COVID-19 and ILC Churches in Germany and Nicaragua

WORLD – Lutherans across the world continue to respond to the COVID-19 crisis with spiritual and physical care. In this post, we highlight the response of member churches of the International Lutheran Council in Germany and Nicaragua.

Germany

Bethlehem Church in Hanover, Germany live-streams the divine service.

Germany has reported 183,564 cases of COVID-19, with 8,605 deaths. The country acted quickly to enact lockdown measures after the disease began to spread, leading to the closure of schools, the closure of national borders, and the imposition of curfews and stay-home orders in various parts of the country. Restrictions were also placed on church gatherings. Recently, some of these pandemic containment measures have begun to be relaxed.

From the beginning of the crisis, Germany’s Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (Selbständige Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche – SELK) has worked hard to provide continued pastoral care to members in unusual circumstances. A special crisis group was struck to provide pastors and congregations guidance and assistance about how to deal with the situation, as well as offering comfort and spiritual guidance. Churches moved quickly to offer services and other programs online, as well as offering services over the phone for older parishioners. Devotional resources for holding home services have also been made available.

“All the things that developed in our congregations with the various online services are a cause for much gratitude,” noted SELK Bishop Hans-Jörg Voigt. “How many possibilities are suddenly arising in our congregations which⁠—without this insidious virus⁠—we would likely never have thought of.” Bishop Voigt is also Chairman of the International Lutheran Council.

The SELK was clear from the beginning the Lord’s Supper could not be consecrated online. Some churches have been able to resume in-church services since May 17, albeit with reduced numbers of parishioners, so pastors are working hard to administer communion to members who have gone without—sometimes conducting two or three services each Sunday in order to accommodate the reduced number of participants allowed to attend each service.

In this time of turmoil, Bishop Voigt encourages Christians to take comfort in the words of Jesus Christ: “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart: I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

“In these days,” Bishop Voigt comments, “may this promise be our strong consolation.”

Nicaragua

The ILSN shares a message for Easter Sunday via social media.

Nicaragua currently reports 370 cases of COVID-19 and 35 deaths. The country has refrained from mandating the social distancing and quarantine measures common in other parts of the world.

The Lutheran Church Synod of Nicaragua (Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua – ILSN) reports widespread concerns that there may be more sick than currently verified by testing. In the midst of this unease, the church is offering spiritual support and guidance to people as they are able.

The ILSN took steps early on to keep members and their communities safe, suspending normal church meetings and activities. Large gatherings were suspended, with pastors instead meeting with small groups of people at a time to administer the means of grace. They have also distributed printed devotional material as well as offering services and messages online.

Some programs have had to be suspended for the time being, including the church’s large education program for children. The children’s feeding program, however, continues to be offered by deaconesses and volunteers, as it supports people in some of the poorest parts of the country. The program has been adapted to follow appropriate safety guidelines: rather than gathering children together in church buildings for meals, prepackaged food items are instead being delivered to the houses of impoverished children and families.

“We see how blessed our deaconesses in Nicaragua are in their dedication and service to the poor in their communities,” notes a recent update on the ILSN situation via The Canadian Lutheran magazine. “Their faith has opened their eyes to the needs of the people, and has inspired and led them to find ways to address those needs, even in the face of a daunting pandemic.”

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For more news and information from the International Lutheran Council about the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

COVID-19 and ILC Churches in Ghana and Haiti

ELCG President John Donkoh leads evening devotions online.

WORLD – Lutherans continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic spreading around the globe. In this report, we focus on the response of ILC member churches in Ghana and Haiti.

Ghana

Ghana has reported 2,719 cases of COVID-19, with 18 deaths. In response to the crisis, the country banned all public gatherings on March 15, including worship services. Several regions have been gone into partial lockdown or quarantine.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG) has urged its members to follow all government protocols and remain at home. At the same time, the church is working to identify members at risk because of the lockdowns. “We note that in some communities, the majority of people live from hand to mouth, and cannot stay at home and isolate themselves, because that would bring about their swift starvation,” notes ELCG President John Donkoh. Thanks to support from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the ELCG is rolling out a range of various activities to reach out to the needy and less privileged in their communities.

