Leadership Thoughts From...
Rev. Daniel May
“…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Rev. 2:10 There are various dates for congregations to confirm their youth! In the past, many were confirmed on Palm Sunday and received their first Communion on Maundy Thursday. As tradition and practices changed some moved confirmation to Pentecost Sunday. It doesn’t matter of course – it is adiaphoron. When I was in the parish, we finally decided to go with the last Sunday in April so as never to interfere with either Palm Sunday or Pentecost. This past Sunday one of my granddaughters was confirmed! It was her time to reaffirm her baptismal faith and make a public witness of her faith. We rejoiced with her, celebrated her baptism and thanked God for her public testimony of faith! Our celebration of confirmation is a celebration of the faith and love that binds us to Christ and to one another! In a congregation, there is always joy as our young people march into the sanctuary to confess their faith. The faith of young and old rests solely on the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord. While this Gospel Good News is not new to us, it remains powerful and dramatic! It is for that reason we rejoice as we see it take root and grow in our young people. Please do not overlook the importance of youth ministry! Statistically we seem to experience some loss between the baptismal font and confirmation and another loss between confirmation and adulthood. Some see confirmation as a kind of “graduation” even though we say time and again that it is not that! The relationship between confirmands and the pastor and the church is vital during the high school years. It does take a lot of intentional work with or without the cooperation of parents. My guess is that all of us remember the day of our confirmation very well! Hopefully, your confirmation was a heartfelt and significant day in your life. How was the next day and the next Sunday? Where did you see yourself going from there? What kind of Bible Study and conversation did you need at that time? Were there meaningful fellowship times for you in the church or did you need to meet those needs outside of the church? Were you as committed to worship as you were when you were in confirmation class, acolyting and with kids your age? Teens need Christ of course by they also need the church and they need you! May interaction with this age group be a joy for you.
Outreach & Evangelism
Rev. Geoff Robinson
University Lutheran Church at Purdue sent a team of students to Port Arthur, Texas in March 2018 to continue work on homes devastated by hurricane Harvey. Led by Rev. Justin Herman of West Lafayette, the intercollegiate team of Purdue and Indiana University students volunteered their spring break to help residents return to their homes. Purdue ROTC student Ben Scholar and Pastor Justin Herman prepare drywall for installation. Photo/ Eric Schlene Purdue engineering student Ruthann Weedon finishes a ceiling joint in a restored home in Port Arthur. Photo/ Eric Schlene Home owner Joshua Pham, background, chats with Indiana University optometry student Daniel O’Connor finish sanding in the entry hallway of the Port Arthur residence. Photo/ Eric Schlene Indiana optometry student Daniel O’Connor and Purdue engineering student Ruthann Weedon install fresh insulation to the walls damaged by hurricane Harvey. Photo/ Eric Schlene Ben Scholer and Colten Lottes of Purdue’s Beta Sigma Psi fraternity stand atop debris cleared from a Port Arthur home. Photo/ Eric Schlene Purdue’s Iris Zhao and Joe Evelo prepare drywall for installation as work continues on a Port Arthur residence ravished by hurricane Harvey flood waters. Photo/ Eric Schlene Port Arthur residents join the mission team for a photograph as the week’s work draws to a close. Among those travelling from Indiana were Joe Evelo, standing third from left, Ruthann Weedon, Susan Linson, Daniel O’Connor and Eric Schlene. Kneeling are Rev. Justin Herman, Colten Lottes and Ben Scholar. Photo/ Eric Schlene Team members enjoy the warm salt air as they ride the car ferry to Galveston Island for rest and recreation on the last day of the trip. Photo/ Eric Schlene
Mr. Ron Bleke
Playgrounds are a great way to generate interest from youth in your organization. However, they can also create a significant risk of injury and liability. Take care to make your playground a S.A.F.E. environment: Supervision: Make sure your playground is always supervised Age appropriate: Follow manufacturer’s guidelines Fall surfacing: Ensure you have adequate surface fill or surfacing Equipment maintenance: Complete inspections on a routine basis Every organization should be proactive in making their playground S.A.F.E. View Church Mutual’s Playground Safety information for more ways to protect your organization, or visit our website Ask Risk Control Central to contact one of our professional risk consultants.
