LCMC Blog [by Mark Vander Tuig] http://lcmc.net/blog/feed?author=15 Read the the latest news, announcements and articles from LCMC. en-us COVID-19 Response http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/covid-19-response/a897.html Wed, 01 Jul 20 00:00:00 +0000 Since the COVID-19 pandemic descended upon our nation, everyone and everything has been affected, including our congregations.  People have become quite creative in their response. Even though we were required to avoid meeting in public, the church did not stop being the church.  Here is how some of our congregations responded to the lockdown and “sheltering in place”!


Brodie Taphorn, Mill Run Campus Pastor, Upper Arlington Lutheran Church

Seemingly overnight almost everything that we did – practically speaking – as a church…had to change.  No more face -to-face pastoral calls, no more sacraments and baptisms as we have always practiced them, no more worship services, no more church council meetings (ok, things could be worse).  Everything changed.  Everything was complicated.  Everything needed to be rethought.  There is no magic formula to this kind of thing. 

Good leadership is good leadership regardless of the circumstance.  We collaborated, we got creative, we empowered people to figure things out, and ultimately we came up with a lot of new, creative, and hopefully temporary ways to be the church in a global pandemic.

Perhaps the best thing that we have done is figured out a way to connect with our people in a regular and deliberate way.  We call it UALC Live on the 9s. We do a Facebook Live event every day at 9:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M.  We have used staff, council members, and regular church folk to share something substantively for about 20 minutes, twice a day. It has helped our people feel connected to the church much the same way that morning and evening prayers did in yonder year.

Again, it is not a magic formula. It doesn’t have to be twice a day, [just] something regular and purposeful that has broad ownership and demonstrates to the church that we will figure out, by God’s grace, how to be the church regardless of what hardship comes our way.

I’m confident that churches across our association are coming up with other creative ways of being the church.

May God be glorified as we figure out how to ‘love one another’ as a responsible, social distanced, church body!


Mark Schimmel, Pastor, Zion Lutheran Church

Staying in touch while staying distant is the most challenging part of this whole experience. I’ve been making many more phone calls than usual.  The group of rugged individuals I minister to here in central Texas is usually not very demanding of this pastor’s office time, but in the midst of this event I think they appreciate the calls that I and our council members have made to just stay in touch and see how they are doing.

In terms of worship, I’ve been a bit ahead of the curve in presenting an online option as we have been doing Facebook Live broadcasts for over two years now and have a system in place.  The change to a virtual-only service took a bit of adjustment, but it was a fairly easy transition for us.

I’m not comfortable with the idea of “online communion”, so I really wanted to get us together physically on Easter Sunday. 

Fortunately, the governor of Texas and our county judge put out some guidance in the weeks before Easter that churches were to be considered essential services and specifically authorized the use of drive-in worship services and even drive-through communion, citing the fact that drive-throughs are permitted for many types of businesses (restaurants, pharmacies, and even liquor stores). 

I got to work early in making sure that I had the technical equipment needed to put on a drive-in service (primarily the FM transmitter to be able to send the audio to car radios) and lined up our members who are medical workers to assist with communion so folks would have confidence in their aseptic handling of the elements. 

I also made sure that we could stream the service on Facebook Live so that members who were unable to attend would still have the option of attending online.

Our church is located directly across the street from our local school and the school has a much more suitable parking lot, so I got permission from the school administration to have our service there rather than in the church parking lot.

The service went great and many people commented on how meaningful it was for them to be able to attend church, even if it meant that they needed to stay in their cars and remain “socially distant”. 

We’ll be doing this drive-in church probably once a month going forward as long as the quarantine life is with us.

Fear not!


Laurel Swanson, Lutheran Church of the Cross

At Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona, IA, much like at your churches, March 13 was the day that we had to stop talking about all the things we should be doing to empower our members to BE the church, and actually put some of those ideas into action. 

While this wasn't a choice, and it definitely wasn't easy, we are seeing God at work in some miraculous ways.  If you want to check out any of our video options, they can be found at www.lccaltoona.org/watch

Some of the things we are doing to keep connected include:

  • Pre-recording our weekend worship service and making it available on-demand by Saturday afternoon.  We are asking members of the congregation, not just staff, to participate in video segments, and finding unique places to shoot the video. This picture is from our Easter service opening of "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" recorded at a staff member's pond.
  • Kids Connect Videos - Our Children's Ministry coordinator, Kristie Kolsrud, along with her family, records a 5 minute "Kids Connect" video with a "big idea" and activity.
  • Virtual Wednesday Youth Nights - Our Discipleship Pastor, Noah Ruppert, records a 10 minute message and worship segment for our Wednesday Night Youth.  Our youth small group leaders set up zoom calls with all of our 6th-12th grade youth to check-in.
  • Daily Facebook Live - Each weekday, one of our ministry staff leads a 20 minute Facebook Live session.  These have ranged from live music, to scripture reading, to devotionals.  Whatever the staff member chooses.
  • Phone Call Team - We have a team of members making weekly calls to our 65+ age group to check in with them and make sure they are doing okay.
  • Virtual Small Groups - Our group leaders are encouraged to connect with their group virtually.

