Have you noticed that Facebook now facilitates linking one’s birthday with a good cause? They have a whole system set up. You just have to choose a fund and promote it as you see fit. Then, they see that the money gets where it is directed to go.Well, I happen to have a cause close to my heart, so I’m throwing a little seminary fundraiser.
I’m thrilled that the two LCMS seminaries are doing so much for their students, doing their best to keep them out of debt. That’s great. But, actually, although I’m a “Fort Wayner” at heart, I’m not raising funds for either US campus.
However, there is a Lutheran seminary in Siberia. In Novosibirsk, more specifically. I possibly care about it to a bizarre extent. In part, because I went through a serious Russian lit phase, but also because sometimes . . . you hear about a place, or visit, and think, “Wow. These are my people!”
Let’s think about this. During Soviet years, generally everyone I’d respect or want to be friends with under Soviet control would have been killed or sent to Siberia. From Lutheran pastors in Scandinavia to folks of the rest of the Soviet far reaches, so many were deported that Siberia became a melting pot of the religious, the scientific, the literary, and much more.
I don’t mean to paint Siberia as a miraculous wonderland of thought and religiosity. At the same time, I totally loved every moment I spent there. Yep. I WENT THERE. HIGHLIGHT OF MY TRIP ABROAD! And, I saw this fabulous young seminary, teaching Law and Gospel, holding liturgical services with sound confessional preaching and right administration of the Sacrament.
I heard about the wonderful work those Siberian Lutherans are doing, through both Word & Sacrament and mercy outreach, particularly Life Ministries. (Do you know that abortion has been crazy common there since Communism times?)
Well, this seminary has received support from America for many years. They are doing very well, and several Americans came to an agreement that, what should really happen is, an endowment should be formed. Basically, gather a bunch of money now so that the seminary is not only self-sustaining, but can be sustained by the interest alone, ensuring finances for generations, rather than years, to come.
Think about it. Pray about it. Consider adding a few dollars to the very good cause of a seminary fundraiser.
Another way to contribute, for example with monthly donations, is through the Siberian Lutheran Missions website.
Here is a link to the Lutheran Theological Seminary site in English. And, if you are wondering, the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church is a partner church with the Missouri Synod.
Thank you, Lord, for our brothers and sisters around the world. Amen!