LCMC Blog http://www.lcmc.net/blog/feed Read the the latest news, announcements and articles from LCMC. en-us Luther and Katie Presentation Well Received http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 20 Oct 17 00:00:00 -0600 During the 2017 Annual Gathering, Johan and Sonja Hinderlie shared a skit depicting on Martin Luther and his wife Katy in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. This was well received and we have had many requests for more information. 

Johan has graciously provided a video on the 95 Thesis that we have linked here.  It is available for download so you will be able to share it with you congregation as you wish. 

They have also ishared with us an ebook resource titled What Drove Luther's Hammer to accompany the video, which can be downloaded by clicking here

For more information about their ministry, check out section 5 of this year’s Annual Gathering book

 

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Over 900 Attend LCMC 17th Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 16 Oct 17 00:00:00 -0600 A total of 903 people attended our 17th Annual Gathering in Minneapolis, Minnesota from October 8-11, 2017.  

The theme of this year’s event was “We Confess Our Faith” and featured keynote presentations focusing on three of the fundamental teachings of the Reformation: Justification, The Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, and the Priesthood of All Believers.

The gathering kicked off with dinner and an opening worship service preached by Pastor Julie Samuelson on Sunday morning.  Our worship leader this year was Mr. Eric McIntyre of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fridley, MN.  

Seminarians and church planters had an opportunity to meet up on Sunday evening for dessert and fellowship.  

Monday’s program began with worship, prayer, and Bible study, followed by a keynote panel featuring Pastor Steve Turnbull, Rev. Enrique Estrada, Rev. Tom LoVan, and Pastor Ingrid Aderhold.  

After table discussions, a networking session, and lunch, LCMC Service Coordinator Rev. Mark Vander Tuig gave an update on the association.  

The day wrapped up with a fellowship dinner, where participants had the option to get connected with a fellowship group in LCMC or simply join a general group of people for dinner at the convention center, followed by meetings for the various geographic and non-geographic districts within the association.  

Tuesday opened with worship, prayer, and Bible study followed by a dramatic portrayal of Martin Luther and his wife Katarina performed by Rev. Johan and Sonja Hinderlie.  (For more information about their ministry, check out section 5 of this year’s Annual Gathering book).  

Tuesday morning also included a keynote panel on the concept of two kingdoms featuring Dr. Ken Jones, Pastor John Kline, Rev. Dr. Pêri Rasolondraibe, and Pastor Siimon Haamer, followed by a table discussion.

On Tuesday afternoon, LCMC staff members Mark Vander Tuig and Dan Clites recognized district leaders, certifiers, new congregations, pastors, seminarians, military chaplains, and those who were celebrating significant anniversaries of ordination.  

Throughout the day, LCMC partnered with Days for Girls to learn about their ministry and help assemble sustainable and reusable hygiene kits for women and girls in need around the globe.  

In the evening, attendees had the option of attending a global worship service at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Minneapolis, viewing the movie commissioned by Thrivent Martin Luther, The Idea That Changed the World, taking part in a pop-up worship session, or taking part in one of several different meet and greet sessions.  

After worship, prayer, and Bible study on Wednesday morning, LCMC Board of Trustees Chair Rev. Sean Kelly thanked pastors Martha Uecker Nelson and Christopher Miller for their service on the board and announced that pastors Sue Gunderson (Area 4) and John Fauerbach (Area 2) were newly elected.  

Current Board of Trustees officers for LCMC consist of pastors Sean Kelly (Chair), Brodie Taphorn (Vice Chair), Darrin Vick (Secretary), and Mrs. Laurel Swanson (Treasurer).  

The event concluded with a keynote panel featuring Rev. Julie Smith, Mrs. Jennifer Desarmo, Rev. Pich Chim, and Dr. Kyle Fever, followed by a closing worship service preached by Rev. Dave Wollan.  

Videos of the speakers from this year’s event will be available on our website and in our mobile app in winter 2018.  We will make an announcement via e-newsletter, blog, and mobile app when our videos have been posted, so stay tuned! 

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Our 17th Annual Gathering Kicks Off Tonight! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 08 Oct 17 00:00:00 -0600 Our 17th Annual Gathering in Minneapolis opens tonight with Opening Worship at 7:00 P.M. 

Preaching for tonight's service is Pastor Julie Samuelson from Hands for Pine City in Pine City, MN.  Our worship leader is Mr. Eric McIntyre, who serves at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fridley, MN.

We will be updating our blog and Facebook page regularly over the next few days, so stay tuned for updates!

 

Video Streaming

If you're tuning in from home, you can catch a live stream of the main session for each day of the event here.

After the event has ended, videos of this year's speakers will be available for streaming here and in our mobile app during winter 2018.  We will make an announcement once the videos have been posted. 

 

Mobile App Features

The LCMC Mobile App gives Annual Gathering participants the chance to view event information from a smartphone or tablet.  Use the app to access a digital copy of our book, look up meeting room locations, submit feedback on this year's event, and more!  Be sure to opt in for "On Site Notifications" if you'd like to receive updates while at the event.  (You can also choose to sign up for general news updates, or to only receive updates on your favorite events.)

 

Annual Gathering Books

For a digital copy of this year's book, check out our app or go to www.lcmc.net/ag-books/summaries

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Healing from Church Conflicts http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 08 Sep 17 00:00:00 -0600 (Full Article from 3rd Quarter 2017 Issue of BY THE WORD)

Conflict occurs wherever humans gather because our needs differ. The church is no exception. In one church I served, tension arose over whether to build a rose garden as a memorial to the many members who served the church or to invest in a program for youth to draw new families into the church. In one church, tension escalated in a worship committee meeting when members were deciding whether it was okay for acolytes to wear tennis shoes in church. In another church, angry words characterized meetings about whether contemporary music or traditional music should be used in the church’s worship services. Each situation generated tension and hurt feelings.

I propose that a model for healing tensions that grow in our families and churches involves four principles. They involve allowing a grace period, demonstrating compassion, expressing forgiveness, and creating sacred spaces. Each of these factors affects and builds on the others.

Grace Period

Every relationship can occasionally benefit from a grace period. This is a time when, to minimize tension, we filter what we say to others. Instead of expressing anger, we leave some things unsaid. A truce does not mean that we avoid others or give them the silent treatment. It means we create a period of time when we choose kindness and patience over harsh words. It may mean that we table hot topics in council meetings until we can get more information, or, when someone differs with us on an issue, we do not instinctively react but give ourselves more time to think about the issue. One church member said to me, “I decided to create a period of grace. After a few weeks, I forgot about what annoyed me so much.” Though it’s hard to do, slowing down allows us more time to find constructive ways to approach a problem.

Compassion

Our willingness to create a grace period is sometimes linked to our ability to live in a spirit of compassion for others. Compassion is demonstrating caring with grace. Compassion is listening with a goal of understanding what another may be experiencing or empathizing with what another is feeling. Matthew connects Jesus’ healing of people with compassion. Luke begins his account of Jesus feeding 5000 with a preface explaining that Jesus felt compassion for the crowd. In Colossians, Paul connects compassion to having patience and kindness toward others. Compassion enables a nurse to care about a difficult patient, a pastor to visit an unhappy parishioner, or a mother to work with an angry child. Compassion in the form of kind words and smiles encourages healing. A professor of mine once said to me, “When you begin to feel tension with another person, do something nice for them. Show them kindness. It’s hard to stay mad at someone you are doing something nice for.”

Forgiveness

Compassion can generate a third principle, forgiveness. Forgiveness occurs when we can let go of our harsh judgments about people and situations and give them to God. We pray that God might free us of ill feelings we have toward others. Forgiveness does not mean we forget how we’ve been harmed or accept that a harm was okay. It means that we turn a problem over to a higher power and trust that he will make all things new in his time. We choose to let go of anger and resentment and live with grace. We admit that we don’t know everything and that we might even be wrong once in a while. Living with a spirit of forgiveness means that we give others a second chance, including ourselves. Bernard Meltzer once said that when you forgive, you do not change the past, but you sure do change the future.

Sacred Space

During a time of grace, in which we express compassion and forgiveness, we can create a sacred space in which we talk constructively with others. You can tell from the many stories that we have about Jesus’ ministry that his presence created safe places where people knew that they were cared for an listened to.

As a pastor, I believed that every person I encountered deserved a safe time with me in church he or she could express sadness, doubts, and sometimes even anger. As a university professor, I kept a large stuffed green chair beside my desk in which students, staff, and faculty would come in frequently to sit and talk about life. It was a safe space where I listened with compassion and prayed about their pain. Jesus encourages us to create sacred places where our spouses, children, neighbors, and church friends can talk to us and receive support, not judgment.

 


 

Mike Spangle, Ph.D. is a Lutheran pastor and university professor in the field of communication. He is the author of several books including his newest book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Ourselves.

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Pastor Brian Goke Installed at Faith Lutheran Church of McLean County http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 08 Sep 17 00:00:00 -0600 Installation of Pastor Brian Goke serving Faith Lutheran Church of McLean County (Bloomington, IL). Pictured are: Pastors Doug Johnson, John Nelson, Martha Nelson, Brian Goke, John Schurter, Mark Martin, Jay Johnson.

A native of Minnesota, Pastor Brian is a graduate of St. Olaf College (1991, BA), Fuller Seminary (1998, MA), and Luther Seminary (2007, Master of Divinity). After serving as a missionary in Thailand and Cameroon (1990s), he served in youth ministry at Gethsemane Lutheran in Hopkins, MN (1998-2001), and Prince of Peace Lutheran in Burnsville, MN (2001-2007). Before joining and serving alongside us in July of 2017, Pastor Brian served as an Associate Pastor at Redeemer Lutheran in Atlanta, GA (2007-2012) and Senior Pastor at St. John's Lutheran in Bloomington, IL (2012-2017).

He has been happily married for 24 years to Cindy, an elementary school teacher. They have four children: Mikelah, Logan, Quinten, and Zoe. They also share their home with three dogs, two birds, one cat, a leopard gecko, and about a dozen fish (depending on the day).

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Disaster Relief Efforts for Hurricaine Harvey http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 28 Aug 17 00:00:00 -0600 LCMC has a dozen congregations that were in the direct path of Hurricane Harvey, some of which have reported damage to their buildings. 

According to the New York Times, the Category 4 hurricaine reached the the U.S in Texas, bringing with it winds reaching 130 miles per hour and heavy rain, causing severe amounts of damage to the area.

Three groups within LCMC are coordinating efforts to help with disaster relief for victims of the tropical storm. 

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, an LCMC congregation in Victoria, TX is setting up a center to assist those in that area and welcome donations. 

The LCMC Texas District has a Facebook page set up to coordinate efforts as well.  Please visit  www.facebook.com/groups/LCMCHurricaneHarvey to learn more. 

Finally, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ also has established a Lutheran Disaster Assistance Fund (LDA Fund) to responsibly handle the administration of donations in response to natural disasters.  Your funds can be sent directly to LDA for Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts. 

If you would like to contribute to the LDA Fund, please notate that your donation is intended for Hurricane Harvey Relief and mail all contributions to:
 
Lutheran Disaster Assistance Fund
c/o St. Mark's Lutheran Church
8300 C Avenue NE
Marion, IA 52302

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Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry Application Deadline is August 31 http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 21 Aug 17 00:00:00 -0600 Just a friendly reminder, the deadline to apply for the LCMC staff position of Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry is next Thursday, August 31.   

If you are interested in applying please submit the following to info@lcmc.net:

1)  A letter of interest
2). Résumé
3). Brief answers to the following three questions:

  • How would you describe the distinctives of LCMC?
  • How would you describe your relationship/interaction with other LCMC pastors?
  • Tell us how you see the role of the Coordinator of Pastoral Ministry.

The current job description is available on our website at www.lcmc.net/jobs.  

Final candidates will be interviewed at the October meeting of the Board of Trustees, which immediately follows the Annual Gathering and Convention.

Please keep this process in prayer as we seek the Lord’s direction.

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Early Bird Annual Gathering Registration Ends September 1st! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 11 Aug 17 00:00:00 -0600 Friday, September 1st is the last day to register for our 17th Annual Gathering and still receive the discounted rate!  

The format of this year's event will be a bit different from that of previous years in the interest of offering people in LCMC more opportunities to connect with one another than ever before.  After a brief introduction of each topic from a theological perspective, followed by a panel discussion focusing on application to daily life in both domestic and international contexts, participants will have the ability to form discussion groups at their tables after each presentation has ended.  

Be sure to sign up for our annual Fellowship Dinner on Monday evening for a chance to reunite with old friends and colleagues, meet new ones, or get connected with a fellowship group of your choice.  Reserved seating will be available for young adults (20-30 somethings), clergy spouses, the Cross Alone, Mid-Atlantic, and Twin Cities fellowship groups, and various districts within LCMC.  Select this activity on your registration form to sign up.

Once again, we will also be offering meetups for seminary students and church planters, district gatherings, and a "meet and greet" breakout session to help match up pastors who are available for call with congregations who are seeking a new pastor.  

The event takes place October 8-11 in downtown Minneapolis.

Learn More & Register >>

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Now Accepting Applications: Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 01 Aug 17 00:00:00 -0600 The Board of Trustees is now accepting applications for the position of Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry.  The current job description is available on our website at www.lcmc.net/jobs

If you are interested in applying please submit the following to info@lcmc.net:

1)  A letter of interest
2). Résumé
3). Brief answers to the following three questions:

  • How would you describe the distinctives of LCMC?
  • How would you describe your relationship/interaction with other LCMC pastors?
  • Tell us how you see the role of the Coordinator of Pastoral Ministry.

Applications will be received until August 31st, 2017.  Final candidates will be interviewed at the October meeting of the Board of Trustees, which immediately follows the Annual Gathering and Convention.

Please keep this process in prayer as we seek the Lord’s direction.

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SALE: Shop the 17th Annual Gathering Collection! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 31 Jul 17 00:00:00 -0600 What's better than attending our 17th Annual Gathering in Minneapolis this October? 

Attending our 17th Annual Gathering in style while sipping coffee from a brand new LCMC-themed travel mug, of course! 

Select t-shirts and coffee mugs are on sale in the LCMC Store now through August 9th, so if you haven't had a chance to nab any items from our limited time 17th Annual Gathering Collection yet, now's your chance!  Visit Our Store >>

And if you haven't already, be sure to register for the Annual Gathering by September 1st to get the Early Bird discount (you'll attend for $100 less than you'd pay at-the-door)! 

This year's Annual Gathering will offer more fellowship and networking opportunities than ever before including table discussions, fellowship meet-ups, a fellowship dinner, district meetings, and even a breakout session to help connect pastors who may be seeking a call with congregations in search of a new pastor.

Participants will also have the option to take part in a Global Worship Experience with the people of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, or view the documentary commissioned by Thrivent: Martin Luther, The Idea That Changed the World.

To read more about the Annual Gathering, click here

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AG Photo Contest Deadline is July 17th http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 05 Jul 17 00:00:00 -0600

 

 

 

 

There's still time to enter our 2017 Annual Gathering photo contest before the Monday, July 17th deadline date! 

If your congregation has taken part in any projects, organized any events, or participated in any mission or ministry activities that exemplify what it means to be "in Mission for Christ" at a local, national, or international/global level over the past year, we're inviting YOU to submit photos to be considered for publication in our 2017 Annual Gathering Book.

To learn more and submit your favorite photos, click here

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Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry Rev. Steve Lien to Accept New Call http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 05 Jul 17 00:00:00 -0600

Dear Members of the Board of Trustees,

Victory Lutheran Church, Mesa, Arizona, has recently voted to extend a call to me to serve as Pastor of Growth Ministries. This opportunity came knocking, without my looking, and I have accepted; I begin at Victory on September 1, 2017. This letter, therefore, will serve as my official letter of resignation, which will be effective August 31, 2017. 

I have been honored to serve with, and on behalf of the Board of Trustees, the Ministry Board, and the people and constituencies of LCMC. I have been blessed to meet hundreds of God’s faithful people and visit dozens of pastors and congregations in the United States and around the world. It has been a delight to watch God call hundreds of pastors to serve LCMC during my tenure. Mark Vander Tuig has been a faithful and competent supervisor, friend and advisor. I have also enjoyed the incredibly faithful staff of LCMC and the amazing people who serve on the Ministry Board.

I leave this post and the Midwest closeness to our family with mixed and bitter-sweet feelings, but trust in God’s faithfulness for me and for LCMC.

God’s great blessing and joy to you as you serve our Lord in this part of His Kingdom Vineyard!

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

 

 

Rev. Stephen C. Lien
LCMC Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry

 

The Board of Trustees has accepted Rev. Steve Lien’s resignation with deeply mixed feelings. Steve has been a tremendous addition to our staff team and to our association.  His passion for ministry and insight has helped us in ways that will be appreciated for years to come. He will be missed by those of us who work for LCMC and by many, many pastors and leaders whose lives he has touched, prayed with, prayed for, and counseled.

The Board of Trustees meets in July, in just a few days, to finalize the process of finding the next Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry. They will first review the position description and then establish a team to receive resumes, review the applications, and bring 3-5 finalists for the Board to interview. The team will include members of the Board, representatives of the Ministry Board, and a member at large. They will also then establish a timeline for this process. This is a critical position for our association and we ask all to commit this process to prayer.

More details will be announced after the Board meets this July.

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Installation of Rev. Mark and Rev. Wenda Fry http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 08 Jun 17 00:00:00 -0600 Rev. Mark and Rev. Wenda Fry were installed at Joy Lutheran Church in Billings, Montana, on March 12, 2017. Particicpants in the service (left to right) included: council members Jan Wolf and Deb Lane, Pr. Warren Baker, Pr. Mark Fry, Pr. Wenda Fry, Paul Johnson (Council President), Pr. Ingrid Aderhold, and council members Jan Hunter and Carol Wahl.  


Click on this link to read the Billings Gazette article: http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/husband-and-wife-team-called-as-joy-lutheran-church-pastors/article_f88f1437-a4a6-5030-baa3-99bd7fe6c822.html

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Shop the 17th Annual Gathering Collection! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 06 Jun 17 00:00:00 -0600 To celebrate our upcoming Annual Gathering in Minneapolis, we've added some new items to the LCMC Store, including a limited time collection of items with the logo for our 17th Annual Gathering. 

Available items include t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, tank tops, mugs, bags, notebooks, and art prints. 

Check out what's available by clicking on the link below.

View the LCMC Store

 


For more information on this year's Annual Gathering, and to register, click here or go to "Events", then "Annual Gathering". 

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Enter the 2017 Annual Gathering Photo Contest! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 31 May 17 00:00:00 -0600 If your congregation has taken part in any projects, organized any events, or participated in any mission or ministry activities that exemplify what it means to be "in Mission for Christ" at a local, national, or international/global level over the past year, we're inviting YOU to submit photos for our 2017 Annual Gathering Photo Contest! 

Here's how it works:

  1. Photos must be submitted by a member, pastor, or staff member of an LCMC congregation
  2. Go to www.lcmc.net/17-ag-photocontest and review the photo guidelines
  3. Fill out the entry form, upload a photo, and click "submit"

Photos will be selected for publication based on subject matter (how closely they fit the theme), quality of the photo (photos should not appear "squished", "fuzzy" or contain clip art), and the story behind the photo (how your congregation is making a difference on the local, national, or global level).

All eligible photos received by Monday, July 17th will be considered for publication in The 2017 Annual Gathering Book.  Hard copy books will be available at the Annual Gathering in October, and a digital edition will be available on our website and in our mobile app once the Annual Gathering begins. 

 

Click Here to Submit a Photo

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Register Now for our 17th Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 16 May 17 00:00:00 -0600 Online registration is now open for our 17th Annual Gathering and Convention, which takes place October 8-11, 2017 at the Hilton Minneapolis in downtown Minneapolis, MN. 

The theme of this year's event is “We Confess Our Faith”.  Our format will be a bit different this year, hoping to engage those attending in the conversation of three of the fundamental teachings of the Reformation:

  • Justification
  • The Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms
  • The Priesthood of All Believers

The format will start with a brief introduction of the topic from a theological perspective, a panel discussion focusing on application to daily life—both domestic and international contexts – and discussion at tables by those attending the gathering.

This year we also celebrate the 500th anniversary of the nailing of the 95 theses of Martin Luther to the church door in Wittenburg, the beginning of the Reformation.  We will be screening documentary commissioned by Thrivent, “Martin Luther, The Idea That Changed the World”.

Once again, this year's event will include service projects, vendors, breakout sessions, and great worship opportunities. 

Early bird registration ends September 1st, so be sure to sign up before the price increases! 

For future updates on this and other events, be sure to download our mobile app and enable push notifications. 

Learn More  |  Register Now!

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2017 Leadership Conference Wraps Up http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 11 May 17 00:00:00 -0600 Dear Members and Friends of LCMC:

LCMC has never intended to be a denomination or organization.  Rather, from day one, we’ve been a movement of God’s spirit.  A movement focused on working together to fulfill Christ’s great commission to go and make disciples of all nations.   That’s never been easy, but it’s been on the front burner of our energy and passion since we began as an association seventeen years ago.

So the Ministry Board of LCMC gladly embraced the theme of discipleship when planning the last three annual Leadership Conferences.

Three years ago we gathered under the theme iFollow:  Life Together in the Way of Jesus, and heard incredible insights and challenges from Reggie McNeal, author of Get Off Your Donkey and other best-selling books on discipleship.  Reggie was joined by several of our own LCMC pastor-practitioners who added their real-world perspective.

Last year, recognizing the incredibly challenging and changing environment in which we’re making disciples, we focused on Shift: Re-tooling Church for the 21st Century.

This year 185 people gathered in Omaha as we rounded out a three-year cycle on discipleship with the theme Discipling by Design and a concentration on four areas of ministry in which every church is already engaged:  worship, community, mission and leadership.  The intent was to assist those present in making these things more intentionally disciple-making.  Presenters were all LCMC pastors and lay team-mates who shared real-life challenges and real-life ideas about being more effective disciple-makers. 

This year’s conference evaluations reflected deep appreciation for the emphasis on prayer, which was offered throughout the conference, solid and stimulating content, provocative ideas, and great connections and mutual support.  They also loved the break-out processing time that followed each presentation, andmany left with specific action steps to operationalize better disciple-making!

The Ministry Board thanks all who worked so tirelessly on this conference:  our planning and prayer teams, speakers, worship leaders, logistics masters and hosts at Lutheran Church of the Master in Omaha: thank you for your faithful partnership in the Gospel and in making disciples of Jesus Christ!

Though we love being together for this conference, the Ministry Board and Board of Trustees have decided to offer our Leadership Conference on an every-other-year basis.  Stay tuned for details for our next conference tentatively scheduled for February, 2019.

On behalf of the LCMC Ministry Board,

Yours in Christ,

 

Steve Lien

Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry

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Lutheran World Relief Service Project Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 24 Apr 17 00:00:00 -0600 At our 2016 Annual Gathering in Denver, Colorado, we partnered with Lutheran World Relief to assemble 8,228 personal care kits for people in need. 

The staff of LCMC has received an update from Lutheran World Relief that the kits we packaged have been shipped to Angola on March 28, 2017 and should be arriving within the next four months. 

Lutheran World Relief will be working with Hope for Angola to ensure that the resources will be distributed to people in need once they arrive.  The organization is a partnership between several Christian denominations in Angola serving a population who lives on an estimated $1/day (US dollars) per family.

 

From Lutheran World Relief:

Dear Friends at Lutheran Congregations in  Mission for Christ,

Greetings from Lutheran World Relief! We're so thankful for your partnership, and for your energy and enthusiasm for this ministry.

I'm excited to be able to share some details about where some of your items traveled in the last year. You may already have spotted in your online Tracker record that your Personal Care Kits have gone to Angola. Your donations departed our warehouse on March 28, 2017.

LWR's partner in Angola is Hope for Angola {HFA}. Founded in 2006 by Angolans living in the United States, the organization seeks to advocate and support sustainable community based development for the vulnerable people of Angola to ensure that all have equal access to basic human needs. This distribution of Mission Quilts, Personal Care Kits, School Kits, Baby Care Kits and Fabric Kits will reach an estimated 20,147 people in Luanda, the capital city of Angola.
These precious gifts will support refugee, asylum-seeking and internally displaced families as they work to establish sustainable lives in Luanda.

To learn more about this shipment, visit quiltmap.lwr.org and click on the country to view a report. We will provide updates as we receive information from our partner. Thank you so much for your partner ship 'in bringing hope to our neighbors in around the world. We thank God for you!


Continued blessings on your ministry!

Melanie W. Gibbons
Quilt & Kit Ministry Manager

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Introducing the LCMC Store http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 23 Mar 17 00:00:00 -0600 You asked, we answered!  

After receiving dozens of requests from LCMC-ers everywhere for clothing items featuring our new logo to be available online, the staff of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ is happy to announce the official launch of our brand new online store.

The LCMC Store offers an assortment of casual clothing items in sizes ranging from XS through 3XL as well as bags, mugs, decor items and more!  Available items include:

  • T-Shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Sweatshirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Sweatpants
  • Wall Art
  • Mugs
  • Bags
  • Notebooks
  • Phone Cases
  • Throw Pillows
  • Rugs

We will be updating our shop regularly as new items become available, so be sure to check back often to see what’s currently in stock!  

For the convenience of our members, we also plan to continue offering our traditional items including polo shirts, button-ups, t-shirts, and jackets at our Annual Gatherings.  

You can access our shop from our website anytime by clicking on "Resources", then "Online Store" in the main menu of our website, or by visiting lcmc.threadless.com.  

Through Saturday, March 25, LCMC-ers can also get free shipping on orders of $45+ using the promo code SPRNG17800be4

Customer support is available via email at shop.support@threadless.com should you have any ordering-related questions or experience any problems.  

By introducing our online shop, we hope to make it easier for our pastors and congregation members to access much-requested LCMC logo items, and to further embody who we are as an association: a first century church for the twenty first century.

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Our Newsletter Has a New Layout! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 14 Mar 17 00:00:00 -0600 This quarter, BY THE WORD, our print newsletter, is rolling out with a fresh new layout design to accompany the new logo, website and mobile app that we launched at our 16th Annual Gathering in Denver last October. 

The color scheme and design of our updated logo represents our hope as an association of congregations: bringing Jesus to a dark and broken world. The red in the globe represents the blood of Jesus bringing light into the world, and the red “M” of LCMC emphasizes our focus on mission. 

By creating a cleaner, more contemporary layout for our newsletter and website, as well as incorporating the colors and design elements from our logo, we hope to embody the mission and vision of our association and to clearly communicate who we are: a first century church for the twenty first century.

Speaking of the twenty first century, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our mobile app, and to share it with your congregations as well.

The LCMC Mobile App makes it easy to access calendars and event details, stream videos, and podcasts (it’s Apple TV and Chromecast compatible!), and connect with other people throughout the association.  The app’s built in blog reader makes it easy to stay up-to-date on recent news and announcements, and app users can also sign up to receive occasional notifications so you’ll never miss out on an important announcement or deadline again.  With easy access to the LCMC directories and the congregation search feature, you can contact people or find nearby congregations even when you’re on the go.

 

Read Our Newsletter

Be sure to check your mailboxes, as our 1st Quarter 2017 edition of BY THE WORD is on the way!  Alternatively, you may download a printer-friendly PDF version of the newsletter by clicking here

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New Scholarships Available! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 07 Mar 17 00:00:00 -0700 The InFaith Community Foundation has two scholarship opportunities available for graduating high school seniors. 

The InFaith Community Foundation Scholarship is a $5,000 scholarship available to high school seniors who are seeking a four-year undergraduate degree at an accredited college or university and are members of congregations that hold active organizational endowment funds at InFaith Community Foundation.

Eligible woman candidates are also invited to apply for the WomenLead Scholarship, a $3,000 dollar scholarship which will be awarded to two individuals; one student attending a graduate program or seminary, and one student attending a two-year community college or vocational/technical school.

The deadline to apply for either scholarship is April 30, 2017

To learn more, check out our Scholarships page, or visit their website at www.infaithfound.org/newsgrants/scholarships

For questions about the scholarships or the application process please contact Nikki Johnson, Donor Services Associate, at (800) 365-4172, or scholarships@InFaithfound.org.

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We're Forming a Non-Geographic Hispanic Network! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 17 Feb 17 00:00:00 -0700 We have a number of congregations and ministries that have a tremendous outreach to Hispanic communities, and it would good if we could get these leaders, ministers, ministries connected. 

If your congregation is currently carrying out an Hispanic ministry, mission, or agency in our association, and you would like to get connected, please click here and sign up.  If you are interested in learning more about developing an Hispanic ministry, feel free to sign up as well. 

As we get some folks on our list, we will assign a coordinator, put together a “mission statement” and see what the Lord might do with this.

We have a number of non-geographic districts, and LCMC grew out of one many years ago called “Word Alone Network”. 

The purpose of non-geographic districts is to give people who are separated by many miles, but united in interest, a chance to connect, support and encourage, and even offer insight and training for those who want to grow a ministry. 

I think this network could also be a tremendous resource for those who would like to initiate a ministry in this arena.

Click Here to Sign Up!

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T. H. I. N. K. http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 17 Feb 17 00:00:00 -0700 Dear Members and Friends of LCMC:

Social media platforms can provide instant communication to large numbers of people and the capacity for messages to go “viral”, connecting with millions within a short period of time.  This is both an amazing opportunity for the gospel to spread and a deep responsibility, especially for Christ-followers who are called to be positive and winsome witnesses to our Lord. 

The members of the Ministry Board of LCMC often find ourselves discussing the challenges faced by pastors and congregations and the occasional conflict that arises.  In many of these situations, people take to social media to share or ventilate their feelings.  In a recent meeting we decided to share some of our thinking with the hope it may help each of us THINK more carefully about our use of social media.

When we talk with others, either privately or publicly, our expectation is that the people of faith will be above reproach in their communications in all forms.  In each of our online interactions we would do well to be mindful of James 1:19:

      be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. 

All public or private confrontation should be guided by James 3, Matthew 18, along with Luther’s explanation of the 8th commandment to not bear false witness.

A helpful acronym for discerning appropriateness of our online interactions is T.H.I.N.K.:

      Is it True? 

      Is it Helpful? 

      Is it Inspiring?

      Is it Necessary?

      Is it Kind?

Below we’ve also provided some helpful and thoughtful links to online articles written especially for Pastors.

Yours in Christ,

 

The Ministry Board of LCMC 

Jeremey King, Ebassa Berhanu, Steve Lien, Linda Krei, Sandy Miller, Nathan Hanson, Steve Turnbull, Paul Owens

 

Resources:

https://catalystconference.com/read/5-warnings-for-pastors-on-social-media/ 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2015/november/five-mistakes-pastors-make-on-social-media.html 

http://thomrainer.com/2016/03/ten-commandments-for-pastors-politics-and-social-media/ 

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Watch Now: 2016 Annual Gathering Videos http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 14 Feb 17 00:00:00 -0700 Video content from our 16th Annual Gathering, which took place last October in Denver, Colorado, is now available for streaming online and in our mobile app

In addition to our 2016 Annual Gathering Series, which features presentations from our event speakers and staff members, we have also recently released two new video workshop series: Church Planting 101 and Pete the Planner

Designed for those who are interested in planting new congregations, Church Planting 101 is a three part introductory workshop led by LCMC's Coordinator for Church Planting Development, Rev. Dan Clites. 

Pete the Planner is a workshop series aimed at helping LCMC-ers explore the basics of financial planning. 

To access the LCMC video gallery from our website, click on the Events tab, then Media & Downloads, then Videos & Presentations

App users can stream video content directly from their smartphone or tablet, or play content on their TV screen using Apple TV or Google Chromecast.  (Learn More)

Our 17th Annual Gathering takes place October 8-11, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN.  Stay tuned for further details, and be sure to sign up for Annual Gathering push notifications in our mobile app to receive realtime updates when new information becomes available!

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LCMC Hosts 5th Annual Three Days of Prayer http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 01 Feb 17 00:00:00 -0700 Last year, every congregation, member, and pastor in LCMC was invited by LCMC Service Coordinator Rev. Mark Vander Tuig to take part in our association's 5th Annual Three Days of Prayer

The event took place from January 3-5, 2017 and each day had its own theme.  Day one was a day for confession, day two a day of petition, and day three a day for vision.  Participants were able to structure each of the three days in any way that made sense for them. 

Based on the results of last month's Three Days of Prayer poll, 25% of this year's participants celebrated Three Days of Prayer for the first time.  Approximately 17% reported that they had participated on their own in the past, but that 2017 was the first time their congregation had organized somethig together. 

While 20% of people reported praying on their own, 27% told us that their congregation had organized some type of special event this year. 

Over half of the people surveyed reported having provided members of their congregations with prayer resources for the event, whether in print or online.  (To view sample resources submitted by fellow LCMC congregations, click here.)

This year, a handful of congregations opted to organize a prayer service or other special event this year while also providing take-home resources to congregation members. 

In addition to offering printed and online resources, Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Western Reserve in Stow, OH used the event as an opportunity to connect with other congregations in the area.  "We partnered with a county-wide effort to hold a cross-cultural and cross-denominational event, Summit Ablaze, inviting people to eat with us before," said Laurel Bobb, the congregation's pastor.

"We sent out a booklet to all members and frequent visitors that explained prayer and had an outline to follow for people who wanted to pray at home," said Julie Wood of Resurrection Lutheran Church of Alpena, MI.  "We opened the church from 6:00 to 9:00 A.M. on each of the three days for people to come in and pray.  We held a prayer service on Wednesday night that incorporated all the themes into one event."

When asked if there was anything they would like to do differently for next year's Three Days of Prayer, most people agreed that they would like to start planning early and start promoting the event before the busy holiday season begins. 

One congregation told us that sending regular reminders, as well as mentioning Three Days of Prayer during regular church services, proved to be an effective way of getting the word out.

"We talked about the event on the Sunday preceding [and] I sent a reminder email each of the three days.  I used the event as a topic for a sermon on a Sunday following the event and we discussed God's vision for the church at large," said Pastor Jo Kinnard of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Inwood, IA.  "Our Savior's in Inwood is definitely a prayer warrior congregation! They loved the idea, and the reminders, and the opportunity to pray."

Our next Three Days of Prayer event will take place January 2-4, 2018, so be sure to mark your calendars and start planning early!

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Save the Date: Called 2 Serve 2018! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 12 Jan 17 00:00:00 -0700 Mark your calendars!  Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ's next Called 2 Serve youth event will take place July 17-20, 2018 at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.  

A total of 300 people attended our 2016 Called 2 Serve event, which featured workshops, service projects, keynote speakers, an ice cream social, and a concert by the Christian rock group Remedy Drive.  (You can read a full recap here, and check out photos from the event in our photo gallery, listed under the "Events" menu of our website.)

Additional details will be available here and in our mobile app at a later date, so stay tuned!  

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Three Days of Prayer Starts Today! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 03 Jan 17 00:00:00 -0700 Today marks the first day of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ's 5th Annual Three Days of Prayer.

Each day from today through Thursday, every congregation, member, and pastor in LCMC is invited to set aside some time for prayer.  The themes for each day are as follows:

  • January 3:  This is a day focused on confession. We have made our lives, our relationships—and even the church—in our own image. We confess that the church belongs to Jesus and not to us. We gather to lay down our pride, our sin and our agenda and ask the Lord of the church for forgiveness, which He gives freely and with mercy.
  • January 4:  This is a day of petition. Pray for your congregation, for the pastor, for the leaders, for those who carry out ministries, for the Sunday School teachers, for the Confirmation leaders, for those leading adult Bible studies and for those leading small groups. Pray for those in hospital and nursing home ministries. Pray for all those connected to your church that they might know God’s redeeming love for all in Christ.
  • January 5:  This is a day for vision. Pray that the Holy Spirit will again move through the hearts and minds of leaders and pastors that God’s vision for His church might be revealed and fulfilled. This is a time of prayer for renewal, revival and encouragement. Pray for God’s vision.  

No matter how you structure this time of prayer, let’s come together as an association of congregations across the U.S. and around the world to pray!  

"I believe that the church will never rise up until we first get down on our knees!" said Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Service Coordinator for LCMC.  

Whether you've simply set aside some time to pray each day, or your congregation has organized a special event or service to celebrate, we would love to hear about it!  You can share your experiences with us by taking our Three Days of Prayer Survey for 2017.  We'll include some of the responses that we receive in an upcoming LCMC news article. 

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LCMC to Offer Interim Ministry Training http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 27 Dec 16 00:00:00 -0700 LCMC, along with many other church bodies, is constantly encountering congregations and pastors in transition.  I’ve been dealing with many of these congregations during my tenure as Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry and seeing first-hand the challenges they face, the perils and pitfalls that often befall them, and the great promise that awaits them if and when they successfully move through a period of transition!  With so many Baby Boomer pastors retiring in the next few years, the need for trained interim pastors has never been greater.  I enrolled in the extensive training offered by Interim Ministry Network (IMN), which I recently completed.

Because of the need I’ve observed and the training I’ve received, I am offering a crash course in interim ministry for interested LCMC pastors, which will take place July 25-27, 2017 at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.  

To register for the course, contact Cathy Nichol, LCMC Administrative Coordinator, at (734) 788-7476 or cathy@lcmc.net.  The cost of the course is $100 per person (payable via credit card or by check made payable to LCMC) and enrollment is limited to twenty-five people.  Advance registration and full payment are required before class begins .  

Travel, meals and housing are the responsibility of each participant.  Housing is available at Grand View for $27 per night, and reservations can be made directly with Grand View by contacting Nicholas Kavanaugh at nkavanaugh@grandview.edu or (515) 263-2894.

Pastor Steve Abend, an LCMC pastor who has been trained by the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP) will be joining me in teaching the class.  The class will also include the pre-reading of several books identified in our syllabus after registration.  

My hope is that those who enroll will be motivated and conscientious learners willing to serve as intentional interim ministers in LCMC congregations.

If you are interested in attending, please register by contacting Cathy Nichol.  In addition, please share this information among your friends who you think might be interested.  

I welcome your questions and ask for your prayers.

Yours for the sake of the Kingdom,

 

Rev. Stephen Lien
Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry
Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC)

 

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Congregations Team Up for Faith in Action Day http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 28 Nov 16 00:00:00 -0700 The leaders of Faith in Action Day: Galen Eberhart, Nora Maupin, Jayne McCellen, Marge Norris.On Sunday, September 18, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Auburn, Indiana left the building.  After gathering at the church for a time of communion, 90 members—from 5 years old to 90 years old—from St. Mark’s joined members from Auburn First United Methodist Church, all dressed in bright red, Faith in Action shirts - in serving our community. This event, called Faith in Action Day, was an amazing opportunity to share our faith with our community as we serve others! 

We participated in Faith in Action Day because, as a church, we believe that God has called us to be for our community; to care for it and seek its well being.  For us, Faith-in-Action Day is not just be an event to do one day a year, but an opportunity to reveal to our church the ways to care for Auburn.  We also have the goal of this being an ecumenical movement in our community, bringing churches together in serving Auburn, and were happy that Auburn First United Methodist church would partner with us in this.

A student helps clean a book shelf at a local Children’s First building.The two churches broke into teams, each team a mixture of people from each church, to attack projects around town.  The projects included painting fences, serving nursing homes, cleaning buildings, removing invasive plants, sprucing up a cemetery, letters to veterans, care kits, and passing out baked goods and sewn items to local organizations!

What an amazing opportunity we had to serve our community, to bless Auburn with the love of Jesus Christ!  If you have any questions about having a Faith in Action Day in your church, we would love to talk with you about this!  Email pastordan@stmarksauburn.org with any questions.

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Register Now: 2017 Leadership Conference http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 08 Nov 16 00:00:00 -0700 Registration is now open for our 2017 Leadership Conference

Themed Discipling by Design, our 2017 Leadership Conference focuses on how we can become more and more disciple-making in our worship, community, mission, and leadership development.  

Participants will enjoy keynote speakers, worship, and interactive discussion groups after each presentation.  

Advance registration for this year's conference is $89 per person for all pastors, church leaders and church members and includes all programming, refreshments on Sunday, and lunches on Monday and Tuesday.  Early bird registrations must be received by April 29, 2017, and may be submitted online, by mail, or through our mobile app.  

The event takes place April 30 - May 2, 2017 at Lutheran Church of the Master in Elknorn, Nebraska.  

For more information, click here.  

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Over 800 Attend 16th Annual Gathering in Denver http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 06 Oct 16 00:00:00 -0600 A total of 806 people joined us at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center in Denver, Colorado from October 2-5, 2016 for the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ 16th Annual Gathering.  The theme of this year's event was "Back to the Future: First Century Principles for the Twenty First Century".  

The event kicked off on Sunday evening with an opening worship service preached by Pr. Ebassa Berhanu (Faith Lutheran Church, Castle Rock, CO), as well as the announcement that the association has a new logo as well as its first ever mobile app.  

Monday's program featured Keynote Speaker Dr. Ed Stetzer (Billy Graham Distinguished Endowed Chair for Church, Mission and Evangelism, Wheaton College), as well as reports given by LCMC Staff members Rev. Mark Vander Tuig (Service Coordinator) and Rev. Steve Lien (Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry).  Steve and the LCMC Ministry Board also recognized district leaders, certifiers, new congregations, pastors, seminarians, military chaplains, and those who were celebrating significant anniversaries of ordination.  

On Monday evening, participants had the option to take part in a fellowship dinner, providing them the opportunity to make new friends in LCMC, reunite with old ones, or get connected with one of several different fellowship groups.  

Tuesday's program featured Keynote Speaker Dr. Mark Granquist (Associate Professor of the History of Christianity, Luther Seminary), Dr. Jim Blessman (President and Founder, Blessman Ministries) as the international focus speaker, and a report by LCMC Staff member Rev. Dan Clites (Coordinator for Church Planting Development).  

Attendees also had the option to take part in breakout sessions, which fincluded topics such as church planting, engaging millennials, retirement plan options, and more.  

