Leadership Thoughts From...
Rev. Daniel May
May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field! May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed! Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen! Psa 72:16-19 “June is busting out all over” and the power and beauty of the creation is fantastic! You didn’t know Eloise Cunningham of Mishawaka, In. but I did. When I was but a boy she was old and her husband was retired. The Cunningham’s were old but they were not tired! You could tell by the vast array of flowers that surrounded their modest little cottage home! Their flowers were huge, colorful and immaculately groomed. When we stopped by their house on a Sunday afternoon in June we found the display stunning. (As farmers we were more likely to see beauties in corn, beans, wheat and hay, but their flowers were magnificent!) Often their flowers appeared on the altar and Eloise always commented, “Maybe some of my flowers will be used at my funeral – don’t buy any from the store if mine are in bloom”. And that’s the way it worked out. The beauty of creation is an important gift from God! Summer (as is fall, winter and spring) is a great time to take in the wonder of God’s powerful and beautiful creation. As we read though the 1st article of the Apostles’ Creed we confess that God has made this world and all that it in it – including us! Enjoy it, breathe it and photograph it! It really is grand! Eloise enjoyed her flowers, but they were not her greatest joy or desire. She loved Psalm 27, “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.” We don’t worship the creation of course, but we do enjoy it and it can inspire us as it did the Psalmists of old! Judy is becoming a bit like Mrs. Cunningham! We have a beautiful back yard thanks to her green thumb and faithful grooming! This is a piece of Judy’s handiwork in our back yard>>>>>
Outreach & Evangelism
Rev. Geoff Robinson
At our recent southern pastors conference Rev. Dan Gadbaw, pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Tell City, Indiana presented Rev. Geoffrey Robinson, Executive Counselor of Outreach and Human Care, a check totaling four thousand dollars that his congregation was contributing to the Outreach Kentucky endeavor. Rev. Gadbaw challenged the pastors to encourage their congregations to contribute a thousand dollars from each congregation to this effort. He pointed out that this outreach endeavor was very important to his congregational members. You can learn more about why Outreach Kentucky is a mission field right in our backyard on our website. On our Outreach Kentucky page, there is a video that you can view and share with your congregation, as well as brochures with more information and details. Geoff Robinson receiving the $4,000 check from Emmanuel Lutheran. Dan Gadbaw challenging other congregations to give at least $1,000 to Outreach Kentucky Dan Gadbaw explaining why his congregation is generously backing Outreach Kentucky. Geoff Robinson thanks Dan Gadbaw.
Mr. Ron Bleke
Looking for a free and joyous activity for your church with a whole-life stewardship emphasis? There are now three sets of materials are now available for downloading free from the District’s website. These programs from Stewardship Advisors are Scripturally-based, grace-centered, copy-ready, and contain everything your LCMS church will need: Bible studies, bulletin messages, commitment forms, daily devotions, flyers, worship helps, newsletter articles, letters, Powerpoint slides, and more. These study sets are available for your stewardship focus: "Disciples Living as Grace-Filled Stewards" (new for 2017) “Experiencing the Joy of Generosity” “Bearing Fruit for Jesus” You can print and use any materials from any or all three of these program material kits at no charge to your congregation. Help your members excel in the grace of giving with these user-friendly kits. Please note that these programs should only be used by LCMS congregations in the Indiana District as per our agreement with Stewardship Advisors. You can download the stewardship programs here.
Dr. Jon Mielke
Students at Lutheran South Unity School are learning what it means to live generously by taking the lead on a service project that will benefit school children in Liberia. Students are preparing a 40-foot shipping container, which will be filled with school supplies and used as a classroom when it arrives in Liberia. Despite financial challenges, the school remains outwardly focused, forging ahead with both local and global service projects, and continuing to impact students of all backgrounds and abilities. Lutheran South Unity School serves an ethnically diverse group of students who are excited to give back to the global community. With the phoenix as the school mascot—a mythical bird that rises from the ashes—students are reminded what it means to rise above circumstances and soar despite obstacles. "We try to ingrain in them, no matter how limited your resources, you need to help someone else,” Maurice King, Director of Development at LSUS, says. “No matter how bad you think you have it, there’s someone who has it worse. You have the capacity to give of your time and talent.” LSUS students are learning by doing. Students in grades five and six are painting the exterior of the shipping container in Liberian school colors, while other grades prepare the interior. The third phase of the project consists of filling the container with donated school supplies, books, desks, chairs, a door and two windows. Home Lumber in New Haven provided the wood resources for the interior conversion. Harris Corporation donated chairs and desks for the project. LSUS students are learning hands-on math lessons while working on the project, blending academic goals with life lessons about generosity and serving. Inspired by their phoenix mascot, students are learning about persistence, too. In the past, the school has struggled with ISTEP scores. Last year, though, LSUS students scored much better on the ISTEP — enough to earn their school a B in statewide grading. Testing data showed that students who had historically lagged behind their peers showed remarkable growth, and high-achieving students demonstrated strong proficiency. Persistence will be key to the school’s future. Currently under consequences for past ISTEP struggles, the school is currently unable to enroll new voucher students. School leaders are focusing on sustaining enrollment with voucher returning students, as well as assisting new students with private scholarships. “It all ties into what we’re trying to teach the kids. Some come from a background where resources aren’t as plentiful,” Mr. King adds. “We’re teaching them to use the time and talents we have, so we can be a blessing to someone else.” Once the container project is completed, the pre-fab classroom will be shipped to a Lutheran school in Liberia under the direction of Joe Boway, a Liberian-born Fort Wayne resident who is also a LSUS parent. Boway was instrumental in starting many Christian schools in Liberia, which now serve over 3,500 students. “Who would have thought our little school would take on a container project and help someone they’ll never see?” King adds. “Our kids can say, ‘I had a hand in being a blessing to someone on the other side of the globe.’”
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
It’s official. After all the work leading up to the sale of ULu’s Chauncey Hill location and the purchase of the former Exponent building—now the University Lutheran Building—at 460 Northwestern Avenue, all that remained was signing more than a few official documents at two separate property closings. We are thrilled to announce that we were able to close on the property at Chauncey Hill on April 28 and at Northwestern Avenue on May 1—both without a hitch! Artist's rendering of concepts for the sanctuary at the new University Lutheran Church on Northwestern Avenue. Throughout the process, Steve Strauch, Lutheran Church Extension Fund district vice president, has seen the hand of God at work in multiple ways. “There’s no doubt in my mind that this is what we are supposed to be doing,” says Steve, who has felt that assurance at each step along the way. “Every time we got close to thinking it wouldn’t work out, or we thought we had encountered a problem we might not be able to step over,” says Steve, “a new opportunity opened up, and the deal became much better in our benefit.” For ULu pastor Justin Herman, the closings mark a change from a “what if” stage to an action phase. “We now have direction and can clearly think about the future that God has laid out before us,” says Pastor Herman. “Now we can begin to focus on how we can use the building. It’s a time when dreams can be shaped and formed.” From here, the relocation process is really picking up steam, with redevelopment construction beginning in June. Initial efforts will focus on the third-floor sanctuary, which will feature a modern look with completely custom-sculpted sanctuary furniture. “It will be very light and airy,” says Steve. “It’s designed to be very inviting and unique to the ULu ministry.” Stay tuned for more details about the sanctuary, along with construction updates, as #ULuOnTheMove progresses this summer.