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That We Share

       Southern District - LCMS
    August 1, 2018

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Rev. Eric Johnson

As we travel through life, there are times when one Scripture verse becomes important to  us for different reasons. Sometimes it's a season of life, other  times it's a struggle that leads us to certain passages.
   Regardless of the cause, it is always the Holy Spirit who is at work in and through the Word being spoken into our lives. When I was a much younger man 1Peter 5:6 became very important to me, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God..." Humble yourself, that is powerful stuff. Other Scriptures that have stuck with me at various times are, Romans 8:1; 1Cor 9:19-22; Matthew 9:9-13; Matthew 9:35-38; and many others.
For the past 5 or so years, one Scripture reading has held a special place in my heart and mind, one that I often think about, meditate on, and try to apply in my life. That Scripture is Philippians 2:1-13. In this chapter St. Paul tells us to have the same attitude in ourselves as was in Christ Jesus. In verses 1-4 he tells us, "Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
Humility is a hallmark of Christ's ministry among us. It is a hallmark of the work of salvation he wrought on our behalf. In humility Christ - God of God, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father... humbled himself to the point of dying on a cross in the place of his enemies (Romans 5:10). St. Paul points us to Christ and calls us to a similar humility for the sake of Christ, his church, and the world, "with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves." People are important. Other people are more important than me. Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself (say no to what you want) take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24)
One of the hallmarks of Christ, that some so often hate, is humility that loves an enemy to the point of dying in their place. St. Paul and Matthew tell us that humility that loves like Jesus is a hallmark of those who follow Jesus. This challenges me. I want to follow Jesus, but too often, most often, I do not love like Jesus. I very often do not regard others as more important than myself. Most of the time I do not say no to what I want. In fact, I am very much like St. Paul when he said, "For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want." What then should we do? Do we give in to our base nature and practice our own form of self-righteousness? Do we despair of ever doing good and so stop trying? St. Paul also tells us, "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Then in his struggle I like to picture him turning and looking toward heaven with eyes and heart uplifted he says, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" The next verse is one I mentioned earlier, Romans 8:1, "Therefore there is NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Praise God!!! I am free from performance, free from the Law, free from my sin and guilt because of the finished work of Christ Jesus! I am Baptized! I belong to Jesus and my sins are forgiven! Then, in the freedom of Christ, St. Paul can come to me and share that I am free in the Gospel to practice humility. I can practice putting others needs ahead of my own. I can practice saying no to what I want, picking up my cross and following Jesus. I fail, and when I fail I have the sure and certain hope that as I confess my sins, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I am free in the Gospel to serve others in humility without fear.
I am free to follow Jesus!!!

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  HERE.

The Synod is issuing the first call for nominations for the 2019 convention.  For information regarding this process, please go to or click  here to go directly to the website.
District Mission Support Trends

        2016                    2017                    2018     
Total Budget                 $900,000            $900,000        $820,000

Budgeted Income             $525,000                   $525,000               $478,333
through 07/31

Actual Income                     $477,120                   $455,783               $464,348
through 07/31
Congregations who have elected new congregational officers/leaders, please update the Southern District office with their information. Click Here to submit your information online.  
If you would like a paper form, please contact



Remember that submissions for the September/October issue of SOS are due by Sept. 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)

October 1-3, 2018
noon - noon
Pastors and Professional Church Workers Conference Banquet Room
100 Mission Dr., Slidell, LA
November 9-11, 2018 Southern District Junior 
Youth Gathering
Lake Forest Ranch
Macon, MS



         Grace - Pensacola, FL                                    Redeemer - Mandeville, LA      
       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.

Rev. Craig Boehlke, Lamb of God, Slidell, LA to Trinity, Memphis, TN ~ Pending

Rev. Corey Grunklee, Christ, Lubbock, TX to Hope on the Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, FL ~ Accepted
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People 
130th Anniversary ~ First English, New Orleans, LA

~ August 
Anniversary of Ordination
70th ~ Rev. Dr. Richard H. (Pedo) Meyer, Emeritus, St. Paul, New Oreans, LA
35th ~ Rev. Dr. Michael C. Boykin, Emeritus, Holy Cross, Tuscaloosa, AL
35th ~ Rev. Albert L. Keller, Emeritus, Redeemer, Mandeville, LA
35th ~ Rev. Paul L. Sherouse, Emeritus, Resurrection, Pensacola, FL
5th ~ Rev. Warren Malueg-Lattimore, St. Paul's, New Orleans, LA

On August 8, Rev. Dr. Richard H. ("Pedo") Meyer celebrates the 70th anniversary of his ordination. During his ministry, he has served as a missionary to China and Japan; also pastor of St. Paul (Burgundy) and Prince of Peace in New Orleans; as well as President of the Southern District. All the while, his beloved Lois has been by his side.
As missionaries, Pedo and Lois began in China (1947) but were quickly evacuated to Japan (1948) because of the communist takeover. Over the course of their 22 years in Japan, they planted churches, developed a youth center, and Pedo also directed a theological training program for Japanese pastors.
When the time was right for their missionary service to end, the Lord had plans for this son of the Southern District to return ... and to spend the rest of his ministry here.
In July 2017, Pedo and Lois moved to Massachusetts so they could be closer to their family. If you would like to write to Pedo and Lois or send a card for the occasion of Pedo's 70th ordination anniversary, please contact Sabine Laird ( or Daisy Olmstead ( for the Meyers' mailing address.


The LWML of Concordia Lutheran church collected our first mite offering in grand fashion. The youth collected the mites in their hats, our Pastor Rev. Benjamin Stallworth offered a special prayer, the ladies wore their LWML t shirts,and the youth wore their shirts that the LWML provided with this years theme:
 # Sharing # Caring. We collected $422.22. We concluded the day with a meal for all the fathers fit for a king!  What an awesome celebration!  We will be feeding the families at Ronald Mcdonald house on August18 @6 pm.


On June 30th, Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Mobile, Ala., welcomed Pastor C.J. Luttinen to lead our congregation. Pastor Luttinen was installed by former District President Kurt Schultz. Interim Pastor, Rev. Steve Schrader was the Liturgist and Rev. Wayne J. Miller from Grace Lutheran in Mobile was guest preacher. We are incredibly blessed to have Pastor C.J. and his wife Katie join our family and extend our sincere thanks to all the pastors and churches in circuit 11 who helped us during our vacancy. 

Southern District BASIC LERT Training

When disaster strikes, lives are turned upside down. Survivors often need food, clothing, shelter, and spiritual care as they begin to cope with tragedy and loss. Responding to these hurting people is a vital part of who we are as member of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. We show mercy and love to our communities because of the great grace and love that God has first shown us in Christ Jesus.

Join a Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) training event near you to learn how congregations and even individual members like you can be better prepared to show Christ's love to the community when a disaster strikes. Attendees will receive training in the following areas:
The LCMS Disaster Response Program: BASIC LERT
Christian Care in Times of Disaster, Congregation Preparedness, Engaging the Community Response, The LERT Program, Safety and Equipment, General Volunteer Opportunities

Additional LERT Training Events that can be scheduled after the BASIC LERT:
(1) Chainsaw Safety & Operation (2) Flood Recovery.

Attendees will receive an LCMS Disaster Response
(1) photo credential (2) LERT Vest (3) LERT Training Manual.

Southern District LERT Training Schedule
Cost is $35 per person. (lunch provided)

Saturday, August 18:
Registration at 7:30 am. Training from 8 am-12 pm

First Lutheran Church
24512 5th Ave
Florala, AL 36442
334-858-3515 to sign up.

Saturday, September 15:
Registration at 9:30 am. Training from 10 am-2:30 pm

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
2456 Decatur Hwy.
Gardendale, AL 35071
205-296-3714 to sign up
Contact Pastor Ed Brashier for registration information.                                  
Cell 205-296-3714 or E-Mail,

To Host a LERT Training Event for your congregation or circuit contact the Southern District Disaster Response Coordinator, Pastor Ed Brashier at Cell 205-296-3714

 SAVE THE DATE:  Teachers' Conference ~ "Joy Finders"

Please save the date for the 2018 - 2019 annual Teachers' Conference.
Here is the basic Information:

WHO: The teachers and DCEs of the Southern District
WHAT: Annual Conference and Retreat
WHERE: Perdido Beach Resort, Orange Beach, Alabama
WHEN: Sunday, November 18 - Tuesday, November 20
WHY: For Professional Growth, Worship, Rejuvenation

Please put this on your 2018 calendar and pass the word to all your teachers.
Please contact me or any of the Conference Team if you have any questions,
Dawn Swartz at
John Price- Redeemer Pensacola
Emily Barlow- Atonement Metairie
Sara Braatz- Grace Huntsville
Warren Paul- Retired Redeemer Pensacola

Below is a link to reserve rooms at resort:

The goal of this conference is to enjoy the presence of the Lord in all we do. Our opening gathering will be in fun, food and fellowship with each other on the beach. Sectionals are intended to meet the needs of our staffs. CDC will have the opportunity to obtain the certification needed for the year along with sectionals for their areas. DCEs and schools will have the time to collaborate and share resources for the needs of today's children, along with sectionals that will bring joy in growth in service of our Lord.

We are also looking for sectional leaders, so if you or any of your teachers would like to lead a sectional or if you have ideas for a sectional, please let me know!
It is shaping up to be a great conference

Dawn Swartz
Share the News---
Post-Convention Cruise Out of Mobile
After the 2019 LWML Convention in Mobile, Alabama, the LWML is pleased to offer a cruise on the 
Carnival Fantasy for FUN from June 24 - 29, 2019. This will be a time for well-deserved rest and 
relaxation as well as fun and fellowship with your friends. The great fact is that you will cruise out of 
Mobile, the site of the LWML Convention.

Would you like to take part in this fun getaway?
McGehee Cruise & Vacation Inc. will assist with all reservations for the cruise.
Registration is now open:

Please follow this secure link for further information and questions.

Can also find the link on the LWML website at
As with any cruise, it is best to book as early as possible so you can get the cabin you prefer.
Regional Youth Partnerships
 LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission 

Pastors Leading Churches with Schools
A congregation with a school is truly a blessed place. With generations of students formed for faith and life in the world as servants of God, these congreĀ¬gations are inextricably linked to their school ministry. However, as those generations have passed, there are increasing pressures placed upon congregations with schools. It costs more today to teach each student than ever before. Staffing costs including salary and benefits, curriculum costs and the inclusion of and maintenance for ever-changing technology have raised the cost to alarming levels. It is critical that congregational leaders take a serious look at their education ministry.
As the challenges arise, there is temptation to cut corners. There are those who hire teachers not trained in the Synod. Others simply balance the ever-challenging budget on the backs of the faithful workers by freezĀ¬ing salary, increasing benefit contributions and the like. When this happens, there is a rise in "institutional survival" mode. This is a mentality that says that the institution must be preserved at all cost. This makes most congregations adverse to even considering other options for educational ministry.
For educational ministry to survive and thrive, corners must not be cut. Aggressive, out-of-the-box ideas must be pursued if the local Lutheran school is going to be the ministry that the Lord has given it to be. We will explore some of those options in the upcoming webinar on this topic on Aug. 16, 2018. Join us to add to the conversation. (Or if you can't join us for the live event, watch the recording in the RSTM archive at a time that's convenient for you.) We will likely raise more questions than provide answers. But this is a critical conversation to be had!

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by Rev. Dr. Nathan Meador.
Rev. Dr. Nathan Meador is senior pastor at St. John Lutheran Church and School in Plymouth, Wis. He also serves as assistant coordinator for LCMS Stewardship Ministry.

LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission supports and encourages rural and small-town congregations in engaging their communities and growing together in Christ through Word and Sacrament. Learn more about RSTM at or by calling 888-463-5127. "Like" us on our Facebook page at

The 2018 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference will be 
held Nov. 8-10 in Kansas City, Mo., at the Hilton Kansas City Airport.
visit this website for registration info                                    

Consider for a moment how walking in the footsteps of Jesus would bring the biblical accounts to life. Imagine kneeling where the shepherds stood at Bethlehem's manger, seeing the places where Jesus grew up and worked, standing in the Jordan River where He was baptized, praying in Gethsemane, weeping at Golgotha, or singing hymns of praise at the empty tomb. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus and seeing the land where He lived will change your life forever.

