KEEP ON BELIEVING
Do not be seized with alarm and have no fear, only keep on believing. Mark 5:35b
Jairus took a considerable risk when he prostrated himself before Jesus and begged for his daughter to be healed. After all, he was a leader of the synagogue, a respected man schooled in the law, a righteous man who knew what God expected of His people and what they could expect of God. In Jerusalem the Pharisees and the scribes had condemned Jesus for healing on the Sabbath, claiming Jesus was possessed by Satan. For Jairus to acknowledge Jesus' power to heal was to separate himself from all those other religious leaders who denied who Jesus was. And yet, Jairus found himself in such need on that day, that he forgot all the "right" reasons that would have kept him from bowing before Jesus' feet. Instead, he chose to hope for healing for his beloved daughter, who was at the point of death.
Nevertheless, Jairus would have bigger battles to face before the end of the day. Before Jesus could reach his home to lay hands on Jairus' daughter, the news had come to them: "Your daughter has died." Knowing how much Jairus was suffering at this point, Jesus encouraged him, "Do not be seized with alarm and have no fear, only keep on believing."
Jesus knew that the healing that Jairus had sought for his daughter had suddenly become impossible for an earthly mind. It was one thing for Jairus to believe that Jesus could heal his daughter; it was entirely another for Jairus to believe that Jesus could bring his daughter back from death. Yet Jesus told him simply and directly to "keep on believing."
God the one who gives us the gift of faith and all that is necessary for us to believe is prompting Jarius to use what God has given him. We know that nothing is too hard for the Lord. We can all say those words, and our minds can assent to their plausibility. Still, believing requires more than our minds. Believing requires our hearts and our wills. Believing requires that our passions line up with the words we have said and the testimonies we have made. Believing requires submitting all that we are to the one who can transform us into a believing people of faith.
What obstacles are you facing in your walk with Jesus that require Him to say to you, "only keep on believing?" Are you discouraged about your life? Do you fear for others? When Jairus cast himself at Jesus' feet, Jesus took him up and carried him through to the end of his fears. Jairus would never again be the same. Jesus will do the same for you and for me. We must learn to depend on Jesus for the work of faith He wants to perform every day in our lives so we can keep on believing.
Jesus, you are bigger than my unbelief. Build within me a heart of faith. I believe, help my unbelief. Amen.
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 $300,000 $300,000
Actual Income $264,759 $253,733 $260,381
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (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)
ASCENSION ~ HUNTSVILLE, AL
Welcome, Vicar Arends!
Vicar Tyler Arends will begin his vicarage in June at Ascension Lutheran Church, Huntsville, AL. He graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin and is at Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN. Vicar Arends is originally from Melvin, IL. Welcome to Ascension - Huntsville and to the Southern District!!
|June 24-30, 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 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. David Tilney to Ebenezer, Alexandria, MN & St. James, Parkers Prairie, MN ~ Declined
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People
85th Anniversary ~ Redeemer, DeRidder, LA
May 6, 2018
Deacon Steven Biegel, Interim
~ May ~
Anniversary of Ordination
10th ~ Rev. Randy Blankschaen, Immanuel - Pensacola, FL
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!
CELEBRATING 85TH ANNIVERSARY
REDEEMER LUTHERAN CHURCH
MAY 6, 2018
CHURCH SERVICE AT 10:45AM
WITH GUEST SPEAKER SOUTHERN DISTRICT PRESIDENT KURTIS SCHULTZ.
LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED AFTER SERVICE.
THERE WILL BE MUSIC BY LOCAL ARTISTS.
JAMES BURNETT WILL BE THERE TO DISCUSS THE STAINED-GLASS WINDOWS THAT HE MADE FOR THE CHURCH.
MR. BURNETT IS A RETIRED ART TEACHER AT DERIDDER HIGH SCHOOL.
ALL ARE WELCOME TO COME AND ENJOY
FELLOWSHIP, FOOD AND MUSIC.
HOLY CROSS ~ NEW ORLEANS, LA
Rev. Aubrey Watson, Jr, Pastor
CONCORDIA ~ DAPHNE, AL
Rev. Benjamin Stallworth, Pastor
Concordia Lutheran's LWML is off to an awesome start this year. We have had several successful fund raisers. We teamed up with the USA Children and Women's Hospital to make caps for the kids who will be having surgery there. The materials were donated by the ladies and the caps were lovingly made by our oldest member, Dorothy Dale, who made 57 caps!
We had a special prayer and dedication service on Easter Sunday. The caps were donated in honor of our young member Coltin Holliman who has been receiving care there since his birth (out-patient).
What a great feeling!! Our prayer is that God will continue to order our steps!!
Submitted by Gladys Dale
HOPE ON THE BEACH ~ SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL
Rev. Jason Scheler, Pastor
Lifeguards are a blessing to our beaches!
South Walton Lifeguards are a great blessing that are often taken for granted. Yes, they have a job at the beach, but at any moment they may have to risk their life for another. The beach for them is a place of work, constantly scanning the beach and water to ensure each person's safety. Hope on the Beach wanted to recognize their service and bless them. On Sunday, March 18th during our beach worship experience at Ed Walline Beach, Pastor Jason and the Hope on the Beach family blessed them with prayer and a gift to show them gratitude and appreciation for their service. Hope also wanted to let them know there is a loving God watching over them.
Hope on the Beach meets at Ed Walline Beach, at the corner of 393 and 30A every Sunday @ 8am. You can enjoy this worship experience from a beach chair, blanket or the boardwalk. For inclement weather the beach service is held indoors at Shunk Gulley restaurant.
Hope on the Beach's main campus is located at 3834 US Hwy 98 West on the second floor. For more information, call 850-267-0322 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOPE ON THE BEACH ~ SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL
Rev. Jason Scheler, Pastor
Over 1,000 Attended Hope's Egg Drop Palooza
The day was filled with anticipation as over a thousand people waited for the egg drop. The helicopter came, and all watched with amazement as thousands of eggs dropped onto the field. The colorful spectacle was mesmerizing. After the helicopter cleared the area, the hunt began with over 5,500 Easter eggs. But that's not all, there was face painting, Betty Longlegs, crafts, games, and pictures with the Easter Bunny. If you missed this year, plan to attend next year to join us for the fun and games! You can find details about this event and others on our Facebook page or our website hopeonthebeach.org.
Hope on the Beach is located at 3834 US Hwy 98 West on the second floor. An elevator is located at the east end of the building for convenience. For more information, call 850-267-0322 or email@example.com.
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 COMMITTEE VISITS HOPE ON THE BEACH
Following a suggestion that Hope in Santa Rosa Beach was doing innovative stewardship things, we visited and had an enjoyable and enlightening, if somewhat lengthy conversation that I am certain cut rather deeply into Rev Jason Scheler's day. To be brief, they are indeed doing very interesting, innovative things that involve not only talking about and identifying all of God's gifts, but also providing specific opportunities for using them. Their approach begins with a somewhat formal establishment of an outward focused, forward looking Vision/Mission statement that the congregation can deliberately identify with and simple enough to take to heart to guide daily use of God's gifts for both their members and those who have yet to receive the Holy Spirit's work. Attitudinally, the emphasis is on striving to do your best and desiring to actively improve while using His gifts. Their committees and board structure are like most congregations, but they operate and manage their activities as a connected system of systems. Hence, avoiding the stove pipe or silo effects that frequently result in the situation where workers feel that they are responsible for this area and it is doing well, while having little awareness, or even involvement with the performance of the total team. This view of operations as both specific ministry efforts and overall team performance allows Hope to rather easily evaluate and adjust both specific and overall effectiveness. They begin stewardship efforts with a contribution system they designed that provides an envelope and a pen when one enters, creating a feeling that this is the individual's envelope and encourages a thoughtful decision on their commitments. The envelope is Hope's own design sized for both cash or checks, but also has instructions for digital contributions while collecting names, addresses, etc. It is deliberately designed to be filled out there or taken home and mailed or returned later, enabling the recipient to authorize credit card charges or an address for other forms of digital giving. All while obtaining name, address, phone number and email account. These envelopes are usually placed in the traditional plate following a few words on financial stewardship from Pastor Scheler during the service, along with words on ministries being supported and those that could be supported. This tie to not just dollars but a theme of expansion of current ministries, or the creation of new ministries, provides a direction in terms of changing lives and coming to a deeper understanding of a personal relationship with God by using His gifts. First time attendees receive a tri-fold addressing these things. First time givers then receive an auto email from the Pastor and a thankyou card from the Financial Secretary-203 of these in 2018. Large gifts over $500 receive a card and a thank you gift, currently one of Pastor Scheler's own water color paintings. For evaluation of ministries the emphasis is on frequent reporting and evaluation of the supporting systems, as well as a more traditional overall evaluation. For financial reporting this includes emphasis on a generosity ladder deliberately divided into first time givers, consistent givers, tithers and generosity givers. Non-dollar centric evaluations of specific system performance also are done frequently to adjust for overall performance. Overall, Hope has a system of evaluating tangible successes while emphasizing the intangibles of congregational momentum and attitude that both require and provide for confidence in the pastor, lay leadership and ministry. We left Santa Rosa Beach with the feeling that Hope has indeed come up with an effective system for ministry management well worthy of being shared throughout the District.
Don Panzenhagen, Interim Chairperson of the Stewardship Committee
WE LIFT UP IN PRAYER. . .
The Wegener family at the passing of Kenneth Wegener, long time Southern District educator. Services were held on April 21 at St. Paul, New Orleans, LA.
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.