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       Southern District - LCMS
    September 15, 2018

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All have sinned an fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  Romans 3:23-24

However great and heavy sin may be, God's grace is still greater.  My sin and my saintliness must remain here on earth, for they concern this life and my doings here; but there, with God, I have a different treasure, where Christ is seated, covering me with his wings, and overshadowing me with his mercy.
     You say, "How can that be, since I feel my sin daily, and my conscience condemns me, and holds the wrath of God before me?"
     Answer:  You should learn that Christian justification, whatever you may think or imagine, is nothing but the forgiveness of sins, which means that it is such a kingdom or sovereignty as deals only with sins and with such overflowing grace as takes away all wrath.
     It is called forgiveness of sins because we are outright sinners before God and there is nothing in us but sin, although we may possess all human righteousness.  Therefore when you look at this article you have two things: first, that sin takes away all your sanctity, however devout you may be, on earth; and, second, forgiveness brings to naught all sin and wrath, so that your sin cannot cast you into hell nor can your sanctity lift you into heaven.
     Therefore, before the world I will be devout and do as much as I can, but before God I will gladly be a sinner and not be called by any other name.  Otherwise there would be no forgiveness or grace, but it would have to be called a crown of righteousness and of my own deserving.  Apart from forgiveness there is and remains nothing but sin that condemns us.
Sermons from the year 1529.   WA 29;573f

Not the labor of my hands can fulfill your law's demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; you must save and you alone.
(Augustus M. Toplady, 1776, alt.)

Take from Martin Luther, Day by Day We Magnify You
Marshall D. Johnson, Editor

Three convention videos are posted on the Southern District Website: Live Stream Video (All day Friday), "It's All About Jesus" Video, and Opening Worship Video.  To view any or all of these, click  HERE.

The Synod is issuing the call for nominations for the 2019 convention.  Nominations for several positions are due October 20.  For information regarding this process, please go to or click  here to go directly to the website.

Here is a link to the postcards that have been mailed to congregations: These postcards are vital in helping congregations prepare for the 2019 Synod Convention.
District Mission Support Trends

        2016                    2017                    2018     
Total Budget                 $900,000            $900,000        $820,000

Budgeted Income             $600,00                      $600,00                $546,667
through 08/31

Actual Income                     $532,935                    $507,263            $516,914
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)

October 1-3, 2018
noon - noon
Pastors and Professional Church Workers Conference Banquet Room
100 Mission Dr., Slidell, LA
November 9-11, 2018 Southern District Junior 
Youth Gathering
Lake Forest Ranch
Macon, MS


We are now 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)
If yes, to: City, State

 Church Workers (mandatory reporting) --
Contact Phone Number 985-259-6716
Congregation Members - 985-259-6716



         Grace - Pensacola, FL                                    Redeemer - Mandeville, LA      
       Trinity - Meridian, MS
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 
130th Anniversary ~ First English, New Orleans, LA

~ September 
Anniversary of Ordination
30th ~ Rev. Warren Ruland, Christ - Albertville, AL

5th ~ Rev. Anthony Robinson, Christ - Tuscaloosa, AL

The Evangelism Ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church cordially invite you to join the church in celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Rev. Dr. Ulmer Marshall, Jr. and First Lady Gwen Marshall, September 29, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

The Admiral Hotel
Crystal Ballroom
251 Government Street
Mobile, AL 36602

The cost of the dinner is $35.00 and $280.00 for a reserved table. The Admiral Hotel will offer a room rate of $99.00 for Friday, September 28, 2018 and Saturday, September 29, 2018. Please use the following link to make reservations:

Your presence will be greatly appreciated at this event. For additional information, please contact Barbara Edwards at 251-607-8991 or Gary Douglas at 251-422-8141.

If you desire to send a congratulatory letter, please email it or mail to:

Barbara Edwards
3655 Wenlock Court
Mobile, AL 36693

  'Daily as I Rise' 
shares inspirational devotions and prayers

Rev. Jerome N. Terry's book helps readers to understand the scriptures in the context of modern living.

Rev. Jerome N. Terry (Bethel - New Orleans, LA) wanted to give hope to people as they live out their daily lives. This objective prompted him to write "Daily as I Rise" (published by WestBow Press), a book that will help readers to understand the scripture in the context of modern living.

The book shares inspirational devotions and prayers that serves as a guide for daily worship, praying for oneself individually or for those around them. It reveals the truth of the scriptures. Then it will begin the mental and spiritual juices flowing as one thinks of God's work in one's life through Christ.

"This is an easy read and readily understandable," Terry says. "It speaks to mankind's situations and how to deal with life from a Christian perspective. Use them as a guide to ignite praise in your daily life as you seek God early each morning."

