This Ministry
That We Share

       Southern District - LCMS
    August 1, 2016

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Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz
                                  Staying   Focused
". . . looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith ......" Hebrews 12:2
The book of Hebrews was written primarily for Jewish converts. The author was well aware of their old life under the Jewish law. He wrote to encourage them to "lay aside every weight and sin" which were so close at hand. There could be no turning back for these new Christians. He wanted them to see that their new faith would be like running a race in which they would need to persevere. Above all it called for maintaining the right focus as expressed in the words of the text: "looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith."
How important it is for us modern-day Christians to stay focused on Jesus, for we are continually tempted to yield to the desires and habits of our old way of life. What does it mean for us to stay focused in our lives? With this thought in mind, I asked a colleague of mine what it meant to him as a marathon runner. This past year he ran and finished the prestigious Boston marathon. He thought for a moment and then spoke of how important it was for him to stay focused and to maintain the right pace in order to finish the race. He had to consciously ignore all distractions that confronted him along the course, especially his own wandering thoughts. These are some thoughts of a disciplined and trained marathon runner. They also are relevant for maintaining life in the Spirit.
For us to stay focused means keeping Jesus at the center of all the areas of our lives. He has gone before us as the pioneer.
I like one of Webster's definitions of the word "pioneer"; it means, "to open or prepare for others to follow." What better way to think of Jesus? In following Him we can be free from fears about the future. He has charted a safe and victorious course for us through life and death and into eternity.
As you read these lines, what is the daily focus of your life? It may be something that seems like an insurmountable problem or a circumstance that you wish would go away. When the psalmist thought of his people having lost their focus, he prayed, "Restore us, O Lord God of Israel, let Thy face shine, that we may be saved" (Ps. 80:19). Let God, by His grace and mercy, answer that prayer for you. Let Him teach you how to stay focused, "looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter" of your faith.
Lord Jesus, how easily we get off course in our lives. Teach us by the Holy Spirit how to keep our minds stayed on you. Amen.

District Mission Support Trends

        2014               2015               2016
Total Budget             $1,100,000         $900,000        $900,000

Budgeted Income          $641,667         $525,000         $525,000              
through 7/31

Actual Income               $537,592           $513,695        $477,119.58
through 7/31



Remember that submissions for the September/October issue of SOS are due by August 15. The preferred means for receiving submissions is by email ( 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)

August 7
6 PM
Installation of Rev. Craig R. Boehlke
Lamb of God Lutheran Church - Slidell, LA
August 14
Installation of Rev. Jeffery Hesterman  
Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Prattville, AL
August 14

Installation of Rev. Bradley Lessmann 

Redeemer Lutheran Church

DeRidder, LA 

August 26, 27, & 28

Capricious Productions Play

"It Had to be Hue" 

St. Paul Lutheran Church

Burgundy-New Oreans, LA 

August 16

50th Anniversary of

Immanuel Lutheran Church 

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Vredenburgh, AL 

October 17-18
Southern District Newcomers' Orientation
Mission Center
Slidell, LA  



       Christ the King - Natchitoches, LA            Grace - Huntsville, AL

       St. Stephen - New Orleans, LA                    Ascension - Daphne, AL

Trinity - Panama City, FL                             St. Paul's - Decatur, AL                              

Immanuel - Bossier City, LA                              

Rev. Gregory Snow to St. Paul, Decatur, Alabama ~ Pending
  Rev. Bradley Lessmann to Redeemer, DeRidder, Louisiana ~ Accepted
Rev. Ralph Hough to Ascension, Daphne, Alabama ~ Pending


Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People 


50th ~ Anniversary ~ Immanuel Lutheran Church, Vredenburgh, AL


Anniversaries of Ordination - August
35th ~ Rev. Rodney Pasch - Bethany, Slidell, LA
5th ~ Rev. Marcus Ring - St. Paul, Shreveport, LA

1 John 4:4-6 
         This year there will be only ONE gathering in a central location. 
 November 11-13 @ Twin Lakes Camp and Conference Center, Florence, Mississippi
Registration will open September 5th.
Early Bird Registration is Sept. 5-19 -- $99/participant
Sept. 20-Oct. 24 will be $105/participant
Presenters will be the Rev. Tim Schutt and Rev. Greg Manning
  Information will be continually updated on the  Southern District website and through publications.

