Love your neighbor as yourself
Servant to Servant                                      3-3-17

Bishop's visits

Bishop Jamison J. Hardy traveled to Arizona and visited three churches the weekend of February 25-26, 2017. He stopped at Faith, Overgaard, AZ where he spent time with The Rev. Nicholas D. Wirtz (pictured right). He had fellowship time at Shepherd of the Mountains, PInetop, AZ with The Rev. R. Wayne Morton (pictured below) and the members of the congregation. Last, but not least, the bishop found his way to Shepherd of the Pines in Payson, AZ where The Rev. Steven A. DeSanto is the pastor.

Click here  to read the Board Bulletins from the February 2017 English District Board of Directors meeting.

Divine calls
Calls Received
The Rev. Gregory C. Michel of St. Matthew, Milan, IL has received a call to serve Peace, New Berlin, WI.

The Rev. Ronald S. Rieger of Trinity, Scarsdale, NY has received a call to serve Messiah, Longmont, CO.

Calls Returned
The Rev. Michael Brown of Redeemer, Lincoln, NE has returned the call to serve Good Shepherd, Glencoe, MN.

he Rev. Kurt E. Reinhardt of Trinity, Kurtzville, ON, Canada has returned the call to serve Peace, Windsor, ON, Canada.

Church and school activities

From Shepherd of the City - Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries
While most of us awake from our beds warm and refreshed, this cardboard mat placed next to Shepherd of the City Lutheran Church was a soul's room one night. The person, however, was nowhere to be found. Thankfully he grabbed some food that the members leave out from Trader Joe's donations and was hopefully nourished in some small way.
This is not unusual at Shepherd of the CIty. Recently, someone else spent the night in the church stairwell.
Since Rev. Adam J. DeGroot holds prayer offices almost every morning, this has afforded him the opportunity to find individuals resting near the church and to minister to them in whatever ways the Lord sees fit. Sometimes it's a simple conversation or a few hours rest and food inside the church. Sometimes it's bringing them to the waters of holy baptism. Most times they are never seen again. But we trust that through the Office of the Holy Ministry, God is seeing His Word return to Him--not us--in efficacious ways that give these souls life and a true home in Jesus.
The joy of music
Redeemer Ringers from  Redeemer of Elmhurst , IL,   put on a mini concert for the residents at Lexington. What a joy to share music with the people there, many who are Redeemer members. Thanks be to God for the gift of music!
PJs for funds
Pajama Day at Martin Luther Christian School, Pennsauken, NJ, yielded some funds for the Children's Cancer Society!
Intergenerational sharing
Kindergarten students from Family of Christ Lutheran, Phoenix, AZ, "spread the love" at a local nursing home with songs and handing out flowers and bookmarks they made.
Itchin' to make a difference
Itch'n to Stitch Group at Faith Lutheran Church, Naples, FL, worked with Peace Lutheran Church to provide quilts and more for others. The ladies from Faith and Peace continue to work together making quilts, book bags, layette sets and much more for the mission field. Some ladies turn, stuff, tie, press, cut and others sew on machines. A lot of love and laughter goes into their work as they serve the Lord.

Faith Lutheran provides a place for all the ladies to sew, work, and store the material and machines. Their women's group provides $100 for materials (threads, batting, etc.).The Women of Peace provide $25-$30 for the delivery cost and supplies as needed. Also, Peace Lutheran provides a place to store some of the items made until the yearly delivery to Bradenton. Then off to Lutheran World Relief docks in Maryland they go!
This year 227 lbs. of goods were delivered. The ladies made 13 quilts, 17 school kits, and 33 layette sets (each set has 2 blankets, 4 diapers, 2 sleepers, 2 undershirts, 2 pairs of socks, a sweater and cap, hand towels and bar soap all bundled and held by 2 diaper pins).

In our schools

Dramatic play
Concordia Lutheran Church and Little Lambs, Berwyn, IL, students enjoyed the Grocery Store Dramatic Play Unit, They began the unit by learning about farms and farming. Students talked and learned about how we get food in our grocery stores.

"D" is for...

A delicious "hands-on" lesson at  Faith Preschool of Jacob's Well, Ft. Wayne, IN. Devouring donuts for "D" week!

History comes alive
Check out these wonderful photos from the Medieval Men & Women Wax Museum event at Faith Lutheran School, Tucson, AZ! Third through seventh grade students presented personal accounts of who they were and why they were famous.

In our churches

Fun tradition continues
Grace Lutheran Church, Redford, MI, hosted another all-night confirmation retreat for students in the district's Detroit North Circuit!
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. 
LCEF is looking for ways to serve congregations better. In an effort to do so LCEF is in the process of restructuring to regional offices. LCEF is also changing how District Vice Presidents are deployed. What does this mean for the English District? LCEF VP Rev. David Thiele will continue to be your contact for loans and services. If you want to have a MissionInsite workshop you will need to contact David. If your congregation needs a loan David will work with you through the application and approval process. If Bishop Hardy wants David to visit your congregation or you request a visit from David, he will honor your request. David will continue to attend all of the fall regional conferences and other English District events.

What will be changing is who will be visiting your congregation to talk about the services of LCEF. David's territory for English District congregation visitation is Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Northern Illinois and Wisconsin. The English District congregations outside this area will be visited by the LCEF VP assigned to the local geographic district of your area. Some of you will be receiving a mailing over the next few weeks from LCEF. You will notice that the LCEF VP listed to be contacted will be the District VP for your geographical area. If you are in the 5 state area assigned to David Thiele, his name will be listed as the contact person.

If you have questions, please contact David Thiele: or (517) 980-2857.

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.

2017 Convention LWML
 37th Biennial Convention

Date: June 22-25, 2017

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Theme: "Jesus Christ Above All"

Scripture Verse:
Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him
the name that is above every name. Philippians 2:9

For more information and to register online, click here.
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 (

LCMS Life Conference
From Friday, January 27 th - Sunday, January 29 th , the LCMS held a Life Conference in Washington D.C. Every two years, the LCMS puts on this conference to coincide with the National March For Life. Approximately 300-400 people from the LCMS joined the March For Life this year, with approximately 200-250 attending the Life Conference that followed. Presenters at this year's Life Conference included: Carol Tobias, a member of the LCMS and President of National Right To Life; Dr. Delgado, a leading physician who has helped develop a pill to reverse/counteract the pill used to induce abortions; Molly Hemmingway, Senior Editor of the Federalist and CNN/Fox News contributor; and Pastor Matthew Harrison, President of the LCMS; among others. A few English District pastors attended along with some English District youth from Nebraska and Pennsylvania. The next LCMS Life Conference is scheduled for 2019 .
Lifeline's 2017 Life Emphasis
Throughout the 2017 year, Lifeline would like to highlight the various options to abortion that can be explored and emphasized in your congregation.
  1. At the Professional Church Worker's Conference in Detroit this year, we hope to bring in someone from the medical field who can speak to an incredibly effective new abortion reversal pill that has already saved about 300 children.
  2. Adoption and foster care are options we wish to highlight this year as well. 
  3. Lastly, something our Task Force has discussed this year are ways congregations can help support mothers and families who have made the choice to keep their child - particularly single mothers.
Please watch for these different initiatives this year as we highlight great alternatives to abortion that we can promote as a people who value all life from conception to resurrection. 

Eyes of Life: Jing
Meet Jing. Struggling with cerebral palsy, adopted from China to Indiana to Nebraska with Facebook tossed in for good measure, the Lord has seen fit to care for Jing by setting "the solitary in a home" (Ps. 68:6), and his family couldn't be more thankful. "While Jing's body may not work quite like ours," his dad says confidently, "his gift of life is from the same God." 
News from our international workers
"Rejoice and Be Glad!" - Mt 5:12
I often think of these words that Jesus spoke because of their context. Jesus told his disciples, "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." In overseas missions, sadly,  difficult occasions do present themselves, when these words become all the more precious and comforting. Yet through all the trials we have faced, God has been good, watching over us, delivering us, and providing all that we need. We trust in Him, that He will continue to watch over us in the coming years .

News from Rev. Dr. Edward and Monica Naumann, serving the Lord in South Asia
'...Yo estoy con vosotros todos los dias, hasta el fin del mundo' 'I am with you always, to the end of the world' (Matt. 28:20)

In the Latin American mission field, the 1960 version of the Reina Valera (Spanish translation) of the Bible is widely used. In any good translation, the translators' choice of words to express the meaning of the text is very influential, as is the case with many translations. Most English speakers think of Jesus' promise in Matthew 28 in terms of His being "with you always." This Spanish translation, using the phrase "todos los dias" (every day), emphasizes the daily presence of Christ, when and where His work is going on daily, as the members of His Body - the Church - go about discipling all nations, and baptizing people in the Name of the Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is not only with missionaries in the field who are encountering all nations with His teachings, but He is also with those who support missionaries in the field; He is with those who pray for God's work in their own communities as well as in foreign lands; and He is with all who know Him as Lord and Savior and dedicate their lives to Him, whatever their vocation.

As we contemplate Jesus' words in Matthew 28, we also remember, with gratitude to God our partners in the Gospel who make it possible for us to serve as missionaries. Thank you for sharing with us in the discipling of all nations!

News from Rev. Dr. Jonathan & Deaconess Cheryl Naumann
Dear Friends,

We are writing to you on Ash Wednesday asking for you to make our ministry a part of your Lenten piety. Please read the lead article in our newsletter and then help us in the ways listed there. We pray that this season of spiritual renewal will bless you and bring you to the inexpressible joys of Easter.

God bless and keep you in His grace,

Rev. Dale and Suzanne Kaster
Your International Workers in Ghana, West Africa

The Nailing of the 95 Theses, Myth or Fact?
In the run up to the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, many have been reading that Dr. Luther's nailing of the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church is only myth.  Secular historian Andrew Pettegree though, after examining the evidence, has concluded that Dr. Luther likely did nail the theses to the Castle Church door!
For more detail click here

Photo: Thesentor, the "theses door," Castle Church, Wittenberg, Germany. The original door was destroyed in a fire in 1760; the commemorative bronze doors pictured, on which the 95 Theses are inscribed in their original Latin, were dedicated on November 10, 1858, the 375th anniversary of Dr Luther's First Article birth. 
Photo by Dr. Roni Grad

Freedom for those without means of transportation
When a second millage proposal in Montcalm County, Michigan failed to provide a transportation service for those who, for
physical or financial reasons, have no means of transportation, the members of Hope, Stanton, MI (Michigan District) and Holy Trinity, Lakeview, MI (English District) began to consider how they could serve their community. There was no public transportation in the county outside of a bus service in the city of Greenville, MI.

Rev. Steven Voelker viewed this problem as an opportunity for the two LCMS congregations to more closely interact, and encouraged the members of both congregations to form a board to investigate the possibilities of providing transportation for those in need.

Read more

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