The Fourth Synodal Letter, Pages 43 - 47


we slowly put ourselves in a difficult position. Therefore it makes sense that we should make use of every means permitted to us by God and this we shall do. To that end we perceive that sending representatives to our brothers in faith abroad stems from the will of God.

2) Unfortunately we are aware that for many years we have been slandered by hostile parties especially in Germany. These people have done their utmost to instigate and spread these lies. It is only right that the truth come to light before our fellow Christians. Thus the truth will rightly be known, as it says in Sir. 4 [?]. God is angered by all lies and all perversions of the facts concerning his congregations, thus we see it as God's will to testify to the truth concerning our teachings and our practices before the eyes and ears of all European brothers in faith so that our God may be glorified by the recognition of the truth.

3) Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded through the prophet Jeremia, "Seek the best of the cities to which I have sent you." In our weakness we have been obedient to this command and have sought out the best in this country to establish the churches and the schools. But it is also God's will that we choose the means and propose a path which will make us pleasing to God.

4) According to Matthew 18 it is the will of our Lord Jesus when we acknowledge and consider that our brothers still have something against us, that we go to them and seek to reconcile with them. Now we know that our brothers in faith in Prussia still hold something against us since the time of our emigration; they were not pleased with our departure and we are not lying when we say that we have felt ill at ease in our encounters with them since the time of our leaving them. Already by 1848 deliberations were being held at our synodal assemblies to consider sending envoys back to Prussia in order to reconcile and reunite with them. Back then no decision could be reached on the means and procedure to bring this about. It appears that in their pending questions concerning teaching and church they show themselves to be true to the faith and that they are in agreement with us without any formal tie. Here we recognize all the more that it must be God's will for us to appraoch them, attempt to reconcile and unite as brothers. We would see it as further confirmation of God's will and make us even happier if our congregations would make the sacrifice of doing without two of its pastors for three or four months and accept the necessary replacement pastors coming from neighboring congregations. It would also be a confirmation of God's will if the congregations or a significant number of the members would be piously willing to provide travel money for the two


envoys, which we estimate to be a sum between 700 and 800 dollars. It would be beneficial to print up a pamphlet as quickly as possible and distribute it to the congregations.

On the following day, June 4th, when the synod wanted to call for a vote there were some questions raised concerning the need for ordained ministerial vocation. Once again the synod unanimously agreed that it was God's will that both envoys have ordained and properly appointed vocation. However the execution and timing of the trip would depend upon the willingness of our congregations to do without their pastors for three or four months and the ability to raise the travel funds based on the congregations understanding of the importance of these plans and their sanctifying import for the entire Lutheran church. At the same time this would be a difficult sacrifice for our tiny synodal band. However we hope that there will be 700 or 800 members from whom an average of $1.00 can be received.

In the event that our congregations are willing to raise the travel funds but within three weeks the number of subscriptions starts to dwindle, the plans will not be postponed but rather the funds will be supplemented with borrowed money.

After this the vote was conducted by Pastor Kindermann with the result that Pastor Grabau was elected with 21 synodal votes and Pastor von Rohr with 19.

With regard to replacements for the envoys during their absence it was decided to follow the custom established by the old Lutheran church orders, that being for the nearest neighboring ministers to come to their congregations each Sunday during their absence and in the case of emergency for the nearest pastor to administer communion to the sick.

It was deemed acceptable that since in 4 months there are 16 Sundays, in Buffalo Pastors Schröer, Lange and Kühn would be the replacements in Buffalo and provide instruction to the students at the Martin Luther College when needed. The congregations in New Bergholz and Walmore would be cared for by Pastor Wier of Martinsville as stipulated above.

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IV.

Improvement of Our Parochial Schools, especially the Methods of Instruction

After an enlightening report on this subject was delivered, the synod was united in its resolution to recommend to our congregations that they see to the following:

1) Classrooms should be clean, bright and spacious.

2) Classrooms should be equipped with desks


and chairs for larger and smaller children according to their age and size.

3) Notebooks, good writing feathers and necessary textbooks should be purchased. As a guiding principle it was asserted that each child should have a notebook in which he could take notes as well as a slateboard on which to write his small and large German alphabet. The examination of textbooks should be conscientiously conducted by the church ministry and submitted for the approval of the congregations.

4) It is necessary that Christian parents make sure their children attend school; without such effort even the best school achieves nothing.

5) The school teacher shall conduct his work with joy and in return the congregation shall not let him suffer need; it will give to him his full salary at the proper time. If a school teacher is despirited by privation and need his powers of intellect are weighed down and he can achieve little.

6) The pastors shall diligently inspect the schools and shall sit in on instruction sessions at least once a week in order to keep himself apprised of school conditions. By doing so pastors will encourage teachers and students to establish good practices; he will be able to report back to the church administrators so harmful issues may be abolished and useful things may be introduced. It is deemed especially useful to set up a school cash fund from which the teachers will be paid and schoolbooks will be purchased in bulk (at more modest prices); then the books can be sold individually to the children at full cost, thus replenishing the school coffers with the small profit.

