Leadership Thoughts From...
Rev. Daniel May
Some of us work with professional staff and some of us don’t! Today is the day set aside to recognize the contributions of Administrative Assistants. These folks are critical to the functions of the District Office and millions of offices around the world. They are partners and supports for everything that happens in our offices! Even if we do not have a formal office with people designated as professional Administrative Assistants, we work as a team! Elected lay leaders and a host of volunteers make up the working nucleus of an effective and healthy congregation. We know the church is the “Body of Christ” and yet struggle with the “Lone Ranger” –“Messiah Complex”. “If I can’t do it or it is beyond my level of expertise it doesn’t need to be done and won’t be done!” However, we are all called to work as a team! Not your team or my team, but “God’s Team” The Apostle Paul writes, “ I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:3-6 “For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. “ 1 Cor. 12:14-20 On those occasions when we feel useless – even in the church or when we feel someone else is useless – remember the bond of faith and love we share in Christ Jesus! We are a part of the Body of Christ! That doesn’t mean we do not evaluate and hold one another accountable, but it does mean we see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ! Today especially those Admin. Assistants! (Thank you Jan for all you do!)
Outreach & Evangelism
Rev. Geoff Robinson
On Sunday, March 5, the first Sunday in Lent, Jes’ us de Galilea held a special worship service with Patrick Winningham from Lutheran High School, Indianapolis serving as the guest organist. A special children’s message was given in Spanish by Rev. Sam Ruiz. There were 24 children who listened to the message. A luncheon was held after the service in the gymnasium followed by a special program by a Latino policeman, who grew up in Jes’ us de Galilea. The policeman talked to the group about how to be good citizens in Indianapolis or wherever they live. Sixty-eight adults were in attendance as well as the 24 children which was a blessing for Jes’ us de Galilea.
Mr. Ron Bleke
According to a study completed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a hacker attacks a different computer every 39 seconds. That’s 2,244 attacks every day—2,244 times that someone attempts to steal information, alter computer files or commit other cyber crimes through another person’s system. How does this affect religious institutions? Computers at worship centers commonly contain valuable data, such as financial records, personal information and irreplaceable documents—all very attractive to a cyber criminal. Utilize cyber security in all of your computer-related practices to protect these electronic valuables. Read more on how to protect your church and school from cyber attacks here. Data breach is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. For victims, it’s a painful and costly problem. When information is stolen that compromises identities and financial security, victims can be left wondering what they can do to regain not only their assets, but their peace of mind. Read more on protecting against cyber liability and data breach here. For further reading, read this four page Risk Reporter by Church Mutual Insurance Company about protecting your precious personal information here.
Dr. Jon Mielke
Extracurricular school events are fun to watch. If we have a family member that participates in such an event, that event becomes even more interesting and brings about a heightened sense of interest. Whether that event is an athletic, musical, play, or pageant, each event brings about a sense of individual or collective competitiveness and desire to perform at one’s best. Each one of these events and others necessitate individual or team preparation so as to remain fit to perform at one’s best. Even with the best of preparation though, we are not guaranteed that the outcome of that event will bring victory or success. And, as we take this reality into our classrooms on a daily basis, we must ask ourselves, “Are we preparing appropriately to deliver Christian instruction and ward off the devil each day?” And we should further ask, “Are we attending worship and partaking in the Lord’s Supper frequently?” “Are we regularly attending Bible study?” Are we regularly praying with and for colleagues and students?” “Are we taking time to read and reflect on God’s Word each day?” Like me, the answer to all four questions would most likely be, “No.” The need, interest and desire are certainly there; however, daily schedules often deter our efforts. In times like these, we are forgiven. Jesus performed with perfection! Our performance is riddled with miscues and shortcomings. Jesus overcame every stumbling block as He took our sins to the cross. We succumb to stumbling blocks and return to the Cross for forgiveness. Jesus fulfilled the Law and His Father’s will willingly and perfectly. We, on the other hand, willfully disobey our Heavenly Father succumb to our own selfish nature and interests. Our Lord, Jesus constantly intercedes on our behalf. That grace has to bring relief to you and me. As Peter reminds us, “He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24). We can be assured of God’s mercy, grace, and love because of Jesus. We can take comfort knowing our eternal victory is anchored in Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and the devil. As Paul reminds Timothy to repeatedly confess Jesus, we, too, confess Jesus, live that Christian faith and walk and daily receive strength from God’s Spirit that began in us at our Baptisms. You do not fight alone! Dr. Jon Mielke, Superintendent of Lutheran Schools
Rev. Phillip Krupski
We pray to the Lord, asking Him to bless our lives with the outflow of His grace. It all centers in what He has given us in His Son Jesus. From that flows all the other things that enrich our daily experience. So we have prayed for our economy. If you have invested in the stock market, you may very well have had huge gains during the past years. You talk with your tax advisor who advises that if you sell that stock, you will have a big tax bill to pay on the capital gains. It has now become a sizable asset that you will never be “able” to use. What do you do? You could consider a Charitable Gift Annuity with the LCMS Foundation. You “gift” the asset to an LCMS ministry of your choice, such as the Indiana District, your congregation, a seminary, Worship for Shut-Ins, etc. The ministry will pay no tax on the gift. You will receive a charitable deduction for a portion of the gift. And the gift will produce a guaranteed annual income payout to you for life. When the Lord calls you home, the ministry will benefit. As we think about outreach and mission, we can contemplate the gifts of the Lord and put them to use in support of ministry, that generations after us will come to know Jesus for their salvation. If I can help you joyfully manage the Lord’s gifts, contact me at email@example.com or 317-840-3202.
Mr. Steve Strauch
The stereotypical understanding of “stewardship” describes a process of giving, encourages generosity and seeks to inspire sacrificial giving. In my seven years in stewardship consulting, I’ve come to see “stewardship” and “generous giving” as a likely a second dynamic to “receiving” (yes, receiving). The grace to receive, the acceptance of God’s Gifts in whatever sacrificial fashion, is directly related to the ability to give them away. You can’t give away what you don’t have. You won’t give away what you believe isn’t there. Read the rest of the article on the Lutheran Church Extension Fund website.