A year ago, the LCP gave heartfelt gratitude to Rev. Alois Schwarz, a long time missionary to the Philippines from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria (Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern), Germany for his retirement.
A simple plaque of appreciation was given to Pastor Alois in Neuendettelsau, Germany when theologians from the Lutheran Church in the Philippines and the Lutheran Church of Australia attended the Mission EineWelt Seminar on Homiletics and Worship last November 10-26, 2019.
The LCP President, Rev. Antonio Reyes; LCP Secretary, Rev. Henry Paul Roa; and LCP Board of Control Chairman, Rev. Jerry Lomecio presented the token of appreciation.
Pastor Alois first started working as an accountant but has long been passionate in church work especially in Diakonia. In 1979, when he was 25 years old, he became a missionary of ELCB to Papua New Guinea as an accountant and treasurer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea Highlands District.
He also helped establish a coffee plantation, taught accounting at a Lutheran College, and involved in various ministries of ELCPNG. From then on, Pastor Alois’ journey continued, and eventually became a pastor. In 1995, he was called to serve Kaiapit Lutheran Church in Markam Valley, and as a Lecturer at Senior Flierl Seminary in Finschhafen, Papua New Guinea.
In 2001, he received a call to serve the LCP as a Professor at the Concordia Theological College in San Juan, La Union which he gladly accepted.
He went back to Germany in 2003 and served as a pastor there for 13 years. In 2014, LCP invited him to serve as a guest professor for 2 months at the Lutheran Theological Seminary & Training Center in Baguio City and eventually became a full-time professor from 2017 up to his retirement in 2019.
Pastor Alois is more than just a professor to the seminary students. He was a faithful missionary, invaluable resource person, and adviser to the ministry of LCP and a bridge between church partnerships to ELCB and ELCPNG. When asked on what is his advice for us in LCP, he enthusiastically responded, “I hope and pray that LCP will encourage more youth to serve in various ministries.
There is a deep love for Christ and the Church. The LCP should take the chance, now is the time to share the Gospel vigorously. Look for your own identity and develop your own liturgical resources. Open up chances such as scholarships because there are a lot of opportunities.
In Psalm 100, it says that the Lord is good and His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations. This is what I have experienced when I look back as a missionary for 40 years. The same message for LCP, you have so many gifts to share because of who you are as a faithful church.
Always remember that the Lord is there and tomorrow and for the generations to come. I would also like to note my memorable experiences in meeting not just the seminarians and theologians but also the people in the congregations and immerse in their way of being the church. The friendship, fellowship and sharing of the faith in Christ Jesus with one another.”
Pastor Alois, you are a blessing to all of us, thank you and may the LORD keep watch between you and us when we are away from each other.
Source: Picture and words from The Lutheran Church in the Philippines