This Ministry
That We Share

       Southern District - LCMS
    November 15, 2017

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JESUS CALLING ~ Enjoying Peace in His Presence
by SarahYoung

BASK IN THE LUXURY of being fully understood and unconditionally loved.  Dare to see yourself as I see you:  radiant in My righteousness, cleansed by My blood.  I view you as the one I created you to be, the one you will be in actuality when heaven becomes your home.  It is My Life within you that is changing you from glory to glory.  Rejoice in this mysterious miracle!  Thank Me continually for the amazing gift of My Spirit within you.
     Try to depend on the help of the Spirit as you go through this day of life.  Pause briefly from time to time so you can consult with this Holy One inside you.  He will not force you to do His bidding, but He will guide you as you give Him space in your life.  Walk along this wondrous way of collaboration with My Spirit.
Psalm 34:5;  2 Corinthians 5:21;  2 Corinthians 3:18;  Galatians 5:25

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (RSV)

Registration Closed --  October 8, 2017
 All Memorials were due --  October 8, 2017
 All Nominations were due --  November 1, 2017
 Hotel Block Rate Ends --  January 27, 2018

Any Southern District congregation, meeting in assembly, may submit nominations for offices of the Southern District. Positions open for nomination, nomination forms, and nomination deadlines, are available on our  website: 
District Mission Support Trends

        2015                     2016                    2017      
Total Budget                 $900,000            $900,000        $900,000

Budgeted Income          $750,000                $750,000              $750,000            
through 10/31

Actual Income                 $734,888                 $665,903             $615,313
through 10/31
Congregations who have elected new congregational officers/leaders, please update the Southern District office with their information.  Click here to submit your information online.  
If you would like a paper form, please contact



Remember that submissions for the November/December issue of SOS are due by Nov. 15. The preferred means for receiving submissions is by email ( 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)


All Congregations!  Please remember to update your Spirit of Southern lists.  As indicated in the letter each congregation received, you will need to cross off any household that does NOT want a paper copy.  Any households left on the list will cost $5.00 each.  Thank you for your attention to this!!

November 19-21, 2017 2017-2018 Annual Teachers' Conference Grace Lutheran Church and School, Huntsville, AL


       Holy Cross - Mobile, AL                       Hope - Santa Rosa Beach, FL (Associate)

        Immanuel - Bossier City, LA                  Grace - 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.

Rev. William Cornelius, Emanuel-Millbank, SD to Trinity-Monroe, LA  ~  Accepted
Rev. Ron Millard,Jr, Immanuel-St. Charles, MO to Immanuel-Bossier City, LA ~ Pending


Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People 

95th Anniversary Service -- Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Prattville, AL

Rev. Jeff Hesterman, Pastor

~ November

Anniversary of Ordination

45th ~ Rev. Dr. Craig Rinker - Emeritus, Atonement, Metairie, LA

5th ~ Rev. David M. Hartung - St. Luke, Starkville, MS


In September the members of St. Paul's Lutheran church, Foley, AL were able to see the fruits of their labors.  For a number of years the members of St. Paul;s have been holding several events to raise enough funds to have the beautiful stained glass windows repaired and cleaned.  We now have a much brighter church as the windows have been repaired and cleaned and looking like new.  

Several months ago the quilters and crafters group at St. Paul's made a decision that they would like to honor the Veterans that were members (or visiting)  at St. Paul's Lutheran Church with a quilt. They have spent the past several months making a Patriotic colored quilt in various sizes to present to the Veterans to thank them for their service to God and country.  On Sunday, October 22, 2017 the Veterans who attended the  service were presented their quilts.  Those that were not present will be given their quilts at a later date.  It was a very moving occasion with lots of smiles and tears.  Thank you Veterans for your service.

Thanks to lots of volunteers for their help last Saturday, Nov. 4th the members of St. Paul's had a very successful Fall Bazaar and Fish Fry dinner. 
Many of the church members made and donated items such as baked goods, jam and jelly, wooden crosses, Christmas ornaments, knitted and crochet hats, scarfs, aprons, quilts, etc. for sale.  There was also a special quilt and 2 sports baskets that were  donated for a raffle.  The monies raised were divided between the church and the LWML (Lutheran Women Missionary League) for their various mission projects.


Church of the Holy Spirit in Attalla, Ala  had a joyful baptism on Sunday, Oct 29, 2017, the 5th baptism in three weeks! i  The lady in the middle was baptized. Church of the Holy Spirit will sponsor 2 basketball teams this year as a 2017-2018 evangelism outreach initiative.  Several of our basketball players are in the picture. 


First Lutheran in Crowley, LA  shared Jesus during the Rice Festival  parades which were held  on Oct. 20th and 21st. For the second year, they had a table  out in front of the church and  offered free small bottles of water and popsicles to  the passers by.  Our sign read: Our water  and popsicles like God's salvation are free to you!. During the year  First had been given several  cases of free Bibles. So this year they were able to offer free Bibles  and included free past issues  of the  Portals  of Prayer  devotionals. They gave out 213 bottles of water and 204  popsicles. Bibles picked up  were 42 and many that picked up Bibles also picked up a 
Portals of  Prayer . One person picked up 3 Bibles-one for each of her children. 
On October 31st, First Lutheran in Crowley, LA shared God's love when they participated in the city's H alloween event downtown. They handed out more than 500 Christian centered items. These included  bookmarks, activity sheets and stickers. The people were very receptive to the fact that we gave out  something with their few pieces of candy. 


Our pastor, Rev. Randal Ehrichs of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church here in Panama City said, "Thanks and glory be to God for our beloved sister in Christ, Dr. Elizabeth Neel."  Dr. Bonnie, as she was fondly called by her family at Good Shepherd was called home to the Lord and bestowed upon her church a wonderful memorial.  In assembly the members decided to send 10% of the memorial gift to the Southern District and ask God to bless the remainder in the badly needed renovations to their 50 year old worship facilities.
Constructed back in the late 60s Good Shepherd had somewhat of a contemporary interior and theme in its sanctuary. The design of the remodel took the church back into a more historical and traditional past in church architecture and design. The renovations included the removal of the red carpet and replaced it all with hard surfaced block styled granicrete. The windows, walls, communion rails, and the entire altar area were all redesigned.  After 3 months of worship in their Family Life Center, on October 15th the congregation returned to its newly renovated sanctuary for its dedication during Divine Service.


Renovations at First Lutheran in Crowley, LA

500 on the 500th
More than 500 people attended Good Shepherd, Shalimar, FL's REFORMATION FESTIVAL on Sunday October 29, at the Ft. Walton Landing, located on the beautiful intercoastal waterway. The event was open to the public.  The opening with "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God", as our entrance into worship, was followed by The Message of "Truth & Freedom", preached by Pastor Ray Angerman, and the children's message presented by FLM Curtis Wiese.  This was followed by Main Stage events of three different musical groups throughout the day.  Booths were set up with information on Good Shepherd (where over 100 Luther's Small Catechisms were distributed), Martin Luther and The Reformation, Lutherans' Life Team, Life Tree CafĂ©, and Lutheran World Relief with coffee and items for sale.  For the children there was face painting, ring toss, pumpkin carving, puppet show, and bouncy house.  Red shirts were everywhere with the Good Shepherd logo on the front, and the Reformation seal on the back. What a wonderful day it was with an exciting commemoration that gave Jesus ALL the Glory.  500 years later we were reminded, It's Still All About Jesus.  Elder/Out Reach Committee member, Ron Artman chaired the event.       
Bea Daily, Good Shepherd Lutheran, Shalimar, Florida


  Lutherans invited all Protestant denominations to help celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Camden, Ala., welcoming pastors from Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist traditions to extol the virtues of Martin Luther's defining message of the free gift of saving faith through God's grace. LCMS pastor from left, Rev. James Wiggins, Sr., and Rev. James Brown, retired, Pensacola, Fla., Betty Anderson, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Camden who organized the event, Rev. Meredith Jackson, pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran, Camden, and main speaker, Rev. Dr. McNair Ramsey, who serves on the District's Stewardship Committee and as Second Vice President.

