English District of
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

God in All Things - Without Borders

Servant to Servant


January 5, 2024

Bishop's Visit

Bishop Jamison Hardy recently visited Rev. Roger Yoder at Messiah Lutheran Church in Parker, AZ. 

1-1-1 Ministry Highlight

Nuer Language Fellowship - St. Mark, Mississauga, ON

For the 2023-2024 one of the Dollar for Missions recipients will be Nuer Language Fellowship. For more than 10 years, the Nuer-speaking fellowship has called St. Mark Lutheran Church their home. Many parents are confirmed members of this church, and many children have been baptized and confirmed here.

Worship Service

The Nuer-speaking fellowship at St. Mark's Church is composed of dedicated and faithful members who worship every Sunday afternoon. The worship service format is similar to the church’s English divine service which uses the LSB divine service setting, but it's shorter, typically about one hour long. Pastor Philip Gai leads the Nuer service, preaches the Word, invites everyone to confess their sins, after which he announces the absolution, and administers the sacraments for this congregation. They use the Nuer Hymnal and Bible. The hymns are selected to coordinate with the weekly readings in the LCMS liturgical calendar, and everyone is familiar with the Nuer songs which are stored on a keyboard. While there is no music director, occasionally there is someone who helps the pastor in this regard.

Children’s Program

Pastor Gai and others are working with the youth to establish a Sunday school program for the children. As a youth mentor in the congregation, Pastor Gai spent a considerable amount of time praying and listening to the young people. He made an effort to visit them in their homes, universities, and workplaces and called them weekly to check in. He also made sure to celebrate their special occasions such as birthdays, game times, and any victories they achieved.

Special Events

The congregation holds a special event called Family Sunday on the last Sunday of each month where everyone is encouraged to bring food to share. It's a time for everyone to come together and enjoy each other's company after the Sunday service and hear each other’s testimonies and encouragements. The English service pastors at St. Mark and their spouses are encouraged to join them.

Church Planting Simplified Workshop - Cleveland, OH Area

Saturday, January 27    

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Ascension Lutheran Church

28081 Lorain Rd, North Olmsted, OH, 44070


Join us in Cleveland!!

God’s richest blessings to you and those that you serve in this new year of 2024. Our District’s Mission Action Team has been hard at work in recent months and is very excited to share a growth and learning opportunity with you. Many pastors and church workers have already heard about Church Planting Simplified (CPS), a particularly helpful collection of guiding principles and ideas that can benefit you and your congregation as you begin a new ministry in your local context. This new ministry could be a new outreach, a new ethnic ministry, a new congregation – CPS can be applied in those contexts and more!

Thanks to the generous hospitality of God’s people at Ascension Lutheran Church in North Olmsted, OH, our Mission Action Team will be hosting a workshop for lay leaders and clergy from the area. This invitation is open to English District congregations as well as neighboring districts' congregations and anyone whom God might lead to attend. The goal is to explore and learn more about what Church Planting Simplified is all about.

Rev. Derek Mathers (Assistant to the President and Bishop and Co-chair of the English District Mission Action Team) and Rev. Justin Laughridge (Co-chair of the English District Mission Action Team) will be leading the workshop.

Please give prayerful consideration to this opportunity for yourself and invite others you think would be interested in thinking about church planting. If you would like more information, please reach out to Pastor Derek Mathers at 1-800-755-9335. A light lunch will be provided.

Click here to register.


National Mission offers Life Match grant application training on January 10.

On January 10, 2024, the LCMS Office of National Mission will offer two training sessions for LCMS congregations and districts interested in applying for a Million Dollar Life Match grant. The training sessions — one at 2 p.m. CST and one at 7 p.m. CST — will provide helpful guidance in completing the grant application process.

The 2024 application window for a Million Dollar Life Match grant opened on January 1, and applications are due by February 15. Awards will be made in May, with reports due October 1.

