Leadership Thoughts From...
Rev. Daniel May
OK there is your baptism day, your wedding day and then your CALL DAY! This is an exciting time for church worker students as they graduate and receive their first calls. The study, the waiting, the guessing and the hoping are about to end. When you receive your first call life changes – in a way even your name changes! If you are a teacher you will report to your first day of school and hear students use your new name, “TEACHER” will you help me?” I will never ever forget my first day at First Lutheran Church in Natchez Mississippi! It was said to me, “PASTOR MAY we are so glad you are here to be our pastor!” What you were preparing for has now come true – you are here – God has called and placed you in His mission field to do His bidding! What could be better? More exciting? More frightening? This is the week that our seminary grads are tearing open their envelopes, grabbing their maps (oops, today you can check your cell phone), calling home and reading as fast as you can through the call documents to try to get a sense of where you are going to serve and what it is going to be like! North? South? East? West? Is it urban, suburban, small town or rural? What will the people, community, congregation be like? So much to think about and discover! The only downside is that there are still a few weeks of school, a few tests to take and a couple of papers to write. And the moving arrangements need to be made and letters and phone calls need to be done! Oh yes, we must call our parents! Sibs! And we need to meet with our DP! Pray for these new gifts to the church and thank God for them as they begin the exciting ministry journey God has planned and given to them. Give them courage, joy and faith as the next few weeks mold and change their lives as never before! I would do it all over again in a minute!
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
When disaster strikes, the effects are often felt across the country and caring people from across the country feel a calling to help out. If you or the people of your organization choose to provide assistance to those in need, you should first consider the best way to lend your support. View Church Mutual’s Helping Out After a Disaster information for ways to protect your people and organization.
Dr. Jon Mielke
A Valentine’s Day Legacy Continues in Lutheran Schools In schools across the country, Valentine’s Day is little more than a chance for kids to exchange cards and eat candy hearts. But in some Lutheran schools, the day has taken on a new purpose: a chance to give generously to a worthy ministry project through a program started over fifty years ago. Arthur Amt, who served as the Indiana District’s superintendent, created Hearts for Jesus in the late 1950’s. It originated out of his desire for Valentine’s Day to have a different focus. “He had the idea from seeing Valentine’s Day celebrations,” says Arthur’s son, Phil Amt. “He wanted to counteract all the attention.” Mr. Amt named the program “Hearts for Jesus” and created an annual mission project that Lutheran schools could support through their offerings in February. To build excitement, he created an original filmstrip and record each year that was sent to Lutheran schools. As a result, students all across the country experienced Hearts for Jesus as they united in a mission project. The program still exists in Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Northern Illinois, and Ohio. In Michigan, the program has remained active since 1972 with over a million dollars raised. Today, each district decides which mission project to support. Phil Amt says his father would be proud of the legacy of Hearts for Jesus. “He’d be very pleased it’s still going on in a different way,” he says. “He would be awestruck by the technology that’s being used today to relay the message. It’s a real blessing and it speaks to the worthiness of the project.”
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