On Tuesday evening, many participants gathered together in the convention center to assemble personal care kits with Lutheran World Relief.  Through the generous donations given by LCMC congregations, as well as the muscle power of many volunteers at the Annual Gathering, the people of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ were able to donate 8,228 personal care kits and deliver 35 quilts to those whose lives have been affected by natural disasters and to people who are living in poverty around the world.  

Newly elected to the LCMC Board of Trustees were pastors Brodie Taphorn (Area 5) and Darrin Vick (Area 6).  Current members of the board are Sean Kelly (Chair), Martha Uecker Nelson (Vice Chair), Julie Smith (Secretary), Laurel Swanson (Treasurer), Brodie Taphorn, Darrin Vick, Enrique Estrada, and Christopher Miller.  

Wednesday morning's program featured "ministry vignettes" presented by Pr. Steven Broers (Emmanual Lutheran Church, Fontanelle, IA), Pr. Sandy Miller (First Lutheran Church, Hope, MN) and Rev. Jonathan Haseley (Barefoot Christian Community, Niagara Falls, NY).  The event concluded with a closing worship service preached by Rev. Michael R. Bonham (Peace Lutheran Church, Gulf Shores, AL).

Each day, attendees also enjoyed worship provided by Bethel Lutheran Church (Colorado Springs, CO), as well as Bible study led by Rev. Janine Rew-Werling (Hosanna Lutheran Church, Watertown, SD).  

Videos of this year's speakers will be available online on our videos page (you can find it under Events  >  Media & Downloads  >  Videos & Presentations) and in our mobile app in winter 2017.  For a downloadable copy of the 2016 Annual Gathering Book, click here or download our app.  

Our 17th Annual Gathering will take place October 8-11, 2017 at the Hilton Minneapolis in Minneapolis, MN.  Stay tuned for further details.  

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Our Website Has a New Layout! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 03 Oct 16 00:00:00 -0600 The LCMC Staff and Board of Trustees is excited to announce that today we have launched a new and improved version of our website in conjunction with our new logo and mobile app.  

To help make using our site a better experience for all, we have simplified our layout, made our site easier to navigate overall, and completely optimized it for use on your smartphone or tablet, so you can access the same resources and information as before in a more efficient way.  

In addition to simplifying our menu system, we’ve made it quicker for pastors and congregations to update their directory information, submit events for the LCMC calendar, and share their prayer requests and news stories.  (Just click on the red button at the top of the page you'd like us to update!)

Our "Find a Church" tool has also been updated, making it easier to search for nearby LCMC congregations in any area.  

We’ve also cleaned up the layout of our media library, making it easier to find and watch videos from past LCMC events. (You’ll find the same organization of videos and podcasts inside our mobile app, which enables its users to stream media to their TV using Apple TV or Google Chromecast.)

We hope you enjoy the new look and improved functionality of our website.  If you have any questions, you can always contact us.  

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LCMC Launches New Logo and Mobile App http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 02 Oct 16 00:00:00 -0600 Today LCMC kicked off its 16th Annual Gathering in Denver, CO by announcing its first ever mobile app and unveiling a brand new, freshly updated logo.  

The LCMC mobile app makes it easy to access videos and podcasts, receive news updates, and stay connected with other people throughout the association.

With the in app web player, you can catch live events, stream videos and podcasts, and even play content on your TV screen using Apple TV or Google Chromecast.  

You can also use the app to access calendars, register online for events, and view digital versions of event programs and handouts.  

The app’s built in blog reader makes it easy to stay up-to-date on recent news and announcements, and app users can also sign up to receive occasional notifications, so you'll never miss out on an important announcement or deadline again.  

You'll also have easy access to the LCMC directories as well as the congregation search feature, so you can contact people or find nearby congregations even when you're on the go. 

In conjunction with the launch of our mobile app, we have also released a cleaner, more contemporary version of our logo and branding.

The color scheme and design of our updated logo symbolizes our hope as an association of congregations: bringing Jesus to a dark and broken world.  The red represents the blood of Jesus bringing light to the world. The color red in the "m" of LCMC emphasizes our focus on mission. As Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, we are all working together to fulfill Christ's Great Commission in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples of all nations.   

A great deal of time, thought and effort has gone into creating a logo that embodies the mission and vision of our association, and we are confident that our new design will help communicate exactly who we are: a first century church for the twenty first century.  

Tomorrow (Monday) we will also be rolling out with a brand new, mobile friendly version of our website.  To help make using our site a better experience for all, our new design will be easier to navigate and completely optimized for use on your smartphone or tablet, while still providing the same information and resources that are available today. 

Stay tuned!

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Our 16th Annual Gathering Starts Today! Here's How to Watch LIVE... http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 02 Oct 16 00:00:00 -0600 Our 16th Annual Gathering kicks off after dinner tonight with Opening Worship led by Rev. Ebassa Berhanu, pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Castle Rock, Colorado at 7:00 P.M. MDT. 

Tonight's service will also feature a first look at our brand new logo design as well as a special video presentation on a new resource we have put together for every congregation, member and pastor in LCMC.  You won't want to miss it! 

If you're tuning in from home, you can catch a live feed of the Annual Gathering online at www.lcmc.net/live

A schedule for each day of the event can be found here, or by downloading a copy of our 2016 Annual Gathering Book

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Meals from the Heartland Service Project Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 29 Sep 16 00:00:00 -0600 Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the congregations in LCMC, as well as the hard work put in by the volunteers at our 2016 Called 2 Serve youth event in Des Moines, we were able to package over 80,000 meals to help feed the hungry.  Below is a letter that received from the staff of Meals from the Heartland.

August 19, 2016

Dear Mark,

The team at Meals from the Heartland wants to thank you for your generous support regarding the LCMC National Youth Gathering packaging event held on July 21, 2016. With your financial gift of $48741 on 8/5/2016 and the help of 125 volunteers, a total of 80,784 meals were packaged during this event.

Please know that your support makes a difference in the lives of thousands. In 2015 Meals from the Heartland packaged over 15 million meals to distribute around the world to help feed people in need of nourishment. Also in 2015 over 1 million meals were distributed in Iowa as well as elsewhere in the United States.

We are thankful for the support that has allowed Meals from the Heartland to package and distribute over sixty-five million meals since its inception. The need continues and together with you we will carry on this critical work.

At Meals from the Heartland our vision is to alleviate life-threatening hunger. Thank you for supporting our mission to empower people to feed the starving. We look forward to working with you on future events!

With sincere thanks,


Susan Bunz
Executive Director

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Grand View University Welcomes LCMC for Called 2 Serve Youth Event http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 03 Aug 16 00:00:00 -0600 Students in Grand View University Wellness CenterHigh school students and youth group leaders from across the nation headed to Grand View University in Des Moines last month to take part in our 2016 summer youth event, Called 2 Serve

According to Cathy Nichol, LCMC’s administrative assistant, a total of 300 people from 32 different LCMC congregations attended the four day event, which was designed to help strengthen the ministry of the local church by giving students a better understanding of what is possible in their own church and local community. 

The event featured keynote speakers Culynn Curtis, Pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Maple Lake, MN, Alex Krumm, Director of Student Ministries at Grand View University in Des Moines, IA, Ken Jones, Professor of Theology and Religion at Grand View University, and Jody Skogen, Director of Youth and Family Ministries at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Marion, IA, who emceed the event.

Also speaking at the event were Kyle Fever, Pastor of Beyond Ministries and Director of Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp, Jamie Strickler, Assistant Dean of Educational Ministry for North American Education at the Institute of Lutheran Theology, Wendy Berthelsen, Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church, and LCMC staff members Mark Vander Tuig, Steve Lien and Dan Clites

Throughout the week, students also had the chance to explore topics such as love, truth, their "call", the life that Jesus promises and how to follow Jesus during high school by taking part in interactive breakout sessions and enjoyed music performed by the worship band at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona, IA. 

On Thursday, participants had the option to take part in one for four different service projects that were geared towards making a real difference in the local Des Moines community. 

Approximately one third of participants opted to help pack meals for the hungry with non-profit organization Meals from the Heartland.  After exceeding our goal of raising $10,000 in donations from LCMC congregations (enough to purchase enough supplies for 50,000 meal kits), volunteers were able to package a total of 80,784 meal kits in under three hours. 

Another group of volunteers chose to visit Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp, where they laid a gravel path, mulched the facility's low ropes course, cleaned and weeded any landscaped areas, mulched a whole trail and stained a large fence. 

A third group met up with the people at Hope Ministries, an organization who seeks to help meet the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of people who are homeless.  Participants volunteered at some of the various sites that Hope Ministries operates, performing tasks such as cleaning and organizing items at a local thrift store. 

A fourth group went out into the local community to perform random acts of kindness, such as cleaning up a local park, giving away cookies, cleaning up several areas on the Grand View University campus, and handing out bottled water to people with scripture verses attached. 

While there were plenty of opportunities for learning and serving at Called 2 Serve, the event also offered everyone a chance to get connected with others through small group discussions, games and mixers led by Chip Reynolds, Pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Braunfels, TX, 

Participants also enjoyed an ice cream social featuring Peanut Butter Belly Buster, Cake Batter, Knee Deep in Chocolate and Cookies & Cream flavors from Over the Top, followed by a live concert by christian rock group Remedy Drive

Overall, the event was well-received by those who attended.  Here are just a few of the comments our staff has received from participants' evaluation forms:

  • "This was by far one of the best weeks I have ever had and I thank you all for it. God Bless."
  • "Longer! I loved it and I wish it was longer! Breakout sessions more interactive and how it's applicable to life."
  • "I loved how service project was incorporated with the event. This was an excellent event. I am looking forward to the next one."
  • "Thank you for your hard work! God moved in some awesome ways!"
  • "We had a wonderful time at the National Youth Gathering. Having attended two NYG in another denomination, I appreciated that there was no political agenda or ideological propaganda spewed forth at our kids. It was nice to be centered in the Word, what Jesus has done for us, and the privilege to share that message as those Called2Serve."
  • "Our group of [people] were barely more than Sunday friends from multiple high schools and wound up growing personally and collectively in Christ. They're bonded with big ideas for God now! Two, who've attended church their entire lives and been confirmed, shared with me that it was the very first time they were truly feeling a personal connection to Jesus, prayer, and seeing how Christian support works. I'm so grateful! These ladies arrived home and were so on fire that our pastor is devoting an entire Sunday service/sermon in August for them to share the Called 2 Serve Bible message, music, and a takeaway activity to hopefully inform and inspire our congregation to sharing their gifts, loving one another and being called to service!"
  • "God moved in many ways: - Students started sharing their stories of faith with one another in small groups during family time - Students started thinking about going into vocational ministry maybe for the first time - Student spent her first extended time away from home, successfully! - Student became more of her aware of her actions and asked for forgiveness from leaders. - Student left the week with an understanding that serving is more than something we do it’s about who we are as Christians - Student felt the presence of the Holy Spirit during the Thursday night worship gathering - Student felt her calling to be someone who is there for her friends during difficult times. That is just SOME of the cool things God did during the youth event!"
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LCMC to Launch New Website, Logo at Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 02 Aug 16 00:00:00 -0600 The LCMC Staff and Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that on Monday of this year’s Annual Gathering, we will be launching a brand new, re-designed version of our website.  To help make using our site a better experience for all, our new design will be easier to navigate and completely optimized for use on your smartphone or tablet while still providing the same information and resources that are available today.  

At this time, we will also be rolling out with an updated version of our logo and branding.  A great deal of time, thought and effort has gone in to creating a logo that embodies the mission and vision of our association, and we are confident that our new design will help communicate exactly who we are: a first century church for the twenty first century.  

Whether you’ll be joining us in person or tuning in online via live stream, we look forward to sharing these improvements with you in just a few short weeks.  

The LCMC 16th Annual Gathering, themed Back to the Future: First Century Principles for the Twenty First Century, takes place October 2-5, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center in Denver, CO.  Early bird registration ends September 1, so be sure to sign up soon to receive the best rate!

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Plan Now: 5th Annual Three Days of Prayer http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 01 Aug 16 00:00:00 -0600 In January 2013, LCMC congregations from across the nation and around the world kicked off the new year by joining together in prayer during Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ's first ever Three Days of Prayer

The event, organized by LCMC Service Coordinator Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, was designed to help the people of LCMC become more and more a people of prayer and has since become an annual tradition in LCMC. 

During the first week of each new year, all of the people who make up LCMC (934 congregations as of today) are invited to join in prayer for three days.  Each day has a theme: day one is a day for confession, day two a day for petition, and day three a day for vision.  Congregations can organize the three days in any way they choose.

Over the past four years, our congregations have come up with a slew of creative ideas on how to organize each of the three days.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Host a special prayer service or vigil during each of the three days
  • Organize a prayer walk
  • Use online tools, such as email, social media, or a mobile app to help engage your congregation during each of the three days
  • Organize a special event or project during each of the three days
  • Have the members of your congregation sign up for time slots to pray during the three days
  • Design brochures, booklets or even prayer clocks and distribute them to the people in your congregation

January might seem like a long way off, but if you'd like to take part, it's best to mark your calendars and start planning early!  The number one piece of advice our staff has heard from congregations who are seasoned participants have given was to start planning a few months in advance, as January comes right after the busy holiday season.

Our 5th Annual Three Days of Prayer takes place January 3-5, 2017.  Additional information and resources can be found by clicking here

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LWR Service Project Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 31 Jul 16 00:00:00 -0600 As many of you know, we will be teaming up with Lutheran World Relief during our 2016 Annual Gathering in Denver, CO to help assemble personal care kits for people who are victims of natural disasters.  Our goal for this project is to raise $50,000 to help participants at the event assemble 10,000 kits. 

As of today, we have officially raised $43,750 in donations to help cover the cost of supplies for this project. 

If your congregation would like to learn more or make a donation, you may do so online or by mail by clicking here

If you will be attending the Annual Gathering and would like to sign up to help assemble the kits, you may do so by checking off the appropriate box on your registration form

The LCMC 16th Annual Gathering, themed Back to the Future: First Century Principles for the Twenty First Century, takes place October 2-5, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center in Denver, CO.  Early bird registration ends September 1, so be sure to sign up soon to receive the best rate!

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LCMC Cambodia Partners with ALWM, ILT for the 5 Year Challenge http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 03 Jun 16 00:00:00 -0600 Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, Cambodia has partnered with Awakening Lives to World Missions (ALWM) and the Institute for Lutheran Theology (ILT) to expand and strengthen Christian Mission in the southeast asian country. 

Pastor Samuel Chim, Service Coordinator for LCMC Cambodia, has led mission in Cambodia for 20 years, establishing 50 house Churches, 9 Congregations, and 5 major regional projects.  Some of his work includes establishing a floating school for 500 impoverished children, digging wells throughout the country to ensure clean water, and training pastors for mission work. 

LCMC Cambodia is partnering with ALWM to create mission experiences for groups and congregations in the west and to raise awareness and support for the needs of Cambodian Christians and the Christian communities there.  ALWM, founded in 2007 by Pastor Bill Moberly, works to call, mobilize, equip, and network congregations for effective global outreach.

LCMC Cambodia is joining together with ALWM, ILT, and Lutheran Asian Ministries (LAM) to establish a new model for seminary training throughout Southeast Asia, including Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam.  School for Asian Lutheran Theology, or S.A.L.T., is a project of ILT to establish training centers throughout Asia for the training of pastors and church leaders.  

The 5 Year Challenge is a call to individual Christians as well as Christian Churches and Organizations in LCMC United States to strengthen their resolve to support Global Missions and to be part of pushing LCMC Cambodia into a new era of mission and evangelism. 

To learn more about the 5 Year Challenge, visit www.alwm.org, Awakening Lives to World Mission. 

To find out more about S.A.L.T., visit www.ilt.org, the Institute of Lutheran Theology. 

To see an informational video about LCMC Cambodia and the 5 Year Challenge, go to www.vimeo.com/168483946

To find out how you or your congregation can support LCMC Cambodia in the 5 Year Challenge, contact Pastor Chris Conner, S.E. Asia Coordinator for Awakening Lives to World Mission, at revcjconner@gmail.com or 620-225-4812.

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Annual Gathering Photo Contest Now Open! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 27 May 16 00:00:00 -0600 We’re looking for photos that exemplify what it means to be “in mission for Christ” in the 21st century to include in the 2016 Annual Gathering Book and on our website.  If your congregation has taken part in any projects, events or activities over the past year that fit this theme, we would love to hear about them!  This might include:

  • Community Outreach
  • Service Projects
  • Mission Trips
  • Creative/Artistic Projects
  • Disaster Relief
  • Church Planting Efforts

Photos must be submitted via our online photo submission form and will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Theme:  The subject matter of the photo must be relevent to the topic. 
  • Quality:  We are unable to use photos that are blurry, distorted, very small or have text over them. 
  • Story:  Each photo must be submitted with a caption explaining what's going on in the photo and the event or project that it was taken during. 

The deadline to submit photos for this year's book is Friday, July 1

 

More Info:  Submit a Photo  |  FAQs  |  Past AG Books

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Service Project Update: Lutheran World Relief and Meals from the Heartland http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 25 May 16 00:00:00 -0600 Over the past few years, "service" has become a central part of our Annual Gatherings.  In 2014, we packaged almost 300,000 meals with Meals from the Heartland and raised over $90,000 to do so.  Last year, we donated just over 160 pints of blood to a local blood bank in Texas.  This year, we will be working with Lutheran World Relief to help assemble personal care kits at the Annual Gathering, and participants at our Called 2 Serve youth event will be packaging meals with Meals from the Heartland
 

Lutheran World Relief Project

Our goal for this year's Annual Gathering in Denver is to assemble 10,000 personal care kits for those whose lives have been affected by natural disasters.  To date, we have raised $17,119.52 of the $50,000 needed for supplies.  

If your congregation would like to make a donation to this project, click here.  All donations must be received by July 1, 2016 so that we can acquire all necessary supplies. 

If you plan on attending the Annual Gathering this fall and are interested in helping assemble the kits, simply check off the "Service Project" box on your registration form


Meals from the Heartland Project

This summer, one of the service projects high schoolers attending Called 2 Serve will be taking part in is packaging meals kits for the hungry.  

Thanks to the generosity of our congregations, the staff of LCMC is pleased to announce that we have not only met our fundraising goal of $10,000 for the Meals from the Heartland service project, but have exceeded it with a total of $15,743.15!  

Thank you so much for helping make this project possible! 

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Annual Gathering & Seminarian Retreat: Online Registration Now Open! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 29 Apr 16 00:00:00 -0600 Online registration for our 16th Annual Gathering and our 2016 Seminarian Retreat is now open! 

Annual Gathering

The theme of our 2016 Annual Gathering is Back to the Future: First Century Principles for the Twenty First Century.  Held October 2-5 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Denver, the event features plenty of opportunities to get inspired, connect with other people in LCMC and get the latest news updates on our association. 

This year, we'll be teaming up with Lutheran World Relief for a special service project, where we plan to assemble 10,000 personal care kits for people whose lives have been affected by natural disasters.  We will also be hosting a fellowship dinner on Monday evening, giving participants an opportunity to make new friends, reunite with old friends, or get connected with a fellowship group of their choice.  

The event also features keynote speakers, worship services, more than 30 breakout sessions and the ability to connect with various mission and ministry organizations in our vendor area. 

All pastors, leaders, church members, delegates and visitors who register for the Annual Gathering by Thursday, September 1 will receive $60.00 off the cost of registration!  

Register Now!  >>

Seminarian Retreat

Hosted at the Ponderosa Camp and Conference Center in Larkspur, CO the weekend before the Annual Gathering, the Seminarian Retreat gives seminary students a chance to connect with one another, connect with seasoned pastors in LCMC, and ask questions about the seminary process. 

Registration is $60 per person with meals and accommodations included.  Spouses are also invited to attend.  Advance registration is required.

Register Now!  >>

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Leadership Conference Videos Now Available for Streaming http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 26 Apr 16 00:00:00 -0600 Earlier this month we hosted our 2016 Leadership Conference, which focused on three shifts congregations can make in order to better reach out and make a difference in today's plugged in and over-booked world.  A total of 243 people attended the event, which was held from April 10-12 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona, IA. 

Videos of this year's keynote presentations are now available at our website for streaming.  To check out our video blog, click here

Be sure to mark your calendars for our next Leadership Conference, which will take place April 30 - May 2 at Lutheran Church of the Master in Omaha, NE.

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Service: A Central Part of Our Gatherings! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 04 Mar 16 00:00:00 -0700 Dear Friends,

“Service” is becoming a central part of our gatherings!

This year for our Called 2 Serve youth event, which takes place July 19-22 at Grand View University in Des Moines, one of the service projects is again working with Meals from the Heartland.

In order to reach our goal, we need about $10,000 to have 140 young people package meals for two hours, which would amount to about 50,000 meals. 

At our Annual Gathering this year, we are working with Lutheran World Relief (LWR), one of the most efficient and effective relief agencies in the world. 

Our goal is to have Annual Gathering participants (we normally get between 750 -1,100 people in attendance) assemble 10,000 personal care kits. To make this happen, we need to receive about $50,000 in special offerings from the congregations of LCMC. The people with LWR believe that we can easily assemble that many kits in Denver!

The people of our congregations have been extremely generous for these projects in the past, and I am hoping we can be once again.

If your church would like to participate, please send checks, made payable to to LCMC and earmarked for "Meals from the Heartland" or "Lutheran World Relief" to the LCMC office at:

LCMC
7000 N Sheldon Road
Canton, MI 48187

You can also make a donation online by clicking one (or both!) of the following links:

All funds need to be received by July 1, 2016 so we can purchase needed supplies.

Sincerely In Christ,

Mark Vander Tuig
LCMC Service Coordinator

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Called 2 Serve Deadline Extended http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 02 Mar 16 00:00:00 -0700 The deadline to register for Called 2 Serve has been extended to Thursday, March 31.  

Called 2 Serve is open to high schoolers completing grades 8-12 and takes place July 19-22, 2016 at Grand View University

To learn more and register, click here

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E-Newsletter Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 24 Feb 16 00:00:00 -0700 It has come to our staff's attention that, due to an error with our e-newsletter software, an old email announcement has been unintentionally sent out to our subscribers.  Please disregard this email. 

We apologize for any confusion this email may have caused our readers. 

For clarification purposes, our 16th Annual Gathering will in fact be held from October 2-5, 2016 in Denver, CO

Our latest e-newsletter, titled "Scholarships, Discounts & Training Opportunities for Current & Future Leaders", is scheduled to be sent out this afternoon. 

Here's what you need to know for February 2016:

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Scholarship Opportunity for Seminary Students http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 16 Feb 16 00:00:00 -0700 To God be the Glory, to a seminary student the gain! 

A wonderful gift was given to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Kodiak, Alaska.  So, we have established a new scholarship, The Wheeler Family Scholarship!

This scholarship was established from a gift given by Gary and Annette Wheeler, long time members of St. Paul Lutheran Church who hoped to encourage people to consider a call into the ordained ministry of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC).  The intent was to give financial help to any Lutheran Seminarian.

More information can be found at www.lcmc.net/scholarships.  You can also call Pastor Elden Simonson at St. Paul Lutheran Church of Kodiak, Alaska at (907) 486-3632

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Why an LCMC Youth Event? http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 05 Feb 16 00:00:00 -0700 First, Youth Are the Present.

The best people to witness to other youth are the youth that we already have.  The local church must do what they are able to train and equip youth to be disciples to their own generation.  One of the best ways to do that is to build mentor relationships with mature Christian adults who can mentor youth in the development of their relationship with Jesus.

Second, Youth Are the Near Future.  

One of the things that we have not done very well is prepare our youth for the next chapter.  Many of our youth after leaving high school tend to struggle with their faith in a culture that pulls them in a hundred different directions.  University campuses are not always friendly places for Christians and are we helping them figure out how to navigate that new setting?  But almost no place in the culture: work, military, vocational tech, etc. is welcoming to young adults who also want to remain faithful to Jesus.

Third, Youth Are the Further Future.  

One of the biggest issues we face is finding leaders for the local church who love Jesus, love the church and love the people the Holy Spirit brings.  Raising local leaders for the local church must become a priority for each congregation.

Fourth, Youth Are the Future Pastors.  

The vocation of ministry requires the brightest and the best that our congregations have to offer.  People forget that pastors come from congregations...and so we need to find ways to help youth catch the vision that serving Jesus happens in every vocation, but the vocation of ministry is one of them. Being a pastor/leader of a congregation has been a great life for many and has been a great blessing to those families.  We need more and more youth to ask the question: could God be calling me to consider pastoral ministry as my vocation?

Our 2016 “Called 2 Serve” youth event is July 19-22, and registration closes March 1st.  If you are planning to attend, please register!

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LCMC Celebrates 4th Annual Three Days of Prayer http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 02 Feb 16 00:00:00 -0700 Congregations across the nation took part in our 4th Annual Three Days of Prayer from January 5-7, 2016.  Every congregation, member and pastor in LCMC was invited by Service Coordinator Rev. Mark Vander Tuig to start off the new year by setting aside some time during each of the three days to pray.  

While congregations were encouraged to structure each of the three days in any way that made sense to the congregation, there was a theme set for each day.  Day one was a day for confession, day two a day for petition and day three a day for vision.  

Over the past four years, LCMC congregations came up with creative ways of organizing the three days including prayer walks, prayer clocks, designing brochures and planning special events.  

For 2016, the majority of congregations reported hosting special events and/or distributing brochures to members of the congregation who wanted to participate at home.  

While congregations generally focus on inviting their members to take part in the event, one congregation had the experience of an interested non-member joining them.  

“We had info on our front sign and it was exciting that someone actually read it, turned around and came in to pray,” said Paula Mann, the congregational president of Living Word Lutheran Church in Lantana, FL.  

Each year, the number one piece of advice that LCMC-ers have given to others who may be taking part in Three Days of Prayer for the first time is to start planning in advance, then get the word out early and often.

“Trust God,” advises Karen Mason of Faith Lutheran Church in Monticello, MN.  “A basic format is a good idea, and likely reassuring to many participants, but just show up, praise God, then see what He does.”

After participating in Three Days of Prayer for the first time, Karen’s congregation plans to continue offering weekly prayer meetings, which will be open to anyone in the local community who would like to attend.  

There are still eleven months left to plan for our next Three Days of Prayer, which will take place January 3-5, 2017.   

To learn more about Three Days of Prayer and download resources to help you plan for next year, visit www.lcmc.net/three-days-of-prayer

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2016 Event Registration Deadlines http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 28 Jan 16 00:00:00 -0700 If you're headed to one of our spring or summer events, don't forget to register.  These deadlines will he here before you know it!

2016 Youth Event

The registration deadline for Called 2 Serve is Tuesday, March 1.  The event is open to students completing grades 8-12 and takes place July 19-22, 2016 at Grand View University in Des Moines, IA.  Chaperones are required. 

2016 Leadership Conference

The early bird deadline for our 2016 Leadership Conference is fast approaching!  Pastors, church leaders and church members who register for the conference by Monday, February 29 will save $30 per person on the cost of registration.  Seminarians who register in advance will also receive discounted admission. 

The event, themed Shift: Retooling Church, takes place April 10-12, 2016 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona, IA and features keynote speakers, worship, and a chance to connect with fellow LCMC-ers through interactive discussion groups. 

 

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Advice Regarding Interim Pastors http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 20 Jan 16 00:00:00 -0700 Part of my role as Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry includes dealing with pastors and congregations in the call process. 

As I prepared my Call Committee Workshop I came across a very helpful article by Lavern Brown on the advisability of interim pastors. I have found that many congregations neglect the essential work of dealing with the transitional issues that arise after the resignation and departure of their pastor. I offer Brown’s article as grist for the mill and perhaps for some needed conversations around the Council table.

There are certainly many situations where an interim pastor is not necessary or advisable.  However, considering this possibility and entertaining this conversation often engages congregational leadership in weighing mission-critical questions about their own identity, present circumstances and resources, and where God is calling them in the future.

There is a big difference between a retired pastor or one available for call, and a well trained interim pastor, which are in short supply.  I hope to address this shortage among our association in the coming years by offering a training class for interim pastors. 

In the meantime, I'm happy to discuss these matters with those interested, and I also cover these issues briefly in my call committee workshop, which I'm offering at various locations throughout the year. 

God's blessings as you prayerfully discern God's direction in the life and ministry of your congregations.

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2015 Annual Gathering Videos Now Available http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 18 Jan 16 00:00:00 -0700 Videos from our 15th Annual Gathering, themed "Our DNA", are now available for streaming in our video blog

Available videos include:

  • Keynote Speakers:  Rev. Dr. W. Bruce Wilder, Rev. Dr. Paul M. Cross, Dr. Steve Paulson, Rev. William Bohline, and a panel discussion with Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Mrs. Sharon MacFadyen and Rev. Bill Sullivan. 
  • International Focus:  Rev. Dr. Ove Sander. 
  • Staff Reports:  Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Rev. Dan Clites and Rev. Steve Lien. 
  • Worship:  Pr. Becky Hand and Rev. John Waak.
  • Bible Study:  Rev. Steven E. King
  • Breakout Sessions:  Rev. William Moberly, "Growing a Missions Sending Culture in Your Congregation"; Rev. David Rispoli, "Traditional Values, Contemporary Lives" and Rev. Dr. David Glesne, "Why Your Church Needs Apologetics".

Downloadable copies of the 2015 Annual Gathering Book are also available, and can be found by clicking here

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Three Days of Prayer Starts Tomorrow: Take Our Survey! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 04 Jan 16 00:00:00 -0700 Our 4th Annual Three Days of Prayer begins this week, January 5,6 and 7, 2016.  Obviously, we pray more than three days a year but this is an opportunity for the congregations of LCMC to spend this time together before the throne of Grace.  Each congregation is free and encouraged to do this in the way that seems best to them. 

 

Structuring Each Day

For us together, Day One is a prayer of Confession, recognizing that we have sinned against God, against one another and even against ourselves.  I believe the church will never rise up until we first get to our knees. 

Day Two is a day of petition, bringing every prayer and concern to the foot of the Cross.  There are so many in our congregations who are hurting—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  But we also pray for our congregations, the people of God to again humble ourselves before an Almighty God. 

Day Three is a day of prayer for direction, seeking God’s will and hope for the days to come.  How is it that we will be ambassadors for Christ in this generation and cultural context.

 

Poll & Newsletter Article

We've created a short survey for anyone who has taken part in Three Days of Prayer this year.  Those who fill it out will have the chance to answer poll questions, share their experiences with Three Days of Prayer, upload (optional) photos and offer advice and ideas to congregations who may be taking part in it for the first time.  Responses to the survey will be used in consideration for a future article in our newsletter and website and must be submitted by January 22, 2016

Take the Survey >>

 

Learn More

For more information on Three Days of Prayer, as well as resources, click here or go to Events > Annual Events > Three Days of Prayer

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Pastor Julie Gellert Installed and Ordained http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 02 Dec 15 00:00:00 -0700 Pastor Julie Gellert was installed and ordained by her congregations, Pondera Valley Lutheran Church and Golden West Lutheran Church, Conrad, Montana, on September 13, 2015. 

Rev. Warren Baker officiated, and council presidents from each congregation in the Conrad Lutheran Parish took part in the ceremony. Pastor Julie is a graduate of Beyond the River Academy.

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Introducing MissionsLink http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 02 Dec 15 00:00:00 -0700 Denominational leaders, missions minded pastors, and many congregational mission leaders agree about the need to share information in order to partner together effectively with mission organizations and other churches in taking the Gospel to the nations. What kind of information helps?

For example:

  • Do you have an effective global missions team/committee?
  • What countries are you working in, and with which mission agencies?
  • Do you take organize your own short term mission trips? Do you sometimes and have space for a few people from other congregations?
  • Do you work with any mission agencies who organize short term mission trips? Would you recommend the organization to others? 
  • How do you fund global missions?
  • How do you inform your congregation about your mission efforts?
  • And more…

Currently, the only way to find information like this even from a neighboring church is through personal conversation, a church website, or a congregational newsletter.  But with more than 1100 congregations just in LCMC and NALC alone, that is a lot of newsletters and websites to search for information!

“MissionsLink”, the new Mission Networking Database developed by Bill Moberly and ALWM will meet that strategic need! “MissionsLink” provides a simple way for mission engaged congregations to share the resources you have AND find the resources you need to be more meaningfully, strategically and effectively engaged in completing the Great Commission.

MissionsLink is also for mission agencies: another place for congregations to learn more about your ministry with one visit to the ALWM website. The vision for MissionsLink is imply to encourage networking and relationship between congregations, and also mission agency to congregation.

We are starting to work on STMTripsLink, which will be a searchable database of effective, well planned short term mission trips, too. MissionsLink already includes info on short term mission trips, with a place to upload brochures and info about space available on trips you are sponsoring.  Rolling out in 2017, STMTripsLink will be easier to use and search for available short term mission trips.

The effectiveness of MissionsLink will grow as more agencies and churches join. The profile itself only takes about 15 minutes to fill out, but we do not plan on hiring a gecko or creating any humorous commercials. Stepping from wherever you are in your global missions journey into a new season of increased partnership and cooperation is worth the effort. There are more than 3 billion unreached peoples and many unevangelized who we cannot reach by walking out the door and across the street!

If you are interested in creating a profile, or learning more about MissionsLink, go to www.alwm.org/missionslink, email pastorbill@alwm.org or call 505-803-5271.

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Registration Now Open for 2016 Leadership Conference http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 25 Nov 15 00:00:00 -0700 Registration is now open for Shift: Retooling Church, our 2016 Leadership Conference, which will take place April 10-12 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona, IA.  

Through the use of keynote speakers, skits and small group discussions, this year's conference will bring to light three major shifts that the Holy Spirit is inviting us to make in order to be retooled for His mission to a plugged-in and over-booked world:

  • From congregational-focused to kingdom-focused
  • From pastor-dependant to pastor-equipped
  • From consumer-making to disciple-making

Speakers for the event include Rev. Jo Saxton, Rev. Dan Clites, Rev. Steve Turnbull, Mrs. Laurel Swanson, Rev. Jeremey King, Rev. Nathan Anenson and Rev. Per Nilson. 

Pastors, church leaders and church members who register for the conference by Monday, February 29 will receive a discounted registration rate!   Register Now! >>

 

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LCMC Clothing Items Now Available http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 23 Nov 15 00:00:00 -0700 A colorful assortment of LCMC Logo clothing items is now available for purchase. 

Available Items: 

  • Women’s Long Sleeve Shirts
  • Women’s Polo Shirts
  • Men’s Long Sleeve Shirts
  • Men’s Short Sleeve Shirts
  • Men’s Polo Shirts
  • T-Shirts
  • Pullover Jackets
  • Full Zip Jackets.

These items are available to all who are interested on a first come, first served basis.  

Contact Cathy Nichol, LCMC Administrative Assistant at cathy@lcmc.net or (734) 788-7476 for sizes and colors of items as well as prices.

 

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Our 4th Annual Three Days of Prayer Takes Place January 5-7, 2016 http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 18 Nov 15 00:00:00 -0700 Our 4th Annual Three Days of Prayer is set for January 5,6 and 7, 2016.  Obviously, we pray more than three days a year but this is an opportunity for the congregations of LCMC to spend this time together before the throne of Grace.  Each congregation is free and encouraged to do this in the way that seems best to them. 

For us together, Day One is a prayer of Confession, recognizing that we have sinned against God, against one another and even against ourselves.  I believe the church will never rise up until we first get to our knees. 

Day Two is a day of petition, bringing every prayer and concern to the foot of the Cross.  There are so many in our congregations who are hurting—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  But we also pray for our congregations, the people of God to again humble ourselves before an Almighty God. 

Day Three is a day of prayer for direction, seeking God’s will and hope for the days to come.  How is it that we will be ambassadors for Christ in this generation and cultural context.

You can find out more about Three Days of Prayer under Events  >  Annual Events (or by clicking here), and you can find downloadable resources here

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Take the Service Coordinator Assessment Survey! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 11 Nov 15 00:00:00 -0700 Pr. Mark Vander Tuig, Service Coordinator of LCMC, has initiated an assessment of the Service Coordinator position in order to ensure that the needs and interests of our association are being met.  This is simply an opportunity to touch base with our pastors, leaders and members of congregations. 

You are invited to participate in a brief survey.  Please click here to take the survey and give us your thoughts.  This survey should only take 10 minutes or so and we would appreciate your investment!

The deadline to submit your survey is Wednesday, November 25, 2015. 

– The Assessment Team

 

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Pre-Register Now for Called 2 Serve http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 06 Nov 15 00:00:00 -0700 Registration is now open for Called 2 Serve, our 2016 youth event featuring keynote speakers, breakout sessions, service projects, mixers and an outdoor concert featuring christian rock group Remedy Drive.

The event is designed to help strengthen the ministry of the local church by giving high schoolers a vision of what is possible in their own church and local community.  Participants will have a chance to meet other high schoolers from all over the country, lend a hand to people in need, and gain a better understanding of what God might be calling each person to do within his or her local comunity. 

Students attending the event will have the ability to choose from three of five different breakout session topics, as well as one of four service projects.  Participants also have the option to purchase discounted tickets to Adventureland Theme Park and Adventure Bay Water Park.

The event is open to high school students completing grades 8-12.  For the safety of the students, a minimum of 2 chaperones is required per group, with 1 adult for every 5 youth attending.

The cost to register is $325.00 per person, which includes housing and all meals listed on the conference schedule.  Priority will be given to pre-registrants for air-conditioned housing.

Called 2 Serve takes place July 19-22, 2016 on the campus of Grand View University in Des Moines, IA.  For more information, click here

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Scholarship Opportunity for High School Seniors http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 16 Oct 15 00:00:00 -0600 Lutheran Leader Scholarship

Valparaiso University is offering two scholarships to high school seniors for outstanding leadership .

The deadline to nominate a student is Friday, October 23, 2015.  The application process, if selected, would be later.

For further information, contact Rev. Martha Nelson at marthaunelson@yahoo.com

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Our DNA: 15th Annual Gathering Video Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 07 Oct 15 00:00:00 -0600 Videos of this year's speakers will be available at our website in winter 2016.  We'll make an announcement via the LCMC E-Newsletter once our videos have been delivered, edited, and uploaded to our website, so stay tuned! 

For videos, books and other media downloads, go to "Events", then "Media and Downloads" or click here.  

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Our DNA: Tuesday and Wednesday Recap http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 07 Oct 15 00:00:00 -0600 Registration numbers reached 744 on Tuesday morning as the LCMC 15th Annual Gathering continued on for its third day.  

The day opened with worship led by Living Word Lutheran Church in of Grapevine, TX and Bible study led by Rev. Steven E. King, Managing Editor of Sola Publishing.  

Rev. Dr. Paul Cross, Senior Pastor at Atonement Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND and Rev. Dr. Steve Paulson, Professor at Luther Seminary, were Tuesday’s keynote speakers.  The assembly was also joined by Rev. Dr. Ove Sander, who currently serves as President of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church.  

During the afternoon session, Rev. Dan Clites, LCMC Coordinator for New Ministry Development, introduced the new ministry leaders from LCMC who were present and encouraged the audience to start planting more new churches.  

The blood drive wrapped up on Tuesday evening.  64 pints of blood were donated over the course of Monday and Tuesday afternoons, resulting in 192 lives saved from LCMC donors.

During the Tuesday business session, voting delegates at the gathering voted on the winners for the Thrivent Financial Foundation Reformation Anniversary Grant Program. 

Wednesday morning began with a morning worship service led by Trinity Lutheran Church of Stonewall, TX and Bible study led by Managing Editor of Sola Publishing Rev. Steven E. King.  

Following the worship and Bible study segment, Rev. Mark Vander Tuig announced that the association’s 2016 Annual Gathering would be held in Denver, CO.  

Also on Wednesday morning, LCMC Board of Trustees Chair Rev. Kip Tyler updated the assembly on the new officer positions for the Board of Trustees.  Rev. Sean Kelly (Area 1) was named Chair and Rev. Julie Smith (Area 3) Vice Chair.  Laurel Swanson was re-elected as Treasurer and Rev. Martha Uecker Nelson was re-elected as Secretary.  

Sharon MacFadyen, LCMC’s Director of Operations, then announced the winners of the Thrivent Financial Foundation Reformation Anniversary Grant Program.  They are:

  1. Falls Community Church, Sioux Falls, SD
  2. Holly Cross Lutheran Church, Nairobi, Kenya
  3. St. Paul Lutheran Church, Kodiak, AK
  4. Living Waters Lutheran Church, Peoria, IL
  5. The Anchor Church, Phoenix, AZ
  6. Christ The Servant, Norfolk, NE
  7. Bethel Lutheran Church (Grant Proposal #1), Colorado Springs, CO
  8. Zion Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA
  9. Zion Lutheran Church, Clear Lake, IA
  10. First St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hastings, NE
  11. Peace Lutheran Church, Holbrook, AZ
  12. St. Michael Lutheran Church (Grant Proposal #2), Canton, MI
  13. Christ Lutheran Church, Maple Plain, MN
  14. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Lead, SD
  15. Trinity Lutheran Church, Titusville, FL

To read full grant proposals from these and other LCMC congregations, click here.  

The Annual Gathering then concluded with a keynote presentation by Rev. Bill Bohline of Hosanna! Lutheran Church in Lakeville, MN and a closing worship service led by Zion Lutheran Church in Priddy, TX and preached by Rev. John Waak from Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of VIctoria, TX.

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Our DNA: Sunday and Monday Recap http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 05 Oct 15 00:00:00 -0600 This week, 744 people from the U.S. and abroad traveled to Frisco, TX for the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ 15th Annual Gathering.  The theme this year was “Our DNA”.  

The event kicked off on Sunday night with dinner and an opening worship service featuring Pr. Becky Hand from Life in Grace Lutheran Church of Odessa, TX and the worship team from Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Giddings, TX.  

Dessert and a reunion for all church planters within the association followed the service.  

Monday morning opened with worship led by Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Victoria, TX and Bible study with Rev. Steven E. King, Managing Editor of Sola Publishing.

