Financial Support

Gifts to the Christ in Media Institute 

since its founding in 2009

Giver ($1 to 499)

Denny and Joan Behr
Silas & Mary Born
Paul Fries
Joseph Gaunt
Dave Germeyer
Don Moldstad
Jonas Nissen
Edwin & Jean Schulz
St. Paul’s Onalaska WI
Deb Uecker
Richard & Jean Wiechmann

Contributor ($500 to 999)

Judy Kuster
Mount Olive Lutheran School, Mankato, Minnesota

Donor ($1000 to 4999)

Abiding Shepherd Lutheran Church
Anonymous
Bethany Lutheran College Auxiliary
Peter & Lori Bushman
Central Wisconsin ELS Women’s Mission Society
Colleen & Allen Hansen
ELS Convention 2015
Southern Minnesota ELS Women’s Mission Society

Provider ($5000 to 9999)

Evangelical Lutheran Synod
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

Benefactor ($10,000 to 19,999)

Tom & Judy Kuster

Patron ($20,000 and up)

Antioch Foundation
A Generous Donor

We are grateful to Bethany Lutheran College for substantial material support for this program.

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GOWM conference agenda

Gospel Outreach with Media
Online Conference Sessions

Join the discussion at http://gowm.org any time between March 28 and April 17, 2016.

The Message

The Gospel for Today – and Always
by Mark Harstad (1948-2015)

Reaching Out to Community from Congregation and School

Drawing Attention to Your Website
by Nadiya Borshch (Kharkiv, Ukraine)

Videography and Promotion
by Todd Hackbarth (Onalaska, Wisconsin USA)

Rallying Mission Support in Your Congregation
by Ruthann Mickelson (Madison, Wisconsin USA)

Panel: Reaching out from Congregation to Community
by Mark Harrington (San Antonio, Texas USA), Curtis Bull (San Antonio, Texas USA), and Dan Oberer (Farmington, Minnesota USA)

Panel: A Word about Copyright
by Todd Hackbarth (Onalaska, Wisconsin USA) and Tom Kuster (New Ulm, Minnesota USA)

Using Mobile Devices for Outreach

Spreading the Gospel Phone to Phone
by Tom Kuster (New Ulm, Minnesota USA)

Panel: Experiences with Mobile Phone Outreach in World Fields
by Daniel and Karen Kroll (Kumba, Cameroon), Kalyan Gallipolli (Rajahmundry, India), and Ted Kuster (Lima, Peru)

Panel: Using Social Media to Become Known Throughout Latin America
by Michael Hartman (León, Mexico), Nathan Wagenknecht (Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA), Henry Herrera (Medellín, Colombia), Claudia Baltazar (El Paso, Texas USA), and Paul Bourman (New Ulm, Minnesota USA)

Online Bibles and Bible Stories for Outreach Ministries
by Judith Kuster (New Ulm, Minnesota USA)

Encouraging the Needed Talent

Writing: Challenges for the Christian Screenwriter
by Jas Lonnquist (San Jose, California USA)

Visual Arts Panel: Commissioning Artwork for the Church
by Jason Jaspersen (New Ulm, Minnesota USA), Jonathan Mayer (Seward, Nebraska USA), and William Bukowski (Mankato, Minnesota USA)

Music Panel: A World-Wide Web of Christian Music
by Terry Schultz (Chicago, Illinois USA) and Tom Kuster (New Ulm, Minnesota USA)

Expanding Approaches to Gospel Outreach with Media

Worship Streaming as a World-wide Mission Tool
by Paul Fries (Mankato, Minnesota USA)

Connecting with Combat Troops
by Paul Ziemer (New Ulm, Minnesota USA)

Teaching Cross-cultural Classes: Challenges & Solutions
by Don Moldstad, (Mankato, Minnesota USA)

A Bible Study with the Masses: Our Adventure in Interactive Broadcast
by Benjamin Matzke (New Ulm, Minnesota USA)

Prints & Advertising (P & A): Independent Motion Picture Distribution
by Steve Zambo (Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin USA)

School Children Doing Mission Work with Media
by Amanda Buelow (Mankato, Minnesota USA)

Christian Media for a Non-Christian Audience
by Jonathan Witte (New Ulm, Minnesota USA)

Panel: Media Venture Update
by Bruce Becker (Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA) and Mark Parsons (Fond du Lac, Wisconsin USA)

##

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What is an Online Conference?

