Annual Chinese-language Seminar on Holy Scripture and Luther’s Small Catechism
Beginning in 2014, we have held an annual Chinese-language seminar on Holy Scripture and Luther’s Small Catechism on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The total number of participants has ranged from 9-14, and they have come from the United States, Canada, and Taiwan. Aside from ELMSC board members Rev. Xinhong “Chris” Yang and Rev. Dr. Michael Paul, speakers have included Rev. Alexander Wu, Rev. Wayne Zhang, and faculty from Concordia Theological Seminary (thus far Professors Masaki, Mayes, Pless, and Wiley). The seminar always includes presentations on Scripture and a portion of Luther’s Small Catechism, and the prayer offices of Matins and Compline are prayed in Mandarin each day. When the seminar has occurred over the weekend, the participants have worshiped at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Ft. Wayne. Other Lutheran congregations have been visited as well, in part to learn theology and practice from the architecture of Lutheran Church buildings.
The seminar is intended to both offer continuing education for Mandarin-speaking Lutheran pastors, and also give laity a chance to study basic Lutheran theology in their native language. At times, districts of the LCMS have used the seminar to help in their colloquy process for admitting Chinese pastors into the LCMS. For pictures of past seminars, please go to the “photo album” page of our website.
Chinese Lutheran Resource Development
Aside from our annual seminar, another major focus of our work to this point has been assisting in the production and distribution of Chinese Lutheran resources. The first book we’ve taken on on our own is translating “Here We Stand” by Herman Sasse into Chinese. This is a very challenging project due to the difficult German original and English translation from which we’re translating. However, as of July 2020, we are now making good progress with a very competent editor, to produce a faithful, readable Chinese translation. Aside from this project, we have supported many other projects, including especially the Chinese Lutheran Service Book project, a truly monumental undertaking. With projects like these, we are able to provide quick and flexible financial support when that is needed, but difficult to obtain from other sources. We work closely especially with the LCMS Office of International Mission and also the LCMS partner Church body in Taiwan, the China Evangelical Lutheran Church. Aside from producing such resources, there is often a need to ship them from place to place so that the Chinese Christians who need them can use them. We have become more and more active in providing the funding for such shipping costs.
A rapidly expanding service we are providing is online access to Chinese Lutheran resources of various types. Based on the website you are accessing right now (click on the “CHINESE LUTHERAN RESOURCES” link near the top of our website), text, audio, and video resources are increasingly available with easy downloading functionality. Included are over 100 15-20 minute videos teaching Luther’s Small Catechism, sermons, and presentations on various topics. To this point, this website is still accessible in countries where other websites like YouTube and Google Sites are not accessible.
We have also financially supported Chinese seminary students and new pastors, and will likely do more of this in the future.
There are many more possibilities and opportunities for us to serve the worldwide Chinese Lutheran Church that we will continue to explore and God-willing engage in as we have the ability to do so. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.