Capricious Productions presents
"It Had To Be Hue"
Are you looking for a really "colorful" comedy with music?
 Capricious Productions will present "It Had To Be Hue," an original farce by Dennis Malloy and directed by Kyle Daigrepont,
 at St. Paul Lutheran Church Basement Theatre, 2624 Burgundy Street, New Orleans, LA 70117.
Production dates are Friday, August 26, 2016 at 7:00 PM, Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 7:00 PM and Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 3:00 PM. Doors open one hour before each performance.
Suggested donation: Adults $10 and Kids (12 & under) $5.00. Patrons are asked to bring non-perishable Food Bank items which will entitle them to a free soft drink at the refreshment stand.
Net proceeds from the production will benefit St. Paul Lutheran School, now in its 176th year.
"It Had to Be Hue" is set in the art world where the daughter of a late art teacher is sent around the US to collect paintings of her mother's students for a big show. In course of her travels, she encounters surprises, odd characters, twists and turns - the usual Capricious ingredients! Ultimately, she learns a lot more than she bargained for about herself, her family and art!
For more info, contact St. Paul at (504) 945 - 3741,

2017 LCMS National Campus Ministry Conference
"Liberty," the 2017 National LCMS Campus Ministry Conference, is planned for Jan. 4-6, 2017, at the University of Maryland in the Metro DC area.
The conference will provide a forum for college students and campus-ministry workers to address fundamental issues related to religious liberty, the First Amendment and cultivating Christian citizenship on campus.
To learn more, visit


Pastor Karl (Gulfport, MS) and Becky Hollibaugh and family who mourn the death of eldest daughter Hannah in Austin, TX.   Services are pending at this time.
  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) 
      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)
    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  (NIV)


    Dear Colleagues in Christ,


    Don't let time get away from you!  Register now for the Zion XVI Triennial Conference, which will be held Sept. 15-18 in Belleville, IL at Our Lady of the Snows Retreat Center. 


    Registration for "Lutheran Accents in Specialized Pastoral Ministry" is $100 for double occupancy, $125 for single occupancy, or $75 for the commuter day rate.


    Visit to register or download the schedule, speaker biographies and other important information.

    the awards -- two each from the ELCA and the LCMS -- will be given to the honorees at the Zion XVI banquet.



    In Christ,


    Rev. Joel Hempel

    Interim director, LCMS Specialized Pastoral Ministry 

    **UPDATE **
                         ANCHORS AWAY!     cruise-ship-banner2.jpg
    Have you held your cabin on the next Southern District Cruise ~ Jan. 30, 2017??   If not, it's time to deposit.  $300 plus insurance holds your spot. 
    Please register ASAP at this secure link  
    Remember that the ship is controlled by capacity, so register now to assure a cabin.  Also, remember that a single person can share a cabin with another.
    For those registered, NOLA Port Authority has initiated Staggered Check In.
    Please be sure to log into your cruise planner to pick your preferred time frame to board the ship.  You will not be allowed if you arrive earlier than the time chosen.  If you do not choose a time, they will assign you a time.
    To check-in online, please go to, enter your booking number, last name, date of birth, ship and sail date to access Online Check-in.
    Click on MY CHECK IN TIME - Set up Embarkation time
    Ginger Kramp is happy to assist with any and all questions.  Contact Ginger at or 601-991-1109.
                                    THE GIFT OF GENEROSITY-Electronic Giving
     A definition of generous includes this phrase: 
    Freely sharing valuable things.   Freely sharing
    . . .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.  

    Visit here or contact Ronnie Giaise  at the Southern District office for more information ---

    Illustration by Patti Miller, Member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fairhope, Alabama.              Southern District -LCMS               504-282-2632

    100 Mission Dr.
    Slidell LA 70460