Water in the Desert
Do not remember the former things, or consider t
s of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
(Isaiah 43:18-19 NRSV)
This month as we continue our Lenten pilgrimage, we will also come together for our District Convention under the theme
''It's All about Jesus". Some may wonder how Lenten and our convention fit together. They are both opportunities to individually and corporately turn our attention to our faith life walk with him. In order for you
to fully grasp the connection you may need to change your perspective of Lent. Rather than viewing it as a trudge through self-denial and darkness (a view entertained at different times in the church's history), see it as a time of abundant grace poured out on God's people. Lent is an opportunity to houseclean, to liberate ourselves of the burdens of sin we have carried, the attitudes and judgments that separate us from God and from one another. This is the same spirit we need as we enter a new triennium as the Southern District. They are both times of new beginnings. The past is over; only the future lies ahead.
"Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert" (Isaiah 43:18, 19). In our wilderness the Lord gives water; in the desert he creates rivers, drink for you and me, his chosen people (cf. v. 20).
As Isaiah continues:
[The Lord says] "I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins" (v. 25).
This "new thing" is the life abundant and eternal secured for us by the bloody streams that flowed from our Savior Jesus on the cross. The people of God have experienced the grace of new beginnings for centuries. As we move into a new season let us proclaim that
"It All About Jesus!"
Holy Spirit, come, illumine the dark places in the lives of your people. Make this season a time of true renewal and promise for the whole church of Christ. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
** HOTEL BLOCK RATE EXTENDED **
Hotel Block Rate Extended to
February 18, 2018
** CONVENTION INGATHERING **
The 75th SO District Convention will include an ingathering to benefit the Slidell Ladies for Liberty. Convention attendees are asked to bring the requested items with them to the convention, on behalf of their congregation or school. Click here for full ingathering details and a video about the Slidell Ladies for Liberty.
** PHOTOS FOR SPECIAL SLIDESHOW **
A special photo slideshow will be shown during the convention. Every congregation, school, and ministry partner in the SO District is asked to email 2-5 pictures for inclusion in the slideshow. Pictures should be action shots of people and ministry. Please email them to
by March 1, 2018.
** CONVENTION WORKBOOK **
The convention workbook is available on the
convention page of the Southern District website.
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.
THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN!
CONGREGATIONAL STATISTICS FORM
All congregations should have received their
Congregational Statistics Report Online Letter,
Congregational Lay Leaders Form, and
Statistical Reports Memo from Synod. We encourage you to complete and return these forms as they provide an accurate picture of the Southern District congregations.
If you need login information to input statistics online, email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call the LCMS Church Information Center at
888-843-5267. At times they are overloaded with emails and calls, so be patient; they will return your email/call!
The deadline for submitting your 20
17 statistics is
February 28, 2018.
OUR STEWARDSHIP OF HIS RESOURCES
District Mission Support Trends
2016 2017 2018
$900,000 $900,000 $820,000
Budgeted Income $150,000 $150,000
Actual Income $112,352 $135,953 $145,078
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 March/April issue of SOS are due by Apr. 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)
|March 8-9, 2018
||Southern District Convention
It's All About Jesus!
|June 24-29, 2018
||Sr. Youth Mission Trip
See notice in this issue for more info!
|October 1-3, 2018
noon - noon
|Pastors and Professional Church Workers Conference
100 Mission Dr., Slidell, LA
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATIONS
Holy Cross - Mobile, AL Hope - Santa Rosa Beach, FL (Associate)
Grace - Pensacola, FL
Redeemer - Mandeville, LA
Resurrection - Pensacola, FL
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. James Endrihs, Christ the King-Enterprise, AL to Holy Cross-Mobile, AL~ Delined
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People
140th Anniversary ~ Mt. Zion, New Orleans, LA
April 15, 2018
Rev. Nimakatso Nare, Pastor
~ February ~
Anniversary of Ordination
VICARS AND CANDIDATES
Any congregations who would like to apply for a vicar or call a candidate should contact Daisy Olmstead
(email@example.com) to request access to the paperwork. Vicar applications and candidate call documents are due to the Southern District Office
no later than March 1. This is to allow a "cushion" of time in case any revisions need to be made and re-submitted to the District before the District sends the paperwork to St. Louis.
To date, the following number of candidates and vicars are available:
Candidates Spring 2018
St. Louis ~ 54 M.Div.
Fort Wayne ~ 37 M.Div.
Vicars Spring 2018
St. Louis ~ 57
Fort Wayne ~ 44
You are invited to a Celebration of Ministry
Held at the Hilton Perimeter Park
8 Perimeter Park South in Birmingham, Alabama.
Registration information at lwmlgulfstates.org
MOUNT ZION - NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
Chairlady: Carlene Augustine Barthe'
Co-Chairs: Rev. Limakatso Nare, Pastor and Yolonda Wornner Prevost, Congregation President
Southern District Senior Youth Mission Trip
Ages: 14 and up
Cost $299 / person
Lodging and all meals are provided
We are working with YouthWorks, an organization that has been developing youth mission trips since 1994. Each summer YouthWorks provides life-changing Christ-centered mission trips for over 30,000 students and adult leaders in over 70 communities across North America.. YouthWorks seeks to listen to local ministry partners and returns to the same communities year after year. It is their desire to walk side-by-side with friends in service, helping support the work God is already doing through them. We will serve in the city of Nashville, places to be determined, but include: working with kids club, community garden, elderly care centers, soup kitchens, and more!
A typical day begins with Breakfast and preparing lunches. Morning devotions follow, and ministry/service time is from 9 am - 3 pm every day. Dinner is served at 5:30, with evening activities beginning at 6:30 pm each night. At 9:00 pm we have Large group gathering, followed by a time to process the day,
Evening activities include a downtown scavenger hunt, community cookout, Centennial Park.
Our Chaplain: Pastor Steve Richardson will lead us in worship and devotions.
You are responsible for your transportation and adult leaders.
To register go to
Questions? Contact DCE Cindy Namanny, 601-924-9999 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A Layman's View of Stewardship
Gary Grubb, our 9-year Stewardship Committee member and recent Chairman, resigned as of the first of the year to move on to other challenges and ministries. I will be filling in until the Convention. During this relatively short time, we hope to maintain a focus on the small church initiative Connect to Grow and continued stewardship awareness. Accordingly, I am beginning by sharing my layman's understanding of Christian stewardship. Which is basically the self-created record of our lifetime use of all God's gifts, including where we live and our freedom to worship as we please. I see this record of our Christian life delineated by four milestones we encounter alone. First, our mothers were certainly present when we were born, and while we may have had a sibling along for some of the experience, as well as attending personnel and maybe an expectant, hopefully joyous family, we enter this life only by ourselves. The next milestone marking our record of Christian stewardship is coming to understand that God's purpose for providing gifts is to equip us to respond to the faith making work of the Holy Spirit. Gifts are to be used to fulfil His tasking to care for the members of His church here on earth, be they those we see on Sunday or those who have not yet received the work of the Holy Spirit through His word. Though we may come to the realization as a participating member of a group, we come to it by ourselves. Along the way we also come to understand that while we are saved by faith alone, God pleasing work stems from that faith and becomes our record of stewardship. The next major milestone in life is death, again something experienced alone, even if others die at the same time and at the same place. Hopefully at this milestone we will again be surrounded by a loving family and friends who will remember us as having exhibited a well lived steward's life. It is the cumulative effort of our daily life at its end that becomes our record as a steward of God's gifts, not the yearend financial receipt or a recitation of the number of committees served on. The final milestone of a steward's life is the receipt of Christ's judgement, again something encountered alone. Requirements for this accounting are well and completely identified in the parable of the faithful steward-those who receive much are expected to return much, those who receive less are expected to return a more modest amount, but woe to those who bury His gifts to only return them unused. They will truly experience God's wrath. As in all our LCMS theology, the requirement for stewardship comes straight from the Bible, with no need for scholarly or "official" interpretation to complicate, or trivialize, the subject.
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)
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)
- 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)
- Rev. David Robatzen (Luth Church of the Resurrection - Pensacola, FL)
- Rev. Bernard Ansorge (Ascension - Huntsville, AL)
- Rev. Anthony Robinson (Christ - Tuscaloosa, AL and Epiphany - Arlington, AL)
- Mrs. Nancy Kaul (SD Board of Directors Member) Hattiesburg, MS
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.