The Inexorable Wave
This is the Lord; let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation." Isaiah 25:9b
A father and son where standing on the shore of a lake with a surface as calm as glass. The father handed the son a pebble and said, "If you drop this into the water here, the ripples will travel all the way across to the other side." The son looked up and could barely make out the other side, but his heart did not question. "Of course!" he thought. "I wonder how long they will take?"
Easter illustrates this same principle. In Mark's account of the first Easter we witness the stone drop: there is the empty tomb, the angel's announcement, and the disciples' reaction. We witness the widening circle of truth, as Peter tells the story to the Gentiles in Cornelius' living room - the news had burst the bounds of Judaism and confronted the Gentile world. In the Old Testament we have foretold the final consequence of the first Easter: on God's holy mountain all of His people will gather in a celestial banquet to celebrate. Death has been vanquished, and God will wipe all tears from His people's eyes. Here the wave reaches its farthest and final shore!
A "tsunami" is a wave born of an undersea earthquake or volcano which travels at incredible speed along the ocean floor. It surfaces when forced upward by shallower waters and breaks with breathtaking ferocity on the land in its path. It may travel inland a mile or two, leveling all before it, before its fury is spent. In similar fashion, the Resurrection began in relative obscurity, known only to the circle of Jesus' closest friends. What was unleashed in that small garden was to alter human history and change forever man's relationship with God. The news and power traveled rapidly, however, and after Pentecost, burst upon the people of promise and then later swept the entire world. With a divine inexorability, the great Resurrection of our Lord reached lands and peoples unknown in the first century, and today the extraordinary news of Jesus' victory over death continues to transform the lives of men and women.
Where do you and I fit into this cosmic event? Have we shut our hearts to His "wave of life" Are we in daily contact with the Lord of Life who on Easter conquered every lesser power to claim us for His own? Do we follow His way day after day?
"The strife is o'er the battle done The victory of life is won;
The song of triumph has begun. Alleluia!
The powers of death have done their worst, but Christ their legions hath dispersed;
Let shouts of holy joy out burst, Alleluia!
He closed the yawning gates of hell, The bars from heaven's high portals fell;
Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell! Alleluia!"
NEWLY ELECTED OFFICERS OF THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT
Front Row, L to R: Mr. Stan Weir, Rev. McNair "Tony" Ramsey, Rev. Warren Lattimore, Rev. Thomas Lampella, Rev. Jerome Terry, Rev. Tim Schutt, Ms. Bonita Dupre, Rev. Ulmer Marshall
Middle Row, L to R: Mr.Rob Olmstead, Mr. Woody Keim, Ms. Laurie Ninke, Rev. Louis Boldt, Rev. Keith Ringers
Back Row, L to R: Rev. John Karle, Rev. Allen Hudspith, Rev. Eric Johnson, Rev. John Ninke, Rev. William Vogt, Rev. Randal Ehrichs, Rev. Warren Pellom
Not Pictured: Dr. Margaret Boldt, Rev. David Lofthus, Mr. Robert Heinicke, Rev. Joshua Leigeber, Mr. Jay Lewis, Rev. James Holowach, Rev. James d'Entremont, Rev. William Parsons, Rev. Steven Washington, Rev. James Endrihs, Rev. Gary Weier, Rev. Kevin Wendt,
Rev. Aubrey Watson, Rev. David Buss, Rev. Paul Leigeber, Mr. Eugene Menzel, Rev. David Witt, and Ms. Kay McCreery.
Three convention videos are posted on the Southern District Website: Live Stream Video (All day Friday), "It's All About Jesus" Video, and Opening Worship Video. To view any or all of these, click
PRESIDENT and MRS. SCHULTZ'S QUILT
GIFT FROM CONGREGATIONS OF THE
We are so very grateful to the Southern District congregations who contributed a square to be included in this very special gift to President and Mrs. Schultz!
2019 LUTHERAN CHURCH MISSOURI SYNOD CONVENTION
The Synod is issuing the first call for nominations for the 2019 convention. For information regarding this process, please go to
to go directly to the website.
OUR STEWARDSHIP OF HIS RESOURCES
District Mission Support Trends
2016 2017 2018
$900,000 $900,000 $820,000
Budgeted Income $225,000 $225,000
Actual Income $178,295 $197,075 $204,052
NEWLY ELECTED CONGREGATIONAL LEADERS
Congregations who have elected new congregational officers/leaders, please update the Southern District office with their information.
to submit your information online.
If you would like a paper form, please contact email@example.com.
SPIRIT OF SOUTHERN SUBMISSIONS
Remember that submissions for the March/April issue of SOS are due by Apr. 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 27-29, 2018
||LA - MS District LWML Convention
|April 27-29, 2018
||Gulf States District LWML Convention
|June 24-30, 2018
||Sr. Youth Mission Trip
See notice in this issue for more info!
|October 1-3, 2018
noon - noon
|Pastors and Professional Church Workers Conference
100 Mission Dr., Slidell, LA
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATIONS
Holy Cross - Mobile, AL Hope - Santa Rosa Beach, FL (Associate)
Grace - Pensacola, FL
Redeemer - Mandeville, LA
Resurrection - Pensacola, FL Trinity - Meridian, MS
If your congregation has extended a call, had a call accepted, or had a call returned, please remember to notify the Southern District office.
