NICARAGUA – On January 25, the Lutheran Church Synod of Nicaragua (ILSN) celebrated the graduation of 29 new church workers from the Seminario Teologico Reforma Luterana in Chinendega. In total, 17 deaconesses and 12 pastoral students received their diplomas.
The deaconesses will now begin a one-year apprenticeship teaching with the ILSN’s Children’s Education Program. The pastoral students will enter their one-year vicarage, following which they will be ordained and receive their first calls.
“It is with great joy we celebrate the graduation of these new church workers in Central America,” said Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, Lutheran Church–Canada’s (LCC) Executive for Missions and Social Ministry. “We thank the Lord of the harvest for raising up these devoted men and women,” he continued, “and pray God’s blessing on their service to the church—as they proclaim the Gospel to the lost, teach, and administer social ministry programs among the needy. ”
This year’s graduating class is the first to include students who, while children, were part of the ILSN’s Children’s Christian Education Program (a ministry supported by LCC). “It speaks to the value of our children’s programming in Nicaragua,” said Dr. Neitzel. “Not only are we meeting the physical needs of young people—providing them with nutritious meals, as well as tutoring in their school subjects—but God is also working through the Christian education aspect of the ministry, using it to prepare future leaders for the church.”
Lutheran Church–Canada was represented at the Nicaraguan graduation service by synod’s First Vice-President Nolan Astley, as well as by President Thomas Winger of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (St. Catharines, Ontario).