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Letter:

The following is a letter received from the WordAlone Board of Directors and the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee.

Dear Friends in Christ,

Actions taken at the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly have stirred up many orthodox Lutherans in North America. Lutheran CORE, the WordAlone Network and other member groups within the coalition have all expanded in the past few months.

This growth is very good news for our ministries and the future of our Lutheran witness. Many people and churches are opposing and rejecting the course chosen by the ELCA. They are looking to our organizations for leadership, resources and an alternative to remaining in the ELCA. Their expectations and our plans for future growth mean that we need to add to our over-extended staffs.

Thus far Lutheran Coalition for Renewal (CORE) has relied on an already overburdened WordAlone staff for support. Pr. Mark Chavez has served as WordAlone Vice President and Lutheran CORE Director. The office staff in our New Brighton, Minnesota headquarters has served both ministries.

In light of the increased staffing needs for both organizations, Mark was directed by a joint WordAlone/Lutheran CORE task force in early November to submit a staffing plan for both our ministries. As a part of that plan, he concluded the time had come to separate the roles of WordAlone Vice President and Lutheran CORE Director. Serving both organizations has long since been overwhelming for him.

With the support of both the WordAlone Board and Lutheran CORE Steering Committee, Mark will be transitioning to working full time for Lutheran CORE next year. Both organizations hope to best leverage Mark's experience with the start-up of WordAlone in 2000 and the launching of Lutheran CORE in 2005 to assist Lutheran CORE in its significant transitions and changes. WordAlone and Lutheran CORE also recognize the importance of using Mark's very strong relationships with many of the confessional leaders participating in Lutheran CORE.

This was not an easy decision for Mark. It has been a joy and a privilege for him to serve WordAlone. In making this shift he will remain a very active member of the WordAlone Network.

For the remainder of this year Mark will serve both organizations with his time divided evenly. On Jan. 1 he will shift to at least 3/4 time for Lutheran CORE and then full time no later than May 1. WordAlone is hopeful that it will quickly choose a new Vice President. If so, Mark would be able to move to full time for Lutheran CORE before May 1.

During this time of transition, the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee would like to recognize the foundational work that has been accomplished by Mark Chavez, Jaynan Clark and all of the WordAlone supporters over the past ten years to prepare us for this historic moment in North American Lutheranism.

This groundwork has borne the very good fruit of Sola Publishing, Clergy Connect, the Network News, the Theological Advisory Board and the new Chaplaincy Corps, along with many ministries that have become self sufficient witnesses for the Good News of Jesus Christ – Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, ReClaim Resources and the Institute of Lutheran Theology just to name a few.

WordAlone's consistent proclamation of our Lord, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulties, has been an inspiration to all of us who have joined in this struggle for confessional Lutheranism in North America. The Lutheran CORE Steering Committee would also like to take this opportunity to commit themselves to the continued growth and expansion of WordAlone and to our joint vision for confessional Lutheranism in North America.

We ask for your continued prayers for our ministries and our staffs. We are very hopeful for the future of our organizations. Our ministries will continue to work together in every possible way, and Mark’s experience with both organizations will be very helpful.

God has provided an incredible opportunity for all of us to work together with many Lutherans in North America to be more effective witnesses for Christ and His Word. We trust completely that God will provide both organizations with gifted people to serve on our staffs and for many others to serve as volunteers to move forward these ministries for the Church.

Yours in Christ,

WordAlone Network Board of Directors and Lutheran CORE Steering Committee
December, 2009