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Canadians participate in installation of new manager for International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg

August 18, 2016 No Comment
Present and former directors of the Wittenberg Project: Rev. David Mahsman, Kristin Lange, and Rev. Dr. Wilhelm Torgerson.

Present and former directors of the Wittenberg Project: Rev. David Mahsman, Kristin Lange, and Rev. Dr. Wilhelm Torgerson.

GERMANY – Representatives of Lutheran Church-Canada (LCC) were active participants in a special service hosted by the “Old Latin School” in Wittenberg on Sunday, August 14. The International Lutheran Study and Visitors’ Center, housed in the school building (which dates to 1567), marked the retirement of its former Managing Director, Rev. David Mahsman, as well as the induction of incoming Director Kristin Lange, appointed to her post by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). The LCMS along with the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) in Germany have served as sponsoring church bodies for the study center.

Although not one of the sponsoring bodies, LCC is affiliated with the International Lutheran Council (ILC), which is seeking to deepen its ties with the Old Latin School. Rev. Dr. Wilhelm Torgerson, an LCC pastor serving part-time in retirement at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (St. Catharines, Ontario) was the original director of the Wittenberg project from 2007-2009. He was succeeded by Rev. Mahsman, who now returns to St. Louis to live in retirement. Kristin Lange, an active LCMS lay person, formerly studied at the Humboldt University in Berlin, and is fully bilingual as she takes up her work of shaping the Old Latin School into an active center for study and for meeting people from ILC partner churches around the world.

President Bugbee preaches in Wittenberg's old Town Church, frequently referred to as "the mother church" of the Reformation.

President Bugbee preaches in Wittenberg’s old Town Church, frequently referred to as “the mother church” of the Reformation.

LCC President Robert Bugbee served as preacher for the installation service, held in the old Town Church of St. Mary, just a few steps from the main entrance of the Old Latin School. Preaching in German on Isaiah 42:3, President Bugbee reminded the assembly that the center’s mission is not primarily to celebrate Luther the man, nor to boast of ourselves, but instead to introduce people to Christ the Saviour, who forgives and bears with afflicted and needy people. Though the town of Wittenberg has been gloriously restored from its drab appearance in the days of communist East Germany, people there—as in Canada and across the world—still have a great spiritual need of God’s gracious Servant Jesus.

“The Old Latin School has a prime location in the center of the city,” President Bugbee noted, “and it will be vital to bring a clear Gospel witness to the thousands of people coming to Wittenberg in 2017 to mark the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.” The building is fully equipped with meeting rooms, hotel-type accommodations, a bookstore, and a chapel. LCC people who visit the city where Luther preached and taught are encouraged to make a point of stopping in.

Additional information on the installation of Kristin Lange as Managing Director of the International Lutheran Study and Visitor’s Centre is available in a news report from the ILC.

Those wanting to know more about the centre and its activities can visit www.thewittenbergproject.org.


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