We continue to consider ways that we can improve how we are reaching the community and the world in meaningful ways.  We know that this is not going to be "over" or "back to normal" any time soon, and our desire is to see God glorified in ways we never could have imagined.


Kip Tyler, Pastor, Lutheran Church of the Master

At Lutheran Church of the Master in Omaha we have leveraged technology and social media in ministry and worship during the Covid19 pandemic:

  • We use Zoom for meetings, confirmation, youth Bible studies and keeping in touch.
  • YouTube is used for sermons, Bible studies and general teaching announcements.
  • We send out electronically a bi-weekly/weekly letter on congregational updates due to current governmental advisement.
  • We have launched a Facebook page called LCM Coronavirus Outreach FB Group which serves as a ministry, idea, inspiration and outreach site for the congregation and others where they can participate in encouraging and informing each other in service to our neighbors.
  • We video both contemporary and traditional worship with a joint sermon which can be accessed either through our website, app or Facebook.
  • A South Sudanese service is posted in Nuer on Facebook.
  • We have phoning and card contacts to shut-ins by members, Stephen Ministers and our youth.
  • Unfortunately funerals have been extended gravesite gatherings, usually of just family members.  
  • Members are making non-medical masks, holding a blood drive, raising funds to help people who have lost jobs and have financial needs, getting resources to Pine Ridge Reservation and taking supplies to shut-ins who are unable to leave their homes.

Sue Gunderson, Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church

We realized right away that not gathering with our Bible School and Confirmation students every Wednesday afternoon was going to be a huge loss during the lockdown. 

An important thing we do during that time is to gather around the table for snack time after school.  So, our idea was to help families create that time together but around the family meal.

Through some funds donated to us we have been able to provide a pizza a week for our families.  We have a member that has a gas station with pizzas and sandwiches to order. The families call in their order and when then pick it up they receive a devotional guide for the week along with their pizza. 

The devotional guide is created by our education leaders.  Holy Week’s devotions focused on different parts along Jesus’ journey to the cross, so the devotional came with pictures depicting each step along the way – from Jesus entry into Jerusalem, to his crucifixion and burial. 

Families were encouraged to make palm branches by tracing their hands and cutting them out to make a palm branch; then to place the pictures for each day on the palm branch as a way to mark the journey to the cross. 

It has been a great way for our families to stay grounded during this time while creating a meaningful family devotional time and hopefully a pattern for their lives that will last long after Covid-19 is gone.


Barb Baker, Morningside Lutheran Church

For Easter this year, the Morningside Lutheran Church staff threw around the idea of some sort of drive-up service or special interaction for our church family.  

The MLC Food Pantry is currently offering drive-up assistance for those who need food and the process has been working well.  We strongly believe that connecting with one another is vital, so with the state regulations and weather forecast in mind, we decided to have drive-up communion!

MLC’s Easter Services were prerecorded in the weeks leading up to Easter.  Both a traditional and contemporary version of worship was uploaded to our website and Facebook page late Saturday night, so it could be viewed at any point on Sunday.  

From 9:00 -10:00 A.M. Sunday morning, we offered drive-up communion at the church building.  One at a time, vehicles would pull up next to the church front doors and roll down their windows.  Drive-up communion consisted of receiving an individually packaged communion wafer and juice cup, time to pray or talk with one of the pastors, drop off an offering, and pick up a child activity bag for those in 5th grade and below.

Weather did not cooperate with us on Easter Sunday (as you can see in the picture), but it was a wonderful experience and we had a lot of great feedback from those who were able to come out.  

Moving forward, we will be offering drive-up communion the 1st Sunday of each month to accompany our live streamed services.  Of course, we are still constantly thinking outside the box on ways we can reach all in our community!


Larry Kassebaum, Pastor, Victory Lutheran Church

At Victory Lutheran Church here in Mesa, AZ, our response to the “physical distancing” requirement of the COVID-19 pandemic has four key components:

  • We videotape an abbreviated version of our regular weekend worship service and make it available for replay on our website and through Facebook
  • We offer three “drive in” worship options in our parking lot for those who don’t use technology or who just desire at least some measure of real community. We purchased an FM radio transmitter and worshipers turn to an assigned FM radio station available only in our parking lot
  • We create two versions, one audio only and one video, of a daily devotional by Pastor Steve Lien or me that we call “Daily Hope.” In these devotions we share a reading from scripture, our personal reflection on that scripture, a prayer and any virus-related updates to our scheduling or activities. For those with cell phones and e-mail, we send a link to these messages at 8:00 A.M. For those without this technology, we created a dedicated phone line that makes the same pastor-led daily devotion and information update available on a “call in” basis.”
  • We have created an intentional pastoral (phone) call system to provide an opportunity for us to just “check-up” on our members.

