Published by the Missouri District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
February/March F Fe ebr brua uary r y/M /Mar arch ch 2012 2 012
LENT G A JOURNEY WITH CHRIST
By the end of longer vacations and trips, people usually experience fatigue. On by Rev. Bill Marler Many people look forward to spring break, especially if a vacation or special your Lenten journey, you grow stronger and are ready for the greatest, final week trip to a special place can be planned (and afforded!). How wonderful to be a of this experience. What special places in history we find ourselves! On Palm Christian with such a gracious God, who, among so many other blessings and Sunday (April 1) we are brought into ancient Jerusalem on a most festive day, into gifts, provides His people with an annual springtime journey that is well planned, Holy Week and into the heart of Jesus’ Passion. The Host often hands our own already paid for, and as special as any time and place can be on earth! Curious? children palm branches to wave during worship, to include us in this true narrative of His humility and of our own fickle nature when it Want to sign up and go? comes to the First Commandment. The popular God who This year–2012–the journey begins on Wednesday, Feb. throws us a great party with the promise of prosperity and 22. And that is the day, fellow Christian, on which you power—oh, Him we worship in the middle of the parade. Th e journey begins ought to get on board. This journey is best celebrated and But could our “Hosannas to the Son of David” disintegrate appreciated when you make the commitment from beginon Wednesday, in a matter of hours into a “Crucify Him?” On to Maundy ning to end. It is a 40-day pilgrimage (very Scriptural, eh?) Thursday and Good Friday to continue the divine drama February 22. with seven (the Biblical number of perfection) great weekof these three wonderful spaces and times of Holy Week, ends included, the final week of the journey guaranteed to taking us on an emotional roller coaster ride, even though be the greatest week of the year! we already know and believe how the journey ends—at the How can you afford such a journey? Your trip is already empty tomb in bright Easter victory! paid for! He who paid your total fare also made it possible for you to be included All aboard! Do not pass up the journey of the year, for this promise, offered on this annual voyage of a lifetime. And there’s more! He is also your Host on this only through the Church, is for you and your children! journey. He will travel with you each day to make sure you get everything promised in the journey’s package. Are you ready now to receive the details from this amazing Host, operating this global enterprise, so you can be booked on board? ISSOURI ISTRICT ONVENTION Welcome to the annual Lenten season of the Christian Church on earth. Your host is none other than the Savior of the world, the eternal Word, the Second Person of the one, true God, the Triune God. Yes, in the flesh this host is known ALENDAR AND PDATES as Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of the Jewish believers and of the whole world. Thank you for preparing for the 2012 Missouri District Convention. The This journey is one of the oldest in history, dating back nearly 2,000 years, so it is convention is June 3-5, at the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Cenindeed well planned and well tested. Your Host Jesus promises that this journey ter in Springfield, Mo. The convention theme is “Life Together.” cannot crash; even the gates of hell could not crash this wonderful trip! Congregations: Nominations for Circuit Counselors can be up to two clergyYour fare was also paid for all those centuries ago when Jesus Himself first went men and are to be submitted to your Circuit Counselor prior to the Circuit on this same journey, blazing the way we can now joyfully follow. From His own Baptism, temptation and assaults in the bleak wilderness from none other than Forum meeting. Your Circuit Counselor should advise your congregation as to the devil himself, and journey through life to His triumphant entry into Jerusathe date of that meeting. lem, to the Upper Room of the New Covenant, to the cross at Calvary, and to Circuit Counselor: Nominations for CirHis grave, Jesus was paying the price for all of us to take this journey. Much of cuit Counselors are due on or before Feb. 15. the landscape here on earth has not completely changed, but, going before us, He has made these pathways of our journey safe and passable. Please keep these items and dates in mind. Congregation presidents and secHe will meet you when you come on board Feb. 22. He will be present in all the Divine Services in Lent, including special weekday services that focus on the retaries have been sent nomination forms. work of the Holy Spirit through the means of grace as He deepens your faith, The forms were also posted on the district refreshes your spirit, and guides you in the joyful obedience of discipleship. Such website as they became available. great gifts and blessings you will receive. You will be overwhelmed at how your Delegates should be able to register Host makes this such a meaningful journey as you find new health and strength online now. Check your email or visit the within yourself, reflecting upon baptism and receiving renewal in preparation for district website for information. the grand finale on Easter morning.
The Missouri District Online Regular Online Items: installations and ordinations, celebrations, obituaries, calendar and resources www.facebook.com/MissouriDistrictLCMS
In this issue:
Page 3 - What’s Prison Ministry Like?
Page 11 - Kitchen Sink Workshops
Page 13 - LWML Convention Registration
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From t he president’s desk
CHURCH SHOPPING AND HOPPING Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, you have been baptized and catechized in the Christian faith. At your baptism the Holy Spirit worked faith in your heart to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. At the time of your confirmation you acknowledged that God, at your President Ray Mirly baptism, gave you faith in Jesus, forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. You further confessed your faith in the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You also confessed that “the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, drawn from the Scriptures, as you learned to know them from the Small Catechism is faithful and true.” You promised, “by God’s grace, to hear the Word of God and receive the Lord’s Supper faithfully, to live according to God’s word and to remain true to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, even to death” (see Rite of Confirmation, Lutheran Service Book, pp. 272-273). There is a growing phenomena in the LCMS where confirmands who made these commitments are forgetting, minimizing, or ignoring their confirmation vows. It saddens me whenever I hear about someone who was taught the entire teaching of Jesus drawn from the Gospels in the Holy Scriptures leaving their LCMS congregation to become part of a congregation that denies the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus in, with and under the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper. I find it unfathomable that they learned from the Holy Scriptures that we are sinners from the moment of conception and that babies and young children are in need of the benefits and blessings of Baptism but choose to become part of a congregation that denies infants and children this Sacrament instituted and commanded by Jesus Christ. There are many rationalizations given by those who leave the LCMS to join congregations that do not preach, teach or practice all that Jesus taught and commanded. They say that the pastor is winsome! The music lively! The people are friendlier! They have a better youth ministry! But, these are not the most important reasons why one should join a congregation. Yes, worship should be edifying! Yes, the pastor should have a healthy relationship with his people! Yes, we should be friendly to all people who worship with us. But, none of this merits our salvation. The difficulty today is that there are many pastors who use Jesus’ name liberally in their sermons and teaching. They tell people that Jesus is their Savior. They teach that only true believers in Jesus will go to heaven. This is all music to the ears of a Lutheran Christian. All of this is true! But ... and isn’t there often a but? But, what else do they teach? Do they: 1) Teach Law and Gospel correctly; 2) Administer the Lord’s Supper as instituted by Jesus, namely that “in, with and under the bread and wine” the recipients are assured that they are receiving the very body and blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, for life and for salvation; and, 3) Do they administer the Sacrament of Holy Baptism to all people? Do they teach that when the water is connected to God’s Word that the Old Adam is drowned and dies and one is given a New Life in Christ Jesus? The church shopping and church hopping occurring today is not new. Read carefully Paul’s words to the Galatian church: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-9 ESV). Brothers and sisters in Christ, there is only one Gospel, one Lord and Savior of us all, one Heavenly Father and one Holy Spirit. God has only one plan of salvation, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from
What else do they teach?
PRESIDENT’S PRAYER LIST Please join me in prayer this month. Pray that God will bless and protect the lives of the unborn. Pray that God will bless the lives of the aging, the disabled and those in a vegetative state. Pray that God will use you to be an advocate for life and life issues. Praise and thank God for the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Pray that God will bless the Christian witness that many Missourians are giving to the non-churched and de-churched. Pray the Holy Spirit to guide district congregations contemplating and/or extending Divine calls. Pray that God will guide and direct the floor committees of the Missouri District on Feb. 18 as they prepare resolutions for the district convention. Pray God to bless all the men attending Missouri Synod seminaries. Pray God to bless all the men and women preparing for full-time church careers at Missouri Synod universities. Where there is division within congregations, the Missouri District or Synod, pray that God will bring about reconciliation. Pray God to bless the mission initiatives throughout the Missouri District that many who do not currently believe in Jesus Christ will by the Holy Spirit working through the power of the Gospel create faith in their hearts in their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pray God to create a right spirit within each of us. Pray that God will continue to bless the ministry of Rev. Gregory Mech and his staff as they strive to serve the rebuilding needs of the residents of Joplin. Ask God to protect the men and women of the United States military. yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works...” (Eph. 2:8-9 ESV). The Bible has only one teaching regarding the Lord’s Supper and Holy Baptism. Cowboy churches may be folksy, relational and casual; Dr. Seuss liturgies (yes, they really exist) may be the current new idea; gender neutral language replacing the original words of the inspired, inerrant and revealed Word of God may be politically correct. Peter warns “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV). Luther encourages us to pray “and lead us not into temptation,” explaining that this prayer is so important for us to pray “... so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice” (Explanation to the Sixth Petition, Small Catechism). If you are tempted for any reason to leave your current LCMS congregation in order to join a different church, it is critical that you first check out the entire teaching and practice of that new church. Using your Small Catechism, compare what they teach and practice with what God’s word teaches and commands. Jesus knew the temptations that you and I would experience. Therefore, He prayed to His Father in heaven, “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. [My emphasis.] As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth” (John 17:14-19 ESV). The Holy Spirit, working through the Means of Grace, keep each one of us in the true faith to life everlasting!
PASSION STORY FOR CHILDREN On the fifth Sunday in Lent, March 25, Zion Lutheran Church, Moberly, Mo., will have an extraordinary and simplified Matins service that features the passion story for children. Pupils from Zion Lutheran preschool will have a special role. At the beginning of this service, the preschool pupils process into the nave as they and the congregation sing “Jesus Loves Me.” They join in speaking the service’s opening versicles and Gloria Patri, which they know from preschool chapel services. The pupils speak the antiphon in the psalmody (which is a preschool memory verse) and join in singing the refrain to the congregational hymn “The Lamb.” They invite the congregation to hear the Word by singing the refrain to “Listen, God is Calling,” then recite the theme verse for the day, “Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor. 15:3, another memory verse). Next, the children sit with their parents as Rev. Ken Schurb unfolds the basics of the passion story with the aid of various objects: 30 pieces of silver, a crowing rooster (facsimile), a whip, a crown of thorns and the cross. Stanzas from the hymn “Christ the Life of all the Living” are sung between the mini-messages that involve these objects. This is the third year in a row that the Zion congregation has devoted its service on the fifth or sixth Sunday in Lent to a telling of the passion story for children. Members appreciate the straightforward reflection on the work of Christ. (“If it’s simple enough for the kids, I know I can understand it,” one was heard to say.) Some preschool families and other guests have come to look forward to this annual service.
Distr ict News
A NDREW PETERSON IN CONCERT If you are a fan of Christian folk-gospel music with a contemporary flair, coupled with artful storytelling, you won’t want to miss an evening with singer, songwriter and novelist Andrew Peterson. This is a great event to invite your friends and family to. Peterson will perform at Zion Lutheran Church, 3866 Harvester Road, St. Charles, Mo., at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 18. Peterson’s thoughtful, lyrical style has been compared to the likes of James Taylor, Rich Mullens and Derek Webb. Peterson will entertain the crowd with songs from his highly praised 11th album, Counting Stars, as well as hits from previous albums. Chelsi Cauthen of BREATHEcast praises the lyrics and “beautiful intensity” of Counting Stars, writing, “Counting Stars is the kind of album that you want to have playing while having coffee with friends on a Saturday morning. It’s the kind of album that you want to have on for your children as they drift off to sleep at night. Whether you are in the car, on a plane, or a train, or none of the above, this is the type of album that makes the roads travelled in life, seem worthwhile.” Ticket prices are $15 for adults; $10 for children ages 7-14; free for children age 6 and under. Log on to www.zionharvestor.org for purchase information. Childcare will be provided in the church nursery. This event is part of the 2011-2012 Music at Zion concert series. Music at Zion is a ministry which seeks to share the joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through words and music to the greater community. For directions, please call 636-441-7425 or log on to www.zionharvester.org.
WHAT’S PRISON MINISTRY LIKE? “What makes life worth living for an inmate?” Inmates need to focus on something to deal with the monotony, violence, loneliness and regimentation of daily living in jail. In our experience their lives are fueled by hate, hustle, or hope. Nearly every earthly thing is stripped away from inmates, but hate is something that can’t be taken away. You can take their freedom, earthly possessions, proximity to family, but they can hold on to their anger. Many incarcerated people have poor or no coping skills, other than using drugs or alcohol. With no positive outlet, their frustration, sadness and fear are channeled into rage that is unleashed on those who surround them. Every day can be consumed with hating being locked up, hating the correctional officers, hating enemies in other gangs, hating people of other races, hating their families for forgetting about them. It has been said that everyone has a hustle in jail. Inmates spend a lot of time plotting: how to get drugs and tobacco smuggled into the institution, how to steal others’ belongings, how to get an extra tray at chow, what their next scheme will be when and if they get out, how to manipulate the chaplain into giving them a free phone call, how to break the rules, how to beat the system, how to convince everyone of his or her innocence. Hope is the other thing that makes life worth living. Many people get religious in jail and some actually mean it. There are inmates who spend their time reading the Bible and deepening their faith. Sometimes when people reach their lowest point they have nowhere to look but up. There is a great opportunity to share the Gospel with fallen and broken people in jail, to show them that there is another lifestyle that can make life truly fulfilling and worthwhile. We can, through the guiding of the Holy Spirit, show people there is a living God who loves and cares for them regardless of what they’ve done and who they’ve been. A God who became a man, to live as they lived, and to die on the cross to take the death penalty that should have been ours; who wants to take their hate and teach them how to cope with their hurt and frustration.
Many inmates will only listen to you if they respect you God to give a favorable answer. If inmates succeed in being and have tried and failed to hustle you and hate you. When set free from incarceration, it frequently does not take long we respond in care and concern, with healthy boundaries, for them to forget about God, return to their former selfinstead of pity or contempt, we can model Jesus’ love. We destructive lifestyles, and return to jail. It takes patience and can point them to His dedication, dedication to the point trust for a minister to confront the inmate with the fact that of death, which truly cares and gives a new lifestyle that is our human will is corrupt and continues to destroy our life and the lives of those we are called to care for. Those in jail effective in their current situation and future journey. “What are common themes that you encounter while have a difficult time controlling their impulses and admitministering to inmates and staff ?” Being arrested and sent ting their will stinks and that they desperately need God as to jail is an overwhelming experience, unleashing strong the only source of goodness and hope for a healthy, wellfeelings of helplessness and panic. Common thoughts a balanced life. Life goes on while an inmate is in jail, even if it feels like new inmate might have include, “What will happen to my family, job and belongings?” One can do very little to help life is on hold. Death of a loved one is particularly difficult for those incarcerated. Feelings of numbness, guilt, despair him or herself. An inmate can only make a few calls per week. Every- and isolation are intensified. Sometimes an inmate feels thing takes a long time to happen. An inmate has to rely on like exploding and doesn’t think about the consequences. others to find an attorney or wait for the court to appoint Any little thing can set off a grieving inmate. Providing a one. Often, inmates are going through drug or alcohol safe place to express the full range of grief’s emotions and withdrawal, greatly adding to the confusion and pain. One’s feelings is a great release valve, often defusing a grieving life is suddenly taken out of his or her hands and placed in inmate’s emotional bomb and promoting healing and clothe hand of many strangers. Rules must be followed or the sure. The resurrection of Christ is the only news that brings incarcerated person will face further confinement and isola- comfort to such a grieving soul. For those being released from incarceration, there is a fear tion. Feelings of despair, hopelessness and thoughts of suicide are common. Ministers are called to provide a calming of falling back into addiction and destructive relationships. presence in the midst of a storm; a safe place to vent frustra- Common thoughts of these individuals might include: ‘“ith my criminal record, who will hire me? My old friends tions with someone who will share personal sorrows. As inmates settle into the daily routine of jail, there is a are there to help me make a quick buck selling drugs and lot of time to think about life. The mind begins to clear a stealing.” Ministers can point inmates to healthy, helpful bit from substance use. They have time to think about the resources to find work and to meet other needs for themlifestyle choices that resulted in arrest; time to think about selves and their families. Those ministering to incarcerated how the offender’s family is being affected. A person who is individuals can invite them to church, where they can join incarcerated may ponder serious questions: “What will my Christ’s family and begin to experience a healthy sense of future be like? Will I face going to prison? If I get released, belonging in their local faith community. We hope that this article has helped you and answered a will I fall back into the same destructive lifestyle of drug addiction and stealing to support my habit? Am I losing my few of the questions that you may have had. family support because I continue to fail?” Many inmates Read the whole article at mo.lcms.org. seek God’s help during this time of uncertainty. They search Photo courtesy of Kris Bueltmann the Scriptures looking for anything that will get them out of jail. Many believe their faith makes a difference in swaying
The Voice of Missouri
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Distr ict News IMMANUEL, ST. CHARLES, WELCOMES 43 NEW MEMBERS! Immanuel’s Senior Pastor, Rev. Scott Schmieding, highlights some of God’s amazing blessings in this group of new members: • 16 transferred to Immanuel from other LCMS congregations. • Two joined via reaffirmation of faith. • 10 received God’s gift of Holy Baptism. An entire family of four was baptized! • 15 were received via adult confirmation after being instructed in the basics of the Christian faith and what it means to be a Lutheran Christian. • 24 of these new members were first introduced to Immanuel through Immanuel Lutheran School. • This group includes a chef, an optometrist, a conservation officer, a port engineer for a barge line, a nurse practitioner, an accountant, Boeing employees, a high school cross country coach, a middle school teacher, a law enforcement officer, a sky diver and many others with interesting vocations and hobbies. We praise God and pray that the Holy Spirit will keep these new members of Immanuel growing in their faith in Christ.
WORK FOR TROOPS GULF SHORES, ALA., BEACHFRONT CONDO FOR RENT
OUR BEACH AND POOLS ARE IN GREAT SHAPE! Three bedroom, two bath, fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, indoor-outdoor pools, hot tub, tennis court, exercise, sauna; golf, fishing, children’s attractions nearby. Members of The Lutheran Church of Webster Gardens
HOLIDAY HIDEAWAY RESORT ON BEAUTIFUL TABLE ROCK LAKE, BRANSON, MO., AREA
Let us host your church retreat at our 14-cabin lakefront resort. Special rate for church groups.
www.holidayhideaway.com contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 417-739-4542 Members of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran, Kimberling City, Mo.
In the winter of 2009, Harriet Fritz wanted to try some new craft endeavors. At first, she considered sewing caps for children. After seeing soldier listings in her Redeemer Lutheran Church, Springfield, Mo., bulletin she decided to knit and crochet wool caps for soldiers. It was soon evident this was a need that required more hands. Harriet placed a notice in Redeemer’s bulletin asking for knitters/crocheters. Articles about Harriet’s “Work For Troops” efforts appeared in The Voice of Missouri and the Springfield News Leader newspaper in April 2010 and people started contacting Harriet for patterns and instructions. By summer, there were about 300 helpers knitting and crocheting, making wool caps (our main inventory item), wool neck gaiters, wool full face helmet liners, wool slippers and wool scarves for our troops. They only use 100 percent wool yarns for soldier’s caps, gaiters, etc. because the wool yarns present a reduced fire hazard. Additionally, these helpers make caps and scarves for Afghan children from acrylic yarns. Helpers mail the completed items to Harriet or they can leave them at the Belgium Waffle House on South Campbell in Springfield, Mo., a great supporter of the effort. By September 2010, Work For Troops began to ship items to meet the coming winter requests and continued until about the middle of February 2011. During this period, 49 priority mail boxes were sent to various Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force units in Afghanistan and Iraq. An additional five boxes were mailed to nationwide support-the-troops organizations like Blue Star Moms that include the knitted and crocheted items in the care packages they mail to the troops. In addition to the items provided to the troops, the shipments included acrylic yarn caps that U.S. servicemen distribute to Afghan children. In total, these 54 boxes contained about 2,200 items. During early 2010, Harriet made and shipped 750 neck coolers for the warm weather to troops on the ground and to large support-the-troop organizations. In our second winter season, Work For Troops started shipping on Aug. 15, 2011, and as of Jan. 11, 2012, had shipped 67 boxes containing another 2,500 items. Many women in several states have found a cause they can support and be a part of. Individuals continue to contribute funds to help with shipping costs. In the fall of 2011, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Springfield, and Nixa, Mo., raised $1,100 for Work For Troops and Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder presented Harriet and Harold Fritz with a Missouri senior service award, one of only 20 given each year. Work For Troops hopes to be able to ship another 2500 items during the period Sept. 1, 2012, and Jan. 15, 2013. We need women to knit or crochet to make more caps, scarves, etc. Our volunteers can find patterns and instructions at the new website www.workfortroops.com or they can contact Harriet at 417-724-9347 or Harifritz@workfortroops.com and she will provide hard copy instructions and follow up support. We also need people to donate or raise funds to cover the cost of shipping boxes to our troops. You can buy wool yarn and donate it to Work For Troops, for older knitters and crocheters to use. Send completed items to: Harriet Fritz, 786 S. Hackberry Ave., Nixa, MO 65714.
Distr ict News IMMANUEL, HONEY CREEK, SUPPORTS IMMANUEL CHURCH/MARTIN LUTHER SCHOOL, JOPLIN, THIS CHRISTMAS Members of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Jefferson City–Honey Creek and surrounding area congregations have been busy this past year responding to the needs of those affected by the tornado in Joplin, Mo., last year. Not only has the day school at Immanuel adopted Martin Luther School, Joplin, with its chapel offerings all year, but that is just the start. Ingatherings of various kinds have been funneled through Immanuel. The following is part of the list of items: personal and school cleaning supplies, nonperishable food items and congregational monetary gifts. Also, retired Lutheran educator and congregation members Virginia Duenckel and her husband, Charlie, coordinated an Angel Tree for the staff and students at Martin Luther School. The Honey Creek congregation, Charlie and Virginia Duenckel deliver Angel Tree gifts from Immanuel school children, staff and Calvary Lutheran High School Lutheran Church/School, Honey Creek, and Calvary Lutheran High School students worked together to shower the staff and students to students and staff of Martin Luther School in Joplin. of Martin Luther School with gifts galore. When asked, the Duenckel family explained why they took on this project; “By doing this project we felt it a way of expressing our prayer from Immanuel, Honey Creek, for Immanuel, Joplin/Martin Luther School. We pray that these gifts would be ways to celebrate the true gift of Immanuel, God with us, this Christmas. That the birth of Jesus, a gift of love given to each of us, a Savior who forgives, strengthens, heals and encourages in every need, would bring a small expression of hope, love, joy and peace.”
HISTORIC TRINITY MARKED 100 YEAR OF UNIQUE CHRISTMAS PANORAMA TH
In December, Historic Trinity, St. Louis, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the “Trinity Panorama,” a hand-made diorama of Bethlehem on the first Christmas Eve which parishioners erect every year. The idea of a large diorama of Bethlehem occurred to members of the 1911 Christmas decorating committee, artist Albert Bertram and electrician Martin Lauenstein. They built it as a visual focus for a Christmas cantata to be performed by the parish octet. Originally, Lauenstein used imported German carbon-arc bulbs behind the bright star of Bethlehem, nearly burning the backdrop. During WWI, the congregation resorted to a large projection bulb in a Model T Ford headlight reflector. In these early years, without a modern dimmer to control the star’s light, Lauenstein rigged up a chemical battery of copper rods in salt water. Working from behind the panorama, Lauenstein adjusted the depth of the rods and the salinity of the water to dim or brighten the bulb. The control now uses modern dimmers. Other members bought the fragile papier-mâché figures that fi ll the diorama. Each year, members like Elvera Wurtz carefully unpack and pack them. The painted background was retouched by Bertram in 1955, and when he died around Christmas 1966, the panorama remained in place for his funeral. In 1989 the panorama’s case was rebuilt for Trinity’s 150th anniversary but restored in the 1990s to reduce its weight. The panorama presentation doesn’t seem exciting by today’s standard, but the effect of viewing the scene as the congregation sings carols and the story of our Savior’s birth is read is strangely moving. To this day people return to Trinity on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve just to see the historic Trinity panorama as they remembered it. The diorama’s original designers would be proud and amazed to think that it has been used every Christmas for the past 100 years!
The Voice of Missouri
ANNUAL PORK SAUSAGE DINNER Sunday, Feb. 26 11:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. Worship Service at 10 a.m. Bethlehem Lutheran Church 3825 Boeuf Lutheran Road New Haven, MO 63068 (from Hwy. 100, south on Hwy. C 4 ½ miles, right on Boeuf Lutheran Road, ¾ mile to church entrance)
Country Store by Ladies Aid Sponsored by Bethlehem Lutheran Men’s Club For more information call 573-237-2602
Smoked Sausage Supper Sunday, Feb 19 12:30–7 p.m. Zion Lutheran Harvester 3866 Harvester Road Saint Charles, MO 63304 Served family style Carry-outs available Adults - $9 Children (5-12) - $3 636-441-7425 www.zionharvester.org
58TH ANNUAL WHOLE HOG
PORK SAUSAGE DINNER
Feb. 12 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. “All You Can Eat” $9 adults, $4 children Gethsemane Lutheran Church 765 Lemay Ferry Road St. Louis, Mo. 314-631-7331 Questions? Contact Kirk Berner, Gethsemane Men’s Club 314-544-1691
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Com mun icat ions MISSOURI DISTRICT STAFF
President Rev. Dr. Ray Mirly 314-590-6200 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 314-590-6205 Stuart.Brassie@mo.lcms.org
Financial Specialist Ruth Ann Grebe 314-590-6213 RuthAnn.Grebe@mo.lcms.org
Assistant to the President – School Ministry Dennis Gehrke 314-590-6209 Dennis.Gehrke@mo.lcms.org Vice President – Lutheran Church Extension Fund Dennis A. Klussman 314-590-6207 Dennis.Klussman@lcef.org
Publications Specialist/Voice Editor Jennifer Krupp 314-590-6219 Jennifer.Krupp@mo.lcms.org firstname.lastname@example.org Education Specialist Martha Schellin 314-590-6215 Martha.Schellin@mo.lcms.org Pastoral Support Specialist Donna Seipp 314-590-6206 Donna.Seipp@mo.lcms.org
Assistant to the President – Financial Planning and Control Peter Krege 314-590-6200 Peter.Krege@mo.lcms.org
Office and Human Resources Manager Karen Siegel 314-590-6210 Karen.Siegel@mo.lcms.org
St. Louis Social Service Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator Rev. Matthew Schultz 314-590-6211 Matthew.Schultz@mo.lcms.org
Events Specialist Sue Thompson 314-590-6217 Sue.Thompson@mo.lcms.org
Immanuel, Olivette 24th Annual Sausage Dinner and Spring Bazaar Sunday, March 4 Noon – 4 p.m. Eat-in or Carry-out Featuring: Men’s Club Sausage, real mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, green beans, applesauce, bread, dessert and drinks
Adults $10 Children 6-12 $4 Children under 6 free 9733 Olive Blvd. 314-993-2394
New Subscription/Change of Address Form The Voice of Missouri is provided free of charge to all Missouri District–LCMS congregation member households. Check with your church office to have your address added or changed. If you are not a Missouri District congregation member and wish to receive a copy, forward the completed form below to:
The Missouri District–LCMS, Attn.: VOICE Subscriptions, 660 Mason Ridge Center Drive, Suite 100, St. Louis, MO 63141-8557 or send the same information by e-mail to email@example.com Please use this form for a change of address as well as a new subscription. Please send a new subscription. Please remove my name from your subscription list. Subscribe to receive Please change my address to the one listed below. The Voice electronically at mo.lcms.org (I have also provided my old address.) Name Church Name and City Current Address City
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WHO ARE WE? The Missouri District consists of 299 congregations. The Vision: Congregations of the Missouri District—LCMS partnering as one church, united in doctrine, ready, equipped and acting to fulfill the Great Commission in their unique setting with their unique people. The Mission: The Missouri District—LCMS is to serve and encourage congregations to fulfill the Great Commission and promote unity of the true faith.
THE VOICE OF MISSOURI A bimonthly publication produced under the guidelines of the Board of Directors of: The Missouri District—LCMS 660 Mason Ridge Center Drive Suite 100 St. Louis, MO 63141-8557 EDITOR: JENNIFER K RUPP Editor’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org President’s email: email@example.com District website: http://mo.lcms.org Address changes: Send them to or call them into your church office. If you are not a Missouri District–LCMS congregation member, send address changes to “Subscriptions” at the address above. Advertising policy: It is the policy of The Voice of Missouri to accept advertising only from entities of, or affi liated with, the LCMS. Advertising must pertain to church ministry-specific services.
Submissions: When submitting an article to The Voice, emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org are strongly preferred. Articles mailed on disk should have a hard copy included. If neither of these are possible, please type and double-space your article. Faxed articles are not accepted. Please furnish sharply focused original photographs. JPEGs, GIFs or TIFFs may be emailed at 300 dpi at 5x3.5” size. Submission deadline: First day of month preceding publication. Upcoming deadlines and themes: March 1 April/May Pre-Convention Information for the 2012 Missouri District Convention May 1 June/July Post-Convention Photos will not be returned. Make copies before submitting. Identify all photo subjects (left to right, front to back); what they are doing; name and date of event depicted; why subject is there; include suggested caption. Please do not write on the back of a photo—write on a label and then affi x it to back of photo. Get permission from the people in your picture(s) before submitting. Submission of pictures implies approval.
LIFETIME PLAN FOR GIVING TRAINING The LCMS Foundation recently held its annual conference for gift planning counselors and associate counselors in St. Louis. More than 35 men and women from across the nation serving Lutheran ministries participated in the conference. Among them were Dan Roth from Zion Lutheran, Belleville, Ill., and Jim Brackman from Zion Lutheran, Harvester, Mo. They were recognized for their volunteer service to their congregations. The Transfer the Blessings service offered by Roth and Brackman has energized their congregations as they help members plan the best gifts they can for their families and loved ones and the best gifts they can for the ministries they love. A common response: “I didn’t know we could do this much for our family and the Lord. What a joy!” Both men have completed the Christian Gift Counselor designation from the LCMS Lifetime Plan for Giving Training and serve their congregation under the mentorship and assistance of Gift Planning Counselor Kirk Mueller. Mueller is a Gift Planning Counselor with the LCMS Foundation and serves ministries in the Missouri and Southern Illinois Districts. To learn more about the Lifetime Plan for Giving Training or how your ministry can begin this special service to members, contact Kirk Mueller at 314-7044389 or Kirk.Mueller@ LCMS.org.
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THE MISSOURI DISTRICT LUTHERAN LAYMENâ€™S LEAGUE WHAT IS ISLAM? I would like to introduce you to the Menâ€™s Network Bible Study on Islam. Why is it important? We are living in a changing world. What was at one time far from us is now in our backyard. Many of us have seen a mosque appear in our city or a city close to us. Over the last few years we have become more familiar with Muslims and the Islamic religion; but do we understand it? News broadcasts have brought us into contact with Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and several other Muslim countries. What do we know about them, their cultures and their religion? If we are to understand the world we live in and the conflicts we are involved in, we need to understand the people. There are more than one billion Muslims worldwide, and that and accounts for 23 percent of the worldâ€™s population. There are more than one million Muslims in the United States and the number is rapidly growing. When you check into a motel or buy something from the convenience store, chances are good that the man behind the counter is a Muslim. He may even be your neighbor. Are you ready to witness to him? My first encounter with Muslims was when I was returning from the 2000 LLL convention in California. My wife and I had stopped at a rest area somewhere in the middle of Kansas. A car full of Muslims pulled in after us. They got out of their car with their prayer rugs and carefully laid them on the pavement all facing east. Kneeling on the rugs, they began their prayers. This was an unusual sight. And they will do it five times a day. â€œThe Challenge of Islamâ€? is a two-part study using video and discussion guides. Sam Shamoun, an Arab Christian, leads the video presentations. Shamoun was born in Kuwait and raised in the United States. He is familiar with the tenets of Islam but believes in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. â€œPart one: What is Islam?â€? has an introduction and five sessions. They are: The Foundations of Islam; Angels, Jinn and the Qurâ€™an; Islamic Teachings about Jesus; Islamic Teachings about Muhammad; and Muhammad, 70 Virgins and Paradise; Predestination and the Pillars of Islam. â€œPart two: Defending the Christian Faithâ€? has six sessions. They are: Your Bible is
Corrupt; Would the Qurâ€™an Appeal to a Corrupt Bible?; God has No Children; There are not Three Gods; Jihad; and Subjugation. The discussion guide has links to supplemental information and available if the discussion guide is used online. Otherwise this information can be downloaded and shared with a class. Each study is available for purchase ($15) from Lutheran Hour Ministries, 660 Mason Ridge Center Drive, St. Louis, MO 63141. Orders can also be placed online at www.lhmmen.com. You can review the study online at LHM Menâ€™s Network. Check it out. The Islam studies are two of the 22 available covering a wide range of topics. All have the same format; using video and discussion guides. Another Bible study series is â€œStuff They Didnâ€™t Teach Me in Sunday Schoolâ€? with Bruce Wurdeman, LHM Executive Director. The lessons start with Genesis and are now into the New Testament. Each lesson lasts three to eight minutes, depending on the topic covered. Like Paul Harveyâ€™s â€œNow You Know the Rest of the Story,â€? Wurdeman sheds a fresh light on some of the familiar and not-too-familiar Bible stories. They make a good personal Bible study when viewed on line. Video and discussion guides are available to use with a group. At present, three videos have been produced: Genesis; Exodus; and the third covering Joshua, Judges and Ruth. All are available from LHM Menâ€™s Network.
LENTEN DEVOTION BOOKLETS Lent begins Feb. 22. Booklets can be downloaded at no cost from Lutheran Hour Ministries (www.lhm.org) for local printing. Space is provided for personalizing to your congregation. Jack Johnson
WEBSITE FOR THE MISSOURI DISTRICT LLL: W W W. LUTHER A NSONLINE . COM / MISSOUR IDISTR ICTLLL
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SENIOR HIGH GATHERING - STRONG, FIRM AND STEADFAST IN CHRIST FOR JOPLIN JUNE 21-24 MISSOURI SOUTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY, JOPLIN, MO. ONLY $195 PER PERSON ONLINE REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE IN FEBRUARY. PRESENTER: R EV. PAUL STARK, OZARK MISSION PLANTER MUSIC: PARALLAX VIEW Donated water for ongoing distribution immediately after the tornado.
Rev. Paul Stark
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10 ESV)
Plans are well underway for the District Senior High Gathering in Joplin. We will partner with Immanuel Lutheran Church in Joplin and Trent Davis, Immanuel’s director of disaster response, to provide service in the Joplin community. The addition of one day to the gathering schedule will allow for two full days of service. Once back on campus, gathering
participants will join together each evening for uplifting music and a Scripture-based look at the daily theme. Late-night fun and fellowship will include use of the university’s swimming pool, gym and fitness area as well as other activities.
Billingsly Student Center, MSSU
Damaged housing in Joplin. Rec. center and dining hall at MSSU.
Jason Glaskey, DCE at Immanuel, Joplin.
MISSOURI DISTRICT JUNIOR HIGH R ETREAT MARCH 23-25 What does the Missouri District do for your congregation’s youth? Besides being a resource for congregations, the district hosts a variety of youth ministry retreats and gatherings throughout the year, for example, the twice-a-year junior high retreat. The 2011-2012 Junior High Retreats focus on baptism. We are excited to have Dani Tietjen as our main presenter. Dani is a synodically trained Director of Christian Outreach with a variety of ministry experience in outreach as well as regional and national summer event director for Youth Encounter, where she met with speakers from all over the world. She took the opportunity to watch and learn from them as she discovered her own voice and the message she had to share. She has spoken at many LCMS youth events across the country. In addition to speaking engagements, Dani continues to be part of ministry in Haiti, where she participates in and leads yearly mission trips. Music for both retreats will be provided by Christian band Parallax View. We welcome their musical talents and hearts for ministry as 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 four-part 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. Spring registration information: All registrations and deposits must be received at the district office by Monday, March 5. All registrations must be accompanied by a non-refundable deposit. Early registration is encouraged. Registrations received after March 5, with or without deposit, at the district office are not guaranteed. Registration for the spring retreat is available on the district website. Registration, refund policy, directions, scholarship info: Can be found on our website, mo.lcms.org.