What is an “online conference”?

[you can “attend” in your pajamas]

In-person conferences

In an in-person conference, such as we have all experienced, attendees travel to a conference site (often at significant expense) and are offered an array of sessions, each in its own room where an individual presenter or small panel of presenters speak on a subject of interest. Listeners in the room can ask questions or comment if time allows. Sometimes each session may attract a dozen attendees, more or less. Often conflicts in the conference schedule prevent attendees from getting to all the sessions that interest them. And once a session ends, it is over and cannot be revisited.

Online conferences

In an online conference, attendees do not need to leave their homes or offices but rather, as the name indicates, can engage in the sessions and discussions online, and at no cost. International in scope, an online conference can feature presenters and attract visitors from around the world, and each conference session might gather dozens, even hundreds of visitors, who can engage in as few or as many of the sessions as catch their interest. And since the conference is archived online, the sessions and discussions remain available to readers after the conference ends.

Asynchronous operation

Online conferences operate asynchronously, that is, participants do not need to be online at the same time, but can check in at their convenience, experience a session, leave a question or comment, and come back the next day, or later, to view the continuing discussion. This kind of interaction can continue as long as the conference is “open,” usually for a few weeks.

How it will work

Our conference is scheduled to be open for three weeks, starting on Monday, March 28, the day after Easter 2016. During that time, participants visiting the conference URL will find a list of a dozen or more presentation Titles and authors. Each Title on the list is a link to a presentation that might involve text, image, audio, video, or narrated PowerPoint. Many visitors will simply read and enjoy the presentations, but those who wish to do so can post a comment or a question for the author. Authors monitor their pages regularly while the conference is open, and are able to address the questions and reply to the comments. Other participants can comment on the comments, and a lively discussion can ensue, carried on asynchronously over the course of the three weeks the conference is open. The conference will be closed to further discussion at the end of the day on Sunday, April 10.

Preserving the conference

After its three-week run, the conference will be closed to further activity, but all presentations and discussion will be “frozen” and archived, remaining online and available for anyone to read in the future.

We very much appreciate your interest and participation.

Soli Deo Gloria

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Partners

Partners of the Christ in Media Institute

as of July 23, 2017

A number of valued “partners” have agreed to be idea resources for CMI. Read about the “Partners” program here. Read also about the Seven Challenges faced by those reaching out via media with the Gospel.  Here is a list of the people who are currently receiving our “Partner Reports” sent out by email every four or six weeks. If you wish to be added to this list, contact tkuster@blc.edu

 
Nate Abrahamson
Ikweri Anariko
Philip Anderson
Steve Balza
Dan Basel
Jon Basel
Bruce Becker
Matt Behmer
Eric Blumer
John Braun
Laura Buch
Mike Buchanan
Amanda Buelow
Jeff Bukowski
Curtis Bull
Heather Carmichael
Steve Corona
April Coulson
Jesse DeDeyne
Gonzalo Delgadillo
Sallie Draper
Karsten Drechsler
Tim Erickson
Marlin Goebel
Scott Gostchock
Paul Grubbs
Todd Hackbarth
Hansen Family
Jeff Hendrix
Tom Heyn
Lorenz Holland-Moritz
Jason Jaspersen
Christopher Johnson
Brian Keller
Rachel Kerkow
Michael Klebig
Brian Klebig
John Lawrenz
Jonathan Leach
Jas Lonnquist
Ben Lundsten
Robert Martens
Leah Matzke
Benj Matzke
Patrick McGuire
John McKenna
Mark Meyer
Ruthann Mickelson
Tim Moldstad
Erhard Opsahl
Andrew Overn
Mark Parsons
John Paulsen
Bill Pekrul
Steve Petersen
Ted Petersen
Gene Pfeifer
Tony Pittenger
Amanda Quist
Steve Reagles
Larry Schlomer
Tim Schmeling
Jonas Schröter
Clark Schultz
Lance Schwartz
Jim Sehloff
Phil Seibel
Scott Sievert
Aaron Spike
Martin Spriggs
Shawn Stafford
Dan Stelljes
Barb Tesch
Rachel Ulrich
Luke Ulrich
Tom Walters
Larry Wentzlaff
Art Westphal
Jonathan Witte
Eric Woller
Brad Wordell
Kebede Yigezu
Steve Zambo
Paul Ziemer
Matt Zuhlke

