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       Southern District - LCMS
    September 1, 2016

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Keeping Our Minds on the Things of God
Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8
Paul is ardently appealing to the Philippians to train their minds to think about certain things.  He exhorts them to focus their thoughts on the positive qualities of life, those qualities which characterize the Spirit of God.  How easy it is these days to entertain negative thoughts, demeaning thoughts, and even aggressively angry thoughts.  How much we, too, need this exhortation!
Paul knows that the thought-life is one of Satan's prime targets.  The devil is constantly injecting negative thoughts, or tantalizing fancies, or some discouraging distraction into our minds.  If we allow our curiosity to be piqued, we find ourselves accepting these thoughts and nurturing them as if they were our own.  Martin Luther suggested, "You cannot forbid a bird from flying over your head, but you can prevent it from making a nest in your hair."  We need to keep Satan's harassing thoughts from finding fertile soil in our minds, because once a thought pattern is established, it is difficult to dislodge.  It wears a groove in our brain.  We need to make sure that any groove is God's groove.
Disciplining our minds to think on things that are true means that we refuse to dwell on what is false, deceptive, or unreal.  Thinking on things that are pure involves not allowing unclean thoughts to linger. Thinking about things that are honorable or lovely discourages us from spending time justifying ourselves, criticizing others, and planning to even the score with someone who has hurt us.
If we take this admonition seriously, we will continually make an effort to elevate our mind to positive, gracious, excellent, and praiseworthy thoughts.  We will be careful about what we read, what we watch, what we listen to, and what we talk about.  Earlier in this letter Paul exhorts us to "be blameless and innocent ... in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world."  In order to shine we must keep our minds as oases of God's reality, purity, and loveliness, so that our conversations will be uplifting and our lives reflect His light.
0 Holy Spirit of God, visit now this soul of mine.  Inspire all my thoughts.  Pervade my imagination.  Suggest all my decisions.  Lodge in my will's most inward citadel and order all my doings.        Amen
The Southern District provided assistance in gutting houses in Livingston, Louisiana on Saturday, Aug. 20.  The flooding has affected thousands of people living in southwest Louisiana and the Southern District along with the LCMS Synod is involved in relief efforts which will be on-going for some time to come.  The next scheduled work date is set for Thursday, Sept. 1 and will include some of the SD Board members!

Southern District President Kurtis Schultz, District Executive Glenn Gerber, and
District Executive Rev. Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson, Jr. and Zach Johnson
District Mission Support Trends

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

Budgeted Income          $733,333              $600,000            $600,000              
through 8/31

Actual Income                  $604,217              $569,247            $532,935
through 8/31



Remember that submissions for the September/October issue of SOS are due by September 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)

September 4
9:00 AM
Installation of Rev. Dr. Mark Koch
Intentional Interim Pastor
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Bossier City, LA
September 18

Ordination and Installation of 

Dr. Alemu Katiso

Trinity Lutheran Church

Selma, AL

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
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. Stephen - New Orleans, LA                  

Trinity - Panama City, FL                             St. Paul's - Decatur, AL                                                         

Rev. Gregory Snow to St. Paul, Decatur, Alabama ~ Pending
  Rev. Bradley Lessmann to Redeemer, DeRidder, Louisiana ~ Accepted
Rev. Ralph Hough to Ascension, Daphne, Alabama ~ Accepted
Rev. Christopher Escher to Trinity, Panama City, FL ~ Pending
Rev. Jonathan Kern to Immanuel, Colorado Springs, CO ~ Pending


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

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

Bethlehem Lutheran Church
August 14, 2016

Front row center:  Rev. Jeffrey Hesterman
With Apologies to Rev. D'Entremont for the error!

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Gulf Breeze, FL
June 12, 2016

Kneeling:   Rev. James D'Entremont, Standing: Rev. James Garnett
2017 LCMS National Campus Ministry Conference
"Liberty," the 2017 National LCMS Campus Ministry Conference, is planned for Jan. 4-6, 2017, at the University of Maryland in the Metro DC area.
The conference will provide a forum for college students and campus-ministry workers to address fundamental issues related to religious liberty, the First Amendment and cultivating Christian citizenship on campus.
To learn more, visit


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) 
      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 

                         ANCHORS AWAY!     cruise-ship-banner2.jpg
    Reminder of Final Payment approaching for the 2017 Conference Cruise.
    For those registered, final payment is 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 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  or  601-991-1109.
                                    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