"Daily as I Rise" aims to make readers have a deeper understanding of how God interacts with them each day of their life. "It will open your eyes to the love of God," Terry adds.

"Daily as I Rise"
By Jerome N. Terry
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 232 pages | ISBN 9781973630135
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 232 pages | ISBN 9781973630128
E-Book | 232 pages | ISBN 9781973630111
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Rev. Jerome N. Terry was called to Christ at an early age when he first began to read around the age of 4. He would look through the scriptures while reading Bible stories about how God interacted in the lives of his people. As he grew, he carried the scriptures with him to Vietnam where they sustained him. After his military service in 1971, he remained in the church as a pew member only until the 1990s when he began doing a weekly children's sermon at church. Terry began writing devotions in 1992 for friends who had computers. In 2006, he graduated at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and was immediately ordained. He served the Bethel Lutheran Church in New Orleans.
"If you want a signed copy, order directly from me. Just notify me through email and I will provide you an address to send your check to. Your copy will come to you through the US Postal System Mail.
Rev. Terry
Oktoberfest at Saint John Hattiesburg

Saturday, October 6, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saint John Lutheran Church - 2001 Hardy Street in Hattiesburg

* Authentic German Food * Children's Activities
* Quilt Raffle * Art and Craft Vendors
* Saint John's Attic * Old World Bakery and Delicatessen
* Silent Auction


Complete details are posted on the event website:

 2018 Junior High District Gathering

November 9th - 11th, 2018

@ Lake Forest Ranch in Macon, MS

Registration is now open on the district webpage  

Professional Church Workers Conference 

Professional Church Workers encouraging one another through conversation, collaboration, and worship in the name of Jesus!

"Give Them Jesus"

with Keynote Speaker
Dr. Phillip Cary, Ph.D

October 1-3, 2018

Location: Mission Center in Slidell, LA

 SAVE THE DATE:  Teachers' Conference ~ "Joy Finders"

Please save the date for the 2018 - 2019 annual Teachers' Conference.
Here is the basic Information:

WHO: The teachers and DCEs of the Southern District
WHAT: Annual Conference and Retreat
WHERE: Perdido Beach Resort, Orange Beach, Alabama
WHEN: Sunday, November 18 - Tuesday, November 20
WHY: For Professional Growth, Worship, Rejuvenation

Please put this on your 2018 calendar and pass the word to all your teachers.
Please contact me or any of the Conference Team if you have any questions,
Dawn Swartz at
John Price- Redeemer - Pensacola
Emily Barlow- Atonement - Metairie
Sara Braatz- Grace - Huntsville
Warren Paul- Retired Redeemer - Pensacola

Below is a link to reserve rooms at resort:

The goal of this conference is to enjoy the presence of the Lord in all we do. Our opening gathering will be in fun, food and fellowship with each other on the beach. Sectionals are intended to meet the needs of our staffs. CDC will have the opportunity to obtain the certification needed for the year along with sectionals for their areas. DCEs and schools will have the time to collaborate and share resources for the needs of today's children, along with sectionals that will bring joy in growth in service of our Lord.

We are also looking for sectional leaders, so if you or any of your teachers would like to lead a sectional or if you have ideas for a sectional, please let me know!
It is shaping up to be a great conference

Dawn Swartz
 Continuing Education:
the Life of Children in our churches

What: Dr. David Scaer (professor and chairman of Systematic Theology and New Testament and           The David P. Scaer Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Concordia Theological           Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN) will be discussing the Life of Children in our churches,                           especially with respect to Baptism and the Lord's Supper. There is an accompanying
          reading list that can help you prepare for this event, but such preparation is not necessary               for you to attend and benefit.

When: November 14-16, 2018

Where: Camp Dixie Lutheran Outdoor Ministries
             29711 Josephine Dr.
             Elberta, AL 36530

Cost: $150 for Pastors and Professional Church Workers
          $100 for Retired Pastors/Lay Persons.

Lodging: Registration cost includes your stay at Camp Dixie, if you so choose.

Meals: Wed lunch and dinner $6/meal.
            Thurs and Fri breakfast and lunch $6/meal.
            Thurs dinner not provided by the camp.

Register through Concordia Theological Seminary (Ft. Wayne) or at the web address below.

Coordinator: Rev. Randy Blankschaen, Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Pensacola, FL.


The 38th Biennial Convention of the LWML will be in Mobile, AL next summer!  Mark your calendar for June 20-23, 2019, and plan to attend. Visit the official convention web page  for all convention details as they become available.  Click here to read more
Also, many volunteers are still needed for the convention! Volunteers receive a discount on the registration fee and are asked to work only two four-hour shifts out of the entire convention. Please prayerfully consider volunteering! Here is a link to the sign-up form:
And ... don't forget about the CRUISE!