 

 

 

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Christmas words

In Nomeni Iesu

Text: Luke 2:10b-11a
God’s Favorite Christmas Words

Christmas is a wonderful time for words. Words carry our holiday greetings; we say “merry Christmas, happy New Year” and reply “Same to you!” Words in holiday letters update our friends and relatives about family happenings. And of course we turn again to the words of Scripture to hear again the beautiful story of the first Christmas: “And it came to pass in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus…” Just hearing those words again warms our hearts, and takes many of us back to childhood when we memorized them and recited them in church at a children’s Christmas service. The heart of that story was the message of the angel to the shepherds out in the field. Those words, again, will be the Bible portion that we focus on this morning:
Luke 2: 10-11 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

We all enjoy the words surrounding Christmas, especially since so many of them appear in beautiful poetry and hymns and carols. I can’t help believing that just as we enjoy those poetic Christmas expressions, they must also be among God’s favorite words. Let’s use this sermon, on the first Sunday after Christmas, to recall some of them together, shall we?

First there is the proclamation: how God must have delighted in it, announcing that His plan from the beginning of the world, indeed, His plan from eternity, was finally coming to pass. The proclamation of the angel might well be God’s favorite Christmas words. That proclamation was celebrated in the traditional English carol, “The First Noel.” Nobody knows who wrote it – it emerged in the 17th century, more than 300 years ago. Nobody is even sure where the word “noel” came from. It was French, but might have come from “natalis” meaning birth, or from “novella” meaning new. But it’s plain that the word refers to the good news from the Angel that Jesus has come. Is anyone here old enough to remember a newspaper boy standing on a corner selling newspapers by shouting, “extra extra, read all about it!” Nobody does that any more, but that’s what this refrain sounds like: “news news news the King of Israel is born today!” “noel noel noel noel, born is the king of Israel!

The proclamation by the angel of Jesus’ birth might be God’s favorite Christmas words.

What about the names of Jesus? We give a lot of thought to naming our children, looking up lists of baby names in books, and considering names of parents and grandparents, and once we choose a name for our baby, we consider that name precious.

God must love the names he gave his son. They are all so meaningful. Of course, the Angel told Mary what to name him: Luke 1:31 “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” In Greek: Ye-sous – in Hebrew: Yeshua. It means “God Saves.”

But there are other names given him in Scripture. How many can you think of? A favorite of everyone must be “Immanuel.” The Old Testament prophet Isaiah first used it: (Isaiah 7:14) “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” That name is a combination of two Hebrew words: “immanu” which means “with us,” and “El” which is a word for “God.”

That name, and others, are celebrated in the hymn “O come O come Emmanuel.” Like the “Noel” hymn, nobody knows who wrote this hymn; it’s even older than “Noel” and comes from a Latin hymn sung in the 12th century. Each stanza in this hymn invokes a different name for Jesus. The first notes how much we need “God with us.” Ever since Adam and Eve sinned and were sent out of the Garden of Eden, exiled from Paradise, we all like them would have been separated from God, lost and alone in our sins. In our exile we need the ransom [“redemption”] Jesus came to provide:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

The second stanza calls Jesus Wisdom. This is what we read about Jesus as he grew up: Luke 2:40 “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.” Listen to how this Wisdom teaches us about the plan of God for us, how Jesus sets everything in order, and shows us how our faith in him is the path to heaven:

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high
And order all things, far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And cause us in her ways to go.

In stanza 3 Jesus is named the Desire of Nations. The Old Testament prophet Haggai used those words to describe Jesus: Hag. 2:7 “And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts.” And shouldn’t all nations desire what Jesus brings?

O come, Desire of nations, bind
All peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife, and quarrels cease;
Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.

The next stanza names Jesus a Dayspring, an old poetic word for “dawn,” the time when the “day springs up” in the morning. Before John the Baptizer was born, his father Zacharias could not speak for a while, but when his son was born and named “John,” he could speak again, and in his song of praise he said this: Luke 1. 78-79 …the dayspring from on high has visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death…” Imagine how dark, sad, and gloomy our lives would be if all we had to look forward to was death. So we sing to Jesus:

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Then there is this name: Rod of Jesse. Jesse of course was the father of King David. Jesse is pictured as the tree trunk from which a firm branch would grow, a powerful stick or club of wood symbolizing great power. Isaiah said, Is. 11:1-2 “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” And so we sing, trusting in Jesus’ great strength for us:

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem;
From every foe deliver them
That trust thy mighty pow’r to save,
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.

