LCMC Blog [Resources Topic] http://www.lcmc.net/blog/feed?topic=15 Read the the latest news, announcements and articles from LCMC. en-us New Resource Available http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/new-resource-available/a833.html Mon, 01 Oct 18 00:00:00 -0600 LCMC has a new ministry partner that provides high-quality insurance protection for congregations. 

Check them out on our resources page (under Church Life > Resource Links) or visit their website at: www.brotherhoodmutual.com.

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LCMC Announces Intentional Interim Ministry Training for 2018 http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/lcmc-announces-intentional-interim-ministry-training-for-2018/a811.html Thu, 22 Mar 18 00:00:00 -0600 LCMC is hosting our second training class for those who feel called into intentional interim ministry.  

Those of us serving on the LCMC staff believe those serving in this capacity need training. Some of the best training is through the Interim Ministry Network (IMN) or the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP).  These courses require significant time and money, so we are providing a lower cost alternative, even while continuing to suggest pastors consider the more thorough training.

Our LCMC Intentional Interim Ministry Training will be taught by Pastors Steve Lien and Steve Abend, who have completed training with IMN and NALIP respectively.  

The event takes place from Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. through Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. in the Principal Financial Group Conference Rooms A & B of the Grand View University Student Center (located at 2811 East 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50316).

The cost to attend is $150.00 for the course, which must be paid in full to hold your place, plus housing and transportation.  Housing is available for a very reasonable rate at Grand View University.  MORE INFO >>

Registration details and a list of pre-reading books required before class will be provided by contacting Cathy Nichol, Administrative Coordinator, at cathy@lcmc.net or (734) 788-7476. 

Pastor Perry Fruhling
LCMC Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry

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2019 Three Days of Prayer Dates Announced! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/2019-three-days-of-prayer-dates-announced/a807.html Mon, 26 Feb 18 00:00:00 -0700 Six years ago, Service Coordinator Mark Vander Tuig invited every congregation in LCMC to join in prayer for three days at the beginning of the new year.

In the time since, our association has turned Three Days of Prayer into an annual tradition with many congregations choosing to organize prayer walks, host special services and vigils, or distribute resources to congregation members for each of the three days.

Mark your calendars now for New Year's Day, because our next annual Three Days of Prayer will take place January 1-3, 2019.  

For updates on this event, be sure to follow our blog, or download our mobile app and opt-in for Three Days of Prayer push notifications in your app settings.  App users who have selected this option will receive a reminder before the event and a message reflecting on the themes during each of the three days.  

As always, resources such as sample brochures submitted by other LCMC congregations can be found here.

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Get Mobile Updates! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/get-mobile-updates/a805.html Sun, 28 Jan 18 00:00:00 -0700 Did you know that the LCMC App lets you sign up to receive news updates on your mobile device based entirely on your interests?  Here's a breakdown of what's available:

General Notifications:

Select this option if you’d like to be notified ONLY of announcements that aren’t related to attending a specific event.  Examples:

  • New videos/podcasts
  • Service projects
  • Contests
  • Major news updates from the LCMC Staff and Boards

Event Specific Notifications:

We use this feature to notify you when registration opens for your favorite events, when a deadline related to an event you’ve selected is approaching, and when any major new details get announced for that event.  (For Three Days of Prayer, you’ll receive a message reflecting on the themes during each of the three days.)  App users who sign up for these types of notifications will only receive announcements for the specific events they’ve opted in for.  

On Site Notifications:  

While attending a larger LCMC event such as the Annual Gathering, opting-in for on site notifications will allow you to receive any announcements or updates that are made during the event, such as meeting room assignments and service project information.  You will only receive these types of messages for the duration of the event you’re attending.

Don’t worry, if you sign up for our notification system we won’t spam you with constant daily messages. We’re just using this feature as a way to help make it easier to receive news updates in the most timely manner possible.  

Here’s How:

  1. If you haven't already, download our app on your phone or tablet. 
  2. Open the app and click on the icon in the top left corner to access your inbox, notes, and app settings. 
  3. Select "Settings", then "Notifications". 
  4. On the Notifications page, simply toggle on anything you'd like to get updates about. 

That's it! 

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Luther and Katy Presentation Well Received http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/luther-and-katy-presentation-well-received/a787.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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Introducing the LCMC Store http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/introducing-the-lcmc-store/a761.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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Scholarship Opportunity for Seminary Students http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/scholarship-opportunity-for-seminary-students/a709.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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Advice Regarding Interim Pastors http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/advice-regarding-interim-pastors/a705.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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Our 4th Annual Three Days of Prayer Takes Place January 5-7, 2016 http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/our-4th-annual-three-days-of-prayer-takes-place-january-5-7-2016/a683.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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Scholarship Opportunity for High School Seniors http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/scholarship-opportunity-for-high-school-seniors/a677.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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Plan Now: October is Pastor & Staff Appreciation Month! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/plan-now-october-is-pastor--staff-appreciation-month/a660.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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We've Launched CHURCHES CONNECT! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/weve-launched-churches-connect/a652.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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Is the Holy Spirit Calling You to Be a Pastor? Start Here! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/is-the-holy-spirit-calling-you-to-be-a-pastor--start-here/a635.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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LCMC Workshops to Continue in 2015 http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/lcmc-workshops-to-continue-in-2015/a631.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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New Training Opportunities Available for Certification Interviewers http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/new-training-opportunities-available-for-certification-interviewers/a578.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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LCMC Hosts Fall Retreat for Seminary Students http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/lcmc-hosts-fall-retreat-for-seminary-students/a524.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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Meal Packaging Project Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/meal-packaging-project-update/a515.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. 
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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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Scholarship Opportunity for High School Seniors http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/scholarship-opportunity-for-high-school-seniors/a510.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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Thoughts on Housing Allowance http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/thoughts-on-housing-allowance/a483.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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LCMC Hosts First Seminary Summit http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/lcmc-hosts-first-seminary-summit/a437.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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2012 Annual Gathering Videos Now Available Online http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/2012-annual-gathering-videos-now-available-online/a355.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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Surplus LCMC Logo-Embroidered Apparel Now Available http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/surplus-lcmc-logo-embroidered-apparel-now-available/a338.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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Book Offering for Ethiopian Seminary to Take Place at Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/book-offering-for-ethiopian-seminary-to-take-place-at-annual-gathering/a310.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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LC Keynote Speaker Releases New Book http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/lc-keynote-speaker-releases-new-book/a222.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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Augustana District Announces LCMC Mission Forum http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/augustana-district-announces-lcmc-mission-forum/a212.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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LCMC Retirement Savings Plan Now Live http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/lcmc-retirement-savings-plan-now-live/a205.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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2001 Photographs http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/2001-photographs/a197.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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Far Above Rubies: A Resource for Teenage Girls http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/far-above-rubies-a-resource-for-teenage-girls/a180.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.]]>