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Peer Ministry Training (PMT) is an opportunity to come together with high school register for youth to participate. However, it is best youth and youth counselors from across our district who want to learn additional/inten- to have a trained adult leader in your congregational skills in discipleship to serve in their youth ministry – in their congregation, their tion, so if you don’t have one, please register with your students to assist them in this ministry. school, their community and their family. Registration suggestion: The Missouri District Family Life and Youth Board invites you and/or your youth to Peer Ministry Training, Feb. 17-19, at Camp Wartburg in Waterloo, Ill. We discovered through previous Peer Ministry Trainings that a team of two or three youth This year’s Peer Ministry Training consists of: and an adult leader is ideal. Individuals who Peer Ministry Training: The entry level course designed to teach participants: came alone found themselves missing the support • Quality training in caring skills needed to grow together and support one another • Commitment to growth in faith and values at home. The registration fee of $75 per person is the same amount for youth and adult • Christian service to other people participants. • A life-long attitude of ministry Peer Ministry Training is an outstanding experience with great training/leadership • Welcoming teams and great youth and counselors coming together to learn, grow and serve. Share • Listening with care this opportunity with everyone in your youth ministry. There will be two sessions of PMT taught this year. Peer Ministry Training 2: The followup course to Peer Ministry Training. ParPEER MINISTRY TRAINING (PMT) R EGISTRATION FORM ticipants in this course must have been Feb. 17-19, at Camp Wartburg in Waterloo, Ill. through the PMT course before participation in this course. Yes, I want to attend Peer Ministry Training! Peer Ministers use their ministry skills: Name: * In one-on-one relationships * In their family relationships Address: * Serving their own congregation * Their school City, State, ZIP: * As part of a caring lifestyle of ministry Phone: ( ) Email address: Your cost for the entire weekend of Male: Female (Youth Only) Grade: Age: training is $75 per person. I am registering for: Peer Ministry Training or Peer Ministry Training 2 Please call us at 314-590-6217 or email Sue.Thompson@mo.lcms.org for more Congregation Name and City: information. Information is also on our Mail registration form and $75 fee (please make checks payable to the Missouri District) website at http://mo.lcms.org. Trainto: Missouri District LCMS – Peer Ministry Training ing takes place in small groups. You may encourage your young people to call or 660 Mason Ridge Center Drive, Suite 100 email Rev. Gene Wyssmann as well to St. Louis, MO 63141-8557 encourage them to become peer ministers. Questions? Please email: Sue.Thompson@mo.lcms.org. Registration and $75 fee (payable to Students can register individually or the Missouri District) is due by Feb. 1. in a group – no adult counselors need to
MISSOURI DISTRICT SINGLE ADULT MINISTRY R ETREAT
Connecting with Our Neighbors Understanding and Reaching Out April 13-15 Concordia, Mo. This year’s presenter is Rev. Bill Marler, senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran, Springfield, Mo. Connecting Singles in Ministry will focus on connecting and witnessing to neighbors and friends of other faiths. How you can put this model into practice and organize activities in your community is what this retreat is all about! Join us for interesting discussion, Bible study and fellowship as we learn how to connect with our neighbors—understanding and reaching out! More information at mo.lcms.org.
Registration Form ~ Missouri District Singles Ministry Retreat ~ April 13-15 Name: Phone: Address: City, State, ZIP: Congregation/City: E-mail: Please check appropriate response: M F If you have a roommate preference, please list his or her name here: Cost of $120 per person is based on double occupancy in rooms or $180 per person for single occupancy. I am enclosing deposit for the following option: Deposit of $70 or full amount of $120 is enclosed for double occupancy. Deposit of $70 or full amount of $180 is enclosed for single occupancy. Full amount of $57 for program and meals Friday thrrough Sunday – no lodging. Full amount of $45 for Saturday, April 14, only (program, lunch and dinner only – no lodging). Registration deadline is April 2, or when capacity is reached. Make check payable to: Missouri District Please mail form and check to: Missouri District Singles Retreat, 660 Mason Ridge Center Drive, Suite 100, St. Louis, MO 63141-8557.
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Educat iona l Ser v ices THE SPIRIT OF GIVING
God is doing some wonderful things at Redeemer Lutheran Church and Springfield Lutheran School (SLS), Springfield, Mo.. We can learn a lot from our children. The SLS eighth grade class has traditionally raised money to go on a class trip together. It’s one last outing as a class. It’s fun and they look forward to it. This year’s class was no exception. The group met and talked of going to places like Washington, D.C., New Orleans or the beach. It was decided to hold off on a decision until after the garage sale to see how much money they had to work with. They raised $3,600, then the class members did something truly amazing. They looked at what they had and let go. They let go of thoughts of traveling far away, or going to the beach or long bus rides together. They decided, all of them, to give it all away. And the spirit of God came and took over the room. No one complained about not getting to go somewhere or was upset about giving away something they worked so hard for. They were excited talking about all the people they could help with $3,600.
They thought of Joplin and Martin Luther School and the children who might need help. There were ideas of buying food, clothes, toys and gift cards. They decided to give some at the beginning of the school year, some around Christmas and some later in the spring. Thrivent Financial offered a match, so they received even more money to give away. This little group of 13 amazing kids is becoming a living sermon on how to give generously. The first gift was playground equipment to Martin Luther School, Joplin, on Oct. 10, 2011, of balls, hula hoops, etc. Then they bought $2,000 worth of gift cards to Lowe’s Home Improvement store for the disaster relief ministry at Immanuel, Joplin, to help people rebuild homes. They also bought almost $600 worth of toys for foster kids at Lutheran Family and Children Services in Springfield. And after all that, what’s truly amazing, is that they still have about $3,600. You just can’t outgive God. If you’d like to be a part of what these young people are doing, contact Clint Colwell at email@example.com. “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Cor. 9:11).
ST. LOUIS LUTHERAN SCHOOLS TO HOST OPEN HOUSES FEB. 12 More than 30 Lutheran elementary and high schools in the St. Louis metro area will participate in an “all Lutheran schools” open house event Sunday, Feb. 12. Most schools will welcome visitors from 1 to 3 p.m, but times may vary. Interested families can tour classrooms and meet with principals and teachers to learn about the academic and spiritual benefits of attending a Lutheran school. An example of one open house is at Messiah, Weldon Spring. Its open house is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. at the school, 5911 S. Highway 94, Weldon Spring. The school has billed the event as an opportunity to meet teachers, tour the modern, child-friendly facility and experience the Messiah difference firsthand. The open house is open to everyone in the community. Parents and children can stop in any time between noon and 2 p.m. “We invite everyone to come experience the environment that helps our students achieve at a level four grades above their actual grade,” said Dr. Tom Guenzler, principal. Messiah Lutheran School serves 307 students in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth. For more information on Messiah, visit www.messiahnetwork.org/school. To contact or locate a specific school in your area, visit www.metrolutheranschools.org/ map. The participating schools are members of the St. Louis-based Lutheran Elementary Smartboard in use at Messiah, Weldon Spring. School Association (LESA).
LESA STUDENTS COUNT CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS Lutheran school students in the St. Louis metro area celebrated a joyous holiday season filled with service projects, Advent services and Christmas concerts. The schools are members of the St. Louis-based Lutheran Elementary School Association (LESA). Kindergarteners at Green Park Lutheran began the season early by assembling Thanksgiving and winter care packages for the homeless. Christ Community, Kirkwood, seventh-graders donated volunteer time and 2,100 cans of food to the Kirk Care food pantry. Salem, Black Jack, students continued their tradition of collecting food and toys for St. Matthew Lutheran Church in north St. Louis. And in south St. Louis County, Girl Scouts from Our Savior, Fenton went “Caroling for Cans” to help their local food pantry. LESA students also performed at local nursing homes and participated in their congregational Advent services. Preschoolers at Abiding Savior in south St. Louis County performed Christmas hymns during their congregation’s services, while students at Messiah, Weldon Spring and St. Mark’s, Eureka re-enacted the nativity through stories and song. St. Mark’s production also included Sunday school students. More than 8,000 students attend LESA-member Lutheran schools in the St. Louis metro area.
Salem, Black Jack, students pack gifts and food donations for St. Matthew Lutheran Church.
CCLS seventh-graders at the Kirk Care food pantry in December.
St. Mark's, Eureka, students performing during Advent services.
CCLS R ECOGNIZES RUTH AND A L SENSKE FOR ‘DISTINGUISHED SERVICE’ Green Park kindergarten students Natalee and Thomas assemble winter care packages for the homeless, with help from Miss Stephanie Torbeck.
Our Savior, Fenton, students (Brownie Troop #2296) go “Caroling for Cans” to help the local food pantry.
Christ Community Lutheran School in Kirkwood recently presented Ruth and Al Senske with a “Distinguished Service Award” for their continued service to the CCLS community. Kip Starnes, chairman, CCLS Board of Directors, left, presented the award, along with CCLS Executive Director Rob Cooksey, right. The Senskes have devoted their lives, out of love for Christ, to education and service.
