This Ministry
That We Share

       Southern District - LCMS
    July 15, 2017

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Dear God and Father, we thank you for your infinite goodness and love to us.  You do continually keep us in your word, in faith, and in prayer.  By this we know how to walk before you in humility and in fear.  By this we are not proud of our own wisdom, righteousness, skill, and strength, but glory alone in your power.  You are strong when we are weak, and through our weakness you win daily and gain the victory.  We pray for you to so nurture us that we may be to you as beautiful pleasure gardens so that many people may enjoy our fruits and be attracted through us to all godliness. Write into our hearts, by your Holy Spirit, whatever is abundantly found in Scripture.  Let us constantly keep it in mind, and permit it to become far more precious to us than our own life and all else that we cherish on earth.  Help us to live and act accordingly.  To you be praise and thanks in eternity.  Amen.

Registration Closes --  October 8, 2017
 All Memorials due --  October 8, 2017
 All Nominations due --  November 1, 2017
 Hotel Block Rate Ends --  January 27, 2018

Any Southern District congregation, meeting in assembly, may submit nominations for offices of the Southern District. Positions open for nomination, nomination forms, and nomination deadlines, are available on our  website: 

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 

August 24 & 25

Hosted in NOLA by Broadmoor Community Church (Formerly Gloria Dei) 


This conference is being presented  FREE  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.

District Mission Support Trends

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

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

Actual Income                $415,909                 $398,484           $390,983
through 06/30



Remember that submissions for the July/August issue of SOS are due by July 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)


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
Mobile, AL
November 19-21, 2017
2017-2018 Annual Teachers' Conference Grace Lutheran Church and School, Huntsville, AL


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

       Trinity - Monroe, 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. Dr. Kevin Wyssmann (Bethany, Overland Park, KS) to Trinity, Monroe, LA ~ Call Returned
Rev. Eric E. Klemme (Bethany, Chicago, IL) to Christ the King, Natchitoches, LA ~ Call Accepted


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


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
WHAT:    Annual Conference
WHERE: Grace Lutheran School and Church, Huntsville, Alabama
WHEN:    Sunday, November 19 - Tuesday, November 21
WHY:      For Professional Growth, Worship, and Camaraderie

For more information, contact Glenn Gerber or
  the Conference Chairman, Tom Naatz at Grace, Huntsville

JULY 2, 2017


On July 9th Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Panama City, FL. celebrated the 25th anniversary of their pastor's ordination.  Rev. Randal Ehrichs has served them as their pastor for 14 of his 25 years in the Holy Ministry.  The congregation went all out for this joyous occasion. Rev. Ehrich's 7 children and 8 grandchildren came from all over the country to participate in the day's activities. He says the most moving event of the day was to have all his 7 children together in the Divine Service where they sang the anthem of the day, "Send O Lord Your Holy Spirit", the hymn that was sung during his ordination at Zion Lutheran Church in Denison, Iowa.

Three were confirmed Sunday at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Atmore, AL on May 7, 2017.
From left to right are Jacob Evans, Taheya McGhee, Tuari McGhee.  Standing in back is Rev. Benjamin Stallworth.

 Southern District LERT Training
When disaster strikes, lives are turned upside down. Survivors often need food, clothing, shelter, and spiritual care as they begin to cope with tragedy and loss. Responding to these hurting people is a vital part of who we are as member of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. We show mercy and love to our communities because of the great grace and love that God has first shown us in Christ Jesus.
Join a Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) training event near you to learn how congregations and even individual members like you can be better prepared to show Christ's love to the community when a disaster strikes. Attendees will receive training in the following areas:
The LCMS Disaster Response Program
  • Christian Care in Times of Disaster
  • Congregation Preparedness
  • Engaging the Community Response
  • The LERT Program
  • Safety and Equipment
  • General Volunteer Opportunities
Attendees will receive an LCMS Disaster Response
(1)   C redential that will give them credibility as they enter disaster zones in a coordinated and collaborative effort to assist those in need. 
(2) LERT Vest
(3) LERT Training Manual.
Southern District LERT Training Schedule
Cost is $35 per person.
August 12:  From 8-12 a.m.
            Our Redeemer Lutheran Church,
            1799 Clinton Raymond Rd.
            Clinton, MS 39056
Contact Milly Helgeson for registration information.  Home: 601-497-6636 or cell 303-547-5350.
August 26:  From 8-12 a.m.
            Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
            2456 Decatur Hwy.
            Gardendale, AL 35071
Contact Pastor Ed Brashier for registration information.
Cell 205-296-3714 or E-Mail,      
To Host a LERT Training Event for your congregation or circuit contact the Southern District Disaster Response Coordinator,
& Director of Shepherd's Heart Ministry
Pastor Ed Brashier at Cell 205-296-3714 or E-Mail,


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.  

To view these,  click here

Here are the purpose statements for the Stewardship of Our Congregations project. Provide a proof of concept that demonstrates through words and actions that we are ALL in this together when it comes to making disciples for Jesus Christ. Make a firm statement that a Lutheran presence in a community is important to us ALL whether it's connecting and/or revitalizing current congregations or making a new church plant. The project is designed to provide a way to connect small congregations across the district.

So, what is a small congregation? Did you know that 31 percent of the congregations in our district worship 25 to 50 people on an average Sunday? Moreover, 17 percent worship fewer than 25 people.  Bottom line is this: congregations, several district committees, and the Board of Directors will all have a role in developing and implementing this "Culture of Partnership" strategy.  
Just this past week, God provided an awesome opportunity for us to ADVANCE THE CONVERSATION with pastors from potential host congregations in Circuit 12. It was a special blessing to have President Kurtis Schultz, MMF Eric Johnson and VP Pastor Tony Ramsey to help facilitate the conversation. The pastors of candidate Host Congregations for two shared ministry clusters, identified the initial priority topics to discuss with Host and Satellite congregations. They presented practical challenges, raised important questions, and during our short time together suggested possible approaches for their potential ministry cluster. The priority effort is to develop and communicate with Host and Satellite congregations the advantages and disadvantages of connecting with available digital technology to help meet each congregation's Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care ministry needs. These are example topics that will be addressed in proposals and options for each ministry cluster.  
  • Time, frequency and location of worship services (alternative if pastor not in onsite rotation)
  • Sermon message (ministry cluster specific, real time, playback)
  • Bible studies (ministry cluster specific, real time, playback)
  • Communion (frequency, Pastor presence)
  • Technology available (satellite/land line, portability, record for delayed playback)
  • Training and coaching (technology)
We are excited about helping work 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. Contact information and the project brochure are on the District Stewardship web page.  

Gary Grubb, Stewardship 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) 
  • 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)
    • Mr. Don Panzenhagen, Southern District Stewardship Committee
    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