Place Your Own Text Here.
Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz
President - SD
Getting to Know God
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding, no one can fathom. (Isaiah 40:28 NIV)
Have you ever complained to God, either verbally or silently, and accused him of not taking care of you, and failing to notice the difficulties that surround your life? Leaders like Moses and Isaiah often heard their people's dissatisfaction with God. In verse 27, the prophet asks, "Why do you say ... and complain, 0 Israel, 'My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God?"'
We shouldn't be too hard on the Israelites. At least they were being honest. They were away from the Promised Land in exile in Babylon. They were far away from the temple and the beauty of Mount Zion. In the stresses of exile and foreign captivity, they voiced their feelings regarding God. They complained that God had abandoned them. They felt that He did not know their plight and was unaware of their dire situation. Not too long ago, there was a project in which I was deeply involved. After a few years of fruitful work, it appeared that the work might be stopped and left unfinished. I felt that God had forgotten me and my plight. My complaints were deep and bitter. So were the people of Israel's!
It may surprise us to realize that when we complain about God's lack of care, the real dilemma lies in the fact that we really do not know the character of God. Isaiah is quick to point out both the ignorance and the short term memory of His people. In verse 28, he reminds us that our God is never plagued by fatigue or memory loss or confusion. Our God is never "asleep at the switch." He is never afflicted by indecision or caught unaware by troubling circumstances. These are very human shortcomings. But God's character is never reflected in human weaknesses.
Who does God help and strengthen? Does He come to the aid of the strong, the competent, the clever, the eloquent, or the self-reliant? Isaiah reminds us that those who know God's strength are the weary, the weak, the stumbling and those who are falling. God delights in equipping those who acknowledge their need and vulnerability and flaws. We should spend time with this passage and reflect on the God it reveals to us. When we are at the end of our abilities, we should resist the desire to complain that God's abilities are equally limited. Instead, our weakness is the entrance way to discovering a God who is ready and able and aware of our need. Indeed He delights in giving us the strength necessary to replace our pint-size efforts.
Dear God, free us from accusing you of abandoning us and not caring. Help us to know and trust you, so that our lives might bear testimony to your strength and constant care. Amen.
CANDIDATES & VICARS FOR PLACEMENT
This spring St. Louis and Fort Wayne Seminaries will have the following number of candidates and vicars available for placement. Candidate call documents and vicar applications are due to the Southern District by Wednesday, March 15.
St. Louis - 56 St. Louis - 46
Fort Wayne - 48 Fort Wayne - 39
OUR STEWARDSHIP OF HIS RESOURCES
District Mission Support Trends
2015 2016 2017
$900,000 $900,000 $900,000
Budgeted Income $150,000 $150,000
Actual Income $139,133 $112,352 $135,953
SPIRIT OF SOUTHERN SUBMISSIONS
Remember that submissions for the March/April issue of SOS are due by March 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)
|April 28-30, 2017
|Rosaryville Spirit Life Center
|July 7-10, 2017
||SAVE THE DATE!!
Sr. Youth Retreat
|Blue Horizon Camp
Panama City Beach, FL
GERMANY AND THE REFORMATION
500TH ANNIVERSARY TRIP
Have you always wanted to visit Germany and see the places where the Reformation began? This year, in the 500th anniversary of the Reformation's beginning, join us as we travel to sites like Wittenberg, where Luther taught as professor and posted the 95 Theses; the Wartburg Castle, where he translated the New Testament into German for all to read; Eisleben, where Luther was born; and many more! Led by LCMS pastors Robert Roegner of St. Louis and Derek Waffel of Pascagoula, MS, the trip is from
July 8 to July 15, 2017
. For more information see the attached brochure, or contact Pastor Waffel at
Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music
at Concordia University Chicago
This triennial event offers pastors, church musicians, and all who are passionate about the Church's worship an opportunity to be refreshed in Word, song, and prayer together with opportunities to grow in skills that enhance the joy of the people of God in the reception of His gifts. This year's Institute takes its cue from the upcoming Reformation anniversary with the theme:
The Just Live by Faith-Make This Plain in Sermon, Service, Song.
In addition to three keynote addresses, we'll have opportunity for daily study of the Word (featuring CUC President Dr. Daniel Gard), daily prayer services, two Divine Services (with new arrangements of Setting Five by Jacob Weber and Jonathan Kohrs with LCMS President Matthew Harrison preaching the opening service and Dr. Gard the final one), a concert by the National Lutheran Choir from Minneapolis, a hymn festival featuring the hymns of Martin Luther, numerous breakout sessions for pastors and church musicians plus many others on general worship topics, and exhibitors with all kinds of wares and services.
Registration will open mid-March via the Synod's website. Meanwhile, for more information, contact the LCMS at 888.the.lcms (
SERVES IN GLADNESS
Holy Cross Lutheran Church in New Orleans( LWML) " serves in gladness", feeding dinner to an estimated 30 volunteers from Camp Restore Wednesday, Feb.8, the day after tornadoes hit the community and impacted operations at Camp Restore. The Camp was spared the devastating destruction that destroyed homes starting one block from its location.