Dr. Jon Mielke
Each May the pastors of the Indiana District gather for a spring conference - The Northwest & Northeast pastors in the northern part of the state, and the Central & Southern pastors in the southern part of the state. This is the report I gave to the pastors concerning Christian Education & Congregational Services of the Indiana District. Christian Education & Congregational Services Report for the Spring Pastors Conference – May 2018 Upcoming Conferences & Events May 31 – NLSA District Accreditation Commission at the District Office June 18-20 – FLAME Future Lutheran Administrators Midwest Education at Ann Arbor MI July 9-13 – GOSPEL Conference LCMS Education Executives in California July 19-20 – Summer Administrators Conference, Brown County State Park, Nashville IN July 24-26 - NLSA National Accreditation Commission in St Louis, MO August 17-18 – Early Childhood Conference at Our Shepherd, Avon IN September 5-7 – INDEX Midwest Education Executive Conference October 10-12 – DCE Conference at the Best Practices Heartland Conference in Columbus IN October 29-30 – INPEA Indiana Non Public Educators Conference in Indianapolis IN Schools with new Administrators Mt Calvary Lutheran Childcare & Preschool, Fort Wayne IN has contracted Andrea Harville as director as current director Sue Doepner retiring Trinity Lutheran High School, Seymour IN has contracted Clayton Darlage as principal. Current principal Ben Stellwagen accepted a call to Nebraska Amy Hedges will be installed as principal on May 20 at Our Shepherd, Avon where she is serving as interim John Weber was installed as principal on May 2 at Central Lutheran, New Haven IN where he was serving as interim Whitney Vandercar has accepted a call be principal at White Creek Lutheran School, Columbus IN where she is currently teaching; current principal Jan Buss is retiring John March has accepted a call to be principal of St John Lutheran, Indianapolis IN Jeff Smitley has accepted a contact to be principal of St John Lutheran, Lanesville IN Breenna Smith has accepted a call to be director/teacher at Trinity Lutheran Preschool-Darmstadt, Evansville IN, a new school start Enrollment Trends Congregations support forty-five (45) Lutheran elementary schools as the 2017-2018 academic year comes to a close. Most of these schools serve children in grades K-8, with thirty-seven (37) of them also supporting a preschool. Currently, the total enrollment in grades K-8 in all the elementary schools of the Indiana District has decreased from 7362-7028 during this three-year period # of Schools 2017-2018 2016-2017 2015-2016 Free Standing Early Childhood 52 2,410 2,571 2,525 Early Childhood in Elementary 1,722 1,711 1,701 Total Early Childhood Student 4,132 4,282 4,226 K-8 Students 45 7,028 7,214 7,362 9-12 Students 3 1,110 1,174 1,165 Total Students 100 12,270 12,670 12,753 Indiana Choice Scholarship Program In the 2017-2018 academic year three (3) Lutheran high schools and thirty-seven (37) Lutheran elementary schools were registered with the Department of Education and accepting Choice Scholarship families. At the beginning of the academic year 2017-2018, five-hundred sixty (560) new CHOICE Scholarship students enrolled in a Lutheran school and were able to hear the Gospel message. A total number of 3,465 Lutheran School students are receiving Choice Scholarships, that is 42.6% of our total K-12 enrollment, and includes students who are members of our congregations. Our schools will receive $13,092,599 in Choice Scholarships this year. For the 2018-2019 school year 3 more schools will become CHOICE Schools: Ascension Lutheran Christian School, Gary IN, Immanuel Lutheran, Valparaiso IN, and Zion Lutheran, New Palestine IN Colloquy for Teachers and Church Workers There are nine hundred thirty-one (931) administrators and teachers in our one hundred (100) Lutheran schools in the Indiana District. Four hundred thirty-nine (439) are called and four hundred ninety-two (492) are contracted. Twenty-nine (29) contracted teachers are synod trained but not on the roster of Synod at this time. 50.3% of our teachers have synod training. The Indiana District established a fund to help teachers take colloquy courses with the goal to have Lutheran Teachers obtain a better understanding of Law and Gospel. This also includes other church-worker professions such as DCE, Director of Family Life (DFLM) and Director of Parish Music (DPM). In the last triennium, twenty-four (24) teachers have taken at least one colloquy course. Six (6) teachers have started the colloquy process in 2017. Thirteen (13) have completed the coursework and have or are in the process of completing their final interview at one of the Concordia Universities. During 2015-2017 we had 14 teachers receive a call upon completing colloquy and were commissioned. In addition we had 2 Directors of Parish Music complete colloquy and were commissioned. New School Starts Evansville: Trinity Lutheran in Darmstadt will to open an early learning center. The congregation of Trinity Lutheran called Breenna Smith as director & teacher and she has accepted. Evansville Lutheran School and area LCMS churches are also in a Genesis Study to determine the feasibility for Lutheran preschools/daycares for the Evansville, Indiana area. Please keep their efforts in your prayers as they seek to discern God’s will for ministry to young children and their families in this area of the Indiana District. Roanoke: Faith Lutheran in Roanoke has opened an early learning (preschool) center in the spring of 2018. Ascension Lutheran Christian School, Gary, IN: After much planning, Ascension Lutheran Christian School opened in the fall of 2017. Working in concert with Lutheran Urban Mission Initiative, Inc. (LUMIN) and the Indiana District, local LCMS education and business advocates formed a nonprofit entity, the Lutheran School Corporation of Indiana, Inc. (LSCI), to own Ascension Lutheran Christian School. LSCI leases a school building from Our Saviour Lutheran Church and retained LUMIN to operate Ascension. Pastors, leaders, and faculty welcomed twelve (12) students in three grades – kindergarten and first (1st) and second (2nd) grade and celebrated its opening chapel service on August 16, 2017. They will end the year with 15 students. Grade 3 will be added for 2018-2019 and it will be a CHOICE Scholarship school for 2018-2019. Rev. John Albers is serving as administrator. Congregational Services – DCE and Family Life Northeast Lutheran Family Life Council A few DCE’s, pastors and leaders from NE Indiana have gathered a few times to discuss and explore ways that family ministry can be enhanced not only in northeast Indiana but throughout the entire Indiana District. A resolution/overture is being submitted to the Council for Congregational Services in efforts to recognize and bolster the work of the Indiana District for family ministry. National Youth Gathering July 11-15, 2019 The theme is REAL.PRESENT.GOD and to be held in Minneapolis, MN. DCE Sarah Shadday (Concordia, Greenwood) and DCE Cheryl LaBelle (St Paul, Columbus) are the Indiana District Coordinators. They attended a Synod pre-gathering meeting in Minneapolis to preview the convention site and gather information to share with congregations who plan to attend. Fall DCE Conference October 10-12 The Fall DCE conference will be held in conjunction with Best Practices-Heartland Conference hosted by St Peter’s Lutheran, Columbus IN.
