Place Your Own Text Here.
"For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand." (Romans 13:11b and 12a)
In looking to the future, Christians have two options. One is to look at the power of darkness and conclude that things will get worse and worse. The other is to look at the power of light and conclude that at some time, in some way unknown to us, light will triumph and day will come.
The prophet Isaiah looked to the future and he spoke of hope and promise. He pictured all the nations making their way to the mountain of the house of the Lord." As they come they say, "Let us go to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths."
That positive hope and image seem to be less viable today. Evil and sin are not only entrenched in human life, they seem to become bolder. There are so many signs of the disintegration of society that it seems almost "Pollyanna-ish" to hold up that positive picture of the future. From a human standpoint, we know that we don't know how to turn things around.
Advent's message is remember what God has done, prepare for what He will do, and receive His future.
Jesus warns us not to get discouraged or overconfident. Although we do not have the answer to the future, He does. Christmas proclaims that His plans will not get thrown off the track, no matter how sin and evil may huff and puff. God came as Emmanuel (God with us) to save His people. The victory over the devil has been won at Calvary, and the Spirit of God is at work drawing a people into that victory. We have been called to be a part of that People of God, the saved and saving Remnant. We have been called to look at life squarely in the face, with all its "impossibilities," and say, "Nevertheless, I do believe that God will have His way!" That is what we call Christian Hope. And hope is what Advent and Christmas are all about.
How wonderful that we do not have to figure it all out! We do not have to waste energy and thought on what might lie ahead! God knows, and God is leading us along our journey. He has promised to be with us all the way, even to the end of the age. And every step, for each one of His children, brings "salvation nearer than when we first believed." What a glorious thought with which to begin our celebration of Advent and Christmas!
Thank You, Father, for Your sure word of promise and hope. Quicken our vision to see that all things are hastening to the fulfillment of Your Word. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Camp Restore Baton Rouge, at Trinity Oaks
District DDRC Rev. Ed Brashier has been working with Pastor David Buss, Trinity - Baton Rouge, in coordinating volunteer work teams. If you wish to volunteer, contact DCE Nick Butcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"FAMILY TO FAMILY"
will be available as families are identified who can be matched to a congregation or family willing to provide support and encouragement to a family in the affected area. If your congregation or a family or individual would be interested in this, please contact Kathy Wendling at
. She will be compiling a list of interested congregations and families with the idea of pairing them when the time is right.
There is still a need for donations -- Pastor Ed has requested
Gatorade and Trail Mix!!
These can be delivered to the Southern District Office at 100 Mission Dr., Slidell, LA Monday through Thursday, 8 AM to 5 PM or to Camp Restore in Baton Rouge.
OUR STEWARDSHIP OF HIS RESOURCES
District Mission Support Trends
2014 2015 2016
$1,100,000 $900,000 $900,000
Budgeted Income $916,667 $750,000
Actual Income $687,176 $734,888 $665,903
SPIRIT OF SOUTHERN SUBMISSIONS
Remember that submissions for the January/February issue of SOS are due by January 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)
DATES FOR 2016
||Installation of Rev. Dr. Carl Beckwith
|Trinity Lutheran Church
8:00 and 10:30
|Installation of DCE Nick Butcher
||Trinity Lutheran Church
Baton Rouge, LA
|Ground-breaking at Trinity Oaks
||Trinity Lutheran Church
Baton Rouge, LA
|Installation of Rev. Paul McComack
||Trinity Lutheran Church
Panama City, FL
|December 23, 2016 - January 2, 2017
||Southern District Office Closed
|January 30-February 4
|Southern District Pastors' Conference Cruise
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATIONS
Christ the King - Natchitoches, LA Grace - Huntsville, AL
St. James - Gonzales, LA St. Paul's - Decatur, AL
Trinity - Monroe, LA
St. Paul's - Cullman, AL
St. Paul - Shreveport, LA
~ CALLED TO SERVE ~
Rev. Kurtis Bueltmann, Faith, Monticello, IL to Grace, Huntsville, AL ~ Declined
Rev. Lance Klamer, Hope, DeWitt, MI to St. Paul's, Cullman, AL ~ Declined
Rev. Marcus Ring, St. Paul, Shreveport, LA to St. John, Gregory, SD ~ Accepted
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People
Anniversary of Ordination
5th ~ Rev. James Steven Richardson - St. Paul, Montgomery, AL
Portals of Prayer author for November 2016 Jonathan Schkade blessed us with daily devotions all with one word titles conveying action. For example, he titled the devotion "Remembering" on Veterans Day, "Thanking" on Thanksgiving Day, and "Rising" on the First Sunday in Advent.