Finally there is the stanza about the Key of David. A key can unlock a door, and can lock it up again. Isaiah wrote this about God’s servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: Is. 22:22 “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” That same verse is quoted in Rev. 3.7, not about Eliakim but about Jesus, who unlocks for us the door to heaven:

O come, thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

The many names of Jesus must be some of God’s favorite Christmas words.

The setting of that first Christmas has also inspired so many beautiful descriptions of what was probably a very stressful scene. Mary was about to have a baby, and they couldn’t find a place to stay. How many places must they have asked before someone finally said they could go into the cattle stalls? All this is recorded by St. Luke with just these few simple words: “she laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

A woman named Cecil Frances Alexander wrote a series of hymns for children to illustrate various parts of the Apostles’ Creed. For example on the phrase “suffered under Pontius Pilate” she wrote “There is a Green Hill Far Away.” On the phrase “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary,” she wrote the following:

Once in royal David’s city stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby in a manger for His bed.
Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven Who is God and Lord of all,
And his shelter was a stable, and His cradle was a stall.
With the poor, and mean, and lowly lived on earth, our Savior holy.

I don’t know if the manger was in a stable shed; more likely it was in a cave, since that is what the geology of Bethlehem was like. And while we in America celebrate Christmas in wintertime hoping for snow (a “white Christmas”), it’s pretty certain there wasn’t any snow at that first Christmas in Palestine. Still we love the words of the poet Christina Georgina Rossetti. She was born in 1830, educated at home, and though she wasn’t a hymn writer, she was a poet. While it wasn’t really cold winter where Jesus was born, we can consider the world into which he was born as cold, frozen and hard with sin. She wrote:

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

And that’s how it is at Christmas: when the Holy Spirit brings into our hearts the news of a Savior, we are moved to give those hearts back to him.

Maybe words about the setting of Christmas are God’s favorite Christmas words.

A favorite theme of Christmas hymn writers has been the contrasts of the Incarnation, the almighty God taking on human flesh and becoming a tiny helpless baby. One of my favorites is a little known hymn by William Walsham How (died 1897). Notice the contrasts between the first half and second half of each stanza:

Who is this so weak and helpless,
Child of lowly Hebrew maid,
Rudely in a stable sheltered,
Coldly in a manger laid?
‘Tis the Lord of all creation,
Who this wondrous path hath trod;
He is God from everlasting,
And to everlasting God.

The next stanzas remind us that Christmas isn’t just about a cute little baby – although I am sure Jesus was a cute little baby. But remember what this baby came to do. He came to live a life of perfect obedience to God, something we couldn’t do so he did it in our place. And then he came to die, paying the penalty we owed God for our sins. That’s why, when God now looks at us, he sees us as Jesus made us: God sees us as sinless and holy as Jesus was. So we sing:

Who is this, a Man of Sorrows,
Walking sadly life’s hard way,
Homeless, weary, sighing, weeping
Over sin and Satan’s sway?
‘Tis our God, our glorious Savior,
Who above the starry sky
Now for us a place prepareth,
Where no tear can dim the eye.

Who is this? Behold Him shedding
Drops of blood upon the ground!
Who is this, despised, rejected,
Mocked, insulted, beaten, bound?
‘Tis our God, who gifts and graces
On His Church now poureth down;
Who shall smite in holy vengeance
All His foes beneath His throne.

Who is this that hangeth dying
While the rude world scoffs and scorns,
Numbered with the malefactors,
Torn with nails, and crowned with thorns?
‘Tis the God who ever liveth
‘Mid the shining ones on high,
In the glorious golden city,
Reigning everlastingly.

And because of his dying, by which he paid for our sins, we know that we will share that life with him everlastingly.

For many of us, our favorite Christmas words are the prayers we find in the Christmas hymns. How many of us memorized these when we were children, and still pray them regularly? Martin Luther wrote “From Heav’n Above to Earth I Come” as a pageant, a play to be acted by his children. But many of us especially remember this stanza:

Ah, Dearest Jesus, holy Child, Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled
Within my heart, that it may be a quiet chamber kept for Thee.

Martin Luther is often given credit for writing the carol “Away in a Manger.” But this third stanza, a beautiful prayer, was added by John Thomas McFarland (who died 1913, almost exactly a hundred years ago).

