While excitement is building for Call Day, April 28, the mood is obviously different this year. Morale is good but the topsy-turvy of this pandemic is not what anyone was expecting.
Classes are finishing the semester online. We didn’t miss a day of instruction. Meetings are online, campus events that bring thousands to campus every year have been canceled or will be held online. The campus is operational but buildings are closed to visitors and only a skeleton crew is on campus. Those on campus are tending to infrastructure (maintenance, accounting, gift processing, etc.).
We’re closely watching our finances, and as the months pass, we will see where we’re at financially. Because of the great support of donors over the years (thank you!), we’re able to withstand this shock. When we come out of the immediate crisis, we’ll assess where we’re at and will decide what adjustments need to be made. We have confidence that the Lord of the church is guiding us through this trial and we’ll come out on the other side with even more effective ministry and witness.
Here are the numbers for Call Day: Concordia Seminary, St. Louis has 63 pastoral candidates and one deaconess candidate. Six have calls or placements pending, meaning that either paper work has yet to be completed or a congregation has yet to make an official decision to call. We have 48 vicarage candidates and one deaconess intern. Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., has 40 pastoral candidates and 35 vicarage candidates. I don’t have the number for their deaconess interns.
Please join us for our virtual Call Day service at 7 p.m. (CDT), April 28, at csl.edu/callday, on our YouTube channel and on our Facebook page. We will continue to keep you up-to-date on all the happenings at your alma mater with this newsletter, but I would encourage you to check out csl.edu often. Take advantage of the free resources at concordiatheology.org and the scholar site.
May I ask you to offer public prayers in your congregation for Call Day and especially for the candidates in these most unusual times? Encourage your congregation to make recruitment for ministry a high priority, an emphasis which will energize your church as well as make provision for the future. And if a candidate or vicar is placed in your circuit, welcome them and come alongside them to help integrate them into this marvelous calling of serving people with the Good News of our Lord Jesus.
All the above is about things here at your alma mater. You also have great challenges in your call to serve God’s people. May the Spirit of our living Lord sustain you in these trying times and give you zeal and joy as we together pray to Him to bring us through this trial and into an even greater witness. Yes, especially now, it’s a great time to be the church!
Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis