Published by the Missouri District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
December 2010 / January 2011
Give More Without the Big Store
What Young Adults Can Teach Us about Celebrating Christmas I was concerned about my son Adam. His Christmas break had begun and he was home, but we had not seen much more of him than we had all those weeks he was away at college. The light beneath the door to his room in our basement told us he was staying up into the wee hours of the night. From time to time he would emerge to eat with us, but he didn’t say much before retreating again to his sanctum. Then he invited me to accompany him to…a craft store. When he purchased canvas, paint, and skeins of colorful yarn, his secret was out. He was spending hours and hours making Christmas gifts for us and for his friends. Paintings. Knitted scarves. Hand-stitched and decorated journals. Unique gifts; sacrificial gifts; gifts with tremendous personal meaning. Not only that, but he had estimated what he would save by not buying gifts and had determined to give it to an organization that provides clean water to developingworld communities. Now, Jesus has always been the reason for the season in my mind and heart, but since I had done my part over the years to feed into the $450 billion commercial Christmas industry in this country, this gave me pause. I had to admit—sadly, humbly—this was not the Christmas gift-giving ritual I knew best. But it was better—it was itself a gift, which reminded me to step away from the lights and tinsel and the wrapping paper and focus on a gift of infinitely greater value—yet far more personal. An ancient promise. A child in Bethlehem. God, delivering all of humanity and restoring the relationship between Himself and us. Recent studies tell us that only about 20 percent of United States college students
About six months ago, there was an article in The Voice of Missouri about a “Work for Troops” effort out of Springfield, Mo. What has happened since The Voice article and a subsequent article in the Springfield News Leader? Well, the response has been great! According to Harriet Fritz, “I have over 300 names of knitters or crocheters in my computer data base. These people, through e-mail or phone, have requested patterns to help with this project.” She is not sure how many are knitting or crocheting items for the troops, but those who have are really producers!
participate in weekly Christian worship. We have no data to indicate if the proportion is higher or lower among the estimated 100,000 or so Missouri Synod Lutherans on campus; we are aware of about 10,000 to 12,000 (i.e., 10-12 percent) who are involved in LCMS-sponsored campus ministries. Many among that estimated 20 percent who are involved in church are young adults who crave to learn how to live a dynamic faith that expresses itself in honest witness and in service to others. For both the involved and the uninvolved students, Christmas is a crossroads. For the uninvolved, Christmas holds less and less significance beyond its outward trappings. For the involved, the outward trappings can become superfluous, and these young adults often resonate to new, countercultural messages that return to the roots of Christmas and lift up the story of the Son of God come to earth—and then reach out with it in personalized expressions of love and in compassionate action. What messages? One Christian organization expresses this spirit simply: “Spend less; give more; worship fully; love all.” What could we learn from college students whom the Spirit leads to invest themselves energetically, deeply in a celebration of Christmas that even reaches out in sacrificial service to others? Something important, perhaps—something that opens our eyes to the fullest measure of God’s love and opens our ears to the call of His Spirit to respond. Could I step away from Big Store Christmas long enough to sing “Christ the Savior is born!” with all I’ve got, and then to do my very best to imitate the love and care of the God who loved me enough to send His Son to save me? I think I want to try. How about you? Shall we start our celebration now?
Knit Cap Update
A pile of knitted and crocheted caps ready to be shipped.
Knitters from Montclair Retirement Community in Springfield, Mo.
The volunteers continue to make and ship items to Fritz. The items are promptly shipped out as there is a continuing need for more wool items. As the cold weather in Afghanistan approaches, there is an increasing number of individuals who need cold weather gear. This editor asked before the last article was published if donations to help with shipping would be needed, and that offer was declined. Now that the shipping has grown from 400 to 1,500, a donation to help with shipping would really help. As always, additional interested knitters or crocheters are welcome to join. To learn more about Work for Troops or for patterns, visit this website: http://126.96.36.199/~workfortroops/
She thought a goal of 400 wool items was reachable. The volunteers blew by that this summer. Fritz continues, “We have shipped more than 1,500 items. These items went directly to military units on the ground and the remainder went to national support groups who include them in care packages they send.” Those national groups are organizations like Blue Star Moms. “We are now knitting or crocheting caps for the Afghan children from unused yarn donated by folks in the Springfield area.” A small group of Marines with their wool caps on.
December 2010 / January 2011
The Voice of Missouri
From t he president’s desk Christmas Eve
For a number of years our family tradition was to go into the woods on Christmas Eve day to find the perfect cedar tree to cut down and take home to decorate with our Christmas lights and ornaments. I can still smell the aroma from the cedar tree that permeated every nook and cranny of our home. There was something special about that fragrance. Over the years, that familiar scent on Dec. 24 told everyone in the Mirly household that all was ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. President Ray Mirly Once the tree was decorated, baths were taken and everyone was dressed, it was time to walk the short distance to Zion Lutheran Church. All of Zion’s children who attended its one room school worked hard during the weeks prior to learn a number of Christmas carols. We memorized every word to every carol and all of the critical sections of the Gospel’s account of Christ’s birth. Christmas Eve night we were given the responsibility to retell the Words that the Angels spoke to the Shepherds outside of Bethlehem, “For to you has been born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manager” (Luke 2:11-12). We children may not have truly understood the important task given to us. I remember that one year I was chosen to be Joseph, and that year Mary was the pastor’s granddaughter. Perhaps we were more caught up in being dressed in robes, headpieces and even a beard. We may have even been anticipating the bags of fruit, hard Christmas candy and peanuts in the shell that would be given to us at the end of the service. I do remember, however, seeing the members of the congregation mouthing the words with us…words they had memorized when they were young like us. Today, probably much more than then, the importance of the part we played in our congregation’s observance of Christmas is much clearer. Our small group of less than 35 boys and girls had the special privilege to tell our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and fellow congregation members the message that was first delivered by the Angels to the Shepherds. We led the congregation in singing “Joy to the World,” “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Silent Night.” It was certainly clear to all that we believed the message we proclaimed. Since Christmas is, for all practical purposes, a national holiday here in the United States, we could think that everyone knows why Christmas is celebrated. But that is not true. Today many believe that it is all about decorated trees, gift exchanges, parties, traveling and vacations. The number of homes with live trees has diminished greatly. Churches that still have children’s Christmas services now schedule them early in December so as not to interfere with family plans and activities on Christmas Eve or Day. Thankfully, the still small voice of God speaks the Christmas message to the world. After all, because of God’s love for us He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be born to the Virgin Mary in a manger in Bethlehem. He sent Jesus for you and me to take away our sins. So, I pray that you are blessed this Christmas to hear the good news of Christ’s birth! I pray that you might have the privilege of hearing it through the mouths of young children the angel’s message: “For to you has been born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Have a blessed Christmas and a joy-filled new year.
rry s! e M tma is r h C From the Missouri District Staff Back row from left: Stuart Brassie, Ray Mirly, Gene Wyssmann, Dennis Gehrke, and Dennis Klussman. Middle row: Sue Thompson, Martha Shellin, Karen Siegel, and Peter Krege. Front row: MJ Wurdemann, Donna Seipp, Ruth Ann Grebe and Jennifer Krupp.
President’s Prayer List Please join me in prayer this month. Praise and thank God for the precious gift of His Son as Savior of the world. Pray that God will use you this Christmas season to tell someone the true meaning of Christmas. Thank God for the family of four baptized at Holy Cross, Emma. Ask God to bless all who are helping the children of Missouri District congregations prepare for their children’s Christmas services. Pray to the Holy Spirit to guide Missouri District congregations that are calling pastors. Pray that the Holy Spirit will move the hearts of the members of LCMS congregations to call the men who will be graduating from the two seminaries this spring. Pray God to bless all the men and women preparing for full-time church careers at Missouri Synod universities. Pray God to bless the new mission efforts underway to start new missions/ministries in Fruitland (Southeast Missouri), St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Washington (Franklin County), Columbia, Steelville, Kansas City and Springfield. Pray that the Holy Spirit will give faithful stewardship hearts to Missourians to more generously give of their time, talents and treasures. Ask God to protect the men and women of the United States military and to provide for their families during their time of separation. Pray God create a right spirit within each of us.
St. John’s, Arnold, Presents Christmas Concert at Historic Zion, St. Louis The Festival Choir and Handbells of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Arnold, Mo., presents its third annual Outreach Christmas Concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12, at Zion Lutheran Church, 2500 N. 21st St., St. Louis, Mo. All are invited to join with Zion as it concludes its 150th anniversary celebration and to experience music in this historic and beautiful sanctuary. Zion was founded in 1860 by some of the original Saxon immigrants who came to America in 1839. Zion was one of four congregations joined in a “Generalgemeinde” or united congregation under the leadership of Dr. C.F.W. Walther, the first president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. The church’s altar is a sight to behold, as it was sculptured out of Italian marble by skilled craftsmen in St. Louis. It is flanked by figures of Moses and Paul, representing the Old and New Testaments. The center depicts the life of Christ from birth to death to ascension. The figure at the bottom of the altar shows the image of Christ as the Triumphant Lamb of God. The lectern and pulpit are also marble. The pulpit is decorated with images of the four Gospel-writers and their traditional symbols. The cherubim on the lectern were modeled after the artisan or sculptor’s grandchildren. In the narthex is a life-sized statue of Christ. The 34-rank, 3-manual MP Moeller pipe organ will be featured in the concerts. Zion has always striven to be a church of the community as well as a church that serves the community. Zion currently operates a food pantry on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., serving nearly 300 a month in its neighborhood. The congregation also operates a small resell-it shop in the school on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Musicians from St. John’s, Arnold, travel to a St. Louis city Lutheran church to share the Christmas message in word and song. This year's presentation is “A Festival of Lessons and Carols” based on the service that is popular in Europe. There is no charge to attend. For more information, contact Zion at (314) 231-0382.
