We Are Justified Not in Ourselves but in Christ
He will prove the world wrong...about righteousness, because I am going to the Father.
This righteousness is completely concealed not only from the world but also from the saints. It is not a thought, a word, or a work in ourselves. No, it is entirely outside and above us; it is Christ's going to the Father, that is his suffering, resurrection, and ascension. Christ placed this outside the sphere of our senses; we cannot see and feel it. The only way it can be grasped is by faith in the Word preached about him, which tells us that he himself is our righteousness. Thus St. Paul says, Christ "became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1:30), in order that before God we may boast not of ourselves but solely of this Lord.
This is a peculiar righteousness. It is strange indeed that we are to be called righteous or to possess a righteousness that is really nothing whatever in us but is entirely outside us in Christ. Yet it becomes truly ours by reason of his grace and gift, as though we ourselves had achieved and earned it. Reason, of course, cannot comprehend this way of speaking, that our righteousness is something that involves nothing active or passive on our part. Yes, it is something in which I do not participate with my thoughts, perception, and senses, in which nothing at all in me makes me pleasing to God and saves me, but in which I leave myself and all human thoughts and ability out of account and cling to Christ, who sits at the right hand of God and whom I do not even see. Faith must lay hold of this, must be founded on it, and must take comfort from it in times of temptation.
Sermon on John 16. LW 24:346; WA 46;44f
No merit of my own I claim, but wholly lean on Jesus' name
(Edward Mote, 1797-1874)
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
2019 LUTHERAN CHURCH MISSOURI SYNOD CONVENTION
The Synod is issuing the first call for nominations for the 2019 convention. For information regarding this process, please go to
to go directly to the website.
OUR STEWARDSHIP OF HIS RESOURCES
District Mission Support Trends
2016 2017 2018
$900,000 $900,000 $820,000
Budgeted Income $450,000 $450,000
Actual Income $398,484 $390,983 $393,956
NEWLY ELECTED CONGREGATIONAL LEADERS
Congregations who have elected new congregational officers/leaders, please update the Southern District office with their information.
to submit your information online.
If you would like a paper form, please contact email@example.com.
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 15, 2018
Service and Potluck Lunch to Follow
|First English Lutheran Church
|October 1-3, 2018
noon - noon
|Pastors and Professional Church Workers Conference
100 Mission Dr., Slidell, LA
|November 9-11, 2018
||Southern District Junior
WATCH FOR ADDITIONAL INFO!
|Lake Forest Ranch
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATION
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.
~ CALLED TO SERVE ~
Rev. Corey J. Grunklee,
Christ, Lubbock, TX to Hope, Santa Rosa Beach, FL ~ Accepted
Rev. Kermit C. Bostelman, Zion, Anderson, TX to Redeemer, DeRidder, LA ~ Accepted
Rev. Nathan Ragazinskas, Our Saviour, Des Moines, IA to Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Pensacola, FL ~ Accepted
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
Sr. High Youth Mission Trip
SAVE THE DATE: Teachers' Conference ~ "Joy Finders"
Please save the date for the 2018 - 2019 annual Teachers' Conference.
Here is the basic Information:
WHO: The teachers and DCEs of the Southern District
WHAT: Annual Conference and Retreat
WHERE: Perdido Beach Resort, Orange Beach, Alabama
WHEN: Sunday, November 18 - Tuesday, November 20
WHY: For Professional Growth, Worship, Rejuvenation
Please put this on your 2018 calendar and pass the word to all your teachers.
Please contact me or any of the Conference Team if you have any questions,
Dawn Swartz at email@example.com
John Price- Redeemer Pensacola
Emily Barlow- Atonement Metairie
Sara Braatz- Grace Huntsville
Warren Paul- Retired Redeemer Pensacola
Below is a link to reserve rooms at resort:
The goal of this conference is to enjoy the presence of the Lord in all we do. Our opening gathering will be in fun, food and fellowship with each other on the beach. Sectionals are intended to meet the needs of our staffs. CDC will have the opportunity to obtain the certification needed for the year along with sectionals for their areas. DCEs and schools will have the time to collaborate and share resources for the needs of today's children, along with sectionals that will bring joy in growth in service of our Lord.
It is shaping up to be a great conference
We are also looking for sectional leaders, so if you or any of your teachers would like to lead a sectional or if you have ideas for a sectional, please let me know!
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.
A TRIP TO THE HOLY LAND IS LIFE-CHANGING.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or go to
for the online brochure or contact us for more information.
ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH, CLINTON, LOUISIANA
On June 14, 2014, Zion Lutheran Church in Clinton, Louisiana implemented a new concept for Vacation Bible School. We had a one-day session from 2:30pm until 7pm. Twenty- eight children attended for an afternoon of videos, songs, games and Bible stories. Stacey McIntyre led an opening of songs and videos. Included was a craft, and a puppet play by Pastor McIntyre, Ken McQuirter and Larry McQuirter. Nicole Davidson led the group Bible Story. Shirley Siebert registered the attendees and gave out name tags. The children broke into two groups: one for crafts and the other went "fishing" for plastic fish and prizes. At the break, Linda Siebert provided everyone with pizza and drinks. While waiting for the weather to pass, they played some games and sang. The day concluded with ice cream and fun on the water slide. Special thanks to all the helpers including three of our teen youth: Ashton Siebert, Jessica Davidson, and Jewels Handhardt. Also, a special thanks to Ms. Marilyn Kerr and Mr. Danny Kerr who provided a take home wooden fish. Brian Chandler provided the waterslide. We saw this as the perfect way for a small congregation to have Bible School when there is a lack of young members to participate. We are so excited, the plan is to implement the same thing next year for one day each in May, June and July. We can hardly wait!
Grace Lutheran Church, Pensacola, FL
Vacation Bible School was a tremendous success. We had 88 children attending the program. We tried to have a fun promotion during VBS so the kids would support someone and cheer for them to win. Ideally, they would get to know members of our congregation a bit better through a fun outreach. The project was labeled "Who's the Biggest Egg Head". We had 7 volunteers and a silly Egg Head jar was made with each volunteer's picture on it to collect donations. The idea was for the VBS kids to be encouraged and for families to be invited back on Sunday following VBS to see the Egg Head contest winner revealed. We wanted something that would attract all ages, get our congregation laughing and excited - a fellowship builder. As a fundraiser, we never imagined it would be this successful with $350 collected for children and youth ministries. And guess who the biggest egghead was? It was Pastor Carstens. So he got to have all the eggs for his votes poured on his head. A good time was had by all.
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ATTALLA, AL
The Church of the Holy Spirit Fire Basketball Team 14 and under was undefeated this year. We give God all the credit. Church of the Holy Spirit of Attalla, Ala. was the smallest church in the League but God have us the best team and an undefeated season. The team picture is from the Basketball Celebration Banquet. We give thanks to the Abundance Life Church for providing a gym for regular practices. Thanks to Coach Bill Ottrix for a winning season. Coach Bill was a coach, a mentor and a Christian role model. The team enjoyed Christian fellowship and learned Christian values of discipline, respect, and teamwork. Every game opened with prayer.
"Why?" You ask anyone who has raised a child or been involved in a child's life and they will tell you that this little, three-letter question has the ability to simultaneously strike fear in one's heart and try one's patience to no end. "Why?" "Why?"
So, my dear Christian friend, I ask you, "Why? Why do you do the things that you do?" Now, if you are anything like me, your mind probably just started swirling and whirling at hyper speed as you ponder the possibilities and permutations of things that I could be referring to, so ... let me help you out.
Why do you give of your talent, your testimony, your time, and your treasure? And, just to be clear, this is not a rhetorical question. I really want you to ponder the question and provide an answer for yourself. Do you feel compelled to give? What is compelling you to give? What is motivating you to give of your talent, your testimony, your time, and your treasure? Search yourself. Examine yourself and answer the question, "Why?"
Now, search the Scriptures and discover God's answers to this question. As it turns out, for those following the Three-Year Lectionary, God recently provided us with a couple of answers to the question. On the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, the Apostle Paul talks about the grace of God among the Macedonians who:
2 ... in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints- 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you- see that you excel in this act of grace also. 8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (2 Cor. 8:2-9, ESV)
Here, God's Word reveals part of His answer to the question, "Why?" We give because of an abundance of joy, a wealth of generosity, of our own free will, as an act of grace, out of our genuine love no matter what our circumstances might be ... because we are rich in Christ Jesus!
So ... how did your answers fit with God's answers? Do you find that your motivations don't quite match God's desires for your giving? Do you find that your giving is being compelled by something different than from what God would have compel you? If so, repent and change your ways, my dear Christian friend. Seek forgiveness from the Lord and He who is gracious and merciful will forgive you your sins for the sake of your Savior, Christ Jesus. Pray to the Lord that He would change your heart to be more like the Macedonians. May we all seek to trust more in the Lord and cling to Him rather than the things of the world.
Rev. Louis Boldt, St. Paul Lutheran Church (Hammond, LA) on behalf of the Stewardship Committee
WE LIFT UP IN PRAYER. . .
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
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 --- email@example.com.
Illustration by Patti Miller, Member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fairhope, Alabama.