President Ralph Spears speaks at the LMS-USA's 2014 convention. (Photo: Facebook).

President Ralph Spears speaks at the LMS-USA’s 2014 convention. (Photo: Facebook).

USA – The Lutheran Ministerium and Synod – USA (LMS-USA) held its Annual Conference and Convention in Chetek, Wisconsin from June 20-22, 2014. This year’s conference gathered around the theme “Thinking, Celebrating, and Reflecting on our Beginnings.” The LMS-USA will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015.

Events began with a meeting of the Ministerium on Friday, June 20. Saturday was devoted to the convention and conference, while Sunday included a festival worship service. Rev. Donald Thorson served as preacher at Saturday’s opening communion service, while Rev. Tylan Dalrymple preached at Sunday’s closing service.

The focus of this year’s conference, reports the church’s national publication Table Talk, was a study of some of the LMS-USA’s “most historically significant presentations given by pastors of the LMS-USA in the 1990s, with a reassessment and reaffirmation of the ongoing relevance of these messages in the ongoing task of fidelity to God’s Word in the proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.” To that end, the conference studied previous presentations by Rev. Thorson, Rev. Dr. John Erickson, Rev. Mark Dankoff, and current LMS-USA President, Rev. Dr. Ralph Spears—all under the guidance of their original authors. In response to these papers, Rev. Richard Horn prepared a lecture entitled “What Brought Me to the LMS-USA as a Place of Fellowship and Service for the Past Nineteen Years.” Because Rev. Horn was suddenly unable to attend the conference, the paper was read by President Spears.

The LMS-USA is an American Lutheran church body which describes itself as “Biblical, Confessional, Evangelical, Liturgical, and Congregational.” Formed in 1995, it functions as a Forum in which there is an ongoing discussion of theological issues and concerns among clergy and lay alike. The LMS-USA became a member of the International Lutheran Council at 2012’s World Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The LMS-USA meets annually for its Theological Conference and Convention. Next year’s will take place June 19-21 in Chetek, Wisconsin.