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Multiethnic Symposium celebrates ‘Reformation Across Borders’

From left, Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M., director of the Seminary’s Center for Hispanic Studies; Dr. Ruben Dominguez, pastor, El Buen Lutheran Church, McAllen, Texas; and Rev. Kou Seying, event organizer and the Seminary’s associate dean for urban and cross-cultural ministry
From left, Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M., director of the Seminary’s Center for Hispanic Studies; Dr. Ruben Dominguez, pastor, El Buen Lutheran Church, McAllen, Texas; and Rev. Kou Seying, event organizer and the Seminary’s associate dean for urban and cross-cultural ministry

The Multiethnic Symposium Jan. 24-25 was outstanding, the best in its history, according to Rev. Kou Seying, event organizer. The symposium, with the theme “Reformation Across Borders,” brought together more than 170 participants from within and outside of the Seminary community along with mission leaders from different ethnic groups representing all levels of ministry in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).

During his welcoming remarks, Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer called the symposium a “place of great energy. These are two days of great energy.”

The keynote speaker was Dr. Enoch Wan, whose address was “The Paradigm Shift of Martin Luther Then and Ours Now.” He is research professor of intercultural studies and director of the Intercultural Studies Program at Western Seminary in Portland, Ore.

Seying noted that the presentations were very helpful with a good balance between theory, methodology and practice. Participants were inspired, encouraged and spiritually uplifted by the learning environment, the fellowship and the worship experiences.

A Service of Holy Communion was held the first night of the symposium in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus in which Meyer preached. “There should be a welcome that we extend to each other in our congregation, but that extends out to everyone we meet throughout the week,” he said. Liturgy and Scripture readings were presented in several different languages, including Cantonese, Spanish, French, blue Hmong and Oromo (northeast Africa).

Another special moment of the service was the gathering of the congregation around the chancel for the reading of the Gospel in English and in Urudu (Pakistan and India). Special music was provided by Pro Musica Sacra under the direction of James Marriott, the Hmong Choir and the HIEL worship team from Zion Lutheran Church in Belleville, Ill.

On the morning of Jan. 25, participants split into sectional groups, based on a variety of topics including ministering to second generation immigrants of Asian and African descent. Later, the group joined together again for a celebration of the different missions of the LCMS, including LCMS Black Ministry, Mission Nation Publishing and the translation projects of Lutheran Heritage Foundation.

Symposium speakers included:

  • Dr. Paul Mueller, director of the Art & Carol Wahlers Center for Applied Lutheran Leadership, Office of the President, Concordia University, Portland, Ore.
  • Rev. Rob Kieselowsky, executive director of Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries, Philadelphia
  • Rev. Ruben Dominguez, pastor, El Buen Lutheran Church, McAllen, Texas
  • Dr. Joel Elowsky, professor of historical theology, Concordia Seminary
  • Randy Fauser and Dr. Darrell Zimmerman, Grace Place Ministries
  • Rev. Terrence Chan, pastor/lead missionary, Christ for All Nations Lutheran Church, San Francisco
  • Dr. Tesfai Tesma, California-Nevada-Hawaii missionary
  • Rev. Lincon Guerra, Hispanic mission, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dr. Roosevelt Gray, director of LCMS Black Ministry, LCMS Office of National Mission
  • Dr. Robert Scudieri, president, Mission Nation Publishing Co.
  • Rev. Ted Na Thalang, translation project coordinator Southeast Asia, Lutheran Heritage Foundation
  • Dr. Rubén Rosario Rodriguez, associate professor, department of theological studies, Saint Louis University, St. Louis
  • Dr. Victor Belton, pastor, Peace Lutheran Church, Decatur, Ga.

The next Multiethnic Symposium will be held in May 2018.