Leadership Thoughts From...
Rev. Daniel May
Katie was really something! Katie Luther would never have imagined being on Facebook, having books written about her, her own CPH Bobblehead doll or having a retreat named after her (Indiana District Pastors’ Wives Retreat is called the “Katie Retreat.”) There are excellent books written about this historic lady (See Katie My Rib) who was the wife of Martin Luther the Reformer. Her role in Martin’s life and the life of their family is pivotal and well known, but her life in the Church and her reformation heart may not be as familiar. Her own spiritual journey in life is remarkable! She was indeed a woman of faith who was seeking to know the truth of God’s power and made her way to Martin Luther to learn and grow in her faith. As a runaway nun she left behind the convent life to grasp the freedom of the Gospel. Her life as a child, her marriage to Martin, her management of the household, her raising of the children and her life after Martin died provide a series of riveting stories. “She mellowed Luther’s harsher side, kept the household from bankruptcy despite her husband’s generosity, and enhanced his life with the excitement of family living.” CPH comment of Katharina Yet, her faithful courage at a time in history when that was tough is more than interesting, it is amazing! As you read and study about the former Katharina Von Bora you will see what you see in many strong Christian women of every age! Luther respected and loved Katie and always considered her a gift from God. We do too as we must say Katie was really something!
Outreach & Evangelism
Rev. Geoff Robinson
The Holy Spirit sanctifies us so that we are renewed in our spirit, will, attitude and desires. The Holy Spirit enables us to rise above our natural inclinations. The natural inclinations that we all have are inclinations of selfishness and self-centeredness. Godly stewardship is the opposite of selfishness and self-centeredness. The desire to serve God and our neighbor above ourselves is enabled in Christians as the Holy Spirit through the Word continues to bring about the desire to put others and their needs above oneself. The motivation for godly stewardship is a grateful response spurred on by the knowledge and understanding of what God has done for you. Jesus Christ our Savior gave His all in serving all sinners. Yes, He gave His all in serving you and me. Jesus was born under the Law, lived under the Law of God perfectly and died in obedience to that Law of God so that He might completely pay the price of your sins and give to you forgiveness of your sins and life everlasting. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to you to create faith in your hearts through the Gospel and to change you so that you are released from being a slave to self-centeredness. So how do we best serve God and our neighbors above ourselves? Well, certainly we serve those whom we know in our local congregation, in our neighborhoods and in our families. But could there sometimes be a bit of selfishness in what we do? More and more LCMS congregations are serving only locally or supporting only those missions that they determine are valuable to them. Serving others through financially supporting districts and synod is falling by the wayside. Could this be due to a lack of properly motivated stewardship? This is perhaps the result of thinking that LCMS leadership has not always handled mission dollars judiciously or it might be due to the LCMS leadership supporting some effort that you disagree with. Nevertheless, the leadership of the LCMS has been placed in their positions of oversight by God’s direction. Realize that God is blessing us at this time with an economic boon in our country. Praise God that unemployment is low and job opportunities are good. Praise God that by God’s grace there are many areas of opportunity to serve God and our neighbor above ourselves. For example there are at least twenty foreign countries who have asked the LCMS to send them theological educators. But the educators haven’t been sent due to lack of resources. Remember that we Christians live in community. Our vision isn’t simply focused on the local or only far away but on the whole “Una Sancta” that is the whole Christian Church. God grant us the determination that since we are all through faith in Christ part of the catholic (universal) Christian Church our stewardship of talent and treasure be offered up to God and all of our neighbors. Not just a select few. Rev. Geoffrey L. Robinson
Mr. Ron Bleke
To All Indiana District Congregations: I am pleased to report that the first Church Mutual Group Safety Dividend Program checks have been mailed. Our Church Mutual / Indiana District Group Safety Dividend Program was established in 2014. The objective in establishing this program was to provide our churches and schools with a more stable and affordable insurance program with the added benefit of a financial incentive for operating safely. All Indiana District congregations that were insured with Church Mutual at that time were automatically included in our group program and will receive their share of annual declared dividends which are based on overall group loss ratios. Because claims experience was good, the total group dividend that was earned and paid for the 2014 period was $17,400. Checks were mailed recently for your specific share which is based on your property and liability premiums for that period. Looking ahead, our group loss ratios in 2015 were even better than 2014, so we are anticipating receipt of larger dividend payment next year. As a participant in the Indiana District Group Program, your benefits go beyond the dividend payment noted above. Following are some of the other benefits of the program: A special 5% premium credit is applied to your Church Mutual multiperil insurance policy. Risk management materials