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       Southern District - LCMS
    October 1, 2016

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"For God did not give us a spirit of  timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-
Kurtis D. Schultz
2 Timothy 1: 7

This month the church celebrates Reformation. At the forefront of this event was a man by the name of Dr. Martin Luther. Many have wondered what was at the center of this earth changing event, and what changed the fearful monk, Luther, into a fearless witness of the Gospel. The answer is the powerful Spirit of God. When the pure Gospel of God's free grace in Jesus Christ touched the hearts of his people, they fully understood what Timothy was writing about in his second letter. God has not given us a spirit of timidity, or fear as an older version translates it.

There is need for this same reformation even today. Fear is not of God, yet we operate so much out of fear and timidity. We determine our actions often on the basis of fear. We are fearful of what people will say or think about what we do. We are afraid to trust God and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We are afraid to risk ourselves for the kingdom. We are afraid to commit ourselves to doing the will of God because of the cost or the consequences. So we live out our days timidly and seldom see the hand of God at work in our day to day existence.
We need to live each day trusting God. He loves us in Jesus. He declares us His children though the waters of baptism. He wants to give us good things, to provide for us and protect us. Why are we afraid of Him? He gives us the spirit of power - not our power, which is puny, but His power to meet the situations which overwhelm us and are so much greater than our power. He gives us the spirit of love - His love to dwell in and to share with others. We can't love anyone beyond ourselves without the gift of His love. He gives us the gift of self-discipline. Many of us have a hard time disciplining ourselves in places of recurring temptation. We have a difficult time controlling lifelong habits and patterns of behavior. We find it often exhausting to rein in our impulses and feelings. Yes, He has given us the spirit of self-control to help us follow His will and way.

Don't let the enemy (or the "old evil foe" as Luther calls him) fool you into believing that God has not provided all that you need in your situation. Don't surrender to fear today. Don't let it rule your life. Choose to believe this great promise. Live in the spiritual gifts that God has provided for you.  Then you will live in the joy of reformation.

Lord, thank you for gracing us with your gifts of power, and love, and self-discipline. Help us to use these gifts today to do your will that reformation may continue in your church, your world and in us today. Amen. 

                     ANCHORS AWAY!     cruise-ship-banner2.jpg
For those registered, final payment was due Sept. 25th, 2016.  Thank you to the many who have been making regular payments.  After Sept. 25th, cabin price is no longer guaranteed for new registrations, although as long as there is a cabin open, Ginger will get you onboard the ship at the best pricing available at the time of registration.
Please send an email to [email protected] or call her at 601-991-1109 to approve your final payment.  If there is a credit card on file, that one can be use for that payment.
Please be sure to log into your cruise planner to pick your preferred time frame to board the ship.  You will not be allowed to board if you arrive earlier than the time chosen.  If you do not choose a time, Carnival will assign you a time.  To check-in online, please go to,  enter your booking number, last name, date of birth, and ship along with sail date to access Online check-in.  Click on MY CHECK IN TIME -- set up Embarkation time.
Ginger Kramp is happy to assist with any and all questions.  Contact Ginger at [email protected]  or  601-991-1109.
District Mission Support Trends

        2014               2015               2016
Total Budget             $1,100,000         $900,000        $900,000

Budgeted Income          $750,000              $675,000           $675,000             
through 9/30

Actual Income                  $687,176             $645,174            $608,716
through 9/30



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

October 2 Installation of Rev. Ralph Hough Ascension Lutheran Church
Daphne, AL
October 16

50th Anniversary of 

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Vredenburgh, AL

October 17-18 Southern District Newcomers' Orientation Mission Center
Slidell, LA
October 20-23 100th Anniversary of the International Lutheran Laymen's League/Lutheran Hour Ministries St. Louis, MO
October 30
11:00 AM-4:00 PM
Oktoberfest - Celebrating 499 years 
of Grace Through Faith
The Village Church-Lutheran
LaCombe, LA



       Christ the King - Natchitoches, LA            Grace - Huntsville, AL

                                                                              St. Paul's - Decatur, AL                                     

Rev. Christopher Escher to Trinity, Panama City, FL ~ Declined
Rev. Jonathan Kern, St. James, Gonzales, LA to Immanuel, Colorado Springs, CO ~ Accepted
Rev. Paul McComack, Trinity, Monroe, LA to Trinity, Panama City, FL ~ Accepted 


Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People 


50th Anniversary ~ Immanuel Lutheran Church, Vredenburgh, AL

October 16, 2016

Rev. Steve Washington, Pastor


70th Anniversary ~ St.  John Lutheran Church, Hattiesburg, MS

Nov. 12-13

Rev. John Karle, Pastor

 OCTOBER 2016  
   Do you talk about stewardship or like many of us do you tend to talk around stewardship? We oftentimes skirt the stewardship conversation because it can get bogged down in just money and who owns it anyway. Our ownership mentality of all of God's gifts can stifle how we talk about and even use what He gives us. We are entering the season of renewing stewardship awareness and education. There are two new areas on the District website where you can quickly find clear, simple answers to stewardship questions and resources to support a refreshing stewardship revival.
   The first is the What the District Does summary sheet and fact sheet located in the About section of the website. This information can be downloaded with contact information to address the full range of District support and services questions that often surface during congregational meetings. The other is the menu of Stewardship topics (Stewardship Southern Style, Where the Gifts Come From, How the Gifts Are Used, Who We Are, and How We Can Help) along with Partnership and Direct giving links. These resources are designed to provide a fresh look at being good stewards of God's Gifts as we walk together in making disciples for Jesus Christ.

Installation of Rev. Jeffery Hesterman
Bethlehem Lutheran Church - Prattville, AL
August 21, 2016

Ordination and Installation of Dr. Alemu Katiso as
Business Division Assistant Professor at  Concordia College Alabama
Trinity Lutheran Church, Selma, Alabama
September 18, 2016

JR. YOUTH GATHERING                        

1 John 4:4-6 
         This year there will be only ONE gathering in a central location. 
 November 11-13 @ Twin Lakes Camp and Conference Center, Florence, Mississippi
Registration will open September 5th.
Early Bird Registration is Sept. 5-19 -- $99/participant
Sept. 20-Oct. 24 will be $105/participant
Presenters will be the Rev. Tim Schutt and Rev. Greg Manning
  Information will be continually updated on the  Southern District website and through publications.

Promo video for Jr. Youth Gathering
Promo video for Jr. Youth Gathering

Steps to Revise/Amend a Constitution

  •  A copy of the revised or amended constitution is sent to Rev. Robert Belknap,
    Chairman of the Constitutions Committee.  
    Contact: [email protected]/ home phone 985-290-7160


  • Also send a copy to the Southern District office- attention: Ronnie Giaise.
     Contact: [email protected] / 985-605-5404 direct line.
  • The Constitutions Committee reviews the submitted constitution and corresponds directly with the congregation regarding any suggestions for revision.
  • Once the discussion is complete between the committee and the congregation and the committee approves their amended or revised constitution, Pastor Belknap recommends to the Board of Directors that the constitution be approved.
  • Pastor Belknap notifies the congregation that the constitution is approved by the Board of Directors.
  • T he congregation then sends a final copy of the Board of Director-approved constitution to the Southern District office to be included in the congregation's file, stamped and dated as final copy.
Any questions regarding this process can be directed to the Southern District office.
Thank you for your attention to the details of this important process!


All those in southeastern Louisiana as they continue to recover from the flooding that devastated so many communities.

  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. Dr. James Holowach (Christ - Jackson, MS)
      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. Rod Pasch (Open Arms - Slidell, 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  (NIV)


    Dear Colleagues in Christ,


    Don't let time get away from you!  Register now for the Zion XVI Triennial Conference, which will be held Sept. 15-18 in Belleville, IL at Our Lady of the Snows Retreat Center. 


    Registration for "Lutheran Accents in Specialized Pastoral Ministry" is $100 for double occupancy, $125 for single occupancy, or $75 for the commuter day rate.


    Visit to register or download the schedule, speaker biographies and other important information.

    the awards -- two each from the ELCA and the LCMS -- will be given to the honorees at the Zion XVI banquet.



    In Christ,


    Rev. Joel Hempel

    Interim director, LCMS Specialized Pastoral Ministry 

                                    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 --- [email protected].

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

    100 Mission Dr.
    Slidell LA 70460