A letter of thanks from the newly ordained Pastor Tsena Dinssa, formerly of the Minkota District, now serving in New Castle, Wyoming:
I want to use this opportunity to thank you for you are praying and encouraging me to the ministry in which God called me. According to God’s will on Sunday June 5/2016 our NALC-Bishop John Bradosky ordained and installed me to the ministry of Word and Sacraments. By ordaining me, our Bishop continued a ritual that the Apostles themselves used to call down the Holy Spirit upon those who would succeed them in their mission of proclaiming the Gospel to all nations. Those successors now include me.
Christ The King Lutheran Church was formed in April 1972, as the result of a merger of two Lutheran congregations. I am the only Priest Ordained in its own building in the 44 years history of the congregation. Also, the fact that I am the first Lutheran student graduated from Trinity School for Ministry, where the North American Lutheran Seminary is located, and that I am a minister from Ethiopia, a country with the fastest growing Lutheran Church in the World and now sending missionaries to the rest part of the world, makes my ordination first in its kind.
European missionaries went to Africa under the premise of going to convert the locals to Christianity. Many missionaries educated black students at a time when the colonial governments forbade this practice. I think now it is a turn of African churches to send missionaries when many European and American Churches are in a severe spiritual crisis. I accepted a call in the NALC because I am dedicated to the new perspective of the legacy of Christian missionaries, which is now from Africa.
Ordination of a person like me is unusual event in this part of the country and in this community in particular, which again indicates that the event happened on June 5/2016 at Christ The King, Newcastle, Wyoming was a historic one. The ordination service was truly moving and inspiring. It was a demonstration of God’s work through us when we unite in faith and selfless service. The presence of the NALC Bishop John Bradosky, the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, NALC- Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism, Rev. David Baer, our Regional Conference Dean, my fellow pastors from our Mission District, Ministers from Newcastle Mainline Denominations, Pastor Bob Richard from Trinity School for Ministry and Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, and Oromo brothers from Dallas, TX and Minneapolis, MN made the ordination all the more special.
My special gratitude is to Pastor Steve King and Prof. Jim Nestingen for mentoring and regularly praying for me. When I was with you, I have also impressed for all of you encouraged me to the ministry that God called me. So extend my gratitude to all faith family for their prayers and encouragement. As we say in Oromo-Ethiopia: “No appreciation is enough for great kindness.” But here, I still want to thank you all for your prayers and kindness, which has provided me hope and courage to serve the Good Lord who loved us.
Pastor Tsena Dinssa
Christ The King LC – NALC
224 West Rd. Newcastle, WY 82701