To share what your congregation is doing in response to COVID-19, please visit our Facebook Page and share your story in the "COVID-19 Megathread" post pinned to the top of our page. 

For more COVID-19 resources, click here

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Annual Gathering Registration is Now Open http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/annual-gathering-registration-is-now-open/a896.html Thu, 25 Jun 20 00:00:00 +0000 Our 20th Annual Gathering & Convention is going to happen, just not in the same way we have gathered in the past. 

We will still be meeting at North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills, Minnesota, but for one day only, on Monday, October 5th!  

Because of the restrictions placed on large group gatherings by the State of Minnesota, we must limit our gathering to 250 people.  Registration is first come first serve, limited to delegates to the convention only, and participants must register online. 

The gathering will be live streamed, and we are asking congregations, districts, fellowship groups, and networks who have the technology available, to host gatherings so people in their area can come together and participate via the internet. 

Plans are in the works to make the online event interactive so people who are tuning in via live stream can ask questions, make comments, and be a part of what is happening at North Heights.  We want to include as many people as possible! 

As the date draws closer, we will be sending out more information, but for now, please keep all of this in your prayers. 

This may be a very different gathering, but just like the printing press facilitated the Reformation, so also may technology and the internet facilitate even more people being a part of the Annual Gathering & Convention than ever before possible.

To learn more and register, click here


Get Updates:

If you'd like to be notified when new information becomes available, please download our moble app and subscribe to Annual Gathering push notifications in the app settings [here's how].  Alternatively, you can subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, follow us on Facebook, or read blog articles about the Annual Gathering here.

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COVID-19 Pandemic - Pray Together With Us http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/covid-19-pandemic---pray-together-with-us/a886.html Thu, 19 Mar 20 00:00:00 +0000 AUTHOR'S NOTE:  On Thursday, March 19 I offered a call to prayer for this coming Sunday.  However, given the escalating nature of COVID-19, it was a mistake to suggest we gather in groups of less than 10.  Rather we need to do everything we can to limit the spread of this virus!  Please stay safe and do what every government agency and the medical professionals are telling us, stay home if you can, keep your distance, wash your hands...and pray. 

– Mark Vander Tuig, Service Coordinator, LCMC


Hello Friends, Pastors, Leaders, and Members of LCMC Congregations,
 
With a 24 hour news cycle and constant reporting about every movement of the corona virus and explicit and detailed ways of limiting its spread, you don’t really need one more person telling you what to do.  I would simply encourage you to follow through with the protocols that our federal, state, county and local governments and medical professionals are asking us to do.  This, however, is an invitation.
 
For the last 10 years I have been calling us in LCMC to become more and more a people of prayer.  We have a great opportunity to do so this coming Sunday, March 22.  I would like us to dedicate this coming Sunday to be a day of prayer and fasting.
 
Most of our churches will likely not be gathering for corporate worship, but as many have already said, the building is not the church, we are the church. 
 
Gather with a small group of people from your church or even your neighborhood for prayer.  Do so in homes around the kitchen table or sitting in the living room.  Some of us have probably never prayed with our spouse, our children, or as a family.  And not just reading prayers, but simply talking with God.  You don’t need fancy language.  Just bring every care to the throne of Grace. 
 
Some officials have suggested that wherever we go we gather in groups of no more than 10 people—what a perfect size group for a time of prayer.  View Current CDC Recommendations >>
 
What prayer concerns might you have?  I have many, here are just a few: 

  • Pray for our government leaders (Romans).  Ask the Lord of Heaven and Earth that they would be able to come together to make wise and common sense decisions to protect the vulnerable and ease the financial burden on those affected by all the shutdowns.
  • Pray for those families who will be challenged to both continue to work to provide an income and at the same time care for their children who will not be in school, pre-school or day care.
  • Pray for the businesses in our communities who will be drastically affected by the mandatory shutdowns that they might survive, recover and thrive once again.
  • Pray for those who are working in the health care fields, those who will have direct contact with folks who are showing symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Pray for our congregations, leaders, and pastors that together we might be light in the darkness and salt to a world that still cries out in pain, hurt, confusion, and frustration.
  • And for all, in every nation that are suffering illness now because of this pandemic.

And fasting?  There are many ways to fast.  Not all of us can avoid nutrition without causing some serious consequences.  You can fast from watching television—might be a good idea to not be bombarded with troubling news 24/7.  You can fast from sweets, from broccoli, from anything else that takes up time and spend that time in prayer.  You can fast from Facebook social media, and even video games.  You can fast from your usual TV viewing and watch a Christmas movie. 
 
Fasting is not an attempt to show God what a wonderful person you are or to gain any stars in your crown, but it is a good discipline that gives us more time for prayer and getting in to God’s Word.
 
Maybe what we need is a longer-term perspective.  A year from now, this will just be a memory.  5 years from now some will have troubling remembering what it was all about, 10 years from now, no one will know and no one will care!
 
