Traveling or relocating this spring?

Enterprise and National car rental
WELS has renegotiated the contract with Enterprise and National Car Rental. Available rate offerings have been updated as a result of the new contract.

Anyone interested in renting a car should sign up for the Emerald Club Program which is used by both Enterprise and National Car Rental programs. Those who have already signed up for Enterprise Plus can continue to use their existing account. Those interested in renting a car will find two available options, Business and Personal. Learn more

Schroeder Moving Systems
Will you be relocating this spring or summer?

Schroeder Moving Systems (previously Barrett Moving and Storage) is a home moving, relocation, and logistics company that takes moving personally—whether that’s transporting sensitive cargo around the world or your family around the corner. So, it is good to know that such a qualified relocation company has had a relationship with WELS for over 60 years. Learn more

Praise & Proclaim Partners with Home Missions

The Holy Spirit works in miraculous ways. Even the smallest gospel seed can be transformed into faith through the power of the Spirit. What a blessing from our Lord!

Everyone understands that verbally sharing the gospel message with strangers can be a scary thing. But, we have a life-saving mission that we need to carry out. How do we “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 29:19) with this fear holding us back? That’s where Praise and Proclaim Ministries can help:

“Praise and Proclaim Ministries teaches and equips Christians how to joyfully and confidently share this important message of God’s salvation with others. We provide an immediate, well-organized opportunity for Christians to put their training into action by conducting a door-to-door canvassing experience to proclaim the gospel. By participating in our outreach campaigns, members of congregations learn how to engage, proclaim, and invite neighbors and friends to hear the gospel.”

Dave Malnes, founder and president of Praise and Proclaim, has years of experience conducting outreach as a staff minister in churches in Minnesota and Idaho. Today, Dave’s full-time ministry is dedicated to sharing that knowledge with churches around the United States. Dave states, “Many Christians wrestle with the fear of verbally proclaiming the gospel to lost souls. The intent of our outreach initiatives is to break the thin layer of ice that causes us to refrain from witnessing.”

Cross of Christ Lutheran Church – Meridian, ID

Praise and Proclaim puts together a well-organized outreach plan, complete with hand-out materials, mailed fliers, and canvassing maps, specialized to fit the needs of each congregation. This expert administrative support allows the pastor and lay people to concentrate fully on the task at hand: learning how to proclaim the gospel. It also frees up the pastor’s time for him to focus on following up with prospects after the outreach initiative.

Starting with a few hours of training led by Dave on a Friday night, participants are given the tools to easily proclaim the gospel when putting their training into practice the next day. Rev. Lincoln Albrecht, Home Mission Pastor at River of Life Lutheran Church in Goodyear, Ariz., attests to the quality of the training, “The strength of Dave’s teaching is in its simplicity. Many people see their pastor as an expert door-knocker or Jesus-talker, and so they think they never could do what he does. Dave breaks the process down into manageable chunks and sets their collective minds at ease.”

Peace Lutheran Church – Liberty Hill, Tex.

Many WELS Home Missions are taking advantage of Praise and Proclaim as a part of their overall outreach strategy. As is stands currently, 10 home missions have participated in Praise and Proclaim outreach initiatives in 2016 and 2017, with another two home missions scheduled to participate so far in 2018. Today, 487 people have been trained how to share the gospel message. Thanks to their efforts and the Holy Spirit working through them, the seed of the gospel has been planted about 3,800 times.

After participating in a Praise and Proclaim outreach initiative, members from the Arizona/California and Pacific-Northwest District Mission Boards reported back,

“We recommend that every new {home mission} start use this approach to kick start the work in their communities. There are so many details and so many best practices that {Praise and Proclaim} will take care of for the new mission, that it serves as an invaluable service when reaching out to the community with the gospel. It will also give the new mission an outreach template to use for generations to come, as well as equip its members with an outreach mindset from day one.”

As WELS Home Missions continues to explore new ways to help new mission starts reach out to their community, Praise and Proclaim Ministries has been identified as a valuable partner. Rev. Keith Free, Administrator for Home Missions agrees, “Dave doesn’t just train people how to canvass – he equips people with the tools and training they need to become evangelists in their community for years to come. What a blessing this partner is to our work!”

To learn more about this ministry, read testimonials from past participants and see how your church can utilize Praise and Proclaim Ministries, visit www.praiseandproclaim.com.

 

Expansion of Christ’s Kingdom: Kakuma Refugee Camp

For over 25 years, South Sudanese men and women, even children with no accompanying relative or friend, have walked for miles to refugee camps in Kenya to escape the carnage of a civil war. Surrounded by miles of barren land, Kakuma Refugee Camp and the nearby Kalobeyei Settlement are at times the largest refugee settlement in the world, with over 185,000 inhabitants counted in 2017. The government of Kenya would prefer to close the camp, but where would the thousands of refugees go?

Most of the original United Nations refugee tents are gone, along with the dwellings made from giant rolls of U.S. AID material wrapped around thin wood poles to create a room. They are often replaced with single room dwellings made of covered brick. Each small home, a little larger than a garden shed in the U.S., is made with precisely the same amount of building materials on precisely the same tiny plot of land. The result is row upon row of the same small, earth-colored dwellings across the camp site. With little vegetation anywhere, the appearance of the camp is dismal indeed.

In this setting a traumatized population that has experienced unspeakable atrocities and hardships survives. “They go house to house, room to room,” Kakuma Refugee Camp Pastor James told me, describing how government soldiers have executed villagers in the ongoing war. Many refugees fled their villages with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Many never made it to the camps, dying along the way from exposure, lack of water, or lack of food. “We compare ourselves a lot to the Children of Israel wandering across the desert,” one Kakuma church member told me.

After the unimaginable trauma of war comes a new type of trauma for the survivors – adjusting to years and years of living in a refugee camp. Obviously, the traditional ways of living in a South Sudanese village cannot be replicated in the camp. Camp dwellers are given a monthly stipend from the relief agencies, along with a monthly allotment of food. Water is scarce.

There seems to be little to do in the camps. There are hardly any jobs. Invariably, people have a whole lot of time on their hands. And that, dear reader, is where the pastors and evangelists of our Lutheran churches come in!

Pastor Peter Bur is a revered elder among the Nuer people of South Sudan, well known by the South Sudanese in Africa. Bur lived in a refugee camp before receiving a visa and the opportunity to move to the U.S. In Omaha, Neb., he came in contact with our WELS church and found himself led by the Holy Spirit to become a pastor through the Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI). He currently serves as the South Sudanese Ministry Coordinator for outreach happening in North America and around the world.

Missionary Schultz, Rev. Bur, and Missionary Sargent with Kakuma Church Leaders

Bur makes at least two trips a year back to Africa to train South Sudanese church leaders among refugee groups in Kenya and Ethiopia. The Spirit-powered results have been astounding. Currently there are 23 groups gathered, (three in Kakuma, twenty in Ethiopia) serving over 2,600 people with the gospel. On the day of our camp visit to Kakuma, over 300 members gathered for a combined church service. A second church building was recently completed in Kakuma about two blocks from the first building, to handle the rapidly expanding membership. During our week of classes, nearly 250 gathered each day to study God’s Word. With the more than 800,000 in refugee camps across the continent of Africa, the work of WELS Missions is just beginning.

During worship services, the Kakuma congregation sings a song written by the refugees themselves. They sing the words:

“Lord, we know you are here with us.
Lord, you know we want to go back home.”

No one will be going back home until there is peace in South Sudan. No one is optimistic that will happen any time soon. But God’s message that in this world we are always aliens, foreigners, and pilgrims resonates deeply with our Kakuma brothers and sisters. An eternity with our Heavenly Father in Paradise is coming for those who put their trust and faith in Jesus.

Paradise – where the memory of atrocities is erased, where there is everlasting peace, and where you never run out of food. In Paradise, the banquet will go on forever for those saved through the blood of the Lamb.

On this Sunday, in the barren refugee camp of Kakuma, there is a three-hour worship service of preaching, prayer, singing and dancing by 350 people. The celebration has already begun! God’s children in Kakuma are secure in the knowledge that the eternal Kingdom awaits them, thanks to their Savior Jesus.

By: Missionary Terry Schultz

Small Town, Big Outreach

Being Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, it’s obvious that the state of the Wisconsin has many WELS churches… 433 to be exact. With such a large number of congregations, we assume that every county would be served with the gospel in its truth and purity. Currently there isn’t a single WELS church in all of Richland County, a rural area in the Southwest corner of the state. Dual parish members at nearby St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hillpoint, Wis., and Trinity Lutheran Church in Lime Ridge, Wis., saw there was a need to reach out to their neighbors with the life-saving message of the gospel. They decided to act.

Local Newspaper Highlighted the Event

Over the past 18 months, the two churches have paired up to conduct exploratory mission work in the nearby city of Richland Center. Since starting, two Easter for Kids events have been held at the local community center. Twenty-five people attended in year one, and they were blessed with 40 children in attendance this past spring. Pastor Dan Lewig, who serves both congregations, now holds a monthly, Saturday Bible Class at a local restaurant called “Bible Breakfast Hour.” The local District Mission Board (DMB) and the Board for Home Missions (BHM) have been working alongside them since the beginning. In September of this year, the dual parish requested and was approved by the BHM to receive unsubsidized mission status1.

On Sat., Dec. 16 at the Richland Center Community Center, the churches hosted their largest outreach event to date: A Journey to Bethlehem Live Nativity Event. Pastor Lewig notes, “This event has been a wonderful example of our synod working together. My two congregations have over 25 volunteers helping; to put it in perspective, we average 75 people in church on Sunday mornings between our two congregations. One of my members has built all the wooden structures we will be using for the event. In addition, we have partnered with the Ladies Aid from St. John’s in Juneau, Wis., who is making the costumes for the event. Members of Lakeside Lutheran High School’s Junior Choir will be there singing Christmas carols, and we also have a Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary student helping us out.”

6,500 postcards ready to be mailed

The Board for Home Missions provided a special grant, which was used to create a direct mailing that was sent to the mailbox of everyone in Richland County – over 6,500 mailings total. The local newspaper picked up on the event and did a wonderful front-page story that reached many in the community. Pastor Lewig is also being interviewed by a local radio station for continued promotion. With the Lord’s blessing, the group hopes to draw over 200 people from the community to this event.

Pastor Lewig commented on the large volunteer initiative backing the event, “It has been amazing watching this all come together, seeing so many different sources partnering on this project – all sharing the same desire to reach out with the gospel. We are excited for this opportunity to share the true joy and peace that is found in the manger in Bethlehem!”

Post-Script: Pastor Lewig reports, “What an amazing day! Preparing for our first year of hosting this we didn’t know what to expect. We were hoping to have maybe 100-200 people attend our first year… and over 400 came to our Live Nativity this year!”

1An unsubsidized mission is a mission church that does not receive budgetary financial support (subsidy) from Home Missions. Unsubsidized missions have access to a Mission Counselor and can make requests for special project funds through its District Mission Board (DMB).

 

Home Mission Introduces New Discipleship Program

As an early member of Peace Lutheran Church in Aiken, S.C., I’ve had the pleasure of watching the Peace family grow and develop with each passing day. For over two years, week after week, we came together in the local Municipal building to worship, learn, and love together. Unlike churches that have been around for decades (or centuries), most of us were not Lutheran when we first stepped through the doors of Peace. We have left other denominations for one reason or another and found peace in God’s truth and grace preached at Peace Lutheran.

Ice Cream and Game Night

In April 2017, Peace Lutheran Church moved to a permanent home in the heart of downtown Aiken. In September, after taking some time to work out the kinks, we invited the community, family, and friends to join us for Finding Peace Sunday. New faces were mixed into the group as we shared an early lunch. Service cards with names were pulled from a basket, and guests had the opportunity to win a variety of themed baskets – from “movie night” or “pizza” to “Frozen.” Since moving into the building eight months ago, we have been so thankful to welcome about a dozen new families.

Ladies Paint Night

We continue developing our active discipleship programs such as Peace 101 and Growth Groups, while adding new programs such as Peace Leadership Institute. We have three levels of discipleship here at Peace. Peace 101, the class to learn about God’s love and grace, is taught by Pastor Bourman to those wishing to join the Peace family (commonly called Bible Information Class – BIC). It continues to transition visitors to members month after month. Each week during the school year after church, Peace Kidz brings the children of the church together to hear Bibles stories and do a relevant fun activity together while the adults deepen their knowledge of scripture in Peace Academy. Throughout the week, Growth Groups congregate and continue to study scripture or walk together through a book about God’s grace while service groups such as the cleaning team, choir, music team, altar guild, and tech team work together to ensure everything is ready for service. The Peace Leadership Institute also launched this fall as a development opportunity for those who wish to serve in leadership roles within the church. The small group will be taking a deep dive into the Word and practical application while serving in today’s church.

These programs help us spread God’s saving Word not only in our own hearts, but in the hearts of our family, friends, and community. Please continue to pray for our home mission and the work we are doing to share the Gospel, as the Holy Spirit continues to bless our efforts.

By: Kimberly McGreal, Member at Peace Lutheran Church, Aiken, S.C.

Peace Lutheran Church – Aiken, SC – Statistics:

  • Baptized members: 102
  • New communicants in 2017: 25
  • Total number of prospects: 242
  • Average weekly attendance: 79

Update: Since Kimberly wrote this article, Peace was awarded a $500 ministry grant from the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Grow in Grace Institute to defray some of the costs of this new, three-step discipleship program.

 

Africa Awaits! One Africa Team Assembles for Action

African mission work has long held a cherished place in the history of WELS. From 1945 – when the first two WELS missionaries set out for central Africa on an exploratory trip – to the present time, the Lord has blessed the gospel outreach in amazing ways. Today, WELS enjoys ongoing relationships and work with five established Lutheran church bodies in Zambia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Cameroon. In those church bodies, over 276 congregations comprised of 60,000 baptized members gather together around the Word of God as our brothers and sisters. In addition, over 90 national pastors are actively serving and administering these church bodies. Thanks be to God for the work of the gospel in Africa!

And yet… it can certainly be said that Africa awaits! As the world becomes smaller through advances in technology and ease (relatively speaking!) of travel, the opportunities for ministry in Africa only continue to increase. Promising contacts and opportunities from countries such as Liberia (see top photo), Kenya, Ethiopia, and Mozambique continue to show there is an open door to much of Africa. What a blessing… and what a challenge to embrace!

Gambella, Ethiopia

What is being done to engage these opportunities? In April of 2016, all 10 WELS missionaries serving throughout Africa, along with stateside administrative leaders, gathered in Lusaka, Zambia, to officially form the One Africa Team (OAT). In short, the OAT exists to strategically coordinate WELS missionaries and resources in Africa both to enhance existing confessional relationships and to embrace emerging opportunities for confessional relationships.

While our WELS missionaries will continue to have specific roles within the countries they are serving, there is a renewed emphasis on the value of working together as a collective team. In addition to strengthening the bond between our missionaries in their respective fields, the OAT has identified the areas of Outreach, Administration/Operations, Theological Education, and Communications as areas where more can be done collectively than separately. Recognizing the importance of regular contact, the OAT discusses blessings and challenges through weekly conference calls and annual meetings.

Although the One Africa Team is still in the early stages, the potential to mobilize for current and future opportunities has produced excitement. As we head into the future, please continue to keep the developing efforts of the One Africa Team and the immense harvest fields of Africa in your prayers as we seek to:

  • Share resources and experiences for the collective good of the mission fields.
  • Enhance communication between the African fields in which the WELS is currently working.
  • Collaborate with WELS Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI) as stateside ministries uncover potential new ministry contacts and opportunities in Africa.
  • Partner with the national church leaders of the established Lutheran church bodies of our fellowship for joint ventures.
  • Encourage the ongoing work of mission expansion while maintaining confessional relationships.

By: Pastor Dave Bivens – Africa Administrative Committee Chairman

Want to stay up-to-date on what the One Africa Team is doing to share the good news? Subscribe to their blog at oneafricateam.com or follow them on Facebook.

 

Christmas Greetings and Mission Update – Central Africa Medical Mission

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

Philippians 2:5-7

Greetings from the warm heart of Africa,

Since moving to Malawi, I feel pure joy when I hear one neighbor’s security alarm, immediately followed by another, and another, and another. Can you guess why? Their alarms trigger when the electricity is restored after a power cut. As the sirens come closer and closer, I know that in a fraction of a second I will have power and I become ecstatic! This is just one example of how living in Malawi can be like living in an entirely different world from the United States.

Most of my days are spent in the capital city of Lilongwe, where most of the roads are paved and some of the government and business offices I frequent not only have running water, but they also have electricity, computers, some sort of furniture and workers wearing clean clothes and shoes. People travel mainly by car, minibus, bicycle taxi, or three-wheeled enclosed scooter-taxi.

Some days, though, are spent going between Lilongwe and the rural villages where our mobile clinics operate. On these days I travel between two worlds; the comfortable middle class world and the world of the extremely poor.

The residents of the rural Malawian villages are among the poorest in the entire world. The only “running” water is drawn from the borehole by hand pump and then carried home by balancing the bucket on the head. There is no electricity. Most people have a cell phone of some sort, but many do not have shoes. Some may have a bench to sit on, but few have several changes of clothing. We travel dirt roads to get to the clinic and try to dodge the largest potholes and ruts I’ve ever seen. Most people travel on foot or on a bicycle.

Comfort is hard to come by in the village. So, as you can imagine, when clinic is finished I am happy to return to my home in Lilongwe, even though we are likely experiencing a power cut, the water line may be closed and the food in the fridge is probably a bit warm. We humans like comfort. We like having plenty of food to eat, plenty of clothes to wear, plenty of clean water to drink, more-than-adequate shelter, and on and on and on. That’s exactly what makes Christmas so surprising and amazing!

Consider the two worlds Jesus experienced. Marvel at how Jesus chose to leave the magnificence and splendor of heaven to come to offer his life to a broken and difficult world. Ponder how Jesus chose to leave his glorious throne to live in the extreme poverty of being born in a dirty, noisy, smelly stable. Rejoice that Jesus chose to suffer a death that should have been ours, all because he loves us.

Whatever your circumstances this Christmas season, remember Jesus, who loved you so much that he chose to endure extreme suffering to secure your luxurious eternity. Merry Christmas!

Your sister in Christ,

Amanda Artz, Clinic Administrator
Central Africa Medical Mission (CAMM)

CAMM Reunion from L to R
Linda Phelps Golombiewski (Zambia 1970-1974/Malawi 1975-1980), Terri Trew Lakich (1984-1986), Beth Ebert Evans (1983-1985). Julie Ann Geiger Scheinoha (1985-1988), Carol Kasten (1983-1985)

Central Africa Medical Mission Updates:

Beth Evans and her husband Gary Evans were commissioned on Sun., Dec. 10, 2017 as Nurse in Charge and Clinic Administrator respectively for the Central Africa Medical Mission. They will be serving the medical needs of the people in Lilongwe, Malawi, Africa through the Lutheran Mobile Clinic. This is Beth’s second time serving CAMM, previously spending two years in Malawi from 1983-1985. Amanda Oswalt, current Nurse In Charge, will be transitioning back to the United States in February of 2018 after completing three years of service. Please keep Beth, Gary, and Amanda in your prayers!

Want to stay up-to-date on CAMM? Visit their website at www.camm.us and follow them on Facebook

 

First Friends – Reaching African Refugees with the Gospel

Moving to a new country with a different culture and language is not an easy feat. Many African refugees are fleeing their native countries due to war and other types of conflict, many times leaving friends and loved ones behind. In this terrifying situation, what else is better than approaching these immigrants with the live-saving message of the gospel!

First Friends, a refugee assimilation and outreach program, seeks to connect African refugees with Lutherans from WELS churches in the Las Vegas, Nev., area. These volunteers are paired up with a new refugee with help from the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), a federal resettlement agency in the area. For three months, volunteers serve their new neighbors in Christian love by connecting them with resources and helping them assimilate to life here in the United States. Pastor Matt Vogt from Water of Life Lutheran Church is one of the people who helped develop the program, along with help from the Board for Home Missions, other WELS congregations in the area, and Kingdom Workers. Mrs. Kristi Sebald, Kingdom Workers Field Manager: USA and Canada, continues to guide volunteers through weekly phone calls and monthly team meetings. Pastor Vogt said, “Through this partnership we hope not only to express our Christian love in a meaningful and practical way, but also bring new refugee families into our local congregation and, far more importantly, into the Lord’s eternal Kingdom.”

Chapel of Improvement African Lutheran Church

Jenni, a First Friends volunteer, has been blessed to mentor a father with four children, whose wife is still at a refugee camp in Tanzania. After a conversation about Jenni’s cross tattoo, this family was connected with Isaac David from the Chapel of Improvement African Lutheran Church in Las Vegas. Now, all four children are baptized and attend Sunday services regularly with their father. This family was able to do their own gospel outreach, inviting a different family to join them in worship at the Chapel of Improvement. Since then, both families started Bible Information Classes in September and all of the children have been baptized.

A bridge to sharing the gospel is the end-goal of this program, and there has already been success! And in one way that no one really expected…

First Friends not only serves as an outreach opportunity to African refugees, but also to potential First Friends volunteers. Pastor Matt Vogt from Water of Life Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, Nev., shared this story:

“Chris, one of the new preschool parents, learned about the First Friends program through a conversation with the preschool director Silvi. Having expressed interest in participating, Silvi encouraged her to speak with me to learn more about the program. Over the course of our conversation, I explained the purposes of the program and encouraged her to take a four-week Bible instruction course. That led to a wonderful conversation about the Bible, the gospel of Christ, and the beautiful teachings of the Lutheran Christian church. Hearing the gospel clearly for the first time, Chris – a lifelong Catholic – said, ‘Wow, Pastor! That really warmed my heart! What do I have to do to become a member here?’ And just like that, her commitment to the four week ‘sampler’ course turned into a commitment to join our church’s full 16-week Adult Bible instruction course. It’s still early, but Chris is loving what she is learning and eager to put her new, grace-centered faith into action through the First Friends program – and on top of that, sharing what she is learning about Christ’s saving love with her new friends from the other side of the world.”

Kingdom Workers will be in Las Vegas in early spring to work with current volunteers and identify more willing WELS members to serve refugee families. As this program continues to grow, training materials are needed to share the Gospel with these refugees in their native tongue. There is currently a special request being made to WELS Multi-Language Publications to assist with providing gospel teaching resources in Swahili. Please continue to pray for the Lord’s blessing on this expanding ministry!

 

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Guarding the faith of our faithful guardians

Lucas Hendricks serves on the Lutheran Military Support Group (lutheranmilitary.org) and is a member of Trinity, Woodbridge, Va.

Death. For the Christian, that word has lost the terror of a permanent event. We know that death is the beginning of life eternal in paradise. But what if your vocation regularly brings you face to face with mortality? You crave the reminder that death is temporary, because it looks, smells, and feels so permanent.

Our military men and women are either in combat, recovering from combat, or preparing to go into combat. They need soul care, but church involvement with the state is problematic. Attending a local congregation is an option—when they are stationed near one and have time to attend. But when deployed, or stationed far from a confessional church, they lose access to the sacrament and mutual encouragement. Yes, technology—when available—can connect them to biblically-sound resources. Yes, they can always read God’s Word. But what hungry souls they become after many months away from their Christian brothers and sisters!

Meanwhile, the military chaplaincy travels with them. They may hear familiar prayers and hymns, receive words of comfort and encouragement. But they also hear unfamiliar doctrine and subtle error that may scratch “itching ears.” All views are considered equal. If you think their Christian faith will be attacked in college, picture the same trials in the pressure of combat! The church has an obligation to their sheep that volunteer to be sheepdogs* for a season. So what can we do?

Service members

  • Know the regulations governing religious accommodation (such as for practices like our view of fellowship and close communion).
  • Take an active role in your own soul care—what the military calls spiritual fitness. This is about your readiness for combat and your resilience when faced with the horror of war.
  • Find out if there is a WELS/ELS church near you by going to yearbook.wels.net/unitsearch. Call the pastor to request his services.
  • Contact WELS Military Services (military@wels.net) and ask what they need from you.
  • Support your local congregation and WELS Military Services with your offerings.

Pastors

  • Learn about installations near you and introduce yourself to the senior chaplain.
  • Contact WELS Military Services (military@wels.net) to learn what sheep may be in your pasture. They can also offer suggestions for effective ministry.
  • Call on troops and their families at home. Become familiar with their circumstances.
  • Visit them at work. Meet their chaplain and their commander.
  • Invite them to take on tasks in your congregation that fit their schedule and abilities.

Synod leaders

  • The Armed Forces Chaplaincy Board needs to hear from you, not for their benefit, but for the benefit of our members in service.
  • Can we get WELS/ELS recognized as an option for religious preference? This would offer another statistical reporting avenue; more important, it would alert leadership and the unit chaplain to the unique religious needs under their command.
  • Sixteen years of conflict have taken their toll and WELS/ELS service members are not immune. Because of the military’s organization, they can be isolated from the greatest source of resiliency, the means of grace. Suicide and divorce, risky and illegal behaviors are symptoms of the stress. What a huge opportunity for our God! He offers the cure for sin, fear, hurt, hatred, war, death. What a huge opportunity for his church! We have the medicine of the gospel.

* The analogy refers to citizens (sheep), attackers (wolves), and protectors (sheepdogs).

 

 

 

It’s different in Deutschland

Paul Horn is chairman of the Military Services Committee and pastor of Mighty Fortress Lutheran Church, Hiram, Ga.

I have to pay to use the restroom at the gas station? I don’t get free refills on my coffee? I have to pay for water at the restaurant, and tell the waiter if I want my water “still” or with bubbles? What do you mean I can’t call an Uber? Isn’t that a German company? They don’t speak English in this village? Doesn’t everybody speak English? No stores are open on Sunday? But I don’t have everything I need to make dinner tonight!

Americans living on the German economy soon discover that some cultural norms in the United States are not normal in Europe. Even with global trade and Amazon there are some things you just can’t get in Germany. My wife and I experienced some of this “culture shock” this summer when we visited our civilian chaplain, Pastor Don Stuppy and his wife Marge, who serve the spiritual needs of our WELS members scattered throughout Europe.

Don and Marge were just six months into their new ministry when we arrived. We spent the next two weeks traveling over 1800km (1180 miles) with them to Munich, Vilseck, Zurich, Ramstein Air Base, and Wicker. This is a typical two weeks for the Stuppy’s. Once a month they also squeeze in the Netherlands and England!

One thing Americans cannot get in Germany every Sunday, especially Christians who belong to a confessional Lutheran church body, is the divine service with Holy Communion in English. Over two weekends the four of us met with WELS members in their homes or apartments, a military base chapel or a community center. The gatherings ranged from eight to twenty souls. Some locations had a piano, other places we used music from a laptop. But every place had what these American Lutherans needed: a familiar liturgy, God’s Word proclaimed, Christ crucified preached, his body and blood distributed, hymns sung in praise and thanks, their Savior’s blessing received with grateful hearts.

WELS members in Europe expressed their deep appreciation. Even though our chaplain is only able to visit them once or twice a month, they crave that time to be fed and nourished and encouraged, to hear the promises of their Savior, and to build up their brothers and sisters.
Here in the United States we can fill our coffee cup as many times as we want without paying extra. We can order a glass of water at a restaurant and not see it on the bill. We can shop on Sunday. We can go to church every week. Some of our brothers and sisters cannot. We thank God for providing this ministry in Europe so that we are able to faithfully bring God’s Word and sacrament to his people.

What can you do to support your brothers and sisters? Pray for our civilian chaplain, his wife, and the people they serve. Email our chaplain (welschaplain@gmail.com) and let him know you’re praying for our ministry in Europe. Consider adopting the European Civilian Chaplaincy as your next mission project in your school or church. Learn more about our services to the armed forces at wels.net/military. Then, instead of talking about all the things we can’t do, you’ll be saying, “Look what our God has enabled us to do!”

 

 

 

New online training for military contact pastors

Paul Wolfgramm, a member of the Military Services Committee, served with the U.S. Marines in Iraq.

A new narrated power point available at WELS.net University offers an introduction to the military mindset. The courses on WELS.net University, an online learning environment designed to support the training needs of the Wisconsin Synod, are free. Visit wnu.wels.net to create an account, explore the course categories, and enroll. “Training for Military Contact Pastors” is available under the Special Ministries heading.

The course addresses the need for making God’s Word available to our members on active duty, and offers tips and suggestions for our pastors to reach them. WELS Military Services can bring the Word to those who cannot regularly attend a Sunday morning church service. In addition, military members face potent and regular temptations such as alcohol abuse and pornography, and face unique challenges associated with marriage and post traumatic stress disorder. The second part of the presentation discusses the importance of a solid Christian education before entering the military; Distinctive Religious Group Leaders; ways to address the transient and remote nature of the military; worship locations; and ways to involve military veterans from the congregation.

The course is available to anyone, but is especially tailored to military contact pastors (MCP’s) without military experience. WELS has over 100 MCP’s throughout the continental United States, serving congregations close to military installations. Although these men are called primarily to serve their local congregation, they also perform vital work in reaching out to the military. Active duty members rely on MCP’s to be familiar with military protocol, to serve them with God’s Word and sacraments, and to provide Christian counseling. The training course ensures that MCP’s have a basic understanding of the military and the synod resources available for their work.

Finally, all members should be aware of wels.net/refer. If you or someone you love is on active duty, in the Guard or Reserves, please register at this easy-to-use website. Without this information, WELS Military Services cannot provide spiritual support to those who are in our armed forces. Registered personnel receive a welcome package and regular devotions, plus ways to connect with our national civilian chaplain, our European civilian chaplain, our military contact pastors, and fellow WELS members on base.

When service members deploy, move overseas, permanently change station, or leave the military, PLEASE UPDATE wels.net/refer. (Don’t forget to notify your pastor as well.) Military service removes our members from their former and familiar spiritual support group. Please go right now to wels.net/refer and help connect yourself or a loved one with God’s Word.

 

 

 

“I think you could be good at it”

Bill Truebenbach is a staff minister and program consultant for Jesus Cares Ministries, a ministry of The Lutheran Home Association. His home church is Morning Star, Jackson, Wis.

Twenty-nine years of public sector work had done me in. I resigned my full-time job for a no-time job. God has always supplied, so I walked my streets praying for work in his field. A guest pastor had given me the itch by talking about volunteer ministry, and visits to a prison with my brother had given me a taste. There had to be more I could do.

One day my pastor dropped by with some news. “They’re looking for someone for Jesus Cares Ministries, and I think you could be good at it,” he suggested. “Great!” I replied, before going to look up what Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) was. That was sixteen years ago.

I had no background in what The Lutheran Home Association (TLHA) and JCM were looking for, but that did not stop me from applying. They hired me! Really? I now reflect on how God has always been in control, and the many blessings he has provided to this sinner. He has allowed me to be part of a ministry that serves people with a developmental disability. He allowed me to become a second career staff minister. And now, as I approach retirement at the end of this year, he will allow me to continue advocating for families who have a loved one with special needs.

How did I learn to work with people who have a developmental disability? I read, I studied, I attended seminars and webinars. They help. Yet the best way is to just work with someone with special needs. Many who do this work have said, “We do not teach them; they teach us.”

One who became a close friend was David Koss. Although he wore hearing aids in both ears and had some cognitive challenges, he was able to live independently. We did so many things together: basketball games, football games, movies, concerts, restaurants, fishing. David faithfully called me almost every day to see how my day was going, what I was doing, and if any new JCM programs were starting. He went with me to an annual meeting in Belle Plaine, Minn., so he could see the TLHA campus and I interviewed him in front of the attendees. When I asked David what he wanted to see in the future he said, “That there is a JCM program in every church in our synod.”

