Archive for category: News & Announcements
Now you can easily create compensation estimates for your Pastors and Parish Professional workers. This tool easily provides a document for compensation estimates that include extensive information about other compensation considerations including core benefits, time off considerations, salary and tax issues and more.
To access this tool simply click this link and you will be taken to the CPS Compensation Tool. The user name and password are right there. It’s easy to do!
For more specific guidance on any compensation issue, please contact the District Office. For more specific guidance on how to use the CPS Compensation Decision Support tool, please contact Dave Kuschel at Concordia Plan Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use the links below for information about job openings at the FLGA District office.
Executive Director, Administration, Finance – send resume to: email@example.com
LCEF District Vice President – send resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trinity Downtown, Orlando Florida is excited to have its Handler Training June 21-23, 2018!
Our Passing of the Vest will be at all services the following weekend; Saturday June 30 at 6pm, and Sunday, July 1 at 8am, 930am and 11am.
A cake and coffee Meet N Greet will follow all Sunday services! We are blessed to become apart of this amazing ministry, reaching out into the community sharing mercy, compassion, presence, proclamation of Jesus Christ! An invitation is open to all!”
Comfort Dog Ministry
A Comfort Dog Ministry brings the mercy, compassion, presence, and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
Trinity Lutheran Church Downtown has partnered with Lutheran Church Charities (LCC), a national Lutheran Church Missouri Synod ministry based in Northbrook, IL, to utilize the unique traits of a dog to bring comfort, help and hope by visiting individuals in our community, and touching people who are hurting or in need. The Comfort Dog Ministry is a bridge for compassionate ministry, opening doors for conversation about faith and creating opportunities to share the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes comfort walks in on four paws…
Trinity Downtown is currently “in waiting” for our Comfort Dog, which we expect to arrive this summer! Listed to the right are K-9 Comfort Dogs in training – one of those Golden Retriever puppies will be assigned to Trinity Downtown.
The AKC certified purebred Golden Retriever assigned to Trinity Downtown will have over 2,000 hours of training to a service dog level and will understand some thirty commands. Comfort Dogs are taught to be passive and gentle when working with the public. A dog is an effective comforter because they make people feel safe…….they are non-judgmental and demonstrate unconditional love. Their simple presence is calming and healing and encourages people to talk about their distress and begin the healing process. Comfort Dogs calm people, work with special needs individuals, veterans and the elderly, and are used in counseling situations. They also deploy to crisis or disaster situations.
A Comfort dog work six days a week sharing care and compassion in schools, senior centers/nursing homes, hospitals, veteran/military organizations and events, community organizations, charities and also deploy in crisis or disaster situations when requested. The ministry will only go where invited, it will never intrude.
Last month I was in St. Louis for the Council of President’s meeting and assignment of calls for vicarage and placement of candidates. It was a wonderful week of anticipation and joy for those receiving the calls. I also had the opportunity to connect with an old college friend who serves on the staff of one of our ministries in the St. Louis area. He took me to a place called CRAVE. It’s a little coffee house, tucked away in downtown St. Louis near the St. Louis University campus. There are an abundance of coffee houses in St. Louis. In fact, I’m pretty sure that in the downtown area you can find a Starbucks on every other corner. What makes this coffee house different is that it used to be a Lutheran Church.
My friend told me that Crave Coffeehouse was started a number of years ago as a re-boot of sorts for Christ in the City Lutheran Church located right on the edge of the SLU Medical Center campus. Their 100+ year old sanctuary was converted into a Breakfast and Lunch coffee house which apparently operated alongside the small congregational ministry. The ministry continued to diminish, but the coffee house remained steady and relatively healthy. Over a long two year process, “Christ in the City” officially dissolved, and, with the Missouri District’s help, Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, a thriving ministry, took over the remaining debt as the purchase price for the building and began operating it. Now it is open Monday through Friday as a coffeehouse with a limited menu, but closed on the weekends. On Sunday evenings there is a non-traditional Lutheran worshipping community meeting there, and the ministry has grown so much that they recently hired a staff person just for the ministry.
The building still looks like a church, still has the original beautiful stained glass windows, still has a dedicated space where the chancel once stood, and yet is set up for casual conversation while Christian music plays in the background. At times there is standing room only in this business that makes no bones about the fact that they are Christian. The proximity to the University gives them an ideal place to serve coffee as they subtly do ministry to all who come in. I was blown away by how a building that could have been empty and abandoned was being used in a new way for ministry. Somebody was thinking outside the box, and while the former ministry was no longer effectively reaching people, this new model seems to be planting seeds where the church just couldn’t reach. (click here for photos of CRAVE)
On May 10 the Church celebrates Ascension Day, when Jesus ascended into heaven before the eyes of His confused disciples. Before He left them He gave them these familiar instructions from Matthew 28, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Even as Jesus instructed His followers on the night of the Resurrection, so again, He was sending them into the world to tell those who had not yet heard the good news of the Gospel. This is the very same commission Jesus gives to each of us who claim Him as Lord. It gets at the natural craving the Spirit implants within us in the waters of Holy Baptism to connect people to Jesus!
Jesus never formalized how we are to reach people, only that we are to make disciples by baptizing and teaching. As we observe Jesus in the pages of Scripture we find that He often used some unusual tactics to share the good news, including spitting and spreading mud on the eyes of one, engaging a woman at a well in conversation, and feeding 5000 with only five loaves and two fish! It appears that Jesus used these occasions to meet the so-called “felt” need of these people so that a deeper need could be met! Jesus formed relationships with unbelievers so that He could share the good news of salvation with them.
In this post-modern world it takes more than simply opening the doors of a church to reach those who are lost. We need to think outside the box and take a risk for the sake of someone’s eternal welfare and truly meet their spiritual need by first building a personal relationship with them. People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care!
That’s exactly why we are endeavoring to partner with Five Two. While we always want to, and will, support the opportunities to plant new congregations, what is equally important is that we find ways to reach those who are not reached by the current structure of the Church. The days of someone walking into the church on a given Sunday on their own initiative is all but gone. It happens, but not very often. We are told there is a greater chance of a non-believer coming to worship if someone has spent time building a relationship with the non-believer and invites them, but even then it is becoming rarer.
What really seems to make a difference is when we actually live out the faith we profess. When our faith in Jesus becomes more than simply words of truth about Jesus, and the way we live actually starts reflecting Jesus in word and deed, it can have a huge impact on non-believers. This is really what is behind our mission strategy, and now having experienced CRAVE Coffeehouse, I crave this even more. Imagine starting a sustainable ministry that literally shows the love of Jesus and doesn’t depend on Sunday morning offerings for survival. How could we leverage meeting needs in our communities, while at the same time providing a profitable non-profit service and planting seeds of the Gospel?
This is where our partnership with Five Two comes in. They are helping to train and coach ministry teams to do exactly that. I really believe that if each of the five regions in the District were to challenge themselves to start two new ministry starts per region for the sake of reaching more people with the good news of Jesus, in the next five years it would mean 50 new ministries working on behalf of the gospel. Imagine the huge number of potential people who wouldn’t step foot in a church, but would have no problem coming into a coffee shop or ice cream parlor.
I remember the first time I tried Chick-fil-a. One of the things that impressed me was the spirit I encountered. The owner was obviously a Christian, and you could see those values being carried out by all the workers. I had the opportunity to meet Truett Cathy, the founder, years ago at a small business man’s breakfast in North Georgia and speak with him personally. He shared that the Christian witness was not meant to be overt, but it was simply a reflection of his values. I could definitely sense that truth. In a similar way, our Founder, Jesus, calls each of us to reflect His values in our lives for all the world to see. It makes a difference.
As Jesus sent His disciples, now He sends each of us. He sends us to share the hope of eternal life. He sends us to tell of His forgiveness and love. He sends us as His messengers to reach the lost and erring. More important than how we do it is that we do it for the sake of Jesus. So it’s time to think outside the box. Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Let’s not just pray, but with His Spirit abiding within us, let each one of us actually go and make disciples, so that more people can be connected to Jesus! Amen?
In His Peace,
The May Warning Order is now available. Please click here.
Here is an excellent resource for support for rural ministry areas for Veterans and their families. Please take a look by clicking here.
Thank you for your continued support and partnership in the LCMS Operation Barnabas project. As always, please contact us at Ministry to the Armed Forces if you have any questions or concerns.
In Christ’s Service,
Chaplain Craig G. Muehler
CAPT, CHC, USN (Ret)
Director, Ministry to the Armed Forces
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295
800-248-1930 Ext. 1337 (toll-free)
Cell: (571) 234-0073
Connect and Support:
Donate to Support our Ministry to the Armed Forces
The latest issue of Lutheran Life is in the mail to subscribers and is also available online.
This issues features the following:
- Daniel J Reichard to Assume New LCEF Role
- LIFELINES: Message from the President: The Good Shepherd
- Florida-Georgia District in Strong Position Heading into Summer Convention
- The Coaching Leader; Rev. Scott Gress
- Church Veterans Honored for Service
- Veterans of the Cross Focus on Being “Risktakers in Re-Formation”
- How Should We Then Speak
- New Seminary Programs to Cover Full Tuition
- Concordia Selma to Close after 95 years
- 2017 Another Active Year of Outreach, Accomplishment for Mission: Haiti
- Redeeming Life/Sanford Expands Ministry
- District Capsules
- Regional news
- and much more
Watch for it in your mailbox, or read it online by using the link below:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings to you in the name of our Resurrected Savior Jesus!
With a bitter sweet joy I share with you information that was made public today regarding Daniel J. Reichard. As you know, Dan has done an outstanding job in his role as the District Vice President of Lutheran Church Extension Fund. We have not been the only ones who have taken notice. The National Office of Lutheran Church Extension Fund was pleased to announce earlier today that Mr. Daniel Reichard has been selected to serve LCEF as the Regional Vice President – East Region, effective Monday, April 30, 2018. This is a wonderful opportunity for Dan, and we rejoice with Andrea and he as he begins a new step in his ministry career.
We will begin seeking a replacement for the DVP position with LCEF very soon. However, this is a great opportunity for some reorganization within our District staff to better serve, assist and encourage our congregations. More details will be forthcoming in the next month. For now, join me in thanking Dan for his service to our District and wishing him well as he begins this new venture. As God has provided for LCEF in sending Dan, I am confident that He is already been fashioning our future as well! Our trust remains in the One who reminds us, “Blessed are those who don’t see and yet believe!” Pray with me as we entrust the District staffing to the Almighty and most gracious Lord!
In His peace,
Rev. Gregory S. Walton, President
The Florida-Georgia District, LCMS
Subject: Personnel Announcement
I am pleased to announce Mr. Daniel Reichard has been selected to serve LCEF as the Regional Vice President – East Region, effective Monday, April 30, 2018.
Dan began his work with LCEF in 2010 and has served the Florida/Georgia District as District Vice President and Executive Director of Finance since that time. Prior to joining the district staff, Dan spent nearly 30 years in a variety of positions, from entry-level accountant to senior leadership positions as Chief Financial Officer and Controller of several multi-million dollar manufacturing companies. Dan holds an accounting degree from Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, and a MBA from Western Michigan University. He also holds a Certified Public Accountant certification from the State of Wisconsin and is also a Certified Management Accountant.
Dan and his wife Andrea have been married for 32 years and have two married sons and two grandchildren. They reside in Orlando and are members at Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Orlando.
Please join me in congratulating Dan on his selection as the LCEF Regional Vice President for the East Region, and please keep the transition process in your prayers as Dan completes the important start-up work to get the East Region operational in Orlando, slated for July 1, 2018. Dan’s email (email@example.com) remains unchanged. Full contact information, including the East Region Office contact info, will be forthcoming.
Rev. Bart Day
President and CEO
Lutheran Church Extension Fund
10733 Sunset Office Dr, Suite 300
St. Louis, MO 63127
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus,
Today marks the beginning of that three day period beginning with Maundy Thursday through the Easter Vigil on Saturday, culminating with our celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus! It is a time marked by all kinds of activities and extra church services. I have found, over the years, I must guard against the danger of falling into a mindset of simply going through the motions, not allowing these days to speak to me personally. That was especially true as a parish pastor, with a heavy schedule and so many details, it can be easy to neglect a personal connection with this very personal day.
Whenever I begin to feel that way I am always struck by the interaction between Mary and Jesus early on the morning of the Resurrection as she stood outside the tomb weeping, imagining the worst—that someone had stolen the lifeless body of Jesus.
Then Jesus, unknown to her in her grief, spoke to her. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher)” Jn 20:15–16. I can’t help but imagine the flood of emotions in Mary’s heart when she heard this “stranger” speak her name. But hadn’t Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me” (John 10:14).
What’s in a name? Doesn’t it make you feel good when someone you admire knows your name? The truth is, each of us are known by our name by the Risen Jesus! He not only knows our name, but He knows everything about us. He knows our success and failures. He knows our hurts and our hurrahs. He knows our hopes and dreams. And in spite of it all, He loves us with an everlasting love.
These days ahead are filled with many activities. Some will help you focus. Some will distract you. My prayer for you during these days is that the Holy Spirit will move in your heart to help you again recognize the great sacrificial love of Jesus. This is the foot-washing Jesus. This is the Bread and Wine Jesus. This is the knowingly betrayed Jesus. This is the beaten and abused Jesus. This is the crucified and dying Jesus.
But April Fools—He didn’t stay dead! He rose to new life, and with that brought each of us the promise of new life forever. It’s a life filled with His love and forgiveness, but also a life to live out His love with the world around us. He has chosen you by name to abide in Him forever!
May this be for you a very personal and special season for you as you once again stand at the open tomb and hear Jesus call your name!
Blessings on your Holy Week preparations and Resurrection celebrations!
In His peace,
Rev. Gregory S. Walton, President
The Florida-Georgia District, LCMS