Love your neighbor as yourself

Servant to Servant                                   12-9-16
Visit to Hong Kong

In the early morning hours of December 7, 2016, Bishop Jamison J. Hardy and his eldest son, Noah, boarded a plane in Pittsburgh, PA and traveled to Toronto, ON, Canada. Once they arrived, they joined fellow travelers The Rev. J. Derek Mathers, The Rev. Robert Kieselowsky and The Rev. Thomas Engler. Together the five made it through customs and began their fourteen hour flight to Hong Kong. The group will spend a week visiting potential ministry opportunities.


The photos are from their first day in Hong Kong.
Church and school activities
With food and gifts
Bethesda International Academy, Chicago, IL, extends a hearty thank you to all the families that contributed to the Holiday Canned Food and Toy drive. As an added incentive, if the school can reach its goal of 500 items for the Uptown Ministry, they will have an "All-school Ice Cream Sunday Party." As of press time, they have 382 items!

With music and hope
Hope Lutheran, Hastings, MN, had more than 40 members and friends gather after church for its annual Christmas Caroling outing into the Hastings community. Music and sounds of joy were brought to the shoppers of Cub Foods; the residents of Hastings, MN Veterans Home; Augustana Care of Hastings; and downtown Hastings, including Vista Rio A Taste of Mexico.

With holiday meals
Hales Corners Lutheran School and Hales Corners Lutheran Church, Hales Corners, WI, worked together to serve 500 families at Thanksgiving.

In our schools
Out of the classroom
Students from Grace English, Chicago, IL, enjoyed the annual field trip to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry to see the Christmas trees from around the world.
In the classroom
Gail Holzer, School Ministry Executive for the English District, visited West Portal School, San Francisco, CA, in her latest travels. Here is a peek into a couple of the classrooms.
In our district
Pastors of the Chicago Circuits met for the December Circuit meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church in Villa Park, IL on St. Nicholas Day. Since St. Nicholas is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, the pastors had the opportunity to be with him on his day. L to R Front Row: Tom Sanders, Paul Haberstock, Paul Krause, Carl Schalk, James Huenink, Rob Rogers, St. Nicholas. L to R Back Row: Paul Bacon, Charles Aufdenkampe, Brad Maxon, C. J. Wright, Tony Oliphant, Roger Pittelko, Dave Krueckeberg, Larry Schneekloth, Doug Hoag.
In our churches

Fairlawn Lutheran Church, Fairlawn, OH, welcomed several new members!

Advent Event
The members of Peace, McMurray, PA gathered together on December 11, 2016 for an Advent Event which included a banquet at a local restaurant, gift exchange, and friendly fellowship. The festivities began with the members participating in the "Mannequin Challenge". Click here to watch the video of the Mannequin Challenge.

Loving our neighbors
This article was written by Circuit Visitor Pastor Fred Reaman. It is excellent and if you have a few moments I encourage you to watch the video. This is an excellent example of just saying, "Yes!" to opportunities God opens to us, as His people.
Pastor Derek Mathers
Catching the Wind of the Holy Spirit in The Neighborhood
Almost two years ago Bill,  one of the church neighbors, called our pastor, Fred, to meet him for coffee. Bill said our urban neighborhood needed to become better connected. Lots of younger families had moved in over recent years and there wasn't really any way for people as a neighborhood to get connected to one another. He, as a strong Christian, felt moved to do something about it and asked our pastor what he thought. Pastor Fred said our church is here for the neighborhood, and thought we could help.

If you have any resources or suggestions for ministering to young unmarried mothers, please contact The Rev. J. Derek Mathers, Assistant to the Bishop and Mission Executive.
Phone: 248-476-0039 ext. 311
Divine calls
Calls Received
The Rev. Steven M. Voelker of Holy Trinity, Lakeview, MI and Hope, Stanton, MI has received a call to serve Zion, Tawas City, MI and a separate call to  serve Trinity, Fort Wayne, IN.
Call Accepted
The Rev. Joshua P. Bernau of Hope, Hastings, MN has accepted the call to serve St. John's, Norwood Young America, MN. 


One pastor says that it doesn't bother him at all if his members look at their watches during his sermons. It does affect him, however, when someone not only looks at his watch, but also holds it up to his ear to see if it's still running.

News from international workers
Truly we have a gracious God who provides for our every need of body and soul, and we have felt greatly blessed, as we have settled into Colombo over the last five months. We have our Lord's precious Word and Sacrament at a local congregation; and all our physical needs of food, drink, clothing, and home are well provided for. Yet we are also aware of - and immensely thankful for - the ways in which God provides all these things. We are also thankful for you! God hears your prayers and sends His holy angels to watch over us. He uses your gifts and donations to provide material blessings. We remember you in our prayers with thanksgiving and joy!

Rev. Dr. Edward and Monica Naumann, Sri Lanka
Reformation Relevance: Mary and her Child
Martin Luther preached each Christmas on the birth of Jesus, and he never tired of preaching on the Incarnation. The following excerpt is from a recently translated Christmas Day sermon included in the new volumes of Luther's Works:

No one took pity on this young woman who was giving birth for the first time; no one took to heart her pregnancy; no one saw that in a strange place she had not the least thing necessary for a delivery. There she is, alone, without any preparation, without light, without fire, in the middle of the night, in the darkness. No one offered her any service as is customarily done for pregnant women. Everyone was dead drunk in the inn, a crowd of guests from all places; no one thinks of this poor woman. I think that she did not expect the birth so soon, or she would probably have remained at Nazareth.

Stewardship Bulletin Sentences and Newsletter Article - January 2017
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod's Stewardship Ministry creates bulletin sentences and newsletter articles each month for congregations to use in church publications.

Bulletin sentences and newsletter articles are archived. Visit to learn more about LCMS' Stewardship Ministry.
Kids in the Divine Service: Epiphany
LCMS Worship offers  Kids in the Divine Service bulletin inserts for Epiphany for the Lutheran Service Book.

Bulletin inserts
January prayer list
We encourage you to use the prayer list for your daily personal, congregational, school, classroom, staff, and circuit prayers to the Lord, our God. The Scriptures tell us to "pray without ceasing." Please feel free to use this list in your weekend service folders, on the congregational website or in newsletters.

Previous issues of the eNewlsetter, Servant to Servant, are available here. You are encouraged to share the information from Servant to Servant with members of your congregation.

All are invited to subscribe to this weekly publication. Forward the newsletter to members of your church using the "Spread the Word" link at the bottom left of this newsletter. They can subscribe by clicking on the link at the bottom right titled, "Sign up for our emails." Thanks for spreading the word!

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