Love your neighbor as yourself
Servant to Servant                                      4-28-17


On Sunday, April 23, 2017, Bishop Jamison J. Hardy was the guest preacher at Redeemer, Fort Wayne, IN, in anticipation of their 125th anniversary.   
Photos: Courtesy of Steve Blakey

CTSFW Sends Workers Into the Harvest Field
The Concordia Theological Seminary (CTSFW), Fort Wayne, IN community was joined by family and friends to celebrate new vicars, deaconess interns and pastors who will soon take the next step in their journey of service to Christ and His people. Assignments and placements were announced during services on April 24 and April 25, 2017. The lists of assignments and placements and archived video of the services can be found here.

"This week we celebrate a significant achievement in the ongoing preparation of these servants of Christ. And it is just that, one more step. It underscores something that is true for all of us as servants of our Lord Christ, we are always working, we are always learning more," said CTSFW President Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr. He also recognized the significant support students receive from their families. "We give thanks to the families of these wonderful gifts that are beginning to make their way into the Church. Thank you all for what you have shared with us and what you are now sharing with Christ's Church for the sake of His mission in this world, so that more may come to know of the salvation He has won for them."

Again this year, there are more congregations requesting new workers than students available to fill those calls and assignments. It is our hope that more men and women will prayerfully consider full time service to the Church so that no calls go unfilled. For information on becoming a pastor or deaconess click here or phone 800-481-2155.
The English District welcomes the following vicars-elect from Concordia Theological Seminary (CTSFW), Fort Wayne, IN.
  • Andrew P. Mundinger, La Crosse, WI, has been placed at Messiah Lutheran Church, Danville, CA.
  • Jesse S. Schlie, Woodburn, IN, has been placed at Catalina Lutheran Church, Tucson, AZ; and Hold Fast Fellowship, an LCMSU Chapter at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
  • Joseph E. Schlie, Woodburn, IN, has been placed with Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries, Philadelphia, PA.
Andrew P. Mundinger
Jesse S. Schlie
Joseph E. Schlie
The English District welcomes the following candidates from Concordia Theological Seminary (CTSFW), Fort Wayne, IN:
  • Robert Q. Bruggeman
  • Kurt R. Cockran
  • James M. Grady
  • Winston P. A. Grieser
  • Ryan B. Schneider
Robert Q. Bruggeman
Kurt R. Cockran
James M. Grady
Winston P.A. Grieser
Ryan B. Schneider

(Left to Right) Debbie Grady, James Grady, Ryan Schneider, Felicia Schneider, Bishop Jamison J. Hardy,

Winston Grieser, Kurt Cockran, Emily Cockran, Lori Cockran, Joseph Schlie, Andrew Mundinger,

Robert Bruggeman (Not pictured: Jesse Schlie)


New Pastors, Deaconesses, Church Leaders Receive Calls
Capping years of preparation and a day of excitement, 119 Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO students took part in Call Day on April 26, 2017, learning their placement of first calls to pastoral and diaconal ministry and assignments as vicars and deaconess internships.

"It is a great time to be entering the ministry of our Lord Jesus," Concordia Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer told the students. "It's because it's a ministry of the Lord Jesus. He is alive. He is raising your generation up as ours recedes. Don't let that go to your head. Let it sink deep down into your heart."

While many LCMS congregations will receive new pastors as a result of Call Day at Concordia Seminary and its sister seminary, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN, many others will go without pastors because of a shortage of students to fill the positions. Prayers for those congregations are encouraged as are prayers that more students would consider church work vocations. If you know a prospective student, please contact the Admissions Office at 800-822-9545 or

"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me'" (Isaiah 6:8 ESV).

- Call Service -

The Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus

 Council of Presidents
The English District welcomes the following candidates from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO:
  • Matthias Benfey
  • Shawn Davis
  • Victor Manuel de la Rosa
  • Philip Gai
  • Jonathan Wayne Kerr

Bishop Jamison J. Hardy with Shawn Davis, Victor Manuel de la Rosa and Matthias Benfey


Pastoral Candidates Receive a Special Gift
As a special gift this year in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the concluding students from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO received red Reformation 500 stoles as a special gift from Wayne and Barbara Kroemer of Advent Lutheran Church in Zionsville, IN. The stoles are adorned with the Luther seal and with the dates "1517" and "2017" in gold thread.
Divine Calls
Calls Received
Candidate Matthias Benfey has received a call to serve as SMP Associate Pastor of The Church of St. Mark-Lutheran, Mississauga, ON, Canada.
Candidate Robert Q. Bruggeman has received a call to serve as Pastor of Martin Luther Chapel, Pennsauken, NJ.
Candidate Kirk R. Cockran has received a call to serve as Pastor of Faith, Tucson, AZ.

