Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
Servant to Servant
December 21, 2018
District Office Closed for Holidays
The English District office will be closed Saturday, December 22, 2018 through Tuesday, January 1, 2019. It will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

The next Servant to Servant eNewsletter will be published on Friday, January 4, 2019.

Have a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year!
Called to Glory
The Rev. Robert W. Kavasch
The Rev. Robert W. Kavasch (Emeritus) was called to glory on Sunday, November 18, 2018. We pray the Lord's blessings on the Kavasch family.
English District Youth Advisory Council
Bishop Hardy is pleased to announce the creation of an English District Youth Advisory Council (ED-YAC) and has appointed DCE Rod Lane as Coordinator of YAC. The main function of YAC will be to support and encourage youth ministry as a District and within our congregations. They will draw together the experience of many who lead youth and youth leaders.
Advent Greetings,

My name is Rod Lane, I serve as the DCE at Redeemer Lutheran Church, in Lincoln, Nebraska. I know I’m repeating the paragraph above, but it is my pleasure, and hopefully God pleasing, that I serve as the district coordinator of YAC. In the New Year, we've got something really big coming. It is something that will change how youth and adults perceive their district, and the church at large especially when looking at the district for resources. The main goal is keeping the focus on the Cross and having the youth and adults a part of this amazing relationship with their Savior and each other. Interested? If you are a pastor, DCE, deaconess, or adult lay leader who would be interested in this ground floor opportunity please email me at . I promise I will share more details with you in future communications, but for now let me wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year.

Cheers to 2019,
Update to IRS Mileage Rate
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued the 2019 standard mileage rates. Beginning on January 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:

  • 58 cents per mile for business miles driven (up from 54.5 cents in 2018);
  • 20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (up from 18 cents in 2018);
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (currently fixed by Congress).
New Way to Connect

The English District now has an Instagram account! Please follow us, and tag us in pictures of your congregation's life or member's lives!
Are You 70 1/2 or Older?
Do you need to make a required minimum distribution (RMD) from an IRA or retirement plan?
Your RMD can be given as a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) to the English District and will not be taxable to you! (See specifics below)

Did you know?

The English District is ready to support two new missions in the new year? One is in West Virginia and the other is in Florida.

The English District has an Endowment Fund that supports new mission work, provides scholarships, helps new church workers pay off student loans and more.

The English District is a leader in campus ministry as it seeks to bring the good news to students across the country.

If you are required to make the minimum distribution (RMD) from an IRA or an employer retirement plan, you can avoid paying taxes on the distribution by making a charitable gift to the English District.

Talk to your investment advisor knowing your gift will make a difference!
Thank you in advance for your support!

“Taxpayers age 70 ½ or older who need to withdraw their required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year should consider leveraging a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). The taxpayer may direct the distribution of up to $100,000 each year from their employer sponsored retirement plan or IRA to one or more qualified charitable organizations. This distribution counts toward satisfying their RMD and will not be taxable to the individual. This is a smart way to gain an effective deduction for charitable gifts without the need to have itemized deductions in excess of the newly increased standard deduction.” - Robert Westley, CPA/PFS member of the AICPA PFS Credential Committee

2018 Deadline: Distributions must be made by December 31, 2018.
Holiday Music
Sherman Oaks Lutheran Church in Sherman Oaks, CA has a a gift to share with the District. Known as "SOLC Christmas Radio" it's an internet radio station and plays Christmas music created by their musical community. There are original pieces as well as traditional Lutheran classics! This project has been ongoing since 2002. Listen here.
Ritzman Family Update
The Ritzmans are missionaries in Papau New Guinea. Read about Christ and their work there here.
In Our Churches
Faith Lutheran Church, Naples, FL
Christmas caroling as a church community.
Hales Corners Lutheran Church, Hales Corners, WI
More than 3,800 people came to hear "The Joy of Christmas" at Hales Corners this past weekend by the Festival Choir and Orchestra.
Church of St. Luke-Lutheran, Toronto, ON
St. Luke had 37 people welcomed into God's Kingdom by Holy Baptism. All the 150 new chairs were filled and additional chairs from other places in their building were needed!
Redeemer Lutheran Church, Oakmont, PA
Jesus, birth to death and resurrection. End of the Redeemer Lutheran Church Sunday School Christmas program.
Shepherd King Lutheran Church, West Bloomfield, MI
Lessons and Carols, with a children's program.
Risen Christ Lutheran Church, Plymouth, MI
Children's Christmas program.
In Our Schools
Confedex Conference, Phoenix, AZ
School leaders from LCMS districts and universities at the Confedex Conference in Phoenix, AZ
Redeemer Lutheran School, Verona, PA
Christmas chapel service at Redeemer Lutheran School, Verona.
Concordia Lutheran Church & Little Lambs, Berwyn, IL
Live Nativity with the preschoolers.
Lambs of Faith, Naples, FL
Santa and his elf came to read to the children before Christmas.
1-1-1 for Missions
Joining us in 1-1-1:
Tree of Life, Inverness, FL (Circuit 3) and New Life, San Francisco, CA – Rev. Chip Fox (Circuit 24). This brings us to 51 congregations participating in 1-1-1.

