This Ministry
That We Share

       Southern District - LCMS
    July 1, 2018

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On Saturday, June 30, 2018, newly-elected President Rev. Eric C. Johnson; Vice Presidents, Circuit Visitors, and Board of Directors were installed during a special worship service at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Slidell, LA. Please pray for these elected leaders, as they begin the important task of walking alongside all of us, in the mission the Lord has laid before us.

The service was followed by a superb lunch of homemade sausage, sauerkraut, fried catfish, crawfish etouffee, and dessert - not to mention, homebrew and Sno-Balls! Those who attended the day's festivities express their thanks to Good Shepherd for being such gracious hosts, cooks, and brewers; also to Lamb of God for providing desserts!

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  HERE.

The Synod is issuing the first call for nominations for the 2019 convention.  For information regarding this process, please go to or click  here to go directly to the website.
District Mission Support Trends

        2016                    2017                    2018     
Total Budget                 $900,000            $900,000        $820,000

Budgeted Income           $450,000               $450,000             $410,000 
through 06/30

Actual Income                  $398,484               $390,983            $393,956
through 06/30
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 May/June issue of SOS are due by August 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)

July 15, 2018
10 AM
130th Anniversary
Service and Potluck Lunch to Follow
First English Lutheran Church
Metairie, LA
October 1-3, 2018
noon - noon
Pastors and Professional Church Workers Conference Banquet Room
100 Mission Dr., Slidell, LA


       Hope - Santa Rosa Beach, FL (Associate)

         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.

Rev. Corey J. Grunklee,  Christ, Lubbock, TX to Hope, Santa Rosa Beach, FL ~ Pending

Rev. Kermit C. Bostelman, Zion, Anderson, TX to Redeemer, DeRidder, LA ~ Pending

Rev. Nathan Ragazinskas, Our Saviour, Des Moines, IA to Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Pensacola, FL ~ Accepted

Rev. Brent Kuhlman, Trinity, Murdock, NE to Redeemer, Mandeville, LA ~ Returned

Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People 
130th Anniversary ~ First English, New Orleans, LA

~ July 
Anniversary of Ordination
55th ~ Rev. Bernard (Bernie) Ansorge, Ascension, Huntsville, AL
55th ~ Rev. Siegfried (Sig) Kunz, Emeritus, Immanuel, Bossier City, LA
55th ~ Rev. Dr. J. Mark Kuehnert, Emeritus, Vestavia Hills, Birmingham, AL

45th ~ Rev. James P. Brown, Emeritus, St. Matthew, Pensacola, FL
45th ~ Rev. Dr. Warren H. Davis, Emeritus, Jehovah, Pensacola, FL
45th ~ Rev. Dr. Ulmer Marshall, Trinity, Mobile, AL & Bethel, Point Clear, AL

20th ~ Rev. Martin S. Gilliland, Good Shepherd, Slidell, LA & Chaplain, Memorial Hospital, Gulfport, MS

15th ~ Rev. Wesley T. Kan, Emeritus, Good Shepherd, Panama City, FL
15th ~ Rev. Victor (Vic) Maslowski, Branchpoint, MS

5th ~ Rev. Daniel Carlson, Milaca, MN

St. Mark's Lutheran in Elberta hosted its Vacation Bible School during the first week of June.  The theme was Splash Canyon.  Children learned that life is full of thrills and spills; we may not know what's around the bend, but God does and He is always by their side.  The children raised money for Mission Madagascar, where their offerings would purchase books and bibles for children who are not able to afford them.  Children were also invited to continue learning about Jesus on Sundays at Sunday School at 8:45 AM and at one of the four church services each week: Sundays at 7:30 and 9:45 AM, Mondays at 6PM at the Bretz farm on Bretz Lane in Elberta, or Wednesdays in the Parish Hall at 7 PM.  

Christ Academy at Concordia Theological Seminary (CTSFW) 
Fort Wayne, Indiana.

For young men in grades nine to twelve, Christ Academy from June 17-30 was an opportunity to explore the vocation of pastor, learn what it is like to live and learn on campus, and to meet other theologically-minded men their age.  Those attending from the Southern District are pictured below.

PHOTO ID (left to right):
Jake Everly (Christ Lutheran Church, Jackson MS)
Proctor Michael Thalheim (Grace Lutheran Church, Houma LA)
William Nelson (Christ Lutheran Church, Jackson MS)

Regional Youth Partnerships
 LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission 

"not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Heb. 10:25).

A recent article in Reporter highlighted the importance of relationships when working with youth. Western Kansas churches have been providing opportunities for collaborative youth events, with the hope of creating stronger friendships and stronger faith among the participants, for over 40 years.
One such event is the winter Confirmation Retreat, hosted by Circuits 15 and 16, which draws participants from the western side of Kansas. This is an annual event, and not only do the youth learn about the Catechism, but they also learn that the Body of Christ is larger than their rural congregations.

