PUBLISHED BY THE MISSOURI DISTRICT OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCH—MISSOURI SYNOD
November 2, 2017
Seven Questions with Rev. Dr. Stanish Stanley, Executive Director of Christian Friends of New Americans (CFNA)
Christian Friends of New Americans (CFNA) began in the early part of 2000 as an effort to reach the growing number of immigrants and refugees coming into the St. Louis area. Interested LCMS members met at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis to reflect and find ways to serve and invite these New American friends into the Lutheran Church, especially the Bosnian refugees that had recently arrived in the city. In a few years this outreach effort took the name, "Christian Friends of New Americans," that offered need based capacity building services to New Americans.
The initial vision for this ministry was provided by Mrs. Carol Buckman and her friends, alongside having key ministry supporters in Messiah Lutheran Church, Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, Concordia Kirkwood, and others. Over the past 15 years, CFNA's ministry was led by outreach missionaries like Rev. Tony Boos (then just out of Concordia Seminary) and Rev. Eddie Mekasha. In all this, the mentor leadership of Mrs. Carol Buckman and Dr. Allan Buckman helped steer CFNA in achieving its mission goals that included establishing contact with New Americans and also engaging LCMS congregations and believers in this ministry.
Today, the ministry of CFNA can best be described as seeking to connect New Americans with LCMS congregations. This is accomplished by partnering with local Lutheran congregations, schools, individuals, NGOs and various grant-giving foundations to offer a range of programs and services for New Americans. Firmly based on the Holy Scriptures, with John 15:15 as its key verse, CFNA seeks to reach out to at least 200 new neighbors every year with Christ inspired care. Presently, from its facility on South Grand Blvd., CFNA offers Health and Wellness Screenings, ESL, Drivers Ed., After School tutoring, Furniture donations, Ethiopian After School tutoring, Heart2Heart Women's Bible Studies, and two Ethnic Bible Fellowships. CFNA also provides scholarship assistance for the enrollment of refugee children into Lutheran schools. Now into its 10thyear, the Adopt-A-Student ministry has scholar-shipped between 25 and 30 students each year. Interestingly, 80 percent of these students, together with their families, are now attending LCMS congregations.
The establishment of the various CFNA ministries has been enormously facilitated by 268 volunteers (currently) drawn from more than 60 Lutheran congregations and organizations in the St. Louis area and beyond. CFNA was granted RSO (Recognized Service Organization) status by the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod on July 27, 2010, which was renewed on August 9, 2016.
The Missouri District installed Rev. Bill Geis as Assistant to the President for Congregational and Mission Services
President Hagan installed Rev. Bill Geis as Assistant to the President for Congregational and Mission Services for the Missouri District - LCMS on Oct. 20. Rev. Geis replaces the Rev. Dr. Stu Brassie, who previously served in that position for 20 years prior to retiring this summer.
Geis comes to the Missouri District with a wealth of experience working in both rural and urban/surburban ministry, with the later involving significant ministry in church/school settings. He has previously served as parish pastor of a multi-point rural partnership in Oklahoma and as the Oklahoma District Executive for Missions, Senior Pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church and School, LaGrange, Ill. and Director of Adult and Senior Ministries at The Lutheran Church of Webster Gardens, Webster Groves, Mo. He has had the privilege of being a guest lecturer in regards to Rural Ministry and Evangelism at both Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, as well as presenting to various Synod groups and serving on a myriad of Synod boards and committees. Geis actively serves the community as well through various community and civic service board memberships, youth mentoring programs, and organizing/supervising volunteer based neighborhood improvement projects such as disaster response, senior home rebuilds and neighborhood cleanups.
Geis holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from Concordia University-Chicago and a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. He will be bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience to the Missouri District to support congregations in their mission and revitalization efforts. Additionally, he will assist congregations in the areas of outreach and stewardship training.
Geis and his wife Sandi have been married for 33 years and have two daughters, Erica who is married to Jonathan, and Monica. His motto is, "care for people in such a way that they meet Jesus!", because of his belief that both individuals and churches can do that in all circumstances.
Please join the Missouri District in welcoming Rev. Bill Geis!
Conference Coming to Southwest Missouri
The Missouri District E2 (Encourage and Equip) Conference will be held on Saturday, November 11 at Faith Lutheran Church in Springfield. The conference is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. There is no cost, but attendees are encouraged to register in advance -
The conference will feature topics for both church professionals and volunteers. The topics include outreach ideas, witness training, stewardship, youth ministry for small churches, family ministry, and older adult ministry. There will also be training for boards of elders. President Hagan will be leading a topic on topics as we balance life with one foot in the church and one foot in the world when it comes to sexuality and marriage issues.
The E2 Conference provides a great opportunity for learning, but also for fellowship with volunteers and leaders from other congregations. Please join us so that you can be encouraged and equipped for serving at your congregation. There will be relevant and practical topics for everyone.
Many congregations are turning their attention to our community outreach effort, the Plus One Initiative. Congregations are encouraged to complete a Plus One participation form and either mail it to the district office or email it to
. If you want additional information about Plus One or a copy of the Plus One participation form, go to
Senior High District Youth Gathering
Cost is $165.00 per person
November 17-19, 2017
at Cross Pointe Retreat Center in Rocky Mount, MO.
Filters change how we view the world and ourselves. The Sr. High Youth Gathering will dig into this theme through interest centers, worship, service, and fellowship as we consider how our lives are transformed by Jesus Christ. Our theme verses come from Ephesians 4 where Paul explores the difference between a life lived in darkness that focuses on selfish desires, and the new life we live as forgiven children of God. How can we "put on the new self" that looks outward and takes action by living out the righteousness of Christ?
This will be a great weekend with youth from all across Missouri to hear interesting topics, breakout sessions (details to come), music with The Homesteaders, group devotions, games, servant events and more!
The Professional Church Workers' Conference begins for:
Pastors on Tues. Nov. 14, at 1 p.m., with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. Commissioned and educators on Wed., Nov. 15 at 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Banquet for all Professional Church Workers at 6 p.m. on Wed. evening. Worship service is Thurs., Nov. 16 at 10:45 a.m.
Pastors, Commissioned, Educators: $125
Emeriti, Vicars, Interns, Student Teachers: $75
Spouse/Guest Meal Packages: $65 (Banquet and 1 Lunch); $90 (Banquet and 2 Lunches)
– Dr. Erik Hermann from Concordia Seminary, Dr. Patrick Ferry from Concordia University Wisconsin and Dr. Jon Mielke, Director of Lutheran Schools, Indiana District.
For additional general information, details on sectionals amd conference schedule, please visit
The Lutheran High School Association of St. Louis is seeking to hire a Director of Enrollment Management. Additional information regarding this position can be found under Employment on the Association's website:
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The mission of St. John's Lutheran Church is to preach the Word of God in its purity and to teach this Word to all people. We do so through the means God has given us, the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.
What We Believe
The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod accepts the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, and subscribes unconditionally to all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God.
We accept the Confessions because they are drawn from the Word of God and on that account regard their doctrinal content as a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and as authoritative for all pastors, congregations and other rostered church workers of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.