A weekly message of encouragement from President Lee Hagan.
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"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Volume III, Issue 14
April 19, 2018
Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan
A Message of Hope
But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24
One of the places where the contrast between Lutherans and other denominations is most stark is at funerals. I was recently offering my condolences to a friend after the death of his mother. This layman told me that he attended another funeral the same day as his mother's funeral and that it was the first non-Lutheran funeral he had attended in quite a while. He spoke about how comforting the funeral for his mother was because of the focus on Christ and how, sadly, the other funeral placed the focus on the deceased. I don't mention this as a source of boasting, but rather a reminder that the only comfort and encouragement we have to offer is Christ and Him crucified and risen again from the grave.
It is certainly challenging for our congregations to reach the lost in our communities. For many of them, the Church has nothing to offer. They see the Church as out-of-touch with the world today. But funerals provide the opportunity for us to show exactly what the Church has to offer: Jesus. The effects of sin are on display for all to see as a casket stands before the assembly. But there is a message of hope that the Church has to offer as the pastor proclaims Christ's victory over sin and death. This is the message of hope that is proclaimed in cities where the murder rates continue to escalate. We proclaim this message at nursing homes and day-care centers. We do have something to say and it is about Jesus!
Pastors are not called to be cool or hip. They are not called to follow the latest trends or to tell people what they want to hear. They are called to preach Christ crucified! But we can't sit around and wait for the next funeral to bring the unchurched back into the congregation. Pastors are teaching and equipping God's people to be faithful witnesses who intentionally go out into their communities with a message of hope. Pastors preach that message from the pulpit, but laypeople speak that message over coffee with co-workers and over drinks with friends. The Church still has a message and there is an urgency for the saints of God to proclaim Christ and Him crucified wherever we live and move and have our being. May we be faithful witnesses as we keep Christ crucified and risen again as our central message.
Prayer – Savior of the nations, come and inspire Your people to be faithful witnesses to Your great salvation. The harvest is indeed plentiful and the laborers few, so begin with me, Lord, and hold before my eyes the challenges and the needs of a world without Christ. Never let me wear of proclaiming the crucified and risen Christ. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan
Call Day for both Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Ind., will be here next week. Even if your congregation is not calling a candidate or expecting a vicar or intern, Call Day services are very exciting to watch and see the new pastors and deaconesses who soon will be entering the mission field.
Both seminaries livestream the services on their websites and provide frequent updates on social media. Below is information about all of the services, including links to make it easy to watch online and follow via social media.
Concordia Seminary in St. Louis - April 24
Assignment of Vicarages & Internships - 3 pm (CDT) Assignment of Calls - 7 pm (CDT)
Watch the livestream and find out more at
. Share in the celebration by using hashtags #CallDay2018 and #CallDayWatchParty and follow along on social media.
Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana – April 24 & 25
Vicarage & Deaconess Internship Assignment service - Tuesday, April 24, at 7 pm (EDT) Candidate Call service - Wednesday, April 25, at 7 pm (EDT)
Both services will be livestreamed at
. For more information, visit their Call Day webpage at
Convention Update - Registration Deadline May 9
The 2018 Missouri District Convention is fast approaching. Please make sure all pastoral and lay delegates are registered and have completed all necessary certification forms and lodging reservations as soon as possible, if you haven't already.
As a reminder, attendance is required for all rostered church workers. If you cannot attend for any reason, please complete the
excused absence form
in writing and return it to the District Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are important steps for both pastors and lay delegates to follow and complete to make sure they are properly registered for all aspects of the convention. Please complete all forms and return them according to the directions on each. Forms and webpages are linked below for your convenience.
Steps for pastors:
Pastoral delegate form
Link to lodging registration
Steps for lay delegates:
Lay delegate form
Link to lodging registration
Steps for advisory delegates:
Link to lodging registration
is now available online. Please download it and either print a hard copy or bring a digital version on your laptop or tablet. Click
to visit the convention page on our website.
For questions about the convention workbook, please contact Michelle Christ at 314-590-6200.
If you need assistance with registration, please contact Sue Thompson at 314-590-6200.
We look forward to seeing you at the convention. Please continue to pray for our district as we prepare for convention.
Events and Resources
A Message from Concordia Plan Services
On Tuesday, April 3, 2018, an email was sent to your ministry's primary contact from your CPS account manager/representative with the subject line "Your Action Needed Today".
This email pertains to the introduction of the new benefits portal. Simply click on the "Learn How and Act Today!" button, insert your temporary portal password (located in the email) and pre-register.
Early this June you will receive a second email with instructions for portal access that will allow you to view both your current CHP plans and NEW offerings for 2019. However, to access to this information you are required to pre-register. If you have misplaced the email or did not receive it, please contact CPS Customer Care at 888-927-7526 and they will resend the information.
CFNA Freedom Run
It's the Freedom Run! Don't miss the fun! Join us for the Christian Friends of New Americans' 5K run and fun walk.
Saturday, April 28 - Register at 9 am - Start at 10 am
At Concordia Seminary in St. Louis - 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, Mo., 63105
Bring your family and friends. Sponsor and run with a refugee child. Wheelchair accessible. Register by Friday, April 13, and get a free t-shirt. This benefit supports CFNA's work with refugees and immigrants from around the world. Go to
for all the details. PRIZES and SURPRISES GALORE!
Southwest Missouri Lutheran Night with the Springfield Cardinals
Southwest Missouri folks, don't miss this chance to cheer on the Springfield Cardinals with your fellow Lutherans.
June 1 – Game time: 7:10 pm – Gates open: 6:10 pm
Tickets are only $15 and include the following:
Reserved field box seat Voucher for a FREE Springfield Cardinals hat Cardinals/Lutheran red t-shirt Post-game fireworks Groups of 20+ have church name listed on back of t-shirt
Deadline for orders and t-shirt sizes is May 10
. Order today by contacting Teresa Calhoun at 417-832-3031 or email@example.com. T-shirts are available in sizes youth small - adult XXXL. ($2 more for XXL & XXXL)
Plus One Participation Forms
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
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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.