COVID-19 awareness material shared online from the ELCG’s National Lutheran Youth Executives.

The church is also launching an interactive online program in collaboration with the Lutheran Media Ministry, to keep faith alive for youth, women, compassion children, and their parents. Each Sunday, regional pastors preach in turns live via Facebook, and sermons are translated into local Ghanaian languages where broadcasts are taking place. At the same time, the church encourages its members to also engage in personal study of Scripture, to pray, and to continue studying the Catechism.

The Lutheran Media Ministry Studio in Accra is also assisting with Christ-centered programs to share the good news of Jesus with the whole country. From Maundy Thursday through Easter, the church presented a series of messages on suffering, death, and the resurrection of Christ to the nation via FM radio.

The church is also responding to questions of faith and fear from the general public as well as major media on various theological topics.

“This is a very challenging time, but we don’t lose heart because Jesus has overcome the world,” says ELCG President Donkoh. “The period of lockdown has been uncomfortable for many…. People are grieving that life has not worked out as they had hoped.”

“We seem to be living in a broken world,” he continues. “A world with bad news. COVID-19 is indeed disorganizing our normal life.” And yet, he says, “the Holy Spirit through the blessed Word relieves us from the fear of death, and gives us the power to triumph over this great and final foe. Through the great power of the Gospel—the good news of Jesus’ blessed death for those who are subject to death, and His glorious resurrection from the dead—we are gifted with hope in this world.”

Haiti

The country of Haiti has reported 100 cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths so far. To arrest the spread of the disease, the Haitian government has restricted gatherings of more than 10 people, including at churches.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (Église Évangélique Luthérienne d’Haiti – ELCH) is reaching out to people during this difficult situation, which is aggravated by recent instability in the region. The church reports that a lack of infrastructure in the nation also creates challenges; a majority of the population, for example, do not have access to electricity.

The ELCH is relying on WhatsApp—a form of communication in widespread use in the country—to distribute messages, sermons, and other information to congregation members. But this is often an imperfect solution, as those without regular access to electricity may not be able to read or hear sermons until several days later.

Visitations are also prohibited in order to prevent the spread of disease, effectively preventing pastors from visiting the sick.

“In this time of distress, we focus on God,” notes ELCH Secretary Thomas Bernard. “As we are battling with this pandemic, God is the only one who can save us with His message of grace and forgiveness. As Christian leaders, we encourage our members to remain faithful in times of suffering because through suffering we may be equipped to comfort others. We know that even in times of suffering, ‘God is still our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in time of trouble.’”

ELCH President Eliona Bernard sends greetings to Lutherans around the world, encouraging pastors and church leaders: “May our Lord continue to equip and strengthen you all so that you continue to faithfully serve His flocks!”

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For more news and information from the International Lutheran Council about the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Wittenberg Outreach during COVID-19

GERMANY – Like many churches and organizations around the world, the International Lutheran Center at the Old Latin School (OLS) in Wittenberg has been dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Together we rejoice in the victorious resurrection and gracious reign of our Lord Jesus Christ over all, even as we mourn the suffering worldwide under the pandemic,” writes Rev. Dr. Wilhelm Weber, Managing Director of the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg (ILSW), in an Easter update. “Lord, have mercy.”

Worship services across Germany have been banned to help curb the spread of the disease, but Dr. Weber continues to reach out to the people of Wittenberg with mp3 sermons. In normal times, the International Lutheran Center at the Old Latin School provides a place for people to learn, grow, study, meet, retreat, and experience the Gospel in Wittenberg, the birthplace of the Reformation.

Like many businesses, the bookstore at the Center was closed for an extended period due to government regulations, and was only able to reopen on April 20. But the hospitality business—including hotels—remains suspended indefinitely, significantly impacting that aspect of the International Lutheran Center’s work.