The 2018 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference will be 
held Nov. 8-10 in Kansas City, Mo., at the Hilton Kansas City Airport.
visit this website for registration info                                    

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

Click here or go to
for the online brochure or contact us for more information.

Diana Ringers
Lutheran Braille Workers, Inc (LBW)
Seeking applicants for the position of President

The President is the key management leader of the organization (headquarters office in Yucaipa, California), and is responsible for overseeing the administration and programs of LBW in accord with the LBW strategic plan as developed by the Board of Directors. Other key responsibilities include engaging with the staff, the volunteers, and the recipients of LBW materials and services, and managing finances including fund raising and marketing. The position reports directly to the Board of Directors.

Lutheran Braille Workers is a Registered Service Organization of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, committed to reaching and serving people who are blind and visually impaired throughout the world by providing them with the Good News of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. LBW is the largest faith-based producer of FREE Braille, Large Print, and Audio in the world. We provide Bibles, or portions of the Bible, together with other Christ-centered publications in multiple languages to individuals and organizations around the world. The production of these materials is accomplished through the work of over 3,000 volunteers at 100+ work centers in 32 states. In addition to the publishing operations, over 50 Outreach Centers in the US directly touch the lives of people who are visually impaired. LBW is praising God and celebrating His blessings through 75 years of ministry in 2018.

Applications for the position of President are now being accepted through September 15, 2018. Please send via email and include a letter of interest and a detailed resume. 

A detailed position description is available.

Applications and inquiries should be directed to the following contact. 

Mr. Ken Loeber, Vice-Chair of LBW Board and Chair of the President Search Committee


phone: 405-620-3201

mail: 2304 Foxwood Circle, Edmond, OK 73034

Full Job Description, link here

Stewardship: Planning and Doing

As many of our congregations are experiencing declining membership and attendance, as well as "greying", and are looking for options, we believe it is time for a message saying simply it is time to begin just using God's already given gifts. Purposeful action always begins with a plan, and in churches planning is pure stewardship--the purposeful use of God's gifts. Unfortunately, organizational planning has morphed into something with its own peculiar, secretive zen of authoritative sounding books and programs to the point that many congregations elect "to continue doing what we have always done". What makes planning seem too hard is a vocabulary with innumerable recipes for preambles, mission statements, values statements, vectors, criteria, facilitators, etc. Nothing exotic has occurred beyond determining where you are, deciding what you want to become (creating a vision statement), listing what must be done to get there and then allocating resources, both human and financial. Every organization knows where it is, determining what it wants to become is the first step in active stewardship and planning, and agreement isn't usually easy to achieve. However, everything begins with crafting a short, two or no more than three sentence descriptions of what a congregation would like to become. God gives us three Biblical tasks: (1) care for the members of our congregation, (2) care for those outside our congregation who are hurting or alone in the world (the sick, unjustly in prison, or grieving, etc.), and (3) to take His word to all the world. We then select what we want to emphasize, usually proportioned to all 3. To be effective a vision statement must be short, one the entire congregation can understand, take to heart and explain. Then the real work of stewardship begins; evaluating, changing and doing. Stewardship is not a verb, the old school litany of I run, we run, they run makes no sense as I stewardship, we stewardship, they stewardship. Using all verbs stemming from God's gifts is stewardship. A church is a system of systems, where what we experience is created by several individual gift using systems, or ministries, which all too often become stovepipes without consideration for the overall effect. Balancing the use of our gifts is stewardship, not a year-end balance sheet or committee report. As one prophetic member said, "If everyone had a close relationship with Jesus, we wouldn't need a Stewardship Committee". Studying and evaluating individual systems that use the gifts of time, talent, treasure and testimony all too frequently reveals we have concentrated our time and treasure on our buildings and programs, almost becoming worshipers of the history of our bricks and mortar, virtually ignoring the three tasks God gave his church on earth. Change sounds easy and doable, but obfuscation and obstruction inevitably arise when determining changes to budget dollars and worship practices. That is why simplicity and getting the congregation to take the goals to heart is overwhelmingly important. With a vision, actions become logical and straightforward. Prayer along the way is also essential to get past shrinking, greying and disappearance. Without taking this first step of corporate stewardship, writing an effective vision statement for a plan, our Synodical President's estimation that we will shrink by half a million members will certainly come to pass. The Stewardship Committee is equipped and available for assistance, and additional sound counsel can be garnered from Pastor Johnson's Coaching, Pastor Scheler's work at Hope in Santa Rosa Beach and Pastor Angerman's 24 to Double effort at Good Shepherd Shalimar. We are certain there are additional successful efforts in the District, will share as we learn of them. 

Don Panzenhagen, Interim Chairperson of the Stewardship Committee


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  (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