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Multiethnic Symposium a success

More than 250 pastors, deaconesses, lay leaders, faculty and students attended the 2019 Multiethnic Symposium April 25-26, meeting under the theme, “Shame and Honor: Gospel Proclamation in the Majority World.” Presentations and breakout sessions sought to foster an understanding of honor-shame cultures, as well as raise awareness that many people the church is trying to reach with the Gospel come from an honor-shame culture, even here in North America.

“We are blessed to have this annual Multiethnic Symposium for the church,” said Rev. Kou Seying, chairman of the symposium planning committee, the Lutheran Foundation Professor of Urban and Cross-Cultural Ministry, and associate dean for Urban and Cross-Cultural Ministry. “It is a gathering where theology and mission meet, and where we learn from world-renowned scholars and missional leaders. It also is a coming together to develop a network of personal relationships for the mission of God, and a time to celebrate, affirm and validate each other’s ministry as we, the church, together embrace the 21st century America that is rapidly increasing in cultural and ethnic diversity.”

Dr. Abjar Bakou, associate professor of Practical Theology, delivered the keynote address. Rev. Warren Lattimore, pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Orleans, La., and president of the LCMS Black Clergy Caucus, preached at the celebratory service with Holy Communion April 25. Plenary speakers Dr. Don Wiley, assistant professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., and Dr. Eric Moeller, LCMS New Jersey District missionary to the Portuguese- and Spanish- speaking population in the Newark, N.J., metro area, as well as sectional speakers from throughout the LCMS shared their perspectives and the multiethnic impact in their respective fields of ministry.

The symposium also included the 14th Annual Lecture in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Missions, “The Universal Significance of Jesus in the Gospel of John,” presented by Dr. Carlos Raúl Sosa Siliezar, assistant professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill.

Videos of some of the presentations will be posted on concordiatheology.org at a later date.

Sponsoring organizations, including The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Concordia Plan Services, Lutheran Hour Ministries, Lutheran Church Extension Fund and Lutheran Society for Missiology, helped make the Symposium possible.

Next year’s Multiethnic Symposium is scheduled for May 5-6, 2020. The theme is “The Rest and the West: What the West Can Learn from Global South Christianity.”

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