MEXICO – Representatives of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) met with representatives from the Lutheran Synod of Mexico (SLM) on December 16, 2013 in Mexico City, Mexico. In the early 1980s, the LCMS largely withdrew from work in Mexico. On September 29 of this year, the SLM sent a letter to the LCMS’ President Matthew Harrison asking his church to resume and increase its partnership. The LCMS responded by sending Rev. Arthur Rickman to meet with Mexican church officials.
In the meetings, SLM officials explained the challenges faced their nation and their synod. Currently, the SLM has three ordained pastors, and expresses a need for theological education leading to ordained pastors. The church also expressed a need for increasing its Lutheran identity, and deacons and deaconesses.
“It was delightful to renew relationships that had gone fallow and to encourage a church body that felt orphaned,” Rev. Dr. Scott Murray (Fourth Vice President, LCMS) said of the meetings. “We discussed concrete action items for the future that were mutually agreed to. Through these opportunities we look forward to rebuilding our relationship as we walk together in the body of Christ.”
In cooperation with the Luther Academy (an American organization which promotes confessional Lutheran theology), the LCMS sponsored a conference for SLM pastors and laity. Rev. Roberto Bustamante from Concordia Seminary in Buenos Aries, Argentina, served as lecturer, focusing on Lutheran identity and the theology of the cross.
The conference was held at the Lutheran Center of Mexico City. The Lutheran Center was built in the 1960s largely through the support of the LCMS. As a result of the agreement, the LCMS has a place at the table to discuss how the facility is used to promote Lutheranism in Mexico and Central America. Participants in the event look forward to a closer partnership between the SLM and the LCMS.
Both the SLM and the LCMS are members of the International Lutheran Council (ILC).