Shreveport/Bossier congregations celebrated the 500 th  Anniversary of the Reformation with joint celebration communion service on Sunday, October 29 th  at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bossier City, Louisiana.  With special music provided by all three congregations, the pastors each focused on one of the three "solas" - grace alone, faith alone, and Scripture alone.  The service was followed by an enormous potluck dinner in the church fellowship area.

From L to R: Rev. Dr. Mark Koch (Immanuel - Bossier), Rev. Michael Shannon (Faith - Shreveport), and
Rev. Perry Culver (Christ - Shreveport.

Trinity in Leesville/Fort Polk, Louisiana held it's 25 th Annual Gumbo Fundraiser on November 2-4. This fundraiser is held each year to help raise money for  Helping Hands , a community organization that works to provide meals for low-income senior citizens. The planning for the gumbo cook spanned the entire summer, as bell peppers and okra were donated and prepared by members Glenn Salger and Linda Westeen from Glenn's garden. Over the weeks preceding the cook, members Bill and Tilli Walker worked to secure donations of sausage, onions, and more. Whole chickens were bought by numerous members of the congregation, cooked, deboned, and prepared for the gumbo. And then the communal work began. On November 2, members joined together in the church kitchen to wash and prepare containers. On November 3, members got together in the fellowship hall to cut up 60 pounds of sausage and 48 pounds of tear-inducing onions. Finally, on November 4, the big day had arrived. Everyone gathered together at 8am that Saturday morning to begin cooking, and after four hours of stirring, adding ingredients, seasoning, stirring, stirring some more, and ladling into quart containers, everything was completed. Two hundred and thirty-nine (239) quarts of gumbo were made in all and sold both to members of the congregation and people throughout the community. Special thanks to Bill and Tilli Walker, Paxton and June Thomas, Glenn Salger, Linda Westeen, Perry and Lesa Perkins, Carrie Huneke, Cherri Cowan, Paula Ottestad, Linda Schirmer, Pastor Brad and Kim Lessman, and Pastor Josh and Tiffany Leigeber (and even six-year-old Elijah Leigeber who worked as a water-boy to help keep everyone hydrated) for all their help!

On Friday, October 6, LHS hosted one of its most successful LHS Days in recent years. More than 150 students in grades 6th - 8th spent a portion of their school day at LHS getting to know our students and our faculty. Our guests rotated through 9 classrooms and got to experience a subject themed activity in each! Highlights included the theatre students performing in the theatre room, science experiments led by Mr. Scriber in the lab, and handprint artwork coordinated by Mr. Taylor and his art students. The final artwork will be shared with each school that attended.

The day concluded at First English where our guests enjoyed a cheerleading jump-off between our mascot Louie, and cheerleaders Loreal Nash, Mason O'Rourke, and Rael Shaw. Names were drawn for free t-shirts before our guests left! Those schools participating were: Atonement Lutheran (Metairie), Concordia Lutheran (Marrero), Faith Lutheran (Harahan), Grace Lutheran (Westbank), and St. John Lutheran (New Orleans).

A special thanks to the more than 70 LHS students who made the day possible! It was a great day to be a Gryphon!

Students and faculty came together in Chapel to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Special thanks to Pastor Babin from St. John Lutheran Church for joining students and faculty as the guest Pastor and leading the Chapel service.   "Little Luther and Lutheran High School's junior mascot, "Lil' Louie" helped to mark the occasion.  "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."

