FORGIVE WITHOUT LIMIT
Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive him? As many as seven times?"
God's kingdom, the forgiveness of sins, has no limit, as the text of the gospel so beautifully shows when Peter asked his question of the Lord. Jesus answered with the parable in which he earnestly exhorts us, in fear of the loss of God's grace, to forgive our neighbor's trespasses, without any reluctance, because God forgives us such endless sin and guilt. The debt that we owe God is a million dollars, which means that it is infinite. It is so great we could not pay it with all our possessions and with all our powers, for we cannot blot out even the smallest sin. And since God in his kingdom forgives us so much out of sheer grace, we ought also to forgive our neighbor a little.
Christ speaks as follows: "In my heavenly kingdom, where there really is nothing but forgiveness of sins, that is, the Christian church, I will forgive all those who pardon another's sin." And again, "To the one who will not show mercy to a neighbor, I will also show no mercy. I am like a lord and king with regard to you all, but you are like fellow servants among one another."
Sermons for the year 1524. WA 15:730f
I know, O Lord, that love covers a multitude of sins. Give me grace to treat others with kindness and understanding. Amen.
Taken from Martin Luther ~ Day by Day We Magnify You
Marshall D. Johnson, Editor
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
2019 LUTHERAN CHURCH MISSOURI SYNOD CONVENTION
The Synod is issuing the call for nominations for the 2019 convention. Nominations for several positions are due October 20. For information regarding this process, please go to
to go directly to the website.
Here is a link to the postcards that have been mailed to congregations:
https://www.lcms.org/convention/postcard-mailings. These postcards are vital in helping congregations prepare for the 2019 Synod Convention.
OUR STEWARDSHIP OF HIS RESOURCES
District Mission Support Trends
2016 2017 2018
$900,000 $900,000 $820,000
Budgeted Income $525,000 $525,000
Actual Income $477,120 $455,783 $464,348
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPIRIT OF SOUTHERN SUBMISSIONS
Remember that submissions for the September/October issue of SOS are due by Sept. 15. The preferred means for receiving submissions is by email (email@example.com). 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
100 Mission Dr., Slidell, LA
|November 9-11, 2018
||Southern District Junior
WATCH FOR ADDITIONAL INFO!
|Lake Forest Ranch
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATION
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.
~ CALLED TO SERVE ~
Rev. Craig Boehlke, Lamb of God, Slidell, LA to Trinity, Memphis, TN ~ Returned
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
CHRIST THE KING -- NATCHITOCHES, LA
REV. ERIC KLEMME, PASTOR
Our first annual Cruising with the King Car Show was a huge hit! We had over 42 vehicles! The Kelli Roberts band played, and we gave out door prizes and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place People's choice awards. We served free hotdogs, chips, soda and popcorn, and had a bouncy house and games with prizes for the children. It was a way for Christ the King to get our presence in the community and start to develop relationships with our neighbors.
First place was the Beatle- $100 gift card to Walmart
Second place was the 1967 Mustang GT- $75 Gift Card to Walmart
2018 Junior High District Gathering
November 9th - 11th, 2018
@ Lake Forest Ranch in Macon, MS
Registration is now open on the district webpage
MORE INFO TO FOLLOW AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE!
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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.
It is shaping up to be a great conference
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!
38TH BIENNIAL LWML CONVENTION
The 38th Biennial Convention of the LWML will be in Mobile, AL next summer! Mark your calendar for
June 20-23, 2019
, and plan to attend. Visit the official convention web page
for all convention details as they become available. Click here to read more
Also, many volunteers are still needed for the convention! Volunteers receive a discount on the registration fee and are asked to work only two four-hour shifts out of the entire convention. Please prayerfully consider volunteering! Here is a link to the sign-up form: https://form.jotform.com/81033220984148
And ... don't forget about the CRUISE!
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.
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 congre¬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 freez¬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 lcms.org/rstm or by calling 888-463-5127. "Like" us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/lcmsrstm
The 2018 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference will be
held Nov. 8-10 in Kansas City, Mo., at the Hilton Kansas City Airport.
A TRIP TO THE HOLY LAND IS LIFE-CHANGING.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or go to
for the online brochure or contact us for more information.
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 (https://www.lutheransforlife.org/). 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 (https://www.lutheransforlife.org/media/life-notes-email/). 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 (https://www.lutheransforlife.org/media/life-thoughts-in-the-church/). 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 (https://www.lutheransforlife.org/life-teams/).
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 (https://www.lutheransforlife.org/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 (email@example.com) or phone, 985.345.6008 (office) or 985.956.1766 (mobile). I will be glad to help in whatever way I can.
Rev. Louis Boldt (Hammond, LA), Southern District Life Coordinator
THE IMPORTANCE OF A CHURCH'S CULTURE
How we perceive and act is shaped by the culture we live in; our families, communities, institutions, beliefs and role models. That makes a church's culture largely what determines its member's stewardship practices, both as individuals and as a group. It becomes the prime Ministry input devoted to strengthening our abilities to recognize and overcome the obstacles the Devil places in lives. The Devil's use of obstacles to create the nature of men is not a new, monstrous phenomenon. It has been fundamental in Man's struggle for existence and resistance to sin from the beginning. It will be with us until the very nature of man changes, more dangerous than earthquakes and hurricanes. Our struggle to overcome evil and sin can be successful only when using the gifts God has given us as we battle our own aspirations, ambitions, successes, and failures; as well as the trickeries of men and governments. We, fortunately, do have the means to strengthen ours and other's use of these gifts. He provided it when He established His church with the two missions--caring and reinforcing each other and spreading His words and the sacraments of salvation. How we do these two things is our record as stewards of his gifts, and directly reflects our church's enabling culture. How we respond when side by side to combat the obstacles the Devil creates in today's consumer/materialistic culture is also our record of stewardship, just as much as how a church determines and uses the individual gifts of its members. This includes how we identify and use our member's time and effort, just as much as how we manage finances. Another way of putting it is a church's culture is how a congregation teaches and enables people to employ the resources given them, including those stemming from their vocation and labor. Many Lutherans have grown up with the concept that stewardship is mostly about money and is a private matter between them and God, with some church cultures even discourage discussion of financial matters, let alone use of His other gifts. That is why our church cultures of today must successfully address participation as well as managing finances.
Stewardship Committee Chair
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)
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
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.