Share the News---
Post-Convention Cruise Out of Mobile
After the 2019 LWML Convention in Mobile, Alabama, the LWML is pleased to offer a cruise on the 
Carnival Fantasy for FUN from June 24 - 29, 2019. This will be a time for well-deserved rest and 
relaxation as well as fun and fellowship with your friends. The great fact is that you will cruise out of 
Mobile, the site of the LWML Convention.

Would you like to take part in this fun getaway?
McGehee Cruise & Vacation Inc. will assist with all reservations for the cruise.
Registration is now open:

Please follow this secure link for further information and questions.

Can also find the link on the LWML website at
As with any cruise, it is best to book as early as possible so you can get the cabin you prefer.

Best Practices for Ministry : Heartland

One of the great things about Best Practices for Ministry : Heartland (October 10-12, 2018, in Columbus, IN) is that you can network with many awesome organizations that have amazing resources! Exhibitors will be set up all day Wednesday and Thursday and are very excited to network with you.

Here are some of the exhibitors that are currently registered: Lutheran camps, Valpo University, Acts 1:8, Run Hard: Rest Well, Rescue in Israel, Orphan Grain Train, Lutheran Hour Ministries, Kindle, Further Still, LCEF, CPS, LWML, PLI, Lutheran Marriage Encounter, Educational Opportunities, Christian publishers, and many more! You won't want to miss out on these great resources!

If you still want to sign up as an exhibitor, please register on our website:

After you register online, you will then receive a further email with specific details.

And if you haven't registered to be a participant, please register on our website:
All our exhibitors will be ready to help you to find best practices for ministry in your congregation and community!

Blessings on your week,                       
BPH2018 Planning Team

Regional Youth Partnerships
 LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission 

Pastors Leading Churches with Schools
A congregation with a school is truly a blessed place. With generations of students formed for faith and life in the world as servants of God, these congreĀ¬gations are inextricably linked to their school ministry. However, as those generations have passed, there are increasing pressures placed upon congregations with schools. It costs more today to teach each student than ever before. Staffing costs including salary and benefits, curriculum costs and the inclusion of and maintenance for ever-changing technology have raised the cost to alarming levels. It is critical that congregational leaders take a serious look at their education ministry.
As the challenges arise, there is temptation to cut corners. There are those who hire teachers not trained in the Synod. Others simply balance the ever-challenging budget on the backs of the faithful workers by freezĀ¬ing salary, increasing benefit contributions and the like. When this happens, there is a rise in "institutional survival" mode. This is a mentality that says that the institution must be preserved at all cost. This makes most congregations adverse to even considering other options for educational ministry.
For educational ministry to survive and thrive, corners must not be cut. Aggressive, out-of-the-box ideas must be pursued if the local Lutheran school is going to be the ministry that the Lord has given it to be. We will explore some of those options in the upcoming webinar on this topic on Aug. 16, 2018. Join us to add to the conversation. (Or if you can't join us for the live event, watch the recording in the RSTM archive at a time that's convenient for you.) We will likely raise more questions than provide answers. But this is a critical conversation to be had!

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by Rev. Dr. Nathan Meador.
Rev. Dr. Nathan Meador is senior pastor at St. John Lutheran Church and School in Plymouth, Wis. He also serves as assistant coordinator for LCMS Stewardship Ministry.

LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission supports and encourages rural and small-town congregations in engaging their communities and growing together in Christ through Word and Sacrament. Learn more about RSTM at or by calling 888-463-5127. "Like" us on our Facebook page at

The 2018 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference will be 
held Nov. 8-10 in Kansas City, Mo., at the Hilton Kansas City Airport.
visit this website for registration info                                    

Consider for a moment how walking in the footsteps of Jesus would bring the biblical accounts to life. Imagine kneeling where the shepherds stood at Bethlehem's manger, seeing the places where Jesus grew up and worked, standing in the Jordan River where He was baptized, praying in Gethsemane, weeping at Golgotha, or singing hymns of praise at the empty tomb. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus and seeing the land where He lived will change your life forever.

Are there people in your church who might be interested in going with you on a trip like this? We would love to have you as cohosts. Join us, Pastor Keith and Diana Ringers (St. Mark's - Elberta, AL) to experience for yourself the sights, the sounds, and the smells of this historic and beautiful land. This customized itinerary includes places where the standard tours don't go. We invite you to join us from March 25 - April 3, 2019. For more information, click on the link for a brochure or contact Keith Ringers at

Click here or go to
for the online brochure or contact us for more information.