Leadersh ip Tra in ining ing MIDWEEK OUTREACH Throughout the year, many congregations work hard to put on successful midweek programs. While many churches run excellent midweek Christian education programs, some congregations have found ways to use them in their outreach efforts. LCMS Rural and Small Town Mission had the chance to visit with some rural churches in Kansas that have recognized the outreach possibilities and have been doing exciting things with their midweek programs. We want to pass these great ideas along to you. At Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Sylvan Grove, Kan., Rev. Phil Augustine shared that they have an after-school midweek program each Wednesday from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m. Their theme this year is Ambassadors for Christ Midweek. The congregation has partnered with the local school district to bus children to the church door after school each week. He’s pleased their numbers have grown to 36 children from grades one to six. That’s pretty impressive considering only eight of those children are members of the church! After the children are served a snack, two teachers go through memory work and lessons. There is a worship time and occasionally they do craft projects which they give to the residents of a local nursing home. A resource they have found useful is My First Catechism from Concordia Publishing House (www.cph.org). Rev. Matt Schneider, Lincoln, Kan., is also very excited about the commitment his dual parish made to run a strong midweek program. He finds that while the parishes are growing through both youth and adult confirmations, this doesn’t always translate to growing numbers at worship. Rather than let this get him down, Pastor Schneider asks how he can use the midweek program to build closer relationships and bring those who are willing to attend on Wednesday nights to church on Sunday mornings. The congregation has begun hosting occasional breakfasts on Sunday mornings before the worship service where the children from the midweek program sing. Afterward they provide a fun activity such as skating for the children. Kansas District Executive Mark Frith shared that many congregations find it helpful to incorporate a meal into their midweek programs. Some churches are using this mealtime as an opportunity to teach table manners. Providing transportation for participants has proven beneficial as well. A number of congregations have found it very helpful to focus on strengthening families. Their midweek activities intentionally keep families together rather than separate them. Consider these great ideas: have family groups sit together at midweek meals or teach whole families how to do family devotions as an activity rather than dividing into groups by age. Think outside the box about what you can do to keep your families together when they are at the church for midweek. LCMS Rural and Small Town Mission supports and encourages rural and small town congregations in engaging their communities and growing together in Christ through Word and Sacrament. If you have a good idea for outreach or a story you’d like to share with us, so that we can share it with others, please contact us at 888-463-5127 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about us at www.spife.org or by calling us anytime.
KITCHEN SINK WORKSHOPS COVERING EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK FEBRUARY AND MARCH Congregations across the Missouri District are working hard to reach and care for children and families. But quite often, servants in congregations are really looking for ideas, encouragement and support. The Kitchen Sink Workshops, planned for February and March, are a place where veteran leaders can provide guidance for those working in specific areas of congregation life and then facilitate discussion. Sectional 1 Option A: Vacation Bible School – Concordia Publishing House Option B: Dealing with Confl ict in Congregations – Rev. Gene Wyssmann Option C: Ministry to Inactives – Rev. Dr. Lee Hagan Option D: Outreach – Rev. Matthew Schultz Option E: Youth Track for Youth Sectional 2 Option A: Sunday School – Concordia Publishing House Option B: Youth Ministry – Marilyn Haldiman Option C: Family Life Ministry – Rev. Dr. Mart Thompson and Rev. Gene Wyssmann Option D: Assimilation – Rev. Dr. Lee Hagan Option E: Youth Track for Youth
This is an ideal opportunity for small- and medium-sized congregations to support volunteers. The cost is minimal at just $25 per congregation, and yet the possibilities are unlimited as congregation members consider ways to strengthen and expand vital forms of service. The workshops are located strategically across the state. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and you will be done by noon. Attend the site that works best for you. Feb. 11: Faith – Springfield March 3: Alive in Christ – Columbia March 10: St. Paul – Jackson March 17: District office – St. Louis March 31: Timothy – Blue Springs, South Campus The Kitchen Sink Workshops cover many of the areas of congregation life where volunteers are looking for new ideas or encouragement. We pray that your congregation will participate and that the workshop will be a blessing to God’s people. RSVP to Sue Thompson, 314-590-6217, with the number of people coming from your congregation. Contact Rev. Kevin Golden at email@example.com for more information. Sponsored by the Missouri District Board for Congregational Services and Board for Family Life and Youth.
WORKSHOP FOR LEADERS Are you the leader of a group? A board or a Bible study? Do you struggle building community? Identifying your common vision? Do you have leaders who are responsible for the leadership of a group? Individuals you would like to equip to lead a group? Do they struggle with communication and managing conflict? If you can answer “yes” to any of the questions above, consider registering yourself and those leaders for the: Servant Leader Workshop March 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hosted at Immanuel, St. Charles, Mo. The cost is $40, which includes snacks, lunch, workshop activities and materials. Registration closes at the end of February, so register now at http://kindleservantleaders.org/servant-leader-workshops/apply-st-louis/. Space is limited. If more than one person from your church will attend, please register together as a group. If you have questions, please contact Jolene Siebarth at 314-966-3220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This workshop is a sponsored event of KINDLE (Karpenko Institute for Nurturing and Developing Leadership Excellence) and Thrivent.
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Concord ia Sem ina r y, St. Lou is
REACHING OUT TOGETHER CONFERENCE SET FOR FEBRUARY The fourth annual “Reaching Out Together” evangelism conference will take place Feb. 11, on the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. “Reaching Out Together” is an evangelism conference 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 Rev. Gregory Seltz, speaker for The Lutheran Hour. Breakout session speakers include: Jeff rey Gibbs, Life-Affirming Congregations; Mark Wiesner, Sharing Your Faith With A Believer of Islam!; Ralph Geisler, Reaching Rural Small Town Communities for Christ; Chad Lakies, Using Social Media for Evangelism; Kevin Parviz, Reaching Out ... to Your
Congregation?; and Andy Yount, SMP: Formation, Reformation and Kingdom Growth. 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. For more information, contact continuing education at 314-505-7486 or email ce@ csl.edu.
BACH AT THE SEM TO HOLD TWO CONCERTS THIS SPRING The Bach at the Sem concert series will return for two concerts in the remainder of the academic year in spring 2012. The series had been put on hold due to the passing of its beloved conductor and music director, Rev. Robert Bergt, who died in July 2011. The first concert will be held Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. It will feature organist Dennis Bergin playing works by J.S. Bach and his own composition, “The Last Enemy.” The American Kantorei will perform Bach’s Motet III, Jesu Meine Freude, and motets by Heinrich Schütz. The second concert will be held on April 22, at 3 p.m. The American Kantorei will present three cantatas by J.S. Bach: Der Himmel lacht!, Die Erde jubilieret; and Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend warden. They will also perform Lobe den Herren den maechtigen Koenigen der Ehren.
Jeral Becker will serve as interim conductor and music director. Becker previously served as assistant conductor under Bergt. Both concerts will be held in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the Concordia Seminary campus. They are open to the public and free of charge. Free will offerings will be taken in support of the concert series. The American Kantorei is a choral and orchestral ensemble dedicated to the performance of church music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Neoclassical periods. The works of J.S. Bach form the core of its repertoire. Future concerts will be determined and announced at a later date. For more information, contact Marla Brewer, administrative assistant to the dean of the chapel, at 314-505-7009 or email@example.com.
LAUDAMUS ANNOUNCES WINTER TOUR Laudamus, under the direction of Interim Kantor Stephen Rosebrock, will visit Lutheran churches in Illinois and Wisconsin during its 2012 Winter Tour. The choir will sing Transfiguration services at each church on the tour. The itinerary for the Laudamus 2012 Winter Tour: Friday, Feb. 17, 7 p.m.—Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. Saturday, Feb. 18, 5 p.m.—St. Peter’s Lutheran, Arlington Heights, Ill. Sunday, Feb. 19, 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.—St. John Lutheran, Wheaton, Ill. Sunday, Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m.—Elm Grove Lutheran, Elm Grove, Wis. Monday, Feb. 20, 8:30 a.m.—Mount Olive Lutheran Church and School, Milwaukee, Wis. Monday, Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m.—Trinity Lutheran, Sheboygan, Wis. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 9:30 a.m.—Concordia UniversityWisconsin, Mequon, Wis. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m.—St. John Lutheran, Racine, Wis. Laudamus is a men’s choir of 12 voices that sings mostly unaccompanied music. The seminarians are preparing for full-time service as pastors in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. For more information on the Laudamus Tour, call 314-505-7009 or visit www.csl.edu.
Upcoming Seminary Guild Meeting Dates: Feb. 3 March 16 Page 12
Front row, from left: Jason Holden, William Wingfield, John Fries, Adam Thompson, Jeffrey Burgess; middle row, Raymond Holman, Nikolai Gibbons, Daniel Maske, Joshua Reifsteck, Stephan Roma; back row, Jonathan Meyer and Rev. Stephen Rosebrock. Missing from photo: Samuel Maconachy.
To view the most recent issue of Concordia Seminary magazine, please visit www.csl.edu/resources/publications/concordia-seminary-magazine. February/March 2012
Lutheran Womenâ€™s Missionary League
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE R EGISTRATION FORM 1. Please read the form carefully before completing it. 7. Be sure your form is complete and your check reflects the GO FISH! amount for â€œtotal remittance.â€? 2. Before completing your form, please copy it (Parts 1 and 2) to Recently I spent share with others. Note: Incomplete forms will be returned which will delay some time searchyour registration process. 3. Complete your form and copy for your records. Mail the ing through stororiginal to the registration chairman. 8. Direct questions about registration to Registration Chairage boxes in my man Edie Turner at: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her at basement. For 4. Be sure to include your LWML Zone name, your congrega314-443-6077. tion name and its location. some unknown reason I found 5. Convention and mission walk T-shirts run small. Consider *Convention costs have been increasing. If you would like to make Karen Drury myself in a desgetting one size larger â€“ no refunds. a donation to help defray costs, your contribution would be most perate search for 6. If you require a special diet or have other special needs, be welcome. my college and high school diplomas. sure to indicate them on the form. My basement is much like everyone MORE CONVENTION INFORMATION AND SHIRT ORDER FORM ON PAGE 15. elseâ€™s. It is the part of my house that collects all the unneeded or unwanted 0LVVRXUL'LVWULFW/XWKHUDQ:RPHQÂśV0LVVLRQDU\/HDJXH items. However, I was faced with a QG%LHQQLDO&RQYHQWLRQ-XQHÂą quest and I would not rest until my mis5HJLVWUDWLRQ)RUPÂą3DUW sion was accomplished.
During my search I opened boxes that hadnâ€™t been touched in years. Before long I was wandering down memory lane as items sparked remembrances of people, places and events long passed. As I was fishing through the memories, I opened a box that contained LWML items that my mom had kept. Slowly I sifted through her memories â€Ś rally booklets, skits, song sheets and photos from LWML conventions. The photos were of joy-filled ladies, colorful banners, lively song leaders and mission-minded speakers. While the photos captured the LWML conventions of the past, I could not help but stop and realize that all these wonderful things will be available for todayâ€™s Faces of the LWML. This summer, June 8â€“10, the Missouri District LWML convention will be hosted by the St. Louis North, St. Louis West and St. Louis South zones. Women from the district will have the opportunity once more to connect with fellow LWML-ers, to enjoy the opening communion service, the pageantry of the banner processional, be led in Christ-filled songs of praise, and be inspired by mission speakers sharing the joys of spreading the Gospel news. Delegates will select the mission grants to be supported during the next biennium. The theme for the convention is Go Fish! Plan to attend and you might discover that you are making memories that you can go fishing through for many years to come.
MISSOURI DISTRICT LUTHERAN WOMENâ€™S MISSIONARY LEAGUE 22ND BIENNIAL CONVENTION, JUNE 8-10, 2012 ST. CHARLES CONVENTION CENTER ST. CHARLES, MO.
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And He said to them, â€œFollow Me and I will make you fishers of men.â€? PLEASE PRINT OR TYPE CLEARLY
DAYTIME PHONE LWML ZONE
I will be attending as (Please check only one category)
_____General Registration (Non-voting member) _____LWML District Board Member _____Delegate _____Past Missouri District LWML President _____Alternate Delegate _____LWML Zone Pastoral Counselor _____Young Womenâ€™s Representative (YWR) _____Guest You should make your own hotel reservation at the Embassy Suites Hotel â€“ See Second Sheet ÍžĆ‰Ĺ?Í˜ĎĎąÍż
REGISTRATION DETAILS ONE PERSON PER REGISTRATION FORM 1. Registration postmarked on or before May 7 $60.00* 1.__________________ 2. LATE registration postmarked AFTER May 7 $75.00* 2.__________________ 3. Clergy/Zone Counselor No Charge for Registration 3. NO CHARGE 4. Friday Night Buffet $18.00 4.__________________ 5. Saturday Meal Plan (Lunch, Banquet, Entertainment) $55.00 5.__________________ 6. Saturday Lunch Only $20.00 6.__________________ 7. Saturday Banquet and Entertainment Only $40.00 7.__________________ ALL MEALS MUST BE PAID IN ADVANCE 8Í˜ Convention Polo Shirt SÍ• MÍ• L, XL $16; 2XL, 3XL $18; 4XL $20 CIRCLE SIZE 8._________________ 9Í˜ Mission Walk/Swim 6 â€“ 7 Ä‚Í˜ĹľÍ˜ Saturday Walk___ Swim___ Virtual Participant___ T Shirt S, M, L, XL $10; 2XL, 3XL $12 CIRCLE SIZE 9.__________________ Convention and Mission Walk Shirts run small â€“advise ordering 1 size larger â€“NO REFUNDS 10. Convention Pin $4.00 10.__________________ 11. Convention Charm $4.00 11.__________________ TOTAL REMITTANCE _____________________ Check payable to: LWML 2012 District Convention Fund Convention Choir (Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelopeÍ˜) Indicate if you will be singing in the Convention Choir. Music Mail payment and registration form to: and information will be sent to you upon registering. Please Edie Turner wear white top and black skirt or pants when performing. 2545 Cripple Creek DrĹ?Ç€Äž Soprano I _______ Alto I ________ St. Louis, MO 63129 Soprano II _______ Alto II ________ Phone: 314-443-6077 â€“ Äžmail: email@example.com Registration Information Special Needs NO refunds after June 1, 2012Í˜ Hearing Impaired seating w/interpreter?________ All registrations will be acknowledged. Handicapped Ć?eating?_______________________ Registrations will not be processed until payment is made. List all critical food allergies and/or special dietÍ— _________________________________________ NO refunds for less than $1 will be processed. _________________________________________
The Voice of Missouri
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Transferred from Other Districts Jass, Judith (CI) to candidate 5/5/11 Liefer, Kelly (MI) to non-candidate 11/15/11 Nummela, Pamela (KS) to Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis 12/7/11 by P. McCain Wong, Christine (EN) to candidate 1/1/12 Graduates Installed Bayless, Ashley (SL Sem ’10) to Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis 1/11/12 by P. McCain
PERSONNEL CHANGES — COMMISSIONED MINISTERS OF R ELIGION Howard, Kirsten (M ’11) to Lutheran Steffens, Karen (Trinity, Jefferson School Association, Cole Camp City) to Good Shepherd, Columbia 1/8/12 by T. Kollbaum 1/22/12 by D. Benson Telle, LaDonna (candidate) to Good Rasmussen, Laura (AA ’11) to New Beginnings – Pacific 12/4/11 by J. Sullivan Shepherd, Columbia 1/22/12 by D. Benson Wing, Sara (Immanuel, Higginsville) Changes Within District to St. Paul, Concordia 12/8/11 by Koepke, Alan (Concordia University L. Hagan Nebraska, Seward) to Lutheran Senior Services, St. Louis 1/26/12 Non-Candidate Status by V. Gundermann Ahlers, Melisa (non-candidate) 8/4/11 Schultz, Colleen (St. Paul’s Early Childhood Olson, Peter (candidate) 12/29/11 Center, Des Peres) to Abiding Savior, St. Louis 1/15/12 by D. McBurney
CALLING CONGREGATIONS For Sole Pastors: Bolivar, Zion Branson, Faith Brentwood, Mount Calvary Chillicothe/Trenton – St. John/Immanuel Dexter, Faith Emma, Holy Cross – called Rev. Douglas Swanson of Bolingbrook, IL (declined) Florissant, Salem Glendale, Glendale – called Rev. Todd Kollbaum of Cole Camp, MO (declined) Lemay, Gethsemane – called Rev. Shawn Deterding of Clinton, MO Linn/Drake – Pilgrim/St. John Marshall, Our Redeemer – called Rev. Rick Cody of Monett, MO Pocahontas/Shawneetown – Zion/Trinity St. Peters, Child of God Wellsville, Grace Served by Intentional Interim Pastors: Affton, Salem (Rev. Dr. Darrell Zimmerman) Emma, Holy Cross (Rev. Richard Swanson) Fenton, Our Savior (Rev. Dr. Richard Foss) Florissant, Salem (Rev. Gordon Beck) Lemay, Gethsemane (Rev. Roger Henning) Scott City, Eisleben – convertible vicar has been assigned For Associate or Assistant Pastor: Chesterfield, King of Kings – called Rev. Gregory Prauner of Ridgewood, NJ (accepted) Farmington, St. Paul Lockwood, Immanuel – calling a seminary candidate
For Senior Pastor: Affton, Salem Arnold, St. John (retirement of Rev. Dr. Jack Miller) Vacant: on hold – but being served: Ashland, Family of Christ Bethany, Hope Bismarck, St. John Center, Trinity Creighton, Trinity Cuba/St. James, St. Paul/St. John 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 St. Louis, Holy Sacrament St. Louis, St. Matthew St. Louis, St. Paul St. Louis County, Immanuel Chapel Sarcoxie, Trinity Shelbyville, Mount Hope Stockton, St. Andrew Sweet Springs, Christ Pastors considering other Calls: Heine, William (St. Paul L.H.S., Concordia) to Memorial, Houston, TX (accepted) Shaw, Jason (Faith, Springfield) to Concordia, Cedar Rapids, IA Trunkhill, Chad to Our Redeemer, Hutchinson, KS (accepted)
MISSOURI LUTHERANS ATTEND OAFC NEW YEAR’S GATHERING IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS The Ongoing Ambassadors For Christ (OAFC) New Year’s Gathering was a huge success! Sixty-eight youth and adults and six local youth attended this year from Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. The theme was “Unity Through Humility” based on Phil. 2:1-11. Five teams of approximately 15 members each studied God’s Word, praised Him in song, and witnessed about Jesus. They also participated in games, wrote dramas and attended workshops about writing personal witnesses, learning guitar basics and honing skills on puppetry and drama while building new friendships and growing in their faith. OAFC’s interim executive director Rev. David Dobbertien was the guest speaker. The gathering was held at Christ Our Rock Lutheran High School, Centralia, Ill., with local congregations from Messiah, Carlyle; Trinity, Hoffman; St. John, New
Retired Gieseke, Richard (Lutheran Blind Mission, St. Louis) 10/31/11 Resigned/Removed from Roster Andreasen, Alison (non-candidate) 12/28/11 Biesendorfer, Robert (Messiah, St. Charles) 11/28/11 Castens, Jennifer (non-candidate) 11/21/11 Schaunaman, Brandi (non-candidate) 1/3/12 Deceased Seevers, Kenneth (emeritus) 11/25/11
PERSONNEL CHANGES — ORDAINED Ordained and Installed: Lindemann, Rodney (SL ’11) ordained and installed as SMP Pastor at Timothy, Blue Springs, MO 12/10/11 by R. Mirly Muck, Alan (SL ’11) ordained and installed as SMP pastor at Lord of Life, Chesterfield, MO 1/15/12 by R. Mirly Transferred to our District: Grimenstein, Edward (SW) installed as Manager of Disaster Response LCMS, St. Louis, MO by M. Harrison Iannelli, Michael (MNS) installed as sole pastor at Our Savior, St. Charles, MO 12/18/11 by R. Mirly Liebmann, Martin (CI) emeritus 12/16/11
Prauner, Gregory (NJ) installed as associate pastor at King of Kings, Chesterfield, MO 1/15/12 by R. Lange Williamson, Gregory (RM) installed as Chief Mission Officer LCMS, St. Louis, MO 1/9/12 by M. Harrison Transferred to other Districts: Trunkhill, Chad (Resurrection, Sappington) to Kansas District 12/19/11 Change in District: Henrickson, Charles, installed Redeemer, Potosi, MO 1/7/12 by A. Wollenburg; Rev. Henrickson continues to serve St. Matthew, Bonne Terre, MO Loza, David (Jesus El Buen Pastor, Kansas City, MO) emeritus 12/9/11
Save the date!
BED & BREAKFAST Quiet Nature Retreat on 23 Acres Private 8 Acre Fishing Lake Near Hermann, Mo.
firstname.lastname@example.org Woodmerecabin.members.ktis.net 573-252-4136 Members - Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
St. Paul’s Lutheran Elementary School Auction & Dinner Concordia, Mo. Saturday evening, March 17 For more details visit www.stpaulsconcordia.org or call 660-463-7654
Minden; Trinity, Hoyleton; Salem, Salem; and E EMEMBER Trinity, Nashville, Ill., supporting them in • Mr. Kenneth Seevers Seevers their witness of Jesus’ love and forgiveness in went home to be with Jesus the community. November 25, 2011. The five teams made 280 calls, found 13 prospects for congregational follow-up, and left literature at 314 homes where no one was home. Forty-three Ablaze! calls were made to individuals who were inactive in church or unchurched, presented with the Gospel, and given a chance to respond. Eight youth and one adult were trained in sharing the Good News of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection. Planning is underway for the national OAFC Summer Training event to be held in July at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Collinsville, Ill. Learn more at www.oafc.org.
CONVENTION R EGISTRATION PART 1 Mission Walk For the mission walk you can either be an active walker, an active swimmer (or a water walker/wader), or a virtual walker/swimmer. Those who wish to participate by raising mite funds but who cannot actually walk or swim in the event are invited to register as virtual participants. We will be doing a “Go Fish Walk/Swim” with the collection of playing cards at various checkpoints (virtual participants will draw their cards at the mission walk table on Friday). There will be winners in all categories (walker, swimmer, virtual participant) with gift cards and other prizes awarded. Come, join the fun! A confirmation letter and sponsor sheet will be sent to walkers, swimmers and virtual walkers/swimmers upon receipt of the convention registration form. The mission walk entry fee includes a special mission walk T-shirt. No T-shirts will be mailed. They will be reserved for you to pick up when you arrive at the convention site. Be sure to include the correct fee (relates to your T-shirt size) on the registration form (see page 13), Line 9.
Housing Reservations for housing can be made now by calling Embassy Suites at 636-9465544. In order to get the appropriate discounted room rates, be sure to let them know you are with the LWML convention. The Embassy Suites is in the same building as the St. Charles Convention Center and should be very convenient for our LWML convention attendees. Rates are as follows (before May 7) and do not include tax: One to two people per room = $124 per night (includes breakfast) Three to four people per room = $134 per night (includes breakfast)
Ingathering The following items will be collected. They may be taken to the room designated for the ingathering. 1. Lydia House – gift cards to Wal-Mart, Schnucks, Target and Shop ’n Save. 2. International Student Ministry, St. Louis – money for bilingual Bibles. Make checks payable to LWML 2012 Convention (do not include with your registration fee). 3. Christian Friends of New Americans – prepackaged first aid kits (#8123 from WalMart, Target or K-Mart).
LW M L COUNSELOR’S CORNER
COME FOLLOW ME “Follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19 ESV). When I worked in the corporate world, I attended my fair share of conventions. Typically they were noisy, crowded and chaotic. My general impression of these corporate conventions was that they were filled with people with fake smiles, deceptive hand- Rev. David Moore shakes, and everyone always had their own agenda. Needless to say they were not something that I looked forward to or enjoyed. Instead, They were something that I endured. That all changed two years ago when I had the privilege of attending the Missouri District LWML convention. Yes, at times it was noisy, crowded and chaotic – but in a good way. This convention was unlike any that I had ever been to before. It was filled with people with genuine smiles, authentic handshakes and greetings. The only agenda that anyone had was that of our Lord, Jesus Christ. What a joy it was to be with the people of God for those three days. During that time I was blessed to meet so many wonderful women, each with a heart and a passion for the mission and ministry of Christ Jesus. We studied Scripture together, we worshiped together, and best of all – we gathered around His altar and received His grace and forgiveness as we communed together. It was fun, inspiring, uplifting and refreshing. In other words, it was a really good time. If you have been to a district convention before, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you have not been to one, you owe it to yourself to come see what you have been missing. I would like to encourage all of you to join us this summer in St. Charles as we gather around the theme “Go Fish” and listen to our Lord’s gracious invitation to come and follow Him. Trust me; you will be glad you came.
And He said to them, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”
Convention Photos/CD A CD and photos of the convention will be available to be ordered at the convention. Watch for the photo table at check-in to reserve your memories.
Tours No official tours will be conducted. Information about sites to see will be included with the registration confirmation.
GO FISH! GO FISH! What comes to mind when you hear those words? A child’s card game? That brings memories of my childhood but also of playing with my grandchildren. How about memories of fishing with a beloved grandfather along the Big Blue River in Nebraska? WOW! Did his burlap sack bulge with catfish! Anything you remember? Well, if you haven’t heard, “GO FISH” is the theme of the Missouri District LWML Convention, June 8-10. The theme is based on Matt. 4:19, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” When Jesus called His disciples, I’m sure they had no idea what that invitation was all about, but they followed Him, and the rest is history. Now, you have been invited to come, follow Jesus and make some memories of your own. Those of you who have attended LWML conventions before know what’s in store for you. If you are a first timer, there will be important business conducted, devotions, Bible studies, inspirational speakers and singing … lots of singing. All in all, it is a time for lots of memories to be made. New and old friends get together to talk, share, pray and have fun. Most important, it is a time for spiritual renewal and recommitment to Christ’s command to “GO FISH” and “catch” people for Him. May the Holy Spirit guide and direct your path to St. Charles in June. Christ will help us all make memories and continue HIS+STORY. Vice President of Christian Life SOLI DEO GLORIA! Christi Steffens
The Voice of Missouri
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OUR R EDEEMER, O VERLAND, HISPANIC FESTIVAL by Rev. Feliz Tovar In December, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church of Overland, Mo., hosted The Hispanic Festival Inc. Christmas party. The Hispanic Festival Inc. group organizes the Hispanic Festival that takes place downtown each September. Every year, The Hispanic Festival Inc. group hosts a Christmas party for a family in need. This year it was a homeless single mother and her four children. Two other Hispanic families as well as my own joined in the festivities. Our Redeemer put $390 of blessings from God together to share with this family. Four books of bus fares were purchased for use in the city so she can travel to the store and other places. We also purchased a Schnucks’ gift card and various gifts for the mother and her children. The Hispanic Festival group was very thankful to have Our Redeemer’s fellowship hall for this event. We will likely do it again next year and now that I know what to expect, I am hoping to make it bigger with the help of other Our Redeemer members. This young woman and her family are very grateful for all that was done for them to share the Christmas spirit. When she saw all the bus passes, the gift card for Schnucks and the other gift cards donated to her, she about cried with joy; in fact, we both did. There were also items brought in by an Our Redeemer mother and second grader of the school. It warms my heart to see how we all came together to share God’s blessings in our lives with those in our community. This young mother hopes to get her GED and learn English. She currently lives in a shelter downtown, which is close to the Peace Center where Christian Friends of New Americans (CFNA) reaches out to the community and provides services.
We pray that she will come back to Our Redeemer and also seek opportunities I shared with her near where she lives. From this party we had several visitors who asked more about our church and school. It was not only a wonderful opportunity to share Christmas joy but also an opportunity to share more about what Our Redeemer is in Christ! We hope we will see some new faces. By God’s grace, we hope to repeat this blessing with this family, or perhaps another, in the spring around Lent or Easter. Christ’s peace!
A place for young adults to meet in faith www.quarterlifefellowship.com
Service Retreat Heits Point Lutheran Camp Lincoln, Mo. April 20-22 Join other young adults from across Missouri at Heits Point ( http://www.heitspoint.com) for a weekend of service work, fellowship, Bible study, worship and more. $15 for the weekend–including lodging and meals. If you can’t come for the whole weekend, come for part of it. For more information, please contact Pastor Dave Benson at email@example.com To register, send a note that you are registering for the QuarterLife Retreat with your name, address and phone number, along with your check to “Heits Point Lutheran Ministries,” 28345 Heits Point Ave., Lincoln, MO 65338, care of Leah Hutcheson or call 660-668-2363.
The Voice of Missouri
Published on Feb 1, 2012
The Voice of Missouri is provided free of charge and offers news from the district office and from district congregations. We pray that the...