This Ministry
That We Share

       Southern District - LCMS
    August 15, 2017

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Almighty and everlasting Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we see and feel how your church is doing in this world.  We see its status and how it is annoyed in so many ways by the world and the devil.  So we pray to you for the sake of your only begotten Son.  First, comfort and strengthen our hearts by your Holy Spirit, so that we may not be overwhelmed by so many dangers.  Also we pray that you will not only halt the purposes and plans of the enemies but will truly and marvelously help prove to the whole world that you care for the church.  Rule, protect, and deliver it, ever living and reigning eternal God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

Registration Closes --  October 8, 2017
 All Memorials due --  October 8, 2017
 All Nominations due --  November 1, 2017
 Hotel Block Rate Ends --  January 27, 2018

Any Southern District congregation, meeting in assembly, may submit nominations for offices of the Southern District. Positions open for nomination, nomination forms, and nomination deadlines, are available on our  website: 

Exciting FREE Conference Coming to The Southern District! 
Help Connect Your Church To Your Community

Southern District Rebecca's Garden of Hope Conference, 
Connecting Congregations With Their Neighbors
Regional Outreach Conference 

August 25 & 26

Hosted in NOLA by Broadmoor Community Church (Formerly Gloria Dei) 


This conference is being presented  FREE  of charge to the congregations of the Southern District by a generous grant from the District Mission Committee and the office of Rev. Eric Johnson, Mission Executive.  

This free conference gives you and the members of your congregation a simple way to reach  un-churched children and families with the love of Christ. The Conference is FREE and it's not just for the pastor, but anyone at your church interested in reaching more families in your community!

Rebecca's Garden of Hope gives you a way to start conversations and develop relationships with new families in your community. It's all about relationships, this FREE conference can show you how to create relationships that can result in new families coming to faith, baptism, and discipleship in your local congregation.

This unique training opportunity will answer questions about how to get started and keep the ministry going. Participants will learn about resources to help children develop spiritually, socially and educationally.

SAVE THE DATE, August 25 & 26 for the Southern District's Rebecca's Garden of Hope, Connecting Congregations With Their Neighbors Regional Outreach Conference. Look for more details to follow soon, with registration opening  in 2 weeks.
You can contact Rev. Eric Johnson, Southern Dist. Mission Exec.

District Mission Support Trends

        2015                     2016                    2017      
Total Budget                 $900,000            $900,000        $900,000

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

Actual Income                 $513,695                  $477,120             $455,783
through 07/31



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)


All Congregations!  Please remember to update your Spirit of Southern lists.  As indicated in the letter each congregation received, you will need to cross off any household that does NOT want a paper copy.  Any households left on the list will cost $5.00 each.  Thank you for your attention to this!!

August 24-25, 2017 Rebecca's Garden of Hope Regional
Outreach Conference
Broadmoor Community
Church (Gloria Dei) in NOLA
October 8, 2017 Grace Lutheran Church
150th Anniversary Celebration
Grace Lutheran Church
Mobile, AL
November 19-21, 2017
2017-2018 Annual Teachers' Conference Grace Lutheran Church and School, Huntsville, AL


       Holy Cross - Mobile, AL                       Hope - Santa Rosa Beach, FL (Associate)

       Trinity - Monroe, LA                               Grace - Pensacola, FL
       Immanuel - Bossier City, LA
If your congregation has extended a call, had a call accepted, or had a call returned, please remember to notify the Southern District office.


Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People 

150th Anniversary - Grace Lutheran Church, Mobile, Alabama

October 8, 2017

Rev. Wayne Miller, Pastor


Anniversary of Ordination

60th ~ Rev. Simon Bodley, Jr. ~ Emeritus - St. Matthew, Pensacola, FL

55th ~ Rev. James Marshall ~ Emeritus - Faith, Mobile, AL

30th ~ Rev. Paul Leigeber ~ Shepherd of the Bay, Lillian, AL

25th ~ Rev. Dr. Mark Koch ~ Immanuel, Bossier City, LA

20th ~ Rev. Bradley Aumann ~ St. Paul, Picayune, MS

15th ~ Rev. John Jankens ~ Trinity, Hanceville, AL

15th ~ Rev. LaVaughn Wiggins ~ United, Montgomery, AL

10th ~ Rev. Kenneth Boudreau ~ Trinity, Meridian, MS

5th ~ Rev. James Yonkers ~ First, Florala, AL


Please save the date for the 2017 - 2018 annual Teachers' Conference.
Here is the basic Information:

WHO:    The teachers and DCEs of the Southern and Mid-South Districts
WHAT:    Annual Conference
WHERE: Grace Lutheran School and Church, Huntsville, Alabama
WHEN:    Sunday, November 19 - Tuesday, November 21
WHY:      For Professional Growth, Worship, and Camaraderie

For more information, contact Glenn Gerber or
  the Conference Chairman, Tom Naatz at Grace, Huntsville

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - More than 540 people from all across the country - and even as far away as Kenya, East Africa - converged here July 12-16 for the 2017 LCMS Lutherans in Black Ministry Family Convocation.
During the five-day gathering, attendees spent time together in worship, learning and fellowship under the theme "All for Jesus - Know Him. Confess Him. Serve Him."
"We had Africans, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Anglo-Americans there," said the Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray Jr., director of LCMS  Black Ministry . "This was an opportunity for Black Ministry to be more inclusive and to begin to celebrate who we are as Lutherans across cultures. It's just an exciting time to be in ministry in the 21 st  century."
The convocation also celebrated two historic anniversaries: the 500 th  anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and the 140 th  anniversary of Black Ministry in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which started just 30 years after the Synod was formed.

Attending the Conference from Bethel - New Orleans, LA, Chairman of The Board of Elders Mr. Frederick Sylvester, wife Cheryl, and Calissya, Cowanna, and Calasia Brister (Bethel Members)

We are in another "Hurricane Season."  The Southern District takes this subject very seriously and wants to help as much as possible.  First and foremost, if you receive a mandatory evacuation order, PLEASE heed it!  Then, please take a few moments to register with the district so that information can be on file.  This can be done by phone or on the District website, .  This flyer can be saved in your evacuation file.  It contains all of the information that you will need if and when the time comes.
If you can provide shelter, or are looking for shelter, you can also use the website to provide or receive information.
___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . _
In the event of hurricane evacuation, please contact the Southern District with the following information:

Name, Congregation, City, State                Report information to:                 
Evacuated (yes or no)                                 Church Workers  (Mandatory reporting)--                                                                                        985-796-7577               
 If yes, to:  City, State                                                                                                                                      
Contact Phone Number                               Congregation Members - 985-796-7577
Opportunities for Local Volunteers this Fall

This August we celebrate 11 years of service at Camp Restore - New Orleans. In that time, we've been blessed to host over 30,000 volunteers from all 50 states and more than 30 countries, including hundreds of local volunteers and nearby neighbors from across the Southern District.

This Fall, we're going to try something new: focusing on a specific construction project for our local churches and volunteers to get involved with, as a way to bring our nearer church family together around a common goal.

We're working out the details soon, in the coming weeks, as our first goal is finishing out the summer strong. Preliminarily, we are thinking of a project in New Orleans as well a project in Baton Rouge, with Camp Restore - Baton Rouge.

For now, keep up with the latest news from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and now Detroit at! If you would like to personally receive details as they come available, please email Pastor Goodine at


The Rev. Dr. Richard H. Meyer (or "Pedo" as he is affectionately known) and Lois celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on July 30th in a worship service at St. Paul (Port & Burgundy) in New Orleans. Their four children celebrated with them. Rev. Adam Cooper officiated. A reception followed in which many, many warm memories of the couple's forty-six years in New Orleans quickly filled the church's basement. Many present wanted their pictures taken with them. For a while, it looked like the paparazzi surrounded them!
     Pedo and Lois came to New Orleans from Japan where they served as missionaries for 23 years. They were called to two congregations in the New Orleans area: St. Paul (1971-1978) and Prince of Peace (September 1988 to August 1994). Pedo also served as Southern District President from 1978 to 1988.
     Both Pedo and Lois are known for their gentle and kind spirits. Someone commented, "You can see the light of Jesus in their eyes." This light directed many to know God's love. On August 1st they flew to Massachusetts to live near two of their children. If you'd like their address, contact Sabine Laird at the District Office -
Greetings from The Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills

Vicar Kyle Will is the new vicar at Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills, located in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. One aspect of ministry that really resonates with him personally is the ministry done on college campuses connecting students to faithful LCMS congregations and campus ministries. This time can provide as much confusion as it does excitement and it is so important that students find fellow Christians to share in their spiritual growth. He, himself, became a Lutheran while attending an LCMS campus ministry.

For the past few years, the Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills has had an active Young Adult Group meet every week for fellowship and Christian study. Our young adult group has always welcomed students and alumni from universities and colleges in the Birmingham area into our group. We would love to get connected with any incoming students or young adults from your congregation who would like to have a church home away from home. It would also be great to let us know if you have any high school students in their junior or senior year currently considering the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Jefferson State Community College, or Samford University so that we can get connected with them should they choose to come to Birmingham.

Kyle would love to connect your young adults to our congregation and group study. If you have any questions or would like to connect your students to our congregation feel free to email Kyle at We'd love to get to know your students.


Do you have an outreach or mission activity that would be blessed by a mission grant from the LWML? If so, submit a grant to be considered during the 
2018 LA-MS LWML District Convention .

If you wish to submit a mission grant to be considered during the 2018 District Convention, please complete the following two forms and send them to Linda Turner, Vice President of Mission Grants ( The deadline is August 31, 2017.

1. Mission Grant Proposal Information Sheet 
Installation of Rev. Eric Klemme
Christ the King - Natchitoches, LA
August 13, 2017

 Front Row-Left to right:  Rev. Dr. John Richy (St. John's-Lansing, IL ~ father of Rev. Klemme), President Kurtis Schultz,  Rev. Eric Klemme, and Rev. Bryan Jones (Grace-Many, LA)
Back Row-Left to right:  Rev. Michael Shannon (Faith-Shreveport, LA), Rev. Eric Johnson (District Missions Executive), and Rev. William Vogt (Augustana-Alexandria, LA)
 Annual Southern District Junior Youth Gathering
One District, One Gathering, One HUGE event 
for our Southern District Junior Highers!
November 10-12
@ Lake Forest Ranch ~ Macon, MS                                                                  

Grades 6-8
Early bird August 25th-September 15th                   $105

Regular registration  Sept 16th- October 25th         $120
Presenters:   Pastor Tim Schutt and Pastor Greg Manning

Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church participated in a summer long project sponsored by Lutheran World Relief.  Members of the congregation,the  ladies of Lutheran Women"s Mission League, and Thrivent Financial all donated time and contributions towards this important Outreach project.  In all, we filled 12 large boxes with 8 no sew blankets and 72 personal care kits.  The personal care kits, which go directly to the needy world-wide, consist of a bath towel, 2 bars of soap, a toothbrush, a comb, and nail clipper.  These items are boxed, labeled and will be brought to Daphne on  Saturday, August 26th
 for final delivery.  
The mission of Lutheran World Relief is affirming God's love for all people by working to end poverty, injustice, and human suffering.  They have reached 35 countries with 153 projects.  The long term vision is a world in which each person, every community and all generations live in justice, dignity and peace.  We at Shepherd of the Bay share that vision and are doing what we can by providing items to those in need.  In this way we are working to assist Lutheran World Relief in meeting their goals around the world.
Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church is pastored by Rev. Paul Leigeber.

Submitted by Marie Anderson


Congregations throughout the Southern District have plans for celebrations and activities to recognize the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  The SD website contains a list of these celebrations with additional information.  

To view these,  click here

Here are the purpose statements for the Stewardship of Our Congregations project. Provide a proof of concept that demonstrates through words and actions that we are ALL in this together when it comes to making disciples for Jesus Christ. Make a firm statement that a Lutheran presence in a community is important to us ALL whether it's connecting and/or revitalizing current congregations or making a new church plant. The project is designed to provide a way to connect small congregations across the district.

So, what is a small congregation? Did you know that 31 percent of the congregations in our district worship 25 to 50 people on an average Sunday? Moreover, 17 percent worship fewer than 25 people.  Bottom line is this: congregations, several district committees, and the Board of Directors will all have a role in developing and implementing this "Culture of Partnership" strategy.  
Just this past week, God provided an awesome opportunity for us to ADVANCE THE CONVERSATION with pastors from potential host congregations in Circuit 12. It was a special blessing to have President Kurtis Schultz, MMF Eric Johnson and VP Pastor Tony Ramsey to help facilitate the conversation. The pastors of candidate Host Congregations for two shared ministry clusters, identified the initial priority topics to discuss with Host and Satellite congregations. They presented practical challenges, raised important questions, and during our short time together suggested possible approaches for their potential ministry cluster. The priority effort is to develop and communicate with Host and Satellite congregations the advantages and disadvantages of connecting with available digital technology to help meet each congregation's Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care ministry needs. These are example topics that will be addressed in proposals and options for each ministry cluster.  
  • Time, frequency and location of worship services (alternative if pastor not in onsite rotation)
  • Sermon message (ministry cluster specific, real time, playback)
  • Bible studies (ministry cluster specific, real time, playback)
  • Communion (frequency, Pastor presence)
  • Technology available (satellite/land line, portability, record for delayed playback)
  • Training and coaching (technology)
We are excited about helping work out the details to form initial clusters for shared ministry. For more information on the Stewardship of Our Congregations initiative to include interest in participating in the effort, please contact Stewardship Team members Pastor Tony Ramsey or Don Panzenhagen. Contact information and the project brochure are on the District Stewardship web page.  

Gary Grubb, Stewardship Chairman


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. Michael Shannon (Faith - Shreveport, LA)
    • Rev. Rory Hermann (Emeritus - St. Augustine, FL)
    • Rev. Dr. James P. Brown (Emeritus - Pensacola, FL)
    • Dr. J. B. Marshall (Concordia College Alabama Board of Regents member)
    • Rev. Perry McCulllam (Unity - Birmingham, AL)
    • Mr. Don Panzenhagen, Southern District Stewardship Committee
    • Rev. David Robatzen (Luth Church of the Resurrection - Pensacola, 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  (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