New pastors and vicars receive cross-Canada placements

In two special gatherings Friday, May 7 and Saturday May 8, Lutheran Church–Canada’s two seminaries sent nine pastors and seven vicars into the field to serve congregations from Vancouver Island to downtown Toronto and beyond to the U.S.

Almost 250 family, friends, faculty and staff attended the Sacred Convocation of Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton, Friday evening, May 7. More than 100 viewers joined them on line. The evening event at Concordia University College’s Tegler Student Centre began with a rhythmic rendition of Holy, Holy, Holy, sung in Portuguese and English by members of the Concordia Community Chorus under the direction of the seminary’s music director David Mitchell.

Guest speaker at the convocation was Rev. Tom Kruesel, third vice-president of Lutheran Church–Canada and pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Campbell River, B.C. Addressing the pastoral candidates, he reminded them of their role and responsibilities as those who represent God in both the congregation and the community.

The seminary conferred four Master of Divinity (MDiv) degrees and announced placements for three who will continue to ordination. Four third year students heard where they will spend the next year as vicars.

Following the placements, the president of the seminary, Rev. Dr. Manfred Zeuch presented two special honours for noteworthy service and dedication. Rev. Les Stahlke, founder of Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots (LAMP), received a Doctor of Divinity – honoris causa. The degree recognized Rev. Stahlke’s commitment to sharing the Gospel in remote areas through both LAMP and Mission Aviation Fellowship, and his work as a leader in the relationship model of church board governance.

The seminary also recognized Deacon Margaret Towriss with its Faith and Life award. Mrs. Towriss has served as principal at Hope Lutheran School in Port Coquitlam, B.C. and is a strong advocate of Lutheran education as she has lived out her vocation in the church and school, at home, and in the community.

On Saturday afternoon, May 8, Grace Lutheran Church in St. Catharines, Ontario hosted the Call and Certification Service of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary. More than 140 attended the service, despite blustery weather, and more than 30 watched the service on line.

Guest preacher, Pastor Jim Schnarr, Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Hamilton, Ontario encouraged the new pastors to keep focused on Jesus Christ. The pastor’s son, Cameron, was a pastoral candidate and received his first placement.

During the service four vicars received their year-long assignments, one in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Three 2010 pastoral candidates received their first calls. Two will serve in Manitoba and Alberta, while the third will stay in Ontario.

The seminary honoured Rev. Robert Bruer with its Delta Chi (Servant of Christ) award recognizing his life-long work in mission outreach including starting new congregations in various towns in England, and Moncton, New Brunswick.

Dr. William Mundt, who is the CLTS representative on LCC’s placement board explained that four vicarage candidates could not be placed this year due to a lack of requests. He warned that next year, up to 14 vicars may be available and encouraged congregations to consider how they can help mentor these future pastors by requesting a vicar.

For placements please see

Posted By: Matthew Block
Posted On: May 8, 2010
Posted In: Education News, National News,

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