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New church workers for Central America

Canadian-trained pastors and deaconesses serve throughout the region

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rev. Dr. David Somers (Ascencion, Montreal) conducts a seminary class in Nicaragua

CHINANDEGA, Nicaragua - Members of the Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua (ILSN) will celebrate the graduation of fourteen theological school students, Saturday, March 28. Five pastors and nine deaconesses have completed three years of training coordinated by Dr. Roger Humann of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Of the five pastoral candidates, three will be ordained into the public ministry as pastors by ILSN president, Pastor Luis Turcio. This is the first ordination for the president who was elected at the ILSN's founding convention in January 2008. Two candidates will return to Panama where the Lutheran Church of Panama will ordain and place them into congregations. The three Nicaraguan pastors will continue serving the congregations where they served their vicarages.

“There is no greater honour in this fallen world than to be permitted to stand up before people week by week and to point the way to heaven,” said Rev. Robert Bugbee, president of Lutheran Church–Canada in a letter to the graduates. “He has placed into your hearts and mouths the one message that takes the load of sin off the backs of people, and sets them free.” He went on to congratulate the graduates and assured them of prayers and support from Lutheran Church–Canada.

Eight ILSN congregations will each receive a deaconess who will take responsibility for ministry to women and children along with Christian education. The ninth deaconess will return to Panama for placement.

Rev. Dr. Ralph Mayan, Lutheran Church–Canada’s interim mission executive and retired president, has participated in the two previous graduations and will preach at Saturday’s service. Guests include Erik Burgdorf from the Marvin Schwan Foundation which has funded the theological education program and Dr. Roger Humann who will also participate in the graduation ceremonies. Dr. Jorge Groh, the LCMS Area Mission Director for Central and South America, will also be present.

Lutheran Church–Canada began proclaiming the gospel in Nicaragua in 1996. Since then, the Canadian church has trained pastors and deaconesses to serve the Lutheran churches in Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rico and Panama.

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