December 2010 / January 2011
Distr ict News R eturn to Bethlehem’s 18th Year
This year marks the 18th year Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Chesterfield, has recreated the ancient city of Bethlehem in the church fellowship hall. Thousands of adults and children have Returned to Bethlehem over the years, with many repeat visitors. During the three-day period, a cast of 100 Lord of Life members, in full costume, take visitors on an inspirational journey back to a time more than 2,000 years ago. This special event gives visitors an opportunity to experience Bethlehem at the time of the nativity. Visitors register at the Welcome Center to enter Bethlehem for the census, which has brought many to the city. They are given a family name to use when entering the city gates and a souvenir shekel to keep as a remembrance. Visitors are then taken on a guided walking tour of the city to experience a living drama about the birth of Christ. While walking through the narrow, crowded streets of Bethlehem, visitors experience ancient sights, sounds and smells. The journey through the city is made exciting as townsfolk talk among themselves and to their visitors at every step along the way. There are Roman soldiers, prisoners, shopkeepers, a prophet, shepherds, children and others who are constantly talking about the unusual event that was rumored to have occurred in a stable behind the inn. The transformation of the fellowship hall is complete with elaborate scenery that adds a mark of realism to the experience. The amazing tour of Bethlehem culminates with a visit to the stable, where the holy family can be seen. Each year, Lord of Life uses real mothers and fathers, with their newborn children, to portray Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. Many visitors are surprised to find a real baby (sometimes crying!) when their journey comes to an end. The free tours through Bethlehem take approximately 15 minutes and begin every four minutes. The tour is inside and is wheelchair and walker accessible. Return to Bethlehem will be presented 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, and 2-5 p.m. both Saturday, Dec. 4, and Sunday, Dec. 5, For more information, call the church office at (636) 532-0400 or at www.lordoflifelcms.org. Lord of Life Lutheran Church is located at 15750 Baxter Road, at the corner of Baxter Road and Clarkson Road, Chesterfield, MO 63017.
VintageTen Outreach Christmas Concert
Jason Rust preaching a Christmas message.
VintageTen, the three-year-old downtown mission outpost of Historic Trinity, St. Louis, helps the downtown neighborhood prepare for Christmas with a special concert featuring traditional hymns and popular Christmas songs all performed by VintageTen musicians. The goal is to provide an event for the neighborhood that is not only comfortable and hospitable, but shares the message of Christmas through the art of music. This year’s concerts are Friday, Dec. 17, at 7 and 9 p.m. beneath The Bridge wine bar at 10th and Locust Streets, where it now celebrates worship Sundays at 10 a.m.
Band and singers at the Christmas Concert in 2009 included two Trinity memb ers: si ng er Rebecca Rust, DCE, and Emily Dittmer on keyboard.
Crowd attending 2009 VintageTen Christmas concert.
Christmas Country Church Tour
Ethnic German Christmas Service Rev. Dr. Robert Kolb, professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, who did graduate study in Europe, will preach at the German Christmas Vesper on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2:30 p.m. at Peace Lutheran (South St. Louis County), 737 Barracksview Road. He will be preceded with music by the 24-voice Frauenchor (ladies’ chorus) of the St. Louis German Cultural Society. They will render seasonal numbers in the German language. Peace Lutheran Junior Choir, grades four to six, under the direction of Mrs. Sherry Bierwagen, will sing carols in the vernacular. Rev. Dennis A. Kastens will serve as liturgist. Lay readers from area parishes will assist as lectors. The festive setting, including congregational singing, will be in German; however,
English helps will be provided. Students of high school, college, and graduate university, studying the language spoken by more than 140 million world-wide, are welcome to attend along with worshipers of all ages. Fellowship, instrumental entertainment and ethnic refreshments in the church social hall will follow the service. The sanctuary is near the 1-255 and Telegraph Road intersection. It is one mile west of Jefferson Barracks Bridge with easy access to southern Illinois attendees. The public is invited to this unique holiday observance. The service will be broadcast live over KFUO (850) AM radio, starting with the pre-service music at 2:15 p.m. Froehliche Weihnachten! Merry Christmas!
The Christmas Country Church Tour includes many Lutheran churches in Perry and Cape Girardeau counties, celebrating the sixth year of country churches decorated for the Christmas season. The tour is held from 3 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 16, and Friday, Dec. 17. Brochures and maps of the tour route are available at each church, and each church offers a tour guide. For more information, go to www.immanuelnewwells.org. Twenty-five churches are on tour from Friedenberg and Longtown in Perry County to St. John’s near Fruitland. Much beauty is on display, and each church is completely unique with its decorations. You can sit and listen to caroling and enjoy refreshments at selected churches. Four to five hundred visitors will see these country churches as they celebrate the love of Christ in the manger this Christmas season. When this tour originated in 2005, there were only seven churches on tour. The following year seven more joined until the third season, when 24 churches, all situated in the country and small towns, became a part of the popular Christmas Country Church Tour.
The Voice of Missouri
Distr ict News
Follow the Star to Pleasant Hill
“What better way to bring people into our little church and to introduce them to a relationship with Christ than with a special Christmas event that celebrates the most important birth in this world!” That was how the members of Amazing Grace, Pleasant Hill, began an outreach event five years ago called “Follow the Star” that is fast becoming a community tradition for friends, family and inquisitive neighbors to get up-close to Christ’s Christmas story. The parking lot next to the church becomes the setting for a live nativity, complete with traditionally costumed characters and a stable flanked by live animals such as a donkey, calf, sheep and even a camel or two from a local exotic animal reserve. Guests enter the world of the first Christmas by registering with the census taker and then being guided by a period docent to the various scenes, visiting the home where the angel appears to Mary, Joseph’s bedroom, the stable in Bethlehem, fields where shepherds are working, and the house where the Wise Men visited Jesus’ family when they finally arrived a couple of years later. More than half the members of the congregation of less than 100 are actively involved in the production, and each year they work to bring a different aspect of its meaning to the visitors. In the early years, they used a narration to tell the story while actors mutely portrayed the events. Last year, however, they found a new style of presentation. Actors now tell the story in their own words, including how they imagine their character felt and how they were impacted by the event, putting a more personal touch to the presentation and giving deeper meaning for viewers to consider. Although weather influences attendance at the outdoor event, the congregation has seen greater numbers coming yearly and an increased awareness in the community. This year, the event will take place on Dec. 5 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Amazing Grace is located at 313 Cedar, Pleasant Hill, Mo.
Night in Bethlehem Shares Christ with Community
Holy Cross, O’Fallon, Mo., will once again reach out to the community with the wonderful message of God’s love through its Night in Bethlehem program. The community is invited to join us as the sights and sounds of Bethlehem come alive as they would have more than 2,000 years ago on the night when Christ was born. Amazing things are happening in Bethlehem. The shopkeepers and citizens are buzzing with news of the extraordinary events occurring in the city. During their visit, participants see: • The Spice Shop • Stable/Live Animals • The Carpentry Shop • The Painter’s Shop • The Jewelry Maker • The Pottery Shop • The Candy Tent • The Bakery • Musicians Woodworker
Lutheran Blind Mission in Missouri
Lutheran Blind Mission (LBM) is considered a national ministry, yet it has deep connections in Missouri with outreach centers. These centers connect blind people to congregations and reach blind people in their community; reaching out to the 95 percent unchurched blind people in our midst. Each center reaches an average of 25 new people a year: St. Louis, Maplewood/Timothy St. Louis, Salem/Blackjack Columbia, Campus Lutheran Kansas City, Holy Cross Jefferson City, Trinity Lebanon, Trinity Springfield, Redeemer Cape Girardeau, Good Shepherd Work centers that produce material which go through the mail to thousands of people who are blind include: St. Louis, Chapel of the Cross Neosho, First Lutheran Main office, volunteers from eight different churches in the St. Louis area Member/partner congregations vote on LBM’s constitution and bylaw changes; board of directors include: Neosho, First Lutheran St. Louis, Glendale Lutheran St. Louis, Webster Gardens Overland, Our Redeemer These congregations and their members do a wonderful job of helping blind people see Jesus. To learn more about how your congregation can get involved as an outreach center, volunteer work or financial support of this mission contact: Lutheran Blind Mission 7550 Watson Road St. Louis, MO 63119 314-918-0415 888-215-2455 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org WWW.BLINDMISSION.ORG
Celebration of God’s Grace in Kansas City
From left: Pastor Keith Ratcliffe, the Sims, Mize, Marks, and Cooper families and Pastor C. Robert Malone.
Peace, Kansas City, celebrates as three infants, one child and one adult were baptized, two adults confirmed and three received by affirmation of faith this fall. May God bless these new members of God’s family of Peace and may God continue to bless Peace’s ministry in the Kansas City community.
Health Kits Service Project Assembling health kits for Lutheran World Relief was a recent project of the Ladies Guild of Our Savior, Fenton, Mo. Thirty health kits were assembled.
in his shop.
The shepherds will be buzzing with the news of a special birth, and visitors are encouraged to end their tour of Bethlehem at a quiet stable, hearing the miraculous news of the birth of Jesus.
Beware the tax collector!
Back row from left: Sherry Langford, Yvonne Gabelsberger, Delores Mueller, Georgia Kallbreier, Nancy Lange, Nell Toti, Ginger Parker and Barbara Neels. Seated: Vera Goodwin and Sandy Aebel.
