The Lord has sent us three wise men from the South East.
At the District Convention of Synod on the first weekend in June (2021), we elected Pastor Mark Vainikka as Bishop. We then elected Pastor Ben Hentschke as First Assistant Bishop (Full-Time). Finally, we elected Pastor Nathan Glover as Second Assistant Bishop.
These three “wise men” have been sent to us by the Lord through his Church. In the week before District Convention of Synod, the Pastor’s Conference nominated them as candidates for these three official positions in our Church, and sent their nominations to the Synod for consideration.
I commend Mark, Ben and Nathan to you, asking that you would pray for them. I also encourage you to ask them to pray for you.
Like the three wise men at the manger of our Lord, these three wise men from the “South East” come bearing gifts. They bring faith, hope and love.
Mark, Ben and Nathan are baptised into Christ and have received the Holy Spirit to keep them in true faith until life eternal. These three brothers in Christ are faithful to Christ and his Gospel and are bold and passionate in their witness to the Lord’s cross and resurrection. Their faithfulness was cause for the Pastor’s Conference and for the Synod to elect them to these positions of Christian leadership.
Mark, Ben and Nathan are hopeful pastors in the Church. They have accepted nomination, trusting in the Lord’s promise that the Lord will continue to build his Church and the gates of Hell will certainly not prevail against the Church. Their hope in the Gospel is noticeable in their conduct as leaders for the Church who know deeply that Christian hope is experienced often in the midst of suffering.
Mark, Ben and Nathan abide in the love of God in Christ for them and for all the people of the world. They also express a deep committed love for Christ and for his people in the Church. This was made clear in the humble, gentle way that each of them accepted nomination for “office” and then responded to the announcements that they had been elected “Bishop”, “First Assistant Bishop” and “Second Assistant Bishop”.
Mark, Ben and Nathan, as the “outgoing Bishop” of the LCAQD, I thank God that you have offered yourselves to the Lord of the Church, in accepting nomination and allowing your names to be considered for these important positions of Christian leadership. I will continue to pray for each of you and for the communities of the District Lutheran Church that you serve, so that with one voice, we may together glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May the feet of God walk with you, and his hand hold you tight.
May the eye of God rest on you, and his ear hear your cry.
May the smile of God be for you, and his breath give you life.
May the Child of God grow in you, and his love bring you home.
(this is the second last newsletter article from Bishop Paul Smith)