7) Our beloved congregations are to be warned and advised that not all things, which seem to be innovation to them, should be rejected; for example instructional methods in spelling, counting and similar subjects. Everything concerning instructional methods in the subject of the natural world has been improved over the past 150 year by rational experience even if it has been discovered by nonbelievers and children of the world. To the extent that they are based on correct and natural conclusions of reason, such instructional methods should not be rejected. As St. Paul says, "The world is ours." We shall not reject the good the world has to offer in reasonable and natural things; instead we shall turn it to Christian use. In this we have an advantage over the world.

8) It is desirable that each school teacher regularly seek the advice of his pastor and in return that the pastor be ready with advice for the school teacher, meet with him often and at times have a Christian church administrator in attendance, who has a special insterest in the school. It is also desirable that the church administrators and the church fathers rigorously maintain the schools and advise the congregations not to consider the schools mere ancillary matters. In these schools the children come to Christ and thus


are prepared and educated to become true Christians and citizens.

Besides receiving instruction in reading, writing and arithmatic the children shall be taught lessons in:
1) The Lutheran Catechism.
2) The biblical history of the Old and New Testament.
3) The Holy Scriptures so they can easily locate and read chapter and verse from each book. As soon as they are ready to read they should know the main proverbs of scripture, through which the basic principles of the Christian church are imprinted upon them and they should learn to recite certain psalms from memory.
4) The Christian hymns and songs of the church should be read with certain songs memorized and the melodies practiced.
5) Correct spelling of the German language, declination of nouns and adjectives, conjugation of verbs and parts of speech so they know how to determine the subject and object of a sentence and whether verbs are indicative or subjunctive, transitive or intransitive. They should learn simple and compound words, how to determine which is the main clause and which is the dependent clause, how prepositions work, when to use mine and thine, to me and to thee, from me and from you. They should learn these things so they can draft letters, receipts, etc. One can find all these things in the German grammar book and the competent teacher must extract this information and find a way to adapt it so the children can understand it easily.
6) Where possible a little geography so they know the continents, the major countries on them and something about the major cities. This could be tied in with special events in world history delivered with a Christian interpretation. Melanchthon's Chronicle in German is recommented to teachers for their own study in world and church history and they could take stories from it for the children.
7) Lessons in spelling, reading, writing and translating in the English language should be given.
8) Finally it is important to note that Christian school teachers shall not prepare their lessons, establish policy or procedures solely on their own initiative; instead they shall remain loyal to their pastors. In return Christian parents will take no precipitous actions so all may abide by the regulations set for their children; they shall not go to the teacher at the school and complain if their child is punished, held back, etc. Complaints shall be presented to the pastor, who will conscientiously and unbiasedly investigate the matter, thus endeavoring to keep peace in the school and help it to thrive.

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V.

Supporting Our Pastors in the Small Congregations

Upon inquiry and deliberation it was considered proper and thus resolved that 4 church collections would be held yearly for the congregations in Detroit, Milwaukee, Eden and Cedarburg for the support of the ministries there because there is need. These collections would be held around Christmas, Easter, Pentacost and Michaelmas. The collections will be deposited in the synodal account and financial assistance will be distributed semiannually at the middle and end of each year as deemed necessary by the church ministry. May God the Lord send his rich blessings since we have adequately recognized the need.

However let it be remarked that it is not advisable and in many cases it may lead to some difficulty if each small congregation, which is composed of a few families and barely able to support itself, makes a request to have a preacher in its district.

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VI.

The Church Agenda

Up until now it has not been possible to print up a Lutheran Church Agenda. It will thus be deemed necessary for each church to have one copied and bound by its school teacher. The wording of the original will be drafted by the senior minister with the help of several of the pastors.

VII.

Twice-Monthly publishing of the Kirchliches Informatorium

It was agreed upon that the Kirchliches Informatorium should be published twice each month at a yearly subscription cost of $1.00
1) because it is necessary that we be able to point out to our enemies their errors and continual lies in a timely manner;
2) because for our faithful readers an entire month is too long a time period before they receive continuations of articles;
3) because this kind of publishing schedule will protect the publisher and the printer from suffering losses;
4) because in this manner more can be accomplished to promote and spread the truth.

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VIII

The Christoph Kröning Matter

Christoph Kröning of Martinsville appeared before the synod in May 24th in the afternoon and requested a Christian verdict on whether our honorable church ministry had given correct advise and instruction in his dispute with store owner Wilh. Dornfeld in Martinsville. After the original matter was presented and the manner by which


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Copy of text provided by the A. R. Wentz Library, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, PA

Imaging and Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks