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A Psalm for all Seasons
[Jesus said,] "I am the good shepherd." (John 10:11a)
This month's Scripture readings continue to echo the great themes of Jesus' Passion, as God's people continue their pilgrimage from the feast of Easter to the outpouring of God's Spirit at Pentecost. What a joyous time of the year, as the church continues to celebrate Christ's victory over sin and death! This psalm is the focus of our thoughts today.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. What a grand introduction to all that follows! Because Jesus is our shepherd, we have at this moment, and will have for the rest of our days, everything we will need. There are times when we should stop and rest with Him, but will not want to. At such periods, He will, in effect, make us to lie down in green pastures. When we do recognize our need for quiet and rest, his promise is that he will lead us beside the still water s. At other times we undergo deep emotional hurts, injuries to our very selves. While such wounds may be beyond the reach of psychotherapy and counseling, there is one who can heal us: He restoreth my soul.
In a world of conflicting direction about the right path to take, Jesus has promised His Spirit, who will lead us into all truth (John 16:13). He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Some claim they are unable to hear God. It has been the experience of many that a willingness to do whatever He wants enables them to discern His leading.
Suffering and periods of darkness are a part of every life. We have His promise: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me. "Jesus is there with me." At the darkest time of my life this verse proved true. I found the Lord in a person-to-person relationship that has now grown only deeper. I know nothing now can separate me from Him.
Protected from enemies by His rod and guided by His staff, surely our heads are anointed and our cups overflowing. His goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Or, as another translation promises, His house will be our home forever.
Shepherd of our souls, guide us safely through the joys and trials of this life, until we are gathered to you in the safety of our home on high. Amen.
OUR STEWARDSHIP OF HIS RESOURCES
District Mission Support Trends
2015 2016 2017
$900,000 $900,000 $900,000
Budgeted Income $300,000 $300,000
Actual Income $287,249 $264,759 $253,733
SPIRIT OF SOUTHERN SUBMISSIONS
Remember that submissions for the May/June issue of SOS are due by May 15. The preferred means for receiving submissions is by email (email@example.com). 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 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
WELCOME TO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT!!
Candidates and Vicar from Concordia Seminary Ft. Wayne
Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz, Christopher Clark (Associate Pastor, St. Paul's - Cullman, AL), Linda Clark (holding Theodore), Colin Ford (Vicar, Ascension - Huntsville, AL), and George Fields (Associate Pastor, Christ - Jackson, MS)
WELCOME TO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT
VICAR FROM CONCORDIA SEMINARY - ST. LOUIS
Amy and Kyle Will ( Vicar, Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills - Birmingham, AL)
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATIONS
St. James - Gonzales, LA Grace - Huntsville, AL
Trinity - Monroe, LA
St. Paul's - Cullman, AL
Christ the King - Natchitoches, LA
If your congregation has extended a call, or had a call returned, please remember to notify the Southern District office.
~ CALLED TO SERVE ~
Rev. Robert Lydick, Emeritus, Panama City Beach, FL to Redemption, Panama City Beach, FL ~ Accepted
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People
Anniversary of Ordination
40th Year - Rev. Raymond Gage - Epiphany, Jackson, MS ~ 5/1977
15th Year - Rev. Raymond Angerman - Good Shepherd, Shalimar, FL ~ 4/2002
MAY 2, 2018
GiveNOLA Day is a 24-hour event hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations that are making our region stronger, creating a thriving community for all. GiveNOLA Day raises money for the community, brings new donors to local nonprofits, and shows that anyone can be a philanthropist.
Camp Restore, LINC New Orleans, Lutheran High School, and Mt. Zion Lutheran Church are some of the nonprofits involved in GiveNOLA Day. To donate, click on this link https://www.givenola.org/index.php .
CONCORDIA COLLEGE ALABAMA ALUMNI AND FRIENDS
Dear Alumni and Friends,
The weekend of May 11-14, 2017 is rapidly approaching. The deadline for sending in your various fees is even closer. Keep in mind that all are asked to submit the dues of $35.00 whether you plan to attend or not. We hope and pray that you are planning to attend all the activities and will send your payments accordingly.
I am asking all of the Alumni/Friends Chapters to submit their gifts to the Association and thereby to Concordia College Alabama on or before May 12th, 2017. All other fees you are asked to send to me, or
Mrs. Gracie Hollins,Treasurer on or before April 1st, and no later than the 15th, of April 2017. Please go to Concordia College Alabama web and give a little of your precious time to the Alumni Association bar and you will be given all the activities for the weekend so identified. A brief summary is given here. Would you please share the information with all those in your area who are graduates and friends of the college?
To those chapters that I know are diligently working to make your fundraiser a success, blessings to you. I am praying that all will go well and that you will have excellent support from those who love our institution.
Below is the information that you will find on the web of www.ccal.edu:
1. Thursday May 11 -- at 6:00 P.M. Graduates/Family Banquet Julius & Mary Jenkins Center (400 are planned for) 6:00 P.M.
2. Friday May 12 -- arrival of Alumni and Friends
A. Dedication of new location of Dr. Rosa J. Young Museum at 1:30 to 2:30 P.M. West Campus
B. Graduation Exercises, Practice, and Walk Through 4:00 P.M.
C. Alumni/Friends Working Reception: Graduates free: All others $10.00. Lehman Center at 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. (The future enhancement of CCAL) (150 expected to attend)
3. Saturday, May 13th -- 2017 Alumni/Friends Breakfast $5.00. The time is 8:00 A.M. to 9:15 A.M.
A. Graduation Exercises in the Julius/Mary Jenkins Center 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon. The class of 1967 will participate. All the Pastors are invited to attend the graduation exercises and to bring their individual red stole and robe.
B. Graduation Reception: Place to be determined. It may beheld in the Lehman Center.
C. Alumni/Friends Business Meeting: Kreft Center Theater 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.
D. Planning to travel to Montgomery for arrival at 5:00 P.M.
E. Cruise Snack food and open bar 5:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. $45.00
F. Dinner and fellowship at Mrs. Lucinda Moseley's home 9:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.
G. Return to Selma.
4. Sunday, May 14th -- Breakfast on your own.
A. Worship at Trinity Lutheran Church Selma, AL, 1900 Marie Foster Street. Rev. Steven Washington is the Pastor.
B. Bible Class at 9:45 A.M.
C. Worship Service at 11:00 A.M.
D. After Worship Reception sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church -- Trinity Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.
E. Closing of the 2017 Alumni/Friends gathering. Please help us to plan well by sending in your fees and contributions!
Please pray for our work together and blessings on your work and travel to and from the gathering. The Lord be with you.................
Sincerely in His service
Rev. Dr. McNair Ramsey, President CCAL
176 Deep Woods Circle
Valley Grande, AL 36701
Mrs. Gracie Hollins, Treasurer
1712 Broad Street
Selma, AL 36701
C/O Concordia College Alabama
New, free resource for Arabic outreach:
Open doors to conversation with Arabic-speaking immigrants or exchange students in your community with a new, free resource from the Lutheran Heritage Foundation:
A Child's Garden of Bible Stories
, translated into the Arabic language. Available in hardcover and paperback, this colorfully illustrated collection of 60 Old and New Testament Bible lessons is available free of charge to the ministries that need them. Call LHF at
to order your copies.
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.
INSTALLATION OF REV. ROBERT R. LYDICK
April 23, 2017 at 4 PM
Redemption Lutheran Church - Panama City, FL
Rev. Randal Ehrichs, Rev. Robert Lydick, and Rev. Steven Mazzaferro
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.
The saying goes, if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything. So, what do you stand for? Is it worth standing for?
Southern District Senior Youth Gathering
July 7-10, 2017
Panama City, Florida
Registration is done online by going to
Click on youth ministry tab and select senior high events.
Early Bird Registration - Monday, May 8, 2017 through Sunday, May 21, 2017 $180.00
Normal Registration - Monday, May 22, 2017 through Sunday, June 25, 2017 $200.00
The featured speaker for the Youth Gathering is Pastor Travis Hartjen. Pastor Travis is a church
planter in Allen, TX, where he helped launch Tangible Grace. Prior to that, he was a DCE and focused on the discipleship of families and students. He speaks around the country weaving the truth of Jesus with humor and anecdotes from his own life.
The Great Romance Band - Worship/Rock Band from the St. Louis, MO area - will be featured.
ASKING THE RIGHT STEWARDSHIP QUESTIONS
-- MAY 2017
The April StewardCast newsletter challenges us to dig deep when listening to and responding to questions about stewardship. See StewardCAST, April 2017 for full article details. This topic closely aligns with our evolving Stewardship of Our Congregations project that is now entering the phase of identifying and selecting congregations to participate.
When confronted by a question it's not uncommon to hear the response,
"what is the questio
behind your question?" When underlying questions are exposed, they can be dealt with, repented of and then learned from. This then leads to the asking of better questions. Better questions allow for the opening of individual learning and community formation. This is true in stewardship.
Very often the questions that are posed to stewardship leaders in the congregation, district and
Synod are most often veiled. The first one that comes usually sounds like this: "Can you help us in stewardship?" While this seems like an innocent enough question, there are so many layers behind it that need to be explored. What is the question behind this question? There can be so many! Without
parsing the original question, it is impossible to get to a deeper answer.
But what might some of those behind the question questions actually be? They might be as crass as, "Can you help us get the people of our congregation to give more money so that we can pay the bills?" There are other questions that might be lurking behind that simple query. "Can you help
me understand what it means to lead stewardship?" "Can you help us understand how stewardship fits in with the rest of the ministry of our congregation?" This list of these behind the question questions are
almost endless, but they must be discovered! If they are not, the answers given will not truly serve the congregation, and ultimately the ministry of the Gospel, well.
Here are a three sample questions . . . Is the congregation's stewardship about the Bible or the bills? Does the congregation take seriously how counter-cultural stewardship is? Does the congregation know what the congregation is doing in Jesus' name in the congregation, community and world? See the full newsletter for answers.
We are at the point in the Stewardship of Our Congregations project where asking the right questions and listening to responses is essential. Survey questions and interview topics guided by God's Holy Spirit will help connect host and satellite congregations with a compatible ministry context. For more information on the Stewardship of Small Congregations initiative to include interest in participating in the effort, please contact Stewardship Team members Pastor Tony Ramsey or Don Panzenhagen using contact information on the
District Stewardship Who We Are web page.
WE LIFT UP IN PRAYER. . .
The family of Rev. Edward Baker (Emeritus) as he entered the Church Triumphant on April 23. As a pastor, he served St. Matthew in Marion, NC, (1963-1967) and Trinity in Dothan, AL (1976-1984). He served as a U.S. Army Chaplain from 1967 to 1976.
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)
- Rev. Bernard Ansorge (Ascension - Huntsville, AL)
- Rev. Jerome Terry (Bethel - New Orleans, 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
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.