~Ephesians 2:8-9


Congregations throughout the Southern District have plans for celebrations and activities to recognize the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  The SD website contains a list of these celebrations with additional information.  

To view these,  click here

Here are some timely excerpts from Synod's October StewardCAST newsletter. So, what is your answer to the age-old question, "How can we best communicate that stewardship is more than just the church begging for more money?" After all, there is really no solid "quick fix" answer to this million-dollar stewardship question. Far too much effort is expended in easy answers in the area of stewardship.
Easy answers often create more issues than they solve.
Simple solutions that deceive.
  • The first "easy answer" often attempted is to go the programmatic route. There are those who hold that all you need is the right program, the right consultant, the shiniest print piece and catchiest communication handles, and everything will fall into place. But these items alone will not turn the stewardship skeptic into a committed steward.
  • Another "easy answer" that is attempted is one that appeals to guilt. These impassioned pleas have come from pastors and congregational leaders. Only succeed in reinforcing the false narrative that the congregation is really oriented toward manipulative stewardship.
  • Yet another logical attempt at an easy answer to the stewardship objection is to try and make the scope of stewardship too small. Reducing stewardship to categories like "time, talent and treasure" can often be logical and well meaning. The skeptical steward may say, "I have given my time. I have given my talent. Two out of three isn't bad. I will keep my treasure." This easy answer actually weakens the very stewardship it attempts to encourage.
  Called, gathered and enlightened: A matter of identity. While there are no "easy answers" to the objections the original question posed, there are answers. There is no greater answer than to point the objector to Holy Scripture. The initial focus needs to be on the identity of the steward. Passages that highlight that stewards are stewards because they were made for this purpose (GENESIS 1 AND 2) and that they have been redeemed for this purpose (ROMANS 12:1-2) are good places to start. The wayward steward is restored to faithful stewardship by the Spirit calling, gathering, enlightening, sanctifying and keeping them by the power of the Gospel. This appeal to the identity of the steward will also broaden the horizon of the skeptical steward.
 Modeling a vocation of joyful service. There is one tremendous answer that is often overlooked: modeling. This means the congregation needs to be highlighting and telling the stories of those who have been moved by the Holy Spirit to use all their life and life's resources for God's purposes. When skeptical stewards can see faithfulness in action in light of who God has called them to be, it gives a visible pattern for them. When people who are just like they (skeptical steward) are - young or old, 
wealthy or poor, bored or busy, those on fixed incomes or those with growing assets - are seen being who the Lord has made and redeemed them to be, it can be a powerful teaching tool. Done well, this can be the best currency to buy a second look at faithful stewardship in the lives of the skeptical steward.
Leaders, as faithful stewards, know that stewardship is more than money. They know it is a call to be "all in" for the Gospel. Devoid of easy answers, it takes the regular application of God's Word and the visible investment of faithful stewards to serve as an example for those who would be the stewards God has made them to be! 

Submitted by Gary Grubb, Chairman


The family of Rev. Gary Weier, Emeritus-Gulfport, MS at the passing of his mother.

The family of Rev. David Doroh, Emeritus-Our Redeemer, Florence, AL at the passing of his mother, Rosemary Doroh.

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)

   The celebration of the marriage of Rev. Wayne and Ashley Miller, Grace-Mobile, AL on November 4, 2017.  Congratulations!                                                                                          
  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. Michael Shannon (Faith - Shreveport, LA)
    • 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
    • Mrs. Grace Yunker, wife of Rev. Arthur Yunker (Emeritus - Mobile, 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  (NIV)
                                    THE GIFT OF GENEROSITY-Electronic Giving
     A definition of generous includes this phrase: 
    Freely sharing valuable things.   Freely sharing
    . . .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.  

    Visit here or contact Ronnie Giaise  at the Southern District office for more information ---

    Illustration by Patti Miller, Member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fairhope, Alabama.              Southern District -LCMS               504-282-2632

    100 Mission Dr.
    Slidell LA 70460