Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
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"to vigorously make known the love of Christ by word and deed within our churches, communities and the world."
Today, The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod has 6,150 congregations served by more than 9,000 professional church workers. The word "Synod" in The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod comes from the Greek words that mean "walking together." It has rich meaning in the church body because the congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod. Diverse in their service, these congregations hold to a shared confession of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. Some are located in rural areas, others in inner cities. Some are large; others are very small. Most use English, but some offer worship services in Vietnamese, Spanish, Laotian and other languages. LCMS World Mission trains, sends, and supports called career missionaries and appointed volunteer missionaries throughout the United States and in various countries throughout the world where there are mission stations, partner churches or mission relationships. Ministry to African-Americans has been a solid part of the Synod for more than 100 years. In addition, its Library for the Blind produces sermons and devotional literature, and of the approximately 90 deaf congregations maintained by all religious denominations, more than 50 are members of the LCMS. Well known for its emphasis on Biblical doctrine and faithfulness to the historic Lutheran Confessions, the Synod also seeks new ways of proclaiming the Gospel. Concordia Publishing House, whose Arch Book Series for children has sold more than 55 million copies, is the nation's fourth-largest Protestant publisher. Unlike many other churches, the LCMS has never been involved in a major merger. Internationally, the Synod conducts missions or maintains relations with churches in more than 50 different countries. It is a member of the International Lutheran Council, but it does not belong to the Lutheran World Federation, to the National Council of Churches or to the World Council of Churches. The LCMS is in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with more than twenty five Partner Churches. The Synod has always had a great emphasis on education. In fact, its earliest congregations built schools before they built churches! It has 10 colleges, two seminaries, 91 high schools and the nation's largest Protestant elementary school system. The LCMS has congregations in all sections of the United States, but the heaviest concentration of its membership continues to lie in the Midwest. The Synod also shares God's love with others through LCMS World Relief and Human Care by meeting human needs (physical, emotional, and spiritual) of those who are suffering. It has built and helped to maintain a large network of Lutheran hospitals, nursing homes, human care and adoption agencies to serve the sick, the elderly, the victims of abuse, those struggling with addictions, and many others coping with difficult situations and transitions in life. LCMS District and Congregational Services serves with districts in assisting its congregations to develop and foster vibrant ministries to bring the saving, life-giving Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world through its five ministries: Children, Family, Outreach, School, Stewardship and Youth.
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