David’s passion for the ministry fueled my passion, and reminded me of the importance of serving all people. In his last years he moved to a facility where he could be cared for. It was a joy for me to speak at his memorial service and share his faith one more time. David loved the Lord, and I know many more like him in the ministry.

There are so many memories, joys, victories, and satisfactions I could share: being at the baptism of an adult with special needs; the confirmation of someone with special needs; hearing their professions of faith; seeing their smiles; going to the Lord’s Supper with them on their first time; a journey to Malawi, Africa for Jesus Cares. What more could one ask for?

I have been blessed to help churches and pastors with their disability ministry needs. JCM has grown, yet many are still not being served. There is a great need for our churches to consider a disability ministry such as JCM Bible class or simplified “Worship at the Cross” service. Learn more at tlha.org/jesus-cares-ministries or call Rev. Joel Gaertner at 888-600-TLHA (8542).

There is also an urgent need for parents of special needs children to be connected with other Christian parents who are starting or have been on that journey. My hope and prayer is that through the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Ministry branch of Special Ministries (wels.net/iddm) I can connect those parents online, with small parent-mentoring groups. Get them connected. Get them talking.

Why? They’re looking for someone. Want to join me? I think you could be good at it.

 

 

 

Wheeling around Camp SOUTH

My name is Alex Timothy Heldman. I am 12 years old and going into 7th grade. I live in Wisconsin but heard of Camp SOUTH through my Uncle Duane Vance. Camp SOUTH, which stands for Sharing Our Unity Through Him, is held in Covington, Ga. for kids entering 4th through 8th grade.

I was born with a condition called spina bifida so I have difficulty walking without braces for my legs. My parents decided to let me try out the camp and it was lots of fun! The food was good, the kids were nice, and there was a lot to do. This was my first time at camp and I had to do things a little differently, since I have used a wheelchair since I was three years old. In order to get around the campground I rode in my van with my dad since the camp is very hilly.

I was thankful that the camp allowed me to skip the water, mud, and running events and go bowling instead. I didn’t bowl my all-time best but still had a lot of fun. I was surprised that we were able to have drinks and snacks as we bowled. Tuesday night’s “Survivor Challenge: You Can’t Win Trivia” was great since we could party to the music while we answered Bible trivia questions. After the evening activities, during free time I played golf-cornhole and pingpong until it was snack time. I also enjoyed watching the other kids play ship-shore down by the lake and making s’mores on Thursday night.

I was on the black team and we didn’t win the victory medals on Tuesday or Wednesday. Finally on Thursday the black team won the victory medals after the “Recruiter vs. Recruiter: Battle of Honor” and in bowling, which meant I got to go to the front of the line for lunch and dinner on Thursday.

There was so much to do that each day just flew by. We were encouraged to arrive at the activity center early before devotions so everyone was on time and we could watch fun videos until devotion started. There were even board games that we could check out and play if we had extra energy. I would say that my favorite things about camp were playing games in the evening and the music that was part of each morning and evening devotion. It was great to have a live band to lead all the praise songs. As we were getting in the van to leave on Friday morning I told my dad: “Camp was so fun! Can we come back next year?”

My mom and dad were kind of nervous to allow me to attend the camp because it was not specific to special needs, but Pastor Jon Enter did a good job familiarizing them with the layout of the camp facilities so they were well prepared in what to bring for me for the week. I would encourage other children with special needs or different needs to not be afraid to try Camp SOUTH. It was an amazing time and I am glad God gave me this opportunity to hear his Word and make new friends.

For more information about Camp SOUTH, send an e-mail to: info@HopeLutheranWPB.com.

 

 

 

 

A purpose in disability

Elise Rosenbaum is a senior at Martin Luther College. She grew up at Grace, St. Joseph, Mich.

Growing up with a brother who has Down syndrome had more impact on me than I initially realized. I never saw Matt as being that much different from my other siblings—in fact, some people would ask if Matt and my youngest brother Adam were twins. I cannot imagine life without Matt and I know that God had a purpose in placing him in my family.

Last December, Matt put on his wish list: “Elise home for Christmas.” But I would not be there because I was going on a Kingdom Workers service immersion trip to Malawi. I was thrilled to be going to Africa after desiring it for so long.

My interest in Africa began when a new girl joined my class in sixth grade. Her family had just moved back to the United States after her dad had served for several years as a missionary in Malawi. I loved hearing her stories and dreamed of going there myself someday. Just nine years later, my dream became a reality. I asked four girls to join me: Bekah Bartz (the missionary’s daughter), Elizabeth Bergemann, Brittany Krause, and Emily Unke. We applied, were interviewed, and were eager to learn and grow from the experiences ahead.

Two short weeks in Africa taught me a great deal. One week was spent helping with Vacation Bible School; the other was observing the disability ministry. I loved getting to see the work that they were doing. There is no fancy medical equipment and the volunteers do not have much specific training, but it was incredible to see what they are able to accomplish with what they do have.

Chikondi, a young boy who has cerebral palsy, was a great example of this. The volunteers set up sticks and Chikondi had to practice walking over them. Once he made it through all of them, we cheered. He had the BIGGEST smile ever. It was so rewarding to see Chikondi’s and the volunteers’ faces light up with pride at his accomplishment.

The simplified “Worship at the Cross” services they put on are very similar to those put on by Jesus Cares Ministries in the United States. The volunteers go to the people since traveling to the church is hard, if not impossible, for them.

Their greatest challenge, however, is changing the mindset toward disability in their culture. The president of the Lutheran Church of Central Africa explained that many people in Africa see a disability as a curse. They hide their loved ones away in their homes and don’t give them the proper care. Families don’t bring their loved ones to the church for help. It is by word of mouth that the church finds out about those in their villages who need their help. The ministry’s vital task is to share the news that God has rescued all people from sin and he has a purpose for all people.

The disability ministry in Malawi is serving God by providing assistance and support, as well as sharing Jesus’ love for those who have a disability. Rather than being a punishment for sin, God has a purpose in disability.

Interested in this service immersion trip? Learn more at kingdomworkers.com/opportunities.

 

 

 

Who will serve those who serve?

DiAnn Krigbaum is a member of New Life Lutheran Church, Rockford, Ill.

