Evangelical Lutherans in Portugal install a new president and get ready to launch a web radio station
(pictured left to right) IELP President Agner, former President Flor and Rev. Dr. Brent Smith, LCMS regional director, posed for a picture at the installation service of President Agner.
The Portuguese Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELP) shared with the LCMS what changes took place in 2011, and what they see happening in 2012.
The Rev. Genivaldo Agner was installed as the president of the IELP in April 2011. President Agner and his family moved to Portugal from Brazil in 2008. He graduated from seminary in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2002. Agner was the vice-president of the IELP until the previous president, The Rev. Jonas Flor, accepted a call to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which left the presidency open. Flor had been the president for 15 years.
Agner shared that in his first days as president, Flor helped him to learn the ins and outs of the presidency. “Even today, if I need something, he is always available to help me,” Agner said.
Portugal’s population is 90 percent Roman Catholic. Agner said he sees, “Our big challenge is to get the Lutheran Church known among the Portuguese people. We are sure that the IELP has a big role in this task.”
In October 2011, the IELP youth met together for a weekend of prayer and learning.
Agner described the youth as a big part of the church and as willing to serve the Lord. In October 2011, the youth gathered in Porto, Portugal for a “Prayer” meeting. The worship and Bible studies were led by Agner, whose main study was about how to learn to pray from the Lord’s Prayer in the youths’ every day lives.
Looking ahead, the goal of the IELP in 2012 is to have Lutheran radio available 24 hours a day on the Internet. Quality Christian music, as well as live interviews and messages will be available on the web radio. Agner shared that with people being connected to the Internet so constantly, having “a Portuguese Lutheran radio will help ‘show us’ more to the people.”
The IELP has four active congregations, with regular Sunday worship, Catechism classes and Bible study outreach for non-Lutherans. In such a dense Catholic population, Agner shared, “Every Lutheran congregation is important in the area where they are. Every time we open the church’s door to have a worship service or another event, we are giving the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work in people’s lives.”
- Read about the ministry of the LCMS in Portugal.