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This Ministry
That We Share

       Southern District - LCMS
    September 15, 2016

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By Sarah Young

TRUST ME AND REFUSE TO WORRY, for I am your Strength and Song.  You are feeling wobbly this morning looking at difficult times looming ahead, measuring them against your own strength.  However, they are not today's tasks--or even tomorrow's. So leave them in the future and come home to the present, where you will f ind Me waiting for you.  Since I am your Strength, I can empower you to handle each task as it come.  Because I am your Song, I can give you Joy as you work alongside Me.  
   Keep bringing your mind back to the present moment.  Among all My creatures, only humans can anticipate future events.  This ability is a blessing, but it becomes a curse whenever it is misused. If you use your magnificent mind to worry about tomorrow, you cloak yourself in dark unbelief.  However, when the hope of heaven fills your thoughts, the Light of My Presence envelops you.  Though heaven is future, it is also present tense.  As you walk in the LIght with Me, you have one foot on earth and one foot in heaven.
Exodus 15:2; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Hebrews 10:23 

The Southern District provided assistance in gutting houses in Livingston, Louisiana on Thursday, Sept. 1.  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.  

Front row left to right: BOD Member Stan Weir, President Rev. Kurtis Schultz, homeowner Stephanie Bell, BOD Member Woody Keim
 Back row left to right:  BOD Member John Heine, School Executive Glenn Gerber,
 CEF Director Rev. Steve Linck  Not Shown:  Mission Executive Rev. Eric Johnson

                     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.
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 18 Ordination and Installation of Dr. Alemu Katiso as Business Division Assistant Professor at Concordia College Alabama Trinity Lutheran Church 
Selma, AL
September 25

Installation of Rev. Jan Case

St. Stephen Lutheran Church

New Orleans, LA

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

        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

Southern District Stewardship Committee

The Southern District of the LCMS partners completely and totally with its member Congregations in mission and ministry, regardless of size or amount of giving, striving to be good stewards of God's Gifts, living generously and changing lives in making disciples for Jesus Christ.

The District Stewardship Committee is truly grateful for all the congregations that generously partner in this ministry that we share. We are also thankful for all the gifts the Lord allows congregations and individual members to give throughout this calendar year. As we enter the fall season and begin to prepare next year's stewardship plans, our mission support continues to lag previous years and our percentage of partnership commitments remains relatively static. Our challenge is to advocate stewardship participation, enhance stewardship awareness, and grow to be stewards of our congregations.

A major response to this challenge is a separate stewardship awareness  page on the district website. When your new District Stewardship team began work last fall, our efforts centered around two general areas. First was to identify the stewardship climate in our congregations and then assess the stewardship of (not in) our congregations. It became clear that we needed both a better means of communicating with the congregations and providing them more information and resources.
That began a major effort in May of this year as the Stewardship and Finance Committees coordinated to completely rework the stewardship website. That effort is now complete, approved by the District BOD earlier this month, and posted to the public website. You are encouraged to view the efforts, beginning on the District homepage by clicking on the stewardship tab on the top banner. That will take you to the first page, Stewardship Southern Style, for a short explanation of our approach. You can access everything else as you explore the site by simply clicking on the menu on the right side of each page.
During our research, we investigated the stewardship climate of our congregations by talking to pastors and laymen in every circuit, the District Staff and Executives, the Board of Directors, and other Committees. There was a recognized need for more information about district and stewardship regarding who the people are and what they do. Accordingly, you now will find a complete listing of the District Servant Leader Team on the District-About topic, including the committees, with full contact information and in many cases photographs. The new stewardship site provides stewardship specific details on Who We Are and How We Can Help.

We also identified a critical need for information on What the District Does  and our financial picture. You will find two pages describing the support and services available, with links to pages specifically designed to print and use whenever the question arises. You will also find two pages on the financials, one Where the Gifts Come From  and the second on How the Gifts are Used . These both have interactive charts, simple tables and a great listing of budget line item information. Lastly, on the How We Can Help page you will find a listing of downloadable stewardship materials available today, divided into Assessment Tools, Awareness Helps, Preaching and Teaching Materials, and Generosity . The unique aspect of these resources is that they are not just lists, but aids the Committee has personal, positive knowledge of, including a history of successful use. We definitely welcome your input to improve this listing. 

 Pastor McNair (Tony) Ramsey is guiding our stewardship of small congregations initiative. Absent a specific Synod convention resolution on small congregations, we are actively pursuing information on Synod programs. Our approach is to closely monitor (via our Synod trained resource pastors) the Synod's Rural and Small Town Mission efforts and Re:Vitalize program for potential stewardship of small congregation solutions and resources. We will strive to coordinate a strategy that addresses our very small congregations, including those that do not enjoy email connectivity or even possess congregationally owned computers.
Gary Grubb, Southern District Stewardship Chairman
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

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 

                                    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