Here are some words from the Scriptures that I hang on to in times of trouble:

  • "Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares about you." – I Peter 5:8
  • "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." – Matthew 6 (the whole chapter)
  •  Let today’s trouble be enough for today (one day at a time).
  • Romans 8:28: In all things, God works for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
  • Psalm 23 
  • And finally, the three most often said words in the Bible: Be not afraid.

Let’s remember that God is faithful.  He is still the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Our God is greater than any virus or anything else in this world!  We will get through this, and there is a better day coming!
 
Let’s dedicate this coming Sunday to a day of prayer and fasting.

Mark Vander Tuig
Service Coordinator, LCMC

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An Important Update Regarding Our 2020 Youth Event http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/an-important-update-regarding-our-2020-youth-event/a885.html Fri, 13 Mar 20 00:00:00 +0000 Friends,

Thank you for your interest in our planned youth event this coming summer.  Obviously, events of the last few weeks, and the weeks going forward are having an impact on everything! 

The last day to register for the youth event is April 1.  If you are planning to register, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible to give us the best indication of our numbers at the deadline.

We need 175 participants to break even—and in LCMC, our goal is for everything to “break even”.  If we don’t reach that number by April 1, we will be canceling the event.

Some have suggested because of the pandemic that has rocked our nation and our world, and has led to the cancellation of all kinds of events, that we should cancel this event now.  We are not ready to do that at this point, but come April 1, we will make that decision.

If you have not yet purchased plane tickets, hold off until after April 1.  If you have already purchased them, most airlines are making refunds available.  If you have your tickets, please check with the airline now to find out about their cancellation policy.

We apologize for any inconvenience.  We are simply hoping to be good stewards of your time and expense and respond appropriately to the concerns shared by medical and safety professionals.

 

Rev. Mark Vander Tuig

Service Coordinator, LCMC

 


To learn more and register for this event, click here.

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Pastor Directrory Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/pastor-directrory-update/a851.html Mon, 25 Feb 19 00:00:00 +0000 The LCMC staff is putting together a public list of all pastors serving LCMC congregations to be available on our website. 

We have been developing the forms and creating the systems on our website that will allow our pastors, both those in a contract call and on our list of certified pastors, to give us their contact information, ministry training credentials, and a profile photo. 

Letters and emails will be sent out to all pastors and congregations over the next few weeks to get as much participation as possible.  Please look for this mailing, follow the link, fill out the form, and submit it back to us as soon as you can.

We hope this will allow greater access to our pastors and enable all of us to put a name to a face!

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Financial Update http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/financial-update/a847.html Tue, 29 Jan 19 00:00:00 +0000 In November we sent out a request for funds.  We were running about 9% (which comes to about $90,000) behind our budgeted goals—and you responded!  Thank you for your faithful and generous support. 

Because of what was given, we have now fully funded our budget!  Again, thank you! 

LCMC relies solely on the offerings of its member congregations and what is given allows this association to continue support the DNA of our body: Free In Christ, Accountable to one another, Rooted in the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, all in order to fulfill the Great Commission in our generation!

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Video: Our Association Needs Your Support http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/video-our-association-needs-your-support/a840.html Mon, 05 Nov 18 00:00:00 +0000 *** For a video version of this request, please scroll down to the bottom of this page. ***


Dear Pastors, Leaders and Members of LCMC Congregations,

Our association needs your financial support.  At this point we are about 9% behind of our budgeted goals.  Please consider how you might support our association.

We believe that the congregation is the front line of ministry.  Your financial contributions make possible the training and equipping of people in the local church by our staff who come out to the congregations of LCMC at no cost.  Travel, food and lodging is covered by our annual budget.

Our staff offers resources and workshops for pastors, leaders and members of the local church in the local church and for the local church!  Call committee coaching, conflict resolution, planting churches, developing missional thinking, discipleship, evangelism and stewardship are just some of the workshops that we offer.  And every person on our staff is always ready to respond to the thousands of phone calls, emails, and texts that pour in each year!

Our boards meet five times each year, and they are elected from all across the US and even beyond.  They are all volunteers!  LCMC provides for their travel, food and lodging.  Their agendas are always packed and they take their work very seriously.

Your financial contributions help us to fulfill our commitments:  to our staff, for travel, and to maintain and develop our administrative resources:  webpage, computers, print costs and more.

Please consider how you might support our association with your financial gifts to LCMC.

Sincerely In Christ on behalf of the Board of Trustees,

Rev. Mark Vander Tuig
Service Coordinator, LCMC


*** For more information or to make a donation, click here. ***

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175 Attend Called 2: Follow Youth Event http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/175-attend-called-2-follow-youth-event/a830.html Tue, 21 Aug 18 00:00:00 +0000 Just a few weeks ago we completed the second “Called 2:” youth event.  It was once again held at the campus of Grand View University and was led by pastors, leaders and teachers from our association. 

This is unlike any other youth event with which people may be familiar.  We are not trying to gather thousands, entertain them, wow them, or make them question everything they may have learned in Sunday School.  This is discipleship, leadership development, and a commitment to strengthen the mission and ministry of the local church!

