WELS Board for Home Missions met at the end of September and authorized funding for three new missions as well as two restarts. An additional congregation will receive support from Home Missions but no funding.
“Moved by the love of our Savior, Home Missions wanted to move forward because we know the Lord hasn’t directed us to just share the gospel when life is humming along but to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in difficult times as well,” says Keith Free, administrator of WELS Board for Home Missions. “Regardless of the circumstances in this world, God’s people know what their Lord has directed them to do—tell more people about the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. We ask the Lord to bless us to do just that.”
The new missions being funded are located in Amarillo, Texas; North Liberty, Iowa; and West San Antonio, Texas. The restarts include Dix Hills, N.Y.; Santa Clarita, Calif.; and Burlington, Iowa (unsubsidized).
The board also celebrated the news that two current home mission congregations launched worship services this fall—Hope, Houston, Texas, and Sure Foundation, Brandon, S.D.
Ten families from Our Savior, San Antonio, Texas, make up the committed core group at this new mission, which began worshiping together in March 2020. They held three in-person services at an elementary school with an average of 40 people in attendance before the pandemic hit. “My heart goes out to our young mission churches because they lost some momentum in reaching out to people who had shown interest in learning more about their Savior,” says Wayne Uhlhorn, chairman of WELS Board for Home Missions. “But our missionaries are resourceful and persistent and found ways to stay connected to them and reach out in creative ways with the gospel.”
Hope, Houston, Texas, received funding in May 2019, and Andrew Nemmers was assigned to serve as its home missionary later that month. Hope began worshiping this September in a local dance studio. Nemmers notes, “Even though this was not how we anticipated starting worship—several core group families unable to join in person, everyone wearing masks and social distancing—our first service was definitely successful. After months of not being able to gather in person, it was incredibly uplifting to be able to gather together around the Word again.”
Located 130 miles from the nearest WELS church, a group of 15 WELS members form the core group reaching out in Amarillo, Texas. The WELS pastor from Lubbock, Texas, comes to Amarillo twice a month to serve the members with God’s Word and the sacraments.
Sure Foundation, Brandon, S.D., held its grand opening worship service at a local hotel on Sept. 20.
North Liberty, Iowa, is a multi-site ministry with Good Shepherd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A dedicated core group of 20 members began worshiping in July 2017 at the North Liberty Community Center.
Volume 107, Number 11
Issue: November 2020