Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz
President, Southern District
Rest and Reflection
Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest awhile. Mark 6:31
I don't know about you, but I tend to be caught up in my work. Being busy and accomplishing things is very important to me. Apparently I get satisfaction from doing. Maybe you are like that also. Recently I was graciously given the opportunity to come to a full stop. Jesus invited me just as He had His disciples to come away for a time of rest and reflection. They had just finished telling Jesus, "all they had done and taught." They had given Him a resume of their activities. Indeed they had been very busy. But Jesus knew they needed rest. He expressed His care and compassion for them. Now in the midst of all my thoughts that I was just too busy for this, Jesus expressed His care and compassion for me.
Sometimes we allow the goodness of our activities to lure us into believing that rest or relaxation is a waste of time. But constant attention to our work can rob us of much needed attention to our souls. Busyness is no substitution for contemplation and rest. Busyness cannot focus us on our relationship with God or the condition of our inner life.
Stopping our activity to rest and reflect helps us to realize the reality of God's world. Activity makes us see the trees. Reflection helps us see the forest. A period of rest renews our conversation with God and strengthens our closeness with Him. We don't carry on serious conversations when we are working at a fast pace. Meaningful relationships are built on uninterrupted time of sharing. I have heard God most clearly during those times when I have simply remained quiet while in His presence. There was no talking on my part, no act of thinking of what I would do next, or how I could solve a problem. I just stood before Him. The psalmist said it best,
"Be still and know that I am God."
There is a rhythm to life. Work and rest. Noise and quietness. Outward activity and inward meditation. That is the way God created life. That's the way it works best. Jesus is training His disciples to live life that way. Have you found that rhythm? Life today is fast paced, frantic, always on the go. It is as though we can't stand silence, so we fill ourselves with noise and activity - running away from ourselves. Jesus calls us to rest, reflection and renewal for the sake of our souls.
This edition of, "This Ministry That we Share" brings to an end my work as your District President. Jesus is calling me to retirement, rest, reflection, and renewal for my soul.
Let me leave you with these words, I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart... And this is my prayer:
that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.
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 $375,000 $375,000
Actual Income $339,368 $317,446 $336,133.04
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 May/June issue of SOS are due by June 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)
|June 24-30, 2018
||Sr. Youth Mission Trip
See notice in this issue for more info!
|June 30, 2018
|Installation of Southern District President and Board of Directors
||Good Shepherd Lutheran
|October 1-3, 2018
noon - noon
|Pastors and Professional Church Workers Conference
100 Mission Dr., Slidell, LA
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATION
Hope - Santa Rosa Beach, FL (Associate)
Grace - Pensacola, FL
Redeemer - Mandeville, LA
Resurrection - Pensacola, FL 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 ~
Kari Johnson Waterman to King of Kings, Omaha, NE as DCE (Small Group & Serving Coordinator) - Accepted
Rev. Calvin (C.J.) Luttinen, First English, Metairie, LA to Holy Cross, Mobile, AL ~ Accepted
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People
~ June ~
Anniversary of Ordination
40th - Rev. Dan Elkins, Emeritus, Olive Branch, MS
35th - Rev. Carl Nobles, Emeritus, Gulfport, MS
30th - Rev. Richard C. Kreitenstein, Emeritus, Tupelo, MS
30th - Rev. David A. Robatzen, Luth. Ch of the Resurrection, Pensacola, FL
30th - Rev. Benjamin Stallworth, Concordia, Daphne, AL
25th - Rev. Karl Hollibaugh, St. James, Gonzales, LA
25th - Rev. Gary Peterson, Calvary, Baton Rouge, LA
25th - Rev. Vance Tech, Our Savior, Crestview, FL
25th - Rev. Dr. Kevin Wendt, Grace, Destin, FL
20th - Rev. William A. Parsons III, Redeemer, Fairhope, AL
20th - Rev. Dr. John D. Reynolds, Trinity, Gadsden, AL
15th - Rev. William Cornelius, St. Paul, Ruston, LA
15th - Rev. Piotr J. Malysz, St. Paul, Birmingham, AL
10th - Rev. Russ Gipson, Grace, Huntsville, AL
10th - Rev. Gregory Moyer, Trinity, Baton Rouge, LA
5th - Rev. Chad M. Ingle, Prince of Peace, Ozark, AL
5th - Rev. Shane D. McCoy, Trinity, Sulphur, LA
5th - Rev. Michael K. Shannon, Faith, Shreveport, LA
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS 2018
We are now in another "Hurricane Season." The Southern District takes this subject very seriously and wants to help as much as possible. First and foremost, if you receive a mandatory evacuation order, PLEASE heed it! Then, please take a few moments to register with the district so that information can be on file. This can be done by phone or on the District website,
www.SouthernLCMS.org. This flyer can be saved in your evacuation file. It contains all of the information that you will need if and when the time comes.
If you can provide shelter, or are looking for shelter, you can also use the website to provide or receive information.
