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Ponderings from the president – “O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come”

October 23, 2018 No Comment

By: Thomas Prachar

President Thomas Prachar

The title for this post comes from LSB 733 v.1, and is the theme for our last Central District Convention in Winnipeg. By the time you read this article, the convention will have passed into the history books.

Beginning in 1922 as the Manitoba-Saskatchewan District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the first convention was held in MacNutt, Saskatchewan. Later, the district adopted a name change to “The Central District” as congregations in Northwestern Ontario were welcomed from the LCMS Minnesota North District. Throughout our 96 years, our gracious Lord has been our help, and the hope for each passing age as they looked forward to the years to come.

Decades before the district was officially organized, the LCMS extended a call in 1891 to the newly ordained Rev. Herman Buegel who accepted the call as a missionary to western Canada. As the newly completed railway system across western Canada enabled Lutheran settlers of various ethnic backgrounds to stake their claims across the west, so it allowed Rev. Buegel to follow them with Word and Sacrament ministry.

Like any family, our congregations and pastors have had their squabbles over the years. Rev. Buegel had to clear up a matter where a pastor told his congregation that they could substitute the unleavened bread of Holy Communion with dried apple slices. Despite doctrinal differences and variances in practice, the Lord has continued to guide us into the way of His truth. Indeed, “Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure” (LSB 733 v.2).

Even though our Central District will begin winding down its operations, our congregations, pastors, and deacons will continue to proclaim the precious message of Jesus crucified and risen from the dead under the new restructuring. In so doing, we are being faithful to the work our Lord has called us to do for, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

As we remember the past and our Lord’s mercies, we offer this prayer: “O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last And our eternal home!” (LSB 733 v.6).

Rev. Thomas Prachar