Rev. Dr. W. Bruce Wilder, Senior Pastor of First Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, NM took the stage as our first keynote speaker, followed by a panel discussion featuring LCMC Service Coordinator Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Rev. Bill Sullivan (Lead Pastor of New Life Lutheran Church and former Service Coordinator of LCMC) and LCMC Director of Operations Sharon MacFadyen.  

During the afternoon session, LCMC Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry Rev. Steve Lien announced the association's 2016 Leadership Conference, which will take place April 10-12, 2016 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona, IA.  The theme for next year’s conference is Shift: Retooling Church.  He extended a special invitation to young pastors and church leaders for the event.

Steve then invited district leaders, certification interviewers, new congregations, new pastors seminarians and military chaplains to stand and be recognized.  Pastors who are currently celebrating ordination anniversaries of 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50+ years were also recognized.  

During the Service Coordinator’s report, Rev. Mark Vander Tuig announced two events for 2016, Called 2 Serve and Three Days of Prayer.  

Called 2 Serve is an LCMC youth event for high school students, which will take place at Grand View University in Des Moines, IA from July 19-22, 2016.  Registration for this event will open soon.  

Mark also stated that every congregation, church member and pastor is invited to take part in our 4th Annual Three Days of Prayer from January 5-7, 2016.  Each congregation can organize the three days in any way that makes sense.  The focuses of each day are:

  • January 5:  Confession
  • January 6:  Petition
  • January 7:  Direction

During the opening business session, Pastors Sean Kelly (Area 1) and Enrique Estrada (Area 7) were re-elected to the Board of Trustees.  Laurel Swanson was re-elected as Treasurer.  

The afternoon concluded with a fellowship dinner, giving LCMC-ers a chance to connect with a fellowship group or district of their choice. 

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Our 15th Annual Gathering Starts Today. Watch It LIVE Here! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 04 Oct 15 00:00:00 -0600 Our 15th Annual Gathering, themed "Our DNA", kicks off tonight at 5:30 P.M. CDT and continues through Wednesday morning.  The event features keynote speakers, worship and Bible study, vendors, breakout sessions and plenty of opportunities to connect with fellow LCMC-ers from across the nation and around the world. 

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Blood Drive Sign-Up Now Open! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 24 Aug 15 00:00:00 -0600 This year, we will be hosting a blood drive with Carter Blood Care as our service project during the Annual Gathering.  Appointments for donating blood are scheduled on a first come, first served basis and available from 12:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on Monday, October 5th and Tuesday, October 6th.

Volunteer sign-up is being handled separately from Annual Gathering registration.  To schedule an appointment, click on one of the links below and select your preferred time slot:

For more information on donating blood, check out the Carter Blood Care website at www.carterbloodcare.org.


Blood Drive Info  |  Annual Gathering Info  |  Annual Gathering Registration

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Early Bird Registration Ends September 1st! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 24 Aug 15 00:00:00 -0600 Next Tuesday, September 1st is the last day to register as an "Early Bird" and save $50 per person on the cost of registration for the Annual Gathering!

Registration rates for visitors, church leaders, church members and voting delegates are as follows:

  • 9/1 & Before:  $200
  • 9/2 – 9/25:  $225
  • After 9/25:  $250

The event, to be held October 4-7 in Frisco, TX (a suburb of Dallas), features keynote speakers, worship and Bible study, breakout sessions, LCMC news updates, vendors and plenty of time for fellowship.  We'll also be hosting a blood drive as our service project for 2015.

We hope to see you there!

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Time is Running Out! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 24 Jun 15 00:00:00 -0600 Deadlines for Annual Gathering photo submissions, grant proposals and event registrations are approaching fast!  Read on to learn more about some of our upcoming projects and events. 

AG Photo Deadline

Has your congregation been in Mission for Christ over the past year?  There's still time to submit your photos for our 2015 Annual Gathering Book!  All eligible photos submitted by July 31, 2015 will be considered for publication in the book that will be distributed at the Annual Gathering and on our website.  Special consideration will be given to all eligible photos submitted by June 30th. 

Learn More & Submit Photos >>

 

Grant Program

The last day to submit grant proposals for the Reformation Anniversary Grant Program is August 15, 2015.  All eligible proposals will be voted on at the Annual Gathering this fall. 

Learn More & Submit a Grant Proposal >>

 

Early Bird Annual Gathering Registration

Church leaders, church members, voting delegates and visitors who register for the Annual Gathering by September 1, 2015 will save $50.00 on the cost of registration! 

Register Now! >>

 

Seminarian Retreat

Registration for the all seminarian retreat ends September 25, 2015.  Space is limited, so register today to secure your spot!

Learn More & Register >>

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Plan Now: October is Pastor & Staff Appreciation Month! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 23 Jun 15 00:00:00 -0600 Dear Friends:

Did you know that Thanksgiving sometimes comes in October?

Well, not the official Thanksgiving, but elements of thanksgiving have found their way into October in many congregations, because the second Sunday in October has been designated as Clergy Appreciation Day, and some congregations observe this spirit of Thanksgiving all month long!

The Apostle Paul may have been the first to express the sense of Clergy Appreciation Day in the church.  In 1 Timothy, he wrote, "The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching" (1 Tim. 5:17). And, in 1 Thessalonians, he said, "Respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work" (1 Thess. 5:12-13).

Focus on the Family named and began emphasizing October as Clergy Appreciation Month in 1994. It was established with the mission of uplifting and encouraging pastors, missionaries and religious workers.  

My work as Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry has reinforced my perception that pastors and congregations absolutely need Clergy Appreciation Day or Month.  Not all, but many, of the pastors and church staff members that I encounter are overworked, underpaid, and exhausted. They shoulder many responsibilities, and feel the weight of great burdens.  Nationally, pastors experience a very high rate of burnout and marital and financial stress.  Leadership Magazine (Spring, 2014), published these sobering statistics:

  • 80% of pastors are discouraged in their role as pastors
  • 40% of pastors seriously considered leaving the pastorate in the past three months
  • 50% of pastors say they are unable to meet the demands of their job and are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living
  • For every 20 pastors who go into ministry, only one retires from the ministry
  • 25% of pastors have been forced out or fired from their ministry at least once
  • 45% of pastors say they've experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they need to take a leave of absence
  • 70% of pastors say they do not have a single close friend, and the same percentage say they have lower self-esteem than when they entered the ministry.

—Statistics from Fail: Finding Hope and Failure in the Midst of Ministry Failure (IVP, 2014).

Thrivingpastor.com offers this information:

Clergy Appreciation Month is a special time that congregations set aside each year to honor their pastors and pastoral families for the hard work, sacrificial dedication and multiple blessings provided by these special people . . . .  

The nature of the service provided by pastors and their families is unique. God has entrusted to them one of the most precious of assignments — the spiritual well-being of His flock. When a pastor becomes ineffective, the very souls of his or her parishioners are endangered. When eternity is in the balance, we should all be concerned.

Hosanna! Lutheran Church in St. Charles, Illinois, has observed Clergy Appreciation Month for years, and the smile on Pastor John Nelson’s face is testimony to the love that has been shown and showered over the many years he’s been pastor there!  When I visited Hosanna! earlier this year and he asked how they might support our larger Association, I said, "why don’t you figure out a way to share Hosanna!’s great way of showing appreciation?"  So, when I saw him a few months later, he had compiled a sample brochure that congregations could consider adapting and using to publicize their own pastor and staff appreciation emphasis.

When discussing this possibility with the LCMC Ministry Board, members recognized that many pastors are underappreciated while many already feel deeply appreciated; others wanted to be sure the congregations consider the entire church staff when showing appreciation.  Well, rather than doing nothing, we’re forwarding a few suggestions.

There are literally dozens of resources available online (just search “Pastor Appreciation”).  Check out ThrivingPastor.Com, Focusonthefamily.com, or Biblegateway.com.  You can even find FaceBook and Pinterest pages devoted to pastor/staff appreciation. There’s even a blog post on what not to get your pastor for pastor appreciation month! 

Finally, thanks to Pastor John Nelson, Hosanna! Lutheran Church, and Kristy Thomas, LCMC’s Communications and Public Relations Specialist, here’s a link to a downloadable brochure for your consideration. 

If you want to be creative, use your own imagination or find out when your pastor was ordained (you might find an ordination certification on the wall of her/his office), and celebrate on their anniversary of ordination.

However, whenever, if ever you choose to show your appreciation to your pastor and staff, whether individually or collectively, be sure to pray for them and all of those who serve Christ, making your prayer with joy, thankful for their partnership with you in the Gospel from the first day until now (loose paraphrase of Philippians 1:5).

Your Partner in the Gospel,

 

Pastor Steve Lien

Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry

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Annual Gathering to Include Recognition of Ordinations http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 22 Jun 15 00:00:00 -0600 Our Annual Gathering is a great time to renew friendships, catch up on one another’s lives and ministeries, and, as was the case last year, thank others for their faithful service to Christ. 

Last year we began what we hope will be an annual event when we recognized significant ordination anniversaries. 

Leadership Magazine recently reported that of every twenty pastors who begin ministry, only one retires from ministry, so we want to celebrate those who’ve made it to twenty-five years, and every five years thereafter.  So, if you’ve been ordained twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, forty years (you get the idea), be sure to be in Dallas for our Annual Gathering when we’ll once again be acknowledging ordination anniversaries and giving away anniversary pins.

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LCMC Missions Forum Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 11 Jun 15 00:00:00 -0600 If you are like me, you often feel overwhelmed by all of the negative and depressing reports of world events, as they affect our mission fields. However, I just received the latest mission update from the Augustana District (AD-LCMC), and I wanted to pass along a POSITIVE news update. 

One year ago, the AD sent a 12 person fact finding team to visit with the Tabor congregation in Ethiopia. Out of that meeting came a partnership where the AD committed to supporting in various ways the tremendous mission outreach that the Tabor congregation already had in place, but wanted to expand even further into their neighboring Muslim areas.

In 2014, the AD raised over $100,000 and distributed $85,000 to the Tabor congregation for designated projects, or a 50/50 split of financial support to related mission projects of their choosing. Some of these mission projects included training and sending 39 evangelists to minister to the local people at 50 local community gathering mission centers, and beginning an agricultural mission to reach out and partner with local farmers in heavily Muslim regions.

Today's AD mission update newsletter reports that during the first quarter of 2015, an additional $15,000 was distributed to grow the number of evangelists to 46, add 5 farmers to the agricultural program, help purchase land to construct two more outreach centers, and more gathering mission sites in Muslim areas.

In addition, during the month of June, an additional $17,000 will be sent for continuing 50/50 support of the evangelists and farmers, as well as additional purchases of motorcycles and bicycles to assist the evangelists in reaching out to their local communities. The cost to support each evangelist is $600 per year.

The chairman of the AD Board of World Missions, Pastor Paul Knudson, reports, "The experience of the AD with the Tabor Partnership has been and continues to be a blessing beyond anyone's imagination. The Board wishes to extend its profound gratitude for all of your generosity."

Linked here is a page from last quarter's newsletter which gives a general summary of this positive partnership that is bearing much fruit for Christ's Kingdom.  (Click Here for Article)

Your in Christ,

Jim Dix

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Register Now for LCMC's 15th Annual Gathering! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 03 Jun 15 00:00:00 -0600 Online registration is now open for our 15th Annual Gathering, and those who register on or before Tuesday, September 1st will save $50.00 on the cost of registration!  (Click here for registration fees.)

This year's Annual Gathering is all about exploring and celebrating the very thing that makes us, as an association, who we are: our DNA. 

Whether you’re new to LCMC, just checking us out for the first time, or a long-time member looking to make new friends and reunite with old ones, our 15th Annual Gathering is the perfect place to get inspired, get informed, get equipped and get connected. 

Highlights of this year's event:

  • Find out more about what it really means for us, as an association to truly be Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ by hearing from some of the founding members of LCMC.  

  • Enjoy Worship and Bible Study with LCMC-ers from all over the world.

  • Learn more about what we have accomplished as an association over the past year, our vision for the future, and be the first to find out about news and upcoming LCMC events!

  • Get to know some of our international members, church planters, new ministry leaders, seminarians, chaplains, pastors, staff members and more!

  • Connect with other LCMC-ers at our Monday Night Fellowship Dinner and/or at one of our scheduled fellowship meet-ups.  (Click here to learn more!)

  • Get in touch with dozens of LCMC’s mission and ministry partners, as well as other vendors, by exploring our vendor area.

The event takes place October 4-7, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Dallas - Frisco Hotel, Convention Center & Spa in Frisco, TX (near Dallas). 

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We've Launched CHURCHES CONNECT! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 27 May 15 00:00:00 -0600 When I first started in this job in 2010, I had an idea about a way to use our website to connect congregations with one another.  The idea came from the internet dating programs that are now commonplace and have resulted in thousands of marriages. We are finally ready to launch this new effort. 

Here’s how it works: 

  1. The leader/pastor/member of a congregation goes to our website and signs up for Churches Connect. 
  2. Some basic demographic and congregational information is entered into an online profile.  Some congregations will be listing the strengths they think might help other congregations; some congregations will be looking for resources for an area of ministry they want to develop. 
  3. The database will match congregations who are looking for help or resources with other congregations that can offer experience and resources for that same area of ministry.

The profile information is needed so that real help can be offered that makes sense for the size of the congregation, the community in which they are planted and the resources they have available.  As participation in Churches Connect grows, the database, categories and resources will grow right along with it.

LCMC is all about horizontal and partnership-based relationships in ministry.  After traveling around our association for the last 5 years, I am aware of some great things that are happening, and I am also of some great needs that others have. 

The benefit will be very limited unless our congregations actually sign up and fill out the profile.  Those of us who work for this association are limited as well, both in time and information.  We are not all going to be here forever, but I hope that what the Lord has begun in our association will last long after all of us.  Churches Connect can hold information and create relationships well into the rest of the 21st Century!

Peter Churness, the person who has designed this program and administers it, has posted a video tutorial that is available on our website.  He will walk through each step with you in order to make sure that if you are interested, you will be able to have access to this developing resource for mission and ministry!

Churches Connect is a way that we can continue to be an association that is built on relationships that are mutual, relational, congregational and horizontal!

You can find churches connect under Networking > Churches Connect or by clicking on the link below. 

Go To Churches Connect  |  Get Started!

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2016 Youth Gathering: Save the Date! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 22 May 15 00:00:00 -0600 At our 2014 Annual Gathering, it was decided that we should have a National Youth Gathering.  I have been meeting with a team of volunteers; we have proposed our ideas to the Board of Trustees and they have approved the following proposal:

  • Theme:  Called 2 Serve
  • Purpose:  To strengthen the ministry of the local church
  • Location:  Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dates:  July 19-22, 2016
  • Participants:  Youth going into 9th grade through 12th
  • Cost:  $325 per person, which includes meals, lodging, wi-fi, facilities and costs (all you have to do is get there!)
  • Registration:  Goal—811 participants

There will be more detailed information to follow, but I wanted you to know: it’s going to happen!

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Leadership Conference Podcasts Now Available http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 08 May 15 00:00:00 -0600 Podcasts from our 2015 Leadership Conference are now available at our website. 

Head to Events  >  Media & Downloads  >  Video & Presentations (or click here) to find presentations from each of our keynote speakers, including: Rev. TJ Anderson, Rev. Jeremey King, Rev. Steve Turnbull and Rev. Dr. Reggie McNeal. 

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Please Take a Moment to Update Your Information! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 27 Apr 15 00:00:00 -0600 In the past few years, has your congregation:

  • Called a new pastor?
  • Posted an item to our Resource Sharing page?
  • Had changes to its statistical data?
  • Changed its address, phone number, website URL, or email address?

If so, please take a moment to review our website and let us know if there are any changes to your information.  To ensure that your updated information is received by our staff, please follow the instructions listed below. 

 

Church Staffing & Resource Center

If your congregation has submitted a Church Staffing Position or a Resource Item via the LCMC website, and the position or item is no longer available, please let us know.  Church Staffing and Resource Center items can be deleted in one of the following ways:

If you posted the position or item:

  • Login to your myLCMC Account.  On your myAccount page, use the "My Staff Openings" and/or "My Item Listings" tabs to view and delete your postings.
  • If you forgot your password or have trouble logging in to your account, click here.

If someone else posted the position or item:

 

E-Newsletter Mailing List

If you have signed up to receive the LCMC E-Newsletter, but need to update your email address, please follow the steps below.  For more information on our E-Newsletter, visit Community  >  Newsletters  >  E-Newsletter (or click here).

  1. Visit the homepage of our website at www.lcmc.net, then scroll to the bottom of the page. 
  2. In the bottom left corner, you will see a section that says "Newsletter Sign Up". 
  3. Enter your new email address into the white text box. 
  4. Click on the red "subscribe" button. 
  5. Enter your old email address into the white text box. 
  6. Click on the "unsubscribe" link. 
  7. Your email address has now been updated. 

 

LCMC Directory

If your Congregation, District, or Clergy profile needs to be updated, please let us know.  Go to Documents  >  Applications & Forms  >  Update Contact Information (or click here) to notify us of any updates to contact information, statistics, or pastoral status. 

 

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Last Call for Fellowship Activity Sign-Up! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 23 Apr 15 00:00:00 -0600 Our 2015 Leadership Conference is just one week away, however there is still an opportunity for those who plan on attending the conference to sign up for one of the Guided Fellowship Activities on Tuesday, May 5th!  These activities require tickets and/or a headcount, so advance registration is required. 

Guided Fellowship Activities at the Leadership Conference include:

  • Columbus Clippers Baseball Game:  Enjoy an evening of Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball at Huntington Park, conveniently located in downtown Columbus.  Watch the AAA Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians take on the Chicago White Sox AAA affiliate, the Charlotte Knights in a recently built and award-winning Minor League ballpark.   Be on the lookout for foul balls and a special scoreboard shout out to the LCMC attendees.  Adults $10; Youth (12 & under) and Seniors  (60+) $7.  Location:  330 Huntington Park Lane, Columbus, OH 43215, (614) 462-5250.  Approximately 9 miles from the Church at Mill Run.  Advance registration is required.

  • North Market Tour/Dinner:  Embark on an Amazing Tastes Tour of downtown Columbus’ largest public food market.  During the one hour tour you will meet some of the North Market merchants first-hand, sample some fabulous local foods and then enjoy a $5 voucher to purchase a delicious dinner.  Relish your meal in the balcony eating area while taking in the sights, sounds and smells of an international array of foods.  $15 per person, 4:30pm.  Location:  59 Spruce Street, Columbus, OH 43215, 614-463-9664.  Approximately 10 miles from the Church at Mill Run.  Advance registration is required.

  • SON Ministries:  Observe one of the most comprehensive English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs in the country.  Learn how the Church at Mill Run hosts a program to support ESOL families with children from infancy to teens by providing both professionally-taught English classes as well as infant, preschool and school-aged reading, tutoring and extra-curricular programs for the children of the attendees.  Tour and view the different aspects of the ESOL program, and then enjoy time talking with the staff to exchange ideas.  Location:  The Church at Mill Run, 6:30pm.

If you are interested in the Columbus Clippers Baseball Game, North Market Tour/Dinner or SON Ministries, we must have your paid, advance registration NO LATER than Friday, April 24th.

Contact Cathy Nichol at (734) 788-7476 for reservations.

Self-Guided Fellowship Activities, which do not require advance registration, will also be offered.  To learn more, click here

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LCMC Staff Welcomes Photo Submissions for 2015 Annual Gathering Book http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 25 Mar 15 00:00:00 -0600 Our 15th Annual Gathering, themed “Our DNA”, is all about celebrating what it truly means for us to be Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ:  

  • We’re free in Christ
  • We’re accountable to one another
  • We’re rooted in the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions
  • We’re all working together to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations

In accordance with this year’s theme, we’re inviting all “LCMC-ers” out there to show us, in a photograph, how their congregation exemplifies what it means to be an LCMC congregation. 

More detailed information, including a list of photo guidelines, can be found here

Special consideration will be given to all photos submitted on or before Tuesday, June 30th, however all photos received by Friday, July 31st will be considered for publication in our 2015 Annual Gathering Book and on our website.

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LCMC Clothing Items Now Available http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 05 Mar 15 00:00:00 -0700 A colorful assortment of LCMC Logo clothing items is now available for purchase.  

Available items include:  

  • Women's Long Sleeve Shirts (Kelly Green) 
  • Women's Polo Shirts (Wine, Black) 
  • Men's Long Sleeve Shirts (Blue, Black)
  • Men's Short Sleeve Shirts (Blue, Black)
  • Men's Polo Shirts (Wine, Black)
  • Unisex T-Shirts (Yellow, Dark Green, Blue, Black)
  • Pullover Jackets (Red & Black)
  • Full Zip Jackets (Blue)  

These items are available to all who are interested on a first come, first serve basis.  

If interested, please contact Cathy Nichol, LCMC Administrative Assistant at cathy@lcmc.net or 734-788-7476 for sizes and prices.
 

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2015 Seminarian Retreat Registration Now Open! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 03 Mar 15 00:00:00 -0700 All seminary students in LCMC are invited to join us in Denton, TX from October 2-4  for LCMC's 2015 Seminarian Retreat

Held the weekend leading up to our 15th Annual Gathering, this retreat gives fellow LCMC seminarians the opportunity to connect with each other, connect with members of the ministry board, and connect with a few seasoned pastors.  

Participants will learn about the DNA of LCMC, the seminary process, how to arrange an internship, and the certification process.  We will share meals, prayer, worship and question and answer time.

Space is limited and advance registration is required, so reserve your spot today! 

Click here to learn more and register.

 

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http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 27 Feb 15 00:00:00 -0700 Word of God Lutheran Church in Peachtree City, GA, has an exciting benevolence program handled by the
Mission Outreach Ministry Team (M.O.M.).

The Mission Outreach Ministry team prays for God's discernment when we meet to decide how to distribute the contributions we receive from the church through our members.

Eleven percent of the congregation's offerings are distributed by this team.  Ten percent is given away according to our guidelines; one percent is used for actual mission trips (adults, middle school, high school).  We strive for a balance between international, national and local projects.

We also encourage actual volunteer work through load-out days at The Midwest Food Bank and distribution days at the Real Life Mobile Food Pantry and other occasions that call for helping hands. Many of our members volunteer at the Real Life Center in other ways such as warehouse organization, data entry and fruit picking at their orchard. Several members helped with packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

We all like the idea of getting our congregation members involved too, and you seem to enjoy that as well. We have had projects like the caring baskets for foster parents or the hospital wish list in Honduras where we ask members to bring items. The baby bottles filled with change is an annual event for Coweta Pregnancy Services. We also have projects like the Lutheran World Relief Baby Kits and the Real Life Christmas Dinners where the team brings in the items and the congregation assembles them. This seems to be very popular. We are also thankful to our shoppers who pitch in for these bigger assembly projects to wisely spend our money on the items going into the kits or dinners.

We try to be very judicious with our resources. We like to purchase products and give the actual material rather than a check when we are able to do that. We buy diapers and wipes for the Coweta Pregnancy Services in Newnan and detergent for The Real Life Center. However, sometimes a check is the most welcome way to give. We send money to "Faith Comes by Hearing" so they, in turn, can supply our service members with Bible sticks that are specially designed to be taken into combat and listened to when possible. We also support our missionary, Christine Bell, in Honduras with monetary donations to her sending agency. Our donations to The Midwest Food Bank have enabled them to add several more agencies to their list of receivers. We also send monetary help to Global Hope to help with two orphanages in India.

We also encourage actual volunteer work through load-out days at The Midwest Food Bank and distribution days at the Real Life Mobile Food Pantry and other occasions that call for helping hands. Many of our members volunteer at the Real Life Center in other ways such as warehouse organization, data entry and fruit picking at their orchard. Several members helped with packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. There are many ways to get involved.

Here is a list of the projects Word of God Lutheran Church helped in 2014:

  • Healing Bridge Clinic (local)
  • Midwest Food Bank (local)
  • Real Life Center (local)
  • Infectious Disease (Christine Bell - international)
  • LWR Baby Kits (international)
  • Benton House Easter Baskets (local)
  • Coweta Pregnancy Services (local)
  • Faith Comes by Hearing (national)
  • Summer Lunch Program (local)
  • Global Hope (international)
  • Operation Christmas Child (international)

The M.O.M. team is always open to suggestions for new projects. Our guidelines do call for a project to be in existence for at least 3 years so we can research their track record. They also need to be Christian based, so that excludes organizations such as The Red Cross and United Way which are secular. We do not contribute more than 15% of our budget to any one project to keep things balanced.

If you would like to join the Mission Outreach Ministry Team please let one of us know: Carolyn Lystig, Holly Bowler, Jennifer Griffin, Joe Bowler, Lauren Simmonds, Nancy Ruck and Pam Davis.

 

 

 

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Leadership Conference Update: Fellowship Activity Sign-Up http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 11 Feb 15 00:00:00 -0700 Our 2015 Leadership Conference will be here before you know it, and the deadline to sign up for some of our planned Fellowship Activities is fast approaching! 

As tickets for the Columbus Clippers Baseball Game and North Market Tour/Dinner must be purchased in advance, all Leadership Conference attendees who would like to take part in either fellowship activity should register for the conference by Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The conference, themed iFollow: Life Together in the Way of Jesus, takes place at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, near Columbus OH, from May 3-6, 2015 and features four keynote speakers, live music, learning labs, and more. 

To learn more, click here

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LCMC Comes Together for Third Annual Three Days of Prayer http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 03 Feb 15 00:00:00 -0700 Photo courtesy of Karen Mason, Faith Lutheran Church, Monticello, MN.LCMC Service Coordinator Rev. Mark Vander Tuig invited members of LCMC to start off the New Year with three consecutive days of prayer, focused on confession, petition and vision, and organized in any way that made sense to the participants.  

From January 6-8, 2015, congregations, members and pastors of LCMC came together for the association’s Third Annual Three Days of Prayer.

Based on a brief online survey that was conducted in January, about 46% of the congregations who reported taking part in the event this year were first-timers.  

While many LCMC congregations organized prayer services, meetings, walks and other special events to celebrate Three Days of Prayer, many congregations also reported distributing printed and online resources, allowing people to participate individually, as well.  

“Our prayer ministry team organized the event and attended to welcome people who came to pray.  Prayers with scripture passages, the daily themes, and Bibles were made available to all who came,” said Amy Williams, a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Kerrville, TX.  “Some folks reported praying at home if they could not come to the sanctuary.”

In fact, nearly 50% of people who responded to the survey reported having prayed individually on at least one of the three days.  

According to Rev. Donna Lou Zipp, the people of First Lutheran Church in El Campo, TX prayed individually, as well as in small groups.  Her favorite part of Three Days of Prayer this year was coming together with others from her congregation on the Day for Petition.

“It is amazing that during the precise time of the Three Days (this year and last) we witnessed God answering our requests right then and there. I was called to serve this congregation last year, and this year the exact ages of children needed to fill slots at our school enrolled and a very surprising, yet sizable contribution was given to our congregation. We are a struggling congregation who is in what I would refer to as a "recovery phase". The Three Days of Prayer is amazing...as you know, great things happen on the Third Day! We witnessed miracles.  We look forward to expanding and enhancing our participation next year,” Rev. Zipp said.  

Many of this year’s participants cited the themes for each day, as well as the sense of togetherness that they felt, as their favorite things about this year’s event.  

“It's good to know that your prayers are joining those of a larger community, and to have a specific focus for the community.” said Karen Mason of Faith Lutheran Church in Monticello, MN.  

LCMC’s 4th Annual Three Days of Prayer is scheduled to take place from January 5-7, 2016, so mark your calendars, because the number one piece of advice that was given by this year’s participants was to start planning early.

“Start talking about it with the planners in September to decide how to celebrate the event in your own particular congregation. December is too busy to be planning it,” advised Marda Kirkwood, a member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Idaho Falls, ID. 

Photo courtesy of Karen Mason of Faith Lutheran Church in Monticello, MN.

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Don't Miss Out on LCMC's 2015 Leadership Conference! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 26 Jan 15 00:00:00 -0700 It’s been two years since LCMC held a national Leadership Conference, and May 3rd will be here before you know it.  Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to be together and learn how better to serve Christ and His church!

iFollow: Life Together in the Way of Jesus will be held at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, near Columbus, Ohio, May 3-6, 2015. 

The Ministry Board of LCMC has been hard at work preparing this event, eager to gather leaders from across our association for dynamic worship, study, conversation, fellowship and even a little rest and relaxation in beautiful Columbus, Ohio!  It’s all about life-on-life discipleship, helping us learn to make a trip to the grocery store a mission trip. 

Keynote speakers include Reggie McNeal, Steve Turnbull, and Jeremey King.  They’ll be joined by worship leader Jen Alexander who will help shape this once a year learning opportunity. 

Hotel space is filling up, and your mother always said “don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today!”  So, click here to register

See you in Ohio!

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LCMC Forms Prayer Ministry Team http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 26 Jan 15 00:00:00 -0700 A prayer ministry team has been formed and is active! 

At our last Annual Gathering, I made an invitation to sign up for a prayer ministry team, and we now have over 50 people who are praying each week for LCMC congregations. 

Cheryl Coffman is the leader of this team and she is looking for others who may also be interested joining.

Each Monday, Cheryl contacts five congregations from our list that are selected at random by a computer program.  She then sends those out to the prayer team and contacts the congregation to let them know and invite any specific prayer concerns.  If there are specific things about which to pray, those are communicated to the team.  At the end of the week, she follows up with the five congregations and the whole process starts again the next week.

Any other prayer concerns from congregations may also be submitted to Cheryl at any time.

If you would like to be a part of praying for our congregations and any specific concerns they might have, please contact Cheryl or click here to sign up online and she will get you on the list!

“We need to become more and more a people of prayer!”

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Is the Holy Spirit Calling You to Be a Pastor? Start Here! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 23 Jan 15 00:00:00 -0700 Is the Holy Spirit poking at you to consider being a pastor? Are you already attending seminary?  Do you know someone who would make a good pastor?

It has always been important for the body of Christ to be connected... connected to Jesus and to one another. One of the most practical ways for LCMC seminarians to connect is to make sure that their name is on our list of seminarians. If you are an LCMC seminarian and would like to be on our list of seminarians, contact me at pastorpaul@splchurch.org.

If you are not enrolled in seminary but the Holy Spirit and trustworthy Christians are poking at you to consider being a pastor, here are some simple steps for you to follow:

  1. Get on your knees and ask God for guidance and to give you ears to hear.
  2. Check with faithful, veteran Christians in your congregation and talk with your pastor. Ask them honestly if they think you should be a pastor or if they think the kingdom of God would be better served if you live out your vocation as a barber, school teacher, or in another way.
  3. If you’ve gone through the first two steps above and the Holy Spirit and God’s people are still poking at you to be a pastor, and you'd like to talk about going to seminary, please feel free to contact me.

 

Your Brother in Christ,

Rev. Paul Owens
Seminarian Liaison, LCMC Ministry Board

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Congregation & Clergy Directory Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 19 Jan 15 00:00:00 -0700 We believe that keeping our members connected is an essential part of accomplishing what we need to do, and LCMC strives to keep our records as accurate and up-to-date as possible. 

Take a moment to review your congregation profile and your clergy profile on our website.  If there are changes that need to be made, please click here to update your information.  There is a Statistical Update Form for Congregations and Information Update Form for Clergy. 

If you have any questions, contact Cathy Nichol at cathy@lcmc.net or (734) 788-7476. 

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How Would Your Congregation Use $5,000? http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 01 Jan 15 00:00:00 -0700 To celebrate the anniversary of the Reformation, LCMC and the Thrivent Financial Foundation will be awarding $5,000 grants to 15 LCMC congregations for use in planning a project to benefit their local community. 

To apply, congregations must complete an online application, available at our website, which includes a short essay describing how the congregation would use a $5,000 grant.  The program begins January 1, 2015 and ends August 15, 2015

All eligible applications received by the deadline date will be voted on at our 15th Annual Gathering in Dallas, TX in October.  Recipients of the grant will be announced at the end of the Annual Gathering, and the results will be posted at our website after the gathering commences. 

To read the complete details and view our online application form, click here.

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LCMC Workshops to Continue in 2015 http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 29 Dec 14 00:00:00 -0700 2015.  I am looking forward to a great year together. 

Steve Lien will continue to offer workshops on call committee coaching, Dan Clites will continue to offer workshops on the development of new ministries, and I will continue to offer workshops for congregational leadership

One of the things that we hope to be is a resource to our congregations.  Other models for staffing in church bodies looks to do the work for the congregation; we want only to help, encourage, strengthen, challenge and empower the congregation to do the work that the Lord of the Church has entrusted to her!

To strengthen the churches we have and to plant the ones we don’t is what I am committed to doing for as long as I am able and allowed to. 

The Board of Trustees understands that this is a good use of our time (the staff of LCMC) and the resources of our association, and all it takes is an invitation. 

We are not forming boards, commissions, study committees to develop positions papers, and all the rest of the “institutional” structures that tend only to perpetuate themselves.  In LCMC, from the beginning, we have had a desire to help congregations do what the Lord has called them to do:  “Go, make disciples of all nations!”

2015: Still in the hands of Almighty God.  We know that God is at work.  We just want to be a part of what God is doing.  “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.  May his kingdom come also to us, and his will be done among us!

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Three Days of Prayer Poll Results http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 29 Dec 14 00:00:00 -0700 LCMC's Third Annual Three Days of Prayer is set to kick off on Tuesday, January 6, 2015.  Last month, we asked our congregations how they planned to organize the three days. 

The Results:

Learn More:

To learn more about Three Days of Prayer, check out these links:

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2014 Annual Gathering Videos Now Available http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 23 Dec 14 00:00:00 -0700 Videos of the speakers at our 14th Annual Gathering in Des Moines, IA are now available at our website. 

Videos of individual speakers, as well as manuscripts from our keynote speakers, can be found in our Video Blog.  This includes:

  • Keynote Speakers: Rev. Dr. Walter Sundberg, Rev. Margaret Manning & Rev. Dr. Mark Mattes
  • Preachers (Opening & Closing Worship): Rev. Julie Smith & Rev. Randy Freund
  • Bible Study Leaders: Rev. Destaye Crawford, Pr. Sean Tyler & Rev. Jonathan Haseley
  • Reports from Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Rev. Dan Clites & Rev. Steve Lien
  • Video of our service project with Meals From the Heartland

Photo galleries and downloadable copies of our Annual Gathering Book are also available, and can be found here

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Call Committee Coach Training to Continue in 2015 http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 19 Dec 14 00:00:00 -0700 Pastor Steve Lien, our Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry, is currently accepting invitations to conduct his eight-hour workshop to train Call Committee Coaches, a new initiative to equip volunteers, lay and clergy, around the country to help resource and encourage congregational call committees if and when they seek additional support. 

Steve has already conducted the workshop in Georgia, and has upcoming workshops in Medesto, California (January 12), Rancho Palos Verdes, California (January 17), and Farmersville, Ohio (February 9).   

To RSVP or inquire further, email Cathy Nichol, Administrative Assistant, at cathy@lcmc.net.

 

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Joy Lutheran Church Celebrates 3rd Anniversary http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 02 Dec 14 00:00:00 -0700 Joy Lutheran, an LCMC congregation in Billings, MT will celebrate its third anniversary at a Christmas Eve candlelight service.

We currently rent space from the Billings Seventh-Day Adventist Church, a large facility which offered us a chapel setting, and encouraged us to “arrange it to our liking.”

We began our ministry with the Inerrant Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our Cross and Baptismal font were chiseled from old bridge planking. Green Hymnals were given to us from various congregations and we purchased With One Voice and several Lutheran Bibles.

Recently we found seventeen pews on Craig’s List from Living Water United Methodist Church in Belgrade, MT. They generously gifted these pews to Joy.

Having had success through Craig’s List, we found Hjerdal Lutheran Church in Voltaire, ND was for sale. Our pastor, Bud Veis, contacted them via email and asked if they had the altar. Indeed, a gorgeous oak altar built in 1929, candle holders, offering plates, Bible holder, paraments and flags remained. The altar painting was an oil of Jesus praying in Gethsemane, done by artist Marie Hauge Gjelstand, would be gifted to Joy as well. When we arrived to transport the altar an engraved plague adorned the front of the altar “To our friends in Christ at Joy Lutheran Church, we rejoice with you in our risen Lord and Savior, August 2014.”  

The generosity of a Montana rancher’s donation enabled Joy Lutheran to cover transportation expenses and incidentals for the pews and altar. A dedication on Sunday September 14, 2014 for the pews and altar was followed by a traditional Lutheran potluck.

Experiencing the fulfillment of our needs has been a blessing beyond words. We have offers of another gift; a key board/organ. God’s gracious ways may someday provide a communion rail, pulpit, hymn board and banners.  

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Global Mission Brings Global Perspective to Hawley Lutheran Parishioners http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 02 Dec 14 00:00:00 -0700 This article was written by Jess Christiansen and published in the Oct. 20 edition of the Hawley Herald.

June 2014 brought a unique opportunity of mission and ministry to twelve members of Hawley Lutheran Church in Hawley, Minnesota as they embarked on a spirit enriching mission trip to Nicaragua June 14th-25th 2014.

Hawley Lutheran members attending the trip were: Pastor Jeff & Kris Teeples; Nate & Mark Haugen; Jon Hinrichs; Dan, Jenny & Jessy Noreen; Jessica Laddusaw; Andrew & Aaron Regnier; & Cheryl Wicker.

Nate Haugen served as a translator for the group.

Hawley Lutheran Pastor, Jeff Teeples said, “We had the perfect mix of young adults and adults to connect with every member of the communities we visited from the youngest to the oldest. Our youngest member turned 18 on the trip.”

This is the first time Hawley Lutheran has sent a group to this part of the world. 

The group went as guests of the Lutheran Churches in Mission for Christ in Nicaragua (LCMC), and while there various congregations hosted the group by feeding and putting together the group’s schedule.

Teeples commented saying, “This mission trip was an organic, grass roots trip; we were the first group that the churches in Nicaragua hosted in this way. We were the first US Citizens that many of the people had ever met.”

The connection between Hawley Lutheran and the Lutheran Ministry in Nicaragua began almost two years ago.

At that time Pastor Juan Benito and Pastor Nestor Baltodano visited Hawley Lutheran as representatives of the churches in Nicaragua.

These pastors were in the US in search of churches that would consider partnering with Lutheran churches from Nicaragua to foster a relationship and cultivate an impactful cross cultural learning and mission support partnership.

Teeples said, “They didn’t want churches that would come and do things for them.  They wanted churches that would come and do things with them. They wanted us to pray for them and they wanted to pray for us. This relationship of mutual learning and reciprocation was very appealing to our congregation and over the course of eighteen months the dream became a reality.”

This trip is the first major step in creating this strong connection between Hawley and Nicaragua.

While there the Hawley Lutheran group spent time in a community of about 400 people in the State of Chinandega, which is 10 miles from Somotillo near the Honduras border.

A quarter of the communities’ population attends the Lutheran church in their community, half of which are children.

The Hawley group worked on the beginning stages of construction for a church/community center for the residents who will benefit greatly from this new facility.

Currently most of the churches meet in the home of a member or outside when the weather permits.

When these church structures are built they not only become a worship center, but also a community center that will become a central hub of activity and gathering spaces in these communities.

Teeples said, “We thought the main purpose of our trip was going to be to build a church, and we did participate in the dedication and laying the groundwork for a church in the village of Rodieto. But, as we were there we discovered our main purpose was to share our lives with the beautiful people of Nicaragua and to get to know them.”

“A beautiful thing about the people we met is that it was more important for them to get to know us and for us to get to know them than it was for us to do things for them or give them money. We thought we were going to work with one church and realized that we had really come to enter into a relationship with every LCMC congregation in Nicaragua,” continued Teeples.

The Lutheran Churches in Nicaragua began after Lutheran Relief workers from Germany came to clean up after the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

Although the churches are distinctively Lutheran in their understanding of the scriptures none of the pastors have had any exposure to essential Lutheran confessional writings, so a need for some pastoral instruction was also something the pastors in Nicaragua identified as something they would like to experience.

Pastor Jeff Teeples taught lessons on Luther’s Large Catechism to the pastors to share the finer points of theology for themselves and their congregations.

Teeples commented, “I don’t speak Spanish, yet, so I taught with the help of a gifted Nicaraguan translator José Manuel. Everything I said, José translated. It was comical at times trying to explain things through a translator, but because we had two common texts we could reference, the Bible and the Large Catechism in Spanish and English we could really communicate and learn even with the language barrier.”

“The teaching experience brought me closer to the pastors and helped me better understand the challenges they face in their congregations,” continued Teeples.

Teeples said on the last day in Ojoche where they stayed all the pastors and board members of the LCMC church in Nicaragua met with them to evaluate how the experience was for both groups.

Teeples said, “I was incredibly humbled to hear how the smallest things made a big difference in the impact of our mission. One pastor said how honored he felt that we would share our purified water with them, eat their food and work alongside them.”

One evening Teeples said one of the pastors who is also the local woodworking artisan brought him a cross he had made as gift for Teeples.

Teeples told the man via a translator how much he liked the item and offered to pay for it.

The artisan said, “If you pay me for it, it is not a gift.”

The next day Teeples realized that the man had given him the cross on the one-year anniversary of his dad’s death.

Teeples said,” My dad was also an artisan with wood. It was a very touching moment, and I felt that my dad was close to me on this mission to Nicaragua.”

Teeples is excited to continue building the cross-cultural connection of Hawley Lutheran and the LCMC churches in Nicaragua and they are planning a follow up trip to Nicaragua in January 2015 and are currently accepting applications.

He commented that the best way to experience life in another culture is to go there and dive in.

Teeples noted that all that participated had a positive experience and said, “Every person who went with us came back with a deeper appreciation for their life here as well as a heart of compassion for people they had previously not known.”

“It was also extremely valuable to share our experience with our congregation so that those who are not able to go to Nicaragua can learn about the people and their lives and be affirmed for their ability to send others to go. When it comes to mission we are either “goers” or “senders” and it is a great blessing to be both,” continued Teeples.

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America with borders touching Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south.

It is among the most impoverished countries in Central America.

Since the Hawley Lutheran group has returned from Nicaragua, the country has experienced a severe drought.

