English District of
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

God in All Things - Without Borders

Servant to Servant


July 7, 2023


On Saturday, July 2, 2023, The Rev. Curtis D. Stephens was installed as Sole Pastor of Trinity, Scarsdale, NY. Bishop Jamison Hardy officiated.

Installation and Ordination

On Sunday, July 3, 2023, Ministerial Candidate Benjamin N. Janssen was ordained and then installed as Associate Pastor of Holy Cross, Pittsburgh, PA. Bishop Jamison Hardy officiated.

Divine Calls

Calls Received

The Rev. Chad A. Kogutkiewicz has received a Divine Call to serve as the Sole Pastor of Peace, New Berlin, WI.

The Rev. Joshua R. Ulm has received a Divine Call to serve as the Sole Pastor of Redeemer, Oakmont, PA. 

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 5 of 5.


How was The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s revitalization initiative and witness and outreach ministry responding to the challenges we've been discussing?


Dr. Wood: Our role is to provide resources to congregations through their districts, so we have created a number of resources under the Revitalization Initiative that specifically address the causes of decline in congregations.


We tell people that we can plant, and we can water, but it is God alone that gives the growth. But there are certainly some things we can do as a congregation to plant and water.


The revitalization resources, which collectively make up a suite called Re:Vitality, include things like reaching out to our inactive members; effective outreach in our community; assimilation and incorporation of members both new and old; and strategic planning for Lutheran congregations. These resources we provide at no cost to our LCMS congregations. The feedback we have gotten on these is that they have been very helpful to congregations as they wrestle with the challenges we've been speaking about.


What it boils down to is witness and outreach. If we are not going to take the gospel into our communities, if we are going to just stay within the four walls of our church, then decline and closure is certain.


But if we can go out and plant and water in the harvest fields of our communities which are truly ripe for harvest, if we can look at all the demographic information and see the vast numbers of people who don't know and maybe never even heard of Jesus Christ, if we could go out through witness and outreach beyond our four walls doing the planting and watering, I'm confident God will bless the work of his people and the blessing will be visible in the number of churches we see remain open and active and the number of churches we are able to plant which reach people in those areas where the Gospel is not currently present.


We have God's promises. We have God's Word. And he told us that his Word always goes forth and accomplishes what he purposes.


Let us, as God’s people, get out there and do the planting and watering He enables us to do.


Your English District Lifeline Team, dedicated to promoting the joy of individual life, continues its series on “The Year of the Family.” This installment considers the tender and heartfelt resource, He Remembers the Barren by Lutheran author Katie Schuermann.

Mrs. Schuermann: provides a number of stories of barren women from Scripture and the present day, bringing comfort that the reader struggling with barrenness is united with others who have walked the same road,

  • Guides those who are not barren away from hurtful words and conversations to comforting teachings and truths, which they may share with their barren neighbor,
  • Addresses the decisions surrounding adoption and that the barren couple is also freed by God to not seek this option,
  • Gives guidance as to which fertility technologies are unacceptable for the Christian couple, and that children are not to be gained in every way available; note though that she emphasizes that children who are conceived through IVF are ones for whom Jesus died,
  • Recognizes that barrenness is also suffered by those who would love to have children but have not found a spouse, or who found a spouse only after their ability to have children has ended,
  • Reveals how our contraception culture harms the barren, as humankind no longer sees children as gifts of God—which He gives as He wills—but rather as products of our own choice or effort,
  • Discloses how a married couple living with barrenness faces this unique marriage stressor and must learn understanding, forgiveness, and grace,
  • Encourages the barren how to rejoice and be content in their baptism, and to learn acceptance and joy in Christ amidst the pain of being childless.

The book is 168 pages in length and concludes with a Bible reading, prayer, and hymn stanza. As a pastor, I came away with a greater understanding of the unique pain of barrenness and the rich Gospel that God wishes to deliver as He imparts His Word and promise that “He remembers the barren.” For this reason, I commend this book to both pastor and layperson, barren or not.

The book is available from Emmanuel Press of Fort Wayne, IN. They are offering a 10% discount which you can receive by emailing them here.

Book review by Rev. Christopher Seifferlein of Mount Calvary, Lititz, PA

Saints Monica and Augustine Family Retreat

The Philadelphia Circuit of the English District invites you to their annual Saints Monica & Augustine Family Retreat to be held on Tuesday, August 15, 2023 from 10 AM - 3 PM at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 308 Petersburg Rd., Lititz, PA. Registration & continental breakfast begin at 9:15 AM. Preaching and catechesis by Rev. Rob Kieselowsky & Rev. Chris Seifferlein, craft, games, music, and lunch round out this relaxing day as we discuss life together as families under God’s Word. All ages welcome! The event is free. To register attendees or for more information, contact Rev. Christopher Seifferlein at (920) 918-7200.

LCEF CUW Opportunity 

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 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

Fairlawn, Fairlawn, OH

Fairlawn Lutheran Church and School installed Kim Hornyak as Director of Youth and Family Ministries on July 2, 2023. Kim has been with Fairlawn Lutheran for nine years as the Director of Adult Ministries.

Grand Rapids, MI Churches

The three English District churches of the Grand Rapids, MI. area—Hope, Grand Rapids, Grace, Wyoming, and Epiphany, Dorr— have been working to build on the relationship between the three churches: Hope, the mother, Grace, the daughter, and Epiphany, the granddaughter. To do this, the three churches hosted a joint Vacation Bible School  and have started a monthly men's study, with a women's group coming soon.

Faith, Watertown, WI

Faith Lutheran Church and School had a fantastic float in their local Fourth of July parade with the theme "Shine Like Stars."

Trinity, Villa Park, IL

Kelsey represented Trinity Lutheran Church as an LWML young women’s representative at the LWML Convention in Milwaukee, WI last month., She is pictured here, ready to carry the flag for the LWML service with Carol, the English District President of LWML.

Faith, Naples, FL

Faith Lutheran Church had a great time with all of the kids this past week as they learned that "Following Jesus Changes the Game" at VBS!

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!

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.





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