English District of
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

God in All Things - Without Borders

Servant to Servant

Dear PEGGY,

June 23, 2023

40th Biennial LWML Convention

Celebrate the Lord of Nations is the theme for the 40th biennial LWML Convention, June 22-25, 2023, in Milwaukee, WI. Convention attendees will celebrate the Lord through Word and Sacrament, honor God by serving their neighbors, and proclaim His message to the nations. On Thursday, June 22nd, Bishop Jamison J. Hardy met with the English District caucus and shared a commentary and then a closing prayer.


Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man. Psalm 33:12–13


Click to watch the LWML Convention livestream.

Divine Calls

Call Accepted

Ministerial Candidate Blake Martzowka has accepted the Divine Call to serve as Sole Pastor of St. Thomas, Streetsboro, OH and Christ, Mantua, OH (Ohio District).

Pastoral Leadership and Pastoral Care: They're One and the Same

There’s a big difference between being present and engaged in one’s congregation and simply carrying out the basic necessities of the Office of Holy Ministry. A well-rounded pastor understands that in addition to the charge of the Office of Holy Ministry, he is also charged with being a present leader and an active participant in his congregation. Writing from over 20 years of ministry experience, Rev. Dr. Jamison J. Hardy invites you to learn more about how to be a phenomenal leader for your congregation.

 

Press Release: Learn How Pastoral Care and Pastoral Leadership Are Intertwined

Download Your Free Sample

Order from Concordia Publishing House

Contact Erica Sontag to schedule an interview with the author.

2024 - 2025 Mission Grant Application

The Mission Grant Application form is now available to download here for February 2024 - January 2025.

 

All applications are due to Rev. Derek Mathers at the English District office by Sunday, August 6, 2023.

Increased LCMS Church Closings

Dr. Mark Wood, Director of LCMS Witness and Outreach, Revitalization, was interviewed by Pastor Todd Wilken on Issues, etc. podcast dated May 19, 2023.You can listen to the podcast here. Each Friday for five weeks, we will share one of the interview questions and Dr. Wood’s response for us to ponder. This is week 3 of 5.

 

1.   What do church closings then mean, at least in general terms, for the future of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod?

 

Dr. Wood: If I were to make a guess, I would say that we're going to see more closings, particularly in the Midwest and rural communities. We are also going to see congregations coming together through mergers and partnerships to avoid closing altogether and maintaining a presence in a community as best as they can. I'm confident that we can, through the church planting initiative, plant new churches in places where people have moved, where we don't have an LCMS presence, and I hope that part of that is churches that have chosen to close, would sponsor a new church plant and help promote the gospel and a new community.

 

The reality is we are going to be facing this for some time. It's nothing new in the Missouri Synod; we close churches every year. We really haven't closed a significantly larger number of churches in recent years than we have, say, over the last two decades. The trend seems to be fairly steady.

 

Every time we close a church, there is a cause for lamenting the loss of that church, but also celebrating the work that congregation has done and the impact it has had in its community with the gospel.

 

We want to continue that celebration by encouraging those congregations to look for ways that they can leave a legacy which invests, whatever resources that they have available at their closing, into the work of the church-at-large.

 

I think right now we are closing on average, over the last 20 years or so, about 38 churches a year. That is a bit of a bump. We are yet to see what the full impact of the COVID pandemic, and these closures are going to have on small congregations because that is where we have seen a decrease of about 20% in worship attendance. We haven't fully recovered from this, and we may not fully recover from that for some time. Time will tell if that's going to accelerate church closings or not.

LCEF CUW Opportunity 

College Campus Ministry - Southwestern PA

Do you know a student who is heading (back) to college in southwestern Pennsylvania? Or maybe you are? Get connected with one of our local congregations and student groups! Keeping the faith and having a Lutheran identity is not always easy in college, but there are pastors and church workers who want to help students grow in the faith even as they grow in knowledge. Now is the time to reach out and let them know where you will be attending college so that you may continue to be fed with the Word and the Sacraments each week. These congregations and student fellowships also offer weekly Bible studies and regular social activities like hiking, kayaking, game nights, dinners, movie nights, and much more. There are also leadership and volunteer opportunities available. You don’t have to start college off alone - meet other Christian students and share in the fellowship with the Body of Christ!

        

Serving Grove City College, Slippery Rock University, and Westminster College

All Saints Lutheran Church and Student Fellowship

Pastor Jacob Deal - 724-977-1682 (cell)

Vicar Zachary Wessel - 507-441-9592 (cell)

Augusta Mennell- 724-794-4334

 

Serving the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, & the other Pittsburgh schools

Lutheran Student Fellowship & International Student Ministry at First Trinity Lutheran Church

Pastor Eric R. Andræ412-266-6719 (cell)

Prayer Requests

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


Prayers of thanksgiving for the healthy birth of Friedrich to Rev. Daniel Greg and wife Brigitta.


Prayers for a full and speedy recovery for Rev. Jeff Miskus.


District daily prayers for July 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

Faith, Arlington Heights, IL


Faith Lutheran Church celebrated Father's Day with an ice cream social!

Prince of Peace, Menomonee Falls, WI


Congratulations to Mason who was confirmed at Lutheran Church of the Prince of Peace on Sunday, June 18. To God be all the glory!

Misión Luterana Santa Trinidad, Tucson, AZ


Misión Luterana Santa Trinidad had a great week of VBS June 5-9. There were lots of volunteers to help, and many of the kids invited friends. They also had some of the students from Faith Lutheran School. 


Using CPH bilingual materials (though most of the students preferred English) they shared how trusting God's promises was a blessing for the exiles in Babylon and considered how they could be confident in God's promises even today. The next step is to create a youth group with some of the volunteer leaders and the students where they can continue the fun and the sharing of God's promises. Please pray that God blesses the youth group as much as He has blessed the VBS.

 

Thank you to all who helped with special thanks to Faith Lutheran Church, Tucson and Faith Lutheran School, Tucson. Misión Luterana Santa Trinidad is served by Pastor Nicholas Wirtz.

Ascension, Atlanta, GA


Three youth were confirmed by Rev. David Miller on Sunday, June 11 at Lutheran Church of the Ascension.

Prince of Peace, Medina, OH


Prince of Peace Lutheran Church hosted 40 children for "Pets Unleashed" VBS. The kids learned all about how much Jesus cares "fur" them. Their mission work included collecting donations for a local cat and kitten rescue organization. Prince of Peace is served by Pastor Jim Bretthauer.

St. John the Divine, Chicago, IL


St. John the Divine Lutheran Church hosted a successful VBS last week. Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.

St. John's, Pembroke, ON


On Sunday, June 18th, St. John's Lutheran Church welcomed Denise, Mary and Yvon into their church family. St. John's is served by Pastor Stephen Alles.

Celebration, Jacksonville, FL


On Sunday, June 11, Celebration Lutheran Church received ten new members into their fellowship (two were unavailable for the picture). Celebration is served by Pastor Robert Zagore.

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

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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.

ENGLISH DISTRICT LCMS

248-476-0039

info@englishdistrict.org

www.englishdistrict.org


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