Yet another sad day for The LCMS

06 May

Yes, it’s another sad day for The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Another mission has been closed, this time in Burkina Faso and Togo, West Africa. Rev. James May and family will be leaving their missions this summer. The reason why: money. Unfortunately, money takes precedence over the Gospel. This comes from his latest newsletter:

I regret to inform you that due to programmatic and business decisions, World Mission has decided to cease employing me as a missionary in West Africa. This decision came as a shock to me and my family as it may also be a surprise to you.

World Mission has been pressuring me to move on and inform you as soon as possible. One reason is that I would be without a paycheck and insurance soon after we have a baby due in July. We hope that by the grace of God we could have another call in place when my salary and benefits terminate at the end of August 2008.

The decision leaves three newly planted churches in Burkina Faso without a theologically trained leader and also the Lutheran Church of Togo without a missionary which they had been awaiting for six years. Please keep all these people involved in your prayers.

I didn’t know him and his family all that well. I think I met him and his wife at an LLL deal or something during summer Greek back in 2001. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family (with a baby on the way), the churches of Burkina Faso and Togo, and for the Church throughout the world so that the Gospel of Christ may continue to be preached, regardless of the cost.

What I’m hoping won’t happen will be the following announcement. Please note, this is purely satire and has not happened (and we pray that it won’t)!

ST. LOUIS – Churches close their doors across the country

Many churches across the country have closed their doors due to lack of funding. A decision by The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod’s Board for Poor Church Spending (BPCS) has closed the doors of some 6100 churches because money became a bigger issue than the spreading of the Gospel. No statement was available, as there was no one left to say anything about the issue.

UPDATE 5/8/08

It has been brought to my attention that money was not the issue behind Rev. May’s termination as a missionary in West Africa.  My apologies for any misconceptions.


Posted by on May 6, 2008 in LCMS, Satire


8 responses to “Yet another sad day for The LCMS

  1. Soldier for truth

    May 7, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Money was not the issue. You may want to check your facts before posting false information.

  2. Rev. Jared Tucher

    May 8, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Soldier For Truth, if you have more information on this, please feel free to share it.

  3. cmfincher

    May 8, 2008 at 10:16 am

    I can also confirm that the reason given was not money, but this is all I can say at present.

    More information should be coming out before too long.

  4. Rev. Jared Tucher

    May 8, 2008 at 10:46 am

    UPDATE 5/8/08

    It has been brought to my attention that money was not the issue behind Rev. May’s termination as a missionary in West Africa. My apologies for any misconceptions.

  5. Jennifer DeFusco

    May 23, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    I wrote to Rev. Paul Mueller and this is his response, for what its worth.

    “Dear Jennifer,

    Thanks for your recent email regarding Rev. May. It is helpful to discuss issues when they are not completely understood.

    Rev. James May will be concluding his ministry in West Africa. Upon completion of his term this month, LCMS WM will be working with him to depart the field. LCMS World Mission will continue to support James and his family as he seeks to share his gifts in new ministry opportunities. The May family will receive financial support and benefits through the BFMS transition allowance. We thank God for all that has been accomplished to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in Africa through James’ involvement with LCMS World Mission

    We want you to know LCMS World Mission’s ministry in West Africa will continue. Many other missionaries in Africa and serving around the world need prayer and financial support. We ask that you prayerfully consider transferring your support to another missionary or consider continuing
    support of the ongoing work.

    I would like to share with you the reasons for Rev. May returning to the states. However, I cannot share them all but I can assure you it was not for financial reasons. I need to respect confidentiality issues as any pastor would do with his parishioners.

    Secondly, LCMS WM is not closing the mission field in Burkina Faso. There is no LCMS WM work in Burkina Faso. Rev. May was simply in Ouaga learning French at a French school located there. The work he was to do in the future was connected with the Togo Lutheran Church.

    I try desperately to understand how things can look from the outside. In mission, we are in the business of spreading the Gospel, not disrupting it. We make decisions prayerfully with much consideration and consultation. We work with complete, reliable information. We rely on our own spiritual gifts and on the wealth of mission experience that surrounds us here at LCMS WM. I know that Bethlehem has been supporting Rev. May. Others have expressed similar concern about this turn of events. But as noted above, we desperately are trying to follow God’s lead in our decisions -both for God’s mission as noted in Scripture and as it moves forward in contexts and places around the world.

    If you have other questions, please address them to Sharon Whitlock in the LCMS WM office in St. Louis. She serves Rev. David Birner, Associate Executive Director of International Mission.

    Please continue to pray for the Mays and LCMS WM. I believe Rev. May’s gifts will be used in powerful ways in another missional ministry in which God places him.”

    Walking in the Resurrection . . .

    Proclaiming that Good News!

    Jesus said, “I have come to seek and to save those who are lost”,
    Luke 19:10.

    Rev. Paul Mueller, PhD Missiology <
    Regional Director – Africa, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod World Mission

  6. Rev. Jared Tucher

    May 24, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Jennifer, thank you for this comment. We will continue to keep Rev. May and family in our prayers as he transitions from the Togo to the States.

  7. Brent Friedrichs

    November 15, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Hi still from the Mission field of Africa

    It is always a sad day when a missionary is for one reason or another to leave the mission field. My wife and I resigned from career missionary service from LCMS-WM in June 2007 and under not so pleasant of terms as well – this after over ten years of service here in Africa.

    We are comforted that our service was inevitably done in His name. As they say “when mission opportunity door is closed before us – another door is opened”.

    Brent (& Eugenie) Friedrichs
    Missionaries to Africa
    …former Regional Business Manager (RBM) LCMS-WM/WR – Africa Region.
    ..presently Exectuve Director – Mission Consults, Jos, Nigeria

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