Won’t you join us today, so we can dream big together?  The more congregations that participate the more support there will be for missions to touch lives with the Gospel of Jesus.

Currently, the Midwest Region has 41% of their congregations participating. Eastern Region has 42%, Lake Erie Region 24% and Western Region 23.5% of congregations participating.
For a list of participating congregations and to see how your region is doing c lick  here.
Make Your Ordinary Assets an Extraordinary Blessing
God has blessed us abundantly. We respond in love by serving Him and sharing our earthly blessings with others. Just as we are responsible managers of God’s blessings all through our lives, we are also to practice good stewardship in the way we distribute our earthly blessings when He takes us home to heaven. Where do we begin?

Click here for more information about how you can begin a Lifetime Plan for Giving and contact Ron Grimm, English District Gift Planning Counselor, at 412-584-7039.
Department of Labor Requirements
The end of the year is the perfect time to address the Department of Labor's requirements that notices be provided to employees and posted in the workplace. Which ones are required by the Department of Labor and by your state department? And where do you get them? 

Congregations can order them or print them for free. Please see this link for more information.
Is Your Church Legally Prepared?
Across the country churches are experiencing religious liberty legal challenges with growing intensity. These challenges relate to the use of church facilities, gender identity laws, equal access to government grants and property, employment regulations, and more.
Your church needs to be prepared to face these and other religious freedom issues.
Your congregation should not have to bear this legal burden alone, and LCMS English District has partnered with ADF Church Alliance so you won’t have to.

ADF Church Alliance is a membership program that provides legal help on religious liberty issues so you can freely preach and operate your church in accordance with Christian principles.
Benefits of membership include:
✔  Religious liberty audit:  ADF reviews your church’s documents to expose and correct areas of legal risk.
 ✔  Direct access to attorneys:  Consult with ADF attorneys whenever you have legal questions.
 ✔  Resources:  Access resources to help you and your congregation navigate religious liberty issues.
 ✔  Pro bono legal representation:  ADF can represent your church in cases involving its religious freedom.

Because of our partnership,  you get a 20% discount on this already affordable program (use promo code ENGDISTLCMS when you apply). Pricing is based on church size and can be found on the ADF Church Alliance website. There are no other costs to this program.

We strongly encourage you to visit the website to learn how they can serve your church. In addition, J. D. Mesnard, a regional director at ADF Church Alliance, can help answer any questions you have about joining. Feel free to set up a call with J. D. by emailing him directly at .
Calling All Artists!
On September 11, 2018, Concordia Publishing House kicked off their 150th year and launched into a year-long celebration of every book and person that is part of their history—and that includes you!

As part of the celebration, they are holding an art contest. For details, see here .
Job Opening: Every One His Witness Team Member
There is an open personnel requisition for the Every One His Witness team. This is an important role in the Every One His Witness program. For more information and to apply, please see here .
Prayer Requests
There is power in prayer. Your prayer concerns are important to the English District. When you submit a prayer request, it will be posted in our weekly eNewsletter, Servant to Servant. The Bible's promise is true: "If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us" (1 John 5:14). Please email  Holly Scheer  with your prayer requests.

The District daily prayers for January are available now! Please join us in prayer.
Previous issues of the Servant to Servant eNewlsetter 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. They can subscribe by clicking on the link at the bottom right titled, "Sign up for our emails." Thanks for spreading the word!
Please share your congregation's or school's unique ministries with the rest of the District. Send pictures and stories for consideration to  Holly Scheer  by Wednesday, 12:00 pm ET. We want to see how YOUR congregation or school is showing the love of God to those around you.
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