“We are still very much in shut-down mode here in Luthercity,” Dr. Weber notes. “Things have practically come to a standstill: no tourists, no buses, no ships on the river, no cyclists, the market square deserted, and parking bays available all over.” With tourism suspended, the work of the ILSW in sharing the Reformation witness to the Gospel has been complicated. Several future events scheduled to take place at the Center also remain up in the air.

Dr. Weber encourages Christians everywhere to pray for those affected by COVID-19. “We prayerfully bring before God those suffering and facing hardships due to this pandemic,” he says. “May the Triune God continue to grant healing and salvation as we call on Him in our good Lord Jesus’ name. We pray for a vaccine son. We thank Him for those many people who have been healed and who continue on the way of recovery.”

The International Lutheran Council is part-owner of the ILSW and the International Lutheran Center at the Old Latin School in Wittenberg. For more information on its vital work, visit www.oldlatinschool.org. You can support the ILWS through online giving via the ILC website. Just select “Wittenberg Outreach.”

You can also donate by mail:

International Lutheran Council
P.O. Box 18775
St. Louis, MO 63118

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For more news and information from the International Lutheran Council about the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Essay: The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Digitization of the Church

NOTE: Since the writing of the article there has been some developments locally in Siberia. When writing about possible suspension of the regular worship services, I thought about it as a theoretical possibility, based on what was happening elsewhere. Well, now it is a reality for Siberian Lutherans also. The governor of the Novosibirsk region has issued an order to stop all religious gatherings beginning from Saturday, April 18. The last service with the Lord’s Supper was conducted in St Andrew’s parish in Novosibirsk on Friday evening, April 17. Siberian Lutherans are very fortunate as compared to the Russian Orthodox in that they were able to celebrate Easter service in an almost normal mode in most of the parishes of the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC); Eastern Orthodox Easter is one week later this year. As it stands now, no laypeople may enter the church buildings and take part in any religious ceremonies. Of course, as Lutherans, we can’t conduct the Eucharist with no laypeople present. Mass is not a sacrifice, it is about eating and drinking. So what shall we do now? Local pastors including those who are Seminary instructors would divide the area of larger Novosibirsk into parts based on where they are located, and so they will visit parishioners in their homes and serve Holy Communion to them as they are able. Siberian Lutherans are determined to do their best not to leave their people without spiritual care. ~AS

This is a document which was prepared for the Russian speaking Lutheran context in view of the questions the people of the Church had related to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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COVID-19 Pandemic and the Digitalization of the Church

by Alexey Streltsov

Rev. Dr. Alexey Streltsov

In 2020 A.D., the Church of God throughout all the world encountered a special trial that especially fell in the time of Lent, and now it looks like it will continue also through the Easter season, and perhaps beyond.

The rapidly growing threat of a dangerous viral contagion (or a declaration of such threat) has put the usual conduct of regular church services in jeopardy. These problems may have to do either with specific parish circumstances (like the temporary termination of rent in the case of our Moscow SELC parish), or with regional regulations of the authorities (for example, in St. Petersburg, where SELC does not have any parishes, but where all gatherings of people are now prohibited).

Practically every day brings additional news. We do not know what will happen tomorrow. In this context, the churches are likely to react ad hoc by making decisions spontaneously, or at least without serious preliminary reflection.

The main question that confronts the churches at the present time is the following: What do we do in the case that it’s no longer possible to conduct services, or if most people can’t get to them because of unforeseen circumstances even if the services do continue?

In many cases, a workaround has been implemented by means of a temporary transfer of services to a digital format.

A few people are trying to conduct sacraments over the Internet. Such cases have become widely discussed and, as a rule, are getting a very negative reaction. Such cases, when people attempt to conduct Baptism and the Lord’s Supper over the Internet, are rare and extreme.

The more typical situation looks like this: a minister conducts a service (without Holy Communion) on the church premises. He can be alone in the church, or accompanied by one or several assistants. Whatever happens at the altar is recorded on a camcorder, and is instantly displayed online via social media, such as YouTube, Facebook, or Vkontakte. It might be that there are a few other people in the church besides the liturgist, but it’s not that relevant here.

Parishioners are invited to participate in the services right from their homes by connecting to the live broadcast. In some cases, it is impossible to view a service online due to technical problems or some other reasons. In such cases, parishioners may watch it at some other time by clicking a link.

Are such decisions concerning the temporary “digitization” of the Church correct? It depends on how one understands the Church herself, that is, what the Church actually is. According to the universally recognized definition of the Church among Lutherans, which is given in the 7th Article of the Augsburg Confession, the Church is the gathering of the faithful, among whom the Word of God is preached purely and the Holy Sacraments are distributed rightly, according to the ordinances of God’s Word. This gathering happens in a specific location where people are physically present in one and the same place. The early Church, both in the New Testament and in the texts of the earliest Church authors, habitually used the language of gathering “for the same” or for the “common-union” ( ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸepi to auto in Greek), which meant gathering for the Divine Service.

According to traditional ecclesiastical understanding and theology, characterized first and foremost by faith in God incarnate, the created things do matter. Body, things bodily, things fleshy do matter. Specific place matters.

At all times, God has acted salvifically through specific people, specific circumstances, and specific places. Before the Incarnation, the special place of God’s presence was Israel, and within Israel: Jerusalem, and then the Temple, within which there was the Holy place, and, finally, the Holy of Holies, where as it was proclaimed in divine revelation that Yahweh (the Lord) was present between the horns of the altar.

Now, there is no single place in the geographical sense for the faithful to receive the grace of God. Nevertheless, in every case, it is a particular and concrete place, that is, that place where the Word is pronounced and the Sacraments are distributed. This is what the priests of the church speak and do. There are specific places in Novosibirsk and Tuim, Novokuznetsk and Chita, and so forth, to speak of SELC parishes. In each of those places, there is a pulpit and an altar. And in each case, one and the same Church is gathered. The Church, which is one, is present in this place in her fullness, although there are different individuals within each gathering. This fullness, this completeness, this catholicity of the Church is due to the complete presence of Christ, whom the priest proclaims in preaching, and whom he administers in Holy Communion.

So, what happens during an attempt to transfer Church and the church gathering to a digital mode? At a minimum, there is a loss of significance of particularity of place in people’s perception, a loss of the concreteness of liturgical space, and a detriment of understanding by the faithful of the way of God’s presence in the world.

From the earliest times, the Church fought Gnostic influences in her midst, that is, those attempts at “spiritualization” of the Christian faith. In the early Church, Gnostics and Manichaeans claimed the presence of a “divine spark” within them that made services unnecessary. Gnostics ridiculed the Eucharist. In the early Medieval times, there were influences of Neoplatonism, in which a man was invited to ascend to God in his soul, instead of meeting Him in the means of salvation as the incarnate God who came to earth and bound Himself to His presence in particular places for the salvation of the people—although God, by nature, is omnipresent, and not subject to spatial limitations. Another danger of this spiritualization at the time was represented by the excesses of monastic asceticism. The monks fled to the desert in order to gain a special insight, and to sense the divine presence in their lives by way of strict spiritual discipline.

The Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli proposed spiritualization at the time of the Reformation in the 16th century. Bodily things were of little importance for Zwingli: “The flesh is of no help at all,” he said, and God is spirit, and He acts as He wills and where He wills. This was understood by the Zwinglians as an action detached from the physical realm. In this case, any possible connection between the heavenly and the earthly is no more than the association between reality and symbolic representation of this reality, which is inherently conditional according to Zwingli. In other words, the heavenly things can happen in the absence of any earthly representation, while the earthly things have no inherent significance. “The flesh is of no help at all.” Martin Luther considered this “spiritualistic” teaching of Zwingli to be the fruit of the devil.

Today’s temptation comes from the world of digital technology.

When we disrupt liturgical space, when we deprive specific sacred place of its sacred nature, when we try to represent the Divine Service as a kind of theater or circus, or as a function that can be reduced to the sound vibrations of the air, or to a footage sequence, we consciously or unconsciously change our perception of what the Church is.

Modern digital technologies are a great blessing that the Church has at her disposal. Radio and TV programs, films, TV Channels, multiple resources on the Internet—all those are an aid in the work of the Church’s evangelism in the wide sense.

The question, however, is whether it is done along with the traditional service, or instead of the traditional service. This is a very important question.

If it is impossible to conduct a service, then it can’t be done. One cannot perform something instead of a common liturgy and just call it “liturgy” anyway. If at least “two or three” cannot gather in one place, then Christ cannot be there in the sense in which He promised to be present in a Eucharistic gathering.

Therefore, in this case, one cannot pretend that everything is (almost like) normal, and that it is possible by a slight adjustment to conduct services in a digital mode as though everything were just fine.

A digital service becomes a surrogate of the church service. A danger of such Internet services is that people would come up with a valid question: “Was it a viable option after all?” And if it were a fine opportunity to pursue, what would prevent anyone from to continuing to do it in the future?

A number of areas of human activity are already being transferred, or will be transferred, whether fully or partially, into a digital mode. Perhaps, the COVID-19 situation will serve as a trigger for these further changes. The Church, however, cannot be subject to digitization due to her non-digital nature.

The ancient Pythagoreans thought that the whole world could be reduced to numbers, and described by numbers. Modern proponents of the Internet-church suppose that in the absence of traditional services, one could, in principle, get by with some online broadcasting. The danger here is that such actions would throw the baby out with the bath water, in this case, the baby being the bodily, creaturely dimension of the Church.

When there are no church services in the Church, it is an egregious thing. This is a crisis (the Greek word “crisis” means judgment). It is not just a minor warning sign, it is a loud bell calling us to repentance and to correction of our lives. The meaning of Lent is to show us that we won’t survive without God. God forbid us from being spiritually complacent! Rather, being bereft of an opportunity to attend regular church services, let us experience true spiritual hunger for the Divine Service, for the gathering of faithful brothers and sisters, where we might have a living connection with God through the gifts that God himself has appointed for usage in a particular place. God grant us to forsake false spiritual satiety and any sense that God owes something to us, and that the Church owes something to us!

As a faithful bride to her Lord, the Church acts according to her calling. She can’t simply stop being the Church. She can’t act in an unchurchly way. That would be an obvious contradiction, an impossibility.

God, however, promised not to leave His faithful. Even in the absence (temporary absence!) of church services, He will not leave the faithful!

If it is permitted for you to move about, get in touch with your priest and request communion to be administered to you. He will come. You will get Word and Sacrament in a home-service format.

If, for whatever reason, that is not possible, there will always be the prescribed readings according to the Church’s calendar, as well as home prayers.

You could ask the priest to send a text of a sermon. The reading of such a sermon (whether privately, or read aloud by the head of the household) would be instructive for the soul.

If you are currently conducting readings of Scripture and joint prayers in the family setting, then you may keep on doing the same, perhaps, with some additions in view of the absence of the main services. If not, now is the time to learn such spiritual discipline and prayer practice!

This time of quarantine, this time of external limitations, may continue for a while. Perhaps, it will last longer than we hoped for. However, it will not last forever. And at first opportunity, the doors of the Church will be opened once again, and the priests will conduct services just as they were doing before!

Fr. Alexey Streltsov
Judica, 2020.

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Rev. Dr. Alexey Streltsov is Rector of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk, Sibera (Russia), a theological institute of the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC). An earlier version of this essay was first published on Gottesdienst, where it is also available in Russian.

For more news and information from the International Lutheran Council about the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Lutheran Resources for COVID-19

WORLD – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, many member churches of the International Lutheran Council (ILC) are providing resources for Christians in the midst of this crisis.

The following churches and associated agencies have set-up dedicated webpages with free resources for churches, families, and individuals affected by the pandemic. Additional resources in other languages may be available directly from other member churches of the ILC.

Readers may also wish to read Martin Luther’s open letter “Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague” available in English here. You may also read a letter from ILC Chairman Hans-Jörg Voigt here.

ENGLISH

FINNISH (SUOMI)

GERMAN (DEUTSCH)

PORTUGUESE (PORTUGUÊS)

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North American Lutherans continue interchurch discussions

USA – The end of 2019 saw two regular interchurch meetings between North American Lutheran church bodies.