Because the people there live so close to the land, fluctuations in the price of essential food like rice, beans, and corn are devastating for them.

There are no government assistance programs in Nicaragua; so the churches do what they can to help the people.

Teeples said, “The LCMC churches in Nicaragua want to purchase essential food items in bulk to distribute them to the people at a reasonable cost and are asking us if we could help them with the initial purchase. After the initial purchase the program would sustain itself.”

If anyone would like to help this cause monetary donations can be brought to Hawley Lutheran Church where 100% of the funds raised for this effort will go directly to Drought Relief Nicaragua.

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Registration is Now Open for iFollow: Life Together in the Way of Jesus http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 26 Nov 14 00:00:00 -0700 Online registration is now open for iFollow: Life Together in the Way of Jesus, our 2015 Leadership Conference. 

The conference will take place May 3-6, 2015 at the Mill Run campus of Upper Arlington Lutheran Church and aims to focus on overcoming the challenges of following Jesus in our 21st Century world of selfies, Tweets and Facebook. 

Keynote speakers will include:

  • Rev. TJ Anderson - Senior Pastor of Upper Arlington Lutheran Church in Columbus, OH
  • Rev. Steve Turnbull - LCMC Ministry Board; Senior Pastor of First Lutheran Church in White Bear Lake, MN
  • Rev. Jeremey King - LCMC Ministry Board; Founding Pastor of Radiant Church in Huntington Beach, CA
  • Rev. Reggie McNeal - Author; Missional Leadership Specialist for Leadership Network

The event will also feature live music by Jenn Alexander, Worship Leader at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Lakeville, MN, six exciting Fellowship Activities to choose from, and an optional Workshop and Luncheon with Rev. Reggie McNeal. 

Participants will also have the opportunity to take part in specialized Learning Labs, or facilitated discussion groups for pastors and church leaders of similar sized and geographically-located congregations. 

To learn more about the Leadership Conference, and to register, click on the links below. 

Learn More  |  Register Now!  |  Frequently Asked Questions  |  Hotels

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Take Our Three Days of Prayer Poll http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 19 Nov 14 00:00:00 -0700 Does your congregation plan to take part in LCMC's Third Annual Three Days of Prayer from January 6-8, 2015

Let us know how your congregation plans to organize each of the three days. 

Click Here to Take our Poll! 

Next month, we'll share the results here in our Blog, as well as in our E-Newsletter!

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We've Added a Search Bar! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 29 Oct 14 00:00:00 -0600 To help make it easier to navigate our website, we have added a new "search bar" feature.  

This new feature enables site users to find information and documents on the LCMC website by typing in what they're looking for, as opposed to using the menu at the side of our homepage.  

For those who may be new to using the internet, or have limited computer skills, a brief tutorial on how to use this feature to find information on the LCMC website is included below.  

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Annual Gathering and MFTH Project Statistics Announced! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 29 Oct 14 00:00:00 -0600 Earlier this month, 1,012 people from around the world came together in Des Moines, IA for LCMC’s 14th Annual Gathering.  

Throughout the year, the 833 congregations that make up LCMC came together to raise a total of $91,005.40 for our service project with Meals from the Heartland (13.75% more than our goal of $80,000).  On the evening of Tuesday, October 7th, many of the people who attended the gathering met up at the convention center and assembled a total of 291,168 meals[Watch Video]

During the Business Session of the gathering, Pastors Christopher Miller (Area 2) and Kenneth “Corky” Spitler (Area 5) were elected to the LCMC Board of Trustees.  Pastors Nathan Hanson and Stephan Turnbull were appointed to serve on the Ministry Board.  

Rev. Mark Vander Tuig announced the launch of the LCMC Prayer Chain, an opportunity for people to sign up to pray for all of the congregations in LCMC on a weekly basis.  Click Here to learn more and sign up.

It was also announced that our 15th Annual Gathering will take place from October 4-7, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Frisco, TX. 

Photo galleries from the Annual Gathering, downloadable copies of our 2014 Book, and presentation notes from our Keynote Speakers are now available at our website.  To view any of these materials, Click Here

Videos of our speakers will not be available until later this winter.  We will announce via E-Newsletter, blog, Facebook and Twitter when these videos have been posted.  

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Three Days of Prayer Begins January 6th! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 28 Oct 14 00:00:00 -0600 This January, join with us for our Third Annual Three Days of Prayer.  This is an opportunity for us to join together across our association to come before God Almighty and bring our concerns, our ministries, our people and our future to the throne of grace and to the foot of the cross. 

Day One, Tuesday, January 6, 2015 is a day of confession, recognizing that we have sinned against God, against each other and ourselves.  We have been caught up in big arguments about small things when there are those we love who do not know Jesus, and not connected to His church. 

Day Two, Wednesday, January 7, 2015 is a day of petition.  There are so many things, people and issues to pray for and about, this day is committed to bringing our petitions to God.  We know that He hears our prayers and is at work in ways that we can see, and ways that we will never know.

Day Three, Thursday, January 8, 2015 is a day of seeking God’s vision for your church, and for our association.  The church belongs to Jesus and we simply ask the Lord of the church to lead, guide and direct our mission and ministry.

Prayer is the most effective tool in our toolbox and the most powerful weapon in the arsenal.  The church of Jesus Christ will not rise up until we first get to our knees.

Learn More  |  Resources  |  Facebook Event

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Our 14th Annual Gathering Has Officially Begun! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 05 Oct 14 00:00:00 -0600 Reason for Hope, LCMC's 14th Annual Gathering, begins today at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. 

Over 1,000 LCMC-ers from around the globe will come together this week for a chance to connect with one another and to explore 1 Peter 3:15 as it relates to our culture today.  The event also features two worship services, live music, morning Bible studies, breakout sessions and vendors. 

Our official hashtag for this year is #LCMC14.  Attendees are also invited to tweet their favorite photos from the event to @lcmcupdates

For those who are unable to attend the gathering this year, we are once again streaming the event live at www.lcmc.net/live beginning with Opening Worship tonight at 7:00 P.M. 

Videos from each of our speakers this year will be available in our Video & Media blog this winter.  Our staff will announce once they've been posted via E-Newsletter, Facebook and Twitter pages. 

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WE DID IT! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 08 Sep 14 00:00:00 -0600 Last year, we announced to all of our congregations that one of our goals as an association for 2014 was to raise $80,000 for our 14th Annual Gathering service project with Meals from the Heartland.  Today, we reached that goal! 

100% of the donations that we have received will be used to purchase enough food, packaging supplies and shipping to feed 400,000 people in need, both in the U.S. and abroad. 

The food packages will be assembled on Tuesday, October 7th from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. by LCMC-ers from around the globe. 

The process of assembling and packaging the meals will require the help of about 1,000 people, so if you plan to attend the Annual Gathering this year, we need your help!  If you haven't already, please consider signing up to help package meals for an hour or two.  All you've got to do is check off one or both of the "Meal Packaging Project" boxes when you Register for the Annual Gathering

If you have already registered for the Annual Gathering, but did not sign up to package meals and would like to, you can also notify our staff that you are interested via email at cathy@lcmc.net

See you in Des Moines! 

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Early Bird Annual Gathering Registration Ends September 1st! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 29 Aug 14 00:00:00 -0600 Register for the Annual Gathering by next Monday, September 1st and save up to $40 per person!  

The registration rates for Annual Gathering visitors, church leaders, church members and voting delegates are as follows:

  • September 1 & Before:  $180.00
  • September 2-25:  $200.00
  • September 26 & After:  $225.00

As most of you know, one of our goals for this year's Annual Gathering is to package 400,000 meals for the hungry with nonprofit organization Meals from the Heartland on Tuesday, October 7th.  In order to make this happen, we are still very much in need of volunteers to help package meals!  If you plan to join us in Des Moines this year, please consider signing up to help out.  Volunteer sign-up is handled with Annual Gathering registration; simply check off one or both of the "Meal Packaging Project" checkboxes on your registration form. 

To learn more about the project, or to make a donation, click here

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Stained Glass Gift http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 25 Aug 14 00:00:00 -0600 Our Redeemer Lutheran Church Pastor Carole Neitzel and her husband Richard stand next to the stained glass window Richard made for the people at ORLC.  It took Richard 2 years to make it and it is his first large project with stained glass. He did this in honor of "his Savior and Lord Jesus Christ and given in love to the people we both grew to love here in Champion, Michigan.”

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Ordination & Installation of Pr. Becky Hand http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 22 Aug 14 00:00:00 -0600 The long awaited day of Rebecca Lynn (Becky) Hand to graduate with a Master of Divinity arrived on August 17, 2014. Along with her ordination as an LCMC pastor and installation as pastor of Life in Grace Lutheran Church, Odessa, TX, and Hope Lutheran Church, Midland, TX. 

Pastors in ceremony attendance were as follows: Rev. Alsen Wenzel, St. John's Lutheran of Winters, TX, Rev. John Rasmussen and Rev. Timothy J. Swenson of the Institute of Lutheran Theology, Brookings, SD, Rev. Mark Schimmel, Zion Lutheran of Priddy, TX, and retired Lutheran pastor Jerry Kaskela of Lubbock, TX.

The Grace of our Lord was overflowing from early morning church service to Pastor Becky's special afternoon service with family, friends and other Lutheran churches of the community! We all know and believe that she will spread the Gospel of the "Good News" to everyone, for God has called her to do so and she will deliver his Word!

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New Training Opportunities Available for Certification Interviewers http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 31 Jul 14 00:00:00 -0600 Rev. Steve Lien, LCMC's Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry, announces Interviewer Inservices for those who conduct Certification Interviews.  Join him for this two-hour refresher and training session just before or after any of the following District Conventions:

  • Texas District: Friday, August 1, 2:00-4:00 P.M. (Seguin, TX)
  • Heartland District: Friday, August 15, 2:00-4:00 P.M. (Fremont, NE)
  • Iowa District: Saturday, November 15, 3:30-5:30 P.M. (Story City, IA) - TENTATIVE
  • Greater Atlanta Area: Saturday, November 8, 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.

Email steve@lcmc.net to register or ask questions.


 

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Annual Gathering Lodging Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 28 Jul 14 00:00:00 -0600 Accommodations at the The Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel have sold out for the week of the Annual Gathering

For your convenience, the Holiday Inn Downtown at Mercy Campus and the Des Moines Marriot Downtown are also offering reduced rates to LCMC-ers who are traveling to Des Moines for the Annual Gathering.  Be sure to mention that you are part of the LCMC group while making your hotel reservations to receive the discount. 

Of course, there are other hotels located in the Des Moines area that you are welcome to check with, as well. 

More detailed information on lodging and transportation for the Annual Gathering can be found by clicking here

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Retirement Consultations to Be Offered at Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 15 Jul 14 00:00:00 -0600 At the 2014 Annual Gathering in Des Moines Iowa, you will be able to learn more about how to plan for your retirement.  Planning should start early, when you still have time to prepare and save. But, no matter what your age or how far off your retirement is, you can benefit from the information available to you through LCMC. 

Tom Luing of Capital Management Associates, will be available at the Annual Gathering to meet one-on-one with you about your retirement readiness. 

Contact Tom Luing by phone at (952) 746-1111 or via email at toml@tomluing.com to schedule a time and find out what to bring with you. 

Space is limited, so sign up soon! 

Tom will also be conducting three Breakout Sessions on retirement on Monday and Tuesday of the Annual Gathering. 

See you in Des Moines! 


Not attending the annual gathering?  If you are not attending the annual gathering, feel free to contact Tom to discuss your financial situation and/or the LCMC 403b Retirement plan any time. Click here for more info.

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American Lutheran Church Installs Pr. Jeff Redlin http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 02 Jul 14 00:00:00 -0600 Pastor Jeff Redlin was installed as pastor of American Lutheran Church in Winifred, MT on June 29, 2014. Pastor Redlin has been with LCMC since 2010 and previously served as founding pastor of Christ Community Lutheran Church in Lebanon, OR from 2010-2013.

Top row (L to R): Pastor Jeff Stoopes, Pastor Bob Coughlin, Pastor Gordon Buckentin
Bottom Row (L to R) Pastor Bill Duffey, Pastor Jeff Redlin, Pastor Alan Daugherty.

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Lutheran Church of South Sudan's Emergency Plan for Equipping Faithful Leaders http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 16 Jun 14 00:00:00 -0600 Pastor Jordon Long, President of the Lutheran Church of South Sudan (LCSS). 

The LCSS is a new church with no walls.  Most of its members worship in tents, huts, or open spaces. and they have no educational materials written in their indigenous languages. 

On March 14, Pastor Jordon was able to communicate with Eric Swensson and update the current situation for the LCSS. Around the area where Pastor Jordon lived, about 2000 people were killed.  It became necessary for him to leave that area.  The Christian College where Matthew Riak was at when the violence started had one security guard killed before it was taken over and still remains a military post.  Generally, the people of the LCSS have scattered, and are in hiding in the bush or have fled across the border to refugee camps.

Pastor Jordon will be staying in a refugee camp just across the border from South Sudan in Ethiopia. In the midst of all this chaos and despair, Pastor Jordon sees great opportunity to minister to the many desperate people around him in these refugee camps. He says the one thing that would be most helpful to him would be Luther's Small Catechisms translated in their native languages. He knows this would be the most useful tool he could have to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to so many people in need of Him.
Think about that!!! Pastor Jordan did not ask for money, food, water, shelter, or safety from harm, but for Luther's Small Catechisms to help him minister to the people around him in the refugee camps.

Currently, the LCSS website lists only four American friends and partners. They are: LCMC, the Augustana District of the LCMC, the Institute for Lutheran Theology (ILT), and the Disciple Ship.

The ILT has been in discussion with the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF), and they currently have the catechisms translated into the proper native language.  They are willing to work with us to get them to these refugee camps for Pastor Jordon to use. The books cost only a few dollars each. The LHF has a group going to Ethiopia at the end of April, and can help arrange for these catechisms to get to Pastor Jordon.

So, the timing of this appeal is immediate.

Please consider individually, or as a congregation, donating a few dollars to:

LCSS Catechisms
910 4th Street
Brookings, SD 57006


The North American headquarters of LCSS is at the Institute of Lutheran Theology, so please send any checks to LCSS in care of ILT.  100% of your donation will go to the catechisms.

If you have any questions, please contact Eric Swensson at (914) 712-5440, or ejswensson@gmail.com.  He is also a member of the LCMC Missions Forum and will see any post that appears there.

Thank you, and count your blessings, and at least consider praying for all of God's people in South Sudan.]]>
Take Back The Sabbath http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 16 Jun 14 00:00:00 -0600 Over thirty years ago the Churches were attended by 26% Christians at any given Sunday. Today Barna states that number has dropped to 17.5% on any given Sunday. A few years ago the United States was declared the fourth largest mission field.  Wake up America! We need to stop this decline in order to avoid following the European Nations decline of 3-5% of Churches occupied on any given Sunday.

   What could we do as a group of Christians?  We need to act upon this now. If we rally together we could help make a difference. We can't change the world ....but we can change, "ONE THING " to advance the Kingdom of God.
 

Hebrews 12:1-2 Compares the Christian Life to a RACE. How is the Kingdom of God more like a relay race than a marathon or a sprint?  The relay is a beautiful thing, in some ways rivaled by no other sporting event.
 
Beautiful, that is when it WORKS, but UGLY when it doesn't.

The amazing thing about a relay race is that no matter how excellent, talented, trained, and just plain fast the team members are, unless that baton is in the hand of the man or women who finishes the anchor leg and crosses the line, THERE IS NO VICTORY. If the baton is dropped the team is DISQUALIFIED.....no RIBBONS....no TROPHIES...no VICTORY LAP...and no GLORY.

The BATON provides a near -perfect illustration of the HEAVENLY CALLING on our lives and the LIVES OF THE GENERATION BEHIND US......OUR LEGACY OF FAITH. God ENTRUSTED US to a BATON (A LEGACY of FAITH) 
He appointed us to PASS on THAT BATON. As Ministers, Members and Parents it is our job to pass on the baton to the next generation. If they are not in Church they are not there to hear the Word, capture the message and plant it in their hearts. We need to correct this.  (1) Douglas Cherry book “Stick.” 


 
What keeps us from doing that? 
 
SCHOOLS HAVING ACTIVITIES BEFORE NOON ON SUNDAY.
 
If our children are not in Church…they don’t hear the Word. They don’t experience the Fellowship God intended for them. When they are forced to “CHOSE” between the School event and Church…the school event usually wins.  If the student doesn’t practice or rehearse before the event (Sunday morning) they are unable to participate in that event. 
 
Matthew 10:8
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received.
 
What a simple ordination. Take what you received from Me and give it to OTHERS.
We can do this.  
We need to get the parents and students back in the Churches so that they are able to be there to hear the message and are able to pass the baton on to the next generation.
 
How Do We Do This?
  1. Pastors/Parents need to contact your local School Superintendent and set up a meeting to talk to him/her about changing the policy of having activities on Sundays before noon.  .
  2. Parents should get involved with the PTA and challenge anyone anytime a function is being scheduled on a Sunday morning beforenoon.
  3. Gather other like- minded parents to join your cause.
  4. Run for offices in the PTA to get this passed. 
Recently I presented this to our South Monroe County Ministerial Association and they are getting on board with this as well. Your participation and your comments are appreciated. I highly recommend the book, "Stick"  for parents as a guide to help parents with passing on the baton. I believe that once we get the children back to Church they will be able to benefit by your book to pass on the baton. (1) Stick: Making the Handoff to the Next Generation.
 
ISBN 978-0-9839082-0-3 Copyright 2011 by Doug and Lisa Cherry Po Box 460 Carbondale, Ill 62903 Publoished by Frontline Families Ministries (www.frontlinefamilies.org)
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Can We Really Feed 400,000 People? http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 11 Jun 14 00:00:00 -0600 One of LCMC's goals for 2014 is to help fight hunger in the U.S. and abroad by preparing 400,000 meals together with Meals from the Heartland this fall.  As an association made up of over 800 congregations worldwide, this is something that we can accomplish, but only if we work together! 
 
To make our service project happen, we are going to need two things: volunteers and supplies. 

We will be packaging the meals on Tuesday, October 7th from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. as part of our 14th Annual Gathering in Des Moines, IA. 

In order to package all of the meals within our two hour time frame, we are going to need at least 1,000 volunteers to help out.  Those who are interested in participating may sign up to do so by checking off one (or both!) of the "Meal Packaging Project" boxes on their Annual Gathering Registration Form

To date, there are 61 volunteers signed up to help package meals in the 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. time slot and 32 volunteers signed up to package meals from 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. 
 
This winter, we also began raising the funds needed to purchase food, packaging supplies and postage for the project. 
 
As of May 31, 2014, our association has collectively raised $40,750 towards the $80,000 we will need in order to reach our goal of packaging 400,000 meals.  We've made it past the halfway point, but if we're going to raise enough money in the next three and a half months to purchase the supplies we need, we still have our work cut out for us.

Those interested in making a donation to the project may do so by clicking here.  100% of donations will be used to help purchase supplies.
 
Presently, LCMC is comprised of 714 congregations in the U.S. and a total of 820 congregations worldwide.  If each congregation were to give $100, we could achieve this goal in no time! 
 
To help fellow LCMC-ers get the word out about the project, the following resources are available:

If we can get 1,000 volunteers to help us package meals and raise $80,000 for supplies, we will be able to put together enough meals to feed 400,000 people in just two hours.  (According to the United States Census Bureau, that's more than the entire population of the city of Minneapolis!)

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Annual Gathering Offers Fellowship Meet-Ups for Up-And-Coming Leaders http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 09 Jun 14 00:00:00 -0600 Building working relationships with friends and fellow colleagues in ministry is important.  That's why at this year's Annual Gathering, which is set to take place from October 5-8, 2014 in Des Moines, IA, we will be setting aside time for new or up-and-coming leaders in LCMC to do just that.  

 

In addition to our annual District Dinner Night, an opportunity for members of the various geographic and non-geographic districts of LCMC to come together for dinner, we will be hosting the following fellowship meet-ups:

  • Seminarians:  Join other seminary students for a dessert fellowship on Sunday evening after Opening Worship.  (See Also: Seminarian Retreat)
  • Young Adults:  Get to know other young adults in LCMC during a breakout session titled "20-30 Somethings" on Monday afternoon.  (See Also: LCMC: The Next Generation)
  • Church Planters:  Pr. Dan Clites will host a fellowship meet-up for church planters on Monday evening.  (See Also: New Ministry Workshop)

To learn more, click here.  

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Congregations Make Historical Palm Sunday March http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 02 Jun 14 00:00:00 -0600 The historic and ironically named St. Paul’s Lutheran of Minneapolis drew police and media attention this past Palm Sunday; fortunately the four congregations that share the 19th and Portland Avenue landmark church planned it that way. The cause? It’s a long story, but it’s worth the time to tell.

In this case it’s best not to start from the beginning… of the church that is. In 1964, or 50 years ago from last Sunday, the Lutheran congregation of St. Paul’s had to move. They didn’t have to move for any particularly complex, theological or abstract reason; they had to move because I94 was being built: cutting a physical scar between downtown and south Minneapolis. Their building was to be part of that scar and so they marched.

Changing buildings had been part of the congregation’s history since its founding in the 1860s (Minneapolis was quite small then); in the 1920s the congregation moved from what is now a vacant spot somewhere near the Mixed Blood Theater area to a larger building on 18th Street and 14th Avenue South (now a grassy slope on the right hand side as you go east on I94 and start your exit to go south on Hiawatha).

The originally Norwegian immigrant congregation has weathered a turbulent fifty years since. It survived being in the heart of the Phillips neighborhood during the 1990s, it both joined and left the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, it held on as whites (including those ethnic Norwegians) moved en masse to the suburbs and now stands firm as the near south side of Minneapolis is filled with new languages and cultures from across the globe.

How? This past Palm Sunday went a long way in telling the “how” part of the story. In a police-escorted march from the site taken by I94 to their current home on Portland most of the songs heard were not in English or Norwegian, but rather in Afaan Oromo (one of the common languages of Ethiopia). You see though the congregation of St. Paul’s only speaks English, its three partner congregations (who also use the same building) do not; Rev. Roland J Wells, Jr. (Senior Pastor at St. Paul’s) explained his take on the situation:

There are a few places where God is doing things like this, but very, very few congregations have shown the ability to share their building like St. Paul’s has.  Because the congregation has always taken over somebody else’s “used” church, we have more freedom to share, not “our” church, but the church we are entrusted with at this time.
Strangely (or not so strangely if you study trends in population movements) the work of Lutheran missionaries over the past two centuries has boomeranged back to America in the form of immigrants. Although people groups such as the Oromo don’t look like, talk like or sing like typical lutefisk-eating Lutherans, the beliefs they bring to America are the same as the Norwegians who founded St. Paul’s; Rev. Wells explained the beliefs:
Lutheran theology is an ecumenical theology, in that it is not about a system or a hierarchical structure.  It is driven by the Word of God and seeks to bring people together around that Word.
At this point I’ll go ahead and out myself as a Lutheran (yes I am that Minnesotan) and a member of St. Paul’s. I will adjust the pronouns accordingly. I marched and photographed the long display of flags, balloons and palms. I stayed for the service where Mark Vander Tuig (Service Coordinator for Lutheran Congregations in Missions for Christ) gave the sermon. I enjoyed the Lutheran tradition of potluck in the basement but with authentic cuisine from Ethiopia and Latin America (the dishes paired wonderfully with hotdish).

So although Easter is usually the highlight of Holy Week, this year Palm Sunday may have superseded it for me. The march along I94 seemed to parallel the direction of Minnesota. Even though the scars of the interstates may be on their way to being healed their constant movement will never cease. According to Rev. Wells this global diaspora has increased the Twin Cities’ immigrant population from 100,000 to 800,000 in the past 20 years. We have a state abounding with fresh ideas, words, faces and uncertainty.

But I realized, as we marched next to the interstate’s scar on Minneapolis, that we were actually singing in the same language (and it had been sung when the march was made 50 years before). We were all on some level immigrants and outsiders trying to hold ourselves together in a changing and challenging world: trying to hold together without airtight systematic theology, without a spelled-out future and without fully understanding each other. All we had (and needed) was faith, hope and joy centered in God.

 
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Congregation Members Show Kindness, $5 at a Time http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 14 May 14 00:00:00 -0600
Pastor Brian Metke stated that, “We view Sunday morning services as a laboratory where we not only honor God, but where we learn how to extend the Kingdom of God into our day to day lives. We want people to experiment with stepping out of their comfort zone and showing Jesus’ love to others in a practical way.“

During the Christmas season Trinity collected $1,500 for our local relief fund and people naturally expected the church staff to dole out those funds to needy people.  We decided to throw the congregation a curve and help them to realize that the church is not primarily an institution, but the Body of Christ.  We wanted everyone at Trinity to begin to look for opportunities to reflect Christ’s presence.

People gave their money to folks begging on street corners in Milwaukee and Chicago. A number of people added to the $5’s and paid for people in the checkout line in the supermarket.  Parishioners secretly paid for dinners who were eating in a restaurant.  Countless cups of coffee were purchased for people in hospitals, gas stations and McDonalds.  Many folks stated that it was really hard to give the money away, they really had to think about how and who to bless with this gift.  The bottom line was that worshipers began to realize that they were Christ’s hands and feet and that they were blessed to be a blessing wherever they went.]]>
Getting Connected! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 29 Apr 14 00:00:00 -0600
Three years ago, I invited the leaders of all the districts at that time to come together for a day to consider how we might be more effective in encouraging each in fellowship and support, as well as accountability.  We are still at those goals, and so once again, three years later, we have invited leaders of every district to get together to gauge our progress and to continue to learn how we can improve.  

Our district leaders will be meeting on July 15th and 16th at Hosanna Lutheran Church in St. Charles, Illinois.  

For more information, contact Mark Vander Tuig at mark@lcmc.net.]]>
LCMC Staff Welcomes Photo Submissions for 2014 Annual Gathering Book http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 22 Apr 14 00:00:00 -0600 How has your congregation been "in Mission for Christ" over the past year?  Whether you've organized a creative fundraiser to help raise money for our meal packaging project, traveled abroad on a mission trip, or put together a program to help reach out to the people in your very own community, we want to hear about it! 

 
For the next several weeks, our staff is inviting all "LCMC-ers" to send us photos of themselves (or fellow members of their congregation) "in Mission for Christ".  All photographs received by Thursday, July 31st will be considered by the LCMC Staff for possible inclusion in the design of the book that will be distributed at the Annual Gathering this October, and on our website!

From 5k races to beauty treatments to English as a Second Language programs, we've seen all kinds of interesting photos and creative ideas in the past.  We are very much excited to see what is going on within the congregations of our association, and to incorporate these stories into the artwork of this year's Annual Gathering book.

 

Before you get started, please read through the requirements and instructions below.

What we're looking for:  Photos of you (or people in your congregation) in action!  For examples of photos we've used in the past, check out some of our previous books here

What we're not looking for:  Pictures of buildings, but no people. 
 

Here are a photo guidelines, terms & conditions:

  1. Our staff welcomes photo submissions from now through Thursday, July 31st, with special consideration being given to photos received by Monday, June 30th.  Due to early printer deadlines, any photos submitted after this date will be ineligible for consideration.
  2. Please do not place text or clip art on photos, as these things can be difficult to read should we need to re-size your photo. 
  3. Because chosen images will be used in a printed publication, please send only high resolution/print quality images.  Very small and/or distorted images will not print clearly.
  4. Acceptable file types are: JPG (preferred), GIF, TIFF and PNG.  (No PDFs or Word documents, please!)
  5. Any photo submitted must be an original work (owned by the individual or the congregation), and not the intellectual property of another party.  
  6. By submitting any photo(s), you agree that any images (and likeness or subject matter within) submitted may be used without compensation for the purposes described above.
  7. Photos must be submitted by pastors, congregation members/staff or associate members of LCMC.  
  8. Photo content must be relevant and in accordance with who we are and what we believe.
  9. Each photo submission must be accompanied by your name, the name and location of your congregation, and a brief description of the photograph (see below for more info).  
  10. Please note:  Due to space, time and other constraints, we are unable to guarantee the publication of each and every photograph submitted to us.
     

How to Submit Photos:

Please be sure that we receive your photo entries no later than Wednesday, July 31.  All photos submitted to LCMC must be accompanied by the following information:

  1. A brief description of the photo(s) 
    • Who is in the photo?
    • When and where does it take place? 
    • What's going on in the photo?
    • How has your congregation been "in Mission for Christ" over the past year?
  2. The name of the person submitting the photograph and/or the photographer's name
  3. The name of the congregation, and the city and state in which it's located. 

Photo entries and all accompanying information may be submitted to us in one of the following ways:

  1. Online:  Click here for an online form, which will allow you to upload a photo.
  2. Email:  Attach the photos to an email and include all description information in the body of the email.  Photo entries should be sent to Kristy Thomas, Communications and Public Relations Specialist for LCMC, at kristy@lcmc.net
  3. Flickr Users:  If you have a Flickr account and would like to submit your photos by sharing an album, please email a link to the album, along with the requested information, to kristy@lcmc.net.  If you are submitting multiple photos this year, we highly encourage you to submit your photos using this method. 
  4. Instagram:  Photos uploaded to Instagram will be considered for submission when accompanied by the hashtags #lcmc and #2014agbook

 

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LCMC 403(b) Retirement Plan Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 07 Apr 14 00:00:00 -0600 The Retirement Plan has added new Roth provisions as well as 2 new investment fund options. 
 

Roth Provisions: 

Roth After-Tax Contributions: 
Participants may contribute Roth after-tax contributions to their plan account.  With Roth contributions, the dollars going into the plan have already been taxed, thus, no tax when withdrawn at retirement. Earnings of Roth contributions are tax-free when withdrawn at retirement when held for 5 years or more.

Roth In-Plan Conversions:
This provision allows you to elect to change the tax treatment of all or a portion of your pre-tax account.  Participants may transfer vested, pre-tax contribution in their account to a Roth after-tax contribution account within the retirement plan. Please note - a conversion will result in taxable income being reported to the participant.

New Investment Fund Options:

Eaton Vance Floating Rate Fund – a Floating rate bond fund
The funds investment objective is to provide a high level of current income. Under normal circumstances, the Fund invests at least 80% of its total assets in income producing floating rate loans and other floating rate debt securities. The Fund invests primarily in senior floating rate loans of domestic and foreign borrowers.  The interest rate on these loans “floats” so this may be a good investment in a rising interest rate environment.

Eventide Gilead – a Mid-cap Growth fund
This fund seeks to provide long-term capital appreciation. Normally, the Gilead Fund invests primarily in a broad range of equity securities without limitation to market capitalization. The Advisor seeks to invest in companies that reflect the following values:
  • Respecting the value and freedom of all people; this includes the right to life at all stages and freedom from addictive behaviors caused by gambling, pornography, tobacco and alcohol.
  • Demonstrating a concern for justice and peace through fair and ethical relationships with customers, suppliers and business partners and through avoidance of products and services that promote weapons production and proliferation.
  • Promoting family and community; this includes protecting children from violent forms of entertainment and also includes serving low income communities.
  • Exhibiting responsible management practices, including fair-dealing with employees, communities, competitors, suppliers and customers as demonstrated by a company’s record regarding litigation, regulatory actions against the company and its record of promoting products and services that improve the lives of people.
  • Practicing environmental stewardship
Have questions about the plan?  Click here to learn more. 
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Register Now for LCMC's 14th Annual Gathering! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 27 Mar 14 00:00:00 -0600 What do we say and how do we respond?  These are the questions that often face Christians and Lutherans in 2014 right here in America.  We are now living in a “post-denominational era”; the way we used to do church is no longer working.  Times have changed and we now need to be able to defend, explain and affirm our faith in Christ alone.  We have been given a great heritage of faith and theology through the Lutheran Reformation.  This theological framework is more than capable of helping us to proclaim the Gospel to our generation.  We just have to figure out how to do it, and then start.

From October 5-8, 2014, we will gather leaders, pastors, and church members from all over the world to celebrate our 14th Our Annual Gathering and Convention in Des Moines, IA. 

The focus of our gathering this year is “Reason for Hope”.  We have invited three keynote speakers who will each in their own way help us to consider how we might engage this culture with the Good News of Jesus Christ and his gracious love and atoning sacrifice:
  • Rev. Dr. Walter Sundburg, Professor of Church History, Luther Seminary
  • Rev. Margaret Manning, Speaker/Writer, RZIM
  • Rev. Dr. Mark Mattes, Professor of Theology, Grand View University

Our gathering will also include two worship services, morning Bible studies and singing, over 75 vendors, more than 30 breakout sessions and opportunities for fellowship and networking.

This year we will also have a chance to serve the hungry of the world, both here and abroad by participating in a meal packaging event on the Tuesday evening of our gathering.  If we can raise $80,000, gather 1000 people for two hours, we could put together 400,000 meals, a part of what it means to be “in Mission for Christ”!
 
Registration is now open at our website.  
 
Register Now!  |  Learn More  |   Meal Packaging Project Info
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LCMC Hosts Fall Retreat for Seminary Students http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 26 Mar 14 00:00:00 -0600 Seminarian Retreat during the weekend before the Annual Gathering

Throughout the weekend, seminarians will have the chance to: 
  • Meet fellow seminarians in LCMC
  • Ask questions about seminary, LCMC, first call, and pastoral family life
  • Gain wisdom and advice from a few pastors who have been there
  • Build relationships with your future colleagues in ministry
  • Relax at the beach or take a trip to Arnold's Park
It will take place October 3-5, 2014 at Riverside Bible Camp in Story City, Iowa. 

The retreat is for seminary students only.  (Sorry, seminaries and teachers, we'll see you in DesMoines on Sunday!)

Registration will be open later this spring. 
 
For more information, click here.  
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LCSS Seeks Translated Copies of Luther's Small Catechisms http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 25 Mar 14 00:00:00 -0600 Pastor Jordon Long, President of the Lutheran Church of South Sudan (LCSS). 

The LCSS is a new church with no walls.  Most of its members worship in tents, huts, or open spaces. and they have no educational materials written in their indigenous languages. 

On March 14, Pastor Jordon was able to communicate with Eric Swensson and update the current situation for the LCSS. Around the area where Pastor Jordon lived, about 2000 people were killed.  It became necessary for him to leave that area.  The Christian College where Matthew Riak was at when the violence started had one security guard killed before it was taken over and still remains a military post.  Generally, the people of the LCSS have scattered, and are in hiding in the bush or have fled across the border to refugee camps.

Pastor Jordon will be staying in a refugee camp just across the border from South Sudan in Ethiopia. In the midst of all this chaos and despair, Pastor Jordon sees great opportunity to minister to the many desperate people around him in these refugee camps. He says the one thing that would be most helpful to him would be Luther's Small Catechisms translated in their native languages. He knows this would be the most useful tool he could have to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to so many people in need of Him.
Think about that!!! Pastor Jordan did not ask for money, food, water, shelter, or safety from harm, but for Luther's Small Catechisms to help him minister to the people around him in the refugee camps.

Currently, the LCSS website lists only four American friends and partners. They are: LCMC, the Augustana District of the LCMC, the Institute for Lutheran Theology (ILT), and the Disciple Ship.

The ILT has been in discussion with the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF), and they currently have the catechisms translated into the proper native language.  They are willing to work with us to get them to these refugee camps for Pastor Jordon to use. The books cost only a few dollars each. The LHF has a group going to Ethiopia at the end of April, and can help arrange for these catechisms to get to Pastor Jordon.

So, the timing of this appeal is immediate.

Please consider individually, or as a congregation, donating a few dollars to:

LCSS Catechisms
910 4th Street
Brookings, SD 57006


The North American headquarters of LCSS is at the Institute of Lutheran Theology, so please send any checks to LCSS in care of ILT.  100% of your donation will go to the catechisms.

If you have any questions, please contact Eric Swensson at (914) 712-5440, or ejswensson@gmail.com.  He is also a member of the LCMC Missions Forum and will see any post that appears there.

Thank you, and count your blessings, and at least consider praying for all of God's people in South Sudan.]]>
Youth Encounter President Larry Johnson Announces His Retirement http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 17 Mar 14 00:00:00 -0600 March 14, 2014 – St. Paul, Minn. – After forty years of leadership, Rev. Dr. Larry Dean Johnson announces his retirement as president of Youth Encounter. Under Johnson’s leadership, Youth Encounter has reached millions of youth worldwide with the saving message of the Gospel and has developed more than 1,100 professional church leaders through its team ministry program.

“Larry has given his ministry life to this organization and we are fortunate beyond belief to have had him for so long,” said Brian Brooks, Chairman of Lutheran Youth Encounter’s Board of Directors. “I rejoice in that life of ministry as Larry moves to a new time with new goals and new challenges.”

Johnson’s caring Biblical emphasis has bridged across church bodies and made Youth Encounter activities a prominent inter-Lutheran gathering point for generations.  The organization has partnered with over 50% of the Lutheran congregations in the United States and with national Lutheran churches in over 50 countries.
 
“It has been my privilege to serve Jesus Christ through the ministry of Lutheran Youth Encounter,” said Johnson.  “Our Lord has richly blessed me.  I trust that He has also richly blessed many others during my years of service.  My thanks to everyone who has participated in this ministry. I am pleased to welcome my successor Thomas O’Neill. I will keep Tom and this ministry in my prayers that God might continue to bless it.”
               
O’Neill comes to Youth Encounter with significant experience in both the non-profit and corporate world.  He spent seven years as the Director of Programs at Camp Luther in northern Wisconsin and most recently as a Senior Community Engagement Leader with Thrivent Financial.

“Thomas possesses the gifts Youth Encounter needs at this time in its ministry. We are blessed that God sent him to us at this time,” said Brooks.

O’Neill’s appointment is effective March 17, 2014. He succeeds Johnson, the only president in the history of Youth Encounter.

“I’m extremely excited to be back in youth ministry,” O’Neill says.  “God has a fantastic plan for Youth Encounter, and I am humbled that He has chosen me to be a part of that.”
 
O’Neill grew up in eastern North Dakota and graduated from North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND with a degree in Mass Communications. He and his wife Jennifer live in the Minneapolis area with their three young boys, Austin, Caleb, and Trevor.
 
For more information please visit www.youthencounter.org/president.
               

About Youth Encounter

Youth Encounter, a non-profit Christian ministry organization, has been offering relational youth ministry resources to Christian communities for 50 years. Rooted in the Christian Scriptures and shaped by the Lutheran tradition, Youth Encounter partners with Christian communities of all denominations throughout 30 countries.
 
Annually, Youth Encounter facilitates over 100,000 encounters with Christ all over the world and shares the Gospel with thousands of youth through its event ministry, team ministry, and service ministry.
 
For more information about Youth Encounter, visit www.youthencounter.org.]]>
In Memoriam - Rev. Daniel J. Wissmann http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 12 Mar 14 00:00:00 -0600 The Rev. Daniel J. Wissmann, Appleton, WI, died January 15, 2014. 
 
With an initial diagnosis in 1990 that gave him only 2 years to live, Dan dealt with the many difficult symptoms and effects of a brain tumor for 23 years. 

A graduate of Wartburg College and Wartburg Theological Seminary, Daniel was ordained at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in rural Pella, Wisconsin.  He served an internship at St. John Lutheran in Wishek (ND), where he preached in German and English, as he then did at his first parish, St. John Lutheran in Windsor Colorado.  He also served Good Shepherd Lutheran in Bismarck (ND), St John Lutheran, Royal (IL), Brommen Hospital as a hospice chaplain in Normal (IL), Immanuel Lutheran, Lincoln (IL), Holy Cross Lutheran, as interim pastor in Decatur (IL), and Zion Lutheran, as visitation pastor in Oshkosh (WI). 

Survivors include his wife, Camille, and sons Luke (wife: Irina) and Paul (wife: Ming).
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Pr. Kristen Phillips Ordined, Pr. Glen Arlt Ordained and Installed http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 06 Mar 14 00:00:00 -0700 The following ordination and installation announcements have been submitted by members of the LCMC community and have also been featured in the 1st Quarter 2014 edition of our By The Word newsletter. 
 

Ordination of Kristen Phillips

Kristen Phillips was ordained and installed on Sunday, December 1st, 2013 at 6:00 P.M. at Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Church & School
 in Jacksonville, Florida. 
 
Born and raised in Wisconsin, she relocated to Jacksonville, FL in 1986
.  She joined Shepherd of the Woods in 1991 and began to hear a call to vocational ministry.  She completed the Associate in Ministry program and was commissioned as an AIM in 2005.  She received her Pastoral Ministry Certification from the Institute of Lutheran Theology in May 2013.  Now ordained, she serves as an Associate Pastor at Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Church & School.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ordination & Installation of Rev. Glenn Arlt

Rev. Glenn Arlt was ordained and installed as an Associate Pastor at Family of Faith Lutheran Church, Traverse City, Michigan, on December 1, 2013.  Rev. Daniel LeCouteur officiated.  Also participating was council president John Sarya.

Glenn is a recent graduate of Beyond the River Academy and served his internship at Family of Faith while attending the academy.  Although he received several inquires from congregations across the continent, Glenn decided to serve Family of Faith as a part-time tent-maker pastor, while maintaining his position at Hagerty Insurance and caring for his aging parents. Glenn and his wife Denise have been married for 34 years and have two grown sons.

- Submitted by Rev. Daniel LeCouteur
 
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Meal Packaging Project Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 27 Feb 14 00:00:00 -0700 Annual Gathering in October.  
 
As of January, we have collectively raised $8,940.67 to be used for obtaining food, packaging materials and postage for the project. 
graph 
Those wishing to make a donation to the project, or to download promotional flyers and posters to help promote the project, can do so by clicking here
 
We have also created a Facebook event page, titled "Two Hours. 1,000 People. 400,000 Meals.", to help make it easier for social media users to stay updated on the project and to share the event details with others. 
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Wanted: Call Committee Coaches http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 27 Feb 14 00:00:00 -0700
If you’re interested in learning more, or have ideas that I should incorporate into a training session, please email me at steve@lcmc.net. ]]>
Blessman Ministries Plants First LCMC Congregation in South Africa http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 26 Feb 14 00:00:00 -0700
The church will be in a rural country school house building that has electricity, running water and an outdoor toilet.  It is a gathering place for our rural farm area, is the voting polling place, and has a soccer field where nearby farmers gather on Sunday afternoons. 

There is no other church of any denomination for several miles, and there are hundreds of farm workers in our area who do not have vehicles, so they have been unable to attend church.  This area definitely needs Jesus. 

Please pray for us as we walk down this new path.  We are in immediate need of chairs, musical equipment, hymnals, a cross, signage and praying for a church bus to bring many more people to church.  

For more info:

Website: www.blessmanministries.org
Phone: (515) 343-5920
Email: office@blessmanministries.org
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Michigan Pastor Asks Christians to Come Together Against Cancer http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 12 Feb 14 00:00:00 -0700 Darlene Zschech and her recent battle with cancer.  It just sort of ticked me off that Satan, through this disease, would attack a very gifted song writer for the Church! 

We have all prayed for individuals and many times we see people healed and sometimes they are not.  I decided to have my own personal WAR on this disease. I know that God can do something about this.  His word can be spoken and this disease would be gone!  He can work through researchers for their eyes to be opened or simply eliminate it. 

I'm asking you to encourage all churches and all Christians to ban together during the lenten season from March 5th to Easter Sunday April 20th to specifically join with me to pray to God, daily and in their services weekly, for a cure or elimination of this disease. 

I am going to personally contact as many church bodies in the United States and local congregations to join me in this quest for this Lenten season. 

Spread the idea around if you choose to. 

Pastor Mark Gerisch
Hope Lutheran Church
Caseville, MI
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Scholarship Opportunity for High School Seniors http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 04 Feb 14 00:00:00 -0700 When you add up to cost of tuition, books, lab fees, parking passes, and sometimes even room and board, the cost of a college education adds up fast.  Fortunately, one organization is offering an opportunity to help avoid racking up the debt. 

The Lutheran Community Foundation plans to award one $5,000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior who plans to attend a Lutheran-affiliated college or university for the 2014-2015 academic year. 

The requirements for this scholarship are as follows:
  1. Be a high school graduating senior and a member of a congregation that holds an active LCF Organizational Fund
  2. Demonstrate financial need and submit a copy of their FAFSA Student Aid Report
  3. Plan to attend an accredited Lutheran-affiliated college or university
  4. At the time of the award, candidates must be enrolled on a full-time basis based upon the respective institution's definition of full-time status
  5. Be in good academic standing with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 grading system as confirmed by LCF receipt of Official Transcript verifying GPA
  6. Submit essays on the topics described on page 4  (see PDF below)
  7. Ensure receipt of two confidential letters of recommendation-one authored by the candidate/s pastor and one authored by a teacher - by the deadline

The deadline for applications is Thursday, May 15, 2014

Those with questions regarding this scholarship opportunity may contact Susan M. Hayes, LCF's Director of Community Grants and Services, at 1-800-365-4172 or by e-mail at susan.hayes@thelcf.org.
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LCMC-ers Celebrate Second Annual Three Days of Prayer http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sat, 01 Feb 14 00:00:00 -0700 Three Days of Prayer.  

For the second time in the association's history, LCMC Service Coordinator Rev. Mark Vander Tuig invited members of LCMC to start off the New Year with three consecutive days of prayer, focused on confession, petition and vision, and organized in any way that made sense to the participants.  

The goal?  To see LCMC become more and more a people of prayer. 

"We too often see prayer as the last resort, and even as an acknowledgement of defeat. But it is not! It is the greatest and most effective thing we can do," Rev. Vander Tuig said.  

Based on a survey conducted during the month of January, 52% of people who took part in the event this year were first-timers.  

Hosting prayer services or vigils and distributing prayer booklets proved to be the most popular methods for organizing the three days, and an effective way to encourage participation from congregation members.

One such congregation, Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Maple Lake, MN, distributed themed pamphlets to its members each day and hosted prayer vigils, which were attended by 45 people, each night. "People really enjoyed the prayer stations on "Petition Day", Pr. Culynn Curtis said.  "Although it was part of our worship service, these Lutherans got out of the chair, focused on an object and offered prayers of petition for themselves, family and friends, creation, the world, the hungry and homeless, and those in need of healing."

Over a third of the people surveyed also reported coming up with other creative ways to boost participation and emphasize the importance of prayer.  

"We offered a prayer clock to each person. These were distributed in the bulletin and via email from the pastor. The clock consisted of 3 areas of prayer for each hour of the day, " said Linda Lerum of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Idaho Falls, ID.  "We had three areas for prayer in each hour: One, to praise God for who He is using the attribute listed; Two, to thank God for what He has already done; and Three, to ask God for the needs listed on that hour, [at] which there was three requests: a person (staff), a ministry team, and a mission we support outside our walls."

For other LCMC-ers, the event was an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the power of prayer.

Hawley Lutheran Church of Hawley, MN encouraged participation by offering people a chance to submit written prayer requests and conducting a prayer walk.  "Prayer is intimidating to a lot of people, so our goal is to try to make our prayer experiences less intimidating; more practical,"  said Pastor Jeff Teeples.

Others thought even further outside the box, thinking up creative ways to help people with weekday commitments find time to participate.

Congregation members at First Lutheran Church of Washburn, ND were invited to lunch, complete with a speaker and time set aside for prayer, on each of the three days.  Many students and working people were able to attend the event on their lunch hour.  Judy Beaudry, who helped coordinate the event, enjoyed the fact that many of the congregation's younger families were able to attend.  

When asked what their favorite part of Three Days of Prayer was this year, 31% of people mentioned that they enjoyed praying together as a congregation and/or as part of LCMC as a whole.  Another 31% of people enjoyed the event's focus on Confession, Petition, and Vision.  

"I prayed on my knees each day.  It felt good to emphasize national and international concerns with other LCMC-ers who were doing the same," said, John Magness of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Braunfels, TX.

Many others seemed to agree.  

"One participant said that it was so refreshing to pray together, they wished we could have a prayer service every month!  We will have to think about that," said Lila de Waal, a Diaconal Minister at Victory Lutheran Church in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.

"I personally felt an amazing presence of the Holy Spirit the moment I walked through the door.  All my cares, burdens, and worries were lifted and [this] allowed me to have peace.  It was awesome.  I felt 'blessed' to have this experience," said Rhonda Zingler of Gloria Dei Lutheran in Tomah, WI.  

Next year's Three Days of Prayer is set to take place from January 6-8, 2015.


"I think it is something that should continue year after year," said Pr. Frank Remski.  "It gives you a time of reflection and calmness."

As always, more information and additional resources can be found by clicking here.
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Annual Gathering Videos Now Available http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 29 Jan 14 00:00:00 -0700
Videos of individual speakers, as well as the complete webcast from all four days of the gathering, can be found in our Video Blog.  This includes:
  • Keynote Speakers: Rev. Kyle Idleman, Mr. Chuck Bentley & Rev. Enrique Estrada
  • Preachers (Opening & Closing Worship): Rev. Derek Johnson & Rev. Greg Wallace
  • Bible Study Leaders: Rev. Sue Gunderson, Rev. David Gran & Rev. John Lewis
  • Reports from Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Rev. Dan Clites & Rev. Dr. Paul Spaulding
  • All Breakout Sessions that were offered on the main stage
Photo galleries and downloadable copies of our Annual Gathering Book are also available, and can be found here. ]]>
LCMC Announces Leadership Training Events for Spring 2014 http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 29 Jan 14 00:00:00 -0700
Pastor Steward will be joined by nationally known consultants and well-loved pastors Dr. Hal Seed (Dynamic Church Planting International), Pastor Paul Cross (Seguin, Texas), and worship leader, composer and presenter, Steve Young.

A complete schedule, details about speakers, area hotels, restaurants, beaches and on-line registration are available by clicking here.

Do your part to network with fellow pastors: invite a colleague to join you! See you there!

Calling all Certification Interviewers:

If you’re one of the heroes in the parish who volunteer to conduct certification interviews, or if you’re interested in joining those valuable ranks, plan now to join us on Saturday morning, May 17, 2014, following The “GO” Conference to discuss this important aspect of our Certification process.  We’ll network with one another, offer feedback on the process, and offer some further training and insights.  Stay tuned for further details.]]>
LCMC Service Coordinator to Present New Workshop Series http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 27 Jan 14 00:00:00 -0700 Rev. Mark Vander Tuig has created a new series of workshops designed to help as many members and leaders of LCMC congregations to make the paradigm shift from membership to discipleship as possible.

In each Congregational Workshop, he will present some Biblical concepts that will hopefully challenge, inspire and encourage our people to remember who we are as the Body of Christ and to whom we belong: Jesus.
 
Click Here to learn more.

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Survey: Three Days of Prayer http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 13 Jan 14 00:00:00 -0700 The survey below has been created to help make it easier for fellow LCMC-ers (and any non-LCMC-ers who may have participated) to share their experiences from our Second Annual Three Days of Prayer, which took place January 7-9, 2014.
 
Responses to the survey received by Friday, January 24, 2014 may be considered for publication in an article for the upcoming edition of our quarterly BY THE WORD newsletter.
 
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LCMC Staff to Mail Updated Clergy Cards http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 09 Jan 14 00:00:00 -0700 We have received several inquiries over the past few weeks regarding the expiration date of clergy cards for rostered LCMC pastors. 
 
Our staff is currently in the process of creating and mailing updated clergy cards to our pastors, and we anticipate all updated cards to be mailed by the end of January. 
 
Should you have any further questions, please contact Cathy Nichol, Administrative Assistant for LCMC.
 
 
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Ringing in 2014 with Prayer, Church Planting and Feeding the Hungry http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 01 Jan 14 00:00:00 -0700

Three Days of Prayer 

 
We will begin 2014 by kicking off our Second Annual Three Days of Prayer on Tuesday, Jaunuary 7th.  

To share photos of your Three Days of Prayer experience with us via Facebook or Instagram, use the hashtags #threedaysofprayer, #lcmc, and #oktopost (if it's ok for us to consider your photo for possible publication on our website or in a future LCMC newsletter).  Be sure to include your name and/or the name and location of your congregation in the caption, so we know who you are! 

For those who aren't on Facebook or Instagram, photos and stories can be emailed to kristy@lcmc.net.


Church Planting Events

 
The following week, Rev. Dan Clites, LCMC's Coordinator for New Ministry Development, will host an Evangelism Event  and a New Church Planter's Meeting at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Laguna Woods, CA.  


Feeding the Hungry in 2014


As many of you have probably read, we plan to package 400,000 meals together at our 14th Annual Gathering in Des Moines, which will feed people all around the world.  

To help make this happen, throughout the year, we are asking each of our congregations to set aside funds to help us raise $80,000 to cover the cost of food, packaging and shipping.  To learn more about our service project, click here
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Socially Responsible Fund Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 26 Dec 13 00:00:00 -0700
There is an entire subset of the investment industry called socially responsible investing.  I became initially interested in this over 25 years ago as I was attending Gustavus Adolphus College and taking an Ethics in Business course.  I wrote my term paper on socially responsible investing – this was back when it was in its infancy.  The industry has progressed now from overall social responsibility to more specific guidelines about environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) criteria.  And now there are even further subsets of that with investment criteria aimed at specific ESG criteria and/or specific investment criteria.
To answer the request, we researched various investment options and determined there was a socially responsible fund that we should add to the investment lineup in the plan.  The Neuberger Berman Socially Responsive Fund was recommended and subsequently approved by the LCMC Investment Committee to be added to the fund.  It was officially added in September 2013.

The Neuberger Berman Socially Responsive Fund (symbol NRAAX) believes that corporate responsibility is a hallmark of quality and has the potential to produce positive investment results so it invests in companies that follow principles of good corporate citizenship. The fund focuses on companies that are responsive to environmental issues; are agents of favorable change in workplace policies; are committed to upholding universal human rights standards; and are good corporate citizens.  In addition, the Fund avoids companies with products with negative public health implications such as tobacco, alcohol, weapons, and nuclear power.

Further information can be found on the Fund Information page on your private LCMC retirement plan website or at www.nb.com and look up the Socially Responsive Fund.]]>
Thoughts on Housing Allowance http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 10 Dec 13 00:00:00 -0700
Office of the General Assembly (OGA) has been receiving inquiries and questions regarding the November 21, 2013 decision of a federal district court (Western District of Wisconsin) judge in Madison, Wisconsin which held that a portion of Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code is unconstitutional. Section 107 is the provision dealing with tax - favored housing benefits for “ministers of the gospel.” Specifically, the court held that Section 107(2), which permits ministers to receive tax-free cash
“housing allowance,” is unconstitutional because it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Section 107(1), which allows ministers to reside tax-free in a church-provided manse, was not affected by the court’s decision.

In the case, Freedom From Religion Foundation, et al. v. Lew, et al., the United States government was the party which defended the constitutionality of Section 107, a federal law enacted by Congress many decades ago. As the losing party, the government must now decide whether it wants to appeal this decision to the next level of the federal court system, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Based on available information, an appeal is likely. The court in Wisconsin delayed the implementation of its decision until any appeals which may be filed by the government are concluded or until the deadline for filing an appeal has passed whichever is later. OGA understands the government will have sixty (60) days to file an appeal, and so the district court’s decision will have no effect until sometime in 2014 at the earliest. Therefore, this ruling should not affect a minister’s 2013 income tax return filing or the employer’s designation for 2014. If an appeal is filed, this case could take several more years to be finally decided. Further, should the ruling of this court stand without appeal, the ruling of this court has limited impact in that its decisions apply only to its geographic district.

It is too early to fully understand the impact of this case or to predict the chances for this decision to be reversed. OGA will continue to actively monitor the case and be in conversation with ecumenical partners as it develops.  Email inquiries to Kathie Lyvers at kathie.lyvers@pcusa.org.

The Rev. Dr. W. Maynard Pittendreigh, PCCA, D.Min

Senior Pastor

Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church
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Meet LCMC's New Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 25 Nov 13 00:00:00 -0700 Dear Friends in Christ,
 
I am thrilled to introduce myself as the new Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry in LCMC!
 
I was born in southern Minnesota and was raised in Staten Island, New York.  I finished high school, college and seminary in Minnesota.
 
Along the way I attended Lutheran Bible Institute (LBI) in Seattle, Washington; toured with a Youth For Christ International singing team in southeast Asia and the U.S.; and finally landed in Watertown, South Dakota, for my first call as a pastor.  Since then, I’ve served congregations—large and small—in South Dakota, Texas, Iowa and California.
 
I am passionate about serving Christ, loving my family, and being a faithful husband, father, and grandfather.  I met my wife, Joanne, when I was“ the pastor’s kid” in New York. The Arthur Hall family, who were serving as medical missionaries in South Africa, came to visit the congregation my father served. The Lien and Hall families became friends, and many years later—after getting acquainted as adults at LBI and again at Augsburg College—Joanne and I were married in 1975.

Joanne is a Registered Nurse who has served most of her career in long-term and hospice care. She recently resigned as Director of Patient Care Services at Hospice Partners of Southern California, based in Santa Monica.

Joanne and I have three grown and married children and are the proud grandparents of seven (soon to be eight!) grandchildren.

I’m told that I’m energetic, often comical, and certainly out-of-the-box! I love telling people about a God who relentlessly loves, forgives and embraces His children.

Some of the very best and most fulfilling years of my life have been spent in ordained ministry—and some of the most painful and challenging years as well. Through it all God has proved faithful, sustained me, taught and tempered me and continued to use me in others’ lives.

I’m absolutely thrilled and humbly grateful about the opportunity to share what I’ve learned and what I’m learning through serving God by serving congregations and pastors throughout LCMC.  I look forward to meeting many of you in the years to come!

Yours in Christ,
Steve]]>
Lutheran Youth Take the Urban Plunge http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 15 Nov 13 00:00:00 -0700 Over the past eight years, groups of youth from Lutheran churches all over the country have gone to love the poor, serve the homeless and care for their communities; trading in their weekends and vacations of relaxing, catching up on homework, and enjoying their comfortable nights in front of the television, to take the Plunge. The Urban Plunge; forty eight hours of working with the poor; feeding the homeless, visiting the jail; and serving, serving, serving.

82 Lutheran groups have taken the Plunge, most recently including Bethany Lutheran Church from Spencer, Iowa, the First Lutheran Church from Bottineau, North Dakota, Bethany Lutheran Church from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the King of Kings Lutheran Church from Woodbury, Minnesota, Our Savior Lutheran Church from Albert City, Iowa, the Immanuel Lutheran Church from Dixon, Illinois, the Peace Lutheran Church from Pella, Iowa, the Messiah Lutheran Church from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, St Johns Lutheran Church from Bennington, Nebraska, and the Lutheran Church of the Master, from Omaha, Nebraska.

The teams have all had the experience of a life-time, stepping out of their suburban bubbles to discover what life is really like for so many less-fortunate in and around their own nation.

"It put faces to the homeless and really changed my perspective on how approachable people in poverty can be” said Bethany Johnson, from the Bethany Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, “I am more aware of the needs others might have, and seeing what I can do to help make a difference. "

"It showed me that everyone has a need, and as God's child, it is my duty to help fulfill them. It showed me a little work goes a long way" commented Annette Hanke, from Immanuel Lutheran Church, Dixon Illinois.

During the weekend, all the groups visited 8-9 different faith-based organizations that are working among the poor, discovering what their passions and gifts are, and how best to use them in their local area.
The Urban Plunge, operated by Christ For the City International, does not provide a ‘tour of poverty,’ but instead, helps participants to grasp how they can use their talents and passions to assist faith-based social-service agencies who already work alongside those who are in great need. They therefore aim to meet need, offer practical love and assistance, and ignite lasting passions to help back home.
"It showed me just how much more the church can do for the people in need in our area" said Mindy Lavender, from the Bethany Lutheran Church, in Spencer Iowa.

"Now I know that they are really in need, I want to do this for the rest of my life" encouraged Addison Baker, from the Messiah Lutheran Church, Oklahoma City.

"I learned that compassion is action" said Weston Grunke, from the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Omaha.

The Urban Plunge operates all year round in Lincoln, Omaha, Kansas City, Dallas, Des Moines and Sioux Falls.

For more information, visit www.urbanplunge.com.

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LWR Responds to Super Typhoon Haiyan, Offers Resources http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 13 Nov 13 00:00:00 -0700
The full extent of damage across the Philippines is still difficult to determine due to disruptions in communications. Access to storm‐affected areas is limited as a result of flash floods, landslides, fallen trees, damaged roads and downed power lines and telecommunications. An estimated 675,000 people are currently displaced, including nearly 400,000 people in more than 1,300 evacuation centers. Reports indicate that approximately 10,000 people may have died as a result of the storm in Tacloban municipality alone.

 

How is Lutheran World Relief Responding?


LWR's Philippines staff are now coordinating with our partners to mobilize staff and resources to respond to the most urgent needs.

  • Shelter: LWR will provide shelter repair kits to families whose homes were damaged in the typhoon.
  • Cash programs: LWR will employ residents of three municipalities in Northern Cebu in short-term work assignments removing debris from public spaces, helping to get cash into the hands of those who need it.
  • Household supplies: LWR will provide families who have lost their belongings with essential household supplies such as cooking utensils and plates.
  • Quilts and Kits: LWR is shipping Personal Care Kits, Baby Care Kits, School Kits and Quilts, which will be distributed to more than 26,000 families.


How Can I Get Involved?


There are several ways you can help respond to the needs of the people of the Philippines:

  • Please pray for those affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan and for all who are working to respond in the aftermath of the storm.
  • Give to the Philippines Typhoon fund. Your cash donations help LWR respond quickly to emerging needs on the ground. LWR accepts gifts online, by phone at (800) 597-5972 or by mail at Lutheran World Relief, P.O Box 17061, Baltimore MD 21297-1061.
  • Please consider assembling Quilts and Kits so that we have stock to respond to this and other emerging situations around the world.

 



Click Here
for congregational resources including text for bulletins/e-news/newsletter, a video of LWR's VP for International Programs providing an update on our response, and bulletin inserts.  Also available: a Powerpoint, prayers/petitions, sermon starters, and a children’s sermon.




For more information, visit Lutheran World Relief's website at http://lwr.org.]]>
LCMC Apparel Available http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 11 Nov 13 00:00:00 -0700 Whether you're in search of a Christmas gift for a fellow LCMC-er, or simply looking to purchase apparel for yourself, a colorful assortment of LCMC Logo clothing items is now available for purchase. 
 
Available items include: 
  • Women's Long Sleeve Shirts
  • Women's Polos
  • Men's Long Sleeve Shirts
  • Men's Short Sleeve Shirts
  • Men's Polos 
  • Unisex T-Shirts
  • Pullover Jackets (Red & Black)
  • Full Zip Jackets (Blue)  

These items (pictured below) are available to all who are interested on a first come, first serve basis. 

If interested, please contact Cathy Nichol, LCMC Administrative Assistant at cathy@lcmc.net or 734-788-7476 for sizes and prices.

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LCMC Announces New Board Members, Facebook Groups and Future Events http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 04 Nov 13 00:00:00 -0700
The event served as an opportunity for "LCMC-ers" from all over the world to connect with one another, and reflect on this year's theme, "The Grace of Giving". 

Additionally, the association welcomed one new member to the Board of Trustees and two new members to the Ministry Board, established two new online discussion groups, and announced the details for its next two events. 

Board of Trustees & Ministry Board


Rev. Julie Smith
of Springfield, MN was elected to the LCMC Board of Trustees.  Newly appointed to the LCMC Ministry Board were Rev. Paul Owens of New Braunfels, TX and Rev. Sally Gausmann of York, PA.  (View Board & Staff Page)

New Online Discussion Groups


To help make it easier for those in LCMC who face similar challenges to be able to connect with one another, two new discussion groups were established via Facebook last month. 

LCMC: The Next Generation was created by a group of LCMC pastors and leaders in their 20s and 30s during this year's Annual Gathering as a place for young adults in LCMC to connect with one another, share resources, offer prayer and support, and plan activities. 

LCMC Clergy Spouses
is a discussion group which offers a place for the clergy spouses of LCMC to come together for prayer and support.

Three Days of Prayer


In his State of the Association speech, Rev. Mark Vander Tuig announced that our next association-wide event, Three Days of Prayer, will take place from January 7-9, 2014.  

2014 Annual Gathering


The details for LCMC's 14th Annual Gathering, "Defending the Faith", were also announced.  The event will take place from October 5-8, 2014 at the Polk County Convention Complex in Des Moines, IA and feature a special meal packaging service project.  

"Our hope is to get 1,000 people to package meals on Tuesday night during our gathering," Rev. Mark Vander Tuig said.  "If we can do this, we could package 400,000 meals together in two hours."  To achieve this goal, we will need to raise $80,000 for supplies and shipping.  (Read More...)

Videos & Photos


Photo galleries, video presentations and downloadable copies of our past and present Annual Gathering Books can be found by visiting our Media & Downloads page.  

As always, we plan to have videos of our 2013 Annual Gathering speakers available here later this winter. ]]>
LCMC to Add New Staff Position, Package Meals in 2014 http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 28 Oct 13 00:00:00 -0600 Budget for 2014One very important thing took place at our convention in Dearborn…we approved the budget for 2014! 

Our 2014 budget calls for a 16% increase in giving from our member congregations.  At first, this seems like a lot, and we have not often ever asked our congregations for more.  But, as our association has grown, so have the requests for greater resources and help. 

We remain committed to a horizontal structure and to finding ways to help the congregations, pastors and leaders carry out the work of ministry, however, this requires an increase in staff.  Our new position, Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry replaces the former position of Coordinator for Pastoral Certification and moves the position from ¾ time to full-time. 

The graph below shows clearly the growth with which we have been blessed.  But to whom much is given, much is required. 

Number of Congregations in LCMC

Still, this only requires an increase of $100 per congregation!  Some of us can do more, not all of us will be able to do that much…but this does not seem too great a challenge to continue to support what God is doing in and through LCMC.



Packaging Meals in Des Moines

One of the things that we are hoping to do at our Annual Gathering in Des Moines, IA next October is a service project! 

Meals from the Heartland is an agency that organizes people to package meals to send all around the world, as well as to areas here in the U.S.  You have maybe seen this happen, or even helped to do so in your area.  These efforts are also known as Kids Against Hunger, Feed My Starving Children, and others.

Our hope is to get 1,000 people to package meals on Tuesday night during our gathering.  If we can do this, we could package 400,000 meals together in two hours.  To purchase the supplies, the packaging, and to pay for shipping will require about $80,000 to be raised, and so we are asking each congregation to begin now to set aside funds in order to bring an offering to make all of this happen.  With 706 congregations in the US, this comes only to about $115 from each church.  Again, some of us can do more, some not as much, but we can all do something to help feed the world’s hungry.]]>
Over 120 People Enjoy Free Chili Cookoff and Comedy, Raise $500 for Children in Need http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 16 Oct 13 00:00:00 -0600 On Friday, October 11, St. John’s Lutheran in Elkhorn and other area organizations hosted their first ever free monthly event titled “Elkhorn TGIF” for ages 0-120, and it was a huge success!

13 members from throughout the Elkhorn community entered the chili contest, being judged by over 120 cookoff goers who dropped change into the box of their favorite bowl of chili. Jen Christman of Elkhorn was the winner (receiving a funny antacid trophy), and in total the cookoff raised $500 for Operation Christmas Child, a program helping connect Christmas gifts with children in need around the world.

After the meal, everyone enjoyed over an hour of hilarious comedy led by ComedyCity (Green Bay) member Theresa Kaman and a team of amateur performers from the community, including Ted Johnson, Lance Ellsworth, Susan Happersberger, Tom De Groot and Donna Searles.

Tom De Groot, pastor at St. John’s, commented, “The two things people were most surprised about was the fact that the event was “free”, and that it wasn’t “religious”. I was amazed when $500 was raised for Operation Christmas Child. We are thankful to have been able to host a good, clean night of fun for all ages, and are blown away at the generosity of the people who came. And, of course, it was great to leave with our faces hurting from so much laughter.”

The next Elkhorn TGIF event, Thanksgiving Giveway & Scavenger Hunt, will be held on the second Friday, November 8th, at St. John’s from 5:30-7:30pm. The community will again be invited to join in a free event, fun for all ages, as we gather to participate in an interactive community scavenger hunt. Along the way, teams will give away a free gift to the people they encounter. On the free gift will be an invitation to those in need this Thanksgiving to confidentially contact the contact us and receive a free holiday meal basket “with all the fixins’”. Likewise, the invitation will also invite those who are blessed to have a meal this Thanksgiving to consider bringing one food item to be included in these free meal baskets.

Pizza will be available for participants for $1 per slice, and free hot drinks will be provided at Scavenger Hunt locations throughout Elkhorn. There will be something for everyone, from families with young kids to those who cannot leave the church. Go online to www.elkhorntgif.org to register for your free ticket and for more info on this and future events.

St. John’s is located on the corner of West Geneva and South Broad Streets in Downtown Elkhorn, just one block from the square. For more information, please call 262-723-2901 or visit www.stjohnselkhorn.com.

Pictured: Lance Ellsworth, Pastor Tom De Groot, Ted Johnson, Theresa Kaman, Donna Searles]]>
LCMC to Live Stream 13th Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 24 Sep 13 00:00:00 -0600
For those of you who will be unable to make it to Dearborn this fall, we will once again be streaming live all of our main sessions and Worship Services online at www.lcmc.net/live.  

For a complete list of speakers and times, check out our Gathering Schedule.  Please keep in mind that this schedule is tentative and subject to change with or without advance notice.  

Videos of our speakers will be available in our Video & Presentations Blog this winter. ]]>
LCMC: In the Cloud http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 23 Sep 13 00:00:00 -0600
I now have a Facebook page as the Service Coordinator for LCMC.  My page is pretty lame…nothing inflammatory, political or personal, just a few posts once in a while to let people know where I am, where I’ve been and that’s about it.  LCMC has a Facebook page as well and I find it to be very well administered, having good questions, answers and discussion.  Plus, it is a source of information about what is happening in our association and in some cases what is happening in the lives of some of our pastors, leaders and congregations.  The posts that I most love to read are the requests for prayer.  Who would have guessed that the internet would be such a great network for people to pray!

If you have not yet signed up for our LCMC Facebook page, you can do so on our website, another great source of information as to what all is going on!  And this seems so natural for our association since we were born out of the Word Alone Network, another internet-based movement.  I love the words of Hebrews 11, “For we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…”.  Obviously, the writer was not referring to the Internet, but now when I read it as a member of LCMC (an association that genuinely does occupy the “cloud” in the 21st century), all I can think of is us!

Facebook Page
  |  Facebook Discussion Group]]>
Socially Responsible Fund Now Available for 403(b) Participants http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 19 Sep 13 00:00:00 -0600 Social Investment Guidelines 

Neuberger Berman Socially Responsive Fund — Description of Social Policy 


Neuberger Berman Socially Responsive Fund believes that corporate responsibility is a hallmark of quality and has the potential to produce positive investment results. The Fund is designed to allow investors to put their money to work and also support companies that follow principles of good corporate citizenship. The Fund seeks long-term growth of capital by investing primarily in securities of companies that meet its value-oriented financial and environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria (i.e., its social policy). The Fund focuses on companies that are responsive to environmental issues; are agents of favorable change in workplace policies (particularly for women and minorities); are committed to upholding universal human rights standards; and are good corporate citizens. In addition, the Fund avoids companies with products with negative public health implications. The Fund looks for companies that show leadership in their environmental and workplace practices. The Fund seeks to invest in companies that demonstrate ESG policies in the following areas:
  • Environmental issues
  • Employment practices and diversity policies
  • Community relations
  • Supply chain issues
  • Product integrity (safety, quality)
  • Disclosure and sustainability reporting

In addition to examining ESG practices, the Fund endeavors to avoid companies that derive revenue from gambling or the production of:
  • tobacco
  • alcohol
  • weapons or
  • nuclear power

The Fund may also consider public health issues, externalities associated with a company’s products and general corporate citizenship in making its investment decisions.
 
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Faith Community Lutheran Church Coordinates Relief Efforts for Flood Devastation http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 18 Sep 13 00:00:00 -0600 Faith Community Lutheran Church of Longmont, CO is coordinating relief efforts and collecting donations to help assist those who have been devastated by recent floods in the state of Colorado. 
 
Those wishing to make donations may send them to the following address: 

Faith Community Lutheran Church 
Attention:  Flood Relief 
9775 Ute Highway 
Longmont, CO  80504 

The congregation also plans to have an online donation page set up at their website, www.fclc.org, within the next few days. 
 
For information updates regarding this or any other LCMC relief effort projects please see our Relief Efforts page. 
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http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 16 Sep 13 00:00:00 -0600 “Follow Me!: Living in the Mission of Christ” is a three-day missional event (Thursday, September 26 – Saturday, September 28) that will be held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and School (6168 Walmore Road, Sanborn, NY).  Sponsored by the Northeast District of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), this event will include church planting training as well as a conference with seminars and resources for Christian congregations looking to become more mission-minded and focused on discipleship.  The Conference Speaker will be Pastor Dan Clites, LCMC Coordinator for New Ministry Development.
 
Pastor Clites will lead two seminars on church planting – two consecutive nights running from 6:30 – 9 PM.  On Thursday, September 26, “Discovery” training is intended for those people interested in learning about, or seeking preliminary training for, church planting.  On Friday, September 27, “Developing” training is intended for those people seeking to understand the nuts-and-bolts of church planting.
 
On Saturday, September 28, the missional conference will be held from 9 AM – 3 PM.  Seminars for the day include topics such as discipleship, starting new congregations, kingdom-minded churches, and community transformation.  Lunch will be provided.      
 
This event is free and open to Christian pastors, church leadership team members, ministry leaders, and other congregational members. 
 
For information and/or to register, please call Jonathan Haseley, Associate in Ministry of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, at (716) 731-4422.
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Lutheran Disaster Assistance Fund News http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 16 Sep 13 00:00:00 -0600 The Lutheran Disaster Assistance Fund is up and running! Many LCMC congregations have responded to the initial appeal to establish an emergency fund, the goal of which is “To reach out to those impacted by disaster who otherwise would not have resources.” The fund has also received many generous donations from individuals nationwide.    


 
As of September 10, 2013, the Lutheran Disaster Assistance Fund has received over $75,300.  Of this, $49,800 has been designated by the donors specifically for Oklahoma tornado relief and $2,100 for response to the Colorado fires. Undesignated funds, of $21,900 will be used in response to future natural disasters.


 
Thus far we have received two applications for funds. Both applications have been approved by the LDA Application Review Board, comprised of five LCMC pastors from LDA-invested churches representing different regions of the country.     


 
The LDA funds directed to Oklahoma are being administered by Pastor Peter Balaban, pastor of Lighthouse Lutheran Church in Edmond, Okla. The LDA funds directed to the Colorado Black Forest fires are being directed by Pastor John Witkop of Bethel Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs.    


 
We hope that the LDA Fund will be able to respond with grants to all approved applications. Contributions designated for specific relief aid in the wake a natural disaster will be sent to the affected area.  Undesignated contributions will be deposited in the LDA Fund to be held in readiness for the next request for assistance.

To strengthen our ability to respond to requests, we continue to seek contributions from our member congregations. Each LCMC congregation is asked to prayerfully consider being a part of this mission. Contributions of $100 or more will be welcomed and can be submitted to:
 


Lutheran Disaster Assistance Fund

c/o St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

8300 C Avenue NE

Marion, IA 52302
 

 
To learn more about the LDA Fund or to apply for a grant, click here.
 
 
If you have questions, please contact the LDA Fund Chair, Dave Brauhn, at brauhn1864@gmail.com.
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Stewards for Ragbrai Opens Doors http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 28 Aug 13 00:00:00 -0600 Immanuel Lutheran Church of Harlan Iowa, in an effort to house bikers, opened its doors to create an oasis for more than 1,134 riders and support crew for 24 hours. Ragbrai, an anachronism for Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, a 40 year tradition to start by dipping the rear tire in the Missouri River, then bicycle 468 miles across Iowa’s July heat to complete a dipping of the front tire into the Mississippi River.  The seven day event is estimated to draw over 20,000 riders, support crew, and sightseers as a literal city progresses across Iowa this year.
 
Immanuel isn’t new to this either, five years ago, the church found a need for some desperate and expensive repairs to its roof, parking lot, pews and in general building maintenance. A charter group Pork Belly Ventures offered an opportunity to Immanuel; we open our church to host the riders and they pay the church a base fee. The experience proved not only a success for everyone but turned into a sharing moment for a number of the members. Many members expressed the exhaustion, effort, and hugely spiritual moments. So when Pork Belly found out the route for Ragbrai was going through Harlan again, it was evident to everyone, Immanuel was going to host once again, with glee.
 
Pastor Steve Chellew was asked, “What does the stewardship of Immanuel have to do with Ragbrai?” “When I think about a Certified Electrician working for free with the roasters on a flatbed, farmers offering hogs, personalize for a welcome center, leadership skills to elicit the help, the cooks in the kitchen, the Sunday school selling pies, women raffling a personalized quilt, there were so many displays of member’s stewardship. There is no other way to accomplish such a feat without everyone’s skill set.” Why should other churches attempt at what Immanuel just did? “Well, it’s not about the money. To me it is a great example of washing others feet, but in modern terminology. Church’s have a bad representation in our culture due to the sex scandals, politics, hypocrisy and so forth. So Ragbrai is simply about being Jesus to weary, tired, hungry travelers.”
 
So how does Immanuel Lutheran support 1,134 guests for lunch, dinner, and breakfast? It starts with the volunteers of the congregation of course, but it’s the coordinator everyone looks to, that would be Mary Taggs. With her continued contact with Pork Belly she was able to know what to feed the riders and to provide housing for the many wanting to stay inside an air-conditioned facility instead of the tent city outside Immanuel’s door. An estimated 45 steam roasters were used to cook the seven donated hogs and the potatoes for the dinner, 310 pounds for broccoli salad and 336 pounds of three bean salad were prepared, 50 trays of tollhouse bars were parceled out. Not to be over burdened the ladies brought together 40 pies, mostly the ever popular rhubarb pie, were sliced and sold individually, to the very last slice. Even a quilt was made by the ladies stitched from a t-shirt with the logo of every town the Ragbrai riders would stay overnight in. This quilt was then raffled off and mailed to the winning rider’s home.
The outcome was the stories of sharing. John Davis lead coordinator for outside grounds was introduced to one lost rider. In the midst of the confusion, a “50ish dear sweet woman” rider became separated from her group, the cell towers were overwhelmed making communications impossible, her only solitude was the church. Frazzled and desperate she found her way to Immanuel and was introduced to John. Through her remembering certain land marks and recognizing familiar neighborhoods they were able to reunite with her support team. Yet, John didn’t just drop the lost off and return; he spent some time with her and her support team visiting. It is this outreach Immanuel members have experienced throughout the 24 hour stay of our guest.
 
In an effort for the members of Immanuel to be visible to our guest t-shirts were designed and then ordered for the youth organization, LYO. The LYO met one evening and were instructed for a recognizable t-shirt. The finished product had bold letters, “And on the 8th Day… God Rode His Bike… to Harlan Iowa Immanuel Lutheran 2013” onto electric green shirts, Immanuel stood out. It’s one of these t-shirts one rider sought out and found, insisting to meet the organizer, to express his sincerest appreciation for our hospitality.
 
In addition to many grateful smiles from exhausted, sweaty, sore riders there were many handshakes. We found out how far our friends traveled to come for Ragbrai. We found out that not all are religious, but spiritual, yet recognized what we were doing was inspiring. We found out that our gracious guest left with such appreciation the church felt suddenly void when the last guest left on his bicycle between the green fields of Iowa.
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Metke 30 Years Still Growing http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 28 Aug 13 00:00:00 -0600 BLOOMFIELD — "Bloom where you're planted," said Pastor Brian Metke.

Thirty years ago, fresh out of seminary, Metke was planted at Trinity Church, his first and only congregation. 
 


On July 10, shortly before lugging duffle bags bloated with supplies for a mission trip to Kenya into the open trunks of vehicles belonging to volunteers not long before their flight, he said he has no plans on leaving.

 
 
With testimonials like the one provided by fellow pastor Joyce Rossen, why would he?

"He has so many gifts, so many talents, it's really almost impossible to think of all of them in one person," Rossen said.

 
 
It's also uncommon for a Lutheran pastor — any pastor, these days — to remain with one church for 30 years.


 
"I was expecting to be here three years or so, because that's what pastors did, but we stayed here," Metke said.


 
He could boast that what he accomplished with Trinity is the kind of thing politicians and even other church leaders often dream of, but never see fully materialize.


 
When he arrived at Trinity, in 1982, the church was "on the verge of collapse," he said. "Nobody could find it, first of all, and it was surrounded by a junkyard."
 


It was also in a community people often write off.
 


"This is the kind of place where one person said to me they've never seen anything good come out of Pell Lake," he said. "It's with that kind of attitude, where people grow up (in) a blue collar community. We realized Jesus is a blue-collar individual, and we've seen a revitalization here. People are proud of the community because they saw a church that was about to die rejuvenated."


 
Not just rejuvenated, but growing.


 
Trinity's congregation grew from 65 members in 1982 to currently 450, Metke said, drawing followers who live as far as 25 miles away. "We are unique," Metke said. "We have a unique style."

Gone are the junkyard surroundings of the former church on Clover Road.


 
For several years now, the church has deepened its roofs in 12 acres at W775 Geranium Drive, housed in a structure that's visible to motorists traveling north and south on Highway 12.
 
"This congregation didn't have a future on Clover Road," Metke said. "It was a unanimous decision to leave, which that in itself tells you something."


 
The location changed, but the man at the front of the church has remained the same. When asked why he has stayed — and why he said without hesitation that he won't leave — could be to set an example.


 
"I've taken a vow of stability," Metke said. "People move around so much in our world … and to take a vow of stability, like monks do, this is a spiritual effort. To have a person stay in one place is a great thing."


 
Metke is celebrating his 30th anniversary at the church he saved in a way that's just as unique as the church itself.
 


He said the congregation is providing him with the opportunity to pursue a doctorate in discipleship.

Metke will use Trinity as his thesis on healthy discipleships and rejuvenating congregations.
 


"That's really my gift for my 30th (anniversary), and what a legacy for the congregation, to take a green pastor and put up with all this stuff, all these changes I did. That's the real celebration.  Or, he joked, maybe the congregation is sending him back to school because he needs extra help.


 
A sense of humor is one cornerstone of Metke's vibrant personality. But maybe he doesn't fit the usual stereotypes associated with the term "pastor."
 
Metke has lots of stories, much to say — as any pastor would — but his stories don't stretch on infinitely, nor is he a repetitive speaker. He still looks young and full of energy, lifting duffel bags half his size and joking with missionaries at the same time.
 
A 1974 graduate of Union Grove High School, Metke discovered his calling at Marquette University, after learning to play guitar with a campus ministry. "A priest said to me, 'You should be a priest,' and I said, 'Hey, I'm Lutheran and I want to get married,'" Metke said. "Then he said, 'You should be a pastor.'" Why? He said he is a learner who has "genuine faith." "I have a gift set," Metke said. "I'm a good speaker, I'm a good teacher, I have a passion to achieve. My gift set, as a leader, was there, but I was open to developing my spiritual character. … I'm still growing. I'll never be finished."
 
Neither is Metke's work in rejuvenating congregations.
 
Recently, Metke, Rossen and Pastor Tom De Groot began working to revitalize St. John's Lutheran Church in Elkhorn.
 
Metke said they continue to look at struggling congregations.
 
"I believe that's our calling," he said.
 
What is the secret to restoring a congregation?
 
Metke said he believes God is using them.
 
One key to success in this arena is for one to allow him or herself to be an instrument of God, he said.
 
Another key: Loving people. "It's not a job," Metke said. "We really care about people." But a main focus at Trinity, the purpose of its activities, he said, is to make disciples.
 
"Most churches don't make disciples," Metke said. This, he said, is also how he wants to celebrate his 30th anniversary with Trinity. "When we see churches thriving because of our efforts and people developing a positive, life‐changing connection with Jesus Christ, I want to celebrate with the congregation by saying, yes, with the help of God, many good things continue to come out of Pell Lake."
 
Which perhaps also means Metke has bloomed nicely.
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Accepting Applications for Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry Position http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 15 Aug 13 00:00:00 -0600 an earlier post, Pastor Paul Spaulding is retiring at the end of this year. 

The Board of Trustees has approved a new job description (view description) and is calling for letters of application. 

The application process will close on September 15th, 2013 and requires a letter of interest, resume’ and the answers to three questions.  

All materials are to be sent to Pastor Larry Lindstrom either digitally or in writing (digital is preferred).  Pastor Lindstrom’s email address is:  llindstrom@woh.rr.com.  Pastor Lindstrom’s address is:

Pastor Larry Lindstrom
St. Andrew Lutheran Church
106 North Taylor Street
Farmersville, Ohio  45325


A team of people has been appointed to sort through the applications and recommend up to four candidates to be interviewed by the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, October 9th in Dearborn, immediately following the Annual Gathering and Convention.  The hope is that this position will be filled and begin work January 1, 2014.
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Rev. Dr. Paul Spaulding to Retire http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 15 Aug 13 00:00:00 -0600 I thank God for the privilege of serving LCMC as Pastoral Certification Coordinator since 2009. 

I am announcing my retirement from this position effective, December 31, 2013. I have had the joy of being involved in the process for hundreds of pastors coming to LCMC. 

LCMC is blessed with pastors committed to their Lord and to ministry.  My prayer is that they, and LCMC’s congregations, will not settle back, but will follow their Lord and His Spirit into the challenging mission field of 21st Century America. 

--Rev. Dr. Paul L. Spaulding]]>
Texas District Hosts Missions-Themed Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 13 Aug 13 00:00:00 -0600 The Texas District of the LCMC met in their Annual Convention August 2nd and 3rd  hosted by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Braunfels Texas.  The theme, “The River is Here,” spoke of the missional outreach which every member of the LCMC has at their fingertips!   Friday evening Rev. Dan Clites, LCMC Coordinator of New Ministry Development,  proclaimed God’s Word boldly in his message about how we are to get from “here” to “there” and the joy that is ready for all who let engage in the process of moving toward God’s preferred future.

Keynote speakers for the event were the Rev. Mark Vander Tuig and Rev. Enrique Estrada.  Each told of the urgency for all to engage in the mission of the church.  We are to be in the business of first being disciples then go about the process of making disciples who make disciples who make disciples. This process should help lead us to a place where the Lord will show His church His vision so that His glory is revealed.  This process will only happen when we can put things that allow conflict to happen in their proper perspective, being certain we “never let the sun go down on our anger.”

There were breakout sessions as there are with most Gatherings which all focused upon various aspects of missional living.  Breakout sessions that dealt with local issues were our Youth Ministry team, a session highlighting Family Ministry, as well as a session on digging into the Scriptures.  On the District level there were presentations on Lutherans for Life, Via De Cristo, Kairos Prison Ministry, Women of the Word, as well as a presentation on new church plants from the Texas District mission team.  On the national level we heard about the nuts and bolts of the LCMC.  Finally, from the international mission front, we heard from international missional opportunities such as the Eastern European Mission Network, Mexico Mission International, and Faith Missions International from Haiti.

In all, about 270 delegates, guests, volunteers and hosts made the event a powerful time for the fifty plus churches of the Texas District.  It was a time of prayer, of conversation, great food, awesome worship, as well as a time to reflect on our next steps together both as congregations and as a District.  It is the best of times to be part of one of the greatest opportunities in God’s Kingdom work today!]]>
National Lutheran Youth Event Makes an Impact http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 26 Jul 13 00:00:00 -0600 Impact, Youth Encounter’s third annual national high school youth event, brought together people representing 27 states for four days of praise, service, and learning in downtown St. Louis.

With Ephesians 4:12 as a focus, Impact worked to “equip the saints for works of service” in various ways.  In small groups, the students investigated simple ways to discuss their faith in the world beyond church and youth events.  In breakouts, students found themselves challenged to grow in their faith and understanding of the gospel message and to apply it to daily life.  Also included in the event was a food packaging service project in which the young people packaged nearly 50,000 emergency meals that will be used to support homeless and orphanage ministries in Haiti.

With worship led by bands Bread of Stone, Swen and Dean, Captive Free, and Todd Miller, participants experienced multiple opportunities each day to engage in corporate worship as well as hear important messages from a variety of speakers.  Pastor Jonathan Swenson challenged the youth through his vignettes about biblical characters, including encouraging students to put themselves in the shoes of Barabbas to truly understand the gift of God’s grace .  Rebecca Meidinger presented a three-talk series focusing on identifying the messages media is sending and how to avoid listening to voices in media instead of that of God.  Bob Lenz brought a humorous and poignant message of hope and responsibility as Christians.  Godfrey Minheso shared his powerful life story of growing up in an African slum and having his life changed forever when, at seven years old, the Church intervened.  The young people left Impact energized for a life in the faith and with new tools to spread the good news in their homes and communities.

Impact is an annual event for youth who completed 8-12 grade.  Impact 2014 is scheduled for June 26-29 in Cleveland, OH.  Information will be online this fall as it becomes available at www.youthencounter.org/impact.]]>
LCMC Hosts First Seminary Summit http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 25 Jul 13 00:00:00 -0600 LCMC Ministry Board, along with Rev. Dr. Paul Spaulding, our Coordinator for Pastoral Certification and Rev. Dan Clites, our Coordinator for New Ministry Development. 

The agenda for the meeting was very simple: 
  • Here’s what is happening.
  • Here’s where we are going. 
  • How can we get there together? 
9 of the 11 Seminaries were able to attend and we had a remarkable time together of discussion, reporting, debate and prayer. 

The event was hosted by our friends, Prof. Ken Jones and Prof. Mark Mattes, both on the religion faculty at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. 

From Wednesday at 1:00 P.M. until Thursday after lunch, we were able to discover what each agency has to offer and how we might work to better collaborate between schools and more effectively prepare leaders to preach, teach and empower in this generation.  We talked about planting churches, revitalizing others, and making disciples.  We talked about the strength of our Lutheran theology and our trouble with evangelism.  We talked about hope, mercy, love, forgiveness, transformation and the overwhelming grace of God that is ours in Christ Jesus.

This was the very first time this kind of gathering has ever taken place, but I am convinced that it will not be the last!

I am so grateful that these very bright men and women, these theologians who have such a passion for the Gospel, are partners with us in this association.  There are great things happening in LCMC, in theological education, in pastoral training and equipping.  I believe that the best days are yet to come!

Rev. Mark Vander Tuig
Service Coordinator, LCMC
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Church Staffing & Resource Center Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 22 Jul 13 00:00:00 -0600
If so, please check out our Open Positions page to make sure any listings that are no longer open have been removed from our website.  

You may notify our staff to remove an outdated listing by completing our Statistical Update Form for Congregations, or login to your myLCMC account and delete it on your own. 

Similarly, items listed on our Resource Sharing page that are no longer available may be deleted via your myLCMC account, or by completing this form

Thank you so much for helping us provide the LCMC community with accurate and up-to-date information.
 
 
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LCMC Launches E-Newsletter http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 27 Jun 13 00:00:00 -0600 To help make it easier for members of the association to stay up-to-date on current events and announcements from LCMC, we have officially launched our own monthly e-newsletter.
 
Sent via email at the end of each month, the newsletter will feature news and announcements from the association, upcoming events, and more.
 
All who are interested may sign up to receive the newsletter  by using the subscribe tool in the bottom left-hand corner of our website's homepage.   Simply type your email address into the white box, then click the appropriate button.
 
You may also unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time by clicking on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

As always, those interested in reading news updates and LCMC-related articles may also check out any of the following:
 
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Congregational Updates for Summer 2013 http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 25 Jun 13 00:00:00 -0600 Congregational Directory is important, as it allows us to communicate with one another in a timely and effective manner.  

If your congregation has received a Congregational Update email from our office, please follow the instructions in this email to let us know whether or not there have been any changes to your congregation's contact information or statistics within the past year.

Due to early publishing deadlines for our Annual Gathering book, updates must be received by our office no later than Wednesday, July 31st.  

Additionally, you may update your information with us at any time by completing and submitting any of the following online forms from the "Documents" area of our website:


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Faith Community Church Opens Doors http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 17 Jun 13 00:00:00 -0600 For eight months, many have been earnestly watching, and even participating in, the progress of the red church on the hill between Cody and Powell, WY. It's been a long time coming for a group of local Christians, and now after eight long years, their dream of having a home of their own has come to pass. The doors opened for services on June 2nd with a community Dedication Service of the building on June 9th.

Faith Community Church, located nearly exactly between Powell and Cody, just up the hill on highway 294, has been built largely by the hands of its own members. “You can see it from the Cody/Powell highway,” says Faith's congregation president, Lee Meador. “It's the red church on the north side of the road as you head to Cody...you can't miss it.”

Nearly eight years ago the group of about fifty people made the decision to branch out and become a new church body. With then pastor Clyde Seifert at the helm, their intention was, and still is, to become a church that rested entirely on the Bible, the word of God...all of it. No omissions, no compromises, and with Jesus Christ at the center. “God's word is entirely true. It is without error. What He says goes, and as Christian believers, we follow His teachings. We all make mistakes, but we all can be forgiven. The gospel isn't complicated and that's really what we are about—serving a loving God who wants everyone to find a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.”

For six years, the church body, appropriately name Faith Community Church, waited for God to show them where He wanted them to be. During that time, two local churches, New Life Christian Fellowship and then the Garland Community Church opened their doors to the body of believers. “Our local churches were more than welcoming,” Meador says. “We were able to share space with them until the time came for us to discover where it was God wanted us to plant ourselves.”

The group considered many options along the way and investigated buying available space, renting something, or even continuing to share space with others. “In time it became clear we needed to have a place to call our own so we could provide the ministries we believe God is calling us to,” Meador explains.

Members continued to pray and seek God's will for them. “It was sometimes frustrating to come up against dead ends or major bumps in the road,” says Meador. “It wasn't anything close to Moses wandering in the wilderness forty years, but it did get challenging at times.” After Pastor Clyde Seifert's retirement, the group began its search for a new pastor. Three years ago, Pr. Kevin Piscator was called as the new pastor, and a year later Ron and Teddy Jones decided to donate acreage to the cause. Faith members began to give generously, and before they knew it, a building began to take shape. Once the church frame was forged, church members, and even those who didn't attend Faith, offered their talents to the project. From the duct work to the landscaping and everything in between, many have pitched in to see the project to completion. “I am in awe of the volunteers who helped out here that don't even go to this church. It's been amazing,” Pastor Piscator marveled.

“The ground breaking took place in October of 2012, and we officially opened the doors June 2nd just eight months later,” says Meador. “God has been faithful in seeing us through, and we plan to be faithful in sharing His word and welcoming all to join us. Our mission is simple: Love God, Love others.”]]>
News & Notes from 2Q BY THE WORD http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 17 Jun 13 00:00:00 -0600 The 2nd Quarter 2013 edition of our newsletter, BY THE WORD, is now available at our website.  To download this or a previous edition of our newsletter, please visit the Newsletters Page of our site, located underneath the "Community" tab of the main menu. 
 
If you did not receive the current edition of BY THE WORD in the mail, or would like additional copies, please keep in mind that copies of current and previous editions are always available at our website to download and print.  Doing so will help allow LCMC to keep our printing and mailing costs down. 
 

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Pr. Floyd Shoup at St. Mark Lutheran Church http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 16 Jun 13 00:00:00 -0600 Pastor Floyd Shoup celebrated his first Easter service at St. Mark Lutheran Church, St. Joe, IN. He is a graduate of Beyond the River Academy.
 
 
 
Photo Caption: (Left to Right) Chloe Garrison, Charlie Sherer, Gary Wiebbeking, J.D. Shearer, and Pastor Floyd Shoup.]]>
Fall Mission Festival at St. Paul Lutheran http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 16 Jun 13 00:00:00 -0600 St. Paul Lutheran, Palmer, KS, celebrated a Fall Mission Festival on October 7, 2012.

The speaker was Pastor Mary Fast, Omaha, NE. She is the founder of Pathways Outreach Ministries in Omaha, which reaches out to those who are marginalized by society – incarcerated, disabled, or dealing with addictive behaviors. Modeling their path after the ministry of Jesus Christ, her non-profit organization seeks to share the Gospel and respond to the needs of those they serve. Located in Omaha, NE, Pathways seeks to develop a structure for outreach ministry that can be duplicated in other areas of the country. They provide Bible studies, counseling, worship opportunities, and a “wrap-around” program providing the support individuals need to re-enter the community successfully.

St. Paul Lutheran in Palmer is a member of the Prairie Valley Parish, a four-point parish in north central Kansas served by Pastor Tom Sahl, Vernon Mai (PMA), and lay preacher Stan Ericson.
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Elevator Constructed at St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 16 Jun 13 00:00:00 -0600 St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church recently celebrated the completion of an elevator/lift, which allows easier access to the sanctuary and fellowship hall. The construction was done on the south side of the building, and more accessible parking has been added. The construction began last fall, under the direction of Richard Kassner, at an approximate cost of $100,000. As of early April, over $64,000 has been donated. Special thanks goes to the church council members, and to the congregation for all their support.

St. Mark’s (LCMC, NALC) is located at 324 S. Sanborn Avenue in Jefferson, WI. 

For more information about St. Mark’s: 
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Etana Abdissa Debel, Luther Seminary Student http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 20 May 13 00:00:00 -0600
A member of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) and a third-year PhD student at Luther Seminary, he is a Church History major. 

He is married and has two daughters.  He is a full-time student living with his family.

Prior to his coming to Luther Seminary, Etana earned his Bachelor of Theology from Mekane Yesus Seminary, Addis Ababa and Master of Philosophy in Theology from School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger, Norway.  Etana was full time minister of the EECMY.
 
He served as instructor, Dean and Director of Nekemte Christian Education College from 1997 to 2004.  Due to the need for more national teaching staff at the Mekane Yesus Seminary, Etana was called to a full-time teaching position in February 2004, thereafter appointed to serve as the Dean of Theology at the Mekane Yesus Seminary from July 2004 to June 2008, then continued teaching.  Besides his full-time service, he also contributed to the ministry of the church of God on various capacities.

If you are interested in helping, please contact Pr. Challa Baro via email at challabaro@yahoo.com.]]>
Members Invited to Share Photos for Annual Gathering Book http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 16 May 13 00:00:00 -0600 dictionary definition

Get your cameras ready, because it's time to share with LCMC what your congregation has been up to for the past year!
 
In celebration of our 13th Annual Gathering, themed "The Grace of Giving", our staff is inviting pastors, leaders, church members and staff from any and all LCMC congregations to share with us in a photograph what your congregation has done over the past year in order to reflect financial stewardship, generosity and discipleship.  
 
All photographs submitted to our office by Wednesday, July 31st will be considered by the LCMC Staff for possible inclusion in the design of the book that will be distributed at the Annual Gathering this October!

We are very much excited to see what is going on within the congregations of our association, and to incorporate these stories into the artwork of this year's Annual Gathering book.
 
Before you get started, please read through the requirements below.

What we're looking for: 
II Corinthians 8:1-7 -- We are interested in photographs taken by members, pastors, leaders or staff of any and all LCMC congregations that illustrate what your congregation is doing within itself, within its local community, or anywhere in the world to reflect "The Grace of Giving" and exemplify financial stewardship generosity and discipleship. 

What we're not looking for:  Pictures of buildings, but no people. 

Here are a few rules, guidelines and tips:

  1. Photo submissions will be taken from LCMC members until Wednesday, July 31st at 5:00 PM EST.  Due to early printer deadlines, any photos submitted after this date may be ineligible for consideration.
  2. Because chosen images will be used in a printed publication, please send only high quality images.  Very small or distorted images will not print clearly, and therefore we will be unable to include them.
  3. Acceptable file types are: JPG, GIF, TIFF and PNG.
  4. Any photo submitted must be an original work (owned by the individual or the congregation), and not the intellectual property of another party.  
  5. By submitting any photo(s), you agree that any images (and likeness or subject matter within) submitted may be used without compensation for the purposes described above.
  6. Photos must be submitted by congregations or associate members of LCMC.  
  7. Photo content must be relevant and in accordance with who we are and what we believe.
  8. Each photo submission must be accompanied by your name, the name and location of your congregation, and a brief description of the photograph. 
  9. Please note:  Due to space, time and other constraints, we are unable to guarantee the publication of each and every photograph submitted to us.

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Disaster Relief Effort Opportunities Now Posted http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 15 May 13 00:00:00 -0600 Looking for ways to help out someone in need this summer? 
 
Three new opportunities have been added to our website for those who would like to help provide emergency relief assistance to those whose lives have been affected by recent catastrophic disasters.

 

Oklahoma City Area

The Lutheran Disaster Assistance Fund, organized by those at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, an LCMC congregation in Marion, IA, provides emergency assistance to help support the needs of victims of catastrophic natural disasters including tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, ice storms, wildfires, flooding caused by excessive rains, and similar natural disasters.  For more information, or to donate to the LDA Fund, click here

 

West, TX

Relief efforts are currently being coordinated to help support those affected by the the April 17 explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. in West, Texas.  For further information, click here

 

East Coast

Finally, those interested in taking part in the ongoing relief efforts to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy can find links to various volunteer organizations and hands-on opportunities here

 
All of the information that we currently have has been posted to our Relief Funds page. 

If you have any additional information, or if your congregation has coordinated a disaster relief effort, please contact kristy@lcmc.net
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Two Congregations Unite in Downtown Seattle http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 13 May 13 00:00:00 -0600 There came a day when the Apostle Paul stiffened his back and said, “No!” His “no” was hurled
at Barnabas, his partner, who wanted to take Mark along with them on the second journey to
build up new infant congregations. (Acts 15:35-41). Paul could not dismiss the fact that Mark
had bailed out in a previous mission effort. Verse 39 puts it succinctly, “And there arose a
sharp contention , so that they separated from each other...Barmabas took Mark...Paul chose
Silas and departed.” RSV

Conflict is no stranger to Christians, Christian congregations and Christian Church Bodies
throughout the world. That painful fact makes it all the more joyous and glorious when our Lord
brings blessing upon blessing to congregations and pastors that seek His will and follow it.
This is happening in downtown Seattle. It involves two small congregations. One is Denny
Park Lutheran Church (DPLC), Douglas Lindsay, Pastor. The other is Lutheran Church of the
Resurrection (LCR), Phil Lee, Pastor. Here are some snatches from the story. I’ll begin with
DPLC.

Denny Park Lutheran congregation goes way back, almost as far back as Seattle. Their
birthday is April 19, 1888. They came together as Norwegian Immigrants. Through the 125
years of their history they have had their ups and downs. In recent decades they have seen
their neighborhood move away and give way to urban inner city realities, not least to apartment
and condo dwellers who live within the enforced privacy of gated surroundings.

Pastor Lindsay described some of their recent dilemma by saying, “We were $10,000 in the hole
and wondering how we could continue. We even had to borrow from our mission funds to pay
our bills. We had no young people. And if you don’t have young people, it’s hard do get young
people.”

But DPLC moved forward in three important ways. They voted to join LCMC three years ago.
After several years in the discussion stage, they decided to sell a small slice of their property for
the construction of a seven story low-income apartment building with assured underground
parking for church members. Thirdly, they accepted a proposal to rent worship and education
space, of which they have plenty, to LCR.

Meanwhile, LCR had a vastly different history. It was only three years old, a break-away
congregation from Magnolia Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Seattle. Their first Service was held on
Easter Sunday 2010. Their pastor, however, was soon on his way to an LCMC congregation in
California. That left them with the need to call a new pastor without delay. Somehow they did.
They called Pastor Phil Lee who began his ministry in August, 2010.

It took little time to find a temporary church home at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Ballard, a
Seattle neighborhood. They continued there for almost two years. But it was not ideal,
especially for education space. When the rent was about to be raised, they began looking for
new space. It was discouraging. They were turned down by church after church. To build from
scratch in Seattle was far too expensive.

While they had inquired earlier about DPLC’s facilities, it took a second more formal proposal (in
writing) to spark genuine interest. The proposal was to rent space and to worship at a different
time than the DPLC. But this arrangement lasted only from November 2011 until June 2012.
By then both congregations were asking, “Why should we be worshiping separately?” They
soon learned that they were cut from the same theological cloth. By that summer they joined
hands and spirits and worshiped together!

The two pastors led the way in their trust and respect for each other. Sunday by Sunday they
traded roles in their preaching and conducting the Sunday Service. As Pastor Lee put it, “Each
congregation got to know the other, including each pastor.” It didn’t take long for both churches
to ask the obvious question about their future. And since last fall they engaged in serious
discussions that led to the Sunday of April 7, 2013.

Each congregation met separately after their Sunday Service on that day. They addressed one
major question. Shall we unite with the other congregation effective today? The vote was
remarkable, some would say “Miraculous!” There was not a “No” to be seen or heard
anywhere in these two congregational meetings! God be praised!

It was understood by both DPLC and LCR that, if the motion passed, both pastors would receive
a new Call. Pastor Lindsay, however had announced that his retirement from active ministry
would take effect at the end of this year. Pastor Lee would obviously continue. It was also
understood (a non-negotiable) that a “yes” vote would also mean that both the church facilities
and DPLC’s urban ministries would also continue into the future, not least an anticipated
ministry to the low income people who would live next door in the expected new apartment
building.

Pastor Lee captured this thought when we said, “Ahead of us is choosing a new name and a
new constitution that makes clear our need to be externally focused on the urban
needs that surround us rather than be internally focused on ourselves. My hope is that this fall
we can launch into a visioning process for just this reason.”

There are several important decisions ahead for this new congregation. They include not only a
new name and a new constitution but the election of a new church council, and issuing new
Calls to each pastor. Their goal is to make decisions on as many of these factors as possible
on June 16th.

In closing let me offer a personal observation. I have worked with both congregations in various
ways again and again in recent years in behalf of LCMC. I have interviewed and certified both
pastors for pastoral ministry in LCMC. If ever I have seen the hand of God at work among His
flock with blessing upon blessing, it is here in the midst of this urban jungle we call “downtown
Seattle”, just across the street from a two-square-block plot of walkways, trees, grass and
benches called Denny Park.

--Rev. Dr. Paul Braafladt, Seattle]]>
Online Registration for Annual Gathering Now Open http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 07 May 13 00:00:00 -0600 What would happen in your congregation if every household could give the first 10% back to God through the ministry of the local church? 
 
From October 6-9, 2013, come together with other pastors, leaders and church members from all over the world as Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ celebrates its 13th Annual Gathering, themed "The Grace of Giving", at the Adoba Hotel in historic Dearborn, MI.
 
This year’s annual gathering will give us a chance to think about how we can become more generous in our financial stewardship and more clear about our discipleship.  If we can recapture our commitment to making disciples, generosity will come!

Online registration is now open for all who wish to attend. Those who register early will receive:
  • The lowest possible registration fees from now through September 1
  • First dibs on tickets to our Tuesday night Dinner at the Henry Ford Museum event (we are expecting it to sell out fast!)
  • The peace of mind of no longer having it on that lengthy to-do list
Much more information on the event can be found here.  Additional details will be announced on our website as soon as they are available.

 
Info Updates:  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter
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Calling All Church Planters! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 03 May 13 00:00:00 -0600 If your congregation has formed over the last 5-years, or is in some process of being developed, please consider joining us for our Third Annual New Ministry Workshop from October 9-10, 2013 at the Adoba Hotel in Dearborn, MI. 
 
The event will be hosted by Rev. Dan Clites, Coordinator for New Ministry Development for LCMC.  Dan planted and led Rejoice! Lutheran Church in Northfield-Dundas, Minnesota for 10-years.

By coming together for this workshop, we hope to discern how we, as an association, can best support, encourage, develop and build-up the new ministries we currently have.  In addition, we desire to practice biblical principles and paradigms so we can plant and develop new church starts as a primary means of evangelism and discipleship.  We also hope to discover what resources might be most helpful for both the congregation and its leadership and to help build-up our New Ministries Network on the solid rock of the Great Commission.
 
There is no cost to take part in this two-day workshop, but please register in advance if you plan on attending.  
 
Click here to learn more.  
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Pr. Rene D. Vega Ordained and Installed at the Iglesia Cristiana Luterana Genesis http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 02 May 13 00:00:00 -0600 Pr. Rene D. Vega was Ordained and Installed at the Iglesia Cristiana Luterana Genesis (Genesis Christian Lutheran Church) in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico on Sunday, April 28, 2013.
 
Pictured below are Pastors Rene D. Vega, Marilyn González and Pablo N. Aymat
 
 
 
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Prayer Warriors Wanted http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 26 Apr 13 00:00:00 -0600 Please consider signing up to “bathe” our Annual Gathering in October with PRAYER

Thirty days before the Gathering, we would like to start our “Prayer Warriors” on a path of Prayer for a successful gathering.  Our intent is to shower the Staff, Participants, Volunteers and Speakers with prayer for a Spirit-filled, God-centered Gathering.  Stay tuned for more information in the coming months. 

I am looking for Volunteers to help with the logistics, format and coordination, and computer format help would be greatly appreciated. You may contact Pastor Ron Winslow at (419) 699-2500 or email pastorronzion111@gmail.com.

Thank You!



Blessings,

Pastor Ron Winslow]]>
2013 Leadership Conference: What Did You Think? http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 15 Apr 13 00:00:00 -0600 We hope that each and every one of you who attended our 2013 Leadership Conference in San Diego, CA or Birmingham, AL had a fantastic experience, and the Board and Staff members of LCMC are interested in hearing your thoughts.
 
Please consider sharing your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions on this year's conference via our Online Evaluation Form by next Friday, April 26th.  
 
Thank you for your participation.  Your feedback will help us in the planning of future LCMC events.
 
 
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Pr. Frederick Schumacher Ordained at Highland Lutheran Church http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 09 Apr 13 00:00:00 -0600 Pastor Frederick Schumacher of Outlook, Montana was ordained on February 10, 2013 at Highland Lutheran Church, where he currently serves as pastor. 
 
Pictured with Rev. Schumacher (below) are Pr. Jon Gerdts of Living Water Church in Sun Prairie, WI, Ms. Ellen Sedgwick, Council President of Highland Lutheran Church, and Mr. Steve Bethal.
 
 

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LCMC Logo-Embroidered Apparel Available http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 08 Apr 13 00:00:00 -0600 Several clothing items with our logo embroidered onto them are still available.  As these are surplus items from previous LCMC events, a variety of different colors, styles and sizes are available.  
 
If interested, please email cathy@lcmc.net for availability and additional details.
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Iglesia Cristiana Luterana Genesis to Ordain and Install Rene D. Vega http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 07 Mar 13 00:00:00 -0700 The Ordination and Installation of Rene D. Vega will take place at the Iglesia Cristiana Luterana Genesis (Genesis Christian Lutheran Church) in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, and all are welcome to attend.
 
The service will take place on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. during the congregation's regular worship service.  The building is located at:
 
Iglesia Crisatiana Luterana Genesis
Calle AA G-16 Ciudad Universitaria
Trujillo Alto PR
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We are Going to the Motor City! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 26 Feb 13 00:00:00 -0700 www.adobadearborn.com).  The hotel has more than enough rooms for all who want to attend!

The theme for this year’s gathering is:  “The Grace of Giving”, as we consider how we might fund the Great Commission in our generation.  Our opening preacher for our Sunday evening worship is Pr. Derek Johnson of Community Church of Joy, Glendale, Arizona. 

Monday’s Bible study leader is Pastor Sue Gunderson, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Bailey’s Harbor, Wisconsin.  Monday’s keynote presentation will be given by Pr. Kyle Idelman, author of the book, “Not a Fan”.  Kyle is the teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.  He is also the author and presenter of the award-winning video and curriculum series, “H2O: A Journey of Faith and the Easter Experience”.

Tuesday’s Bible study leader is Pastor John Lewis of Lutheran Church of the Master, Omaha, Nebraska.  Tuesday’s keynote presentation will be given by Chuck Bentley, who is the CEO of Crown Financial Ministries (www.crown.org).  Chuck leads this ministry that now reaches around the world with staff on every continent, a media presence throughout North and South America, and books and materials serving the spiritual and financial needs of all people, affluent, middle income, poor and ultra poor.

The Bible study leader for Wednesday morning is Pr. David Gran, St. Luke’s, Garfield, Mn.  Our keynote address on Wednesday will be given by Pr. Enrique Estrada, our first international partner and newly elected member of the Board of Trustees.  Enrique is a pastor in Monterrey, Mexico and is the executive director of Mission Mexico International.

As usual, we will have over 40 breakout sessions, more than 75 vendors and great music.  As a special treat, we have reserved the Henry Ford Museum (www.thehenryford.org) for LCMC on Tuesday night, beginning with supper at the Museum—but you will need register in advance for this special evening--spaces will fill up fast!

Plan now to attend the LCMC Annual Gathering and Convention, October 6-9, 2013!
 
For more info on the Annual Gathering, click here.  
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Online Evaluation for Leadership Conference Now Active! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 12 Feb 13 00:00:00 -0700 As our San Diego Leadership Conference has come to a close, we are now inviting those who have taken part in the experience to please share with us their thoughts via our Online Evaluation Form
 
This short survey will only take a couple of minutes to fill out, and your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions will help us in the planning of future LCMC events.
 
The form will be available at our website from now through April 26th, to give those attending the Birmingham conference a chance to fill it out as well.
 
Evaluations must be received by our office no later than Friday, April 26, 2012.
 
Thank you for your feedback!
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Introducing Rev. Dan Clites, LCMC's Coordinator for New Ministry Development http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 04 Feb 13 00:00:00 -0700 When I was a kid, I dreamed of being an astronaut-- a bold pioneer of exploring outer space and the moon.  At the time, it seemed like the coolest job ever with all its intrigue and danger.  Trouble is, very few ever received the opportunity and now the whole idea of space exploration is grounded.

Thanks, however, to the LCMC's heart for bold ministry, we can all suit-up and blast-off again with a God dream!

As your new, New Ministries Coordinator (see Service Coordinator Mark Vander Tuig's note [in the upcoming edition of By the Word] for more details), I've been blessed with what I now believe is the coolest job ever--- to serve side-by-side with LCMC astronauts who are hearing Jesus' voice calling them to be pioneers of a space that seems ignored or grounded.  By the grace and wisdom of the Lord, together we will plant and develop new ministries across the nation that are effectively focused on reaching the disappeared, the disconnected and the disappointed.  This calling is filled with intrigue and danger...and I love it!  It is so huge a mission that it will require all of us to radically depend upon the Lord's dream to ignite 1,000 new ministries over the next decade!  But, as Romans 8 declares, "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

So, why is starting new LCMC ministries important, even urgent?  
  • Eternal life or death are in the balance for those who don't follow Jesus.
  • Practicing Christians get renewed in the Great Commission to Go and Make Disciples. 
  • Most effective manner to reach new generations, new residents and new people groups with the true Gospel. 
  • Best way to grow quickly and have an immediate Christian-impact in a community. 
  • Fosters new ideas and methods that can benefit other churches. 
  • Challenges and renews the whole Body of Christ to be one in a community.
  • Triggers mission-mindedness rather than maintenance-mindedness.
  • Gives a mother church the excitement of giving birth to effective outreach.

Friends: I look forward to firing-up our adventure by meeting many of you at our upcoming San Diego and Birmingham Leadership gatherings.  Please register so we can connect and start developing friendships that blast-off a Great Commission movement.  Over the next few months I will also be developing and launching new ministry "boot camps"--- opportunities for you to see if church planting is something that you're wired and called to do. My job is to help you get in-line with the Lord's mission, pray with you, coach/equip you and love you like Jesus loves His Church!

Blessings!
Dan Clites
 
 

Rev. Dan Clites starts his new LCMC position on March 1st.  He has been the planter and lead pastor of Rejoice! in Northfield-Dundas, MN for the last 10-years.  Before that, he served Lutheran congregations in Clearwater, Brainerd and Cannon Falls, MN.  Before graduating from Luther Seminary in 1995, Dan worked 9-years as a television sports anchor/reporter in Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot, North Dakota.  Dan and Joanne have been married 27-years and have two adult daughters, a son-in-law, and a grandson born this past Christmas Day!]]>
LCMC Comes Together for 3 Days of Prayer http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 03 Feb 13 00:00:00 -0700 In America today, you can order customized versions of all kinds of products: sandwiches, t-shirts, frozen yogurt, cars…

But this winter, LCMC pastors, leaders and church members alike from all over the globe customized something completely different: Prayer.

From January 8-10, 2013, LCMC hosted its first ever worldwide Three Days of Prayer event, inviting association members around the world to set aside time for prayer each day, with the ability to organize each of these three days any way that seemed the most effective.

Participating congregations set aside Tuesday as a day for confession; on Wednesday, healing and restoration.  Thursday was designated as a day to invite the Holy Spirit to breathe new life into the church.

Many of our congregations chose to hold special prayer services on all three days, while some chose to set up special prayer stations and others encouraged their members to pray individually or in groups on each of the three days.

Rather than only targeting adults, some congregations, including First Lutheran Church in Washburn, ND, encouraged younger members to get involved by setting aside time to pray each day during lunch.

With a total of 86 RSVPs on Facebook alone, the event appears to have been well-received by those who decided to take part.

"We had in the end about 120 people participate," reported Pr. Paul Gausmann of Saint Paul Lutheran Church in York, PA, who organized three separate prayer services, but also encouraged his congregation members to sign up for 15-minute time slots over the three days.  "The days of prayer were a great success and encouraged many people who do not pray regularly at our prayer vigils to do so," he said.

Aside from statistical changes, some pastors also reported a change in the attitude that members of their congregations had towards prayer, as well.

"On our day to confess, someone emailed me and said, 'I have never felt so CLEAN as when I left our church.  God was with us for sure!" said Pr. Sandy Miller of First Lutheran Church in Hope, MN.

"Praying out loud is not a comfortable thing for us yet," Pr. Miller said.  "This was a great first step to come together as a congregation to pray something other than the Lord's Prayer."

Several of our international congregations took part in Three Days of Prayer, as well, including members of Galilean Evangelical Church, who reportedly prayed and fasted beyond the three days.

While 2013 marks the first year that the event was officially hosted by LCMC, the concept for Three Days of Prayer has been in the works for quite some time.  

"I have believed for a long time that LCMC needs to become more and more a "People of Prayer", said Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Service Coordinator of LCMC.  

It was while attending the first ever District Coordinators meeting in St. Charles, IL that the idea for Three Days of Prayer began to take shape in his mind.

"One of the district coordinators said that every revival in the church was preceded by a time of intentional prayer.  That got me thinking," Rev. Vander Tuig said.

In his experience as a pastor, it was this act of coming together to pray out loud in small groups, at meetings, and at Bible studies, that truly began to change the heart of his congregation.

It was at a meeting in early 2012 that the LCMC Board of Trustees agreed to call and encourage each of the congregations in LCMC to three days of prayer.  

This was the first event of its kind that has been hosted by the association, but certainly will not be the last.

Be sure to mark your calendars for our next Three Days of Prayer event, which is set to take place January 7-9, 2014.

For more information on Three Days of Prayer, click here.]]>
LCMC and CALC Attend Breakforth Canada http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 01 Feb 13 00:00:00 -0700 Why would anyone travel to the City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in January when temperatures can dip to -40 Fahrenheit?  

The answer: Breakforth Canada!  It is truly a unique event. There is nothing else like it in all of Canada, and maybe even North America. About 15,000 people, representing over 1,000 churches, from all over Canada, the US and the world gathered January 25-27 for Breakforth 2013.  Its aim is to equip and renew Christians.
 
In a demonstration of solidarity and partnership in mission above the 49th parallel, representatives from LCMC and the Canadian Association of Lutheran Congregations (CALC) participated in this year’s Breakforth.

The conference brought together internationally known Christian speakers including, Francis Chan, Kay Arthur, John Ortberg, David Nasser and Tony Nolan. The conference also brought together world class Christian recording artists who participated  in worship, which occurred twice each day.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights were capped by concerts.  On Friday night there were three concerts in three venues. Performers included the Christian band Casting Crowns, Christian rock band Building 429 and Christian comedian Bob Cates.  On Saturday night another three concerts were hosted in three venues. Performers included Kari Jobe, Brian Doerksen, Gary Park, Paul Baloche, a variety of up and coming Christian artists, the finalists in a Breakforth talent competition and Christian comedian Bob Cates. The concert for Sunday night  featured Peter Furhler, Phil Wickham and legendary Christian recording artist Amy Grant.

Participants could take part in any of 180 intensive workshops from Friday to Sunday. Topics covered included: Alpha, Bible Study Skills, Children’s Ministry, Creative Arts, Disability Ministry, Drums, Family Ministry, Gospel Music Industry, Healing Transformation, Hebraic Roots, Instrument Clinics, Justice, Leadership, Marriage, Men, Missions, Multimedia, Not-Evangelism, Parenting, Personal Finance, Prayer, Prophecy, Soaking, Social Media, Sound, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Renewal, Stewardship, Student Ministry, Video, Vocal, Women, Worldview and Worship Leadership.       

Breakforth was founded by Arlen Salte and his wife Elsa. Arlen is an award-winning Contemporary Christian Artist with a Lutheran background. His recordings are diverse and include rock, pop, instrumental, worship, folk and children’s music.  He has sold over 250,000 albums, making him one of the top selling Canadian Christian recording artists. He was rated as one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people by Alberta Venture Magazine. The Gospel Music Association awarded Arlen a Lifetime Achievement Award  and National Promoter of the Year Award.  Arlen also received an award from the office of the Prime Minister of Canada for his contributions to family life.

Edmonton’s Shaw Center was Breakforth’s primary venue. It is located in the heart of  downtown Edmonton. The Assembly Level (where the main conference assemblies occurred) features 82,000 square feet of column-free exhibit space which seats about 10,000. About 70% of the building is built into the hillside above the North Saskatchewan River. The terrain  disguises how very large the building is. It is more than 10 stories in height from bottom to top. The various levels are connected by stairs and escalators which rise up and descend the equivalent of 10 stories. The up and down escalators are separated by cascading manmade waterfall features  and lush tropical plants. The water features and plants brought the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to mind.  Classes and events also took place in adjacent schools, hotels and church buildings.  

The event also included a massive Exhibit Hall. Vendors included, mission groups, Christian publishers, church camps, evangelistic ministries, artisans and Christian schools, universities and colleges. Each set up a display booth  and hosted guests. LCMC set up an informational booth hosted by Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Service Coordinator;  Sharon MacFadyen,  Director of Operations;  and Rev. Martha Nelson, Board Member.  Pastor Ed Skutshek, President of CALC, was invited to join them at the booth and  to provide information about CALC to those who came by. The North American Lutheran Church (NALC) also had a booth in the Exhibit Hall. NALC’s General Secretary, Mark Chavez and two Canadian Pastors from NALC churches manned their booth. Breakforth’s participants hail primarily from Evangelical Churches, that  is, non-Mainline denominations, including, Baptists, Pentecostals, Mennonites and many from the Reformed tradition.  We were presently surprised by the interest shown in the LCMC/CALC booth by those who attended the event.

This was the first time that representatives from LCMC or CALC participated in Breakforth and was therefore a great learning experience for us. We were all impressed by the magnitude of the event and how well it was organized. It is quite a feat to move some 15,000 people around. Close to 600 volunteers  wearing yellow, purple, blue and red “Breakforth” T-shirts helped shepherd participants to all the venues.

The consensus among those from CALC and LCMC that participated in the conference was that Breakforth is an important event. Both LCMC and CALC have   congregations in Western Canada. 16 of  CALC’s 21  congregations are located in the Province of Alberta, and the two adjoining provinces of Saskatchewan and British Columbia. LCMC has 4 congregations in Alberta, two in Saskatchewan  and one in British Columbia. Two of these seven congregations are dually rostered, that is, are members of CALC and LCMC. Members of many of these congregations attend Breakforth. A very visible presence of leaders from  LCMC and CALC at Breakforth may encourage  our member congregations to  network with  leadership from CALC and LCMC and one another. LCMC and CALC could intentionally plan an event or events especially for representatives of our congregations that attend Breakforth. The conference provides additional opportunities for us. Interest in Martin Luther is  on the rise among Evangelicals. It seems that speakers from all denominational backgrounds are increasingly quoting Dr. Martin Luther in their presentations. Breakforth may offer LCMC and CALC  the opportunity to provide information to an audience that is eager to learn more about  Martin Luther and our Lutheran Confessions.

On behalf of all of the congregations of CALC, I want to thank LCMC’s Board for permitting CALC to participate in Breakforth with you.   It is my hope and prayer that, in the months that follow, representatives from LCMC and CALC can brainstorm and find ways to use Breakforth as a venue for bringing Confessional Lutherans together and for sharing our faith as expressed in our Confessions with our brothers and sisters in Christ at Breakforth.  
 
 

In Christ’s service

Pastor Ed Skutshek
President, CALC      
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2012 Annual Gathering Videos Now Available Online http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 31 Jan 13 00:00:00 -0700 The first of the 12th Annual Gathering videos from Denver have been posted online at our website, and can be found on our Video & Presentations page. 
 
To view additional videos from this and other events, please keep checking back regularly, as new presentation materials are added as they become available. 
 
Videos from the 2012 Annual Gathering will, in general, be posted in the following order:
  1. State of the Association
  2. Keynote Speakers*
  3. Preachers*
  4. Bible Study Leaders*
  5. Select Breakout Sessions

The editing process is quite time-consuming, however we do hope to get the remaining videos posted to our website as soon as possible.  Thank you again for your continued patience.

* Please Note:  Due to various technical difficulties, the following videos cannot be made available:

  • Rev. Phil Reimers
  • Rev. Reggie McNeal (part one only)
  • Rev. Sean Kelly

Should any of these videos become available to our staff, they will be posted here.


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LCMC to Host Church Council Workshops http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 10 Jan 13 00:00:00 -0700 New for 2013, LCMC will be hosting a series of Church Council Workshops at LCMC congregations throughout the year.
 
Workshops will be led by Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, the Service Coordinator of LCMC, and focus on gathering church council members, leaders, and pastors to center our ministries on the Great Commission of Matthew 28.

For more information, click here, or check out our Events Calendar for scheduled dates and locations.
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Share Your Three Days of Prayer Experiences http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 08 Jan 13 00:00:00 -0700 Three Days of Prayer event, an opportunity for pastors, church members, and congregations as a whole to come together to set aside time for prayer.

For a place to share your ideas, experiences, and thoughts on the subject, check out our Facebook Event: Three Days of Prayer or email your photos and stories to kristy@lcmc.net by this Sunday, January 13
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Leadership Conference Registration Now Open http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 18 Dec 12 00:00:00 -0700
Online registration is now active for our 2013 Leadership Conferences in San Diego, CA and Birmingham, AL, and printed brochures should be arriving via snail mail shortly. 
 
This event, hosted annually by the LCMC Ministry Board, is designed to inform, educate and inspire pastors and church leaders to move forward as God's servants. 

For the first time in the history of the association, LCMC is offering two different opportunities to attend our 2013 Leadership Conference, "Navigating Mission in a World of Change".  The first conference will be held February 10-12, 2013 at Peñasquitos Lutheran Church in San Diego, CA.  The second will take place at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Birmingham, AL from April 14-16.
 
The cost of attending either conference is $70 per person.  
 
For additional information, click here
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LCMC Invites All to Participate in Three Days of Prayer http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 18 Dec 12 00:00:00 -0700 Every congregation, member and pastor is being invited to set aside some time each day of January 8, 9 and 10, 2013 for prayer.  

Our attitude toward prayer has often been characterized by saying, “well, all we can do now is pray!”. 

Prayer is not the hopeless act of desperation.  Prayer is a gift that God has given to us as a means to approach the throne of grace with confidence—like that of a child coming to her parents sharing concerns, victories, defeats and every part of life.  It is an opportunity to express the deepest heartache and the greatest joy.  Prayer is a conversation between the Creator and the created…and the conversation began with God, for us, in Christ Jesus.

Organize these three days of prayer any way that seems good to you.  Some of our congregations will put together a prayer vigil—a person signing up to pray in 30 minute intervals for example—for all three days, or a few hours each day; some will offer a prayer service at a set hour each of the three days, some will simply ask each person to spend some time each day in prayer…whatever works best in your congregation is the right way to go.]]>
Surplus LCMC Logo-Embroidered Apparel Now Available http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 06 Dec 12 00:00:00 -0700 For those interested in snagging some sweet new LCMC apparel for the holidays (or anytime), an array of surplus, logo-embroidered clothing items from October's Annual Gathering is up for grabs in a colorful assortment of styles and sizes. 
 
Supplies are first come, first serve, and limited to availability. 
 
For more information, please contact our administrative assistant, Cathy Nichol, via email at cathy@lcmc.net.
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2013 Leadership Conference Offers More Opportunities to Attend http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 29 Nov 12 00:00:00 -0700

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
--Joshua 3:5

 
"Navigating Mission in a World of Change" is the theme set for this year's annual LCMC Leadership Conference, and for the first time ever, pastors and church leaders have the ability to navigate their way to a 2013 conference in one of TWO different locations.
 
Peñasquitos Lutheran Church in San Diego, CA will host the first of the two conferences, which takes place from February 10-12, 2013.  The second conference will be held April 14-16, 2012 at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Birmingham, AL.
 
The event features presentations by keynote speakers Dr. Kent Hunter of Church Doctor Ministries and Dr. Darrell Puls of Peacebridge Ministries, Rev. Sean Kelly of the LCMC Board of Trustees, and Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Service Coordinator of LCMC, as well as a discussion on healthy mission with the LCMC Ministry Board.
 
Be sure to check your snail mail boxes throughout the month of December for registration materials.  Online registration and complete details will be available at our website in the near future.
 
 
 
Click here for more information.
 
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Relief Efforts for Hurricane Sandy Victims Now Posted -- UPDATED! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 02 Nov 12 00:00:00 -0600
Check out our Relief Funds page to learn more about ways that you (or your congregation as a whole) can help victims of the recent natural disaster.
 
This page has been and will continue to be updated accordingly as new information becomes available.
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LCMC Haiti Churches Affected by Hurricane Sandy http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 29 Oct 12 00:00:00 -0600 According to CNN, Hurricane Sandy has claimed the lives of 67 people to date, 51 of which have been reported in Haiti. 
 
Please check out our Prayer Blog to read the full prayer request article, which includes letters sent to our staff by LCMC pastors who maintain direct relationships with LCMC churches in Haiti. 
 
If anybody has additional information to share regarding this topic, such as relief funds or prayer events, please email kristy@lcmc.net.
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Coordinator for New Ministry Development Position Now Posted Online http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 18 Oct 12 00:00:00 -0600 Coordinator for New Ministry Development. 

This full-time staff position will help the association membership grow in mission by helping us implement the many faces of new church starts: traditional congregation, house church, etc. as the Spirit leads.
 
More information and a complete description of the position are located under "About Us"  >  "Board and Staff"  >  "Open LCMC Staff Positions" or by clicking here. 

The deadline for applications is Friday, November 30, 2012.
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New Document Available for Congregations Calling New Pastors http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 17 Oct 12 00:00:00 -0600 As LCMC Service Coordinator Rev. Mark Vander Tuig announced last week in Denver, a new document is available at our website to help congregations who may be transitioning from one pastor to another.
 
Change Happens! is a downloadable guide specifically designed to help provide guidance and hope to congregations who are experiencing a time of transition between pastors.
 
This document is designed to accompany the LCMC Call Packet, which explains the call process for congregations and candidates in detail.
 
Change Happens!, as well as the LCMC Call Packet, are both available for download under the "Documents" section of our website.
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LCMC to Post Video from 2012 Annual Gathering Online, No Release Date Yet http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 15 Oct 12 00:00:00 -0600 As has been mentioned at the Gathering, on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and in our blog, video coverage, and in a few cases, presentation slides, from the presentations made at the 2012 Annual Gathering in Denver, CO will be made available in this area of our website at a later date. 
 
As it could take up to a few weeks for us to receive the video files from the conference, and it can take several hours to edit and upload video for each individual presentation, we are unable to announce a release date for these videos. 
 
Due to some of the technical issues that were experienced with the audio this year, the posting of these videos may be delayed a bit longer than anticipated. 

While we strive to make information and media available to our site users in a timely fashion, the quality and understandability of this material is also highly important.
 
We will be sure to announce in our blog (on the homepage of our site), as well as on Facebook and Twitter, when the first of these videos becomes available.
 
Those in need of immediate access to any presentation from this event may do so by visiting www.livestream.com and searching "LCMC".
 
Thank you all so much for your patience.
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Rev. Carol Clark and Rev. Frank Remski Recently Ordained http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 12 Oct 12 00:00:00 -0600 LCMC is pleased to announce the ordination of Rev. Carol Clark at Faith Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, NM and the ordination and installation or Rev. Frank Remski at Reformation Lutheran Church in Westminster, CA.
 
The photographs and bios listed below have been submitted to us for publication on our website and in our quarterly newsletter.
 
 
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Annual Gathering Feedback and Suggestions Welcome http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 10 Oct 12 00:00:00 -0600 Thank you, LCMC, for another great Annual Gathering!
 
We will be updating our website as soon as possible with new information regarding any news and announcements that were made at the gathering, as well as any media files that you may be looking for, as information becomes available.
 
If you have not yet taken the time to do so, please consider filling out an evaluation form to let us know what you thought of this year's gathering. 
 
We do take the time to read through each and every evaluation form that we receive, whether it is submitted through our website, by mail, or in person at the gathering.
 
Your feedback, ideas and suggestions are taken into account by the Staff and Board of Trustees of LCMC in the planning of future events.  
 
So that we are able to have all of this information processed in time for our next Board of Trustees meeting, please be sure that we are able to receive your evaluations no later than Friday, October 26, 2012.
 
For your convenience, this form is available at our website at the following link: http://www.lcmc.net/2012-annual-gathering-evaluation-form/516.html.
 
Thanks for your help!
 

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Aaaaaaaand we're LIVE! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 07 Oct 12 00:00:00 -0600 Live coverage of the 2012 LCMC Annual Gathering in Denver, CO is now available on our website. 
 
Site users can view live video of the gathering by clicking the orange button located at the top of our homepage, or by visiting www.lcmc.net/live.
 
More information on the Annual Gathering, including a schedule and speaker bios, is available here
 
Videos of all presentations given at the event are currently being archived at www.livestream.com (search: lcmc), and will be made available in our Video & Media Blog within a few weeks.
 
Happy telecommuting!
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Annual Gathering Registration, Hotel & Business Announcements http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 19 Sep 12 00:00:00 -0600
The LCMC 12th Annual Gathering is less than three weeks away!  With our biggest event of the year just around the corner, here are just a few updates and announcements regarding registration, hotel accommodations and business information.
 

Preregistration

For those who plan on attending the Annual Gathering, but have not yet registered, we highly recommend preregistering online (or by mail) as soon as possible.  The current registration rate of $140.00 per person for Annual Gathering visitors, church leaders, church members and voting delegates is still in effect until Tuesday, September 25After this date, the registration rate will increase to $160.00 per person.
 
If you are interested in attending the District Dinner Night on Monday, October 8 and/or the Ken Davis event on Tuesday, October 9, please be sure to indicate so on your advance registration form.  Space may be limited for these events, so advance registration is recommended.  For additional information about either event, please click here
 

Updated Hotel Information

Due to the fact that hotel accommodations at the Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport Hotel, Towne Place Suites and Sleep Inn DIA have already been booked, we have updated the Annual Gathering Lodging Information page to include a list of additional hotels that are located within a mile of the venue at which the event will be held. 
 

Voting Delegates

Our website has also recently been updated with detailed information for Voting Delegates from LCMC Congregations who will be attending this year's gathering.  This page contains frequently asked-for information, including what a voting delegate is, the topics to be voted on this year, and an outline of how the procedure works. 
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Shepherd of the Falls Lutheran Church Installs Pr. Susan Westland http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 17 Sep 12 00:00:00 -0600 The congregation of Shepherd of the Falls Lutheran Church, LCMC, welcomed Pastor Susan and Rich Westland in June of this year, celebrating her installation on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 4:00 P.M.
 
Pastor Susan and Rich, of Bellevue, Nebraska, were called to Shepherd of the Falls in June of this year and arrived in the small agricultural town of American Falls, ID on August 3. 
 
The next day was the annual American Falls Day Parade, and preparations had been made to have them ride on a horse with a buggy, decorated in royal purple.
 
On Sunday, Pr. Susan's husband, Rich, sang with the "Shepherd Singers" at an outdoor summer concert called "Gospel on the Grass". 

On August 12, approximately one week later, Pr. Susan conducted her first service and performed a wedding ceremony, all at one service. 
 
Shepherd of the Falls Lutheran Church has been without a pastor since its beginning in September of 2010, when approximately 70 people walked out of another church group and began worship the very next Sunday. 
 
"God has so richly blessed us with miracles and more miracles as we followed His timing to get a pastor," said Ms. Juanita Burgemeister, the congregation's secretary.
 
Shepherd of the Falls Lutheran Church began the search for a pastor in March, and through many resumes and interviews, decided to call Pastor Susan Westland, a certified LCMC clergy. 
 
She is a graduate of Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN with a Master of Divinity.  Pastor Susan also has a BS degree in Human Resources and Family Science from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  Some of her training includes clinical pastoral education and Stephen Ministry leader training. 
 
During her time in Nebraska, she served 16 counties in developing Drug and Alcohol Prevention programs for teens, assisting communities in developing mentor programs for at-risk youth, and authoring the state guideline manual for juvenile diversion programs. 
 
She has extensive training in substance abuse prevention and early intervention programs; domestic violence, and victim advocacy programs and has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer.
 
Susan and Rich have been married for ten years and are parents of four adult children and grandparents of two. 
 
Pastor Susan previously served as Vicar in charge of pastoral care at Thanksgiving! Lutheran in Bellevue, Nebraska.  Rich is a retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel and plans to attend classes at ISU. 
 
They are active in the Christian Motorcyclist Association and enjoy the ministry with love and compassion.
 
Pastor Susan and Rich are truly thrilled to be in American Falls and look forward to meeting those in the community sharing the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ.  God has moved mountains and has blessed them in so many ways in bringing them to American Falls. 
 
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LCMC Churches Host First Ever 3-Day Youth Retreat http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 21 Aug 12 00:00:00 -0600 Sacred Word Lutheran Church (LCMC) of Mobridge, South Dakota and St. John’s Lutheran Church (NALC – LCMC) of Selby, South Dakota teamed together to hold their first 3 day youth retreat, July 19th, 20th, 21st, at Sacred Word Lutheran Campus along the shores of Lake Oahe.

The services and presentations were based on Genesis Chapters 1 -2 -3 “Gods Creation” geared at “Building a Better You.” 

Tents were set up on the front lawn of the campus overlooking Lake Oahe.

Activities included a hay ride, cream can feed, and swimming the first day; packaging 16, 848 separate meals to be sent overseas for “Kids Against Hunger”, and a Christian band “Sondogs” on the second
day.

Over 50 adults and youth participated to make the 1st Lutheran Extravaganza Adventure Party (LEAP) a great success.

LEAP team leaders are hoping to make this an annual 4 day event for Christian youth throughout the state of South Dakota.

Plans are being put together to have another youth gathering in 2013.]]>
Book Offering for Ethiopian Seminary to Take Place at Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 16 Aug 12 00:00:00 -0600 Annual Gathering, and those attending the event are all invited to take part in becoming just that. 

The seminary of the Mekane Yesus church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is in desperate need of books for their students.  To help out, LCMC is welcoming an offering of books from our members at the Annual Gathering to be given to that seminary. 

If you have books on any of the topics that pastors, church leaders, and church musicians could use, and you are willing to part with, please bring them along to Denver this October.  All kinds of books are welcome:  theology, church history, worship, church administration, Lutheran doctrine, Luther’s works, church growth, evangelism, Biblical interpretation, commentaries, and any Biblical resource books, etc.

The offering will take place on Tuesday, October 9, 2012  at 11:30 A.M. during the “International Focus” with Professor Abdi Tadesse from the Mekane Yesus seminary.

We will be taking an offering for shipping costs as well.  

This is one of many ways that we can directly partner with the church in Ethiopia.

For additional ideas, Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba presenting a breakout session on the Ethiopia connection during the Annual Gathering as well.
 
We hope to see you all there!
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By-Law Changes to be Voted on at 12th Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 13 Aug 12 00:00:00 -0600  LCMC was founded in March of 2001 and its constitution and by-laws approved in October of the same year. About three years ago, it was decided that we should review those original documents and make any necessary changes, additions and deletions. Our constitution and the “pastoral admonition” have not changed—they both continue to serve our association well.

However, in reviewing our by-laws, the team assigned to this task noticed a number of editorial inconsistencies and, in addition, there were a few things missing that needed to be included, primarily in Section 2.  The Board of Trustees has reviewed their work and has approved for your consideration
the proposed by-laws.

The by-laws, with the recommended changes and additions, are being sent to you and every LCMC congregation for your review.  The changes are highlighted so that you can see what is being recommended. These by-laws will then be voted upon at our Annual Gathering in Denver, Colorado, October 7-10. There is also a break out session dedicated to this topic that if you have interest you may attend.
 
Rules for changing by-laws are outlined in detail in the last section of the by-laws, section 9.01.
 
Thank you for your commitment to and partnership in the Gospel.  I believe that God is at work in our congregations, that the name of Jesus is being proclaimed and that the Holy Spirit is in fact calling, gathering, enlightening and sanctifying his people.  I believe that our association continues to be
true to our beginning: a commitment to the authority of Scripture, a desire to fulfill the Great Commission and living in the freedom of the Gospel.

I want to express thanks to all those who have worked so diligently on this task on behalf of our Board and all of our congregations.

See you in Denver!]]>
Spirit of Hope Youth Group Helps Peace Lutheran with Outreach Program http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 07 Aug 12 00:00:00 -0600 From July 20-31, 10 youth and 4 adult chaperones from Spirit of Hope Lutheran Church in Parker, CO went on a Mission Trip to Gulf Shores, AL to help Peace Lutheran Church LCMC with their Vacation Bible School and Back to School Outreach program.
 
The people of Peace Lutheran Church have been reaching out to families in their community who have experienced difficulty due to natural disasters and the BP gulf oil spill. 
 
The youth at Spirit of Hope were eager to take part in the missions trip.  Although their church is currently undergoing a building project, the Youth Mission Team held fundraisers, eventually earning enough money to go on the trip. 

Youth Mission Team members are Blayze and Dakota Fittje, Courtney Giles, Chloe and Nick Lehnerz, Chrissy Nefe, Dylan and Tiffany Poch, Gregory and Sarah West, along with adult chaperones Pastor Dave Fisher, Cathy Meyer, Glenn and Wendy Poch traveled from Colorado to Alabama by car.
 
Along the way, the team was offered food and a place to stop for the night by Trinity United Methodist Church of Muldrow and Roland OK. 

When they arrived, members from both churches came together, putting their musical, theatrical, organizational and leadership skills together to host Vacation Bible School at Peace Lutheran.

At the conclusion of the program, participants received tote bags full of school supplies and school uniforms. 


 
 
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LCMC Announces September Missions Conference http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 02 Aug 12 00:00:00 -0600 This September, the Great Commission Lutherans of Northwest Iowa will host A Light for All Peoples!, a Missions Conference aimed at equipping pastors and church leaders with the skills to ignite a passion within their congregations for sharing God's mission beyond the walls of the church building.
 
Keynote speakers Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba, Ethiopian Evangelist and NALC’s leader of World Mission, Rev. Ken Kimball, Dean of the Iowa Mission District of the NALC, and Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, Service Coordinator of LCMC will take the stage at this two day event, which takes place September 28-29, 2012 at Faith Lutheran Church of Spencer, IA.
 
On Friday evening at 6:00 P.M., a forum designed for congregational leaders will be held.  Featuring all three keynote speakers, this session will offer pragmatic help to "lead congregations into mission".
 
Saturday's programming will feature discussion on local and world missions with Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba, as well as an open forum with all three keynote speakers.
 
Those attending the conference will also have an opportunity to learn more about several missions organizations through breakout sessions and exhibit tables. 
 
Breakout sessions scheduled include:
  • John Spaulding – “Christians Meeting Muslims”
  • World Mission Prayer League
  • Rusty Bailey – Haiti
  • Ken Kimball – NALC Update and Information
  • David Lerseth – Madagascar Ministry
  • Kevin Grimes – Dream Center
  • Jan Turner – Cherish Center
  • Rod Quanbeck/Dan Antoine – Ingham/Okoboji
  • Julie Schieb – Discovery House
  • Mark Vander Tuig – LCMC Update and Information
 
The cost of registration is $20.00 per person.   To register for this event, please contact Faith Lutheran Church via email at  faithlutheran@smunet.net or call (712) 580-4316.
 
Additional details for this event will be announced as they become available.
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Last Day for A4C Photographs http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 01 Aug 12 00:00:00 -0600 Throughout the month of July, the staff of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ has invited the members who make up our association to send us photographs depicting how they have been working as "Ambassadors for Christ" within their own congregations, within their community, or anywhere within the world.  
 
The goal?  To incorporate the personal stories of our own members, rather than stock art, to depict the theme of this year's Annual Gathering, Ambassadors for Christ, throughout the Big Book that will be distributed at this year's event in October.
 
Those who are still interested in contributing their photos for possible publication in the Annual Gathering Book are welcome to do so through the end of the day today by emailing their photographs and all accompanying information to kristy@lcmc.net.
 
If you haven't seen it yet, feel free to check out my previous blog post for a full list of guidelines and instructions for submitting your pictures.
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What in Haiti Are You Doing? http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 17 Jul 12 00:00:00 -0600
The Board of Trustees has scheduled a breakout session at the fall assembly for all of us who have the call to share in the Gospel work of Jesus Christ in Haiti. 

If your congregation is currently involved with doing mission work in Haiti, please send a brief bio of your mission work and a couple of pictures to be included in a slide presentation to be played at our breakout session. 

If you congregation is looking for mission partnership and has put Haiti on your heart, this is where you can come to hear how you can get involved.

Please send your information to:

Pr. Rusty Bailey

PO Box 123
Swea City, IA - 50590
pastorrusty@yahoo.com
 

See you in Denver!
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Pr. Joan Braunhardt Ordained at Faith, Albuquerque http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 12 Jul 12 00:00:00 -0600 On Sunday, June 24, Rev. Joan Braunhardt was ordained at Faith Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Joan was certified by the LCMC Ministry Board and has been commissioned by the people of Faith to serve the elderly in the growing metro area.  She earned a Master of Arts degree at Luther Seminary in 2004, with a focus on ministry and pastoral care with older adults. She was consecrated as an ELCA diaconal minister in 2006.

Joan resigned from her ELCA call in 2011, joined Faith Lutheran Church, and began a program of additional studies in preparation for ordination as an LCMC pastor. She plans to continue to serve in ministry to older adults, including outreach ministry to those who are institutionalized or homebound, pastoral care for dementia patients and their families, support services for older adults and their families, education, and worship services at nursing homes and other facilities.

Joan has been involved with several mission programs, including Casas por Cristo and the Navajo Lutheran Mission, and has served as a Stephen Minister. She has worked with the Albuquerque community as a member of the Board of Directors of Share Your Care, Cuidando los Niños, the Albuquerque Indian Center, Morning Star House, Uniting New Mexicans Against Adult Abuse, and the Children’s Friendship Project for Northern Ireland.  She also has served on the Advisory Board of the City of Albuquerque Senior Companion Program and has been a member of the New Mexico Association for Continuity of Care.
 

Photo: President Roger Campbell, Pastor Joan Braunhardt, Senior Pastor Bruce Wilder]]>
Don't Just Tell Us, Show Us! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 02 Jul 12 00:00:00 -0600 Get your cameras ready! 

Design projects for the LCMC 12th Annual Gathering are currently underway, and to help illustrate this year's theme, Ambassadors for Christ, our staff is currently seeking photographs from our member congregations to be incorporated into the design of our Big Book, which will be distributed at the event this October.
 
Photo submissions are welcome from any and all LCMC congregations.  This includes congregations young and old, large and small, new and long-established. 
 
What we're looking for:  Photographs taken by staff, leaders or members of LCMC congregations that illustrate what your church is doing within itself, within its local community, or anywhere in the world to embrace being an Ambassador of Christ.  This includes, but is definitely not limited to:
  • Community service or community involvement projects
  • Missions trips or other related projects
  • Ministry or teaching programs
  • Creative endeavors (music, drama, artwork, etc.)
What we're not looking for:  A photo of your building.  Even if it's really cool. 
 
 
We are very much excited to see what is going on within the congregations of our association, and to incorporate these stories into the artwork of this year's Annual Gathering book.

Here are a few rules, guidelines and tips:

  1. Photo submissions will be taken from LCMC members until Wednesday, August 1 at 5:00 PM EST.  Due to early printer deadlines, any photos submitted after this date may be ineligible for consideration.
  2. Because chosen images will be used in a printed publication, please send only high quality images.  Very small or distorted images do not print clearly.
  3. Acceptable file types are: JPG, GIF, TIFF and PNG.
  4. Any photo submitted must be an original work (owned by the individual or the congregation), and not the intellectual property of another party.  
  5. By submitting any photo(s), you agree that any images (and likeness or subject matter within) submitted may be used without compensation for the purposes described above.
  6. Photos must be submitted by congregations or associate members of LCMC.  
  7. Photo content must be relevant and in accordance with who we are and what we believe.
  8. Each photo submission must be accompanied by your name, the name and location of your congregation, and a brief description of the photograph.
  9. Please note:  Due to space, time and other constraints, we are unable to guarantee the publication of each and every photograph submitted to us.
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Frescoes for St. John's [Update] http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 27 Jun 12 00:00:00 -0600 Article originally published to this blog on May 16, 2012
Updated information can be downloaded below.


A Testimony of Faith 

Internationally renowned Portrait and Fresco Artist Mark Balma, best known throughout the Twin Cities for his frescoes at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis and the Cathedral of St. Paul, is donating six frescoes to St. John's Lutheran Church and the community of Stacy.
 
The gift, according to Balma, is his means of supporting a community that has seen some pretty tough times. “With so many people unemployed and so many families facing foreclosure, I wanted to give something to the community as a whole, something that would bring people together, that would strengthen their spirit and their faith.”
 
The frescoes will be painted on three gothic arches to be constructed to the east of the main entrance of St. John's Lutheran Church at 31075 Genesis Ave. This corner of land overlooks the Carlos Avery Wilderness Area along County Road 19.
 
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, May 20 at 11:30 AM. Artist Mark Balma, Pastors Dr. Alfred Valerius and Edward Wheatley, Brad Hildreth, owner of PEI Construction and Mason Joe Fisk will be in attendance. The entire community is welcome to attend. The painting of the frescoes will begin in early July. It will take approximately five weeks to complete the first three panels of frescoes. The remaining three panels will be painted in the summer of 2013.
 
According to Pastor Ed Wheatley of St. John's, "These frescoes will be the centerpiece of a memorial garden dedicated to the lives of our congregation and our community. In John 15:16 Jesus said, ‘I appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.’ For generations to come, this living memorial will bear testament to the lives of our community, our triumphs, our trials and more importantly, our faith."
Memorials will range from major dedications of the fresco panels to benches, gardens, and engraved paving stones. "The funds raised from this project will support our ministry for years to come," said Pastor Ed, "and God willing, we might even raise enough to pave our parking lot. That's something we've dreamed of for over 20 years!"
 
To learn how you can support this project or to request information on memorial dedications, contact the church office at (651)462-5115.
 
 

What is a Fresco?

Fresco is the process whereby ground up earth pigment is applied directly to a wet lime plaster. As the fresco cures, the colors are absorbed deep into the plaster and eventually harden to stone. Fresco is one of the world's most lasting and permanent art forms because the images do not just rest upon the surface, but actually become part of the stone. The images that Balma creates will literally stand for centuries to come.
 
In the proposed project, Balma is taking the traditional application of fresco one step further to create a fresco completely unique to North America. Rather than adapting a fresco to fit within a pre-existing structure, Balma will use the frescoes to define an exterior space through the construction of three, free-standing, gothic arches. The center panel will stand 17 feet high and the side panels will stand 15 feet high. Simply put, rather than the space defining the art form, the art form will now define the space, creating a grotto setting and the centerpiece of a memorial garden. When viewed from this perspective, the application of this ancient art form becomes virtually limitless.
 
 

The Images

The first three images to be painted on the frescoes were chosen by Rev. Dr. Alfred Valerius, who has served the congregation of St. John's for over 25 years. When asked what the theme should be, he announced without hesitation, "The Transfiguration of Christ."
 
According to Dr. Valerius, the Transfiguration on the mountain top is the pivotal moment in the ministry of Christ when he revealed his divinity. Moses, renderer of the Law, and Elijah, representing the prophets, were also seen in this glorified vision of Jesus. "The Transfiguration shows the union between the Old and New Testaments. “Christ becomes the bridge between heaven and earth, divinity and humanity, the prophets of old and the prophets of new," according to Pastor Valerius.
 
Many paintings of the Transfiguration have been done over the centuries. What makes this fresco rendering unique is a combination of artistry and science. Balma is currently working with CG artist Ray Downing of Studio Macbeth. In March of 2010, the History Channel released a two-hour documentary of the Shroud of Turin. This fourteen-foot length of cloth is believed to be the actual burial shroud of Jesus. Using the information encoded in the shadowy image imprinted on the fabric, Downing produced a three-dimensional image of the face of Jesus. Together, Balma and Downing are using the information garnered from his work to create the most historically accurate artistic rendering of Christ ever produced.
 
 

The Construction Process

While Balma is donating the frescoes, the congregation of St. John’s is responsible for constructing the arches. It was through a leap of faith, a belief that God would provide the funds needed, that the Church Council voted in April to move forward with the project.
 
St. John’s contacted Brad Hildreth, local business owner of Professional Exteriors, Inc. and Mason Joe Fisk, a graduate of the Brick Layers and Allied Craft Workers of the International Masonry Institute, and asked them to head up construction of the project. When the concept was first presented, they were both taken aback. “It’s not often somebody comes to you and announces you have to build a structure that will stand for at least 200 years,” Mason Joe Fisk said. “At that point you begin to re-examine every aspect of the construction process.”
 
Brad Hildreth set about to find the most cost-effective means to achieve the best possible results. “Let’s face it,” Hildreth quipped, “we’re talking about something that my great, great grandchildren will come to see. At this point, I'm in it for the bragging rights.”
 
In a curious twist, or perhaps some might say "divine intervention," PEI Construction was also hired during that time frame to renovate an old St. Paul residence, removing its 100 year old brick veneer. When the owner learned of the Fresco project for St. John's, she enthusiastically agreed to donate the brick for the project. Not only will that donation significantly reduce the cost of constructing the arches, the antique brick is quite literally the ideal surface for a fresco, and according to the artist, will ensure that the frescoes last for centuries to come.
 
 

Internships

Creating a fresco is a labor intensive project. To facilitate their completion, Balma will be taking on several volunteer interns throughout the month of July. Interns will receive first hand training in this ancient technique by one of the few fresco artists alive today. Interested individuals should submit a resume, including background information and formal training as well as samples of their work to St. John's Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 308, Stacy, MN 55079. Additional information regarding internships may also be obtained by contacting Mary Welty at St. John's, 651-462-5115. Applications should be received no later than June 15, 2012.
 
 
 
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LCMC to Host 2nd Annual New Ministry Workshop http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 19 Jun 12 00:00:00 -0600 LCMC will be hosting its second annual New Ministry Workshop from October 10-11, 2012, and online registration is now available at our website.
 
The workshop, hosted by LCMC Service Coordinator Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, features Annual Gathering Keynote Speaker and leader of the movement/organization 3DM Rev. Mike Breen, and is designed for leaders and members of congregations that have formed within the past five years.
 
This two-day event will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Denver, CO from 2:00 to 8:00 P.M. on Wednesday, October 10 and from 8:30 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. on Thursday, October 11.
 
Registration for the workshop is free, however we ask that those who are interested please register by Wednesday, October 5.  This will help allow our staff to provide suitable accommodations for all who wish to take part in the workshop.
 
To register now, please click here.

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Changes to Online Forms & Applications http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 12 Jun 12 00:00:00 -0600 To repair any technical difficulties that some of you may have been experiencing with any of our online forms and applications, our website administrative team will be making improvements to the way this information is processed by our website over the next week.
 
Should you encounter any problems in submitting a form on our website during the week of 6/11/2012 through 6/17/2012, please contact Kristy Thomas via email at kristy@lcmc.net.
 
Thank you for your continued patience as we work to improve our site.
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Annual Gathering Registration Now Open! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sat, 02 Jun 12 00:00:00 -0600 Registration for the 12th LCMC Annual Gathering, "Ambassadors for Christ", is now open at our website, and those who plan on attending the gathering are encouraged to register for the event in advance.
 
Church leaders, church members, voting delegates from LCMC congregations and visitors choosing to submit their registration forms by September 1, 2012 will receive a special Early Bird Registration rate of $120.00 per person.
 
Single-day visitors are $60.00 per person and seminarians may attend free of charge.
 
Those who plan to purchase tickets for District Dinner Night on Monday evening or dinner and "Lighten Up" with Ken Davis on Tuesday should indicate so on their advance registration form to ensure a ticket for either event, as space may be limited.
 
The gathering will take place October 7-10, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport Hotel & Convention Center in Denver, CO.
 
For more information on the event, click here.
 
To register online now, or find a printable mail-in version of the registration form, click here.
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LCMC Lutheran Men Looking for Disciples for the Lord http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 27 May 12 00:00:00 -0600
Lutheran Men has been receiving grant requests for award at the Gathering in October.

We have received continuing support of LCMC congregations for 2012, but the need is great, and we are making a Father's Day appeal to our members.

LM has two funds needing your support:
  • Mission Capital Loan Fund
    • Support of Mission congregations for a "Buck a Month" $12 per member from 10,000 members
    • Would provide for $120,000 each year for revolving loans for start-up congregations
  • Fund for Non-Capital Needs.. "Committee of 100"
    • Support of congregational needs for office equipment to well drilling!
    • This fund provides grants for congregations for current needs in their mission.
Father's Day is a selected day for approaching your congregation for support.  (Lutheran Men will accept gifts anytime during the year!)

Take the initiative to be a "Key Man" in your congregation. LM will provide you with brochures
and funding details. 

Feel free to contact Keith Aho at aho@laccessmn.com or call my office at 800-652-5233 if you have any questions.

Contributions to Lutheran Men should be mailed  directly to:
Sharon McFadyen
7000 North Sheldon Road
Canton MI 48187

Grant awards will be announced at the Denver Gathering.

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Online Registration to Open for Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 24 May 12 00:00:00 -0600 Planning for the LCMC 12th Annual Gathering this October has been underway for quite sometime, and we are pleased to announce that registration for the event will be open to the public shortly.
 
The gathering, which is set to take place from October 7-10, 2012, will be held at the Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport Hotel and Convention Center in Denver, CO.
 
Members of the association should be receiving their printed registration packet in the mail within the next few days, and the LCMC staff plans to open online registration at our website by the end of next week. 
 
Church leaders, church members, visitors and voting delegates from LCMC congregations registering before Saturday, September 1 will receive a special reduced rate of $120.00, with the cost of registration increasing after that date.
 
The cost of attending for single-day visitors is $60.00, and current seminary students may attend the gathering free of charge.
 
All registration fees are per person and include dinner on Sunday evening and lunches on Monday and Tuesday.
 
As in the past, tickets for special event dinners, which will be held on Monday and Tuesday, are available for purchase at the time of registration. 
 
Those interested in taking part in either dinner are encouraged to purchase their tickets at the time of registration, as seating for either event may be limited. 
 
For more information on the 12th Annual Gathering, click here.
 
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Update from Belarus Lutheran Missionary Fellowship http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 09 May 12 00:00:00 -0600 Renovations are still underway in Mazolovo, Belarus at the site that will serve as the headquarters of the Belarus Lutheran Missionary Fellowship.  The building will be used to house John the Baptist Lutheran Church, a youth ministry center, a warehouse for Good Book Publishing, and place to host seminars and conferences. 
 
For more on this story, download the full article below.
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Leadership Conference Videos Posted http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 03 May 12 00:00:00 -0600 For those who have not yet taken a look at our Video & Media blog, I encourage each of you to check it out. 
 
This area of our website is filled with videos and PowerPoint presentations from many of our various LCMC events, including last month's Leadership Conference.
 
As anyone who has been following us on Facebook or Twitter has probably noticed, we have recently added media from all three keynote speakers who presented at the Leadership Conference.
 
Media from other presentations given at the conference is soon to come.  
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New Videos and Media Coming Soon! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 25 Apr 12 00:00:00 -0600 Good news, LCMC!
 
I have received the video media from the 2012 Leadership Conference and have begun the task of getting them ready to be uploaded to our website.
 
Due to popular demand, we plan on posting video of our three keynote speakers, Rev. Dr. Walter Sundberg, Rev. John Burke and Mrs. Rebecca Meidinger first, with many of the other presentations to follow.  
 
We have requested the PowerPoint files used by each keynote speaker at the conference.  PowerPoint files will be posted along with their respective video files.  For your convenience, they will be made available for download as soon as they are received.
 
All material will be posted to our Video & Media blog, which is located underneath the "Events" menu of our website. 
 
While we are unable to guarantee an exact posting date for any specific video or PowerPoint file, our hopes are to have everything available within the next couple of weeks.
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Your Two Cents http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 24 Apr 12 00:00:00 -0600 If you attended the Leadership Conference in Fargo last week, we'd love to know what you thought of it!
 
Evaluation forms for the are now available on our website.
 
This year, we've created an easy online version of the document that you can fill out and send to us directly through the website.   Printable forms are also available for those who would like to send us their thoughts via mail or fax, instead.
 
Find the evaluation form under Events > Leadership Conference or by clicking here
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Annual Gathering Registration to Open Soon http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 23 Apr 12 00:00:00 -0600 With the 2012 Annual Gathering just a few months away, we should be ready to have registration for the event officially open within the next couple of weeks. 
 
The festivities will take place from October 7-10 in Denver, CO.
 
Those interested in attending the event will have the ability to register for the event online at our website or the old fashioned way, via mail.  
 
Please continue to check our blog (or your mailboxes) for further announcements regarding registration, accommodations, breakout sessions and more.
 
Additional details regarding the Annual Gathering are available at our website under the "Events" menu or by clicking here.
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Leadership Conference Video Online http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 04 Apr 12 00:00:00 -0600  
For those of you who plan on attending this year's Leadership Conference, the registration deadline of April 11th will be upon us in one week! 
 
If you have not yet registered and still plan on attending, please be sure to let us know by sending us your completed registration form ASAP.
 
For those of you who are unable to make it to Fargo this year, we do have plans to make video from the conference available on our website.
 
While we will not be streaming video live, as we did for the 2011 Annual Gathering, the presentations will be included in our Video & Media Blog.
 
The videos should be available for viewing within a few weeks of the conference.
 
We will make an announcement when they are posted.
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LCMC's Kip Tyler to Speak at International Conference http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 01 Apr 12 00:00:00 -0600 Kip TylerThe Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) (www.eecmy.org) hosts its second international conference this April, and LCMC Board of Trustees Chair Kip Tyler will be speaking at the event.

Members of LCMC are invited to come together and connect with other Lutherans from all over the world at the Second International Mission and Theological Conference.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet with Lutheran Theologians and church leaders from over twelve countries including Cameroon, Canada, Denmark, England, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sudan, Sweden, Tanzania, USA and more!

Theological educators, bible school teachers, Synod presidents, key synod leaders, pastors, theological students (undergraduate and graduate school students) evangelists and other lay and ordained church leaders are all welcome to attend.

This six day intercultural conference takes place from April 21-26, 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and includes presentations by:

  • Kip Tyler
  • John Bradosky
  • President Idossa
  • Michael Bradly
  • Various leaders from locations in Europe and Tanzania

The event will be primarily focused on equipping, encouraging and empowering church leaders to serve in their mission field in this day and age, wherever that may be.

For questions regarding the conference and to register, please email Rachel Sosebee at rsosebee@thenalc.org or call (614) 777-5709.

Please contact Mr. Endalkachew (Endy) Kidanewold by calling (919) 201-1637 for air travel and hotel information.

Printable event flyers and further details for this event are available in the downloadable PDF documents below.

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LC Keynote Speaker Releases New Book http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 22 Mar 12 00:00:00 -0600 book coverRev. Dr. Walter Sundberg, who will be one of three keynote speakers at this year's LCMC Leadership Conference next month, has published a new book.
 
Worship as Repentance: Lutheran Liturgical Traditions and Catholic Consensus, which was released by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. earlier this month, discusses the idea that repentance is at the heart of authentic worship.
 
The book is available to purchase for $18.00 via the publishing company's website.
 
For more information on Rev. Dr. Sundberg, visit our Leadership Conference 2012 page for keynote speakers.
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Important Leadership Conference Announcements http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 20 Mar 12 00:00:00 -0600 logoOur annual Leadership Conference in Fargo, ND is just around the corner.
 
With less than a month until the event begins,  we'd like to make a few important announcements for those of you who are interested in this year's conference.

Hotels

For those of you who still plan on attending and have not yet booked your hotel room, please be advised that the deadline for doing so at a reduced rate is soon approaching.
 
The hotels listed on our website have each reserved a block of rooms at a reduced rate for those who plan on attending our conference next month.
 
We have recently been advised to inform any interested Leadership Conference participants who have not yet booked a hotel room but still plan on attending this event that these accommodations will only be available for one more week.
 
While attendees will still be able to reserve rooms in or near Fargo during the time of the conference after this date, it is highly likely that the rate for each room will increase.

Registration

As a general reminder, the deadline for registration is Wednesday, April 11, 2012
 
If you have not yet registered for the Leadership Conference and still plan on attending, we ask that you please send us your registration information and payment of $60 per person at your earliest convenience.
 
Processing our registrations on time will allow us to plan the best possible experience for our guests.
 
Registration is available online at our website, or by printing and mailing us your completed registration form.

Sunday Evening Activities

While earlier Leadership Conference announcements listed the event as April 16-18, 2012, please note that there are additional activities planned for Sunday April 15.
 
We will be meeting at Atonement Lutheran Church beginning at 5:30 PM on Sunday for opening registration as well as a chance to catch up and get acquainted with one another.
 
The evening will wrap up with worship music at 7:00 PM, followed by dessert and coffee at 8:00 PM.
 

Leadership Conference Videos

If you are unable to attend this year's Leadership Conference, but are still interested in listening to one or more of the presentations, you're in luck.
 
This year, we do have plans to make video from our conference available online at our website.
 
As there are several hours of work that will go in to creating each video, these videos may not be available until several weeks after the conference.
 
We will announce further details on our Leadership Conference videos as they become available.

 
 
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Albuquerque Congregation Builds House for Community, Second Campus http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 07 Mar 12 00:00:00 -0700 The House that Faith Built

The people of Faith Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, NM have provided $75,000 and all the “people power” in order to build a new house in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity.

This project is called “The House that Faith Built” and is on target for completion in mid-April.

In 2005, the members of Faith built a Habitat for Humanity house in celebration of their 50th anniversary as a congregation.

As part of Faith’s ongoing ministries and mission, the decision to build a second house this year was put before the people…and God’s people said, “Let’s do it again!”




Second Site in Rio Rancho

In January, the dedication of Faith’s second site took place with great joy and thanksgiving.

Faith Lutheran Center in Rio Rancho is now open for worship, learning, fellowship and outreach.