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATIONS
Christ the King - Natchitoches, LA Grace - Huntsville, AL
St. James - Gonzales, LA
Trinity - Monroe, LA
St. Paul's - Cullman, AL
St. Paul - Shreveport, LA
~ CALLED TO SERVE ~
Rev. Mark Goble (Christ the King-Memphis, TN) to Grace - Huntsville, AL ~ Declined
Shortly before noon on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, an EF3 tornado touched down in New Orleans East and left a half-mile wide, two-mile-long path that came within three blocks of Camp Restore - New Orleans.
Fortunately, there were no deaths reported, but dozens of residents were injured and nearly 1,000 homes were heavily damaged or destroyed.
Camp Restore is working with city officials, fellow New Orleans nonprofits and churches to assess damage, needs, and available resources both locally and nationwide.
Cash donations for the support of those affected are being accepted online and by mail. Please put "New Orleans East Tornado Relief" in the memo line and mail to:
9301 Chef Menteur Hwy.
New Orleans, LA 70127
If you are interested in joining us as a volunteer in the coming weeks and months please visit our website at
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People
Anniversary of Ordination
Rev. Jimmy McCants, Mt. Calvary, Mobile, AL ~ 1982-2017 ~ 35 Years
Rev. Edward Brashier, Camp Restore ~ 2002-2017 ~ 15 Years
Rev. David Greene, First, Crowley, LA ~ 2002-2017 ~ 15 Years
Rev. James Reeves, Prince of Peace, Laurel, MS ~ 2002-2017 ~ 15 Years
Rev. Stephen Schrader, Prince of Peace, Ft. Payne, AL ~ 2002 - 2017 ~ 15 Years
Rev. Aubrey Watson, Holy Cross, New Orleans, LA ~ 2002-2017 ~ 15 Years
Rev. Daniel Koyn, Holy Trinity, Covington, LA ~ 2007-2017 ~ 10 Years
Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Germany
Join Pastor Keith and Diana Ringers on an Enchanting Rhine and Reformation Tour Nov. 11-20, 2017.
Fly to Amsterdam and board a luxurious river cruise ship for five days down the Rhine and Rhine Gorge, stopping at Cologne, Koblenz, Mainz, Worms, Speyer, and Heidelberg. Then spend four days on the land tour visiting Wartburg Castle, Erfurt, Eisleben, and Wittenberg. The guest speaker on this EO faith based trip is Lutheran pastor, Rev. Keith Loesch,
founder and past director of the Wittenberg English Ministry in Germany. For more information, click here for a brochure or contact Keith Ringers
This is the Ringers' third trip with EO (Educational Opportunities), the Holy Land in 2016 and the Footsteps of St. Paul cruise in 2013 and they recommend this travel company highly.
Gulf States District Gift Presentation
On Dec. 18, 2016 at the Long Beach Senior Citizens Center a presentation was made to the Family Reddiness Group. This group of wives with the Naval Mobil Construction Battalion stationed in Gulfport, Mississippi is dedicated to planning activities for the "Over the Hump" children of deployed military parents.. Over the Hump means the deployment is half over. When the deployment is over, a big WELCOME HOME PARTY is held. The wives of the Reddiness group were so happy to receive the check for $771.83 from the offerings taken at the Thirty-Six Biennial LWML Convention held in Gulfport Mississippi in April 2016.
Ethel Smith, Magnolia Zone president; women with Reddiness group, Ginny Hermetz, convention chairman & Cathy Mason
Organizational Resources Chair of the Gulf States District of LWML
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
Redeemer in Pensacola is so blessed to have several very busy and talented ladies blessing so many. They are the
Prayer Shawl Ministry Ladies. For several years now, these ladies have been busy crocheting beautiful prayer shawls to bless hundreds in need of prayer and comfort. They make shawls to be given to the sick or someone who has had surgery; for the families who have lost a loved one; and for happy times like the birth of a child. Shawls have also been distributed to newly married couples and retirees. Shawls have been given to hundreds all over America. As each lady makes a shawl, she prays over her shawl that God will bless the person receiving it. Once a year all the shawls that are available for distribution are placed on the alter and Pastor Cole says a prayer that these shawls will be a blessing to those who receive them. He also blesses the ladies whose busy hands continue to serve the Lord with this wonderful service. Redeemer thanks these ladies for their wonderful talent and their gift of service to our Lord and those in need.
| "The Greatest of These Is Love"
The Louisiana-Mississippi LWML District is sponsoring a weekend retreat on
April 28-30 at Rosaryville Spirit Life Center in Ponchatoula, LA. The theme for
the retreat is "The Greatest of These is Love". Pastoral Counselors Pastor Bill
Vogt and Pastor David Hartung will lead participants through the many aspects
of love as found in Scripture and show how we can reflect them in our lives.
There will be opportunities for fun and relaxation as well.
Cost of the retreat is $64.00-$190.00. Full details, including a registration form are available on the retreat page of our LA-MS website. You may also contact your
LWML Society President for the
registration form and where to send it. All registrations should be in by March
31, 2017. Please click here for a printable flier.
37th Biennial Convention of the LWML
"Jesus Christ Above All"
June 22-25, 2017
Join us as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the LWML!
for a PDF of the convention registration form.
Southern District Senior Youth Gathering
July 7-10, 2017
Panama City, Florida
Mark the dates on your calendar now!
Information will be released soon with theme and costs
THE WHY OF STEWARDSHIP
-- MARCH 2017
Recent StewardCast trends have closely aligned with and reinforce our Christ centered, making disciples approach to (Stewardship Southern Style). See StewardCAST, Feb 2017 for full article details.
"A focus on the HOW and WHAT too easily focuses stewardship on a matter of paying the ministry bills. Approaches like these allow for a too easy separation of stewardship from its biblical foundations and moorings in worship. If we start with the WHY of stewardship (Making Disciples) as it is delivered to us from the Word of God, there will be a far better root setting of stewardship among those who have been called by God to be part of the body of Christ in our congregations. The WHY of stewardship starts in a very basic place. The WHY of stewardship is rooted in creation and cross, Baptism and the Christian life."
" The Christian steward has been created, and in Holy Baptism, recreated to be a steward of all things for God and God's purposes. This has nothing to do with paying the bills. It has everything to do with being faithful to the Lord and reaching out. A steward is a caretaker and manager for the gifts which the Lord has entrusted to them, the chief of which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our good and gracious Lord has made and redeemed us to steward all those things entrusted to us for the sake of others." (Testimony)
"It is the task of the steward simply to be faithful with those gifts the Lord has entrusted to the individual. (Blessed to be a Blessing) This faithfulness is then used by the Lord instrumentally to bring the Gospel to those who do not know it. Money is given to the local congregation so that the preaching of the Gospel and the education of the young and old alike may be carried out. The local congregation then partners with other congregations to carry out the mission work of the Church locally, regionally, nationally and internationally." (Culture of Partnership)
"Focus on what the Lord says about the WHY of stewardship over and over in new and creative ways and amazing things will happen. Remember, the Lord's Word does amazing things. Always has. Always will. The WHY is in there. When it is shared, stewards are set free!"
The new district stewardship web pages include a section on How We Can Help. Here you will find a link to StewardCAST in the Awareness Helps section that you can add to your available resources tool box.
Getty Music Worship Conference
September 18-20, 2017
Sing! A conference for pastors, musicians, and leaders to reform and encourage congregational singing.
This conference exists to help pastors, musicians, and leaders build a Biblical understanding and creative vision for the congregational singing in their churches. Bringing together speakers and artists from many traditions and walks of life, our desire is to encourage churches towards a deeper, more dynamic view of theology, artistry and mission in congregational singing.
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)
Rev. Jack Betz (Emeritus - Miramar Beach, FL)
Mrs. Gloria Moritz, widow of Rev. Victor Moritz (Emeritus - Metairie, LA)
Rev. Sidney Ponseti (Emeritus - Baton Rouge, LA)
Rev. Ed Rogers (Emeritus - Ozark, AL)
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)
- Mrs. June Ring, mother of Rev. Marcus Ring (St. Paul - Shreveport, LA)
- Rev. Michael Shannon (Faith - Shreveport, LA)
- Rev. Rory Hermann (Good Shepherd - Gulf Breeze, FL)
- Rev. Brandon Simoneaux (Christ Our Savior - Harvey, LA)
- Rev. Dr. James P. Brown (Emeritus - Pensacola, FL)
- Dr. J. B. Marshall (Concordia College Alabama Board of Regents member)
- Rev. Dr. Edgar Homrighausen (Emeritus - Lacombe, LA)
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
SUMMER SERVICE OPPORTUNITY
We are currently seeking out people who love Jesus and can help teach an English Bible Camp (similar to a
VBS) in Poland this summer. Does that sound like you?
There are ten congregations ready to reach out to the children of their neighborhoods with the Gospel. Most of these children do not know the Good News of Jesus, and through these camps, they learn about Jesus and in turn tell their parents. And the local Lutheran congregation can follow up with these families after the camp is done. These camps make a lasting difference in these communities!
We are looking for teams of 5 to serve
July 18-31 or
August 1-14, 2017. Teams can come from one congregation or school, or individuals can apply and be placed on a team. Team members raise support to cover the cost of the trip, which is about $1100 and includes all costs while in Poland.
This opportunity is not limited to those who have formal teaching experience, so please invite a friend!
Serving Christ Together,
Manager, Short-term Mission Training & Engagement
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
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.