~ CALLED TO SERVE ~
Rev. Kenneth Boudreau, Trinity, Meridian, MS to Hope, Hasting, MS ~ Accepted
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People
140th Anniversary ~ Mt. Zion, New Orleans, LA
April 15, 2018
Rev. Nimakatso Nare, Pastor
~ April ~
Anniversary of Ordination
You are invited to a Celebration of Ministry
Held at the Hilton Perimeter Park
8 Perimeter Park South in Birmingham, Alabama.
Registration information at lwmlgulfstates.org
MOUNT ZION - NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
Chairlady: Carlene Augustine Barthe'
Co-Chairs: Rev. Limakatso Nare, Pastor and Yolonda Wornner Prevost, Congregation President
2018 Summer Mission Trip
We are joining Southern District High School Youth in
~ Cost: $299/person
We will have a wide variety of opportunities to serve the Nashville community. Our group may serve the elderly, sort donations, work in community gardens, serve alongside food programs or hang out with children at local summer programs. We will partner with local organizations to meet ongoing needs in the community.
In the evenings, we will have the chance to explore downtown Nashville or spend time at Centennial Park, (Nashville's Centennial Park is home to the only exact replica of the Greek Parthenon) taking pictures at the Parthenon, playing ultimate Frisbee or relaxing on the lawn. YouthWorks has partnered with Nashville since 2010.
COST PER PARTICIPANT INCLUDES: Pre and Post Trip Tools,
Lodging, 14 Meals, Attentive Staff, Service Project Materials, Evening Activities.
WE ♥ TEENAGERS + WE ♥ COMMUNITIES
Teenagers need to encounter Jesus outside their normal context to deepen their faith and broaden their perspectives. Plus, communities need to be valued-not as mere recipients but as partners who have stories worth sharing in.
When we bring the two together, incredible things happen.
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE VISITS HOPE ON THE BEACH
Following a suggestion that Hope in Santa Rosa Beach was doing innovative stewardship things, we visited and had an enjoyable and enlightening, if somewhat lengthy conversation that I am certain cut rather deeply into Rev Jason Scheler's day. To be brief, they are indeed doing very interesting, innovative things that involve not only talking about and identifying all of God's gifts, but also providing specific opportunities for using them. Their approach begins with a somewhat formal establishment of an outward focused, forward looking Vision/Mission statement that the congregation can deliberately identify with and simple enough to take to heart to guide daily use of God's gifts for both their members and those who have yet to receive the Holy Spirit's work. Attitudinally, the emphasis is on striving to do your best and desiring to actively improve while using His gifts. Their committees and board structure are like most congregations, but they operate and manage their activities as a connected system of systems. Hence, avoiding the stove pipe or silo effects that frequently result in the situation where workers feel that they are responsible for this area and it is doing well, while having little awareness, or even involvement with the performance of the total team. This view of operations as both specific ministry efforts and overall team performance allows Hope to rather easily evaluate and adjust both specific and overall effectiveness. They begin stewardship efforts with a contribution system they designed that provides an envelope and a pen when one enters, creating a feeling that this is the individual's envelope and encourages a thoughtful decision on their commitments. The envelope is Hope's own design sized for both cash or checks, but also has instructions for digital contributions while collecting names, addresses, etc. It is deliberately designed to be filled out there or taken home and mailed or returned later, enabling the recipient to authorize credit card charges or an address for other forms of digital giving. All while obtaining name, address, phone number and email account. These envelopes are usually placed in the traditional plate following a few words on financial stewardship from Pastor Scheler during the service, along with words on ministries being supported and those that could be supported. This tie to not just dollars but a theme of expansion of current ministries, or the creation of new ministries, provides a direction in terms of changing lives and coming to a deeper understanding of a personal relationship with God by using His gifts. First time attendees receive a tri-fold addressing these things. First time givers then receive an auto email from the Pastor and a thankyou card from the Financial Secretary-203 of these in 2018. Large gifts over $500 receive a card and a thank you gift, currently one of Pastor Scheler's own water color paintings. For evaluation of ministries the emphasis is on frequent reporting and evaluation of the supporting systems, as well as a more traditional overall evaluation. For financial reporting this includes emphasis on a generosity ladder deliberately divided into first time givers, consistent givers, tithers and generosity givers. Non-dollar centric evaluations of specific system performance also are done frequently to adjust for overall performance. Overall, Hope has a system of evaluating tangible successes while emphasizing the intangibles of congregational momentum and attitude that both require and provide for confidence in the pastor, lay leadership and ministry. We left Santa Rosa Beach with the feeling that Hope has indeed come up with an effective system for ministry management well worthy of being shared throughout the District.
Don Panzenhagen, Interim Chairperson of the Stewardship Committee
WE LIFT UP IN PRAYER. . .
Rev. Daniel and Deedee Koyn (Holy Trinity-Covington, LA)
Rev. Craig and Jennifer Boehlke (Lamb of God-Slidell, LA)
Congratulations to all!!
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)
Mrs. Gloria Moritz, widow of Rev. Victor Moritz (Emeritus - Metairie, LA)
Rev. Sidney Ponseti (Emeritus - Baton Rouge, LA)
Mrs. Doris Taglauer, wife of Rev. Jim Taglauer (Emeritus - Folsom, LA)
These brothers and sisters in Christ coping with various health issues:
- Mrs. Melodie Rupp, wife of Rev. Bob Rupp (Emeritus - Pensacola, FL)
- Rev. Rory Hermann (Emeritus - St. Augustine, FL)
- Dr. J. B. Marshall (Concordia College Alabama Board of Regents member)
- Rev. Perry McCulllam (Unity - Birmingham, AL)
- Rev. David Robatzen (Luth Church of the Resurrection - Pensacola, FL)
- Rev. Anthony Robinson (Christ - Tuscaloosa, AL and Epiphany - Arlington, AL)
- Mrs. Nancy Kaul (SD Board of Directors Member) Hattiesburg, MS
- Rev. Sanford Stanton (Eternal Trinity - Cantonment, FL)
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 --- email@example.com.
Illustration by Patti Miller, Member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fairhope, Alabama.