When this idea was first presented it was about ministry, not so much at the event, but after.  We wanted to challenge the students to consider God’s call on their life and how they might be useful to God as His ambassadors for the ministry given to God’s people—the ministry of reconciliation (see II Corinthians 5: 16-21).  We had to do more than just tell them they are ministers though, we needed to find ways to equip them for ministry.  Everything we intended to do was to help them to be effective as Jesus’ ambassadors in their own school, church, community, and family.

There was also a second priority.  We wanted to challenge these students to consider the vocation of ministry as well.  In my experience, pastors come out of the mission and ministry of the local church.  That’s what happened to me.  As I participated in the ministry of my local church, I just knew there had to be a better way to draw people into a relationship with Jesus.  I have dedicated the past 40+ years to that idea, including being a charter member of this association.

Would there be a way to help students see that the vocation of ministry can be meaningful, exciting, encouraging, miraculous and worth giving a life to doing?  We invited pastors to share their stories of both the good days and bad.  But always pointing to Jesus who is the Lord of the church and Lord of our lives.  There is no greater life than following Jesus, and for some of us to follow him into the vocation of ministry.

Did we accomplish the goal?  I don’t know, we’ll see in the years to come.  What I do know is this.  We had such a tremendous response to this summer’s event, that we are going to do it again. 

The next “Called 2:___” national youth event will be held on the campus of Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa from July 21-24, 2020!

For updates on this event, download our mobile app and sign up to receive "Youth Event" notifications. [Here's How]

Photos by Laura Gardner. 

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Why Attend the Annual Gathering? http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/why-attend-the-annual-gathering/a829.html Mon, 20 Aug 18 00:00:00 +0000 18th Annual Gathering and Convention  |  October 7-10, 2018  |  Des Moines, IA

We are getting ready for our 18th get together in Des Moines, Iowa!  I like to think of our gathering as more of a family reunion than anything else.  It is a time for us to connect, network, renew old friendships and make new ones.  But why would you bother to go?  Why would you make the commitment of time and money to attend?  There are some very good reasons, I want to share a few of them with you.

You Joined.

At some point in the history of your congregation you made a decision to join our association.  You had congregational meetings, you had discussions and finally took a vote.  We don’t ask for much, because we believe that the congregation is the front line of ministry, but what we do ask is this: be a part of God is doing in LCMC.  You will not know what the Lord is up to in this church body unless you pay attention and participate.  In our congregations we all have people who rarely if ever attend and yet they are on our “membership list”, for many of us, this is confusing.  Why would you join something and not participate?

This is Different

Our annual gathering is not like any other church body meeting you have ever been to.  We don’t have long, drawn out business meetings.  We don’t have one committee report after another telling us about things that really don’t matter to the life of the local church.  We don’t have endless greetings from people who are not part of LCMC and who we will never see again.

We have some business to do, yes, but what we do applies only to the association, not to the congregation.  We have elections to the Board of Trustees and we vote.  We have keynote speakers who challenge and inspire us to carry out the work of the church.  We have breakout sessions, each one designed to strengthen the ministry of the local church.  We have times for prayer, worship, and singing.  We have fun.

You Are Not Alone. 

There are times when we feel isolated, disconnected and tired, both as congregations, as pastors and leaders, and as individuals.  Our gatherings are meant to be encouraging to each other as we try to follow Jesus into our communities and around the world.  Just as individuals, we are baptized into a family of faith, and are now part of the Kingdom, we are bound together in our association.  We need each other.  Attending the gatherings of our association help you to see that you are a part of something, you belong and you are not alone.

You can find all the information to register for this next gathering here.  Come along, be an active participant in what the Spirit of God is doing in LCMC!  We are in this together, we need each other and now is the time to join us October 7-10 at HyVee Hall and Convention Center in Des Moines, Iowa!

Early bird registration ends September 1st, so be sure to sign up soon in order to attend for the best rate! 

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LAST CALL for Called 2 Follow Registration http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/last-call-for-called-2-follow-registration/a814.html Thu, 29 Mar 18 00:00:00 +0000 We have extended the deadline to register for the youth event this summer until Sunday, April 15, but this is the LAST CALL.  We need to have all registrations and deposit money in by the 15th. 

Called 2 Follow takes place July 17-20 at Grand View University in Des Moines, IA and all information including speakers, breakouts, service projects, the agenda, and more can be found under "Events" our website.

Click Here to Register Now >>

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LCMC in Southeast Asia http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/lcmc-in-southeast-asia/a806.html Mon, 26 Feb 18 00:00:00 +0000 I have just returned from South East Asia and want to give a brief update. 

We traveled first to Cambodia, where we discovered that our mission developer there, Pastor Samuel Chim (an LCMC pastor) is doing great work for us. 

We have received another 15 congregations and pastors as a result of the church planting efforts of the congregations there. 

We now have 35 pastors and churches in Cambodia and Pastor Chim is doing a great job mentoring, training and equipping the pastors. 

