck, a deaconess student, this is our Life Team’s second year in existence.

All are welcome to join the seminary community for either one or both marches. The Sem Life Team is offering travel stipends to students who want to attend the march in Washington, D.C. For the Fort Wayne rally, the plans are to meet beforehand, then march together behind our banner.

For more information, contact Jacob Benson. He can be reached at Jacob.Benson@ctsfw.edu or (307) 431-6544.

Military Project: Notes of Encouragement

Students and faculty signed notes of encouragement as a part of CTSFW’s Military Project Mission, established to support LCMS chaplains and other military personnel and their families. The letters on the right will go out to military personnel directly related to the Seminary community (for example, one is to the brother of one of our seminarians and another is for a student who had planned to begin pastoral training this fall, only to be deployed before he could begin his first year), and the letters on the left are for chaplains who are either out in the field, or soon to be. Thanks be to Jesus for those who serve us as God’s instruments of protection!