2018 Lutheran Voter Information Guide Available

To help LCMS congregation members exercise their citizenship in November's elections, our joint Minnesota North-South Public Policy Committee has developed the 2018 version of A Lutheran Voter Information Guide.

Pastors and other leaders are encouraged to share this material in appropriate venues as we look forward to electing a new governor and legislators. Questions about this document can be directed to Rev. Fred Hinz.

District App Pilot to End

Due to some leadership changes at the company hosting our district app, the pilot period for this app, which was presented in partnership with Concordia Plan Services (CPS), is coming to an end. Read a letter from CPS about this change. We look forward to finding new ways to better serve our workers, lay leaders, and congregations utilizing technology.

For those who currently have the app on their phones, it will be disabled on Friday, August 17.

Prison Ministry Course

The Minnesota South District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the Concordia University Department of Criminal Justice offer this course:

An Introduction to Correctional Ministry

This course is free! No prerequisites are involved. Lay people, pastors, and leaders from all denominations are welcome

(Course credit is also possible, but for a fee.)

Jim Seemann, Ph.D. will provide a general overview of strategies to help those who are incarcerated as they find reconciliation and redemption within the context of the Christian Gospel, and to mentor and provide support for those who come to faith. A diverse group of preachers, missionaries, and former prisoners will serve as guest speakers on a number of topics which are sure to challenge and to provide fresh perspectives to this age-old problem. 

The course text will be supplied for free. Online learning is also available.

Classes will meet for six Tuesday nights from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in Luther Hall Classroom 111 starting on September 11.

Interested? R.S.V.P. seemann@csp.edu

Want to Volunteer at the 2019 LCMS Youth Gathering? Attend an Open House!

We are looking for dedicated volunteers in the broader Twin Cities area (congregations in the Minnesota South and North, South and North Wisconsin Districts) who are willing to serve before, during, and after the Gathering to bless all who will be celebrating our Real.Present.God.

Join us for an open house where you’ll have a chance to meet Youth Gathering staff and learn more about volunteer opportunities for individuals and congregations. Local Volunteer Open Houses will be held at the following locations:

Note: Attending a Local Volunteer Open House is NOT required to register to volunteer at the Gathering.

From the President: Transitions

This is my final “Through My Window” article as MN South District President. I’ve served for two terms and will retire August 31. Our convention in June elected Rev. Dr. Lucas Woodford to serve as our new District President. I’ve already prayed for him often as he transitions from parish ministry to that of ecclesiastical supervision. In his first year, he will no doubt be sucking on the proverbial firehose. I hope you will pray for him and encourage him, too, as he begins his service on September 1.

Transition is what our new president and I have in common. We will both be living in the middle of in-between for a time, repositioning, as they call it today. No doubt you’ve experienced something of this in your life. Truthfully, life is a series of transitions, and it seems to me that what matters most in a transition is to make the most of what matters.

Several years ago a very wise 14-year old, Jason Lehman, wrote a little poem titled “Present Tense,” which reads in part:

I was 20,

But it was 30 I wanted,

To be mature

And sophisticated.

I was middle-aged,

But it was 20 I wanted,

The youth

And the free spirit.

I was retired,

But it was middle age I wanted.

The presence of mind

Without limitations.

My life was over,

But I never got what I wanted.

(Chicago Tribune, February 14, 1989)

Even in transition, maybe especially in transition, it is important to live in the present tense. Otherwise, we will miss what the Lord is doing right now with His grace along the way. Otherwise, we will miss the relationships which bless us so richly. Getting from here to there doesn’t mean we leave people or values or callings in our dust. The time between the chapters of our lives matters. IN such times God grows our capacity for prayer, courage, perseverance, and hope.  

As I transition into retirement, I have some idea of what it might look like, but most of it is hazy. No doubt the same is true for Pastor Woodford as he takes on his new calling. Yet to live in the mist for a while, or the fog, or the mystery of things unknown, is not a bad thing. Wanderings, as in Israel’s transition to the Promised Land, do have their place in God’s plan for us. We do well to stay in the moment even when walking deserts or bridges.

Life here, after all, in all of its sad and joyous chapters, is a transition. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Cor 13:12 NKJV).

District Churches Attend Higher Things Conference in Northfield

 Youth and leaders alike from several congregations from MN South District enjoyed being able to attend the Higher Things Youth Conference close to home this year, from July 3rd-6th on the campus of Carleton College in Northfield. Those attending included St. Paul, Blue Earth; St. John’s, Cedar Mills; St. Paul, Chatifield; St. Paul, Fairmont; St. Paul, Fulda; Our Savior, Hutchinson; St. Peter, and Holy Trinity, Lakefield; University Lutheran Chapel, Minneapolis; Immanuel, Plainview; St. John, Plato; St. John's - Rich Valley, Rosemount; First English, Spring Valley; Trinity, Waltham; Our Savior, Winnebago; St. John, Wykoff

Youth and leaders alike from several congregations from MN South District enjoyed being able to attend the Higher Things Youth Conference close to home this year, from July 3rd-6th on the campus of Carleton College in Northfield. Those attending included St. Paul, Blue Earth; St. John’s, Cedar Mills; St. Paul, Chatifield; St. Paul, Fairmont; St. Paul, Fulda; Our Savior, Hutchinson; St. Peter, and Holy Trinity, Lakefield; University Lutheran Chapel, Minneapolis; Immanuel, Plainview; St. John, Plato; St. John's - Rich Valley, Rosemount; First English, Spring Valley; Trinity, Waltham; Our Savior, Winnebago; St. John, Wykoff