Higher Things Retreat: February 16-17, 2024

First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh, PA is hosting a Higher Things retreat. This retreat will take place on February 16th and 17th at First Trinity located at:

531 N. Neville St.

Pittsburgh, PA 15213

This retreat is intended for communicant members of LCMS congregations in youth group and/or high school and will include plenary lectures on Baptism by Rev. Eric Andrae and different breakout sessions by laity from the Pittsburgh region and LCMS clergy.

Regular registration ends Monday, January 15. Cost is $50 per person which includes two meals and a t-shirt. Registrations received after January 15th are $60 and will not include a t-shirt.

All aspects of the retreat (including sleeping) will take place at First Trinity. Students will need to bring sleeping bags, pillows, toiletries, one change of clothing, etc. There will be separate sleeping areas for boys and girls and the building will remain locked and secured by chaperones during the event.

Registration for the event can be accessed here.

1-1-1 Model in Action

Our English District 1-1-1 serves as a model for other districts for mission funding. LCMS Central Illinois District has produced a frequently asked questions video about “A Dollar for Missions”, featuring Rev. Dr. Ken Schurb, which is worth watching. Dr. Schurb serves as Stewardship Executive for the LCMS Central Illinois District.

Click here to watch the video.

It's Time to Nominate Students for Lutheran Summer Music

Each year, the primary way that music students find their way to Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) is through the encouragement of their church musician! LSM offers opportunities for musicians of all kinds: brass, winds, strings, percussion, piano, organ, voice, harp, guitar, handbells, and more! Students receive advanced musical instruction through large ensembles (Festival Choir, Band and Orchestra), chamber music, private lessons with collegiate-level faculty, and elective classes (such as conducting, composition, church music, intro to the pipe organ, jazz band, musical theatre, music therapy). In the evenings, students attend recitals and Evening Prayer services, and social events with their friends.

LSM 2024 takes place at Valparaiso University in Indiana from June 30-July 28 (Full Session) or June 30-July 14 (Half Session) and is open to students who have completed grades 8-12.

Know a musical young person who would thrive at LSM? Nominate them here!

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 January 2024 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.

Contact Dan Lepley, DVP - English and SELC District Lutheran Church Extension Fund, for more information at 317-402-9401.

LCMS Foundation

Contact Ron Grimm, English District Gift Planning Counselor, 412-584-7039 or visit www.LCMSFoundation.org.

In Our Churches

Ascension, North Olmsted, OH

Ascension Lutheran Church received five new members on the Fourth Sunday in Advent.

Ascension Lutheran Church celebrated Christmas Eve with two candlelight services featuring a clarinet, organ, and guitar.

Risen Savior, Green Valley, AZ

Everyone had a great time at Lutheran Church of the Risen Savior's New Year’s Eve game night.

Holy Spirit, Elk Grove Village, IL

Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit hosted a Christmas carol hymn sing and cookie fellowship on December 17, 2023.

In Our Schools

Redeemer, Pittsburgh, PA

Redeemer NHS and NJHS students collected gifts again this year for the Toys for Tots program. They are thrilled to help bring Christmas joy to families in their community.

West Portal, San Francisco, CA

West Portal Lutheran School had their Christmas Program on December 19, 2023.

Employment Opportunity: Headmaster

Immanuel Lutheran School, a mission of Immanuel, Alexandria, VA, is a Classical Lutheran school with a liberal arts curriculum for Junior Kindergarten through 8th grade. They are seeking a Headmaster for the school.

Click here for a compete job description, responsibilities, and necessary qualifications.

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

  • All are invited to subscribe to this weekly publication.
  • Forward the newsletter to members of your church.
  • They can subscribe by clicking on the "Sign up for our emails" link at the bottom.

Thanks for spreading the word!

Please share the unique ministries of your school or congregation with the rest of the English 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.





Connect with us

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  
If you'd like to share our emails, please forward
using your email's forwarding option.