KITCHENER, Ontario – Rev. Timothy Teuscher gave his first address as President Elect to the convention of Lutheran Church–Canada on October 15.
He began by noting advice the late Rev. Dr. Albin Stanfel, then President of the Ontario District, had given him as a young pastor—advice to allow his name to stand if ever nominated for positions in the district or synod, and to let the church decide.
But now that the church had decided to make him president, he confessed, he was left wondering: “Why should I be the one to serve in this office when there are others far more qualified to do so than I am?”
“I think of President Ed Lehman, President Ralph Mayan, President Robert Bugbee,” he continued. “I cannot even hope to adequately follow in their footsteps.”
He also noted the challenges our synod has faced over the past number of years, and the increasingly hostile wider culture in which we find ourselves—reasons that might give anyone pause before accepting the presidency of the church.
“And yet, in spite of all these questions and issues and concerns and reasons to decline to serve in this office,” said, “there stand those words of Dr. Stanfel: ‘Let the church decide.’ And so it is with much hesitancy, reluctance, with a great deal of fear and trepidation, and after much prayer and seeking advice and counsel… that I humbly bow to the will and decision of the convention and accept my election to serve as president of our synod.”
“I ask for your patience and prayers, your understanding, your support, your counsel, and your advice.”
He cited C.F.W. Walther in his closing remarks, noting that we must remain true to the historic faith though others might run after the spirit of the times. Others might trust in their own abilities and wisdom, Walther explains, but we instead must trust rather in the grace and mercy of God.
“To that end,” said President Elect Teuscher, “may God bless us and our poor, little Lutheran Church–Canada. Amen.”