Candidate Shawn Davis has received a call to serve as Missional Pastor of St. Michael, Fort Wayne, IN.

Candidate Victor Manuel de la Rosa has received a call to serve as SMP Assistant Pastor of Chapel of the Cross, Mission Hills, CA.

Candidate Philip Gai has received a call to serve as EIIT Associate Pastor of The Church of St. Mark-Lutheran, Mississauga, ON, Canada.
Candidate James M. Grady has received a call to serve as SMP Assistant Pastor of Advent, Zionsville, IN.
Candidate Winston P. A. Grieser has received a call to serve as Pastor of Abiding Faith, Florence, KY.
Candidate Jonathan Wayne Kerr has received a call to serve as SMP Associate Pastor of West Portal, San Francisco, CA.
Candidate Ryan B. Schneider has received a call to serve as Associate Pastor of Grace, Vine Grove, KY.

Calls Accepted
The Rev. Ryan D. Beffrey, Mt. Olive, Cleveland Heights, OH has accepted the call to serve Epiphany, Dorr, MI.

Candidate Robert Q. Bruggeman has accepted the call to serve as Pastor of Martin Luther Chapel, Pennsauken, NJ.
Church and school activities
Sharing with service members
Thirty-eight boxes are on their way to deployed soldiers, packed by Packages4Patriots (P4P) volunteers. The Witt/Kiefer group was absolutely fabulous and cookies from Troop 40742 and Salute Inc.; Girl Scout Service Unit 406; Troop 41105 from Holy Family Catholic Academy; and thank-you notes from Springman Middle School, Glenview, IL all combined for a true community effort to support service members through the P4P outreach at Holy Spirit Church, Elk Grove Village, IL.
Helping veterans
Volunteers from Catalina Lutheran Church, Tucson, AZ, held a yard sale at a member's home to generate funds for their chapter of the LCMS Operation Barnabas. Volunteers collected donations of clothing, toiletries, snacks and more from their congregation, as well as other LCMS congregations and local businesses. They purchased items with available funds to fill 50 adult and 25 child bags that are distributed to needy veterans at U.S. Military Stand Downs as well as two veteran families the church is supporting. Thrivent provided $250 in seed money, and using the Thrivent Kit, they invited 24 local churches and organizations and utilized social media to get the word out. The Action Team banner and T-shirts with Action Team name tags helped communicate that all proceeds would go to assist veterans. Bottled water, soda, lemonade and coffee were purchased and sold to complement the bake sale of homemade goods. The weather cooperated, and most of the donated items were sold, raising over $1100 for their Operation Barnabas chapter.
The following week, the church received two requests for financial aid from veterans' assistance groups. The veterans had received all they were entitled by government groups, but still needed money for food for the rest of the month. They came to Catalina as a last resort.
Some of the proceeds also went to the Pinal County Stand Down at the Army National Guard Base in Florence, AZ. Faith Lutheran Church of Tucson also assisted in the Stand Down.
In our schools
Celebrating in style
Concordia Lutheran Church and Little Lambs, Berwyn, IL, celebrated the Week of the Young Child with fun activities, such as Hat Day and Pajama Day!

A fond farewell
Students at Martin Luther Christian School, (MLCS), Pennsauken, NJ, said thank you and good bye to Pastor Dean PIttelko after chapel service. Best wishes, Pastor, as you travel back home!
My kind of town
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders from Bethesda International Academy, Chicago, IL, went on a bus tour of downtown Chicago. They learned a lot about the history of the city and everyone seemed to enjoy riding on the upper deck of the double decker bus.
In our District
S.O.S. Concert
The 17th Annual Concert of Praise and Prayer will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 30 at Outer Drive Faith Lutheran Church, 17500 James Couzens Hwy., Detroit, MI. Donation: $10/Adults; Youth ages 12 and under/free. Proceeds from the "Save Our Schools" concert will support Concordia
College Alabama , Selma, AL (CCA), the only historically Black Lutheran College in the nation.
Servant Events
Attention all English District youth! These Servant Events are for you! Click here  for video and registration info! The deadline is April 30, 2017. All registration forms and final payments are due May 1, 2017

