Love your neighbor as yourself
Servant to Servant                                      2-17-17

Bishop's visit
On Saturday, February 11, 2017, the congregational forum from Hope, Hastings, MN  had good discussion with Bishop Jamison J. Hardy on future pastoral leadership. That evening some of the leadership of Hope had the opportunity to go out to dinner for additional fellowship. On Sunday, Bishop Hardy led the worship service and a Q&A following worship.
Bishop Jamison J. Hardy had a great visit with the people of Hope Lutheran, Hastings, MN.
Assistant to the Bishop's visits
The Rev. J. Derek Mathers, Assistant to the Bishop and Mission Executive, was honored to visit with The Rev. Kevin Elseroad and share God's Word with His people at Christ the Shepherd, Alpharetta, GA, on Sunday, February 13, 2017. T hat same day, the congregation held an official meeting to extend a call to a seminary graduate from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO, to serve as their new associate pastor.
On Friday, February 11, 2017, Rev. Mathers attended a MissionInsite Workshop at the Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Atlanta, GA. The Rev. David Thiele, English District LCEF Vice President, led the presentation.

MissionInsite is a ministry planning resource that provides instant access to community information for your church via the MI System. With the help of MissionInsite, you can find out a wealth of information about the people in your community like how many single moms live in your area, how many school age children live near your church and what the population will look like in 10 years. You can learn about the lifestyle patterns and needs of your neighbors with an eye toward reaching out to them.  Access to this information is available free of charge to all English District congregations.

For more information, visit: Contact Dave Thiele ( or Peggy Oke ( for information on how to register as a MissionInsite user and begin learning about your community.
Divine calls
Calls Accepted
The Rev. Young Chol "Issac" Choi from Oakville, ON, Canada, has accepted the call to serve as an Associate Pastor at The Church of St. Mark, Mississauga, ON, Canada.

The Rev. Michael W. Stoerger of St. John's, Hannibal, MO has accepted the call to serve St. Paul's, Woodworth, IL.
New Process for Calling Commissioned Ministers
The English District Bishop/President, executives and staff are committed to assisting you in the process of calling the best Commissioned Minister for your ministry and mission needs as a congregation or school.

The first step in extending a call to a commissioned worker begins with making you aware of the new process established, completing the information form, and returning a copy of the information pages to our Administrative Assistant to the School Ministry and Mission Executives at the District office. Once these forms have been received, the administrative assistant will continue the process outlined with you.

Click here to download the instructions and information form.

Church and school activities

Good Samaritans
Shepherd of the Coast Lutheran Church, Palm Coast, FL, shared their automotive expertise by hosting Samaritan Ministries Car Care Clinic on Saturday, February 11, 2017. They provided basic car care, such as oil changes, tire assessments, replacing bulbs, repairing a door panel, and more, all for women with children who are in need. They worked on seven cars, making travel a bit safer for their neighbors.
Change that adds up
Congratulations to the sixth-grade class at Redeemer Lutheran School Pre K - 12th Grade, Oakmont, PA! During Lutheran Schools week, each class collected pennies. Classes could also bring in silver coins and paper money to put in the jars of other classes. The silver and paper money subtracted from the class penny amounts. In the end, sixth grade ended up with the most pennies, minus the silver and paper money, and the largest amount of money collected overall! All proceeds from this penny war will go to our school mission project: Madagascar. Over $1000 was raised!
Senior project blesses others
Senior JD, from Redeemer Lutheran School PreK - 12th Grade, Oakmont, PA, is working with the Blessing Board in Oakmont for his senior project. The Blessing Board exists to provide donated household furnishings to those in need at no cost. Friday, JD organized a group of high school students to go to the Blessing Board to clean and organize the facility.

In our schools

Dads and Daughters
On Saturday, February 10, 2017, Martin Luther Christian School, Pennsauken, NJ held a "Daddy-Daughter" dance. Sporting their finest, dads and their daughters enjoyed dancing, refreshments, pictures and fellowship - and wonderful memories and smiles.

Lessons in motion
The annual Wheel-O-Rama at Hales Corners Lutheran School, Hales Corners, WI, displayed the skills first graders have been learning about: balance and motion to create vehicles. They tested them out, and it's obvious that there are many automotive engineers in the making.

Budding artists
Beautiful art by talented fourth-grade students at Hales Corners Lutheran School, Hales Corners, WI.

Joyful voices
The Fairlawn Lutheran School, Akron, OH preschool and Kindergarten children sang as part of worship on Sunday. Thank you school families!
Valentine video
Kindergartners from  Redeemer Lutheran School Pre K - 12th Grade, Oakmont, PA, made a video for Valentine's Day, and remind us of the origin of LOVE!!
In our District

Servant Retreats
All English District Youth! We are looking forward to seeing you this summer at one of two events: Medina, OH, July 13-16, 2017 or Lincoln, NE, July 20-23, 2017. We will have the opportunity to worship, serve, study and hang out together! Click here to register online. 
Kids in the Divine Service: Lent and Easter

LCMS Worship offers Kids in the Divine Service bulletin inserts for Lent and Easter for the Lutheran Service Book. They are available  here to download in color or black & white. Reproduction for individual, church or school use does not require permission.
English District blog
Love is an Action Word - So is Faith!
By Vicki Helmling

We are now in the "love month," - the month we actively remember to say, "I love you." We see it everywhere - red and pink hearts. The kiddos will be making them in the classrooms. They will be thinking of to whom they want to give Valentines. They will be actively working to show how they feel for those important people in their lives.

Read more

Vicki Helmling is the school administrator at Grace English Lutheran School in Chicago, IL.  Do you have a ministry experience you would like to share? If so, you, too, could be a guest blogger for the English District. For consideration, please send an email to Lynne Cobb, Communications Coordinator for the English District LCMS, at
The 2016 Handbook - containing the Constitution and Bylaws of the Synod, including changes adopted by last year's Synod convention, and with new and enhanced features - is now available online:
Synod Secretary Rev. Dr. John W. Sias concludes the Foreword of the new Handbook, as follows:

"The Commission on Handbook, having consulted with the [LCMS] Commission on Constitutional Matters as to its content, now presents this electronic revision of the 2016 Handbook to the Synod with the prayer that this body of laws may truly serve the Gospel among us, as 'upon this Rock' we repent, confess, and rejoice as one."

Read more  

Serve the Lord in China?
Serve the Lord in China?
That's a question.
Who? Me? Sometimes we don't know what we can do until someone asks us.
The English District sent a team to Hong Kong/China in December to explore what we might be able to do in response to a call from China to serve our Lord there.
Three types of opportunities exist:
  1. School teachers at an international school.
  2. Young men and women, often post-college (called "GEO Missionaries"), living among and interacting with school-aged children in a variety of Lutheran school/church settings.
  3. Short-term mission teams (think VBS, or other 1-2 week programs geared around helping our Chinese Lutheran sister congregations reach more people through the English language).
We can turn the opening headline into a word of encouragement, and give you something to consider:

Serve the Lord in China!
If you or your congregation has an interest in serving, please contact Derek Mathers (, Tom Engler (, or Rob Kieselowsky ( for more information.
Urgent need:
The International Lutheran School in Shenzhen, China is in urgent need of a teacher for Grade 3. This position would start as soon as possible and last from six months to possibly longer. For more information please contact Tom Engler ( or Derek Mathers (

Congregation statistics
In January, Dr. John W. Sias, LCMS Secretary, mailed information for Congregation Statistics and Lay Leader Forms to all congregations. If you did not receive your mailing, please contact Rosters & Statistics at to receive your login information which will enable you to enter your information online. Statistics are due February 28, 2017. If you have any questions about completing your statistics, please contact Kathy Stanis at
Professional Church Workers Conference and More!
The theme of this year's Professional Church Workers conference is "Loving Your Neighbor: Even if they are unlovable."  The key note speaker will be The Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast, Jr., president of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and professor of American Christianity and American Lutheranism.  Also presenting will be The Rev. Allan Buss, Senior Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Belvidere, IL and The Rev. Dr. John A. Nunes, president of Concordia College-New York.  We are excited about the opportunity to gather together to worship, learn, and fellowship in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Register online or download a PRINTABLE or FILL-IN form.  Registration deadline is March 31, 2017.

Congregation Conference Assessment Notices
Conference Assessment notices will be mailed to every congregation in March 2017. Annual Conference/Convention Assessments cover the costs of Synod and District Conventions, as well as Professional Church Worker, Circuit Visitor, Campus Ministry, Educator and other conferences held during a triennium. The assessment for 2017 is $3.25 per communicant member and membership is based on the LCMS reported figures. Please pay prior to May 15, 2017 to ensure travel reimbursements and conference expenses can be paid in a timely manner. Questions?? Contact the District office: or 800-755-9335.

Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music
Mark your calendar and plan to attend LCMS Worship's Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music, July 25-28, 2017, at Concordia University, Chicago, IL. This triennial event offers pastors, church musicians, and all who are passionate about the Church's worship an opportunity to be refreshed in Word, song, and prayer together with opportunities to grow in skills that enhance the joy of the people of God in the reception of His gifts. This year's Institute takes its cue from the upcoming Reformation anniversary with the theme: The Just LIVE by Faith: Make this Plain in Sermon, Service, Song.

Registration will open mid-March via the Synod's website. Meanwhile, for more information, contact the LCMS at 888-843-5267 or

The Illuminated Catechism Coloring Book
The Illuminated Catechism is a beautiful and inspiring coloring book that combines sophisticated black-and-white line drawings of landscapes, kaleidoscopes, patterns, and mosaics with Bible passages, short devotionals, hymns, and of course, selections from Martin Luther's Small Catechism. On every page, you are invited to take a break from the business of life and relax as you color, doodle, journal, and reflect on God's Word.

Special Features:
  • 44 pages of beautiful illustrations
  • Thick pages so you can use the artistic tools that best fit your style
  • White space for your doodling, journaling, and reflection
The Illuminated Catechism will be available from Concordia Publishing House (CPH) on April 18, 2017. Shop CPH online at

Detroit Lutheran Singers Spring Concerts
March 26 & April 1-2, 2017 | Detroit Metro area
The Detroit Lutheran Singers' Spring series is presenting concerts based on the Psalms. These settings paint an intimate picture of love, exultation, prayer, and praise. Composers for hundreds of years have used these words to carry their musical expressions.  Enjoy the music of Bach, Mozart, Bernstein and others. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
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.

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