Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Tapestry of the Church

It seems that quilting and fabric art are universal expressions of the work of Lutherans throughout the world. In the offices of LCA there is a textile mural that symbolizes the unity and diversity of the LCA. It was assembled by members of the Lutheran Textile Artists Fellowship, using panels from 292 congregations. It fills an entire wall and demonstrates the many creative expressions of churches throughout Australia. Rod is joined by Gordon Samuel and Glenice Hartwich. Glenice served as a missionary in PNG for four years several years ago and now is the Project Officer for PNG and partnerships in Singapore, Thailand, and Cambodia.

The foyer area of the national office of the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) houses a wooden carved totem pole that tells the story of the work of Lutheran missionaries in Papua New Guinea---the first missionaries who brought the gospel to the people, the wondrous spreading of the word of God throughout the country, the building of places of worship, and the eventual growth of the church that led to an independent church in 1976. Today the ELC-PNG is a church of approximately 900,000 members.

Orientation in Adelaide Australia

On November 11, 2009 we arrived in Adelaide, Australia to begin 10 days Orientation with colleagues of the Lutheran Church of Australia before proceeding on to Papua New Guinea. Our host, Gordon Samuel, has worked with the Australian church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church - Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG) for forty years and shared his years of knowledge with us. We met several other staff, many of whom we will encounter again when they travel to PNG.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Commissioned to Serve

On August 30, friends and family joined us at our Commissioning Service at Lake Edge Lutheran Church in Madison, WI. Rev. Gary Hansen, Program Director of Papua New Guinea preached and Revs. Dick Blomker and Shirley Funk co-presided. Joining us for the Commissioning were Ron and Else Schardt, missionaries who served for 26 years in Papua New Guinea and now living in Dubuque, IA. They have been of immeasurable assistance to us as we pack and prepare for our move to PNG.

Global Mission Orientation

During July 2009, twenty-nine people gathered to begin their Orientation to Global Mission service. Nancy and Rod are soon leaving for Papua New Guinea to work in the church headquarters in Lae, PNG.