Leadership Thoughts From...
Rev. Daniel May
Knowledge is great and wisdom is essential! Fallen though we are we are called upon on a regular basis to make decisions! Some are relatively simple and not of long-lasting impact. What to order for lunch? Brown or black shoes today? Toll road or freeway? Other decisions relating to our work, family or future are often tougher and with greater impact. We try to be wise, thoughtful and careful. We would like to be as wise as Solomon, "God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore." 1 Ki 4:29 Today your Indiana District Board of Directors is having its September meeting. Their agenda often calls for them to make decisions - careful, prayerful decisions! The Board of Directors is elected at the District Convention to think about things, investigate things, discuss and debate issues as they arise in the district and make decisions. You may have such a responsibility in your congregation or community. Often these decisions are not so easy and you know that you can and will be "second guessed." Martin Luther observed, "Councils can err" and that is true of course. Infallibility belongs to God alone. Yet, in order to do things decently and in order we are called upon to make wise decisions. For us, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise." Psa 111:10 If you are a "decider" in your home, work or church, pray for wisdom and pray for others to whom the responsibility of being a "decider" belong!
Outreach & Evangelism
Rev. Geoff Robinson
The District's new Outreach Kentucky video emphasizes the importance of reaching the next generation with the truth of the Gospel, says Rev. Mark Wood, Director of the Witness and Outreach Ministry for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. “As people become more aware of the challenges that we face as an aging church body, many in the LCMS are wondering ‘How do we reach young people with the Gospel?’" Wood said. "This video shares an answer to this question that goes beyond one college in one town while reminding us that reaching a generation of Americans who are disconnected from Christ and His Church starts with doing something somewhere.” The video was filmed in Richmond, Kentucky, where Census data shows 61% of residents are religiously unaffilated. Video producers asked college students and local residents probing questions about faith, church, and Jesus Christ. Click here to watch the video and learn more about Outreach Kentucky.
Mr. Ron Bleke
Below is a memo concerning the new FSLA Overtime rules that will be effective 12/1/16 from Thompson Coburn LLP providing official guidance from the LCMS on this topic. This memo has been shared with the COP. You can download and read the official memo here. Specific questions on this topic should be directed to the office of Val Rhoden-Kimbrough, Executive Director, Synod HR at 314-996-1360.
Dr. Jon Mielke
Wherever you may travel in the United States, you will eventually get a glimpse of the American flag. Whether that be hanging above a courthouse, place of business, or possibly at a residency, the American flag carries with it respect and dignity. That is because the American flag represents freedom, justice, and liberty for all. Other symbols carry meaning too. For instance, the staff of Asklepios is commonly used to symbolize the practice and profession of medicine. You most likely will see this symbol as you enter hospitals or doctors’ offices. And court rooms and legal offices display the scales of justice and gavel. Both are common symbols associated with the legal profession. Christian symbols are prevalent too. Christians can take solace in Christian symbols too. The Christian Dove, Cross, and empty tomb most definitely give assurance and comfort to believers in Jesus Christ. Dove: Matthew 3:17 writes, “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” God’s love was also bestowed upon each of us at our Baptisms. At that moment, God brought us into his family and instilled in us the gift of faith. That same Christian faith is strengthened each day by the Holy Spirit working through the Christian instruction of your teachers. Mesh that Christian instruction into every aspect of your students’ day. Cross: The Cross of Jesus reminds and assures believers of life eternal. Luke records, “Then he said, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth today you will be with me in paradise.” Just like the one criminal who hung on the cross beside Jesus, we shall inherit life, eternal life, because of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection. Direct your students daily back to the Cross of Jesus for comfort and heal. Empty Tomb: Christians can celebrate Easter every day. Our Savior is alive. Jesus has conquered sin, death, and the devil. Our physical death and tomb is the gateway to our heavenly home and life eternal. As Christians, we rejoice in the partnership we have with each and the partnership we have with Jesus Christ. That partnership is a gift bestowed upon us because of the love of our heavenly Father. Remind your students and pray often with them thanking God for the gift of faith and God’s Christian churches and Christian schools. Symbols most certainly remind us of certain practices or ideals. Christian symbols give to the believers in Jesus that absolute truth and assurance of God’s grace, mercy, and love for us that will last forever. My prayer for you is that you will proclaim Jesus constantly and with great passion!
Rev. Phillip Krupski
He is a simple man. All his life he has grown in faith and served the Lord with passion. Life has been full of challenges and blessings. As he approaches his retirement years, gift planning made sense. At first he thought his children could take care of his estate after he was gone, relieving him of the burden. But as he dove into the process and saw the opportunity to plan well, not only could he take care of his children better but he could also leave a six figure gift to ministry. Almost in tears he looked at me and said, “Who would have ever thought that I would be able to do all of this?” That is the stewardship journey I, as a gift planning counselor, have the privilege of sharing with God’s faithful people. Together we can discover God’s plan for your life as His grace shines through! Rev. Philip Krupski, Gift Planning Counselor
Mr. Steve Strauch
Attention Pastors! Are you paying more than 3.125% on an unsecured educational loan? The Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) has developed an educational loan repayment program to help LCMS ordained ministers successfully reduce their existing school debt. With loans directly to the pastor or to his congregation, LCEF can help meet this sometimes burdensome obligation. Two loan programs are available: Direct Pastoral Education Loan Repayment Program: This loan program is provided directly to the active LCMS pastor, normally in the first five years after seminary graduation. Loans up to $50,000. Terms are up to 10 Years. Congregation Pastoral Education Loan Repayment Program: This loan program is provided to the congregation who acts as the eligible borrower to provide support for an active ordained LCMS pastor, normally in the first 10 years after seminary graduation. Loans up to the amount of indebtedness, not to exceed $100,000. Funds may be drawn on for a maximum of two years, with interest billed monthly during the period. Both loan programs have the following features: Interest rates are based on LCEF’s Cost of Funds, plus 1%, adjusted annually. The interest rate is NOT based on credit score. Ability to consolidate outstanding unsecured loans for education purposes incurred during seminary tenure, such as: privately held student loans, loans from family, credit cards, etc. Loan funds are disbursed to creditors. LCEF has friendly, knowledgeable loan officers and service staff. Internet and automated telephone access to loan information. For more information about these loan programs, please contact Steve Strauch, LCEF District VP, at 765-464-4579 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also go online to www.lcef.org. Applications Secured Loan Application Rostered Church Workers RCW Direct Housing RCW Consolidation RCW Home Equity