GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS ". . . for his steadfast love endures for ever!" (Psalm 106:1b)
In the month of October we celebrate the Reformation. Many have often wondered what enabled Dr. Martin Luther to be the driving force he came to be, during the Reformation. The answer can be found in our verse this month. Dr. Luther knew the security of God's love. Sharing in that security of God's love is the heart of our heritage of faith. It is firm and sure, an immovable rock on which to build, and an anchor to cling to in stormy seas. Vastly different from human love, it is not based on chemistry, feelings, like-mindedness or performance. We can trust in His love no matter what we do or what happens to us. He simply but profoundly loves us. God's faithfulness is not measured by the instability and fickleness of man's soul. God's love is based on His nature, and on His faithfulness to Himself. In His love, He made a unilateral, unbreakable covenant with His people, no matter what they say or how they act. There are consequences for their choices, but He does not stop loving them, nor does He renege on the covenant. God has a plan to bless and fulfill all of His people. He is faithful to that plan, whether or not individuals refuse or reject His desired blessing for them. At the foot of Mount Sinai the people of Israel quickly turned aside from the way of Yahweh, created other gods, and spent their time eating, drinking and playing. When in His wrath God turned away from them, Moses appealed to Him, "Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou didst swear by thine own self " (Exodus 32:13). Psalm 106 recounts Israel's rebellion, murmuring, provoking, and serving idols. Consequences were inevitable, but God never left them. When the invited guests refused to come to the wedding feast, making light of the invitation and following the gods of labor and business, the ultimate blessing was not dependent upon their reaction. God continued with His perfect plan to save and bless His people by inviting others. The feast was held and continues to be held, because it is His will that it be so. It is by His steadfast love that we participate. Thanks be to God!
Prayer: We rejoice, Father, in your faithfulness and steadfast love for us. Help us to grow in that love, that we may reflect it to a troubled and unstable world. Amen.
** IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER! **
Registration Closes --
October 8, 2017
All Memorials due --
October 8, 2017
All Nominations due --
November 1, 2017
Hotel Block Rate Ends --
January 27, 2018
NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN!
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
OUR STEWARDSHIP OF HIS RESOURCES
District Mission Support Trends
2015 2016 2017
$900,000 $900,000 $900,000
Budgeted Income $675,000 $675,000
Actual Income $645,174 $608,716 $563,680
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 November/December issue of SOS are due by Nov. 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)
SPIRIT OF SOUTHERN UPDATE
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!!
|October 8, 2017
||Grace Lutheran Church
150th Anniversary Celebration
|Grace Lutheran Church
|November 12, 2017
|Appreciation Service for
Rev. Jerome Terry
|Bethel Lutheran Church
New Orleans, LA
|November 19-21, 2017
||2017-2018 Annual Teachers' Conference
||Grace Lutheran Church and School, Huntsville, AL
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATIONS
Holy Cross - Mobile, AL Hope - Santa Rosa Beach, FL (Associate)
Trinity - Monroe, LA
Grace - Pensacola, FL
Immanuel - Bossier City, LA
If your congregation has extended a call, had a call accepted, or had a call returned, please remember to notify the Southern District office.
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People
150th Anniversary - Grace Lutheran Church, Mobile, Alabama
October 8, 2017
Rev. Wayne Miller, Pastor
~ October ~
Anniversary of Ordination
SAVE THE DATE:
ANNUAL TEACHERS' CONFERENCE
Please save the date for the 2017 - 2018 annual Teachers' Conference.
Here is the basic Information:
WHO: The teachers and DCEs of the Southern and Mid-South Districts
: Annual Conference
WHERE: Grace Lutheran School and Church, Huntsville, Alabama
Sunday, November 19 - Tuesday, November 21
WHY: For Professional Growth, Worship, and Camaraderie
For more information, contact Glenn Gerber firstname.lastname@example.org or
the Conference Chairman, Tom Naatz at Grace, Huntsville
HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS
Three Category 4 hurricanes have devastated parts of Texas and Florida, as well as Puerto Rico-all in the span of a few short weeks.As we well know, recovering from an event like these is a marathon, not a sprint. Relief efforts will be ongoing for quite some time, and you can be a blessing to the victims in three ways:
PRAY for those who were affected by these disasters and those who will come to their aid in the weeks and months to come.
GIVE money and other, specifically needed items. If you would like to make a monetary donation, you have several options. A few of these are listed below. 100% of the donations given to these organizations will go directly to the affected areas. Be sure to earmark the donation for disaster relief. You may click on the following links to visit their donation pages.
If you need a physical address in order to mail a check, please call the Southern District Office: 985-635-4382.
Throughout the recovery process, specific products/items will also be needed. Upbring has put together a comprehensive list of items that may be gathered and assembled into care kits. Please click here to view the list. Once your kits are complete, contact Upbring to find out where the kits are needed so you know where to ship or deliver them.
VOLUNTEER when the call goes out. While the assessment of volunteer needs continues, you may already communicate your desire to volunteer. Camp Restore/RAI is coordinating volunteers for areas of Texas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. They are also exploring ways to assist with Hurricane Maria recovery in Puerto Rico. If you wish to volunteer in Irma relief, however, please contact Mr. John Elliott in the Florida-Georgia District Office. Click on the links below to sign up; you will be notified when opportunities are available.
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS 2017
We are in another "Hurricane Season." The Southern District takes this subject very seriously and wants to help as much as possible. First and foremost, if you receive a mandatory evacuation order, PLEASE heed it! Then, please take a few moments to register with the district so that information can be on file. This can be done by phone or on the District website,
. This flyer can be saved in your evacuation file. It contains all of the information that you will need if and when the time comes.
If you can provide shelter, or are looking for shelter, you can also use the website to provide or receive information.
___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . _
SOUTHERN DISTRICT EVACUATION REPORTING
In the event of hurricane evacuation, please contact the Southern District with the following information:
Name, Congregation, City, State Report information to: www.southernlcms.org
Evacuated (yes or no)
Church Workers (Mandatory reporting)--
If yes, to: City, State
Contact Phone Number
Congregation Members - 985-796-7577
ST. JOHN ~ NEW ORLEANS, LA
St. John Lutheran Church
3937 Canal St.
New Orleans, LA 7011
Ravi Zacharias' Ministries
Answering the Tough Questions
Tackling the tough questions is an integral part of conversational evangelism, but sometimes a straightforward answer can do more harm than good. When engaging in effective evangelism, how do we recognize and wisely illuminate the logical fallacies and assumptions embedded in difficult questions and objections? This presentation will focus on Jesus
interactions as examples of what it means to speak not only to the heart of a question, but primarily to the heart of the person.
Date: October 13, 2017
Time: 6:00PM - 8:00 PM
(Includes a Q&A Session)
Location: St. John Lutheran Fellowship Hall
(Behind School / Administration Building)
Refreshments will be served
THE DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION IS FAST APPROACHING!!
REGISTER NOW TO ATTEND!!
Annual Southern District Junior Youth Gathering
One District, One Gathering, One HUGE event
for our Southern District Junior Highers!
@ Lake Forest Ranch ~ Macon, MS
Early bird August 25th-September 15th $105
Regular registration Sept 16th- October 25th $120
Presenters: Pastor Tim Schutt and Pastor Greg Manning
FREE BIBLES AVAILABLE!
We want to make you aware of a special offering from the LWML store. The
Today's Light Bibles
, 2014, ESV version are available in cases of 12, free for shipping costs. Karen in the office (800-252-5965
) will take your orders and can give you an approximate cost of shipping. These will make great gifts for confirmands, guest speakers, or for your church's Sunday use. As the hurricane-affected churches recover, you may want to reach out and offer to send the Bibles to them if they need them.
SOUTHERN DISTRICT 500TH ANNIVERSARY of the REFORMATION CELEBRATIONS
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.
STEWARDSHIP OF OUR CONGREGATIONS
In last month's update I reported that our efforts to recruit congregations in Circuit 12 increased stewardship awareness but did not bear fruit in the form of test clusters. God has redirected our approach from seeking participant host congregations (top down) to responding to self-identified satellite congregations desiring to work together (bottom up). Three congregations in Circuit 8 have contacted the committee and expressed strong interest in forming a test cluster as soon as practicable this fall. Two additional Circuit 8 congregations are being informed of the opportunity by fellow lay leaders. District and Circuit leadership supports this shift in recruiting approach. Specifically, Stewardship Committee member Don Pazenhagen in coordination with MMF Eric Johnson will continue direct coordination with circuit 8 congregations. With God's blessings, we may see this cluster take shape in late fall and begin testing with data collection early next year. We intend to serve as facilitators while letting cluster congregations work out specifics like scheduling, communion details and resource needs. Again, the purpose of the Stewardship of Our Congregations project is, "To make a firm statement that a Lutheran presence in a community is important to us ALL whether it's connecting and/or revitalizing current congregations or making a new church plant." The priority effort is to develop and communicate with Host and Satellite congregations the advantages and disadvantages of connecting with available digital technology to help meet each congregation's Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care ministry needs. We are excited about helping work out the details to form initial clusters for shared ministry. Just this week two congregations from adjoining circuits inquired about more information on how they might get involved. Praise God! For more information on the Stewardship of Our Congregations initiative to include interest in participating in the effort, please contact Stewardship Team members Pastor Tony Ramsey or Don Panzenhagen. Contact information and the project brochure details are on the District Stewardship webpage.
Submitted by Gary Grubb, Chairman
WE LIFT UP IN PRAYER. . .
The family of Rev. Edwin L. Coyner as his passing on Sept. 17, 2017. He served the following congregations in the Southern District:
Messiah - Vicksburg, MS: 1954-1965,
First (Organized) - Greenville, MS: 1954-1956,
First (Organized) - Natchez, MS: 1957-1959, and
Trinity - New Orleans, LA: 1965-1982.
Rev. Edwin L. Coyner served the Southern District in many capacities, including Recruitment & Scholarship Chairman, Circuit Counselor, and Constitutions Committee Chairman. He also served as Chaplain to the Lutheran Home in New Orleans. Rev. Coyner's educational involvement led him to serve on the Lutheran High School Board of Directors. Services were held on Sept. 22 at Our Redeemer - Clinton, MS.
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)
Mr. Erwin Senentz (Formerly on the SD Stewardship Committee)
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)
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.