Love your neighbor as yourself
SERVANT to SERVANT                            6-24-16

Love your neighbor as yourself
"I needed clothes and you clothed me..." Matthew 25:36
Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mechanicsburg, PA, collected and distributed gently used clothing to families in need on June 11, 2016. Twice a year, Calvary Clothing Closet opens to serve members and the community with seasonable clothing at no cost, and distributes to about 35 people. A great way to show how to "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Summer Schools and VBS
The Lutheran Church of the Shepherd King in West Bloomfield, MI, hosted their Vacation Bible School the week of June 20. West Bloomfield is a diverse community and the church welcomed children who are Indian, Korean, African-American, South American, and Chaldean. The theme was "Sonforce Kids - Special Agents." In keeping with their theme, two officers from the West Bloomfield Police Department brought "Timmy" the police robot, to teach the children about the role of the police and safety. Shepherd King was blessed to share the Gospel of Christ with 98 children from the surrounding communities of West Bloomfield.
The Rev. J. Derek Mathers, Jill Giannotta, The Rev. Jams Huenink
Volunteer receives Lumen Christi Award
Jill Giannotta received the Lumen Christi (Light of Christ) Award at Concordia Lutheran Church, Berwyn, IL, on Sunday, June 19, 2016. The Lumen Christi award is given by the English District-LCMS in recognition of excellence in Christian Education. The Rev. J. Derek Mathers, the Assistant to the Bishop of the English District, presented the award during the worship service. 
"I had no idea this was coming," said Giannotta, surprised by the announcement, "It's such an honor."
The Rev. James Huenink, pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church, commented, "Jill is such a dedicated volunteer. She works so hard to make sure our children know about the salvation that Jesus gives us." 
Jill's volunteer work at Concordia includes being co-chair of the Sunday School and organizing the annual Vacation Bible School.
The Lumen Christi award is presented annually to publicly recognize the service of teachers, to further promote and encourage all professional and volunteer teachers, and to recognize the use of their talents and abilities in service to our Lord.
Grace Lutheran Church in Elyria, OH, started their busy day at 7:00 AM when volunteers picked up VBS decorations from a church they partnered with, filling five vehicles full of fun stuff! The day included a youth group fundraiser and an Adult Bible Study! The beginnings of a fun summer.
Students at Faith Preschool at Jacob's Well, Ft. Wayne, IN, are having some summer school fun with paints, projects and more.
Concordia Lutheran Church, Berwyn, IL, is off to a good start! Smiling VBS students are enjoying Bible stories, crafts and fun!
Camp Epic: Star Force Academy training at Epic Church in Shelby Township, MI, looks more like fun than training! Students and adults are having a blast with this year's program.


Students and teachers at Grace English Lutheran School, Chicago, IL, are getting excited as they see the progress of their new playground! It should be finished very soon, thanks to the "Big City Mission: Tools for Schools" grant that helped them fund the project.

Call Received
The Rev. Jeffrey G. Miskus from St. Mark, Mississauga, ON, Canada has received a call to serve Peace, Windsor, ON, Canada.

Call Returned
The Rev. Steven E. Newberg from Lutheran Church of the Lakes, Addison, MI has returned the call to serve Peace, New Berlin, WI.


Rev. Christian Just, explains that "Ordinary TIme" isn't necessarily ordinary! "Ordinary Time" was originally published in the monthly newsletters of Epiphany Lutheran Church, Northfield OH, and St. Thomas Evangelical Lutheran Church, Streetsboro, OH.


Now that we have passed through what is called The Festival Season of the Church Year (began with Advent, into Christmastide, then Epiphany, followed by Lent, finishes with Eastertide and the Day of Pentecost), we move into what is called Ordinary Time (sometimes also referred to as The Pentecost Season; on the Lutheran calendar, we tend to go with Sundays after Pentecost).

I'd like to focus on that word, "ordinary." We tend to use it in an almost derogatory way, implying that if something isn't "special" its value is diminished to "ordinary." Such is not the case here.

Click here to read more.

