English District of
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
Servant to Servant
Greetings!
September 17, 2021
Assistant to the Bishop's Visit
Many of our English District congregations have taken advantage of the LCMS Re:Vitality CADDS inventory and assessment like Gethsemane Lutheran, Windsor, ON, who completed the online inventory during the COVID limitations on worship and lock downs  Pastor Derek Mathers was able to visit the congregation on Sunday, September 12. Having been invited to share the sermon during the service, he presented the congregation with an explanation of the reporting tool and then opened their results with them. Pictured are Pastor Jordan Simon (Nuer Language Pastor), Pastor Mathers, and Pastor Robert Voelker (Senior Pastor).
Divine Call
Call Returned
 
The Rev. Brian P. Westgate, Redeemer, Oakmont, PA, has returned the call to serve as sole pastor of Good Shepherd, Randolph, NJ (New Jersey District).
Convention Information Coming!
June 20-22, 2022 Concordia University – Ann Arbor, MI

Important convention information will be emailed to all congregations on Monday, September 20th. Please read it carefully and contact the district secretary or the district office with any questions.

All convention forms are available for download on the convention page of the district website.
Connected to Christ
Hey, did you hear about Bob? Bob turned up 10 minutes late for tee off. “You’re late Bob” says Alan. “Sorry” says Bob. “Because it’s Sunday I have to toss a coin to see if I go to Church or Golf for the day.” “Fair enough” says Alan, “Why are you so late then” “Well” says Bob, “I had to toss it 20 times”. Golf. A game that can be described as an endless series of tragedies, obscured by the occasional miracle. Would you say that Bob spent considerable effort to see a miracle that morning on the golf course? What are the odds of that?
In just a few weeks at the Regionals, your odds will be better than Bob’s! There will be 12 gifts. 12 signed books, Connected To Christ: Witnessing in Everyday Live gifted from author, Rev. Dr. Mark Wood at each of the 4 Regional Conferences. Your Evangelization Team will be giving away 3 books at each event. One to the first three people at each event who will promise to read and write a personal review of this gem of a book. We have obtained copyright permission from CPH. Rev’s. John Diener and Mark Wood have created a free study guide to go along with the book. The odds are better than Bob’s that you will win at Connecting people to Christ, because God waters and grows the seeds you plant. Too bad Bob didn’t get to church. He whiffed 19 times…. 20. No one knew how to connect him to Christ?
Evangelization Team
Mind Blowing Greatness

You’re in the shower and your mind is racing with thoughts from the workday ahead to “what’s for breakfast?” to “where did that mole come from?” to why can’t you wear white after Labor Day? And suddenly you come across a thought that never crossed your mind before giving you that “Boooom! Whoa!” moment. We call those thoughts, “Mind blowing” or “mind boggling” or “overcome with amazement” moments.  Have you ever thought any of these: You can’t stand backward on stairs. Every mirror you buy is in used condition.  If you can’t see the air (you breathe), can fish not see the water? A dog understands a few words of our language but we can’t understand any of theirs - so are dogs smarter than humans? I could go all day - but you get the picture. These “mind blowing” thoughts are counter to everything you ever perceived or considered.
 
Jesus had one of those mind-blowing truths to share with His disciples: “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35). Jesus is the Son of God who made Himself the least of all and the servant of all. Coming and serving the least, the lowest, the outcast, the sinner but at the very same time that the Lord reveals this truth to His disciples, the twelve are arguing about who is the greatest. Mind blowing! A servant being the greatest stood in direct opposition to their world view where the greatest is number 1. What about you? Are you still buying into the world view that motivates most everyone - get to the top of the mountain while not worrying who you step on to get there? That world view has no room for serving others before yourself and, consequently, has no time or effort for sharing a Gospel that heals and blesses others. You are encouraged to continue reading this article. You just may have your mind blown by God’s definition of greatness and your life changed by Christ’s service for you.
Does church life feel like Ground Zero in the midst of this pandemic? To mask or not to mask? To vaccinate or not vaccinate? To plan the fall back-to-church rally, picnic, fellowship and live music, only to have fear overtake the desire to gather together and celebrate Jesus? Beginning this fall, back to church is not like 2018, 2019, or 2020. It is another unique year.

In some ways September 2021 feels like a UFC cage fight with Fear vs. Faith, and only one is going to emerge victorious. Maybe there needs to be more discussion?

Churches that are open and doing ministry are thriving. Others are paralyzed by fear. And the churches in the middle are sorting things out. Many things have changed. Wants have been replaced by needs. It’s a challenge to navigate and build ministry. Did you know that our LCMS Urban & Inner-City Mission has a webinar? Click here to watch Ministry in the Epicenter of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Maybe it’s time to overcome that fear and step forward in faith. Have you traded faith for fear? Your pastor is busy working on building faith. The need of others is great. In Rev. 22:12 the Lord said to John, "See! I am coming soon! My reward is with me, to reward each one as his work deserves."

Make yours a blessed week!  If you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions, you may pass them along to the English District Evangelization Team at EvangelizationTeam@englishdistrict.org.
LCEF Disaster Response Loans
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Peace to you in Christ Jesus! I pray that you and your ministry are well. As parts of our nation are facing flooding, others hurricanes, and still others wildfires, I hope that you are spared from the natural disasters many are facing. But if you or your ministry are impacted by a natural disaster, LCEF stands ready to assist.

If you are faced with a natural disaster and need funding assistance, LCEF has natural disaster loans that are 0% interest and $0 payments for 12 months. They are designed to provide quick funding at no immediate cost and greatly discounted rates for those who are dealing with a natural disaster. Terms for loans are detailed here.

Together, we wrestle with natural and supernatural forces as we strive for Christ and His kingdom. We are blessed to partner with you as you minister to those impacted by sin and its natural consequences. Please let me know how I may assist you in your ministry.

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Dan Lepley
317-402-9401
Gospel DNA Zoom Event
Five Markers for a Flourishing Church
You are invited to attend a Zoom presentation with Pres. Mike Newman of the Texas District, LCMS, held on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 10 AM ET.

If you are interested in attending, the login information is as follows:
Topic: Gospel DNA Conversation with President Michael Newman
Time: Sep 18, 2021 09:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 886 7023 1614
Passcode: 116672
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 October are located on our website.

We offer prayers of healing for Pastor Ryan Beffrey, Epiphany, Dorr, MI.

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
For more information, contact the English District Gift Planning Counselor Ron Grimm by phone (412)-584-7039 or email.
In Our Churches
Faith, Tucson, AZ

Faith Lutheran Church celebrated a joint bi-lingual service with Iglesia Luterano Santa Trinidad along with fellow pastors and others from throughout the Arizona South Circuit of the English District. The service was held to give thanks to God for those who have served Santa Trinidad, those that will serve them going forward, and the new synthesis of this Hispanic ministry outreach with Faith in the heart of the city. Rev. Manuel de la Rosa, Chapel of the Cross, Mission Hills, CA was the guest preacher. God be praised. He does all things well!
Prince of Peace, Medina, OH

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church celebrated Welcome Back Sunday on September 12 with outdoor worship in their chapel, food trucks, games, bingo and an inflatable slip n slide. A good time was had by all; and yes, Terry Leu, member of the English District Board of Directors, was the first to go down the slip n slide!
Martin Luther Chapel, East Lansing, MI

Martin Luther Chapel celebrated First Communion with Caylie, Olivia, and Julia on September 12, shown here with Pastor Curt Dwyer.
Holy Cross, Cleveland, OH

Holy Cross’ Great Commission presented a donation to the City Mission and Laura’s Home on September 12.
Peace, New Berlin, WI

Peace Lutheran Church and Little Lambs Academy started the new school year with a blessing of the backpacks. Peace is served by Pastor Greg Michel and Little Lambs Academy Director Laurie Kieliszewski.
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Thanks for spreading the word!
Also, please share your congregation's or school's unique ministries 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.
Livestreamed/Recorded Services
We encourage everyone to take advantage of alternative opportunities to hear God’s word and to be blessed by the Divine Service. We have compiled a list of opportunities on the English District website that is continually updated.

If your congregation is recording or live streaming and is not included on this list, please email us at info@englishdistrict.org and let us know how people can access it.
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