Leadership Thoughts From...
Rev. Daniel May
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph. 2:8-9 These words are emblazoned in our hearts and minds. Celebrating the Reformation is to celebrate the grace of God! Luther wrote, “Now the article of justification, which is our sole defense, not only against al the force and craft of man, but also against the gates of hell, is this: that by faith only in Christ, and without work, we are pronounced righteous and saved.” Many of us have known and professed this from childhood! “Of course that’s the way it is, who would think otherwise?” Answer: Most of the world! The natural inclination of man is to think that we get what we deserve and deserve what we get. “Yes, Jesus died for me, but I need to help out a little at least!” Of all that we preach and teach this is the central doctrine of faith. Many people around you do not really understand that they are saved by grace and that their good deeds or not only not that good, but also useless when it comes to eternal life! This would be a good time to mention it – being Reformation and all! P.S. For those who have known this since childhood, we must guard against taking it for granted or considering it old news~!
Outreach & Evangelism
Rev. Geoff Robinson
"The Indiana District's 'Outreach Kentucky' is finding a ripe harvest field in our own backyard," said Rev. Peter Cage, senior pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. "It is hard to believe that such a populous region, almost devoid of any familiarity with the proclamation of 'Christ for us,' could be located in our own patch of 'religious' middle-America. But, of course, this isn't the 1950s anymore and the arena of mission is no longer someplace else, but right here close," Cage said. St. Paul's Lutheran Church is one of several congregations across the Indiana District to step forward financially to support Outreach Kentucky. "As our congregation watched the recent 'Outreach Kentucky' video, we were struck by loss of the privileged place that the Church once had among us as we heard the sad voices of those living in the mess of our own American spiritual confusion. They are crying out. They need the clear Word of God's love in Jesus and the support of all our congregations," Cage said. To learn more about how your church or school could be involved with Outreach Kentucky, contact Rev. Geoff Robinson at the Indiana District office. Online gifts are being accepted, and an updated brochure is available for download.
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
The turning of seasons from summer to fall brings about some refreshing change. Not that the summer months didn’t provide beautiful days and warmer temperatures to experience the outdoors, the season must certainly did. But, summer to fall brings about some additional and pleasant opportunities that can be observed and felt, such as the beauty of colorful leaves, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, a mix of warmer and cooler mornings, days, and evenings, and the anticipation of two approaching holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas. The fall season certainly ushers in much change! As Christians, we take time to enjoy God’s creation and the beauty each season brings. And, as Christians, we give thanks to God for His creation and for claiming us to be His own dear children. His glorious Hand and love for us are evident in more than His creation though. At our baptisms, God brought us into His family. He planted in our hearts and souls the gift of faith. What great change our faith continues to bring about in us as we daily confess our sins and receive forgiveness, changing from that Old Adam to New Adam daily. Baptism is a washing of our rebirth all because of God’s mercy and grace. As Christians, we can take solace knowing God has given to us two other gifts that bring about extraordinary change - His Word and Holy Communion. We seek His Word and partake in His body and blood for strength. We take great comfort and joy in knowing that each time we study His Word or partake in His body and blood we grow closer to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As Christians, we know we are saved, “not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3: 5-7). What comfort these passages bring to Christians. Let me encourage you to take time to discuss God’s Word, meshing your Christian faith into your lessons. Allow me to remind you and your students to give thanks and praise to their Heavenly Father for every perfect and good gift, rejoicing together as redeemed and restored people through Jesus, our Risen Lord and Savior. May God grant you and your students a wonderful Reformation!
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