LCMC, and LCMC Cambodia are both recognized church bodies by the government of Cambodia.

The method of churches planting churches is something we could learn much from our brothers and sisters there. 

Each congregation numbers between 40-70 people and are led by a bi-vocational pastor whose primary work is to train and equip leaders in the congregation for the work of ministry, following the instruction of Ephesians 4: 11-14.

In Vietnam we met with pastors and leaders of two new congregations in the northern part of the country.  These are new ministries and our visit with them included 5 adult baptisms! 

We were so grateful for their efforts to plant and now establish these two new churches in a part of the world that is still cautious about the Gospel, fearing that these believers may try to subvert the government.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The church exists to proclaim the Good News of Life in the name of Jesus and to offer the freedom that comes in His name.

The churches connected with LCMC are connected to Lutheran Asian Ministries (LAM), a mission partner with LCMC and housed within the ministry of Morningside Lutheran Church in Sioux City, Iowa, an LCMC congregation. 

The executive director of LAM is Pastor Tom LoVan, on the pastoral team at Morningside and an LCMC pastor as well.

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Called 2 Follow Registration Opens December 1st http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/called-2-follow-registration-opens-december-1st/a794.html Mon, 27 Nov 17 00:00:00 +0000 Our Called 2: Follow youth event is coming to Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa from July 17-20, 2018!

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it."

Our youth event next summer will focus on these words of Jesus that call us out of ourselves and into something much greater!  In the summer of 2016, we gathered over 300 youth and adults from 15 different states; next summer we hope to have even more.

We will be staying in the air-conditioned dormitories on the campus of Grand View University with full access to all their amenities:  gymnasium, food service, internet, student center and more.  The registration per person remains the same as last summer, and it's all-inclusive, so people just need to get here!  Food, lodging, bedding, internet, convention costs and materials for Tuesday through Friday is only $325.  

Our keynote speakers are Andrea Paulson, a pastor from First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hastings, Nebraska and Kyle Fever, Ph.D., the Executive Director of the Nexus Institute, on the campus of Grand View University.

Our breakout session leaders and topics are:

  • Sex, Lies and Identity Theft (Jennifer Roush)
  • Human = Addict, Hijacked From Our Creator (Kendra Diehl)
  • Handling Anxiety and Stress (Paul Peterson)
  • Followership/Discipleship in Daily Life (Jonathan Hunter)
  • Preparing for What Comes Next (Russ Lackey)

Music and worship will be provided by Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona, Iowa.  Music for the event will be available on our website beforehand so that participants can download and become familiar with it before the event begins.

Our emcees next summer are Noah Ruppert, a pastor at Lutheran Church of the Cross, Altoona, Iowa and Chip Reynolds, a pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Braunfels, Texas.  They will both also be participating in leading music and worship.

We begin Tuesday evening with an opening worship service that sets the stage and theme for our time together.  Wednesday is filled with breakouts and large group sessions, music and more.  Thursday, we start with the keynote presentation, then a panel discussion called, “Ask the Pastors”.  We spend the afternoon in service projects:  Meals from the Heartland, working at Riverside Bible Camp and performing Random Acts of Kindness.  Thursday evening is time to play on “the Green” outdoors with games, inflatables, music and ice cream.  On Friday we will close our time together to be sent off to serve in our own communities and congregations.

Registration opens December 1, 2017 for the first 350 participants.   

Click here to learn more >>

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Introducing LCMC's New Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry, Pastor Perry Fruhling http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/introducing-lcmcs-new-coordinator-for-pastoral-ministry-pastor-perry-fruhling/a791.html Thu, 23 Nov 17 00:00:00 +0000 The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that we have a Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry! 

Pastor Perry Fruhling has accepted the position and begins January 15, 2018. 

Perry has served congregations in Texas (Zion Lutheran in Fredericksburg) and in Iowa (Bethany Lutheran, Thompson; Immanuel Lutheran in Independence; and St. Mark’s Lutheran, Marion).  

Perry has additional training and interest in conflict resolution practices and community organizing for service in crisis.  Perry brings his experience with congregations of many different sizes to this position, as well as his training, background, and passion for the Church of Jesus Christ.

In his current call, with Perry’s leadership and other members of the congregation, St. Mark’s created and manages the Lutheran Disaster Assistance fund (LDA).  This fund has been extremely helpful to LCMC congregations in the aftermath of natural disasters, the most recent of which were the hurricanes and forest fires that have affected millions of people.

Perry’s work will focus on continuing the development of call committee coaching, call committee workshops, and the certification process.  Perry will also continue the on-going training of pastors involved with certifying those who wish to be on LCMC’s list of pastors.  He will work with the Ministry Board to develop leadership events and oversee our list of pastors serving in many different capacities.  Perry also hopes to train and equip pastors and others for effective conflict resolution and helping our pastors to equip members for ministry.

Perry is married to Marlys and they live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  They have three children: Chantal, 26, in Cedar Rapids; Ashley, 23, in Atlanta, GA; and Caleb, 20, attending the University of Iowa.

