Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Wartburg May Term Class "Reformation Then & Now" has been joined by a group from the Northeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In the ELCA, each Synod has one or more "companion synods" so that our synodical expressions can relate more closely to the global Lutheran community. For example, the Northeastern Iowa Synod is "companions" with the Lutheran denominations in Namibia and with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary. Already, a Bishop from Hungary has come to visit us in Iowa and a young adult has come to spend the summer to work at Ewalu Camp and Retreat Center in Strawberry Point. If our relationship is to grow any deeper, it is time for some of us to visit.

Our group is being led by Bishop Steven L. Ullestad '75. He is accompanied by Ruth Ullestad '75, myself, and my wife Beverly. Pr. Harold McMillan '72 serves Saint John Lutheran Church in Luanna where the congregation has already voted to be in a church-to-church relationship, so he is participating seeking to establish that kind of tie. Pr. Phil Olson serving Calmar Lutheran Church is also with us. Tanner C. Howard, a third year seminarian from Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, is attending after being sponsored by his congregation, First Lutheran Church in Dows, and some extremely generous friends of the synod.

When we get to Hungary, we will meet with church and government officials to discuss ways we can work together over the next several years. We will also be getting to know our Hungarian companions better by touring a school, college, social ministry sites and, of course, many congregations. On Pentecost Monday, Bishop Ullestad will be offering the sermon at a local congregation.

We are excited by all the opportunities this trip offers both our Synod and the Hungarian Lutheran Church. We are grateful to be able to spend time with these exceptional young people from Wartburg College. They are a joy to be around and excellent representatives of their college.

Pastor Mark A. Anderson, Assistant to the Bishop

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