What happens when a police officer’s family is in crisis and needs to call 911? Easy answer, right? When I’m finished sharing my experience you might have a different perspective.

I had more than twenty years on the job as a Rockford, Ill. police officer. For over half of my career I served as a detective, investigating and fighting for justice for victims of violence. Too often those victims were women, children, and families.

In 2008 my family became the victim when we were traumatized by divorce. My twin sons had just begun college; my 12-year-old daughter was in sixth grade. When Satan attacks us emotionally it affects us physically and spiritually as well. I was a severely depressed mother who had become the primary caregiver. I was on overload—physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually.

My daughter was profoundly affected. Ashlee has an intellectual disability and had no words to express her pain. We adopted her at age five, when she had already endured more rejection, shame, and loss than someone her age should. A crisis social worker came to my home to help with the anger and fallout.

As the situation escalated the social worker told me to call 911. I couldn’t. I froze. I was the police! I was supposed to help solve and fix problems. My mind was racing. What would my co-workers and supervisors think of me? The enormous shame and pain from loss and failure left me unable to move.

The collateral damage severely wounded every member of my family. I nearly lost my job. Had God abandoned us?

But God did not forget about me and my family. He appeared “undercover” in the form of a chaplain. My pastor at the time was also a volunteer police chaplain. He came to my rescue by repeatedly reminding me that God was not trying to harm me but to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11-13). As my companion at difficult court appearances, doctor visits, and therapy appointments, he showed me what it means to be a faithful, merciful friend and advocate. He became my spiritual advisor and listened to more tearful conversations than I can count.

By God’s grace, I survived in my career until age 50, when I retired with a police pension and sufficient means to take care of my family as a single mother.

That’s when Pastor Phil asked me to take chaplain courses with him through Martin Luther College. He suggested it would help my faith grow and allow others to learn from my experiences.

In an online forum with other pastors and lay students, I was able to share my experiences as a police officer and spiritually wounded WELS member. This provided healing, learning, spiritual growth, and friendships with many Christian friends and called workers. In 2014 I received my Chaplain Certificate from Martin Luther College.

Since then I have been serving as a volunteer police chaplain in my community. God has provided several opportunities to serve families and women in crisis. I’ve been able to witness and minister to them, telling them about my God and Savior. He is a just and merciful Father who fights for the fatherless, the widows, and the orphans.

We all have a story. God does not define us by our failures. Rather he calls us back to him to remind us who we are—children of God.

Visit mlc-wels.edu/continuing-education/wels-chaplain-certificate to learn more about the Chaplain Certification Program and see the courses offered in 2018. Financial aid is available for many classes.

 

 

Assist your new called worker with the transition

Matt Kock is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Minocqua, Wis.

Our church and school recently welcomed three called workers and their families. We wanted to help them with the transition and on-boarding process, which would provide a good test for our new Care Committee for Called Workers (CCCW).

We streamlined communication as much as possible, with one main point of contact from our congregation and school. We also tried to consolidate information into a single message vs. sending multiple notes. We recognized how busy their lives would be and wanted to simplify things as much as possible. By starting the process well in advance of their arrival dates, they wouldn’t feel rushed.

Pastor Stephen Luchterhand notes: “This cross-country move (Arizona to Wisconsin) was a challenging one for our family, especially because our children are older (late high school to college age). The evident care and concern, attention to detail and intentional communication, and enthusiastic search for solutions by Trinity’s CCCW lessened our anxiety considerably and removed considerable barriers during the process.”

It’s important to keep the called worker’s family in mind during this process. We placed pictures of the new called workers and their families in the fellowship hall shortly after the calls had been accepted. Not only did this allow our members to put a face with the name, but it reminded the congregation to keep the families in their prayers.

We also asked about the family’s areas of interest. For those seeking employment we came up with a list of businesses and contacts for them to consider, as well as congregation members who could be used as references. Our tuition fund application was shared with students attending Luther Prep School.

Teachers Mike and MeLissa Wieting were appreciative. “It was so nice to be referred to members of the community who could help us with buying a home and moving to the area. They had names of a realtor, mortgage company, an insurance contact, and a moving company that led us through the intimidating process. We had never had to purchase our own home before so we had lots of questions. Our care committee even stepped in to preview homes on our behalf before we made a special trip to the area to see a property. Being a few hours away, an overwhelming process was made easier due to our CCCW.”

While the Call cover letter shared a summary of compensation and benefits, there were many details that needed to be addressed during the transition, such as: the timing and frequency of payroll; local banking options; tax withholding elections (yes, Social Security can be withheld on line 6 of Form W-4 for ministers of the gospel); and contributions to the Health Savings Account and 403b plan. There are nuances between the different health insurance plans offered through WELS. Understanding these differences, and/or coordinating a call with a benefit specialist to review together, would be productive.

Now that the called workers are here, we have stayed in touch. From helping to find a chiropractor and contractor, to directing them to a good beach for a family swim, there was much to share as they settled in. Most important, we “pray continually” for our called workers (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This encouragement has become a regular part of our CCCW report to the congregation.

Interested in starting a Care Committee at your congregation? Find resources and a how-to video at csm.welsrc.net/download-csm/called-worker-care.

 

 

 

Luther and sign language

Amid a host of Reformation 500 celebration ideas, from Lego Luther figures to books and movies, this one stands out. The Mission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MDHH) has produced an eight-minute video that uses sign language, voice, and captioning to explain Luther’s Seal. The Reformer designed the seal to symbolize the heart of his teachings about faith in Jesus. As a graphic adds each part of the seal, Matthew Buchholz explains the meaning using American Sign Language.

The video is a special gift to deaf Lutherans who may be interested in learning about the symbolism of Luther’s seal. MDHH also hopes that it will be used with children to teach them about Luther’s seal while seeing it described in sign language.

You’ll find the video at the Special Ministries Resource Center at csm.welsrc.net/mdhh. It will be a fun way to draw people into the anniversary celebration and show them the eternal blessing of faith in Jesus. Share it on social media and with your family, too!