Diana Ringers
2018 Professional Church Workers Conference!

Thank you to those who have already registered.

If you have not yet registered, paid the assessment,  or reserved your hotel room, please do so soon.  The hotel block rate deadline is  this Saturday, September 15.

For full conference details, including speaker information, registration form, assessment payment options, lodging and meals, etc., Click here

Questions about the conference may be directed to
Rev. Mark Kocsis, conference chair. Click here to email him.

What & How

This is a third article in a series of related articles on Stewardship. The first article entitled, "Why?", appeared in the July 15, 2018 edition of TMTWS and the second article entitled, "The Strength and Blessing of a Threefold Cord", appeared in the July-August 2018 edition of the SOS.

I don't know about you, but it amazes me to witness and experience all the strength and blessings that Christ provides to a husband and wife, to Christians and their church, and a congregation and her district so that they can be a blessing to one another and to others. And since we have already tackled the "Why?" of stewardship in a previous article, I thought it might be a good idea to take on the "What" and the "How"

I know what you're thinking, I already know the "What", so why do we need to talk about it. Well, I'm not so sure that we actually know the "What", at least not completely or holistically. Sure we all know the "mantra", "Talent, Time, Treasure, & Testimony", but how do we understand them?

Do we see them as individual, isolated "things"? They're not! They are all gifts from God that he gives to each and every person to use for the purpose of loving one's neighbor and glorifying God.

Do we see them as a "sum game"? You know, as long as I come up with 100%, it doesn't really matter how I get there. That's not how it works! You see, God's desire for us is that we act like Him. As He has cheerfully and sacrificially provided for us, He would have us do the same for others. Just as our individual members make up our entire body, so it is with our talent, time, treasure & testimony. These are not separate pots that one pulls from as one desires; they are fundamental aspects of one's being. So when I give, I give cheerfully and sacrificially of all of them - talent, time, treasure & testimony. This is the holistic view of stewardship that flows from that fact that God has made me a whole person in Christ Jesus.

So, that leaves us with "How". My hope is that this part of the picture is starting to become clearer through these articles, so I will only touch on a couple.

It starts by examining one's own life. How am I using all the gifts that God has given me - my talent, my time, my treasure, & my testimony - to love my neighbor and to glorify God? Am I doing it holistically, cheerfully, & sacrificially? What does this look like within my congregation and my district?

And then it expands to one's congregation. What is my congregation's view of stewardship? Is it gift based, Christ-centered, and holistic? How does my congregation use her talent, time, treasure, & testimony in her community & her district?

And then it expands to one's district. How does my district view stewardship? Well, I think I am speaking for the entire Stewardship Committee, we are seeking to create a culture within our district, at every level, that looks at everything that we have as a gift from God, which He has given to us love our neighbor and glorify Him. A culture that is motivated by the love of God in Christ Jesus to be a blessing to one another and those around us in our walk together.

In the end, there is not a single, specific way to do this. There is not a specific formula to follow that will meet every context and situation, but there are things that we can all do to start to change the culture at every level of the District. And as it turns out, the Synod has a wealth of resources on the Stewardship Ministry page of the Synod's website ( There are resources for individuals, congregations, and yes, even for districts. I hope that you will take the time to check them out and put them to use in your life, the life of your congregation, and within your district. And I invite you to use the Stewardship Committee of the Southern District as another resource to help you on your journey toward holistic, Christ-centered, sacrificial giving of the gifts that God has given you.

Rev. Louis Boldt, St. Paul Lutheran Church (Hammond, LA) on behalf of the Stewardship Committee


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) 
  • Rev. Robert Rupp (Emeritus - Pensacola, FL)
    These brothers and sisters in Christ coping with various health issues:
    • Mrs. Melodie Rupp, wife of Rev. Bob Rupp (Emeritus - Pensacola, FL)
    • Rev. Rory Hermann (Emeritus - St. Augustine, FL)
    • Dr. J. B. Marshall (Concordia College Alabama Board of Regents member)
    • Rev. Perry McCulllam (Unity - Birmingham, AL)
    • Rev. Anthony Robinson (Christ - Tuscaloosa, AL and Epiphany - Arlington, AL)
    • Mrs. Nancy Kaul (SD Board of Directors Member) Hattiesburg, MS
    • Rev. Sanford Stanton (Eternal Trinity - Cantonment, FL)
    • Rev. Charles Schaum (Christ the King - Muscle Shoals, AL) and family
    • Rev. Allan Hudspith (Trinity - Auburn, 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  (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