The Steadfastness of The Lord
"For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come...nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 8:38-39
We live our lives at a frenetic pace. Technology moves at breakneck speed and everything is in flux. We feel rootless and blown to and fro by every wind of change. Time has become our most precious commodity, because it is so limited.
We wonder at Jacob's working seven years for Rachel's hand in marriage, and then seven more years because Laben tricked him. In most cases that solution would be unacceptable today. Fourteen years is just too much time. Think of how much life one would miss as time passed by. (Gen. 29:15-28) Yet Jacob did it! He had an anchor to steady him, a stability to rely on, and a rock on which to stand as the winds of circumstance and injustice buffeted him. He had a covenant with God. "He is mindful of his covenant for ever, of the word that he commanded for a thousand generations." (Ps 105:8). He could find stability in his God and the eternal covenant that was between them.
As Christians, we too have the promise of stability, a covenant, an everlasting kingdom that is secure and timeless. The parable of the mustard seed that grows into a great tree and provides shelter and security for the birds of the air is a picture of that kingdom. Paul in the eighth chapter of Romans describes God's love for us, a love so secure that it will stand fast in all things throughout eternity. It is the sure foundation for us in this here-today-and-gone-tomorrow world.
Don't take the new covenant for granted. Don't minimize the kingdom's importance. Know that its acquisition has come at a price only Jesus could pay.
Bless, Lord, all who seek the steadfastness of your kingdom in this chaotic and stressful world. And give us the faith, that we have it as our own. Amen
IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER! **
Registration Closes -- October 8, 2017
All Memorials due -- October 8, 2017
All Nominations due -- November 1, 2017
Hotel Block Rate Ends -- January 27, 2018
NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN!
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
"SAVE THE DATE"
August 24 & 25
Hosted in NOLA by Broadmoor Community Church (Formerly Gloria Dei)
A MUST-HAVE COMMUNITY CONNECTING TOOL
This conference is being presented
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 24 & 25 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.
OUR STEWARDSHIP OF HIS RESOURCES
District Mission Support Trends
2015 2016 2017
$900,000 $900,000 $900,000
Budgeted Income $450,000 $450,000
Actual Income $415,909 $398,484 $390,983
SPIRIT OF SOUTHERN SUBMISSIONS
Remember that submissions for the July/August issue of SOS are due by July 15. The preferred means for receiving submissions is by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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)
|July 7-10, 2017
||SAVE THE DATE!!
Sr. Youth Retreat
|Blue Horizon Camp
Panama City Beach, FL
|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
|November 19-21, 2017
||2017-2018 Annual Teachers' Conference
||Grace Lutheran Church and School, Huntsville, AL
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATIONS
Holy Cross - Mobile, AL Hope - Santa Rosa Beach, FL (Associate)
Trinity - Monroe, LA
Christ the King - Natchitoches, LA
If your congregation has extended a call, or had a call returned, please remember to notify the Southern District office.
~ CALLED TO SERVE ~
Rev. Dr. Kevin Wyssmann (Bethany, Overland Park, KS) to Trinity, Monroe, LA ~ Pending
Rev. Eric E. Klemme (Bethany, Chicago, IL) to Christ the King, Natchitoches, LA ~ Pending
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People
150th Anniversary - Grace Lutheran Church, Mobile, Alabama
Rev. Wayne Miller, Pastor
~ JULY ~
Anniversary of Ordination
45th - Jon L. Wuerffel - Emeritus, Grace - Destin, FL
35th - Samuel McPeek - Faith - Lafayette, LA
20th - Clarence Martin - St. Matthew - Pensacola, FL
15th - Kevin Kieschnick - St. Paul - New Orleans, LA
15th - Brandon Simoneaux - Christ Our Savior - Harvey, LA
10th - Paul Ernewein - The Village - Lacombe, LA
10th - Christopher Sutton - U.S. Navy Chaplain, Japan
SAVE THE DATE:
ANNUAL TEACHERS' CONFERENCE
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
: Annual Conference
WHERE: Grace Lutheran School and Church, Huntsville, Alabama
Sunday, November 19 - Tuesday, November 21
WHY: For Professional Growth, Worship, and Camaraderie
For more information, contact Glenn Gerber email@example.com or
the Conference Chairman, Tom Naatz at Grace, Huntsville
BEST PRACTICES FOR MINISTRY: HEARTLAND
OCTOBER 11 - 13, 2017
Southern Indiana in October! For the past two years Best Practices for Ministry: Heartland has been located in Carmel, Indiana. This year, it is in a new location-just a few miles south in Columbus. St. Peter's Lutheran will be hosting Best Practices: Heartland on October 11-13 and we can't wait because of how beautiful October is! Fall in the Midwest: leaves are changing to bright colors, the air is a little cooler, and the seasons of pumpkins are on the horizon.
VBS AT SHEPHERD OF THE BAY
Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church completed another successful 5 days of VBS. The children that attended had a wonderful time and all the lessons, crafts, snacks, and play focused on our theme, A MIGHTY FORTRESS - IN JESUS, THE VICTORY IS WON! This Concordia Publishing House program was VBS with a purpose as the Lutheran church is celebrating its 500th year anniversary of the Reformation.
A very special thanks to Thrivent Financial for making it possible to obtain all the materials, supplies, snacks and Thrivent shirts for all the children. Their assistance made our VBS possible.
And, a very, very special thanks to the Lillian Volunteer Fire Department who drove their fire trucks to the church and supplied gallons and gallons of water they sprayed on the children during our
Friday water fun day. We finished our water fun day with the children running through the sprinkler in our playground area.
We ended our program with an old fashioned ice cream social sundae party and a hot dogs and chips lunch for all the children, VBS helpers, parents and visitors.
SOUTHERN DISTRICT 500TH ANNIVERSARY of the REFORMATION CELEBRATIONS
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.
FREEDOM TO SERVE AS STEWARDS OF GOD'S GIFTS
This month we celebrate 241 years of religious freedom as one nation under God. As God's people, we are reminded of our freedom to serve one another. "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another." (Galatians 5:13)
We are all in this together. 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. Walking together with Synod, we have defined 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."
As we enter the second half of the year, please review your partnership commitment and consider submitting a partnership form if you haven't already done so. The partnership process and partnering opportunities are easy to find on the stewardship web pages. The Connecting to Grow in Ministry information about the Stewardship of Our Congregations project is located there too. We are currently coordinating calendars to meet with pastors and lay leaders from potential host and satellite congregations in Circuit 12. We are excited about working 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 using contact information on the
District Stewardship Who We Are web page.
WE LIFT UP IN PRAYER. . .
The family of Rev. Dr. Edgar Homrighausen who entered the Church Triumphant on June 16, 2017. Rev. Homrighausen served at First English-New Orleans (1950-53 and 1965-69), St. Paul-Cullman, AL (1959-65), Gloria Dei-New Orleans (1974-92) and The Village-Lacombe, LA (1992-2007) He served as Southern District President from 1957-1969. Rev. Homrighausen served on numerous boards and committees throughout his long career. Services were on June 23 at Schoen's Funeral Home in New Orleans, LA.
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. 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)
- 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)
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.