Teaching the Faith: Sunday School
Does your church offer "drive-by" Sunday school?
Gone are the days of the little ones attending Sunday school and their parents attending a Bible class of some sort during that hour before or after church. Too often, if they are brought at all, children are dropped off for Sunday school. What can we do? How do we reach out to the young families who are getting their children, if not themselves, to Sunday school? How do we reach out to those who don't even try? The most important thing is to give them an opportunity to learn about Jesus, but wouldn't it be great if we could also connect to them in other ways?

English District Blog
Vicki Helmling authored this article, which first appeared in Grace English Lutheran School's weekly newsletter. It has been reprinted with permission, as it is very timely during this spring.

Bloom Where You Are Planted - Let Your Roots Take You Places

At a previous school, I created a bulletin board with the above theme. I was questioned about its meaning many times.

We think of roots as something stable, something in one place, but it is our roots that really make the difference in who we are and what we become.

It is through its roots a plant receives its nourishment; its strength. If the roots are cut off, the plant dies. If the roots don't receive the correct nourishment the plant struggles.

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

Share the Gospel in other languages
New, free resource for Arabic outreach
Open doors to conversation with Arabic-speaking immigrants or exchange students in your community with a new, free resource from the Lutheran Heritage Foundation: A Child's Garden of Bible Stories, translated into the Arabic language. Available in hardcover and paperback, this colorfully illustrated collection of 60 Old and New Testament Bible lessons is available free of charge to the ministries that need them. Call LHF at (800) 554-0723 or email to order your copies.
LHF Publications Listing
To view a complete listing of all LHF publications, click  here. The list is arranged alphabetically by language.

To Order a Publication
To see whether LHF has a particular book in stock, click on the link below to send an e-mail to LHF. All books are provided free of charge; however, donations are gratefully accepted to help cover shipping and handling costs.  Please allow 48 hours to process your request. 
Good News Magazine
Another excellent way to share the Gospel with speakers of other languages is Good News magazine. Each issue of Good News is beautifully illustrated and simply, yet thoroughly, explains basic Lutheran doctrines. In addition to English, Good News is available in 18 languages.

To view which editions are available in what languages, or to print out an order form, click here. For more information, contact Good News at (800) 778-1132 or send an email to  
Mighty mites
The LWML English District would love to fund more ministries in their own district.  Please consider submitting a grant proposal by May 1, 2017. Contact Diana Honebrink for more information.
Church Worker Debt Reduction Grants Available
The purpose of the English District Endowment Fund is to provide God's people with a unique opportunity to participate in a perpetual fund. This fund shall assist congregations in supporting Campus Ministries, Human Care & Disaster Relief, New Missions, Financial Aid Scholarships, Church Worker Debt Reduction, and Other Ministry.
The Board of Directors have approved funds to be available for church worker debt reduction grants and those grants may be eligible to be matched by LCMS Soldiers of the Cross.  Applications are available here . If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Derek Mathers at 248-476-0039 or The deadline for submitting applications is May 10, 2017.
Financial Aid Available
Supporting church workers is a priority for the English District LCMS, and we continue to work to increase the amount of funding available for students to pursue a ministry career. The first time you apply for aid, there are two forms to complete: the District Financial Aid Application and the Financial Aid Information Form.

Grants are given to applicants enrolled in synodical-approved church work programs (pastor, teacher, DCE, DCO, deaconess, etc.). Grants are not given to interns, vicars, or graduate students. There is a separate Colloquy Financial Aid Application for colloquy students.

Please read the Financial Aid Instructions before completing the forms. The deadline for submission of English District financial aid applications is June 1, 2017.

Please share your congregation's or school's unique ministries with the rest of the District. Send pictures and stories for consideration to Lynne Cobb by Wednesday, 3:00 pm ET.

We want to see how YOUR congregation or school is "loving your neighbor as yourself."
Previous issues of the eNewlsetter, Servant to Servant, are available on the  English District website. 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!


Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter