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A Psalm for all Seasons
[Jesus said,] "I am the good shepherd." (John 10:11a)
This month's Scripture readings continue to echo the great themes of Jesus' Passion, as God's people continue their pilgrimage from the feast of Easter to the outpouring of God's Spirit at Pentecost. What a joyous time of the year, as the church continues to celebrate Christ's victory over sin and death! This psalm is the focus of our thoughts today.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. What a grand introduction to all that follows! Because Jesus is our shepherd, we have at this moment, and will have for the rest of our days, everything we will need. There are times when we should stop and rest with Him, but will not want to. At such periods, He will, in effect, make us to lie down in green pastures. When we do recognize our need for quiet and rest, His promise is that He will lead us beside the still waters. At other times we undergo deep emotional hurts, injuries to our very selves. While such wounds may be beyond the reach of psychotherapy and counseling, there is one who can heal us: He restoreth my soul.
In a world of conflicting direction about the right path to take, Jesus has promised His Spirit, who will lead us into all truth (John 16:13). He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Some claim they are unable to hear God. It has been the experience of many that a willingness to do whatever He wants enables them to discern His leading.
Suffering and periods of darkness are a part of every life. We have His promise: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me. "Jesus is there with me." At the darkest time of my life this verse proved true. I found the Lord in a person-to-person relationship that has now grown only deeper. I know nothing now can separate me from Him.
Protected from enemies by His rod and guided by His staff, surely our heads are anointed and our cups overflowing. His goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Or, as another translation promises, His house will be our home forever.
Shepherd of our souls, guide us safely through the joys and trials of this life, until we are gathered to you in the safety of our home on high. Amen.
OUR STEWARDSHIP OF HIS RESOURCES
District Mission Support Trends
2015 2016 2017
$900,000 $900,000 $900,000
Budgeted Income $225,000 $225,000
Actual Income $199,619 $178,295 $197,075
SPIRIT OF SOUTHERN SUBMISSIONS
Remember that submissions for the May/June issue of SOS are due by May 15. The preferred means for receiving submissions is by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please send photos as JPEG files, attached to the email. Congregational news that is received but exceeds space in the printed SOS will be published on the "Around the District" blog of our website. Thank you for sharing your news!
(click on image for the current issue)
|April 28-30, 2017
|Rosaryville Spirit Life Center
|July 7-10, 2017
||SAVE THE DATE!!
Sr. Youth Retreat
|Blue Horizon Camp
Panama City Beach, FL
GERMANY AND THE REFORMATION
500TH ANNIVERSARY TRIP
Have you always wanted to visit Germany and see the places where the Reformation began? This year, in the 500th anniversary of the Reformation's beginning, join us as we travel to sites like Wittenberg, where Luther taught as professor and posted the 95 Theses; the Wartburg Castle, where he translated the New Testament into German for all to read; Eisleben, where Luther was born; and many more! Led by LCMS pastors Robert Roegner of St. Louis and Derek Waffel of Pascagoula, MS, the trip is from
July 8 to July 15, 2017
. For more information see the attached brochure, or contact Pastor Waffel at
Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music
at Concordia University Chicago
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.
In addition to three keynote addresses, we'll have opportunity for daily study of the Word (featuring CUC President Dr. Daniel Gard), daily prayer services, two Divine Services (with new arrangements of Setting Five by Jacob Weber and Jonathan Kohrs with LCMS President Matthew Harrison preaching the opening service and Dr. Gard the final one), a concert by the National Lutheran Choir from Minneapolis, a hymn festival featuring the hymns of Martin Luther, numerous breakout sessions for pastors and church musicians plus many others on general worship topics, and exhibitors with all kinds of wares and services.
Registration will open mid-March via the Synod's website. Meanwhile, for more information, contact the LCMS at 888.the.lcms (
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATIONS
St. James - Gonzales, LA Grace - Huntsville, AL
Trinity - Monroe, LA
St. Paul's - Cullman, AL
Christ the King - Natchitoches, LA
If your congregation has extended a call, or had a call returned, please remember to notify the Southern District office.
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People
Anniversary of Ordination
THE LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE GOOD
SHEPHERD ~ BILOXI, MS
Imagine the beauty of rejoicing in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ with the sounds and sights of His glorious creation all around. Seagulls overhead, sharks and dolphins seen in the distance as the sun rises over the Mississippi sound. Christians gather from all over the world to celebrate the Son of God and His resurrection from the dead. It's all about Jesus and what His death and resurrection means for us. The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd invites all to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord with a special Easter Sunrise Service on Biloxi Beach. The Service will be
April 16, 2017 at 6:30 AM
at the fire pit at Hwy 90 and White Ave
. The service will be led by Pastor James Garnett. Regular Worship Service will be held at 10:30 AM at the church. The youth are sponsoring a pancake breakfast to help fund their trip to the National Youth Gathering. The church is located at 2004 Pass Road in Biloxi. More information and directions can be found on their website at
or by calling the church office at 228-388-5767.
For additional information, contact Pastor McNair Ramsey at email@example.com
CONCORDIA COLLEGE ALABAMA ALUMNI AND FRIENDS
Dear Alumni and Friends,
The weekend of May 11-14, 2017 is rapidly approaching. The deadline for sending in your various fees is even closer. Keep in mind that all are asked to submit the dues of $35.00 whether you plan to attend or not. We hope and pray that you are planning to attend all the activities and will send your payments accordingly.
I am asking all of the Alumni/Friends Chapters to submit their gifts to the Association and thereby to Concordia College Alabama on or before May 12th, 2017. All other fees you are asked to send to me, or
Mrs. Gracie Hollins,Treasurer on or before April 1st, and no later than the 15th, of April 2017. Please go to Concordia College Alabama web and give a little of your precious time to the Alumni Association bar and you will be given all the activities for the weekend so identified. A brief summary is given here. Would you please share the information with all those in your area who are graduates and friends of the college?
To those chapters that I know are diligently working to make your fundraiser a success, blessings to you. I am praying that all will go well and that you will have excellent support from those who love our institution.
Below is the information that you will find on the web of www.ccal.edu:
1. Thursday May 11 -- at 6:00 P.M. Graduates/Family Banquet Julius & Mary Jenkins Center (400 are planned for) 6:00 P.M.
2. Friday May 12 -- arrival of Alumni and Friends
A. Dedication of new location of Dr. Rosa J. Young Museum at 1:30 to 2:30 P.M. West Campus
B. Graduation Exercises, Practice, and Walk Through 4:00 P.M.
C. Alumni/Friends Working Reception: Graduates free: All others $10.00. Lehman Center at 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. (The future enhancement of CCAL) (150 expected to attend)
3. Saturday, May 13th -- 2017 Alumni/Friends Breakfast $5.00. The time is 8:00 A.M. to 9:15 A.M.
A. Graduation Exercises in the Julius/Mary Jenkins Center 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon. The class of 1967 will participate. All the Pastors are invited to attend the graduation exercises and to bring their individual red stole and robe.
B. Graduation Reception: Place to be determined. It may beheld in the Lehman Center.
C. Alumni/Friends Business Meeting: Kreft Center Theater 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.
D. Planning to travel to Montgomery for arrival at 5:00 P.M.
E. Cruise Snack food and open bar 5:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. $45.00
F. Dinner and fellowship at Mrs. Lucinda Moseley's home 9:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.
G. Return to Selma.
4. Sunday, May 14th -- Breakfast on your own.
A. Worship at Trinity Lutheran Church Selma, AL, 1900 Marie Foster Street. Rev. Steven Washington is the Pastor.
B. Bible Class at 9:45 A.M.
C. Worship Service at 11:00 A.M.
D. After Worship Reception sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church -- Trinity Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.
E. Closing of the 2017 Alumni/Friends gathering. Please help us to plan well by sending in your fees and contributions!
Please pray for our work together and blessings on your work and travel to and from the gathering. The Lord be with you.................
Sincerely in His service
Rev. Dr. McNair Ramsey, President CCAL
176 Deep Woods Circle
Valley Grande, AL 36701
Mrs. Gracie Hollins, Treasurer
1712 Broad Street
Selma, AL 36701
C/O Concordia College Alabama
GRACE - HUNTSVILLE IN ACTION!
Grace, Huntsville! The New Year has been a busy one. In late January the LWML Ladies of Grace Circles held a Quarterly Meeting. Five ladies shared their support of outreach missions: The Christian Women's' Job Corps; the Student Exchange Program; the Neighborhood Baby Thrift Store; the Huntsville Community Chorus; and a member of our Sew-n-Sews group showed a crocheted plastic mat made from plastic bags which they distributed to homeless shelters. Our middle school Optimist Club students and parents did an excellent job of converting our fellowship hall into an "Italian Ristorante" where they prepared and served a delicious Italian Valentines Dinner on February 13th. A lovely evening was enjoyed by all who attended! A group from Grace attended a Ray Van Derlann Seminar in S. Pittsburg, TN,on "The Road to the Cross" about Jesus's last week with His disciples. One attendee said, "It was very insightful and gave a tremendous amount of illuminating cultural background that revealed deep meaning to Jesus's words and actions in His last week." A Chili Bowl Competition was held February 24th. There were 17 entries; the judges included someone from our Police and Fire Departments, HEMSI, our Church, and Mayor Tommy Battle. There was live blue-grass music, a photo booth and door prizes. The $2,000 raised will go to our Capital Campaign specifically for completion of classrooms on the second floor of our Family Life Center. We are now conducting Wednesday night Lenten dinners and worship services in anticipation of Easter.
To God Be the Glory!
REDEEMER LUTHERAN - PENSACOLA, FL ~ PAIRS AND SPARES
Redeemer Lutheran Church's Pairs and Spares Supper Club in Pensacola, Florida is celebrating its 10th Anniversary on January 6th.
We are not just a couple's supper club and we are not just a single's supper club: We are Pairs and Spares. We are not just a group of "old people" who don't want to cook; we are a mixture of young and old. We divide up into groups of about 8 people or 4 different households. Each month we take turns picking out a restaurant for our group to go eat. It can be a place that we love or it can be a place we have never been. Sometimes, it's the best food we have ever eaten and sometimes...well, we just remember that one and don't go back. But every time we go, it is good Christian fellowship. It's a perfect time to get to know someone from early service or late service or someone we say hello to, but really don't know very much about them. Or maybe it is someone we have never spoken to, but are glad we have this chance to get to know them. We change groups every 4 months. Sometimes we are with the same pair or spare that we were with last time and sometimes we are with a brand new group of pairs and spares. Right now we have 5 groups.
Submitted by Ann Ball
Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Germany
Join Pastor Keith and Diana Ringers on an Enchanting Rhine and Reformation Tour Nov. 11-20, 2017.
Fly to Amsterdam and board a luxurious river cruise ship for five days down the Rhine and Rhine Gorge, stopping at Cologne, Koblenz, Mainz, Worms, Speyer, and Heidelberg. Then spend four days on the land tour visiting Wartburg Castle, Erfurt, Eisleben, and Wittenberg. The guest speaker on this EO faith based trip is Lutheran pastor, Rev. Keith Loesch,
founder and past director of the Wittenberg English Ministry in Germany. For more information, click here for a brochure or contact Keith Ringers
This is the Ringers' third trip with EO (Educational Opportunities), the Holy Land in 2016 and the Footsteps of St. Paul cruise in 2013 and they recommend this travel company highly.
| "The Greatest of These Is Love"
The Louisiana-Mississippi LWML District is sponsoring a weekend retreat on
April 28-30 at Rosaryville Spirit Life Center in Ponchatoula, LA. The theme for
the retreat is "The Greatest of These is Love". Pastoral Counselors Pastor Bill
Vogt and Pastor David Hartung will lead participants through the many aspects
of love as found in Scripture and show how we can reflect them in our lives.
There will be opportunities for fun and relaxation as well.
Cost of the retreat is $64.00-$190.00. Full details, including a registration form are available on the retreat page of our LA-MS website. You may also contact your
LWML Society President for the
registration form and where to send it. All registrations should be in by March
31, 2017. Please click here for a printable flier.
37th Biennial Convention of the LWML
"Jesus Christ Above All"
June 22-25, 2017
Join us as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the LWML!
for a PDF of the convention registration form.
Southern District Senior Youth Gathering
July 7-10, 2017
Panama City, Florida
Mark the dates on your calendar now!
The saying goes, if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything. So, what do you stand for? Is it worth standing for?
This summer, we will dive into Jeremiah 6:16 and look at what Jesus stood for and how that changed lives and eternities. This summer, it is time to take a stand.
The featured speaker for the Youth Gathering is Pastor Travis Hartjen. Pastor Travis is a church planter in Allen TX where he helped launch Tangible Grace in the fall of 2010. Prior to that, Travis was a DCE and focused on the discipleship of families
and students. He is speaks around the country weaving the truth of Jesus with humor and anecdotes from his own life.
He has been married to Tara for over 18 years and together they have 4 kids.
The 140th anniversary of
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's Black Ministry will be celebrated during a convocation July 12-16, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala.
The Black Ministry Family Convocation will gather under the theme:
"All For Jesus: Know Him - Confess Him - Serve Him."
Attendees will also proclaim with our Synod's Reformation theme that "It's Still All About Jesus."
Please plan to join LCMS Black Ministry in celebrating this historic time in our church.
Ladies from the New Orleans Zone LWML gathered at Epiphany Lutheran Church on Sunday, March 19. An in-gathering of personal care items was contributed by the attendees and delivered to Ferncrest Manor on March 20.
STEWARDSHIP OF OUR CONGREGATIONS PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
-- MARCH 2017
The basic Concept, Project Plan, and BOD approvals are in place. Just this past week, district leadership encouraged and supported the Stewardship of Our Congregations Initiative actions to preserve and grow our Lutheran presence in communities district-wide. Here are a few details . . .
We are moving forward to assemble the prototype effort and begin contacting candidate host (large/growing-stable) and satellite (small/declining) congregations. Current actions include drafting a project brochure and developing a set of pithy surveys to help Regional VPs, BOD, Circuit Visitors and Stewardship Advocates recruit candidate congregations. Information brochure and surveys will communicate shared principles and terms such as . . .
- Congregational identity . . . Connected multi-point parishes, never consolidated or combined.
- Worship culture . . . Key to connecting with like congregations, includes communion practice, style of worship, and ministry context.
- Partnership desire . . . Willingness to partner and participate with other congregations.
- Congregations self-describe/self-identify as growing, stable, declining.
- Components of congregational ministry will include Word and Sacrament ministry (worship service, sermon, communion), Education (Bible study, confirmation), and Pastoral care.
For more information on the Stewardship of Small Congregations initiative to include interest in participating in the effort, please contact Stewardship Team members Pastor Tony Ramsey or Don Panzenhagen using contact information on the District Stewardship Who We Are web page.
Getty Music Worship Conference
September 18-20, 2017
Sing! A conference for pastors, musicians, and leaders to reform and encourage congregational singing.
This conference exists to help pastors, musicians, and leaders build a Biblical understanding and creative vision for the congregational singing in their churches. Bringing together speakers and artists from many traditions and walks of life, our desire is to encourage churches towards a deeper, more dynamic view of theology, artistry and mission in congregational singing.
WE LIFT UP IN PRAYER. . .
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;..."
John 11:25 (NIV)
These brothers and sisters in Christ coping with cancer:
Rev. Jerry Conley (Emeritus - Marianna, FL)
Rev. Jack Betz (Emeritus - Miramar Beach, FL)
Mrs. Gloria Moritz, widow of Rev. Victor Moritz (Emeritus - Metairie, LA)
Rev. Sidney Ponseti (Emeritus - Baton Rouge, LA)
Rev. Ed Rogers (Emeritus - Ozark, AL)
Mrs. Doris Taglauer, wife of Rev. Jim Taglauer (Emeritus - Folsom, LA)
Rev. David Robatzen (Lutheran Church of the Resurrection - Pensacola, FL)
These brothers and sisters in Christ coping with various health issues:
- Mrs. Melodie Rupp, wife of Rev. Bob Rupp (Emeritus - Pensacola, FL)
- Mrs. June Ring, mother of Rev. Marcus Ring (St. Paul - Shreveport, LA)
- Rev. Michael Shannon (Faith - Shreveport, LA)
- Rev. Rory Hermann (Good Shepherd - Gulf Breeze, FL)
- Rev. Brandon Simoneaux (Christ Our Savior - Harvey, LA)
- Rev. Dr. James P. Brown (Emeritus - Pensacola, FL)
- Dr. J. B. Marshall (Concordia College Alabama Board of Regents member)
- Rev. Dr. Edgar Homrighausen (Emeritus - Lacombe, LA)
- Rev. Bernard Ansorge (Ascension - Huntsville, AL)
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed. Thessalonians 2: 16-17
THE GIFT OF GENEROSITY-Electronic Giving
A definition of generous includes this phrase:
Freely sharing valuable things.
. . .no strings attached. . .no tit for tat. . .nothing expected in return.
Valuable things: your child. What is more valuable than a life of someone you love beyond measure? As we reflect on this message, remember
Those Who Don't Yet Know Jesus. Your continued support for the mission and ministry of the Southern District is requested.
If you need a convenient way to make regular offerings, we encourage you to look into our electronic online giving options.
or contact Ronnie Giaise
at the Southern District office for more information --- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illustration by Patti Miller, Member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fairhope, Alabama.