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
and take us to Heaven to live with Thee there.

You’ve seen the theme for this sermon: God’s Favorite Christmas Words. What you’ve heard so far are my own favorite Christmas words, and I’m sure some of your favorites too. What words might actually be GOD’s favorite Christmas words? I’d like to speculate, knowing the great love that God showed us in sending his Son into the world that night, that his favorite Christmas words were six of those spoken by the angel to the shepherds, recorded by St. Luke in his Christmas chapter, chapter 2. I’m speaking of the six words in a row at the end of verse 10 and the start of verse 11.

From Luke 2:10b “to all people”
From Luke 2:11a “for unto you”

You see, the news wasn’t just that a child was born, or even that a special child was born; this child was born ‘’unto you,” that is, FOR US. The plan wasn’t just to help a few people; it was FOR ALL PEOPLE. God in his great love FOR US, and FOR ALL PEOPLE, was carrying out his plan FOR US, and FOR EVERYBODY!

It wasn’t a new thought of course. Centuries before it happened, the prophet Isaiah emphasized the same message in a passage often quoted at Christmas time, and set to music so beautifully by George Frederick Handel in his marvelous oratorio, “Messiah”: Is. 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

It’s a thought picked up again in our Christmas songs such as in The First Noel, the first song we spoke of earlier. We don’t often sing it through to stanza six, but if we did we’d find this thought there, in the first line: US ALL.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heav’nly Lord,
That hath made heav’n and earth of naught,
And with His blood mankind hath bought.
Noel, noel, noel, noel,
Born is the King of Israel

For all people.
For unto you.

Those might be God’s favorite Christmas words. They certainly are mine.

Thanks be to God!

Dr. Tom Kuster
at Resurrection Lutheran Church
Winter Haven, Florida, USA
December 28, 2014

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Current Projects

 

Christ in Media Institute: Current projects and activities

Updated March 2016

View the agenda of the upcoming

Gospel Outreach with Media online conference,

open to participation from March 28 (the day after Easter) until April 10.

 

Projects involving Gospel outreach via mobile devices:

1)   Academia Cristo: invited to work with Missionary Mike Hartman (WELS Mexico) to establish an online school with courses in Spanish. Tasks assigned to us:

  1. Locating contact tracking software – completed
  2. Locating phone-to-TV connection technology [consultation continues]
  3. Designing an “encourager” network [schematic provided]
  4. Participate in promotions planning

2)   Iglesia Cristo: invited to work with Mike Hartman to establish an online congregation, with worship services in Spanish. Tasks assigned to us:

  1. Designing broadcast hardware [hardware list developed]
  2. Locating online platform [recommended Churchonline]
  3. Request for face-to-face meeting in Manizales, Colombia
  4. Financially support trip by technical expert to set up broadcast streaming

3)  Mobile Gospel outreach in Mexico: working with Missionary Brad Krause to develop a digital “library” of materials that can be distributed phone-to-phone.

4) Mobile Gospel outreach in India: invited by ELS Board for World Outreach to help design an outreach strategy via mobile phones.

  1. We purchased and sent a Gospel Distribution Unit to enable phone-to-phone transfer of digital files
  2. We sent printed materials to help get the program started.
  3. Need to strengthen web presence. [http://www.christinindia.org was developed last year by Rocky Mt. LHS in our Christian Mobile Phone project, a good start.]
  4. The India program will help promote mobile outreach throughout Asia in a workshop at regional conference in Seoul next summer

5)   Mobile Gospel outreach in Haiti: invited to work with Missionary Terry Schulz: ideally we should send a teacher/ adviser / crew to go there.

6)   Mobile Gospel outreach in Peru: exploring potential in mountains and jungle with Terry Schultz and the ELS Board for World Outreach.

7)   Mobile Gospel outreach in Africa: we continue to advise mission workers in three countries about mobile strategies.

  1. Malawi: Missionary Rob Wendland
  2. Zambia: Missionary Dan Sargent
  3. Nigeria: Missionary Doug Weiser

8)   Mobile Gospel outreach in Asian nation (details not public)

9)    Mobile Gospel outreach in S. Asian nation (details not public)

10)   Outreach to US great west: invited to work on major effort with Time of Grace, Truth in Love, and WELS Kingdom Workers.