Bruce Wilder, Senior Pastor, shared his vision for a second campus on the west side of the ever expanding metro area.

After prayer, discussion, viability studies. and more prayer, the decision to move forward was approved unanimously by the members of the congregation.

Pastor David Breidenbach has primary responsibility for leading worship and preaching at Faith West, but all of the other pastors preach from time to time as well.

The idea of one congregation with two sites is a new concept for many Christians, especially those in our Lutheran family.

That said, God is doing something wonderful and amazing through this second center for mission.

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St. John's Lutheran Church Ordains Rev. Charles Stevenson http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 23 Feb 12 00:00:00 -0700 Rev. Charles Stevenson was ordained at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Peabody, MA, on September 26.

Pastor Ray Phyles presided. Pastor Norm David delivered the sermon.

Pastor Charles was raised in southeast Michigan. He has a PhD in electrical engineering and two divinity degrees from Yale University. He is a professor of computer science at Salem State University (SSU), Salem, MA.

He looks forward to the challenges of a “tent-making” ministry at St. John, where he will combine teaching/mentoring students at SSU with ministering to his congregation and conducting outreach programs to the North Shore Community.

He and his wife, Joni, have four children: Ian, Colleen, Hannah and Keely.

 

Photo (Left to Right): Pastor Norm David, Charles Stevenson, Pastor Raymond Phyles.

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Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Easley Dedicates New Home http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 22 Feb 12 00:00:00 -0700 This past Sunday, the congregation of Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Easley dedicated their new church home in Easley, a gift, through generous members, from a provident God. After two years of faithful worship at Partee Time, a children's play area, the congregation purchased this Tabernacle, moving in just in time to celebrate our second anniversary with Divine Worship and a pot luck dinner on Christmas Eve. The building, previously serving others as a place of worship, was move-in ready. Our property search committee first discovered the availability of the building in early October. Ed and Irene Schlosser had previously provided funds set aside to purchase land for a future home. Recognizing the advantage of the immediately available and move-in ready Tabernacle, they increased their gifts, allowing us to purchase and close on the building within six weeks of the initial visit.

In spite of the weather, we were joined in our celebration by pastors and members of other South Carolina LCMC congregations, including St. Paul, Gaffney (Pastor Bucky Brown), Abiding Presence, York (Pastor Charles Aurand), and St. Mark's, Blythewood (represented by Mike Gibson). Patrick Young, currently taking Seminary Studies through ILT, and awaiting call, also participated. The Dedication service was based on the 1917 Common Service Book of the grandmother of our Musician, Donna Schultz. Donna also read a stirring tribute to the people who served to light our path, and those who joined together on this faith journey. She again told of our path, from bewilderment and disappointment in August, 2009, through our search for a new path, to the guidance from Pastor Bill Sullivan, Pastor Gary Coble, and Pastor Bill Ketchie, on a rainy evening in Salisbury, NC, in October, 2009. She highlighted the roles of Pastor Bucky Brown, and the congregation of St. Paul, Gaffney, SC; where we were strengthened in our faith by their display of theirs.  It was through them that Pastor Charles Aurand found us, and guided us to our first celebrant, Pastor Corky Spitler, and to our Pastor, Greg Longtin. She acknowledged, on behalf of all, the gifts of Brian and Michaela Mullins in providing our worship space for the first two years, and in providing leadership in financial and real estate matters. She thanked God for the gifts we received in the Call of Pastor Greg, and the beautiful gift to enhance our worship, the voice of Judy Longtin.  She also thanked God for the gift of Generosity He gave to Ed and Irene.

We have received gifts from others along our path. The congregations of Hopeful, Florence KY, the home church of Pastor Greg and Judy, provided us with the funds to purchase our sound system, and then, sent their Youth Clown Troop, sharing this wonderful ministry in an inspired and inspiring Divine Service. St. Matthews, Salisbury, NC, has designated us as a Mission Congregation, and continues to provide benevolence, which we have used to provide for worship, fellowship, and evangelism needs. Spirit of Joy, in Indianpolis, provided us with a most generous gift, which we used for youth, worship, and evangelism needs. We know that we have an obligation to pay it forward.

God has been with us, indeed, as our name proudly states. In our service, Pastor Brown read from 1 Kings the words of Solomon, as he dedicated the Temple that he built. His words are our prayer, that His eyes may be open, day and night, toward this church house. Our choir sang, "Surely, the Presence of the Lord is in this Place," and all felt and celebrated that presence. And Pastor Longtin, emphasising that we, the congregation, were the "Official Party"for the dedication, lead us all in reading, and declaring, the formal dedication. One of our altar banners, made by our member, Mabel Lunsford, declares, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," and so we all rose up as sang Martin's Hymn together. And, of course, we had plenty of food for our congregation, and our guests.

 
Photo (Left to Right):  Pastors Charles Aurand, Patrick Young, Greg Longtin, and James "Bucky" Brown.
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Augustana District Announces LCMC Mission Forum http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 10 Feb 12 00:00:00 -0700 We invite all people who are passionate about missions to join this discussion group! It gives us an opportunity to network together in several areas related to our mission to serve Christ.

First, this discussion group will offer a gathering place where prayers can be requested and offered. While we each belong to our individual congregations, we are also all brothers and sisters in Christ, and we should share in one another’s burdens and blessings. God’s Word says in Timothy 2:1 (TNIV) “I urge then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone.”

Next, this discussion group will offer a gathering place that can be used as a clearing house for information and ideas related to mission work. Many congregations have individuals that have, over time, created a small organization that has become successful in addressing the physical and/or spiritual needs of our fellow man. Now, they are ready to share their experiences with others and allow others to join in their mission work in various ways. You can let many others learn about your organization and experiences by sharing your post with this discussion group. Jesus did not ask us, but commanded us to love our neighbors, and gave us the Great Commission as His last words here on earth. Jesus also said in John 14:12 (TNIV) “Truly I tell you, all who have faith in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.” During Jesus’ time the apostles were limited to sharing on an individual scale to one person or small groups. Today, we have been given the gift of the power of the internet. It allows us to network over long distances and communicate with others almost instantaneously anywhere in the world. By using this gift for the benefit of promoting God’s mission work, perhaps we can do “even greater things” than the apostles were able to do during the time of Christ.

In addition, this discussion group can be a gathering place for Christian fellowship with pleasant and informative conversation between God’s people who have a common interest in His mission work. Fellowship is an important part of keeping our Christian faith strong and alive. Acts 2:42 (TNIV) tells us the early Christian community “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.” This discussion group can be a place to keep in touch with your brothers and sisters in Christ and be part of a conversation dealing with our mission to help our neighbor, both physically and spiritually.

Our mission field can be local, national, or international. If your congregation has experienced success with a local youth outing or neighborhood outreach program, maybe you can share that experience, so others can learn how to do something similar at their congregation. Have you just returned from a mission trip to another country with some larger organization? Maybe you can share that experience, good or bad, so others can learn what that experience was like. By just talking together we can stregthen our mission to do God’s work here on earth, which will be a benefit for all people.

We ask that you share this invitation to join the “LCMC Mission Forum” with the members of your congregation. Do you know of someone in your congregation who enjoys talking about their mission experiences? Please tell them about this discussion group, so they can share those experiences with others who would like to hear about it. If someone would be interested in joining this group, or has any questions, they can contact Mark Richardson or Jim Dix.

To receive an e-mail to join, with the internet link that will allow access to the group’s messages, just send a request to join to Jim Dix at jdix501@gmail.com.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Mark Richardson, Service Coordinator
Augustana District, LCMC

Rev. Paul Knudson, Board of World Missions Chair
Augustana District, LCMC

Mr. Jim Dix, Discussion Group Moderator
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Hubertus, WI
Augustana District, LCMC

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Leadership Conference Registration Now Open http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 09 Feb 12 00:00:00 -0700 Brochure CoverRegistration is now open for LCMC Leadership Conference 2012.
 
To carry out this year's theme of Engaging Our Culture: The Church is Mission!, this year's keynote speakers plan to explore with us how to relate to the people who are a part of our mission field without changing who we are or what we believe.
 
The conference will take place from April 16-18, 2012 at Atonement Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND.
 
The cost of attending is $60 per person.
 
To register, please complete our online registration form or download our printable form and mail it in no later than Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
 
Additional details regarding the Leadership Conference are available under the Events menu of our website. 
 
For questions, please contact Cathy Nichol, LCMC Administrative Assistant at (734) 788-7476.
 
 
 
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St. John Lutheran Church Installs Pastor Mark Brickzin http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 02 Feb 12 00:00:00 -0700 Pr. Mark BrickzinOn Sunday, November 13th at 3:00 pm an installation service was held for Pastor Mark Brickzin, who recently accepted a call to serve St. John Lutheran Church of Hatton, ND.

Pastor Curtis Tilleraas from North Immanuel Lutheran Church of rural Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, conducted the service and Rev. Mark Ellingson of Northwood, ND, Chaplain with Red River Valley Hospice, brought the message.

Pastor Brickzin and his wife, Sherry, came to serve the St. John congregation in August of this year. He has served congregations in Minnesota and North Dakota since 1977, and was, most recently (2003-2011), the founding pastor of Christ Community Church LCMC of Pelican Rapids, MN.

 

Pictured from left to right: Pastors Curtis Tilleraas, Mark Ellingson, and Mark Brickzin.

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Living Word Lutheran Church Ordains Rev. Mark Lund http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 27 Jan 12 00:00:00 -0700

Rev. Mark Lund of Canby, formerly of Marshall, was ordained on Sunday, January 22 at Living Word Lutheran Church in Marshall.

He was ordained by Rev. Mark Richardson, Service Coordinator of the Augustana District, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC).

Rev. Lund is a graduate of Luther Seminary in St. Paul and is serving as pastor of Word of God Lutheran Church (LCMC) in Canby.

He is the son of John and Marilyn Lund of Marshall.

Front row (Left to Right): Rev. Mark Richardson, Rev. Dave Christensen, Rev. Tom Jacobson, Rev. Randy Freund.
Back row (Left to Right): Rev. Tom Stenzel, Rev. Bruce Berg, Rev. Mark Lund, Rev. Kelly Wasberg, Rev. Wolfgang Laudert.
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First Evangelical Lutheran Church Installs Pr. James Lindgren http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 26 Jan 12 00:00:00 -0700 Pastor James Lindgren was installed at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Iron Mountain, MI on November 16, 2011.

Pastor Charles Mzinga from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania preached the sermon.

Pastor Steve Cowen from Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Iron Mountain, officiated.

Pastor Lindgren has been in the ministry over 30 years. He and his wife Judy had previously served congregations in Nebraska and Minnesota.

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LCMC Retirement Savings Plan Now Live http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 13 Jan 12 00:00:00 -0700 Lutheran Congregations in Mission For Christ is pleased to announce that our retirement savings plan is now live, allowing our members to conduct their business via telephone or web.

Participants may view their account balances, add beneficiary information and make changes to their investment information by visiting www.LCMC403b.com or by contacting the Participant Service Center at 1-800-442-4015.

Distributions may now be requested as well by contacting the Participant Service Center at the number above.

When contacting the Participant Service Center, please be sure to have your SSN and last four digits ready in order to access your account.

Additional information is available at the LCMC 403b plan website.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call 1-800-442-4015 and select the option that allows you to speak with a Participant Service Center representative.

Contact information regarding our retirement savings plan will remain posted on the Pension & Benefits page of our website, which is located under Documents  >  Serving with LCMC  >  Pension & Benefits.

There is also a brief tutorial on how to access your online account available here.
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Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church Ordains Pr. Tim Glendening http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 10 Jan 12 00:00:00 -0700 Ordination CeremonyOn December 3, 2011, Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church of Smithfield, Nebraska ordained Pr. Tim Glendening.
 
Rev. Keith Menter presided over the ceremony, which took place in the midst of a blizzard.
 
This is Pr. Glendening's first call.
 
Prior to his ordination at Hope Evangelical, he shared a ministry on depression titled "Out of Darkness" in over 1,000 churches aross the country, many of which now are part of the LCMC commiunity. 
 
He and his wife, Jan, have two children, Derek and Nicolle, as well as three grandchildren.
 
In his spare time, he enjoys golf, fishing and counted cross-stitch.
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Has Your Congregation Recently Filled an Open Position? http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 21 Dec 11 00:00:00 -0700 LCMC is pleased to provide its site users the ability to access listings of open staff positions and candidates who are seeking a call within the LCMC community.

For the convenience of everybody who uses this service, it is our goal to keep our listings as current as possible.

If you have an open position listed on our website, and it has recently been filled, please let us know.

To notify us if your posting needs to be removed, please email kristy@lcmc.net with the following information:

  • The name of the congregation
  • The city and state in which your congregation is located
  • The name of the position filled
  • The name of the call committee chair

Providing us with this information will enable us to keep our listings as up-to-date and accurate as possible.

If you do not wish for us to delete your position from the listings, but would like it removed temporarily, please inform us of this in the email as well.

Thank you for helping us help you help us all.

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Events Made Easy! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 12 Dec 11 00:00:00 -0700 Good news, everybody!

There is now a way to submit events for the LCMC calendar directly through our website!

To do so, simply find the "Submit an Event" page listed under the Events menu, or click here. From there, all you have to do is fill out the form and submit it.

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2001 Photographs http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 05 Dec 11 00:00:00 -0700 Is anyone interested in sharing photographs from the first two meetings in 2001?

If so, please email them to Kristy Thomas, LCMC Communications and Public Relations Specialist, at kristy@lcmc.net.

We would love to use these photos as part of a multimedia presentation to be given at some of our upcoming LCMC events.

Thank you all so much for your help!

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Haitians Learn to 'See Through the Scriptures' http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 18 Nov 11 00:00:00 -0700 As the saying goes,

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day;
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

That is why Rev. Dr. Harry Wendt, President of Crossways International, developed See Through the Scriptures, a visually based program designed to help people in countries around the globe develop a strong understanding of the meaning of the Scriptures and gain the ability to teach the Message to others.

Rev. Jeanel Jerome, who looks after an orphanage in Saint Marc, Haiti, has been using See Through the Scriptures as a tool for teaching others, both in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic, for the past six years.

Since he began teaching See Through the Scriptures to adults in 2005, he reports approximately 7,000 people having studied the material.

Of those 7,000, 65 of them have been trained to teach the program to others, fifteen of which are able to do so professionally.

"He's a committed person," said Rev. Dr. Wendt, who met Rev. Jerome at a workshop in 2004.

According to Rev. Dr. Wendt, Rev. Jerome, a Haitian himself, has a good understanding of what the people he works with need.

As one would most likely assume, the norms and standard of living in Haiti are, for the most part, significantly different than those in a country such as the U.S.

To gain somewhat of an understanding of life in Haiti, here are some quick statistics, courtesy of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA):

  • A Haitian's average life expectancy is 62.17 years
  • Nearly half of the country's population is unable to read or write
  • It is estimated that approximately half of the population of Haiti practices voodoo
  • 80% of the country's population lives below the poverty line
  • The country's unemployment rate in 2010 was 40.6%
    • For comparison purposes, the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report this month ranking Detroit, MI as having the highest unemployment rate of the metropolitan divisions in the U.S. Detroit has a 13.1% jobless rate.

While the statistics listed above are limited in number and reflect a general picture of a few aspects of life in Haiti, natural disaster has had a profound impact on the country over the past two years.

The BBC reported that when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, approximately 230,000 people were killed, 300,000 were injured and 1.2 million people were left homeless.

Furthermore, the BBC also reported that 1 in every 15 people affected by the earthquake in Haiti died, in comparison with 1 in every 190 killed in Italy's 6.3 magnitude earthquake in 2009 and 1 in every 595 killed in China's 2008 7.9 magnitude quake.

In response to the Haitians' immediate needs for items such as food, shelter, water and healthcare, various organizations across the U.S. have made an effort to address the immediate physical needs of the despairing country.

According to ABC World News, Americans raised over $1.138 billion for Haiti relief efforts within the first six months after the disaster took place.

Organizations such as Mercy Corps, AmeriCares, and Habitat for Humanity have made efforts to provide the Haitians with clean drinking water, food, medicine and shelter since the disaster.

Despite these efforts, there are many emotional issues the Haitians must cope with that many people feel are not being addressed.

"People there are looking for peace, meaning, hope in death," Rev. Dr. Wendt explained.

The proposed solution? Help them to understand the Message.

The problem?

The CIA reports that only 52.9% of Hatians over the age of fifteen are able to read and write, making education, in many cases, a struggle.

Rev. Jerome uses a French language translation of See Through the Scriptures in Haiti and a Spanish translation in the Dominican Republic, however the material taught in these books is very much visually-based, making it easy to explain the Message to those who do not have the reading and writing skills necessary to simply study the written Word.

The program is designed to help understand the basic principles of the Scriptures without requiring strong literacy skills and to enable those who have studied it to be able to teach these ideas to others within the community.

"Not only is he teaching the material," said Rev. Dr. Wendt, "He's equipping pastors and people to go out and do it."

While copies of See Through the Scriptures are relatively inexpensive at $2.00 each, Rev. Jerome has access to limited resources and therefore must resort to using as few printed materials as possible.

"This man cuts lawns and gardens in order to raise the money to be able to do what he does," said Rev. Dr. Wendt.

The hope is that, through the See Through the Scriptures program, Rev. Jerome will be able to help people to better understand the Bible and show them the skills that they need in order to bring Jesus into the lives of others.

If you are interested in learning more on this story, or would like to help support Rev. Jerome's ministry, contact Crossways International at:

Crossways International
7930 Computer Ave. South
Bloomington, MN 55435
Phone: (952) 832-5454
Email: crosswaysi@aol.com
Website: www.crossways.org

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A Thousand Teddy Bears http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 09 Nov 11 00:00:00 -0700 tate and bearsThis fall, the Iowa District of LCMC collected more than 1,000 teddy bears for Hope Ministries, an Iowa organization dedicated to serving the homeless.

The teddy bears were collected at the LCMC 11th Annual Gathering in Des Moines, Iowa and used as centerpieces for the tables in the dining room during the gathering.

Following the gathering, Iowa District Secretary Gayle Tate donated the mound of teddy bears to Hope Ministries, where they will be given to the homeless in the Des Moines area.

"We appreciate the donation.These bears will benefit our ministry in so many ways," wrote Jordanne Blair, Church Relations and Group Activities Coordinator for Hope Ministries, in a thank-you card to LCMC.

To learn more about Hope Ministries, visit www.hopeiowa.org.

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Leadership Conference Date Change http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 01 Nov 11 00:00:00 -0600 For those of you who are preparing for the upcoming Leadership Conference in April, I have changed the date of the event on our website.

This year's conference will be held from April 16-18, 2012.

You can find additional information on this event under Events > Leadership Conference or by clicking here.

Additional details will be posted soon.

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First Annual Gathering Videos Posted! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 28 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 Good news, everybody!

Videos from the first two talks at the 11th Annual Gathering are finished and posted.

Feel free to check them out here. You can also find them on our website under Annual Gathering > Annual Gathering Presentations.

I will be posting the rest of this year's Annual Gathering videos as I finish them, so check back regularly. I am hoping to have more finished next week.

 

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11th Annual Gathering Videos Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 25 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 I am happy to announce that I have received the video files from the 2011 Annual Gathering.

I plan on uploading these videos to our website and our YouTube page as soon as the files are done being edited.

Please keep in mind that the video editing process can be quite time-consuming, so it may take a while for me to be able to get all of the content put together and onto the internet.

I still have some technical difficulties to work out with this project, but I hope to get everything posted to our site in the near future, and will be working hard to make sure that I am able to do so.

Again, I thank you all for your patience.

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LCMC Congregation Celebrates 150th Anniversary, Installs New Pastor http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Fri, 21 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 Pastor EdOn September 18, 2011, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Stendal, Indiana had cause for two celebrations as they installed their new Pastor and honored the founding of the congregation 150 years ago.

Pastor Harold Heidegger, a former Pastor of the congregation, served as the Presiding Minister for the installation.

Also involved in the installation was Dale Reller, Council President. Pastor Ed’s wife, Debbi, was also welcomed to the community.

Pastor Edwin H. Wicks was raised in Winter Park, Florida. He graduated from the University of Central Florida, Orlando, before attending the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC. This year, Pastor Ed celebrated 30 years in the Ministry, having served congregations in North and South Carolina, 8 years as a Navy Chaplain and prior to coming to St Peter’s, he served a congregation in Nebraska.

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Upcoming Youth Events http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 17 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 For those of you who are interested in finding out more about Youth Encounter, I have created a page on our website under Networking > Partners to make it easier to find information about events for the national youth ministry program. You can also view the page at the following link: www.lcmc.net/youth-encounter/460.html.

Youth Encounter events for the upcoming year have also been added to our LCMC Calendar.

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Far Above Rubies: A Resource for Teenage Girls http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 17 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 Who can find a virtuous woman?
For her price is far above rubies…

--Proverbs 31:10

Mrs. Rebecca Meidinger, who will be speaking in Fargo, ND at the LCMC Annual Leadership Conference this April, is the director of Far Above Rubies, a program designed to help young women explore their true identities in Christ and teach them to build healthy relationships.

Far Above Rubies is a one-day conference, created especially for teen girls and their mothers or mentors, and aims to give women a better understanding of love, identity and self-worth.

To learn more, visit www.faraboverubiesministry.org or download the article below.]]>
Word of Life Lutheran Church Relocates to Mt. Gilead http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 12 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 The members of the Word of Life Lutheran Church a LCMC congregation, have voted unanimously to move to Mt. Gilead.

The church members have been holding services at 102 E. Main St., Cardington for the past year. During this time, they have been looking for the opportunity of relocating to Mt. Gilead.

During the past week, a delegation ofmembers, including their pastor, Rev. Patrick Kelly, met with officials of the Gilead Friends Christian School. An agreement was made for the relocation of Word of Life Lutheran congregation to rent space in the Gilead Christian School Building.

“This is an historic event as it marks the first time a Lutheran Church has come to locate in the Mt. Gilead/Edison area. We welcome all interested people and especially those of Lutheran background to attend our first Worship Service, Sept. 4th at 10 A.M. “ said the Rev. Patrick N. Kelly.

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11th Annual Gathering Videos http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 12 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 In response to the high volume of email requests that we have been receiving regarding video coverage of the presentations made at the LCMC 11th Annual Gathering, let me first apologize that it is taking a bit longer than expected to get these items posted to our website.

Rest assured, we are working hard to ensure that video content will be made available on our website and on our YouTube page as soon as possible.

The video editing process can often be quite time-consuming and bring with it many technical difficulties, so I thank you in advance for your patience regarding this matter.

For those of you who are anxious to see some of the presentations from Des Moines, I have some good news for you. Until we can get the Annual Gathering coverage uploaded to our site, the videos are temporarily being hosted at the following link: http://www.livestream.com/markeysav/folderhttp://www.livestream.com/markeysav/folder.

Again, thank you for your patience.

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Annual Gathering :: Wednesday Wrap-Up http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 06 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 The LCMC 11th Annual Gathering concluded in the early afternoon on Wednesday, October 5.

Bible Study Leader Rev. Carl Billings of Discover Church was the first to present on Wednesday morning.

His talk was followed by a presentation by Keynote Speaker Rev. Dr. Gemechis D. Buba, Missions Director of the North American Lutheran Church.

"Buba really set the tone well," commented Robert Thompson, who was in the audience during the morning program.

After a half-hour break, the fourth and final day of the gathering concluded with a closing worship service, during which Rev. Jaynan Clark preached a sermon.

As the festivities in Des Moines came to a close, people were eager to share their feedback on this year's experience with the LCMC staff.

"It's been uplifting," commented Donna Thompson of the 11th Annual Gathering as a whole.

"All in all, I thought it was a positive experience," said Kathy Williams of Minneapolis, who was a first-time attender of the event.  "I thought the speakers were excellent.  I feel inspired, and I feel the need to take that back with me."

"I come to these things to get recharged," said Rev. Mark Schimmel, who is a seasoned participant of LCMC Annual Gatherings.

In addition to inspiration, those who attend also enjoy the opportunity to reunite with old friends and connect with new people.

"I love the camaraderie here.  That's the most important part to me.  It's almost like a big family reunion," Rev. Schimmel said.

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AWAKEN Performs at Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 05 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 AWAKEN Ministries performance at The PlexAttenders of the Annual Gathering joined together at the Polk County Convention Complex on Tuesday October 4 for dinner and a dramatic performance by AWAKEN Ministries.

The dramatic ministry group, mainly comprised of college students, acts out the story of God to contemporary music.

More unique, the actors of AWAKEN carry out their entire performance without the use of words.

As people piled into the The Plex's auditorium on Tuesday, many had no idea what to expect.

Just before the start of the performance, members of the audience were asked to keep the aisles between seats clear, to take anything that they were handed, and to eat any food they were given.

It was on this note that the presentation began.

While AWAKEN's presentation heavily involved the use of mime, choreographed battles and interactivity with the audience enhanced the experience for those who came to watch.

Also unique to AWAKEN's performance was the use of a character donning a gray shirt, a representation of the viewer and his own struggles in life.

From beginning to end, the focus of the audience was kept not on any single aspect of the performance, but on God Himself.

The drama concluded with a standing ovation from the audience.

Many members of the crowd blotted tears from their cheeks while they cheered.

"I thought it was fantastic," said Theodore Rice, who was in the audience that evening."Everything kept building and building and each scene just fit together."

"It was fabulous," agreed Sharon Rice."The best part was they way they staged the ending and Jesus' resurrection."

Cathy Pannkuk, a first-time attender of the LCMC Annual Gathering, enjoyed the performance as well.

 

"I thought it was very enjoyable," Pannkuk said."It's amazing how they did it without using words.It's also encouraging to see young people involved in ministry like this.

 

The performers and crew from AWAKEN also appeared to be fired-up after the performance.

When asked what she enjoys most about being a member of the group, actor Emily Miller said, "I think it's an awesome opportunity to share the Gospel in an unconventional way and to a new audience every single time."

"It was really awesome being here," said Jon Anenson, who formed AWAKEN Ministries in 2005 while working as a member of the staff at Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp in Story City, IA.

Anenson spent eight summers at Riverside, where the mime-style drama began in the 1980s as part of the weekly programming.

He said that his idea to form AWAKEN was a response to the popularity of Riverside's "mime drama" program.

Since the program's beginnings, Anenson reports putting on performances for approximately 13,000 people in 63 venues across four states.

The team is based in Des Moines, Iowa and generally tours the Midwest from February through April, thanks to financial support provided by donors and local congregations.

"Our mission," said Anenson, "is to "AWAKEN" hearts to the story of the Gospel."

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Annual Gathering :: Tuesday Highlights http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 04 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 The 2011 LCMC Annual Gathering continued into Tuesday, October 4 with a full day's worth of programming.

Attenders of the event appeared to be in high spirits throughout the course of the day.

Rev. David Preus and Rev. TJ Anderson addressed the crowd on Tuesday morning.

The day continued with a presentation on international focus efforts and business announcements, followed by the last two time slots for breakout sessions.

Delegates from LCMC congregations met later that afternoon for area caucuses and the election of Board members.

Rev. Becky Lee and Rev. Martha Nelson were both re-elected to the LCMC Board of Trustees for another three year term.

The evening concluded with dinner and dessert at the Polk County Convention Complex, followed by dramatic portrayal of the story of the Gospel by AWAKEN Ministries.

At the end of the evening, Cathy Nichol, LCMC Administrative Assistant, and Sharon MacFadyen, LCMC Director of Operations, reported walk-in registrations for twenty one individuals for the day.

The four-day event will conclude on Wednesday afternoon.

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Annual Gathering :: Monday Recap http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 03 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 The LCMC 11th Annual Gathering continued Monday, October 3 at the Polk County Convention Complex with a full day of music, meetings, presentations and time to socialize.

Social TimeThe registration table opened at 8:00 AM and received approximately 25 walk-ins over the course of the day.

Reverend Elisa Ashley of Redeemer in Mission for Christ and keynote speaker Reverend Greg Ogden of Christ Church addressed the crowd during the morning program.

Attendees were presented with announcements and business information following a 12:00 PM lunch.

The first breakout session of the gathering took place at 4:30 PM and was followed by meetings for various area caucuses.

Annual Gathering participants then met up with others from their respective districts for dinner at 6:00 PM to wrap up the evening.

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Annual Gathering :: Sunday Evening Synopsis http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 02 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 The PlexSunday, October 2 marked the first day of the 2011 Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ Annual Gathering, the eleventh of its kind.

The event, which is being held at the Polk County Convention Complex (The Plex) in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, will take place for three more days, wrapping up on Wednesday afternoon.

Today's festivities began with registration at 4:00 PM, followed by dinner at The Plex.

The evening continued with an opening worship service, which was preached by Reverend Bill Bohline of Hosanna! Lutheran Church.

The evening commenced with desserts and fellowship time at The Plex.

According to Sharon MacFadyen, Director of Operations for LCMC, approximately 1,100 people pre-registered for the Annual Gathering this year.

Sunday Dinner"They were just flying in today," said LCMC Administrative Assistant Cathy Nichol, who helped handle registration for the event.

Nichol reports thirty-eight at-the-door registrations for day one of the gathering.

Day two of the Annual Gathering will begin at 8:00 AM tomorrow and feature singing and Bible study led by Reverend Elisa Ashley, a presentation by keynote speaker Reverend Greg Ogden, and the first installment of the Annual Gathering Breakout Sessions.

Interested in seeing more photos from the 11th Annual Gathering? Click here to view the photo gallery.

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Idaho Congregation Invites Local Community to 'Come Grow with Us' http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sat, 01 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 If you really want to speak effectively to a group of people, it is best to find a common ground of understanding on which you can relate to them.

floatAt least that is what the members of Shepherd of the Falls Lutheran Church thought when they decided to design a float for the American Falls Day Parade, part of an annual county fair and homecoming festival that takes place every August within the tiny farming community of American Falls, Idaho.

When the congregation's steering committee met in July, member Gary Tiede suggested that Shepherd of the Falls get involved in the parade by constructing a float.

The committee agreed on Tiede's suggestion and asked for ideas and input from the church community.

"Being a new LCMC congregation and being a rather small congregation, we really wanted people in the community to know they had another Christian church in town and another option for a Lutheran congregation in which to worship," said Shepherd of the Falls secretary Juanita Burgemeister.

The church agreed on the theme of "Come Grow with Us", which was suggested by 13 year-old Evelyn Bitikofer.

Once the concept was put into play, members of the congregation then needed to decide how best to communicate the idea of growth to the American Falls community.

Members of the congregation donated patio plants for the construction of the float, while the town's local fuel, farm and feed store agreed to let Shepherd of the Falls borrow several potted live trees.

"The idea of "growing" in a farming community is naturally associated with live plants and the color green," explained Burgemeister.

The large wooden cross on the front of the float was made in the spring of 2011 for Shepherd's first Easter Sunrise Service by member Vernon Bethke.

Construction on the float began on a Thursday evening, just two days before the American Falls Day parade was to be held.

"It took about three hours that evening to get the majority of the float built," said Burgemeister."If we came upon the need for a tool we didn't have, someone would call out, 'I've got one. I'll run and get it.' Real teamwork was exhibited. Our congregation worked very closely, sharing and accepting others ideas and skills."

When Saturday morning rolled around, the members at Shepherd piled onto the float, excited to show their idea to the onlookers who lined the streets to watch the American Falls Day Parade.

"As in any parade, many floats throw candy.We were to be no different, but we wanted the candy to be more than just candy, we wanted to share the message," Burgemeister said. "We threw 'scripture' candy to those who lined our streets: hard strawberry creme candy with a scripture on each wrapper."

The parade itself was filled with floats from schools, businesses, and civic service organizations, however Shepherd of the Falls was the only Christian church to enter a float into the parade.

When the parade commenced, compliments poured in from the people of the American Falls community.

According to Burgemeister, one onlooker even commented that if there had been a contest, Shepherd would have won first place.

Ultimately, the members at Shepherd were pleased with the way their float turned out and was received by the local community.

Not only did they feel that their creation turned out colorful, personalized and easily identifiable, the members of Shephard were satisfied with the message that their float communicated, an invitation to "Come Grow with Us--All are Welcome".

"Our first desire was that it would make us, a new congregation, known in the community. Hopefully, those needing a church home or [who were] just were inquisitive, would come, be welcomed, worship, and come to be a believer in Jesus Christ if they didn't already know [Him]."


Photo courtesy of the Power County Press.

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LCMC to Stream Annual Gathering Live http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sat, 01 Oct 11 00:00:00 -0600 Greetings from Des Moines!

The LCMC 11th Annual Gathering is just around the corner, and we're excited to get the ball rolling for this year's event, which will take place from Sunday through Wednesday at the Polk County Convention Complex here in Des Moines.

We are happy to announce, for those of you who will be unable to attend this year's conference, that we are planning to stream coverage of the Annual Gathering live right here on our new website.

Interested in checking it out? Just visit www.lcmc.net/live at the time of the event to see what's going on. We'll also be placing a link to the video feed on the homepage of our site for easy access.

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Word of Hope Lutheran Church Ordains and Installs Reverend Wilson Metz http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Thu, 22 Sep 11 00:00:00 -0600 Rev. MetzReverend Wilson Metz was ordained and installed at Word of Hope Lutheran Church in Ashland, NE on July 24, 2011.

Reverend Oliver Olson, President of the Omaha Bible School, presided at the ordination service. Members of the Word of Hope family and visitors participated in the laying on of hands as they gathered around Pastor Metz to pray.

In addition to his pastoral duties, Wilson is the director of the Heartland Men of Faith, a field trainer for Man in the Mirror, an Iron Sharpens Iron conference organizer, and works to connect national and local ministries with the goal of equipping men to minister to each other, their families, their cities, and their congregations.

Wilson and his wife Sandy have been married 37 years and have two children and six grandchildren.

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Staff Openings & Resource Sharing: A Tutorial http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 19 Sep 11 00:00:00 -0600 In the creation of our new site, we've given LCMC site users the ability to post staff openings and resource items for other LCMC members to view.  

LCMC congregations can submit job descriptions for open ministry positions through our website.   Once these open positions have been approved by an administrator, they will be posted to our Open Positions page, where they can be viewed by interested applicants.
 
We have also created a Resource Sharing center, which allows individuals or congregations to list items, such as books, videos or equipment, that they have to sell, loan or give away to other congregations.
 
Getting the word out about an open position or an item that you would like to share is easy.  

Here's how:

  1. If you haven't already, create a myLCMC account by clicking here.  Once you have an active myLCMC account, you'll be able to post your staff openings and/or resource items. 
  2. Make sure that you are logged into your account.  To find out whether you're logged in, check the top of the page.  If you are not logged in, there will be a "login" option at the top of the page, like so:
    login info
  3. If you are not logged in, click on that "login" link.  You will be redirected to a new page that looks like this:
    login screen
  4. Type in the username and password you have created and click the "Submit" button.  
  5. Under the "Community" tab of our website, find and click the menu item titled "myLCMC". You should be able to see the myAccount page, which looks something like this:
    mylcmc screen shot

 

From here, you can now post resource items and job postings.

Job Openings:

  1. Click on the "My Staff Openings" tab.  It should be the one in the middle.
  2. You should see a button that says "Create New Staff Opening". Click it.
  3. Fill out the form.
  4. Click the "Save" button.

 

Resource Items:

  1. Click on the "My Item Listings" tab.  It should be the last of the three tabs.
  2. Find and click the "Create New Item Listing" button.
  3. Fill out the form.
  4. Click the "Save" button.

 

Please note: Your job posting or resource item listing may not appear on our site immediately.  It must first be reviewed and approved by a member of our staff before it can be published to our site.

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Attention Social Networkers! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Tue, 06 Sep 11 00:00:00 -0600 I've created an official LCMC fan page on Facebook.  
 
Here are 5 reasons why you should "Like" us:
  1. I'll be updating both our Facebook page and our Twitter account on a regular basis
  2. There will be nifty Facebook event invites (and reminders, for those who RSVP) for all of our LCMC events
  3. Have something to say?  You can post comments on our wall and on specific event pages.  
  4. You'll be notified when something on the website gets updated or a new blog entry is posted
  5. I'll be posting all kinds of pictures from the Annual Gathering next month!
 
 
 

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Early Bird Registration Deadline Extended for Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Wed, 31 Aug 11 00:00:00 -0600 If you still haven't registered for the 2011 Annual Gathering in Des Moines, we have extended the deadline for Early Bird Registration until September 9, 2011.

The Early Bird special is still $90.00 for LCMC Congregational Delegates, Associate Members and others.

While this change has not been reflected in our printable registration form, the extension date for this special will be in effect for gathering-goers who decide to register online or by mail.

For those of you who have been having problems with online registration, we have made improvements to this section of the website. You can access both versions of the registration form by clicking here.

Also, on behalf of everyone on the LCMC staff, I would like to thank all of you for your patience as we continue to work out some of the bugs on our new site. It is our goal to make our website as user-friendly as possible, and we are working hard to make sure that this goal is met.

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LCMC to Host New Ministry Workshop following Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 29 Aug 11 00:00:00 -0600 A workshop designed to gather at least one pastor and one leader from each of our new ministries will take place at Zion Lutheran Church in Des Moines, Iowa following the Annual Gathering.  
 
This workshop is designed for all LCMC congregations that have formed within the past five years, and will include discussions oh how LCMC can best support, encourage and help develop its newest member congregations.  
 
There will also be networking opportunities for participants.  
 
For additional information and to register, please click here
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LCMC Launches New Site http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Mon, 29 Aug 11 00:00:00 -0600 Today Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ announces the launch of our new web site, which features several brand new features, as well as improvements to some of our existing ones.

If you're reading this article, you've probably already discovered our blog.  Here you'll be able to find the most up-to-date news and announcements from LCMC and read full articles related to many of our tweets and Facebook posts.  We'll be updating the blog as often as we can, in the hopes of keeping all of our member congregations well-informed about what's going on within the LCMC community.  Upon visiting our blog, you'll also notice that entries are organized by content in the right-hand column of the page, making it quick and easy to find exactly what you're looking for.  
 
In the interest of helping you find information more easily, we've added several other features to the site as well.  If you're looking for a particular person or LCMC Congregation, you can now search through a database (under the directories tab) for exactly what you need to find.  We have also included a new congregational mapping tool to help users quickly locate LCMC congregations they're interested in and find information on them.  Another new feature that we've added is our myLCMC section, which allows site users to create a profile.  Once your myLCMC profile is created, you'll be able to use a lot of the additional features on this site, including the discussion forums and the ability to post open leadership positions on our website.  
 
One thing that you might also notice is that some of the content on our new site is organized differently from the way that it was on the old one.  While it may take a little time to get used to, our hope is that the structure of our new site will make finding specific information a more expedient process.  
 
If you haven't added us on Facebook or Twitter yet,  you might want to consider it.  Not only is it a great way for all of us to connect with one another, it's also an effective way to find out what's going on.
 
You may notice several slight changes to the site over the next couple of weeks.  We'll be making a few slight tweaks and adjustments, but please keep in mind that we're making these improvements to help our website become more user-friendly.  
 
We'll also be adding additional blog posts, updating our social networking sites, and adding a few photo galleries to the site in the weeks to come, so stay tuned!
 

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LCMC The First Ten Years http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 17 Jul 11 00:00:00 -0600 LCMC The First Ten Years tells the story of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) — its origins and its first ten years as an association — told from the perspective of those who were participants and leaders on that journey.

"The writers of this book have several things in common: All are united by a common faith in Jesus Christ. All claim a personal history that is rooted in a Lutheran understanding of the Christian Faith. All believe that the Lutheran Confessional documents of the Reformation are not subject to the whims of modern culture. Then generously multiply that truth to the Scripture, itself, which stands over all human attempts to interpret it. In recent years these writers have been put to the test. Their commitment to an orthodox understanding of Christianity has brought them together into a much less structured church body called Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. Without exception, each one has experienced some form of rejection by their former church body. That too has united and motivated these writers with a fervor producing a truly modern church body that looks much like the Church of our Lord in the Book of Acts where both suffering and blessings abound!"

- Rev. Dr. Paul Braafladt, Seattle
Soft Cover Book, 189 pages
Price: $10.00 US
Order the book by sending an email to orders@lcmc.net or through the Sola Publishing link. ]]>
Who Is LCMC? http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 17 Jul 11 00:00:00 -0600 Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ is an association of congregations and individuals who are:

  • free in Christ;
  • accountable to one another;
  • rooted in the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions;
  • working together to fulfill Christ's Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations.

LCMC is an association of congregations. We have a great respect for the reality that the church is where the people of God gather together around Word and Sacrament. The local congregation is where the church becomes a concrete reality for God's people.

At the same time we are joyously aware that each congregation is a part of the greater body of Christ. The actions of each congregation within our association reflect on our association as a whole. And the actions of our association reflect on the whole body of Christ. For this reason we have committed ourselves to a common set of ministry standards.

Congregations have significant latitude in ordering and shaping ministry in their local setting, and we intentionally have made joining and leaving the association simple. We have also agreed to a disciplinary process for addressing congregations whose actions violate our agreed-upon statements of faith and practice.

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What is a Denomination? http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/summaries.html Sun, 17 Jul 11 00:00:00 -0600 Some have said, "LCMC is a vibrant and faithful association of congregations, rather than a denominational church body."

LCMC has referred to itself as "a post-denominational association of congregations," as a way of acknowledging that its horizontal structure is different than the more vertical structure of many classic denominations.

But having said that, LCMC is recognized as a church body (denomination) by the IRS, by the ELCA, and by other denominations. LCMC does have structure that is defined in its Constitution and bylaws. LCMC has member congregations, association-wide meetings, a clergy List (roster), a retirement and health plan, and regional and otherwise configured Districts for congregational support. LCMC does endorse chaplains for the military and its pensions and health plans transfer. Seminary students have a candidacy process and clergy a certification process.

While we understand our association to be post-denominational, we are a denomination by most societal definitions.

The freedom we enjoy allows us a variety of ways of saying who we are. We are primarily Lutheran congregations in mission for Christ.

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