This Ministry
That We Share

       Southern District - LCMS
    September 15, 2017

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Registration Closes --  October 8, 2017
 All Memorials due --  October 8, 2017
 All Nominations 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          $525,000                 $525,000             $525,000             
through 08/31

Actual Income                 $513,695                  $477,120             $455,783
through 08/31
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 September/October issue of SOS are due by Sept. 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!!

October 8, 2017 Grace Lutheran Church
150th Anniversary Celebration
Grace Lutheran Church
Mobile, AL
November 12, 2017
2:00 PM
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


       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


Anniversary of Ordination


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
WHAT:    Annual Conference
WHERE: Grace Lutheran School and Church, Huntsville, Alabama
WHEN:    Sunday, November 19 - Tuesday, November 21
WHY:      For Professional Growth, Worship, and Camaraderie

For more information, contact Glenn Gerber or
  the Conference Chairman, Tom Naatz at Grace, Huntsville

Areas of Texas and Florida have a long road ahead, as they recover from two major hurricanes - Harvey and Irma (respectively). How can you help?

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 items when the call goes out for them. If you would like to make a monetary donation, you have several options. 100% of the donations given to the Texas, Southern, and Florida-Georgia Districts will go directly to the affected areas. You may click on the following links to visit their donation pages.
There will also be times throughout the recovery process, when specific products/items will 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 volunteer needs are still being assessed, you may already communicate your desire to volunteer. Here are a couple of options available at this time (click on either link to sign up):
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.
___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . ___ . _
In the event of hurricane evacuation, please contact the Southern District with the following information:

Name, Congregation, City, State                Report information to:                 
Evacuated (yes or no)                                 Church Workers  (Mandatory reporting)--                                                                                        985-796-7577               
 If yes, to:  City, State                                                                                                                                      
Contact Phone Number                               Congregation Members - 985-796-7577
Greetings from The Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills

Vicar Kyle Will is the new vicar at Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills, located in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. One aspect of ministry that really resonates with him personally is the ministry done on college campuses connecting students to faithful LCMS congregations and campus ministries. This time can provide as much confusion as it does excitement and it is so important that students find fellow Christians to share in their spiritual growth. He, himself, became a Lutheran while attending an LCMS campus ministry.

For the past few years, the Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills has had an active Young Adult Group meet every week for fellowship and Christian study. Our young adult group has always welcomed students and alumni from universities and colleges in the Birmingham area into our group. We would love to get connected with any incoming students or young adults from your congregation who would like to have a church home away from home. It would also be great to let us know if you have any high school students in their junior or senior year currently considering the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Jefferson State Community College, or Samford University so that we can get connected with them should they choose to come to Birmingham.

Kyle would love to connect your young adults to our congregation and group study. If you have any questions or would like to connect your students to our congregation feel free to email Kyle at We'd love to get to know your students.

St. John Lutheran Church
3937 Canal St.
                        New Orleans, LA  7011
                                     Ravi Zacharias' Ministries

          Michael Suderman

"Conversational Evangelism:   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)

Suggested Donation:  $10.00
Refreshments will be served

 Annual Southern District Junior Youth Gathering
One District, One Gathering, One HUGE event 
for our Southern District Junior Highers!
November 10-12
@ Lake Forest Ranch ~ Macon, MS                                                                  

Grades 6-8
Early bird August 25th-September 15th                   $105

Regular registration  Sept 16th- October 25th         $120
Presenters:   Pastor Tim Schutt and Pastor Greg Manning
Things are "back in full swing" at Grace, Huntsville. We welcome our new Pastor and his family to our congregation. Pastor Russ Gipson was installed at an Installation Service on Sunday, July 30th followed by a celebration dinner reception. We are happy to see an increased attendance at our worship services! Grace Lutheran School commenced classes on August 7th. We now have 235 students enrolled. On Sunday, August 13th, an Ordination Service was held for Tommy Presley, Jr., son of one of our Elders. He completed his studies at Concordia University, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and is now Associate Pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Mountain Home, AR. Following his Installation, a potluck dinner was held. Our four LWML Ladies of Grace (LOG) Circles resumed meeting in September after a summer break. They held a quarterly meeting on Saturday, September 23rd to make plans for LWML Sunday October 15th, celebrating the 75th anniversary in both worship services. Grace will host a special Reformation Festival Weekend on October 28 & 29. We will do service projects in our community on Saturday morning followed by food, fun & fellowship in the afternoon, hosted by the Parent-Teacher League (school ministry). The focus of the service activities is to help improve our community and to also build connections with people. We are asking for prayer for the success of this project. To God be the Glory!
Submitted by Rosemary Sweet
Rev. Eric Klemme was installed as the pastor of Christ The King Lutheran Church in Natchitoches, LA, on Sunday, Aug. 13, at 4 PM. Congregational president, Ken Stevens, welcomed everyone to the service
.  Rev. Kurtis Schultz, president of the Southern District, was the the officiant and Pastor Klemme's father, Re v. Dr. John M. Richy from Lansing, IL delivered the message.  Four additional regional pastors participated in the service. A reception was held in the Fellowship Hall following the service.

Pastor Klemme and his wife, Jennifer, moved to Natchitoches from the Chicago area and are excited about this new opportunity to serve Christ The King congregation and to reach out to the Natchitoches community with Christ's love and grace. Jennifer is a secondary education teacher and is enjoying teaching American Literature at Natchitoches Central!

Check out the congregation's new Facebook page!
Submitted by Rebekah Wolfe


 An important function of churches today is to bring the local community into the church. 
GLC ha s recentl y hired John Hanke as our Family Life  Coordinator. John brings to us years of experience working with Lutheran churches in the past. John has a Master's Degree in Education and over 30 years experience working in the classroom and with congregations including a year as an educational consultant. His focus is to bring families and church together. He teaches at the Wednesday morning Bible study just finishing up a review of the "95 Theses". He also teaches the confirmation class, does special needs family ministry, fund raising, outreach programs, Wednesday "Grace Night" and promotes programs to bring families together through the Gospel. John likes to stay active, has lots of energy and loves people and the Gospel. We are blessed to have his vision and ministry at Grace Lutheran Church.


 Zenobia Bridges Washington recently spearheaded one of the first Mission Outreach Projects for 2017, at Calvary Lutheran Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Rev. Gary I. Peterson, Pastor). Members of the congregation contributed and provided 50 individual "Blessing Bags" filled with basic hygienic supplies for women with children who have escaped situations of domestic violence and abuse within their households. The "Blessing Bags" were delivered to the Bishop Ott Sweet Dreams Shelter for Mothers with Children, a residential safe haven for victims of domestic abuse. Clothing, socks, underwear, tee-shirts, large personal gift bags for adults, children, and infants were among the items donated along with Portals of Prayers for spiritual encouragement, peace and strength. Our goal in donating to the Bishop Ott Sweet Dreams Shelter for Mothers with Children was to uplift and provide the mothers with a sense of self-worth in being the amazing person that God created and offer support to them in a time of need. "The smiles on their faces were priceless."


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
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


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) 
    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)
    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