11)  Consulting with WELS Multi-Language Publications about preparing mobile-friendly audio and video files of “culturally relevant” Christian music from South Asia, for distribution in South Asia, India, and Latin America.

  1. Prof. Paulsen’s class at Bethany Lutheran College created a music video out of a Spanish language song.
  2. World Christian music exchange site: we are working with a consultant to design this website that will enable Christian musicians from around the world to share and exchange their locally-produced music.

 

Projects engaging technology other than mobile devices:

 

12) Agents for Christian Artists project: can our talented young Christian artists benefit from the services of business-savvy agents?

  1.  Preliminary discussion held with BLC Fine Arts, Media Arts, and Business Departments, and Entrepreneurial Facilitation Center

13) Gospel outreach through Lutheran Elementary Schools: preliminary visit with the BLC Education Department to explore the potential for training lay members to establish mobile outreach programs in our congregations with schools.

14) Consulting with the Evangelical Lutheran Synod Board for Christian Service on an innovative digital monument honoring those in military service.

15)  GEM videos: extending the 2013 Lutheran College Conference’s theme “Teaching through a Lutheran Lens,” these short videos by college faculty members show prospective students and others what is different about Lutheran higher education. A DVD of several dozen short videos was turned over to the Bethany faculty chair and administration.

16)  Invited presentation at WELStech Conference, July 9-11, 2015, Waukesha. “GospelTech: employing technology for Gospel Outreach at home and worldwide.”  This breakout session will survey everything we have learned so far at the Christ in Media Institute about using technology and mass media to reach out with the Gospel at home and around the world, with special attention to applications in congregations and schools. We will peek ahead at future challenges and opportunities, and welcome ideas from the audience.

17)  Invitation to take part in a June 18-19 conference at Mequon hosted by newly created WELS Global Ministry Commission, who will be studying “various tools to help immigrants in our fellowship take the gospel back to their countries of origin.” They would like presentation on “the appropriate role of The Christ in Media Institute in such a process.”

18)  At suggestion of Antioch Foundation, Jonathon Roberts of Spark and Echo connected with Studio Director Greg Vandermause at Bethany, where they are assisting S&E with video editing tasks.

19) Partnering with a Mission Organization to host an information session during Media Week, in connection with 2015 Speechless Film Festival. Session scheduled for Monday, March 16, focusing on Gospel work in an Asian nation.

20) Consulting with a WELS Youth Outreach program seeking numerous leader demonstration videos.

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support CMI

Support the Gospel outreach work of the Christ in Media Institute

Gifts from friends and supporters are the only source of financial support for the Christ in Media Institute. We are very grateful for the support of these friends.

Our current goal: to continue the world-wide work begun through the Christian Mobile Phone Project. For a list of projects on which CMI is currently working, open this page.

  1. Your one-time contribution of any amount will help us continue this work.
  2. Your recurrent automatic monthly gifts will help assure the financial stability of CMI.

Longer-range goals:

  1. A gift of $5,000 will support the work of CMI for one year.
  2. Gifts totaling $90,000 designated “CMI endowment” will increase this fund to $100,000. This will assure CMI’s work can continue at its present level for years to come.
  3. Gifts totaling $490,000 designated “CMI endowment” will increase this fund to $500,000. This will enable CMI to expand its work to its full potential, and assure its leadership role as we anticipate that technology will play an increasing role in Gospel outreach in coming years.

Here are two ways to make your tax deductible donation:

Write your check to “Bethany Lutheran College” designated to Christ in Media Institute, and mail it to
Bethany Lutheran College
700 Luther Drive
Mankato, MN 56001
or
Click the button below to donate via PayPal or with a credit card. This will be a donation to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which transfers the funds to CMI. If you wish, check the box authorizing recurring automatic monthly donations.

THANK YOU!