Are there people in your church who might be interested in going with you on a trip like this? We would love to have you as cohosts. Join us, Pastor Keith and Diana Ringers (St. Mark's - Elberta, AL) to experience for yourself the sights, the sounds, and the smells of this historic and beautiful land. This customized itinerary includes places where the standard tours don't go. We invite you to join us from March 25 - April 3, 2019. For more information, click on the link for a brochure or contact Keith Ringers at

Click here or go to
for the online brochure or contact us for more information.

Diana Ringers
A Few Words on Life

On August 15, the church will observe the Festival of St. Mary, the mother of our Lord. The Propers of the Day are: Old Testament - Isaiah 61:7-11, the Psalmody - Psalm 45:10-17 (antiphon: v. 6), Epistle - Galatians 4:4-7, and the Gospel - Luke 1:(39-45) 46-55.

While your congregation may not formally observe this Festival, this can be a good time to pause and ponder all the things that Mary went through when she was found herself with child. God reveals some things to us in His holy Word, but not everything that she and Joseph experienced. Pause for a moment and imagine if the "fullness of time had come" today (Gal. 4:4). Imagine all of the pressures that she would face in our modern day which does not hold human life in high regard - cultural pressures, familial pressures, pressures from Joseph, pressure from her peers, and the list could go on and on. Of course, we know that just as God's will was done some two thousand years ago, it would also be done today if this was "when fullness of time had come". But it does cause one to stop and wonder.

So how do you affirm life in your personal life, within your congregation, and within your community? What are you doing to uphold God's view of life in the face of all the pressures in our modern day? Maybe you are already doing quite a bit. If so, keep fighting the good fight. Perhaps you wondering what you might be able to do to help uphold the sanctity of human life in our culture. If so, let me give you a couple of ideas.

First, check out the Lutherans for Life website, click here ( They provide lots of information and a wide range of resources to help individuals and congregations affirm life in their communities. You can sign up for their E-Newsletter here (Here) and their weekly Life Notes email here ( They also have a great resource called "Life Thoughts in the Church Year" related to the Propers of the Day for both the Three Year and One Year Lectionary Series, click here ( I find these very helpful as they help people see how God's transformative Word still speaks to matters we face today.

Second, I encourage you to consider talking with your pastor and congregational leadership about forming a Life Chapter and/or Team within your congregation or area. You can find more information about this here (

Third, consider connecting up with your local Right to Life organization to stay abreast of life-issue legislation being considered in your state and to help you contact your state representatives and senators regarding upcoming legislation. They will also be a good source of information regarding candidates' stated positions on life issues and their voting records.

Lastly, consider attending a Right to Life event, like the LFL National Conference ( or the 2019 LC-MS Life Conference, "JOY:FULLY ALIVE > Body & SOUL", January 17-19 in Washington, D.C.

If you would like further information, or would like to discuss this matter, please contact me by email ( or phone, 985.345.6008 (office) or 985.956.1766 (mobile). I will be glad to help in whatever way I can.

God's Peace!
Rev. Louis Boldt (Hammond, LA), Southern District Life Coordinator


The family of Martha Sawyer (mother of Rev. J. Richard Sawyer, Good Shepherd, Brandon, MS, Messiah, Vicksburg, MS, and Holy Cross, Hattiesburg, MS), as she was called to glory on July 14, 2018

The family of Kate Fields (a former teacher at Lutheran High School), as she was called to glory on July 20, 2018.

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) 
  • Rev. Robert Rupp (Emeritus - Pensacola, FL)
    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. 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)
    • Rev. Charles Schaum (Christ the King - Muscle Shoals, AL) and family
    • Rev. Allan Hudspith (Trinity - Auburn, 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  (NIV)
                                    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