As much as I enjoyed my job as a truck-driver, I somehow knew I would not stay in that field. When we became Lutheran, I began to wonder if maybe the Office of Holy Ministry was the vocation for me. So I began the process and waited for a hurdle too big for us to get over. It never came.
Leaving the home we loved to begin seven years of schooling was very difficult but I’ve never regretted it. Going through Seminary with a wife and children is not easy, but we were always supported and prayed for.
Seminary can be hard, and the Ministry is often difficult but it’s also extremely rewarding. I’m where God called me to be, and don’t regret it at all.
-Rev. Todd Guggenmos (CLS ’13)
Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) is re-launching the RSVP initiative, a church worker recruitment program that successfully identified a number of prospective pastors and deacons throughout the 1990s and 2000s, with hopes that LCC congregations will observe a Recruitment Sunday on January 22, 2017.
Resources from the earlier RSVP initiative have been revised in anticipation of the new recruitment effort, and LCC congregations are encouraged to make use of the new material. “Church workers are still needed,” an introduction to the new RSVP material explains. “The potential harvest is greater than ever. It is our prayer that congregations will make use of the revised Recruitment Initiative materials and forward the names of prospective students to Lutheran Church–Canada for follow-up.”
The RSVP material includes bulletin inserts, a Bible study, worship materials, a sermon, nomination forms, and more. You can download the full package here: http://isgodcallingme.ca/
Churches are encouraged to read a letter from LCC President Robert Bugbee on January 15 to announce the initiative locally. “As long as there are people who don’t confess Christ… and churches needing faithful shepherds… and unreached communities, there will always be a need for pastors to bring the Good News,” President Bugbee writes. “Pastoral recruitment needs to be on the minds and in the prayers of every person in our church. For Jesus’ sake, please let it be on your mind, and take it into your prayers also!”
RSVP began in 1998, and provided resources to congregations for use on a Recruitment Sunday (preferably in January), in order to encourage members to identify prospective church workers. Those individuals were referred to their pastor, who interviewed them and then, if appropriate, forwarded their names to Synod for follow up by LCC’s seminaries and—at the time—college. The original RSVP program was discontinued after about eight years, ending around a decade ago.
Do you know someone of high school age who would make a good Pastor?
Concordia Lutheran Seminary (Edmonton) is hosting a weekend retreat for high school aged students to come and spend a couple of days envisioning what it would be like to train to be a Pastor in Lutheran Church Canada.
The retreat begins on Friday, May 13th in the early evening, and concludes after attending a local worship service on Sunday morning (May 15th).The cost, which includes food and accommodations, is only $50, and CLS has also set aside some funding to help with travel for those who need it.
More information is included with the Registration Form, found here:
Envision Yourself – Registration Form (PDF)
I told her she would be marrying a career soldier; that we’d spend the first 4 years of our marriage in Germany, and she still said yes. But in 18 years, I worked for four different employers in three unrelated jobs. The day someone first said to me, “We need men like you in the Seminary,” I was a journeyman millwright for a corporate pulp/lumber company. I didn’t like working 12s, but the money and benefits were good, and I actually enjoyed doing the work. We built our dream house where I expected to remain until I died. Ministry was never my idea, and I was afraid of how that change would impact us after being settled for 14 years. Yet, I admit my deepest question had nothing to do with my family at all. Of all I learned at the seminary, Christ patiently taught me the difference between “Am I called to be a pastor?” and “Am I worthy to be a pastor?”
-Rev. Dan Barr (CLS ’10)
To download this and other posters for your congregation check out Resources > Recruitment Campaign
When I got out of high school I went into the construction trades. Eventually I started my own company and ran it for 18 years in the Calgary area. At the tender age of 42, the Gospel of salvation in Christ convinced me to stop working for myself and to spend the rest of my life serving the Lord. With the total support of my wife Joyce and our 6 teenage children we sold our acreage and our business and moved north to Edmonton to go to seminary. It wasn’t easy going back to school after all those years, but the Lord got us through it financially and academically and I have now been the pastor in Kitimat, BC for 8 years where we have also started a new congregation in the neighboring community of Terrace, BC. Sometimes the obstacles look too large for us but “With God nothing is impossible”.
-Rev. Clint Magnus (CLS ’09)