December 2010 / January 2011
Distr ict News Praise for the Past; Faith for the Future Light of Christ Chinese Mission, Olivette, celebrated its 10th anniversary Oct. 10. Looking back over the past 10 years brings praise and thankfulness to God for providing direction, insight, volunteers, finances – everything to make the ministry grow. Shiu-ming Lau began his vicarage at Immanuel, Olivette, in 1999. Immanuel members have taught English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, taught Sunday school, gave offerings, befriended Chinese students, and supported in other ways. In 2004, Light of Christ officially became a daughter congregation of Immanuel Lutheran Church. During Pastor Lau’s ministry at Light of Christ 35 people were baptized. In 2006, Pastor Lau received a call to San Francisco, Calif. A few months later, Rev. Paul Shaw began serving at Light of Christ. Immanuel’s support continued through citizenship classes, ESL Bible and language classes on Sunday morning, coaching behind-thewheel drivers, a children’s program at retreats, friendship families to university students, babysitting during parenting class, and including Chinese children in Sunday school and vacation Bible school programs. When an adult is baptized, an Immanuel member purchases a Bible, writes encouraging words in it, attends the worship service and presents the Bible to that person. The congregation is almost all Chinese-speaking. Family fellowship, parenting classes, weekly fellowship Bible study, and Bible studies at a factory, Washington University medical center and for stay-at-home moms provide a means for evangelism as well as discipleship. These activities and more have contributed to more than 100 baptisms and higher attendance at worship and Bible study. Several of those baptized have moved, or gone back to their home country. Now, as Christian brothers and sisters, they carry the message of salvation to new co-workers, their families and friends. Light of Christ is looking to the future. Missionary Deaconess Carol Halter from Hong Kong recently spoke at an in-house retreat. She taught how to lead a balanced Christian life and gave tools for sharing the Good News of salvation in practical ways. She also showed the children a way to share about Jesus with their friends. Light of Christ continues to reach out to Chinese Click to watch the children’s choir. people living in the St. Louis area and engage people in Bible study in order to learn about the Christian faith and equip people to share that faith. Ten years of sowing, watering, gathering…now moving forward, in faith.
Servant Event at Abiding Savior Serves Community
Abiding Savior, St. Louis, had 173 people participate in a “Send Me” servant event this fall, the third such event in the past year. The participants, ranging in age from 4 to 78, joined together on 18 different work teams in the St. Louis community–from House Springs, Mo., to Belleville, Ill. Ministries served included Humanitri, Feed My People, International Student Ministries, Hospice House, Christian Friends for New Americans, Metro Vision Ministries (Stuff-N-More stores), Basket of Hope, Lutheran Resale Shop, and Orphan Grain Train. In addition, three Lutheran churches and one Lutheran school were helped on this day. Three work teams were sent to the homes of four members of the Abiding Savior congregation. Also, an evangelism
team participated in a prayer walk in the local community around Abiding Savior. In addition, God led this team to a family who was moving and needed some extra hands and feet to complete the needed shift to their new home. As is often the case when God’s people serve in the name of Christ, the “Send Me” participants received as much as they gave, if not more. “As I set out in the morning, I intended to be a blessing to others, but ended up realizing it was I who was blessed that day,” said Cindy Sell. Each team was equipped with “tools” to perform Acts of Random Kindness and was asked to pass out water bottles and bookmarks in the community where they were serving. On the front of each bookmark is an original work of art completed by one of the 183 school children who attend Abiding Savior School. The back of each bookmark contains information about the church and school. Having the children help create these bookmarks was God’s way of setting their hearts on fire to serve God, even in the smallest ways. Click here for the full story.
and a Groundbreaking in Fulton, Mo.
St. Paul’s, Fulton, Mo., held a Chicken Wing Cook Off Contest to raise funds for its addition of an elevator. The nine contestants prepared their chicken wings from mild to spicy. A total of 39 members came out to enjoy the wings. The prizes awarded to the winners were: first place Pastor David Mueller – quart size chicken soup in a Jar; second place Fred Litten – pint
Wing contest winners Pat Brauner, Bob Becker, Fred Litten and Pastor David Mueller.
size chicken soup in a Jar; third Place Pat Brauner – musical stuffed chicken with chick; honorable mention Bob Becker – the chicken hat. St. Paul’s also had a groundbreaking ceremony this fall. The rain held off long enough to have the ceremony and enjoy refreshments and fellowship. The ceremony was well attended by members of the congregation, visitors and members of the community. The church has been planning an addition for the past year, with the first addition to be an elevator to the basement for easy access for our members and visitors. This will be used for the many activities St. Paul’s has throughout the year, especially during the Easter and Christmas seasons.
Wing judges Andrew Cave, Jack Branch, and Elmo Foster.
Breaking ground: Rev. David Mueller and Boyd Ware, contractor.
Medical Missions Health Center Receives Help from Lutheran Church Medical Missions for Christ Community Health Center received a financial boost in early October when Christ the King Lutheran Church in Lake Ozark stepped up to the plate. Christ the King, with a $500 match from Thrivent for Lutherans Financial Foundation, donated $1,000 to the Medical Missions, which provides free medical services to uninsured, low-income residents in Camden, Miller and Morgan counties. The funds were raised by the church’s rummage sale in early October. In four years, Medical Missions has served more than 2,500 residents in the lake area. Carolyn Stoner, executive director, noted that Medical Missions for Christ receives no governmental funding and does not charge patients for services. All funding is provided by donations from individuals, churches, civic organizations and foundations. The agency’s mission statement is to provide medical, dental and behavioral health services to qualified individuals of the lake area by volunteers and community supporters, to share the love of Christ and to improve the health of both the individual and the community. From left: Garnet Johnston (MMC); Don Ruppin, chairman of the Miller-Camden County chapter of Thrivent for Lutherans Financial Foundation; Carolyn Stoner, executive director MMC; Cheryl Schmidt, LWML president Christ the King; and Rev. Ron Lehenbauer, Christ the King.
The Voice of Missouri
Com mun ications Missouri District Staff
President Rev. Dr. Ray Mirly (314) 317-4570 Ray.Mirly@mo.lcms.org
Assistant to the President – Family Life and Youth Ministry/Congregational Health Rev. Gene Wyssmann (417) 766-2183 email@example.com
Assistant to the President – Missions/ Congregational Services Rev. Dr. Stuart W. Brassie (314) 317-4558 Stuart.Brassie@mo.lcms.org
Financial Specialist Ruth Ann Grebe (314) 317-4569 RuthAnn.Grebe@mo.lcms.org
Assistant to the President – School Ministry Dennis Gehrke (314) 317-4567 Dennis.Gehrke@mo.lcms.org Vice President – Lutheran Church Extension Fund Dennis A. Klussman (314) 317-4560 Dennis.Klussman@lcef.org
Publications Specialist/Voice Editor Jennifer Krupp (314) 317-4553 Jennifer.Krupp@mo.lcms.org firstname.lastname@example.org Education Specialist Martha Schellin (314) 317-4567 Martha.Schellin@mo.lcms.org
Assistant to the President – Financial Planning and Control Peter Krege (314) 317-4552 Peter.Krege@mo.lcms.org
Hospitality Specialist Donna Seipp (314) 317-4570 Donna.Seipp@mo.lcms.org Office and Human Resources Manager Karen Siegel (314) 317-4565 Karen.Siegel@mo.lcms.org
St. Louis Social Service Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator MJ Wurdeman (314) 317-4559 MJ.Wurdeman@mo.lcms.org
Events Specialist Sue Thompson (314) 317-4556 Sue.Thompson@mo.lcms.org
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The Mission: The Missouri District—LCMS is to serve and encourage
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iS Your plan up to date? In the past five months, Kathy and I both lost one of our parents. We have experienced tremendous blessings during this time. Over and over again, stories have been shared that remind Kirk Mueller us of the great gifts Mom and Dad were in our lives. They provided for our spiritual, physical, and mental upbringing. With their passing, they continued those gifts through the Lifetime Plan for Giving that had been established in both cases to leave a legacy of their faith, to bless their family, and to bless ministry. One fi nal gift—an up to date plan that will continue to help us deal with their death with peace, joy, and confidence. Thank you, Mom and Dad! For more information, contact:
Kirk Mueller—LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor
Church Name and City
11645 Benham Road, St. Louis, MO 63136
Current Address City
Old Address City Telephone (
December 2010 / January 2011
(314) 704-4389 Kirk.email@example.com
Com mun icat ions North Korea Project Responding in Mercy at Christmas by Rev. Patrick O’Neal, LCMS World Mission
The month of December brings a time of rest for farmers who have completed their fall harvesting. The bounty of the fields is safely stored in grain bins and elevators. Snow can cover the ground and there is no thought that there won’t be enough food for the next year. But in North Korea, as snow blankets the rugged terrain, there is always a question of having enough food. Even after a good harvest is gathered in the fall, that harvest may slowly dwindle in the coming months because the farmers in North Korea store the harvest in rice-straw silos. Up to 50 percent of the grain is lost due to mold, rot, and rodents. While we are celebrating the Christmas season, with abundant food at every gathering, in North Korea the people wonder if there will be enough. As we give and receive gifts at Christmas, we are reminded of the gift that was given on the first Christmas – the baby Jesus, born to be our Savior, and born to make us His people. His love leads us to acts of mercy. One way to respond in mercy this Christmas season is to share some of the blessings you have received to help the farmers in North Korea. Help them preserve their harvest by funding grain bins like those used here in Missouri. Congregation members can work together to raise the needed funds. For only $150 each, 20 donors can provide one 10 ton grain bin. Needed Items Size Unit Price Quantity 5 ton $2,300 10 Grain bins 10 ton $3,000 8 20 ton $4,000 6 50 ton $7,000 4 Winter coats children $13 5,000 continued on page 16
The Missouri District Lutheran Laymen’s League Technology and the LLL The LLL realized the advantages of technology in 1930 and The Lutheran Hour was born. Rev. Walter A. Maier was soon speaking to a nationwide audience. Eighty years later, technology is still the frontier and the LLL is taking advantage of what it offers. The Lutheran Hour is still on the radio with Rev. Ken Klaus and can be heard anytime at www.lhm.org. Another online program is Para el Camino. Rev. Hector Hoppe translates The Lutheran Hour into Spanish. It can be found at www.paraelcamino.com. The Lutheran Hour can be heard by service personnel overseas at www.lutheranhour.org/afn. Daily Devotions with Rev. Klaus is online and by subscription. Currently, 38,341 subscribers have the devotions in their mailbox every morning. Woman to Woman is a radio talk program hosted by Phyllis Wallace. She and her guests discuss everyday issues facing women. Her programs can be heard anytime at www.womantowomanradio.com. The website also offers tips, resources, recipes and articles of interest. In 2008, surveys indicated that if a woman is committed to the church, 17 percent of families will follow. If a man is committed to the church, 93 percent of families will follow. In 1992, 42 percent of American men attended church regularly. By 1997 the number had dropped to 28 percent. Something needed to be done to get men more involved in church. The LHM Men’s Network rolled out in January 2009. The goal was to have 2,000 groups registered by the end of 2009. That number was quickly reached. Currently 3,346 LCMS churches have registered. There are 974 nonLutherans registered. The weekly newsletter is sent to 8,532 people.
What has drawn so many to the network? Yes, there is a lot for men like golf and fishing contests. But the real drawing card is the spiritual content. Twelve Bible studies are available online now and two more will soon be released. The first studies were relevant to men: like the “Home Run King.” Studies now appeal to a wide audience; like the “Challenge of Islam” and “How We Got The Bible.” Each has a video and study guide. Both can be downloaded at no cost or can be purchased. While you are there, visit the Baloney Shop. In the five minute clip, Rev. Ken Klaus comments on today’s news items that are really “baloney” and applies them to Scripture. In the weekly five minute Stuff They Didn’t Teach Me In Sunday School, Bruce Wurdeman discusses familiar and not-so-familiar Bible stories. More than 60 of these programs are available for your viewing. “five14” is a community where teens get together online and in person to make a life-changing impact on their generation with the love of Jesus Christ. If you’re looking to be part of something awesome, you’ve found it! five14 is unlike any other group. It’s totally unique. Nothing on our website or at our events is boring. We’re all about being real about who God made us to be and having fun while doing it. Check out five14 at www.whatsfive14.com. Be sure to watch for the Lutheran Hour float in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade, Jan. 1. This is the 60th year for a parade entry and is the only Christian float. The best viewing in on HGTV and is commercial free. The float is a project of the Southern California District LLL and receives no funds from Lutheran Hour Ministries. Questions or comments? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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www.lutheransonline.com/missouridistrictlll The Voice of Missouri
Distr ict News In Everything…Missouri District Junior High Retreat March 25-27, 2011
What does the Missouri District do for the youth of your congregation? Besides being a resource for congregations, the district hosts a variety of youth ministry retreats and gatherings throughout the year. One such ministry event is the twicea-year junior high retreat. The 2010-2011 Junior High Retreats focus on prayer and that theme is based on Phil. 4:6 (NIV), “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” We are excited to have DCE Travis Hartjen as our presenter! Serving as a church planter in the North Dallas area, Hartjen started off as a youth minister where he served for more than 10 years. During that time, he had the opportunity to speak at schools, youth gatherings, conferences, and training workshops across the nation. He is excited about the opportunity to start a church that will not only feed those who know Christ but will be effective in connecting with those who don’t know the amazing love and freedom found only in Jesus. His wife and four children currently live in Frisco, Texas, where they are building a community to launch the church. Thanks to the positive evaluations from last spring’s retreat, music for the retreat will be provided by the Christian band Parallax View. We welcome their musical talents and hearts for ministry as a part of the weekend.
Who can go? Youth: primarily in grades six, seven and eight. Adult Counselors: Approximately one for each seven youth (male counselors for male youth and female counselors for female youth, please).
What will we do? In addition to our fourpart session/Bible study, there will be games, fellowship, talent show, servant event projects and worship. The “Saturday Night Fun Fest” includes hayrides, board games, basketball, music, dance lessons and karaoke. Camp Windermere offers free, open gym time on Saturday afternoon. Recreational fields and equipment are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Feel free to bring your own gloves, bats, balls, tennis rackets, etc. The camp also offers some equipment for a small rental fee. What’s the cost? $115 per person (same for youth and adults). A deposit of $50 per person is due with registration. The balance is due upon arrival at camp. Lodging is in the Wilderness Creek Lodge, a motel-style room with bathroom, heat/ air and carpeting. You will need to bring your own bedding and towels. Meals are provided in the camp dining hall beginning with breakfast on Saturday. No meal is served Friday evening. Groups should eat before arriving at camp. Registration information: All registrations and deposits must be received at the district office by Friday, March 4. All registrations must be accompanied by a non-refundable deposit. Early registration is encouraged. Registrations received after March 4, with or without deposit, at the district office are not guaranteed. Refund policy, directions, scholarship info: Can be found on our website and will be included in a mailing to your church. mo.lcms.org
Missouri District Older Adult Ministry R etreat Program includes: Community building activities Topics and a variety of workshops Music and fellowship Banquet and entertainment Opportunities to make new friends May 3-4, 2011 Date: Location: Cross Pointe Retreat Center, Rocky Mount, Mo. Questions: Call (314) 317-4556 or e-mail: Sue.Thompson@mo.lcms.org
The Presenters: Rich Bimler will be our keynote speaker. Join Dr. Bimler for: “How to be Dancing with the Stars!” No need to be on TV to dance with the stars! In fact, we all are “dancing with the stars” as we joyCost: One check takes care of it all! Registration includes everything you need fully live out our lives in the constellation of God’s world! Also, “EncourAGING… for a great retreat (lodging at Cross Pointe’s beautiful hotel, program and all One Another!” as we live and dance through life, we shine like stars by affirming meals): and supporting those other younger and older stars around us! $105 per person (double occupancy) Workshop Leaders: $135 per person (single occupancy) Ken Black, coordinator of the Senior Adult Ministry at Trinity Lutheran $210 per couple Church, Roselle, Ill., and AIMS. Don and Gayle Sommerfeld, Founders and volunteer coordinators with MOST Bus option: A 36-passenger bus will be available from the parking lot of Ministries: short-term mission trips and volunteer service projects. Lutheran Hour Ministries in St. Louis to the retreat site for just $20 per person, MJ Wurdeman, St. Louis Social Service Outreach and volunteer coordinator round trip, thanks to a gift from Thrivent. If interested, please indicate on the reg- Missouri District – LCMS. istration form and send payment. Rev. Walter Schoedel, director of Church Relations for Lutheran Senior Services of Missouri and Illinois and pastor emeritus of Concordia Lutheran Church Deadline: Registration form (with payment) must be postmarked no later than in Kirkwood, Mo. April 15, 2011. Due to contract obligations, there will be no refund of deposit after Sponsored by: The Older Adult Ministry Planning Committee and the MisApril 15, 2011. (Click here for registration/brochure.) souri District Family Life and Youth Board.
December 2010 / January 2011
Fa m i ly Li fe a nd Yout h Peer Ministry Training February 18-20, 2011
Looking for a great youth ministry leadership opportunity? Peer Ministry Training equips high school youth and youth counselors from across our district who want to learn additional/intentional skills in discipleship to serve in their youth ministry–in their congregation, their school, their community and their family. The District Family Life and Youth Board invites you to register for this trianing event. To help ease travel, the same training is offered at two sites: East: Pallottine Center – Florissant, Mo. West: Heit’s Point – Lincoln, Mo. Peer Ministry training empowers through: * Quality training in caring skills * Commitment to growth in faith and values * Christian service to other people * A life-long attitude of ministry * Welcoming * Listening with care
Peer Ministers use their skills: * In one-on-one relationships * In their family relationships * Serving their own congregation * Their school * As part of a caring lifestyle of ministry
Training teams are led by Rev. Gene Wyssmann, assistant to the president for Family Life and Youth Ministry, and Rev. Mark Martin, a member of the Missouri District Board for Family Life and Youth. The members of the teaching teams have been certified as instructors in Peer Ministry. Cost for the entire weekend of training (either site) is just $75 per person. The actual cost for the training is more than $200 per person, which includes staff, materials, housing and meals. However, the Missouri District Board for Family Life and Youth Ministry is providing funds to pay the balance per person for youth and counselors. Please send your registration form(s) and a check for $75 per person as soon as possible–but no later than Feb. 1. Please call (314) 317-4556 or e-mail Sue.Thompson@mo.lcms.org for more information. Information is also on our website at mo.lcms.org. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, we are seeking a group of 12-14 youth and counselors at each site. Training takes place in these small groups. Students can register individually or in a group – no adult counselors need to register for youth to participate. However, it is best to have a trained adult leader in your congregation, so if you don’t have one, please register with your students to help them in this ministry. Registration suggestion: A team of two or three teens and an adult youth leader is ideal. Individuals who come alone may find themselves missing the support needed to grow together and support one another at home. Peer Ministry Training is an outstanding experience with great training/leadership teams and great youth and counselors who will come together to learn, grow and serve. Share this opportunity with everyone in your youth ministry. Hope to see you there!
Mark your calendar for the Senior High District Gathering June 24-26, 2011 “Hearts on Fire…I Connect” Missouri State University, Springfield, Mo.
March 18-20, 2011 at
Saint Paul Institute for Education Concordia, Mo. A retreat for singles of all ages! Community building activities and service Learn how to take this “back home” Make new friends This year’s retreat presenter is Rev. Gene Wyssmann. Gene will present: Connecting Singles in Ministry. Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches” (John 15:5). There are so many connections in life! The most important one for each of us is that as His children, our God is “Connecting” to us. He does that through His Word. He does that through His means of grace. He does that with the constant presence of His Spirit who guides and directs us in life. As we gather, we will celebrate the opportunity we have to daily connect with Jesus Christ, and what that means for daily living. With God’s marvelous grace in our lives, let’s talk and plan about ways we can connect with others, with our church, and with our community too! Come join the fun and fellowship.