___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___
SOUTHERN DISTRICT EVACUATION REPORTING
In the event of hurricane evacuation, please contact the Southern District with the following information:
Name, Congregation, City, State Report information to:
Evacuated (yes or no)
If yes, to: City, State Church Workers (mandatory reporting) --
Contact Phone Number 985-259-6716
Congregation Members - 985-259-6716
LAMB OF GOD ~ SLIDELL, LA
Emelda Remond Klotz Retires
Emelda (Duvieilh) Remond Klotz finally retired from Lamb of God Lutheran Church in January after a bout with pneumonia. Her target date was June 2018 when it would have marked 70 years of service to congregations in praise to the Lord. She and Marie (Gebauer) Briwa (one of her child hood friends) started at Mt Calvary Lutheran Church in 1948. They still keep in touch. Marie continued to play at St. Matthew and Mt. Olive, Metairie, La. for 24 years and retired at the end of 1993. They were coached by Mr. Richard Wismar of St. Paul Lutheran Church to learn the liturgy and given a book to learn the pedals. Emelda served for 7 years at Mt. Calvary.
After marrying Frank Remond of Christ Lutheran (which she met through the Walther League) Emelda continued to serve at Lutheran Churches whereever Frank's job brought him in New York, Florida, and 2 in California. In 1972 they moved back to Louisiana and she served at Bethany and Lamb of God in Slidell and The Village Church, Lacombe. She also filled in in Waveland and Picayune.
In 1988 Frank, who passed away in 2001,
bought her an organ so she could prepare for services at home. This organ, a grand piano and a stack of music along with other things were lost in Hurricane Katrina. Years later when Emelda was looking for an organ, Becky Schultz, who was also an organist at Lamb of God and her husband Pastor Kurtis Schultz told her about an organ that was in storage for a few years which she was able to obtain and still has and enjoys using. Inccidently, her husband Joe Klotz who she married in 2008 gave away his dining room set so she could have room for her organ and small piano.
HOLY CROSS ~ HATTIESBURG, MS
Thrivent Action Team from Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Hattiesburg, MS was a sponsor for the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life held in Sumrall, MS on May 5, 2018. Holy Cross Super Heros for the event were Firemen that serve our communities daily. Over $17,000.00 was raised for Cancer Research from the event. A good time was enjoyed by all that attended the Relay for Life event.
left to right in picture on the left: Chuck Eberling, Jim Killingbeck, John Mills, Lois Mills, Ginger Senften, Ginger Eberling, & Virginia Killingbeck
TRINITY ~ DOTHAN, AL
GIFT BAGS FOR EASTER
Trinity of Dothan, AL, yearly prepares Easter bags for homebound and nursing home patients in the county. This is their 3rd year and the response has been wonderful and touching. These bags given at Easter are so unexpected, unlike at Christmas, when these people frequently are remembered. The bags are filled with items such as small pads of paper and pens, tissues, hand lotion, lip balm, sanitizers, candy and more. The last two years about 100 bags have been distributed. These ladies attend a Friday Craft group that also make items to be donated for the yearly Christmas Bazaar that helps fund our Benevolent fund. This group is a combination of church members and members of the community. Many of these ladies also participate in the bi-monthly quilting group that produces about 300-400 quilts a year along with homeless and walker bags given to various agencies and individuals. Trinity believes in serving the Lord by serving the community.
New Spanish Resources for Hispanic Ministry
If you'd like to share the Gospel with your Spanish-speaking neighbors, or if you're heading out on a short-term mission trip to Central or South America, the Lutheran Heritage Foundation
www.LHFmissions.org) has translated and published two new resources for
A Child's Gard
en of Bible Stories
Bible with Small Catechism
, both in the Spanish language. Donations to help
cover the printing and shipping costs are gratefully accepted, but as with all of LHF's translated materials, both of these books are free of charge to the ministries, churches, or individuals who need them. Call the LHF office at (800)554-0723 or email info@LHFmissions.org with your order (number of copies, hardcover or paperback)
CONTINUING EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY
We're excited to announce a new continuing education opportunity for all LCMS pastors!
June 11-13, the Rev. Dr. Carl Fickenscher, Editor of Concordia Pulpit Resources, will be offering a
summer workshop entitled
Today's Options in Sermon Form.
It will be held at Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Atlanta, Georgia. Please email Rev. David Miller, Coordinator, at
Pastor@ascension-lcms.com for registration
This is a workshop no preaching pastor wants to miss!
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 email@example.com
or go to
for the online brochure or contact us for more information.
2018 Summer Mission Trip
We are joining Southern District High School Youth in
~ Cost: $299/person
We will have a wide variety of opportunities to serve the Nashville community. Our group may serve the elderly, sort donations, work in community gardens, serve alongside food programs or hang out with children at local summer programs. We will partner with local organizations to meet ongoing needs in the community.
In the evenings, we will have the chance to explore downtown Nashville or spend time at Centennial Park, (Nashville's Centennial Park is home to the only exact replica of the Greek Parthenon) taking pictures at the Parthenon, playing ultimate Frisbee or relaxing on the lawn. YouthWorks has partnered with Nashville since 2010.
COST PER PARTICIPANT INCLUDES: Pre and Post Trip Tools,
Lodging, 14 Meals, Attentive Staff, Service Project Materials, Evening Activities.
WE ♥ TEENAGERS + WE ♥ COMMUNITIES
Teenagers need to encounter Jesus outside their normal context to deepen their faith and broaden their perspectives. Plus, communities need to be valued-not as mere recipients but as partners who have stories worth sharing in.
When we bring the two together, incredible things happen.
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
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. David Robatzen (Luth Church of the Resurrection - Pensacola, FL)
- 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 --- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illustration by Patti Miller, Member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fairhope, Alabama.