English District of
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

God in All Things - Without Borders

Servant to Servant


January 20, 2023

Bishop's Visit

On Sunday, January 15, 2023, Bishop Jamison Hardy visited with Rev. Joel Shaltanis and the members of Lord of Life, Plano, TX.

Assistant to the Bishop's Visit

Rev. Derek Mathers was invited to preach at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Aurora, ON. Rev. Mathers shown here with Rev. Jung Hun Park.

Divine Calls

Call Returned

Mr. Joshua M. Schmitt, Director of Christian Education (South Dakota District), has returned the Divine Call to serve as Director of Christian Education of Fairlawn, Fairlawn, OH.

SMP, EIIT Students Celebrate Pastoral Calls, Program Completions

The Concordia Seminary, St. Louis community celebrated 26 students Friday for major milestones along their path to becoming pastors in the LCMS. Eighteen students in the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program (including Vicar Jim Bretthauer, called to be SMP Pastor at Prince of Peace, Medina) and Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) were recognized for their call placements during the special service in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. In addition, eight SMP students were recognized for completing the four-year program.

Click here for the full article.

Upcoming MissionInsite Webinars

Upcoming MissionInsite Webinars

Demographics and Predefined Reports

February 21, 2 p.m. EST

Register here

Using shapes and plotting, we'll discuss the use of pre-defined reports found in MissionInsite. This webinar is for those who are new to MissionInsite reports or as a refresher for our more advanced users.


Can’t make the live event? No worries, once the recording is polished we will post here.


Over the next several months, events proclaiming the sanctity of life will be taking place in communities served by congregations in our District. 

Your Lifeline committee invites you and the members of your congregations to sign up on the LCMS Life Ministry volunteer portal to be connected to these and other opportunities in your area. The portal may be accessed at LCMS-life.org. If you do not already have an account, it is easy to set one up; once you sign in, please "fan" the English District, and you will be notified of events throughout the district, including in your community. You may also want to "fan" the geographic District in your region, to be sure that you are aware of all of the sanctity of life events in your area. 

If you are hosting or participating in an event in your area, email Roni Grad and please provide detailed information of where and when to meet.

We thank you for being a Gospel-motivated voice for life to your neighbor and pray God's richest blessings on your witness.

Year of Family - Introduction: Lifeline

In his instruction on the Fourth Commandment in the Large Catechism, Dr. Martin Luther (1483-1546) paints a very clear picture of the estate of the family as instituted by God. It is through the mother and father that God creates, “nourishes, protects, and defends,” and rears new lives, bestowing, “so much good on body and soul.”1 Put simply, parenthood is ordained and gifted by Him.2 Parents are the ones primarily responsible for their children’s upbringing, including their education; when they can’t complete the task themselves, they engage others to do it, who are answerable to them. 3 Children, young and not so young, are called to honor their parents in “love … modesty, humility, and submission to a (God-given) majesty hidden in them.”4 Additionally, children are to honor their parents by serving and helping them and “provid(ing) for them when they are old, sick, infirm or poor.”5

Click here to read more.

Mission Trinidad Update

2022 has been a challenging year, both personally and for the mission. My wife became ill with cancer early in the year and was carried home to her Lord in August. In addition, the second bout of COVID-19 added another year of reluctance on the part of the people to get together or receive visitors.

Nevertheless, with your support and prayers and the gracious welcome of Faith Lutheran Church and School, who opened their doors to us, Sunday divine services, Bible study, and first communion and confirmation classes continued to be offered.

While being in contact with around 100 people, Sunday attendance has been averaging about 11 per Sunday for the year. Special services are much better attended...especially when there is food afterward! To that end, we schedule a meal after the service at the end of every month. We will be having a brief lay-led “town hall” on January 22 (before the monthly potluck) to elicit ideas about what the congregation see as obstacles to coming together regularly as the family of Christ around Word and Sacrament and how it could be better served. We pray that the meeting will be enlightening and helpful.

There were five baptisms, two first communions, three weddings, one funeral, two Quinceañeras, and one house blessing in 2022. Christmas Eve was celebrated bi-lingually with Faith Lutheran Church with about 50 in attendance. The following Sunday, members of Faith joined Santa Trinidad in the “Las Posadas” celebration and meal with about 40 in attendance.

Please keep us in your prayers. We are not yet self-supporting. With offerings, gifts, and grants, we are starting 2023 with enough funds to last through mid-year for operating expenses. We are exploring additional ways to continue to fund the mission, even as we thank God for all the prayers and encouragement He has given us through the English District and supporters of the ministry.

May God richly bless you and all to whom you minister in 2023.

Your Servant in Christ,

Rev. Nicolás Wirtz

Life by Drowning: A Higher Things Retreat

Time to Register! Retreat attendance limited to the first 50 youth.

Life by Drowning: A Higher Things Youth Retreat

February 17-18, 2023

Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Lititz, PA

Have a parent go to Retreats – Higher Things and click on “Lititz-PA” to create an account and register. Payment can WAIT until the retreat. Bring a check or cash payment at that time. (Cost is $50.)

Our retreat leader is Eric Andrae the Campus Outreach Pastor at First Trinity Lutheran, working with college students in Pittsburgh, PA. Youth are sure to benefit spiritually from his presentation on baptism and confession as well as from interesting sectionals they get to choose! Fun, food, fellowship, and a free T-shirt will round out the time together with other pastors and youth from the greater PA area.

Click here for Retreat Schedule and Retreat info packet

(you can print any or all of these pages for your use):

Click here for an Instagram promotional video


Prayer Requests

The Bible's promise is true: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us - 1 John 5:14.

District daily prayers for February are located on our website.

Your prayer concerns are important to the English District. If you have a prayer request you would like shared in this newsletter, email the District office.

LCMS Foundation

Contact Ron Grimm, English District Planning Counselor, 412-584-7039 or visit www.LCMSFoundation.org.
Contact Dan Lepley, DVP - English and SELC District Lutheran Church Extension Fund, for more information at 317-402-9401.

In Our Churches

St. John the Divine, Chicago, IL

"We carry on the work."

Thanks to the Owens family at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church and Zion Lutheran for hosting the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. service on January 16th.

Hales Corners, Hales Corners, WI

DEVOTED – a bible study community continues at Hales Corners Lutheran Church before or after worship as parishioners join Pastor Leon in the series NEVER GIVE UP: Starting a New Year with Resilient Hope. The time together includes great conversation, fresh coffee, and incredible music led by their band—Not of Ourselves!

In Our Schools

Bethesda, Chicago, IL

It may not be a winter wonderland outside, but it sure has been a blizzard of fun in Preschool 4 at Bethesda International Academy! Mrs. Acosta's class has explored creating snow, making snowmen from cotton balls, and using their fine motor skills to cut and paste snowflakes.

Open Arms, Alpharetta, GA

Students had a great time with Hat Day on Friday, January 13!

Please share the information from Servant to Servant with members of your congregation.

  • All are invited to subscribe to this weekly publication.
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Thanks for spreading the word!

Also, please share the unique ministries of your school or  congregation with the rest of the District. Send pictures and stories for consideration to jmcgarr@englishdistrict.org by Wednesday at 12:00 Noon ET.

We want to see how YOUR congregation or school is showing the love of God to those in your community and around the world.





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