Let’s brainstorm ways to be “Connecting!” Cost: $115 per person—double occupancy. If you do not register a roommate request, one will be assigned. $175 per person—single occupancy. No lodging: $52 for program and meals Friday through Sunday/$40 per person Saturday, March 19 only. Deposit: $70 is required with registration for either double or single occupancy. Deadline: Registration form (with deposit) must be postmarked no later than March 4, 2011. No refund of deposit after March 4, 2011. Full registration information can be found at mo.lcms.org. Questions: call (314) 317-4556 or e-mail: Sue.Thompson@mo.lcms.org
Would You Attend a Walther League R eunion? Yes
We want to know if there is enough interest in a Walther League Reunion to start making plans. So, would you be interested in having a Walther League reunion and would you really plan to attend? Would you be willing to serve on a district committee for a reunion, or do you know of someone who might serve and share their name and contact information with us? What suggestions do you have for a location and time of year for such a reunion? Please contact email@example.com with answers to any of these questions, or any other suggestions/ideas you might have regarding a Walther League reunion. This would be open to any Walther Leaguers, or anyone who wish they could have! Why now? It’s the bicentennial of Walther’s birth! The Voice of Missouri
Educationa l Ser v ices Our Savior-Fenton Students ‘Dress Up’ for Worthy Causes
Students at Our Savior Lutheran in Fenton dressed up–and down–this fall to raise awareness about cancer research, drug abuse and U.S. history. In October, students and staff raised $65 for breast cancer research by wearing their favorite hats to school. The students donated the money to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation in honor of a congregation member who is undergoing treatment for the disease. One week later, the students changed things up again with a pajama party for Red Ribbon Week, a national event that teaches children about the dangers of drug abuse. The theme of this year’s week was: “To make God-pleasing choices relative to drugs.” In the meantime, the school’s fifthgraders were busy transforming themselves into famous figures in American history. The students dressed up as Theodore Roosevelt, Sacagawea, Pocahontas, Harry Houdini, Babe Ruth and others. They also presented oral book reports on each figure’s biography. Our Savior Lutheran School is located at 1500 San Simeon Way in Fenton, and serves 94 students in preschool through eighth grade. Our Savior is a member of the St. Louis-based Lutheran Elementary School Association (LESA). For more information, visit www.our-savior.org, or www.metrolutheranschools.org.
On Saturday, Oct. 1, the 13 international students from China, South Korea, Costa Rica, Vietnam, and Germany currently attending Lutheran High School North, St. Louis, met at Mr. and Mrs. Tim Hipenbecker’s house for the first annual International Student Get Together. This group is part of a growing contingent of international students who are helping Lutheran High School North become even more diverse and are sharing their unique cultures with their new friends and the school. Some of these students were returning for another year at North while others have just been in the United States for a few weeks. Together with their host families, they enjoyed good food, played games, and socialized. This was a great opportunity for them to get to know each other a bit more on a personal level and bond as a group. There was a U.S. vs. China/Korea basketball game that was very evenly matched and a Korean soccer game with some of the host families’ kids. One or two of the students even shared their musical talents by giving a small impromptu piano concert. Host families were able to share early experiences with their international students and compare notes on how their students were adapting to their new environments. According to Mr. Hipenbecker, president of the Lutheran High School Association, the group of international students is expected to grow sizably over the next three to four years, comprised mostly of Asian and European students. Eventually, the addition of students from Central and South America will be added, making Lutheran High School North truly an international school. The diversity of the student body can only help to enrich all the students at North and will be a blessing to all. These budding friendships are ones that will expand students’ horizons well past the boundaries of St. Louis and will last a lifetime.
Lutheran Service Books a Great Tool
St. Paul’s, Des Peres, Mo., believes three “tools” are used in our Lutheran curriculum: the Bible, Luther’s Small Catechism, and the Lutheran Service Book. A tradition at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School of Des Peres is to purchase hymnals (Lutheran Service Book) and Bibles (NIV) for each second grade student and new students who arrive after the second grade. The Bibles are presented from the Sunday school program to each second grade student in the congregation and school. The Lutheran Service Book, embossed in gold with the student or teacher name, is presented to each second grader and new student by funding through the Parent Teacher League (PTL) and traditionally presented by Mrs. Janet Profilet, school principal, at one of the first chapel services of the year. This year all new students, second grade students, and new staff were presented with a copy of the Lutheran Service Book.
Egged at School World Egg Day was celebrated by the Early Schoolers through fifth graders at Grace Chapel Lutheran School, Bellefontaine Neighbors, this fall with a program called “Ready, Set, Truth.” Representatives from a nutrition company, Novus International, based in St. Charles, Mo., hosted a program to educate the students about the value of eggs. They provided a breakfast of scrambled eggs and fruit, talked about the importance of eggs in a balanced diet, had an egg relay race and did egg coloring, and gave each child a t-shirt and coloring book.
December 2010 / January 2011
Two second grade classes proudly displaying their new LSB books.
Messiah Students Enter High School ‘Ahead of the Class’ Graduates of Messiah Lutheran School, Weldon Spring, enter their freshman year at the academic equivalent of a high school senior in mathematics, language and social studies, according to the school’s most recent Stanford Achievement Test (SAT 10) results. Messiah eighth-graders also scored above the high school sophomore level in science, reading and spelling. The SAT 10 is one of the leading standardized achievement tests for assessing American students from kindergarten through high school. Messiah students take the test each spring. “We’ve always been proud of our commitment to academic excellence, and these test scores provide great supporting data,” said Dr. Tom Guenzler, school administrator at Messiah. “Our students are more than prepared for high school and already on the path to college when they leave Messiah. Our exceptional teachers work hard to deliver a positive educational experience for every child, and it’s just wonderful to see the results of their efforts.” For more information on Messiah, visit www.messiahnetwork.org/school.
Hope through Congregational Rural R egional Partnerships
Many smaller congregations are finding a new way to revitalize with a concept called Regional Partnerships. These partnerships are a regional ministry that touch those who are lost (Luke 19:10), covering various counties with significant outreach missions through multiple locations. The mission is designed to show mercy and care for people living in rural and small town communities in such a way that they experience the presence of Jesus through LCMS congregations. The LCMS defines rural/small-town as any area with a population under 15,000. There are approximately 3,100 churches in our Synod that meet that criteria, and there are more than 600 congregations in multi-point arrangements! A wonderful example of a successful Regional Partnership is the community of Cole Camp, Mo., and three historic churches in that area. The dual-point congregations of St. John’s Lutheran and Holy Cross Lutheran joined with Trinity Lutheran Church to work as a team in a Regional Partnership, working to uplift one another by using each individual congregation’s strengths to benefit all three. In many ways this decision made a lot of sense as the congregations already shared a Lutheran School Association, but they knew they would have to overcome fears of change and the unknown. In order to get started, they knew they would need some help, and for that they turned to Dr. Ralph Geisler and the LCMS National Rural Small Town Mission in Concordia, Mo. Rural Small Town Mission (RSTM) serves as a resource center that shares outreach strategies and ministry possibilities limited only by the Biblical core beliefs of the church through members and lay leaders who are raised up to fulfill the Great Commission in their communities. Among our congregational assessment efforts there might be: weekly worship, multiple topical Bible studies, support groups, child care, midweek education, youth centers, health care, counseling, church sites for community usage, economic and human care needs met.
In order to get started, they knew they would need some help Regional Partnerships require good working relations among the staff leaders of the participating churches, like the one you see between Pastor Todd Kollbaum and Pastor Michael Boothby in Cole Camp, but this is mainly a ministry of individuals. What does that mean, a good Lutheran might ask? That means the intentional recruitment of lay leaders
through prayer, taking into account their gifts and interest in leading Bible studies and witness in the community. Congregations would seek assistance from the districts and RSTM to continue to equip people to serve others in specific ways that embody the presence of Jesus. This intentional effort will include a regular follow-up review of the mission and purpose of the congregation so that we may pray, celebrate and encourage one another in rural small town mission. The goal is to build a partnership between congregations that will live on long after any one person might be called to another church or called to his heavenly home with our Savior.
Regional Partnership mission to the people’s needs may include things like inspiring worship; music ministry; Bible study that encourages life and faith for adults; Bible study (different from activities) for teens; quality missionary education for the whole family through things like midweek, Sunday school, VBS, Lutheran schools; youth missions, Ministry for Older Adults; caring missions; fellowship that includes the larger community, stewardship of time, talent, and financial gifts; evangelism/outreach where you personally invite friends, neighbors, and family to get attached to knowing about Jesus through the hearts of God’s people in the church. In Cole Camp, they have used such missions as C.A.R.E. (Community Awareness Rewards Everyone) with food drives involving the whole church, from the youngest school children to the oldest members, and G.E.M. (God’s Electronic Ministry), with billboards urging passersby to tune in to a recorded message. These ideas were very successful in reaching out to others, meeting the needs of those around them, and reigniting the passions of the congregations. We are your missionaries wherever we go! If your congregation is interested in Regional Partnership or you would like to contact RSTM for resources, please call 888-463-5127 or e-mail Dr. Ralph Geisler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find us on the web at www.spife.org or follow us on Facebook at Rural Mission Resource Center-SPIFE.
2011 Rural/ Small Town Stepping Stones Conference
Mark your calendar now. The 2011 Rural/Small Town Stepping Stones Conference will be Wednesday, May 4, at Alive in Christ Lutheran Church, Columbia, Mo. The theme for the conference is “Discipleship.” The plenary speaker is Rev. Dr. Joel Biermann, associate professor of systematic theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Recently, he wrote the video-based study, Who Am I? What Am I Doing Here? for Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Men’s Network. In addition to Dr. Biermann, the conference includes breakout sectionals from Missouri District pastors. Watch for more information, but make plans now to attend the 2011 Rural/Small Town Stepping Stones Conference.