Rev. Phillip Krupski
“Thy Will Be Done.” We pray these words regularly in our use of the Lord’s Prayer. Our souls earnestly desire to live in God’s will, living by faith in God’s Son Jesus Christ and living to respond in faith with works of service. Yet if we be honest, we often segment our lives and the gifts we find in them. We easily ask God’s will for certain gifts. Other gifts we reserve from that domain, often claiming that things like “time” or “finances” belong to our own lordship. In reality, we have much praying to do, asking the Lord in His mercy to bend our wills so that we may walk in the plans He created for us before time began. In my work as Planned Giving Counselor for the LCMS Foundation here in Indiana, my privilege is to serve God’s stewards in helping them discern God’s will for the faithful stewardship of His gifts in their estates to care for family and provide for ministries close to their hearts. At the LCMS Foundation, we follow the “5 P’s” of Gift Planning. They are: Prayer, People, Property, Plans and Planners. Notice that the process begins with PRAYER. If you have been sitting on the sideline for a while, procrastinating about writing your plans down on paper, I would be privileged to work with you. Together we can PRAY and talk and struggle to discern the plan of God’s design. At completion of your plan, you will have the peace and joy of following Jesus as He bids us carry His cross to the world. Give me a call or email me and we can begin working together. I do not charge a fee, as the LCMS Foundation and Indiana District partner together to make my service to the saints possible. Let’s keep on praying, knowing that the Lord will continue to make His grace in Jesus evident to our souls. In Christ, Rev. Philip Krupski email@example.com|317-840-3202
Mr. T.J. Mattick
Indiana District LCMS-Board of Directors Dear Board of Directors, Many of you are aware that LCEF has been going through many changes in the last year. These changes will continue for the next couple years. The primary changes are developing three regions, West, Central and East. These regions will oversee the LCEF programs in their respective areas. The primary goal is to bring more relevant assistance to the ministries within the regions. One size does not fit all, and the need to have a better resource model for all ministries to pull from is critical. LCEF has identified and selected me to lead the West Regional. I have accepted the position and have been making the transition to California for the past month. My office is in Orange County California. Alex and Morgan are enrolled in St. John’s Lutheran School in Orange California. We have purchased a house in Anaheim Hills California and our current home in Lafayette Indiana is scheduled to close on September 29. Lots of changes in a relatively short timeframe. Please keep us in your prayers. What happens to the LCEF Indiana District Program? Currently, I have been traveling back and forth between Indiana and California. I have connected with many congregations that are in the process of loans or future loans to let them know the change. I have brought over individuals from LCEF National, so there is no disconnect. Also, I have introduced Vanda Toner to a few ministries in Indiana. Vanda is the LCEF District Vice President for Northern Illinois District. During this transition, the Indiana District will post the position. I have had many qualified individuals inquire about the position. With Gods help, the LCEF program in Indiana will be in competent hands. The timeline appears to be 60 days. In the meantime, I will filter calls and quarterback the program to the right people. I am very grateful for the time I have spent in the Indiana District. It always amazes me when I look back and see the path God has put me on. Seven years have passed very quickly. I was very happy in the Indiana District. I was not seeking to leave. President May knows this as does the Executives in the District. After many months and lots of prayers, it became clear that God was calling me to this new position. For many of you, our paths will cross many times again. Blessings, Steve Strauch Regional Vice President – West Region Lutheran Church Extension Fund 26522 La Alameda, Ste 280 Mission Viejo, CA 26522