Invitations to district, regional and congregational events are always welcome!  As soon as we have contact information for Perry Fruhling, it will be made available on the staff page of our website January 15, 2018. 

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A Word from Mark... http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/a-word-from-mark/a790.html Wed, 15 Nov 17 00:00:00 +0000 Our 17th Annual Gathering and Convention was held in Minneapolis, MN on October 8-11, just a few weeks ago.  We had just over 900 people in attendance, representing 412 of the 750 congregations of LCMC. 

This year for the first time we sat around tables so that participants could discuss the information presented and it was genuinely appreciated. 

To recognize the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, we considered three of the fundamental themes of the Reformation: Justification, The Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, and the Priesthood of All Believers.  We also had a dramatic portrayal of Martin Luther and Katie by Johan and Sonja Hinderlie, and we showed the movie: Martin Luther, the Idea that Changed the World.

At this gathering we had two resolutions come from the floor for consideration by the convention.  Our constitution and by-laws allow for resolutions to come during the convention without advance notice or preparation.  They did not come from either of the Boards and therefore could not be disseminated in advance to give people time to consider or even understand the issues being presented.  Ultimately, no action on the resolutions were taken as the floor voted to table the discussion. The Board of Trustees is meeting in late November and will discuss and evaluate the content of the resolutions along with the discussion from the floor.

Thank you to all who took the time to submit evaluations of this year’s gathering. Critical points of feedback often expressed about our gatherings generally focus on cost and food.  

This year, there was the added element regarding the lack of preparation specific to the resolutions presented from the floor—which is addressed above. 

Cost is real.  When we gather 900-1100 people we look for facilities that can accommodate space for the general sessions, the vendor areas, any service project that might be included, breakout sessions, and the ability to feed that many people in one setting.  There is no LCMC congregation that can do all of that.  They may be able to handle 2 or 3 of the needs but not all five.  Holding our gatherings in smaller markets help keep costs down, but cost is real.

Food?  The convention food and beverage divisions do their best to provide good, healthy and tasty meals, but how many of our children ever liked the same foods? 

In spite of the concerns expressed, we had a great time together.  We laughed, prayed, sang, worshipped and encouraged one another.  We re-connected with friends, and made new ones.  There were great conversations about what makes us Lutheran and what makes us people of LCMC. 

To be honest, I am already looking forward to coming together again in Des Moines, October 7-10, 2018!  Mark it down on your calendars, its going to be great!

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We're Forming a Non-Geographic Hispanic Network! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/were-forming-a-non-geographic-hispanic-network/a756.html Fri, 17 Feb 17 00:00:00 +0000 We have a number of congregations and ministries that have a tremendous outreach to Hispanic communities, and it would good if we could get these leaders, ministers, ministries connected. 

If your congregation is currently carrying out an Hispanic ministry, mission, or agency in our association, and you would like to get connected, please click here and sign up.  If you are interested in learning more about developing an Hispanic ministry, feel free to sign up as well. 

As we get some folks on our list, we will assign a coordinator, put together a “mission statement” and see what the Lord might do with this.

We have a number of non-geographic districts, and LCMC grew out of one many years ago called “Word Alone Network”. 

The purpose of non-geographic districts is to give people who are separated by many miles, but united in interest, a chance to connect, support and encourage, and even offer insight and training for those who want to grow a ministry. 

I think this network could also be a tremendous resource for those who would like to initiate a ministry in this arena.

Click Here to Sign Up!

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Service: A Central Part of Our Gatherings! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/service-a-central-part-of-our-gatherings/a712.html Fri, 04 Mar 16 00:00:00 +0000 Dear Friends,

“Service” is becoming a central part of our gatherings!

This year for our Called 2 Serve youth event, which takes place July 19-22 at Grand View University in Des Moines, one of the service projects is again working with Meals from the Heartland.

In order to reach our goal, we need about $10,000 to have 140 young people package meals for two hours, which would amount to about 50,000 meals. 

At our Annual Gathering this year, we are working with Lutheran World Relief (LWR), one of the most efficient and effective relief agencies in the world. 

Our goal is to have Annual Gathering participants (we normally get between 750 -1,100 people in attendance) assemble 10,000 personal care kits. To make this happen, we need to receive about $50,000 in special offerings from the congregations of LCMC. The people with LWR believe that we can easily assemble that many kits in Denver!

The people of our congregations have been extremely generous for these projects in the past, and I am hoping we can be once again.

If your church would like to participate, please send checks, made payable to to LCMC and earmarked for "Meals from the Heartland" or "Lutheran World Relief" to the LCMC office at:

LCMC
7000 N Sheldon Road
Canton, MI 48187

You can also make a donation online by clicking one (or both!) of the following links:

All funds need to be received by July 1, 2016 so we can purchase needed supplies.