Pre-Lenten Retreat 2011
Rural/Small Town Stepping Stones Groups
Leadersh ip Tra in ing
One of the five emphases for this triennium is Rural/Small Town (R/ST) Ministry. The R/ST Task Force sponsored the Stepping Stones Conference in May on the theme of “Hope.” Now the Task Force is developing regional Stepping Stones groups that will provide pastors with the opportunity to discuss the practice of ministry while addressing the unique challenges of rural settings. These groups begin meeting in January. These groups are not a replacement of the circuit winkel, with its emphasis on worship, Bible study, theological study and casuistry matters. Rather, these groups are to discuss the particular challenges facing congregations in rural and small town settings. The eight regions and the facilitators are as follows: 1. Southeast ..........Rod Benkendorf 2. South Central .......David Kettner 3. Southwest .................. Gary Griffin 4. Lake Region ........Morris Meseke/ ................................Todd Kollbaum 5. Mid-east ................. Aaron Kotila/. ...............................Jeff Schanbacher 6. Mid-west ......................Dan Wing 7. Northwest ...................Larry Block 8. Northeast ..............Ken Schamber By having eight regions, the hope is that the brother pastors in each region can meet more readily. The groups will determine the frequency of their meetings and the topics for discussion and study. If you are interested in being involved, contact one of the facilitators. If you have questions or would like more information, contact Task Force Chairman Rev. Lee Hagan, (660) 463-2291.
Monday, Jan. 17, beginning at 1 p.m. through Tuesday, Jan. 18, ending at 4 p.m. Where: Saint Paul Institute for Education, campus of Saint Paul Lutheran High School, Concordia, Mo. Cost: $130 per participant (includes lodging, meals and presenter’s materials) To register: Call SPIFE toll free 888-463-5127 Amos: Restore the Roar! Dr. Reed Lessing, S.T.M., Ph.D.: Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology and Director of the Graduate School, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. The temptation is to plug our ears and drown out Lion Yahweh’s roar. The world, the devil and our old Adam continue to clip the claws on the Lion and clean up his bloody passion. This pre-Lenten workshop will enable pastors to dig deeply into this minor prophet who has a major message for the church. Based upon Dr. Lessing’s 2009 CPH commentary on Amos, all participants will receive orders of worship, Bible studies, and sermons that will guide congregations from Ash Wednesday to Easter. This one-stop study will equip the busy pastor to present the book of Amos in meaningful and compelling ways. When:
The Voice of Missouri
Concord ia Sem ina r y, St. Lou is Taste of the Sem, Jan. 15-17, 2011
Taste of the Sem is an opportunity for high school men to spend a weekend at the Seminary to study theology, pray, worship, meet, and talk with seminary students and professors. Participants will spend time with one seminary student at his field education congregation on Sunday morning and attend classes with him on Monday morning. The event is designed to provide a sense of seminary life for those who think God might be directing them toward the pastoral ministry. The theme for this event is “Together With All Creatures.”
Registration is limited to 40 participants. Taste of the Sem will begin on Saturday evening, Jan. 15, and will end on Monday, Jan. 17, after lunch. All meals and housing will be provided by the seminary. Registration will take place on a first-received, firstregistered basis. No registration is complete until you have received a confirmation letter from the admissions office. Do not make travel arrangements until you have received a confirmation letter. There is no registration fee. Participants are responsible for their own transportation costs. Transportation to and from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport will be provided. For more information, call 1-800-822-9545.
19th Annual Choir Member Workshop set for January
Concordia Seminary will offer its 19th Annual Schola Cantorum: An Adult Choir Member Workshop, on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011. The workshop will be held in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus and the Clara and Spencer Werner Auditorium on the Seminary campus. The Schola Cantorum is open to all choir members, choir directors, and ministers of music. The schedule for the day begins with registration at 8:15 a.m., Morning Prayer at 8:45 a.m., and rehearsal sessions at 9:15 a.m. The day concludes at 3:30 p.m. after the Closing Prayer service, which will include some of the music learned that day. Dr. Timothy Peter will serve as this year’s clinician. Dr. Peter, head of the music department and professor of music at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, received his doctorate of musical arts (D.M.A.) from the University of Arizona. He conducts the Collegiate Chorale, a 90-voice
select junior/senior ensemble, and the Norsemen, a 90voice men’s choir for freshmen. Before his appointment at Luther College in 1991, he was a high school choral director and church musician in Iowa and Arizona. Recently, he has been the state and divisional Repertoire and Standards chair for College and University Choirs for the American Choral Directors Association. His choirs have been selected to perform at three Divisional NCACDA conventions held in Minneapolis, Minn., Sioux Falls, S.D., and Madison, Wis. A Choral Reading Session will be held Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. In the session, Dr. Peter will guide participants through an evening of choral and instrumental song in which he will preview new and current titles of music. The session is open to all, but is especially designed for choir directors. There is no charge to attend but registration is required.
Mortgage Burning Celebration On October 1, Concordia Seminary celebrated the final payment of the debt on the former Christian Brothers College (CBC) property that the seminary purchased (and later sold) in 2004. On this momentous occasion, Dr. Kent Burreson, dean of the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus, officiated and ceremoniously burned the mortgage on the chapel plaza and led the assembly in prayers and songs. Dr. Dale A. Meyer, president of the Seminary, shared this experience. “I’ve been really surprised as I travel and make presentations about the Seminary. Sharing the joys and challenges of theological education in this changing world, I make a point of saying, ‘For the first time since 1987, Concordia Seminary has no debt, absolutely no debt.’ And the response from the audience? Spontaneous applause! What a great affirmation for the direction of Concordia Seminary!”
Upcoming Seminary Guild Meeting: December 3
Bach at the Sem Concert December 5
The cost for the Schola Cantorum is $60 per individual or $110 per congregation ($70 or $125 after Jan. 7, 2011). For the congregation fee, a choir can send as many members as it desires. Lunch and the choral music are not included in the fee. For more information or registration forms, call 314-505-7486 or e-mail ce@ csl.edu.
Reaching Out Together Conference Set for February 2011 The third annual “Reaching Out Together” evangelism conference will take place on Feb. 12, 2011 on the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. It is designed to inspire, encourage, teach, and give opportunity for putting into practice principles for talking about Jesus to others, especially the uncommitted or unchurched. This event is presented by the Saturday Outreach School in partnership with Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and the Missouri District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). “Reaching Out Together” is for pastors, evangelism boards, church leaders, and laypeople in the Missouri District and adjacent LCMS districts. The keynote speaker for “Reaching Out Together” is Dr. Reed Lessing, director of the graduate school and associate professor of exegetical theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He will speak on the topic, “Jonah: On a Tough Mission for a Tender God.” Breakout session speakers include: Dr. Leopoldo Sánchez, “Five or More Things You Really Need to Know Before Reaching Out to Hispanics in the U.S.”; Rev. Ron Rall, “Welcoming the Stranger — Building a MultiEthnic Church”; Karen Davis, “International Student Ministry — St. Louis Reaches Out!”; Rev. Dar Karsten, “Being a Witness for Jesus Christ”; Rev. Quentin Poulson, “Net-Casting in Different Waters”; and Christian Friends of New Americans, “Cross-Cultural Outreach to New Americans in the St. Louis Area.” Registration fee is $20 per participant for the first four people from a single congregation, and $15 for each additional participant. Fee includes lunch and all materials. The registration deadline for “Reaching Out Together” is Feb. 1, 2011. For more information, contact continuing education at (314) 505-7486 or e-mail email@example.com.
December 2010 / January 2011
President’s Penning Christmas is such an incredible time of the year! How perfect it is that Christmas closes out another calendar year, yet at the same time signifies such an important beginKaren Drury ning, the beginning of our Savior’s life on earth. One little baby who is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. One little baby, whose life was all about His death. One little baby sent here to carry out an important mission, to redeem all of humanity from their sins by His death on a cross. Jesus came to us to share the Good News of life eternal. Christmas-time offers us the opportunity to be His missionaries and carry forth the Good News to others. There are so many ways that we can reach out to others and share the love of Jesus during this season. We often find ourselves taking the time to send handwritten notes inside Christmas cards, baking special goodies to share with friends, spending time with family, and choosing the perfect gifts, just to mention a few of the special things that we do. Wouldn’t it be great if we could show this same Christmas spirit all year long? How would it change our world if we took the time to send a handwritten note, bake a special treat or spend extra time with family just because “Christ’s love compels us to do so”? (2 Cor. 5:14) As we end another year, let’s remember the beginning–the beginning of our new life with Christ. I challenge us all to take the time to show the love of Christ to others when they least expect it. And most importantly, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).
Ninety-One Quilts The women of St. Paul, St. Joseph, Mo., experience a pile of quilts once a year, meeting twice monthly to sew quilts for Lutheran World Relief. They enjoy “Serving the Lord with Gladness.” All fabrics and yarns are donated. This year, 91 quilts were packed in huge boxes, no more than 40 pounds per box. These boxes are transported to Topeka, Kan., by a faithful volunteer. From there they are taken to St. Paul, Minn., for shipping to the needy in Iran, India, China, Pakistan or Afghanistan. Many have been donated to The Salvation Army and members of the church.
Go and Tell
Why are we members of LWML? Our name says we are “Lutheran Women in Mission.” We gladly use our mites to fulfill this mission. Do we use ourselves? Did you realize at the first Christmas there were missionaries–the shepherds? They were not trained theologians. Those would have been the Levites–the priests. No–God chose the lowliest of the lowly to be His missionaries. What did the angels tell them to do? Go and see. And when they did see the baby Jesus, the Son of God, they told others the angels’ message–“For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). No excuses here–I don’t know how–I’m scared about what someone might think–I don’t have the time–or–someone has to stay and watch these sheep. The shepherds were so excited at this message they could not help but tell everyone they saw. What would have been your reaction to the shepherd’s news? Almost certainly, disbelief! Surely this news would have been told to someone more worthy. We would probably wait to see what synodical officials decided about this news before we accepted it. Yet God chose and equipped the shepherds to tell others the news the angels sang that first Christmas Eve. If God equipped them, He will equip us also. So what are we waiting for? We don’t need a pri- Vice President vate divine revelation. We have already received that. Pray of Servant that God will give you the words to joyfully tell the news Resources Liz of the Messiah, the loving Savior throughout this Christ- Schroeder mas season.
Missouri District LWML 2010-2012 Mission Grants Mission Goal $335,000
Mission Grant 1.
