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Concordia Seminary Welcomes Visitors from Indonesia

On Jan. 13, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, welcomed three guests from Indonesia—Revs. Nelson Siregar, Bonar Lumbantobing and Mangisi Simorangkir. Darin Storkson, regional director of LCMS (Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod) World Relief and Human Care in Asia, and Rev. Matthew Harrison, director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care, accompanied them.

Seminary faculty members made contact with the Indonesian dignitaries through a tsunami reflection visit, sponsored by the LCMS World Relief and Human Care, in India and Indonesia, May 22 – June 3, 2005. Professors Joel Okamoto, Victor Raj and Leopoldo Sánchez surveyed sites affected by the recent tsunami and visited local churches, such as Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP). They also visited the HKBP (Pematangsiantar) and GKPI (Medan) seminaries for theological discussions with the professors, lecture presentations, and to learn of the students’ work with the tsunami victims.

“Our colleagues from Indonesia challenged us to think about theology in the context of mass suffering, and continue to have an overwhelming interest in Lutheran theological renewal within their church bodies,” commented Dr. Leopoldo Sánchez, assistant professor of systematic theology at Concordia Seminary. “We welcome these men to our campus in hope that we can show them how Concordia Seminary carries out its mission to serve the church and world through theological education.”

Rev. Nelson Siregar is executive director of the Department of Diakonia, HKBP, Indonesia, and Harrison’s counterpart in the four million-member HKBP Synod, a Lutheran World Federation (LWF) member in Indonesia. Rev. Bonar Lumbantobing is the only Lutheran lecturer in the otherwise Reformed HKBP Seminary in Pematangsiantar, Indonesia. Rev. Mangisi Simorangkir is the newly-elected bishop of the 400,000-member GKPI Synod, an LWF member in Indonesia, and the theologian who translated the Book of Concord into Indonesian.

For more information, contact Communications, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; (314) 505-7374; communications@csl.edu.