are available. Including various legal forms and documents. All at no cost to our members. If you have a question or are looking for guidance the Risk control research center is a great resource. Just connect with the consultants and let them do the research for you. This service is available to all of our District affiliated organizations, not just those insured with the group program. Sensor program is available to qualified customers. Free 24/7 temperature and water sensor monitoring kits available. Trusted employee is a background screening and administrative services organization. (With reduced pricing for those in our group insured with Church Mutual.) Seminars provided. Nurse hotline. To help your employees triage their injury. Free webinars available on a multitude of subject matters including “Understanding same-sex Marriage and transgender law.” If you are evaluating your insurance program and not currently insured through Church Mutual contact Don Inglis to learn more about the potential savings and benefits for your congregation. You can reach him by calling 800-554- 2642 - select option 1 and ask to speak with Don Inglis, call his cell phone (317) 502-0493, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and God’s Blessings, Ron Bleke
Dr. Jon Mielke
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. If you are one that has watched some, most, or all of the past few Super Bowls, you must admit that the commercials, as much as the game itself, have provided some entertainment too. In fact, there may be as much hype and anticipation for the type of commercials as there is for the game itself. And one can attest that there is that one commercial that is a bit funnier and more memorable than the others. We can certainly recall (if you have watched games all the way back to the late 80s), the commercial that introduced the Budweiser-Clydesdales tromp through the snow with the following choral music in the background – “when you say Budweiser you’ve said it all.” A decade later, another Super Bowl commercial pictured two teams of Clydesdales playing football on a snow covered mountain. One can probably attest that Super Bowl commercials are a part of Super Bowl history. The Reformation is a part of the rich history of LCMS Lutheran churches and schools. The Protestant Reformation is listed as one of the top fifteen events that have shaped and influenced the world. How great it is to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with a most appropriate theme – “It is still all about Jesus.” Jesus is the cornerstone of our churches and schools. Brick and mortal will change. God’s Word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God’s churches and His schools exist to share God’s Word. “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6: 6-7). As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we do so knowing that we have been commanded to teach God’s Word diligently to children and young adults. We do so knowing that we are privileged to freely share God’s Word in church and in classrooms. We do so knowing that we have been blessed and given God’s grace, mercy, and love. We do so knowing that we have been given the gift of faith in our Baptism. We do so knowing the Holy Spirit keeps us in the one, true faith. We do so knowing that we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is my prayer for each of you that God will continue to bless your instruction – your respective ministry.
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
Time lapse video of new sanctuary construction. Upcoming events welcome students and highlight new building University Lutheran Church is gearing up for a full month of activities in preparation for students’ arrival to Purdue’s campus. Renovations are nearing completion at the church’s new location on Northwestern Avenue. On August 6, University Lutheran began meeting for worship services at the Lutheran fraternity, Beta Sigma Psi, 525 N. University St. The church will continue to collaborate with Beta Sigma Psi throughout August, moving outside for worship and a cookout on August 20. On August 27, they will meet under the tent again, holding a student picnic after service with inflatables, a dunk tank, and music. During the University’s Gold Rush Week, ULu will promote their new ministry space, building anticipation and attracting interest for their grand opening on Northwestern Avenue later this fall. University Lutheran has been making steady progress on the move since the April 28 sale of the Chauncey Hill property and purchase of the former Exponent building at 460 Northwestern Avenue; a centrally-located building in the heart of Purdue’s campus. With summer renovation projects in full swing, University Lutheran is moving rapidly ahead with plans for the grand opening this fall, in time for the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation. The new three-story location with basement provides better visibility, easier access, and more student-centered gathering spaces. Located across the street from the Purdue Engineering Mall, the location includes a new sanctuary for the congregation on the third floor, as well as space for a future coffee house and study center on the ground floor. The projected date for opening their new sanctuary is tentatively September 24. The transition to a new building may have seemed unimaginable a few years ago, but God knew what the future held for University Lutheran. By relocating to a modern space in the heart of campus, God is doing immeasurably more than anyone could have imagined for student outreach—an idea that is highlighted in the congregation’s theme verse, Ephesians 3:20–21: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” We appreciate your continued prayers as University Lutheran completes their sanctuary renovation and begins this next exciting chapter of ministry.