 

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Christian Mobile Phone Conference Agenda

Christian Mobile Phone Conference Agenda

Friday March 21

2:00 p.m.           Registration opens, Trinity Chapel

3:00 – 3:20        Opening Devotion and Orientation, Trinity Chapel

3:40 – 4:40        CHINA  by Northland Lutheran High School

4:50 – 5:50        INDIA  by Rocky Mountain Lutheran High School

Supper at Flour Power, Mankato Place, Downtown Mankato

Evening at Bethany’s 2nd annual Speechless Film Festival. Your Conference registration includes a pass to all Festival activities. See http://speechlessfilmfestival.com

7:00    Showcases: Professional Narrative, Professional Animation/Experimental

8:00    Showcases: Student Narrative, Professional Narrative, Award

 

Saturday March 22

8:45                   Breakfast, Honsey Hall Lobby        

9:15 – 10:15     CHILE  by Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary

10:25 – 11:25   MEXICO  by Luther High School, Onalaska

Brunch in Bethany Dining Room

12:30 – 1:30     PAKISTAN  by St. Croix Lutheran High School

1:40 – 2:40       GRANADA  by Wisconsin Lutheran College

2:55 – 3:55        MALAWI / ZAMBIA  by Bethany Lutheran College

4:00 – 4:30        General discussion: what’s next

Supper, served at Mankato Place, downtown Mankato

Evening at the Speechless Film Festival.

5:00    Showcases: High School, Student Narrative, Professional Narrative

6:00    Award Showcase

7:00    Special presentation: Steve Corona, on being a Christian in the industry

 

Sunday March 23

9:00                   Breakfast, Honsey Hall Lobby

9:30 – 10:15     School teams meet with overseas consultants

10:30                 International Worship Service, Trinity Chapel

Lunch in Bethany Dining Room and departure

 

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Registration for 2014 Christian Mobile Phone Project

Register here for the Christian Mobile Phone Conference

March 21-23, 2014, Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato MN 56001 USA

(Although this page is not an https page, the form below and your payment information are secure.)

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Christian Mobile Project

Project for 2013-14 school year:

The Christian Mobile-Phone Project

Culminating Conference was held on March 21-23, 2014

Link to the Conference Agenda

Project Goal: student teams from seven schools devised strategies for Christian outreach via mobile technology (cell phones, feature phones, smartphones), and if appropriate, produced audience-appropriate media carrying messages of the Christian Gospel that can be heard or viewed by vast numbers of people on their phones in a variety of countries around the world. While research results and media productions are the tangible goals of the project, its underlying purpose was to inspire a large number of young Christian people with a first-hand experience in mission outreach via media.

Aspects of the project (some conducted simultaneously):

1. Host a smartphone technology workshop (October 24-25 2013):
In an effort to understand the cutting edge of the technology used to make Christian messages available on vast numbers of mobile phones in many parts of the world, we hosted a day-and-a-half gathering consisting of the following participants:

  • experts to teach us 1) the importance of an understanding of the cultures in which we wish to send Christian messages, and the means by which that understanding can be gained; 2) what technology and processes are required to get messages onto vast numbers of phones in various parts of the world, and how best to format messages so that they can appear on mobile phones.
  • A few technology-friendly student representatives from each participating school, with their advisers
  • Interested persons from school and church technology staffs
  • About 55 people attended this workshop at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee.

2. Engage mission worker mentor/consultants:
We found mission workers in a number of overseas countries, who were willing to serve as mentor/consultants to the student teams during the project school year. Eight countries in which there are churches of our fellowship participated.

3. Invite schools to create research and production teams:
Seven schools (colleges and high schools) created research and production teams of students, under a faculty adviser. Their tasks included these steps:

  • Select a country in which their final production(s) could be made available.
  • The team was put in touch with the mission worker mentor/consultant in that country.
  • The team researched the country, with the guidance of the mentor/consultant, in regard to all aspects of the country relating to message effectiveness in that location, including its demographics, geography, history, culture (especially music, art, stories/legends), languages, attitudes toward religion (especially Christianity), and the like. Special attention was given to whatever peculiarities might exist in regard to getting Christian messages onto mobile phones in that country. This research aspect was a vital part of the project: it brings multiple academic disciplines to bear on the task of communicating a Gospel message, and builds valuable groundwork for future media outreach in chosen countries.
  • Drawing on their research, the team devised strategies for Gospel outreach via mobile devices, and if appropriate, produced media that proclaims the Gospel that could be used on phones in their chosen country.

4. Host a culminating “Mobile Phone Gospel Outreach Conference” (March 21-23, 2014):
The production teams from participating schools gathered, met one another, and displayed their work, that is, their research, the proposed media, and strategies by which the media could be spread by mobile phones. We brought to the Conference the mission-worker mentor/consultants from the various countries, who commented on the student work. Finally, plans were made to follow through, that is, to assure that quality productions would actually appear on phones in the designated countries.

This Conference was held at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minnesota, USA.

For further information, contact tkuster@blc.edu

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