 

 

 

Tuition grants for American Sign Language class

Martin Luther College is offering American Sign Language and Introduction to Deaf Culture (ASL 8001), an online, three-credit course, from January 3 to May 4, 2018. The course provides the basic foundation of American Sign Language through an overview of deaf culture and an introduction to the signing of finger spelling and basic vocabulary with beginning-level conversations. The instructor is Matthew Buchholz, a member of the WELS Mission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Here is what previous students have said:

“I never expected to receive so much from this experience. . .I have a deeper understanding of the culture, needs, and resources available to the deaf and hard of hearing community and a whole bunch of signs in my arsenal.” (Trisha)

“I already have oodles and oodles of ideas on how I can revamp some of my lesson plans for next year to include sign language.” (Sandy)
“Thank you also for making this course available and affordable. Beginning to learn ASL has been a wonderful challenge, but for me, learning about deaf culture in this course has been invaluable. I hope that this course is made available in the future so that more people can have a greater understanding of the deaf and hard of hearing.” (Cori)

“I didn’t really know what to expect when enrolling in this class. I would have never imagined learning all that we have learned.” (Jill)
A limited number of $450 grants toward tuition are available upon request and will be paid upon the completion of the course. Learn more at mlc-wels.edu/continuing-education/registration. A poster to promote the class can be downloaded from the Special Ministries Resource Center at csm.welsrc.net/mission-for-the-deaf-and-hard-of-hearing.

 

 

 

2018 WELS Lutheran Seniors convention

Seniors from any congregation in the WELS or ELS should set aside Oct. 10-12, 2018, for the OWLS Convention for Seniors, which will be held at the beautiful Osthoff Resort, in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The theme of the convention will be “Finish Your Race.”

Whether your congregation has a seniors group or an OWLS chapter or no senior gatherings for fun and service, you’ll find fellowship, learning, and inspiration at the OWLS Convention for Seniors. Watch the WELS website in spring of 2018 for more information.

 

 

Special offers that never expire

Allied 100 – AED Superstore, one of our ShopWELS partners, has special offers that never expire for automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for WELS organizations and individuals.

You can use coupon code WELS100 to receive $100 off the purchase of a new AED or AED Value Package. Or you can use coupon code WELSACC to receive 10% off the purchase of most AED replacement supplies and accessories if you already have an AED at your church or school. Contact Amber Neller by e-mail or call 800-991-6584.

For recent news and information about AEDs and heart health, check out the AED Superstore blogs at aedsuperstore.com/blogs.

Reminiscence From a Retired Nurse

For those of you too young to remember I will share a story from nursing school; when we attended class at the hospital! My story begins with my joy of being Lutheran and my love for nursing. I was able to hold onto both even as I attended classes at Milwaukee County General Hospital in their School of Nursing. My joy came from the interaction we had with Pastor Arnold Schroeder, who was the Chaplain at the hospital. He was the original model for what is now known as “Institutional Ministries” in the WELS. He was fantastic with the patients, and we were also blessed to have him as a guest lecturer each year (yes, even for a public education program). The focus of his talk with us was how we could serve God through our careers. To be a Lutheran and have one of our pastors come and give such an inspiring message made me so proud and feeling blessed. Pastor Schroeder was truly a gifted speaker.

Years later as I was working as a nurse on a psychiatric unit, the words of Pastor Schroeder became very useful. The patients were challenging, the staff very supportive and yet we all struggled to keep going some days. I was known to many as the “WELS lady,” as I shared the joy of my faith, my church family in Muskego, and the happiness I felt by singing in the choir. There were other Lutherans on staff from St. Philip’s in Milwaukee and we must have made an impression on people as there was a real effort made by them to act in both word and deed in a Christian manner. I know that approaching our work from this viewpoint helped us find ways to bring peace to the unit and could feel more confident in our own safety. At the time, while still in school, I didn’t understand how writing a spiritual assessment for my patients would be a vital skill in my career. I approached this part of the care plan from my Lutheran faith and am so grateful to have had this foundation, and I am sure is why I received A’s.

By Gail Maxwell, RN
(edited by Wendy Crary-with permission)

 

 

A Resourceful RN

I am one of several nurses in our small, rural church in Fairfax, Minn. Over the years, I have found that when a member of our congregation needs medical assistance during a service or event, the only tools I had at my disposal in church were my hands and my watch. As an ICU nurse in a local hospital, I am used to having all the necessary nursing tools for any situation that arises. We do not have a formal parish nurse program in our church, so this is when Thrivent Choice Dollars came to the rescue! I applied for a Thrivent grant in the amount of $250 to help with some basic parish nursing supplies for our church. With this money, I purchased a manual blood pressure cuff (with two sizes of cuffs) and a battery operated, automatic blood pressure cuff for the congregation to use if one of our nurses are not present. I bought a stethoscope, CPR masks, large first aid kit, gloves, ice packs, hand gel and cleaning wipes (for use on the equipment in between patients). All of these items were placed in a clear bin for all to see and use and is located in the narthex of the church for easy access. I would encourage everyone to use their Thrivent Choice Dollars to jump start their parish nursing program!
By Amy Buboltz, BSN, RN

 

 

News and notes: Fall 2017

Welcome new Council Members: Mary Bruskewitz and Kristi Opper have kindly offered to join our small team and add their God given talent to our efforts! We welcome you with open arms, and pray you find the work fulfilling.

Spring Conference—Mid April 2018, at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn.: With an excursion planned to Bethany Lutheran College’s new Nursing Program for a tour of the facility and fellowship. Stay tuned for more specifics as the Council and Conference Planning team finalize arrangements.

Parish Nurse Course: Online Summer 2017 had students from California, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Keep these nurses in your prayers as they apply that knowledge and they establish a parish nurse ministry in their congregation and a big thank you to Christian Aid & Relief for the matching funds grant to help with tuition costs!

Stateside Opportunity—Nurse Coordinator: Have a love for missions? The Central Africa Medical Mission is looking for a Registered Nurse to serve on our stateside committee. While the nurse coordinator must be an RN, extensive knowledge of CAMM is not necessary. Those interested must be WELS or ELS and have a willingness to learn about the influence CAMM has on those we serve in Zambia and Malawi. Please contact Linda Liesener at cammcontact@charter.net or Shelly Sievert at sievertsr@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

Two ShopWELS specials that end soon

Hidden in plain sight

Our ShopWELS partner, Ad Quest Promotions, offers promotional, logoed items and has a fall sale until October 15, 2017. Anything and everything “camo” is on sale. Does your church or school hold a fall trip? Do your Pioneers or Girl Pioneers group need a promotional item at its next event? Contact Ad Quest Promotions for more details. These special prices won’t be around long before they go into hiding!

25% off Shepherd’s Staff 2017

Get the organizational tools you need so you can focus on what matters most—the spiritual care of your members. With these church management software features offered by Concordia Technology Solutions at your fingertips, you’ll save time, improve your record-keeping accuracy, and create detailed reports just when you need them. Learn more