The Latin America and Caribbean Region had a special visitor this week. Deaconess Tiffany Manor, Director of LCMS Life Ministry, arrived in Santiago, Dominican Republic, to meet with the region’s Life Coordinator, Jamielynn Tinkey Flores, and other regional team members.
Eager to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Concordia Deaconess Conference (CDC) – which should have taken place in 2020 – CDC members and guests “met” together through an ingenious combination of individual participation and group “hubs.” Initiated due to varying Covid 19 pandemic restrictions, the Zoom (internet based) conference was attended by 160 people.
Concordia the Reformer Seminary launched her Deaconess Program for 2021 on January 14th, with an eight-week intensive course entitled The Catechism – Disciples for Life: Instruction in the Christian life from Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Over 100 women from the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela, signed up for the online offering, with Deaconess Caitlin Ramirez and Rev. Sergio Fritzler serving as the professors.
Sixty Lutheran pastors and church members from Guatemala and Honduras gathered online for four days of Disaster Response Training last week. Pastor Alejandro Lopez presented the virtual classes from his location in Panama. Missionary Deaconess Cheryl Naumann from the Dominican Republic coordinated the instruction through the Mercy Center, an institute of Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic.
For the first time in two years, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Panamá hosted a Luther Academy conference. Luther Academy provides continuing theological education courses in intensive formats to strengthen and assist pastors and leaders throughout churches in Latin America and around the world.
Disaster Response workshops were hosted by Concordia Lutheran Church and School in Palmar Arriba, and Lamb of God Lutheran Church and School in Licey, through grants from the Mercy Center, an institute of Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic.
Diaconal formation continued in Panama September 28-29, as the ladies continued with their second course in the Deaconess Program, The Divine Service and the Life of the Church. A dozen ladies were in attendance from two congregations.
The Mercy Center, an institute of Concordia Seminary the Reformer (CMSCR), provides a spectrum of educational conferences, from personal witnessing and Christian reconciliation to family and community health and life issues. Disaster response training throughout the Latin American and Caribbean Region is done under the auspices of the Mercy Center.
We thank God for Concordia the Reformer Mercy Center, which has organized and facilitated several theological conferences across Latin America this year.
Diaconal formation continues to expand throughout Latin America. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Office of International Mission in Latin America and the Caribbean adds the country of Panama.