I f you have a ministry moment you'd like to share on the English District blog, please send article submissions to Lynne at

Dear friends in Christ,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your offerings at last week's Professional Church Workers' Conference. The $655.42 collected will help to make sure we are able to replace and fix equipment when that is needed.
This week, we want to encourage you to get your congregation involved. They, too, can help support this same work.  Perhaps not now, but in future months, and certainly when you hear that we've used the trailer, please consider holding a special offering to help us keep our equipment and trailer in order and stocked. You can keep in mind things like this: $120 provides 12 pairs of heavy work gloves; $300 for a 20" chain saw; $50 for a replacement bar.
A full list of suggested equipment and prices is available. Every gift can and will help us "Love our neighbors as ourselves."
Pastor Brian Westgate
Disaster Relief & Human Care Committee Chair

Servant to Servant 6-17-16

The picture caption of the English District Coordinator for the National Youth Gathering was mistakenly listed as Korey Daniels. The correct name is Korey Danley.
Have you ever wanted to use memory cards or flash cards to help teach the text of the Small Catechism to your student(s) or children but you found that the time involved to create the flash cards was daunting? We hear you! It can be a lot of work to create all of those index cards.

Concordia Publishing House is now offering printable flash cards as a free download. They are offering both Memory Cards (more appropriate for teaching) and Flash Cards (more appropriate for quizzing) to individuals and congregations. Click on the link below and fill out the form to access the cards for you and your students/children.                                                                 

Click here to download.

"Confessing Christ in a Contrary Culture" is the theme of the Evangelism Conference to be held at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Avon, IN on Friday, September 9, 2016 and Saturday, September 10, 2016.
Rev. Dr. Rast, President from Concordia Seminary, will be the keynote speaker. Rev. Hesham Shehab from Chicago will be one of the plenary speakers talking on the topic of "Reaching Out to the Muslims" and Chaplain Paul Lepley will be another plenary speaker speaking on "Reaching out to the Military Families."
The conference begins on Friday at 5:00 PM and runs through Saturday at 4:00 PM. Dinner on Friday night and lunch on Saturday are included in the registration fee.
Register by August 25th for $45.00. After August 26th, registration raises to $55.00.
View and download the full brochure with the schedule of events and sectional choices here.

Following Through On Strategic Planning
Contributed by Rev. Aaron Witt, pastor, Christ Lutheran Church, Columbus, NE.

Years ago, I was a distance runner for my school's track team. In preparing for track meets, I would figure out a plan as to how I would run my race. At the sound of the starting gun, I would put that plan into action. Distance races take a while to run. It would be easy to lose my focus, especially if the race didn't go as I had planned. Still, with endurance, patience and encouragement from my teammates and coaches, I'd always follow through to the finish.
When we do strategic planning in our churches, we make a plan and put it into action. But, much like a distance race, going from a plan to the end result can take some time. As time goes on, we may feel that the results aren't coming quick enough, things don't always work out the way we planned or we just plain get tired. That's why, when it comes to following through with strategic planning, we need to keep the following in mind:
Endurance: Following through with strategic planning takes endurance. It's exciting to plan and get started, it takes endurance to keep it going. We'd like to see immediate and full results from our planning efforts but, often times, it doesn't work that way. It takes time. Don't give up, let God work and see how endurance pays off.
Patience: Following through with strategic planning takes patience. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everything happened just the way we planned it? Sure - but the truth is, things don't always go as planned and it takes patience to work through it. Patience allows us to step back and examine the situation with a clear and open mind. It keeps us moving and reminds us that God works all things for good - in His own time.
Community: Following through with strategic planning takes community. One person can't do the whole thing nor is it the pastor's project - it takes the congregation as a community to make it work. If one person has to do all the work, he or she will get worn out. Encourage and build each other up and see what the body of Christ can do when all its members are working together.
The full result of strategic planning doesn't happen overnight. It takes endurĀ­ance, patience and community to get where we want to be. Above all, remember that what we do, we do it in the name of Jesus with Him walking right beside us and giving all we need to share His Gospel with those around us.
Read RSTM July Newsletter

The English District Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod supports and funds missions, from our churches' local communities to people across the globe. Whether it is a scholarship or basic humanitarian needs, we try to "love our neighbors as ourselves" in all we do. Your financial support can assist us in doing more in Christ's name. To support English District ministries  click here. Please prayerfully consider making a donation today.
Previous issues of the e-Newlsetter, Servant to Servant, are available on the Resources page of the English District website:

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