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This Ministry
That We Share

       Southern District - LCMS
    January 1, 2017

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Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." 2 Cor. 5:17
It can be frightening to stand at the beginning of a new year and ponder what the future holds. As evil grows, attacking us and our families, we can become fearful of the days ahead. The apostle Paul warned all believe rs in Jesus that life will be a daily struggle with the devil.
The key to a life of victory over the devil is all wrapped up in being "in Christ." The expression "in Christ" appears some 200 times in the New Testament. To be "in Christ" describes many aspects of the Christian life. For a believer to know that he is "in Christ" brings confidence, joy, and eternal hope. St. Paul writes, " for to me, to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21). The Bible tells us that believers are "hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).
One cannot help but be excited about, and strongly desire, the great blessings the Bible promises to all who are "in Christ." If God's great blessing comes to those "in Christ," then do we, and our families, become united with Christ, both in His sin-defeating death and in His life-giving resurrection?
The Bible says "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might w alk in newness of life. FOR IF WE HAVE BECOME UNITED WITH HIM IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH, CERTAINLY WE SHALL BE ALSO IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION" (Romans 6:35).
In Galatians 3:27 we read: "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."  Baptism is more than a ritual or a ceremony.  Baptism is not a mere tradition of men.  Baptism is a clear teaching of God in His Word.  In baptism God is at work, bringing us into the family of God.  Through baptism God miraculously unites us with  Christ.  Baptism is part of God's ongoing creating, and recreating, power that He used to create the whole world. Jesus said, "My Father is working until now, and I myself am working" (John 5:17). In baptism we become "in Christ," and "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV).
The joy and power of baptism is crucial to the correct understanding of the New Testament and the strengthening of the Christian life.  Through baptism we are miraculously connected to Christ and all His power for life.  Through baptism Christ unites us to Himself, to His cross and resurrection, the only foundation and strength for all Christians.  Through baptism God promises us power to overcome Satan, strength for a daily life of joy, and the blessed certainty of the final resurrection "in Christ," unto life eternal.


Camp Restore Baton Rouge has been established at Trinity Oaks. Through partnerships with organizations like Camp Restore New Orleans, Orphan Grain Train, Lutheran Church Charities, and many others, they are able to provide volunteers the food, lodging, and work-sites needed. They are currently taking volunteer groups of all sizes and skill levels. If you wish to receive more information about volunteering, contact DCE Nick Butcher at  or check out
There is still a need for donations -- Nick has set up an Amazon wish list for Camp Supplies ( and is always in need of staple supplies such as chips, sweet snack foods, granola bars, and Gatorade.  If you would like more information about the needs of camp or would like to donate in other ways, please contact Nick Butcher.

These can be delivered to the Southern District Office at 100 Mission Dr., Slidell, LA Monday through  Thursday8 AM to 5 PM or sent directly to Camp Restore, 15160 S Harrell's Ferry Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70816.
                     ANCHORS AWAY!     cruise-ship-banner2.jpg

Greetings to all cruisers!
Cruise documents are now ready to print.
With Your Booking Number follow this link and complete all required information. Then print your boarding documents and luggage tags.  You must complete this information before printing documents.
Other items to remember:
Once you board the ship please proceed immediately to the Lido Deck - deck #9 by the glass elevators and look for the District Hospitality Table where you will pick up the conference schedule before the muster drill.
If you are interested in meeting with Rev. Dr. Rick Armstrong onboard the ship of the Ministerial Assistance Program be sure and contact him to arrange a time that works for you both. You can schedule ahead of time by calling him at 407-644-4692 or email at He will be in Cabin #9222 which you can call on the ship or put a note under his door as well.
Presenters are Jock and Gail Ficken of PLI. Come and be inspired and re-energized.
Be sure and take your Travel Insurance with you on the cruise.
Also remember an extension cord and/or power strip for CPAP's etc. A different colored highlighter for each person cruising is helpful to track the activities in Carnival Fun Times news daily.
Did you forget to secure a hotel room? This saves cost of parking at the dock. Please contact Ginger if last minute availability is needed. Optional discounted parking at is available as well with a free shuttle.
Have you looked at Shore Trips options ? Shore Trips (  has put together some special group pricing if you are interested. I had them send a special email to you with these options for your review. Use your email you registered with to be taken directly to the options available.
If you have questions of the Conference committee please contact Stewart Marshall at   or Jason Scheler at
Ginger Kramp is happy to assist with any and all questions. You may contact Ginger at or 601-991-1109.

District Mission Support Trends

        2014               2015               2016
Total Budget             $1,100,000         $900,000        $900,000

Budgeted Income        $1,100,000            $900,000           $900,000             
through 12/31

Actual Income                   $922,035                $911,618          $829,960
through 12/31



Remember that submissions for the January/February issue of SOS are due by January 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)

January 30-February 4
Southern District Pastors' Conference Cruise

1st Annual SDCL Conference
The Intersection of Liturgy and Catechesis
January 22-24, 2017
St. Paul's Lutheran Church-Cullman, AL
Sunday, January 22

7:00pm-Opening Divine Service
8:00pm-Depart for hotels
Monday, January 23
9:30am-Donuts & Coffee/Fellowship
10:00am-Pr. Burnell Eckardt: "Considering and Parsing the Center of the Liturgy:
                                                    Part 1 - Preface and Sanctus"
A consideration of the integral connection of the chief parts of the historic mass to each other, from a Biblical and liturgical point of view, and why this matters in catechesis.
11:30am-Q and A
11:45am-Announcements/Prepare for lunch at the church
1:00pm-Pr. Burnell Eckardt: "Considering and Parsing the Center of the Liturgy:
                                                   Part 2 - Our Father and Verba"
2:30pm-Q and A
4:00pm-Depart for Goat Island Brewery tour
6:00pm-Dinner (Pastors and spouses are invited to Dinner at Pr. Bussman's house)
Tuesday, January 24
9:30am-Coffee & Donuts/Fellowship
9:45am-Pr. Larry Beane: "Reformation vs. Revolution: Year 501 and Beyond"
11:15am-Q and A
11:45am-Announcements/Prepare for lunch at the church
1:00pm-Pr. John Bussman: "From Font to Feast: Reclaiming Lutheran Identity through 
                                                Liturgical Catechesis"
2:30pm-Q and A
3:30pm-Closing Divine Service
After Closing Service*:
4:30pm-Depart for Ave Maria Grotto or the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament
7:00pm-Dinner together at a local restaurant
8:00pm-Pastors are invited to return to the church for camaraderie
*We will conclude our formal activities with the Divine Service. We certainly invite all to stay the evening for camaraderie and fellowship, but you are free to depart for home as necessary. If you are able to stay the night, you will be free to leave first thing in the morning.
Registration Information:
Full Conference Registration: $50 per person
Register online at sdconfessionallutherans.wordpress.comRegister by email at Or register by phone by calling 337-375-6288. Online registration is preferred.
A block of rooms has been reserved at the brand new La Quinta Inn & Suites in Cullman at a special discounted rate of $89. When you call to reserve your room, indicate that you are with "St. Paul's Lutheran Church."
La Quinta Inn & Suites
2054 St Joseph Dr NW, Cullman, AL 35055
Phone: (256) 775-9500
We have worked to keep the conference costs low to make this opportunity accessible to as many people as possible. The offering from the two Divine Services will help offset additional conference costs.



       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

Rev. Aaron Kretzschmar, St. John's, LaPorte, IN to St. Paul's, Decatur, AL  ~ Pending
Rev. Bruce Hanson, Our Savior, Mobile, AL to First, Blytheville, AR ~ Accepted


Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People 

Anniversary of Ordination


Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Germany
Join Pastor Keith and Diana Ringers on an Enchanting Rhine and Reformation Tour Nov. 11-20, 2017.   Fly to Amsterdam and board a luxurious river cruise ship for five days down the Rhine and Rhine Gorge, stopping at Cologne, Koblenz, Mainz, Worms, Speyer, and Heidelberg.  Then spend four days on the land tour visiting Wartburg Castle, Erfurt, Eisleben, and Wittenberg.  The guest speaker on this EO faith based trip is Lutheran pastor, Rev. Keith Loesch,  founder and past director of the Wittenberg English Ministry in Germany.   For more information, click here for a brochure or contact Keith Ringers at
This is the Ringers' third trip with EO (Educational Opportunities), the Holy Land in 2016 and the Footsteps of St. Paul cruise in 2013 and they recommend this travel company highly.

Thank you!
Diana Ringers
Caring and Sharing
   On Saturday, November 19th from 10am to 2pm, 29 people from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church - Panama City, FL took part in the annual Caring and Sharing food drive for Santa Rosa County.  For 3 weeks prior to the event members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School gathered over $1,000 worth of canned and dry goods.
   At the Saturday Food drive event 29 members helped sort and box up food for 210 disadvantaged families so that they could have a nice Thanksgiving.  It is important to remember those less fortunate during the holidays.  Leftover food was boxed and will be used to make food baskets for Christmas.  A Thrivent Action Team grant was used as seed money for this event.
Submitted by: Bonnie Karmie


Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Lillian, Alabama hosted the first Christmas event of the 2016 season in the Lillian area on December 4th, 2016.  We have hosted this annual event for the past 10 years and the attendance has risen each year.  All the area churches participated by providing instrumentalists, soloists, and choirs. The program consisted of Scripture readings and Christmas carols sung by everyone in attendance.  The Song Fest is very inspiring as it ushers in the beginning of the Christmas season in Lillian.
The event was free to the public and was attended by approximately 300 community members and friends.
Our LWML ladies and Thrivent Financial Action Team members planned, prepared, served and  volunteered as clean up helpers.  We also had an area with decorated boxes to receive donated non-perishable food items which will help to stock the shelves for our church community Food Pantry.
Click here for a PDF of the convention registration form.


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


The family of Mr. John Heine, who entered the Church Triumphant on Fri., Dec. 30.  Mr. Heine was a long-time member of Prince of Peace - New Orleans, LA and at the time of his death was an active member at Atonement - Metairie, LA.  Mr. Heine was currently serving as the Chairman of the Southern District Board of Directors.  Services were held on Jan. 3, 2017. 
  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. Perry McCullam (Unity - Birmingham, 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