As we enter this new church year preparing for Jesus' Coming, our Synod reminds us in the StewardCAST newsletter that Stewardship and Mission are an Essential Partnership.
We confirm our partnership commitment on our website using these words . . .
The Southern District of the LCMS partners completely and totally with its member Congregations in mission and ministry, regardless of size or amount of giving, striving to be good stewards of God's Gifts, living generously and changing lives in making disciples for Jesus Christ. We also provide details on how gifts are used.
Further, we emphasize this active partnership by
defining stewardship in this manner: "Christian stewardship is the free and joyous activity of the child of God and God's family, the church, in managing all of life and life's resources for God's purposes." We in the Southern District like to emphasize that the Love for Christ, generated by the Gospel, is the motivating factor for true Christian giving. For this reason we add the statement . . . "In response to the Gospel, stewardship is part of discipleship."
Blessed with a New Year of promises and opportunities, each of our families of faith make stewardship plans in terms of how we will use God's gifts of time, talents, treasure, and testimony in mission and ministry. Please punctuate your partnership commitment by submitting a District Partnership 2017 form online or download the form and send it by mail. Either way, regardless of size or amount of your gift, you will contribute to creating a "Culture of Partnership" in making disciples for Jesus.
Southern District Stewardship Committee
WE LIFT UP IN PRAYER. . .
The family of Rev. Alfred W. Schubert, Jr. (Emeritus - San Antonio, TX) as he entered the Church Triumphant on Nov. 4, 2016. Rev. Schubert served as pastor at St. John - Hattiesburg, MS from 1992 to 2000. No information on services is available 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)
Rev. Dr. James Holowach (Christ - Jackson, MS)
Rev. David Robatzen (Lutheran Church of the Resurrection - Pensacola, FL)
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)
- Rev. Rod Pasch (Open Arms - Slidell, 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
DEVELOPMENT GRANT PROGRAM
We are excited to let you know that the Development Grant Program offered by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod through the Office of National Mission has re-opened. A quick link to the site is
Last year our budgeted grant funds were combined with monies from Thrivent Financial and LCEF to offer the Stand With Your Community grant opportunity in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. That was a one-time opportunity that ended in 2015.
The amount available for our regular Development Grant Program is much smaller and the monies are part of our yearly budget. However this is also an on-going program that has been offered since the mid 1980's. Since each application is required to include an endorsement letter from the district president some of you may already be familiar with these grants or previous applicants. If you are not already familiar with our program then this note is your invitation to learn more.
Since this is a transition year we are only offering one cycle this fiscal year. Applications are due by
and grants will be awarded in May 2017. During fiscal year 2017/2018 we will again offer both the Fall and Spring cycles of our grant program. Our webpage
will always have the current information.
Manager, Grant Administration
The Lutheran Church
1333 S. Kirkwood, St. Louis, MO 63122
High School/Youth Group Opportunity!
Lutheran Bible Translators Contest
Make a video promotion/advertisement for Lutheran Bible Translators
You can use information on our website, Facebook, snapchat (lbt.org), or even email our staff.
Videos should be no longer than five minutes.
Creativity is encouraged, having fun with the project is a must!!
Neon LBT T-Shirts will be given as prizes to all participants for each group, for each winner of the following category:
This is a national contest, and we hope to have participants from all over the USA. Please have your video in the mail (or sent) by Jan 1, 2017. Viewing will take place following Jan 10th, and winners will be picked and contacted by Feb 21st, 2017. We would prefer video submissions on disc (test playability first please), a flash drive, or the online service 'dropbox' and shared with us (questions on that can be emailed to
If mailed, please send to Lutheran Bible Translators, Tim Bain 205 S MAIN ST BLDG 5, CONCORDIA, MO, 64020-9669 United States.
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.