This Ministry
That We Share

       Southern District - LCMS
    December 15, 2017

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For Comfort to Timid Consciences

O gracious Savior, how wisely you have provided.  I know that you are my brother, for it is written in the Psalms, I will declare your name to my brothers.  My Lord Jesus Christ, although you are both God and King of heaven and earth, I need not be afraid of you.  You are my companion, my brother, my flesh and blood.  That I am a sinner and you are holy causes me to give up.  Yet if I had not been a sinner, you would not have suffered for me and so I am comforted.  Among your ancestors, of whom it was your will to be born, there were both the good and the bad.  So we stand in your presence in order that you may comfort our timid and fearful consciences, and we may trust anew in you, knowing that you have also taken away our sin.  You have indeed taken it away and have left us the word that assures us of it.  Praise to you in eternity.  Amen.

Why lies He in such mean estate Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear; for sinners here The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through, The cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word made flesh, The babe, the son of Mary!

Hotel Block Rate Ends --  January 27, 2018

The convention workbook is now available on the
convention page of the Southern District website.

District Mission Support Trends

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

Budgeted Income          $825,000                $825,000              $825,000            
through 11/30

Actual Income                 $807,979                $741,045             $689,728
through 11/30
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 January/February issue of SOS are due by Feb. 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)


December 25-
January 2
District Office will be closed District Office
Slidell, LA


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

        Immanuel - Bossier City, LA                  Grace - Pensacola, FL
       Redeemer - Mandeville, 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.

Rev. Ron Millard, Immanuel-St. Charles, MO to Immanuel-Bossier City, LA ~ Declined
Rev. Louis Boldt, St. Paul-Hammond, LA to Emmanuel-Aurora, IL ~ Pending
Rev. Aaron Stinnett, Redeemer-Mandeville, LA to St. Paul, Parkersburg-WV ~ Accepted
Rev. Karl Hollibaugh to St. James, Gonzales, LA ~ Accepted


Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People 

95th Anniversary Service -- Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Prattville, AL

Rev. Jeff Hesterman, Pastor

~ December

Anniversary of Ordination



Baptism of Gabriel Smith at Church of the Holy Spirit on Sunday December 3, 2017  

 The congregation of Redemption Lutheran Church, Panama City, FL pooled together to raise funds to purchase and distribute,Thanksgiving Baskets to identified needy families in the Panama City area.This function received funds through the Thrivent Action Team program.  We had a fish fry and sold dinners at the church on Saturday Nov 18th, 2017.  This function provided an evangelistic opportunity, and fellowship with community and friends. We are thankful to God and for those who joined in this effort. 

Submitted by Vivian Mike and Blondene Humes.
Military Appreciation Banquet
  The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd is located just one mile west of Mississippi's largest Air Force training facility, Keesler Air Force Base. Keesler is home to the 81 st  training wing, which handles more than 28,000 students annually, in 400 courses covering 37 different career fields. Keesler trains not only Air Force, but Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and other civilian federal agency personnel. Furthermore, many of Good Shepherd's members are active duty, veterans, or widows of veterans who have served in our country's military.
In an effort of outreach into the community in which God has placed them, the members of Good Shepherd formed a partnership with Keesler's Chaplain Corp to recognize our service members, both past and present, with a Military Appreciation Banquet on November 10, 2017, Veteran's Day Eve. Good Shepherd's veterans gathered with Kessler personnel and enjoyed a fellowship meal together. Keynote speaker Chaplain Gary Danielson, Coordinator for the LCMS's Ministry to the Armed Forces Operation Barnabas, gave and inspiring address of the sacrifices that military service involves. A catered meal was provided with the help of a Southern District Kindle Grant and Thrivent Action Team grant.
Many of the poignant moments of the evening included Chaplain Danielson's display of WWI letters written home 100 years ago. During the evening photos were taken of a representative of every branch of our country's military gathered around a cake with the five seals from the different branches of service. Those represented including Chaplain Danielson on behalf of the Army, and the Southern District's own Mission Executive, Rev. Eric Johnson, representing the Coast Guard. The evening concluded with and impromptu group rendition of God Bless America.
Additionally, on Veteran's Day, November 11, 2017 Chaplain Danielson trained members of Good Shepherd, St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Gulfport, and others, about why and how we can reach out to service men and women and be better informed about the needs they have. Even as Good Shepherd seeks to be an Operation Barnabas congregation, the information presented was applicable to anyone seeking to serve those that serve.
Even as Jesus sent His followers out into the community to love God, and to love their neighbor, The Good Shepherd has sent the members of His flock out to love Him and to love the community around them, today. This included the members serving at Keesler AFB, and men and women who have given their life in service and sacrifice to others, so that He may be with them always.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matt 28:18-20).

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change" (James 1:17). 

Here are some gift giving insights from Synod's November StewardCAST newsletter. It is comforting to appreciate how much our district Stewardship Southern Style is in step with our synod stewardship emphasis on the Gospel and maki ng disciples. 

Prepositional Stewardship. Stewardship has been described as what the Christian gives TO. This makes sense. Theoretically, the steward gives a gift TO the Lord. Practically, this is done most often TO the local congregation. This allows the congregation, then by extension district and Synod, to be active in mission and ministry. But TO is not the only preposition that is often connected to stewardship. There is also extensive use of the word FROM. The faithful Christian steward gives their gifts FROM gratitude to the goodness of the Lord. The Lord gives, and the steward gives FROM a desire to respond. This can only happen when the steward is willing to engage two stewardship questions: "How has God blessed me and how is He calling  me to respond?" 

Forward and outward. There is, however, yet one more preposition that better captures the essence of a faithful steward. That preposition is THROUGH. In the creation account in general, the call of the steward is to work and keep the creation for the sake of others. The working and keeping of the steward was never for self. It was always a forward and outward movement. The steward was to work and keep the creation for generations to come! 
   But this forward and outward nature of stewardship forms the way that the forgiven and restored steward is to carry out their task of being a steward. Forward and outward are the directions of the Gospel! The Lord Jesus went forward and outward from His eternal throne to secure the recreation. At cross and tomb, Jesus sets right the order that stewardship failures  s of all time had messed up. From that complete work of death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit has poured forward and outward, calling failed stewards to repentance and faith in Jesus! Working through the Gospel, the fallen and restored steward is set free from the fear of death and is restored to the task of working and keeping! 

Stewarding the Gospel. The first and foremost treasure entrusted to His stewards is the treasure that is the Gospel. The work of the steward is now to be about stewarding the Gospel. Every gift of the created order is used by the faithful Christian steward for the sake of the delivery of the Gospel to others. Yes, this does include financial stewardship. But it is also so much more. It is the investment of all that we are and have in being faithful caretakers and  sharers, not owners of what God has done for us in Christ. The Holy Spirit working through the individual stewards that make up the corporate stewardship of the local congregation, district and Synod is inherently a missional act. Stewardship that flows through the conduit of the faithful steward to the world in need is the kind of stewardship that the Scriptures teach! 

   It is time that the church stops focusing on the TO and FROM, for these allow for ownership mentality to still sneak in. It is time for us to move to a stewardship understanding that is THROUGH God working in and through His stewards for the sake of the kingdom.

Submitted by Gary Grubb, 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. 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)
    • Rev. David Robatzen (Luth Church of the Resurrection - Pensacola, FL)
    • Rev. Bernard Ansorge (Ascension - Huntsville, AL)
    • Rev. Anthony Robinson (Christ - Tuscaloosa, AL and Epiphany - Arlington, AL)
    • Mrs. Nancy Kaul (SD Board of Directors Member) Hattiesburg, MS
    • Mrs. Grace Yunker, wife of Rev. Arthur Yunker (Emeritus - Mobile, 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