Reformation Season Greetings,
As long promised, The CLEF would not and will not endlessly fill your mailbox with mailings, wasting your faithful and generous contributions on fund-raising mail. That said, it is high time we send you a brief update on your efforts, and send you the new procedures for designating The CLEF as one of your Thrivent gift-receiving organizations.
You will find the Thrivent materials enclosed. Please follow the instructions so that your gifts through Thrivent will make their way to The CLEF.
Now the update. (Were I to take the proper time to do this, I would write some 30 pages. For those of you who have given me you email addresses, you have been sent my out-of-the-USA trip reports and you are well informed relative to your investments in The CLEF projects. If you do not get the reports and want them, please let me know and I will have your name added to the list.)
Regarding the International Lutheran Hymnal Project–Spanish (ILHP-S), we are blessed to inform you that finally the last edit–review has taken place and that the product will go to the printer in December, God willing. I will be in Argentina in November to finalize the printing company (and price). We pray that the first edition will be completed shortly after that.
The Spanish edition first run will be about 1,000 copies. The CLEF has already paid for an initial 500 of them, and the initial participating church bodies have contributed funds to make the other 500.
Several weeks ago I spent a week in Guatemala for the purpose of meeting with people from the LCMS World Missions–Latin countries, a former LCMS missionary to Peru who now is the executive for South Wisconsin missions and the general editor of the ILHP-S edition. God was more than gracious! Everything went perfectly! ALL of us are on board and working together – the first time in my 13 years of doing this kind of work on your behalf.
And, even more exciting than all of us on the same page – finally (thank you Dr. Harrison!) we were blessed to add five more church bodies to the project! We started with: Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia but at the end of the week we now have these added; Venezuela, Columbia, Panama, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic!
THIS IS ONLY IN ONE LANGUAGE! AND WE ARE WORKING WITH 13 MORE!
So, YES, the costs to this ILHP increases, but it is so needed where you are working. And where is that, where we are doing this ILHP thing? West Africa, East Africa, Central and South America, the South Pacific (i.e.: the Philippines).
It has been very tight these summer months as you might know – the world’s countries are all not doing well financially. That makes it difficult for The CLEF and your projects.
So hence this note and mailing – paid for by a special gift and not from your contributions. YOUR CONFESSIONAL LUTHERAN “MISSION” organization The CLEF needs a boost from you to cover the bills.
There are several things you can do in addition to helping with the general costs of these projects. ONE: have your pastor / congregation schedule a “TheCLEF Mission Festival” at your congregation within the next 12 months. TWO: contact Thrivent and designate The Confessional Lutheran Education Foundation as one of your designated organizations. THREE: pray that many will open there hearts to support The CLEF and your projects. FOUR: go to the website (needing updating) and regularly pray for and support the many projects. (Did you know that we are together working to provide graduate education to the future leadership of our sister church bodies in the form of student grants – students to both of our seminaries – Fort Wayne and St. Louis? Our last one was to the Assistant to the President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Ghana; he got his Masters Degree from Fort Wayne.)
Next time I will be able to tell you about the most creative project yet – The International Lutheran Sermon Project! And, if I get this mailing out, I will likely spend the next major portion of my life getting that on schedule for the end of November, God willing and our computer master – Hartness – lovingly tolerant of my being really behind.
So, there you have it. OOPPS – forgot. Did you know that within any given 12 month period some 10 to 12 pastors and folk go from the USA to assist in teaching and other projects relative to The CLEF? And did you know that there are some half-dozen volunteers who each give about five hours each a week to help with general stuff (contribution recordings, banking, accounting, CPA services, secretarial help, mailing support, printing services, design and layout help) all this just in the good old USA!
19 April 2012 is the actual (not invented) 20th BIRTHDAY of The CLEF. We will be celebrating that milestone on 22 April 2012 throughout the Lutheran world. Plan to make that a “TheCLEF Sunday” in your congregation. You will get more stuff on getting stuff for that Sunday early next year – but GET IT ON THE CHURCH CALENDAR NOW.
Rev. John R.
Dear CLEF Faithful,
The Lord be with you and yours this mid-summertime!
I won’t make this long or tedious . . . if for no other reason than when I get mailings from organizations, even non-profits, the same reaction always kicks in – if it is massive and is made up of “a million” words, I might skim the contents but it’s likely I don’t read it thoroughly. You know what I mean, right? Moreover, if there is included information displayed in a fancy, four-color, glossy flyer, well, I just know immediately that they have enough money and don’t need mine.
So, here we are at that crucial time of The CLEF year when supporting gifts seem to slow up a bit as folks are away and focused on a few seasonal activities. As you are also active in your congregation, you know that the same is most often true for your congregation. On account of that, The CLEF takes this opportunity to encourage you to remember to support your congregation with regular and “extra” gifts, and we are bold enough to ask that you do the same for The CLEF.
Your work with The CLEF around the world does not stop, and it’s busting to expand. All that is lacking is the funding to bring the worthy requests to fruition. This summer, we have had requests for new work and exploration from Lutherans in as disparate of places as Nigeria, Kosova, Venezuela, and Uganda! (Included with this note are two short pieces on some of our efforts in Ghana and South America [Chile]). What we do together For the Sake of the Gospel depends on God’s want and blessing together with your gifts . . . you are THE difference.
Thank you for your help and prayers. Continue to pray for The CLEF. The sun never sets on the whole of The CLEF world. In peaceful places and in war zones, with those who are well fed and those who go to bed hungry at the end of each day, with adults and frightened orphans, your support of The CLEF reaches out For the Sake of the Gospel.
Check out the website (www.TheCLEF.org); we are trying to make it better. Feel free to e-mail us (just make sure you put something we might connect with in the subject line) – TheCLEF@TheCLEF.org.
God, the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost be with you.
Rev. John R. Fehrmann
Dear Supporters and Friends of CLEF!
The LORD bless you as we approach the coming season of Lent.
Tens of thousands of lives are touched through our working partnership in the Gospel throughout the CLEF world. On their behalf, I thank you for your past, present and future support. They pray for you daily. Please pray for them and the work of The CLEF.
The CLEF has been blessed this past year as the number of confessional congregations and pastors who have adopted some of our programs and projects with five to seven year commitments has increased 200 percent. To God be all the praise and glory!
One such congregation and their pastor is Holy Trinity and Rev. Stefanski of Harrison, Arkansas. At this very moment this mailing is compiled, Rev. Stefanski is in Sri Lanka teaching all the pastors, pastoral students and deaconess a two-week course on the Theology of the Cross. Below is what he sent to me shortly after his arrival and with a day or two under his belt – teaching on our behalf For the Sake of the Gospel. The “blue” page contains his report on the last time he was there.
Your support is critical as you are THE difference. We at The CLEF know that during these days of financial uncertainty in the U.S.A., what is difficult here in this greatest of nations is ten to one hundred times worse in most of the places we work together with you. Please prayerfully consider the theological needs of our confessional brothers and sisters throughout The CLEF world and give generously to our working partnership.
Have no fear, little flock, Have no fear, little flock.
For the Father has chosen To give you the Kingdom;
Have no fear, little flock! (LSB 735)
Rev. John R. Fehrmann
Chairman / President