From November 11-12, 2019, representatives of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), Lutheran Church-Canada (LCC), and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) held their latest round of dialogue in Columbus, Ohio. Newly elected NALC Bishop Daniel Selbo was present for the dialogue for the first time.

The dialogue featured presentations by LCMS and NALC representatives, discussing First Peter as a pillar letter of the New Testament. The dialogue between the LCMS, LCC, and NALC first began in 2011. The next meeting will take place May 20-21, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri.

In December, representatives of the LCMS, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) met together in Jacksonville, Florida for annual informal discussions. These discussions have helped the three church bodies more clearly define areas of theological agreement as well as areas where differences remain.

During this meeting, discussions focused on the doctrine of justification, particularly objective justification—an area in which the churches find full agreement. This was the eighth regular meeting between the three churches. When representatives of the LCMS, WELS, and the ELS come together again in 2020, discussion will focus on the topics of prayer fellowship and the ministry, as well as a discussion of the WELS statement “Male and Female in God’s World.”

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and Lutheran Church–Canada are members of the International Lutheran Council, a global association of confessional Lutheran church bodies.

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ILC World Representatives for Latin America and Europe announced

WORLD – The International Lutheran Council (ILC) has announced updates to the representatives for the Latin American and European World Regions.

Appointed to serve as the World Region Representative for Latin America is President Eugenio Wentzel of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay (Iglesia Evangélica Luterana del Paraguay – IELP). President Wentzel had previously served as the Latin American representative until the spring of 2018, but was ineligible for reappointment because he had announced he wouldn’t seek reelection as President of the Paraguayan church. In the end, he consented to stand for reelection of the IELP and was elected, making him eligible for reappointment to as the ILC’s regional representative.

Appointed to serve as the World Region Representative for Europe is Chairman Georg Samiec of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England (ELCE). This seat was previously held by the ELCE’s Chairman Jon Ehlers, but Chairman Ehlers had announced he would not seek reelection. Chairman Samiec was subsequently elected, and consented to serve as the ILC’s regional representative for Europe.

In total, five World Regional Representatives serve on the ILC’s Board of Directors (formerly known as the Executive Committee), along with the ILC Chairman, Secretary, two appointed members, and the ILC’s General Secretary (as a non-voting, ex-officio member).

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Former president of the Lutheran Church of Venezuela murdered

Rev. Luis Coronado. (Photo: Johanna Heidorn, ILV social media.)

VENEZUELA – The Lutheran Church of Venezuela (Iglesia Luterana de Venezuela – ILV) has announced that their former president, Rev. Luis Gregorio Coronado, has been murdered.

Rev. Coronado was reported missing on December 12. He was found deceased, with his hands and feet bound, on December 16 in a vacant missionary residence building owned by the church.

“The blood of a saint cries out,” the Venezuelan church wrote, announcing his death. “His work for both the local and national church was faithful and constant…. As a national church, we thank God for his service, his friendship, and his love.”

Rev. Coronado was elected to a two-year term as President of the Lutheran Church of Venezuela in November 2009. He had previously served the ILV as Vice President, and was pastor of Lutheran Church Fountain of Life (Iglesia Luterana Fuento de Vida) in Puerto Ordaz (Guayana City) for more than two decades. At the time of his death, Rev. Coronado was also serving as Pastoral Counsellor for southern Venezuela.

Rev. Coronado is survived by his wife and three children.

The ILV issued a prayer remembering Rev. Coronado and asking comfort for his family which reads in part:

“O God of grace and glory, we remember our pastor who is now in your eternal presence. We thank You for making him a shepherd of your flock, and for giving us the opportunity to know him as your servant in our pilgrimage on earth. In your kind compassion, comfort the Coronado family and your church in these moments of grief. Give us faith to see that death is the door to eternal life, so that with confidence we can continue our journey here on earth, until You call us to meet with those who have gone in the faith before us—through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.”

The Lutheran Church of Venezuela is a member of the International Lutheran Council, a global association of confessional Lutheran church bodies.

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