Study Grants for Full-Time Church Work Students 2. Ship VBS Collected Items Through Orphan Grain Train 3. Lutheran Mission Partnership of Southeast Missouri 4. Opening a New Outreach Center in Jefferson City 5. The Lutheran Student Center Campus Ministry Project 6. Scholarships for Children Attending Lutheran Elementary Schools 7. Preparing Leaders for Declare Christ “to the ends of the Earth” Acts 1:8 8. WHO–Women Helping Others, MO District LWML 9. Scholarships for a PartnerChurch Graduate Student at Concordia Seminary 10. Understanding God’s Love: Speech and Language Therapy for St. Louis Area Lutheran Schools 11. Pastors’ Wives’ Retreat Uganda 12. Spanish Catechism for Lutheran Schools, Students, and Teachers in Guatemala (partial)
Amount Amount Balance to of Grant Paid be Paid $25,000 $8,000 $5,000 $5,000
Paid in Full
Paid in Full
Paid in Full
$20,000 $12,875 $10,000 $15,000
The Voice of Missouri
Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Merry Reform… Christmas!
Rev. Alan Wollenburg It is a bit difficult to write a Christmas article even as one is preparing one’s heart for a reverent observation of the Reformation. The beautiful fall days hardly remind one of Christmas time coming…until one remembers what the Reformation and Christmas have in common, namely, the very saving Gospel of God’s love for us in Christ Jesus! Preparing for the Reformation, I watched the movie “Luther” again, and was struck by how beautifully the Gospel is brought out in the film. It shows how Luther and others had struggled to know of God’s mercy and grace, and how they did not know the truth about God until they saw everything through the prism of the Savior’s suffering and death on Calvary’s cross. Then their lives had new meaning! Therein is Christmas’s joy for us. May it be that we will get beyond the mere capitalism (“Buy! Spend! Sell!”) of the season, and go past the empty sentimentality (it’s really much more than the traditions of cookies and trees, and the like, isn’t it?) of the season, beyond the shallowness of a worn-out worldly observation (“It’s about beautiful little babies!”), and deeper than cartoon Santa Claus (the true “Saint Nickolas” was a brave, bold confessor of the apostolic Christian faith). Christmas, of course, is about the gift of God to the world of His own beloved Son. Christmas is incomplete until we see the birth of the Son of God (astonishing mystery!) through the work of God’s Son, namely, His suffering and death for the sins of the whole world (the other great mystery!). God has come to us! God saves (Matt. 1:21)! God is with us (Matt. 1:23)! By the holy blood that He would shed at Calvary, we are saved from sin, death, and the power of the devil. By His rising again, forgiveness of sins is assured and hope is restored. May the world celebrate it rightly! May the good women of the LWML show them the way!
www.MissouriLWML.org Page 13
A nnouncements Calling Congregations
For Sole Pastors: Bellefontaine Neighbors, Grace Chapel – called Rev. Nathan Ruback of Lutheran Senior Services, St. Louis, Mo. (accepted) Brentwood, Mount Calvary Cuba/St. James, St. Paul/St. John Dexter, Faith High Ridge, Hope – called Rev. Jason Wagner of Milford, Ill. Louisiana/Bowling Green – Trinity/Good Shepherd St. Charles, Our Savior – called Rev. Mike Iannelli Jr. of Maple Grove, Minn. (declined) St. Peters, Child of God West Plains, Immanuel – called Rev. J. Kevin Wyckoff of Lawrenceville, Ill. (declined) Served by Intentional Interim Pastors: Affton, Salem (Rev. Dr. Darrell Zimmerman) Emma, Holy Cross (Rev. Richard Swanson) Lemay, Gethsemane – called Rev. Roger Henning of St. Charles, Mo. Florissant, Salem (Rev. Gordon Beck) Scott City, Eisleben (Rev. Dr. Richard Foss) For Associate or Assistant Pastor: Des Peres, St. Paul Harvester, Zion – called Rev. Jason Reitz of Ogden, UT (accepted) St. Charles, Immanuel – (on hold) St. Louis, Messiah – called Rev. Matthew Hoehner of St. Louis, Mo. (part-time) (accepted) St. Louis County, Abiding Savior Wentzville, Immanuel – called Rev. Rick Cody of Monett, Mo. (declined)
Vacant (On Hold – But Being Served): Ashland, Family of Christ Bethany, Hope Bismarck, St. John Center, Trinity Diggins, Zion Elk Prairie (Rolla), Peace Isabella, Faith Knob Noster, Faith Memphis, St. Paul Milan, Peace Oak Grove, Shepherd of the Valley Pagedale, Grace Pilot Knob, Immanuel Princeton, Immanuel Potosi, Redeemer St. Louis, Holy Sacrament St. Louis, St. Matthew St. Louis, St. Paul Sarcoxie, Trinity Shelbyville, Mount Hope Stockton, St. Andrew Sweet Springs, Christ Wellsville, Trinity Other Calls: Johnson, David (Commission on Worship, IC) to Director of Worship Arts at CPH, St. Louis (accepted) Krueger, Larry (LCMS, St. Louis) to Atonement, Metairie, La. Schlie, Charles (Messiah, Weldon Spring) to King of Glory, Blaine, Minn. (declined)
Day of Reflection at
Saint Paul Lutheran High School Concordia, Missouri January 22, 2011 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Theme: Lutheran Education Past, Present, Future Chaplain: Rev. William Heine, dean of chapel, SPLHS Recipient of the St. Paul, Apostle Award: Rev. Dr. Alan F. Harre - SPCH ’58 SPC ’60 Registration: 9 a.m. registration and refreshments in Krueger Hall Cost: $20 Registration fee includes refreshments and lunch. Please preregister by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (660) 463-2238, ext. 244. Go to www.splhs.org for more information Page 14
Personnel Changes — Commissioned Ministers of Religion Transferred from Other Districts Burkey, Laura (PSW) to Immanuel, St. Charles 10/10/10 by S. Schmieding Busseau, Craig (CI) to Good Shepherd, Columbia 9/26/10 by D. Benson Clayton, Angela (IW) to candidate 9/17/10 Nies, Sarah (SI) to River Roads, St. Louis 8/15/10 by A. Schenk Graduates Installed Fittje, Kristen (S ’07) to Immanuel, St. Charles 9/5/10 by A. Schade Moore, Gary (M ’10) to Zion, Diggins 11/7/10 by P. Stark Mott, Rebecca (colloquy S ’10) to Good Shepherd, Columbia 11/14/10 by B. Thieme Rosburg, Stephanie (S ’07) to Child of God, St. Peters 10/17/10 by J. Cox Wrozier, Deborah (colloquy RF ’10) to Child of God, St. Peters 10/31/10 by J. Cox Reinstated Ewald, Mark (reinstated by COP 9/10) to candidate Retired Dressler, Linda (Concordia, Trinity, Frohna) 6/1/10 Changes Within District Fruend, Elizabeth (candidate) to Child of God, St. Peters 10/17/10 by J. Cox Hieber, Joel (Webster Gardens, Webster Groves) to Christ Community, Kirkwood 10/17/10 by J. Christiansen Hipenbecker, Timothy (Lutheran High School North, St. Louis) to Lutheran High School Association, St. Louis 9/28/10 by R. Mirly McDonnell, Ruth (Missouri District, St. Louis) to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, by 11/1/10 by R. Mirly Otten, Carl (EM) to Immanuel, Rosebud 8/22/10 by A. Kotila Snyder, Joseph (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis) to Lutheran Hour Ministries, St. Louis 9/30/10 by R. Mirly
Candidate Status Jaster, Emily (Saint Paul Lutheran High School, Concordia) 8/1/10 Kutz, Amy (Timothy, Blue Springs) 8/1/10 Manahan, Renee (Messiah, St. Charles) 7/1/10 Nelson, Katie (Calvary, Kansas City) 7/1/10 Nelson, Wayne (Immanuel, Joplin) 8/1/10 Ryman, Justin (Our Savior, Fenton) 8/1/10 Schlesselman, Denise (Little Lambs, Warrenton) 6/1/10 Stengel, Lori (Salem, Florissant) 8/1/10 Non-Candidate Status Carretto, Jessica (River Roads, St. Louis) 6/1/10 Kleinbeck, Alaina (Immanuel, St. Charles) 8/16/10 Marty, Kayla (St. John, Ellisville) 8/1/10 Schmidt, Kristin (River Roads, St. Louis) 5/29/10 Transferred to Other Districts Barry, Katherine (St. Paul’s Early Childhood Center, Des Peres) to SO 8/1/10 Carretto, Jessica (non-candidate) to FG 10/19/10 Chase, Amanda (non-candidate) to PSW 10/7/10 Ewald, Mark (candidate) to CI 10/5/10 Koglin, Anna (St. John’s, Ellisville) to NW 8/1/10 Manahan, Renee (candidate) to CI 11/10/10 Schmidt, Kristin (non-candidate) to OH 10/11/10 Wittcop, Ernest Jeffrey (Child of God, St. Peters) to FG 11/29/10 Resigned/Removed from Roster Font, Michael (Messiah, St. Charles) 11/1/10 Kaiser, Benjamin (non-candidate) 8/1/10 – installed as ordained minister Deceased Fritz, Estella (emeritus) 8/31/10 Mueller, Gordon (emeritus) 10/9/10
CHRISTMAS COOKIE WALK Thousands of delicious homemade cookies will be for sale for just $8 per pound from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 11, at Christ Memorial Lutheran, 5252 S. Lindbergh, St. Louis, Mo. No mess. No fuss. Just come to the cookie walk and chose any cookies you prefer. They make wonderful gifts, if you are able to refrain from eating all of them first. But there’s more. Look for the Christmas treasure sale, consisting of many new or like new Christmas gifts and decorations. The price is right and you’ll enjoy spending the morning searching and tasting and planning your Christmas meals and decorations. Questions? Call (314) 200-9885. The money raised always goes for charitable purposes. This year it is being divided between Trinity Lutheran Church’s homeless ministry, the agency “American Moms to Soldiers” and toward adopting a student at the seminary. A brochure telling about the church and what it teaches is printed and placed in each package of cookies, inviting the reader to come and learn about the Savior. Everyone in the community is invited to the cookie walk, hopefully reaching many who are unchurched.
December 2010 / January 2011
A nnouncements Personnel Changes — Ordained Ordinations/Installations: Zittlow, Todd (SL08) ordained Immanuel, Barnhart, MO 10/17/2010 by R. Manus; installed as Archives Assistant at Concordia Historical Institute, St. Louis, MO 11/12/2010 by J. Wohlrabe Transferred to our District: Clow, Keith (candidate) EA 10/28/2010 Guetersloh, Ralph (emeritus) NEB 10/26/2010 Logid, Mark (FG) installed as Adv. on Personal Growth and Leadership Dev., LCMS Bd. for Pastoral Education (deployed to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis) 10/27/2010 by R. Mirly Morris, Kristopher (MDS) installed as Associate Pastor at Christ the King, Lake Ozark, MO 11/21/2010 by K. Schurb Rutt, Douglas (IN) installed as Div. Dir. International Ministries, Lutheran Hour Ministries, St. Louis, MO 9/30/2010 by R. Mirly
Changes within District: Hoehner, Matthew (candidate) installed as Associate Pastor at Messiah, St. Louis, MO 11/14/2010 by M. Okine Zimmerman, Darrell (Mount Calvary, Brentwood) installed as Intentional Interim at Salem, Affton, MO 11/14/2010 by R. Mirly Candidate Status: Cochrane, Robert (St. Jacobi, Jennings) 6/27/2010 Retired: Arle, Edward (Our Savior, St. Charles) 8/15/2010 Rossow, Richard (Salem, Affton) 10/18/2010 Thur, Richard (Trinity/Good Shepherd, Louisiana/Bowling) 9/12/2010 Resigned – Removed from Roster: Schmelzer, Dennis (Faith, Washington) 9/23/2010 Deceased: Christiansen, Donald (emeritus) 10/27/2010
Transferred to other Districts: Rossow, Richard (Emeritus) to Michigan District 10/18/2010
See our website for more details www.campwartburg.com Waterloo, IL 618-939-7715 email@example.com
Let us host your church retreat at our 14-cabin lakefront resort. Special rate for church groups. www.holidayhideaway.com contact:
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (417) 739-4542 Members of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Kimberling City, Mo.
57th Annual Whole Hog Pork Sausage Dinner February 13, 2011 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. “All You Can Eat” $9 adults, $4 children
Rev. Donald Christiansen entered his
Call (314) 843-6063.
We R emember:
Three bedroom, two bath, fully furnished kitchen, washer/dryer, indoor-outdoor pools, hot tub, tennis court, exercise, sauna, golf, children’s attractions nearby. Member Lutheran Church of Webster Gardens
on beautiful Table Rock Lake Branson, Mo., area
Questions, contact Ted Palisch, Gethsemane Men’s Club (314) 544-1866
Our beach and pools are in great shape!
Holiday Hideaway Resort
Gethsemane Lutheran Church 765 Lemay Ferry Road, St. Louis, Mo. (314) 631-7331
Gulf Shores, Ala., beachfront condo for rent
Prof. Reed Lessing
eternal rest Oct. 27, 2010.
Estella A. Fritz went to be with her Lord on Aug. 31, 2010.
Gordon P. Mueller of Cape Girardeau passed Oct. 9, 2010.
The Lutheran High School Association of St. Louis seeks to call a candidate to the position of principal of Lutheran High School North beginning with the 2011-2012 academic year. For more information, please consult the association’s website at www.lhsastl.org. All candidates should send a letter of interest and resume by Dec. 15 to Sharon Thurman, Human Resources Coordinator, at 5401 Lucas and Hunt Road, St. Louis, MO 63121 or e-mail her at: email@example.com
Faith Lutheran Church, Velda City, Mo., a small congregation in north St. Louis County, has defied the odds that have caused neighboring congregations to close. The congregation feels it is a Lutheran mission station in what is considered an impoverished community. With God's help, it has determined not to close its doors. The congregation invites you to share in a spiritual challenge: starting a Lutheran church thrift shop aimed at reaching the people of its community. Every item is $1 or less. They feel this will bring people in contact with them, and they can then share the Gospel of Christ. Announcing: “Everything's a Dollar or Less Thrift Store” 3000 Lucas & Hunt Road, St. Louis, MO 63121 Items needed: purses, shoes, men’s clothing, furniture, books, glassware, kitchen utensils, children’s apparel, baby items, women’s clothing, jewelry, winter wear, dishes, appliances, etc. … This would be a wonderful opportunity to clean out closets, cabinets, garages, and basements! The thrift store would also be grateful for any volunteers who might come to help in this mission project. Please feel free to contact mission coordinator Anita Hayes at (314) 723-1334 with any questions. You may also call Rev. David Boisclair at (314) 385-1426. UPDATE: Several congregations have already contacted the church. Not only is the store up and running, but shoppers have also come back and worshipped on Sundays! (Also, clothing racks and shelves are needed.)
The Voice of Missouri
Missions Advent and Christmas: How St. Paul, Des Peres, Proclaims the Season
Music at St. Paul’s Every year we observe an annual practice in our parish called “The Hanging of the “Festival of Sacred Music for the Time of Christmas”– Green.” In the course of two processions, the chancel and the nave of the church are Rest, Refresh, Renew–Come away from the noise, the hectic pace, and the pres-
Hanging of the Green–
prepared in expectation of the coming of the Promised Messiah: Jesus Christ. The repeated use of evergreen symbolizes the new life we live in Jesus and eternal life which is ours by grace through faith in Him. This year it is on Sunday, Dec. 5. Following are the symbolical meanings for each item: • The Processional Cross leads us into worship as the long-awaited “King of Kings is drawing near.” • The candles follow the Cross of Christ to symbolize the Light of the world that only Jesus can bring. • The lectionary and altar book are brought into the church to symbolize the Word of God. Jesus is the “Word made Flesh.” • The altar flowers follow these symbols for the presence of Christ in worship. We have not gathered of our own accord. Christ has called us together. The flowers represent the joy of God’s people in the life He gives in this world—and our sure hope of eternal joy. • The Christmas trees are decorated next. Evergreens symbolize our assurance of life everlasting. The white chrismons are symbols of the Christian faith. • The Christmas rose banner reminds us of the wild rose blooming in the desert heralding Jesus’ birth in the fulfillment of the prophecies as we await with Photo courtesy of Kris Bueltmann. joy His Kingdom of Glory. • The Christmas wreaths are placed in the nave to symbolize the “evergreen” quality of eternal life for all who worship the Savior. The wreaths are decorated with holly, whose red berries remind us of the blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of sins. • The Advent wreath, symbolizing the “evergreen” of eternal life, is brought in. The holly reminds us again of Jesus’ crucifixion. The two candles are lighted to represent the growing nearness of both our celebration of the Promise fulfilled and the eternal Promise which awaits us in Jesus. • The lighting of the nave occurs as we sing “Rejoice!” All the Christmas and chancel lights are lighted to remind us to “Arise, shine, for your light has come.”
sures of the season, and be refreshed and renewed by the message of the heavenly angels: the Savior Jesus Christ was born for you. This divine proclamation will be presented by the choirs, handbell ensembles, and orchestra of St. Paul’s on Saturday, Dec. 11, at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 4 p.m. The congregation also will have opportunities to sing familiar hymns and carols of the season. This is the annual “Festival of Sacred Music for the Time of Christmas” offered by Music at St. Paul’s. Plan to attend and invite your family and friends.
Prepare for Jesus–The women of St. Paul’s and their friends will unite for an
evening of worship and fellowship as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the gift and birth of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This candlelight celebration event will help us begin the Advent season embracing the true meaning of Christmas. We will encourage each other to focus on Christ and the peace and joy He brings to us. We will enjoy an inspirational message, music, fellowship, desserts, and beautifully decorated tables. We will begin Advent in a spirit of worship, inspiration, and peace as we encourage one another to maintain that calm and joy during the hectic days preceding Christmas.
Christmas Caroling to the Homebound– On Saturday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m., members and friends of St. Paul’s divide into groups and visit the homebound members of the congregation to sing Christmas carols and hymns, and share the joy of the season. This is a gift to many that might otherwise feel left out.
Kindergarten through Fourth Graders at St. Paul’s Lutheran School Share the Joy of Christmas with Shoppers at West County Mall– (Friday, Dec. 3, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.) Every December, the Kindergarten through fourth grade classes at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Des Peres travel to Barnes & Noble at West County Mall to sing popular Christmas carols and hymns. They proclaim the love of Jesus Christ through singing, bells, chimes, etc. This is a great ministry to those who are shopping and caught up in the hectic rush of buying gifts for others, yet might not understand the meaning behind it all. The children will be singing from 10-11:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 3.
Breakfast in Bethlehem–The PTL of St. Paul’s Lutheran School of Des Peres sponsors Breakfast in Bethlehem every year, which is open to grade-school children and their parents. Families join together to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with a delicious hot breakfast buffet, Christ-themed crafts, an elaborate skit, then a visit to Gabriel’s Gift Shop, where the children shop for their loved ones without having to spend a lot of money. This is a wonderful time spent together, learning about the Babe in the manger!
continued from page 7 Another way to respond in mercy to needs in North Korea is to provide warm winter coats for the children who live on the four farms where the LCMS is working. Approximately 5,000 children need these winter coats. A new coat can be purchased and sent to these children for just $13. Funds collected for this project will be used for the winter of 2011-12. This Christmas season, prayerfully consider how you and your congregation can respond in mercy through your support of the work in North Korea. Make checks payable to “The Missouri District” with North Korea Grain Bins or North Korea Coats on the memo line and send to: Missouri District - North Korea 660 Mason Ridge Center Drive Dr. Joo delivering coats in December 2009 St. Louis, MO 63141 to some very happy, and now warm, children.
December 2010 / January 2011
The Voice of Missouri