Sincerely In Christ,

Mark Vander Tuig
LCMC Service Coordinator

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Why an LCMC Youth Event? http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/why-an-lcmc-youth-event/a708.html Fri, 05 Feb 16 00:00:00 +0000 First, Youth Are the Present.

The best people to witness to other youth are the youth that we already have.  The local church must do what they are able to train and equip youth to be disciples to their own generation.  One of the best ways to do that is to build mentor relationships with mature Christian adults who can mentor youth in the development of their relationship with Jesus.

Second, Youth Are the Near Future.  

One of the things that we have not done very well is prepare our youth for the next chapter.  Many of our youth after leaving high school tend to struggle with their faith in a culture that pulls them in a hundred different directions.  University campuses are not always friendly places for Christians and are we helping them figure out how to navigate that new setting?  But almost no place in the culture: work, military, vocational tech, etc. is welcoming to young adults who also want to remain faithful to Jesus.

Third, Youth Are the Further Future.  

One of the biggest issues we face is finding leaders for the local church who love Jesus, love the church and love the people the Holy Spirit brings.  Raising local leaders for the local church must become a priority for each congregation.

Fourth, Youth Are the Future Pastors.  

The vocation of ministry requires the brightest and the best that our congregations have to offer.  People forget that pastors come from congregations...and so we need to find ways to help youth catch the vision that serving Jesus happens in every vocation, but the vocation of ministry is one of them. Being a pastor/leader of a congregation has been a great life for many and has been a great blessing to those families.  We need more and more youth to ask the question: could God be calling me to consider pastoral ministry as my vocation?

Our 2016 “Called 2 Serve” youth event is July 19-22, and registration closes March 1st.  If you are planning to attend, please register!

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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 +0000 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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We've Launched CHURCHES CONNECT! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/weve-launched-churches-connect/a652.html Wed, 27 May 15 00:00:00 +0000 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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2016 Youth Gathering: Save the Date! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/2016-youth-gathering-save-the-date/a653.html Fri, 22 May 15 00:00:00 +0000 At our 2014 Annual Gathering, it was decided that we should have a National Youth Gathering.  I have been meeting with a team of volunteers; we have proposed our ideas to the Board of Trustees and they have approved the following proposal:

  • Theme:  Called 2 Serve
  • Purpose:  To strengthen the ministry of the local church
  • Location:  Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dates:  July 19-22, 2016
  • Participants:  Youth going into 9th grade through 12th
  • Cost:  $325 per person, which includes meals, lodging, wi-fi, facilities and costs (all you have to do is get there!)
  • Registration:  Goal—811 participants

There will be more detailed information to follow, but I wanted you to know: it’s going to happen!

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LCMC Forms Prayer Ministry Team http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/lcmc-forms-prayer-ministry-team/a636.html Mon, 26 Jan 15 00:00:00 +0000 A prayer ministry team has been formed and is active! 

At our last Annual Gathering, I made an invitation to sign up for a prayer ministry team, and we now have over 50 people who are praying each week for LCMC congregations. 

Cheryl Coffman is the leader of this team and she is looking for others who may also be interested joining.

Each Monday, Cheryl contacts five congregations from our list that are selected at random by a computer program.  She then sends those out to the prayer team and contacts the congregation to let them know and invite any specific prayer concerns.  If there are specific things about which to pray, those are communicated to the team.  At the end of the week, she follows up with the five congregations and the whole process starts again the next week.

Any other prayer concerns from congregations may also be submitted to Cheryl at any time.

If you would like to be a part of praying for our congregations and any specific concerns they might have, please contact Cheryl or click here to sign up online and she will get you on the list!

“We need to become more and more a people of prayer!”

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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 +0000 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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Three Days of Prayer Begins January 6th! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/three-days-of-prayer-begins-january-6th/a608.html Tue, 28 Oct 14 00:00:00 +0000 This January, join with us for our Third Annual Three Days of Prayer.  This is an opportunity for us to join together across our association to come before God Almighty and bring our concerns, our ministries, our people and our future to the throne of grace and to the foot of the cross. 

Day One, Tuesday, January 6, 2015 is a day of confession, recognizing that we have sinned against God, against each other and ourselves.  We have been caught up in big arguments about small things when there are those we love who do not know Jesus, and not connected to His church. 

Day Two, Wednesday, January 7, 2015 is a day of petition.  There are so many things, people and issues to pray for and about, this day is committed to bringing our petitions to God.  We know that He hears our prayers and is at work in ways that we can see, and ways that we will never know.

Day Three, Thursday, January 8, 2015 is a day of seeking God’s vision for your church, and for our association.  The church belongs to Jesus and we simply ask the Lord of the church to lead, guide and direct our mission and ministry.

Prayer is the most effective tool in our toolbox and the most powerful weapon in the arsenal.  The church of Jesus Christ will not rise up until we first get to our knees.

Learn More  |  Resources  |  Facebook Event

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Getting Connected! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/getting-connected/a556.html Tue, 29 Apr 14 00:00:00 +0000
Three years ago, I invited the leaders of all the districts at that time to come together for a day to consider how we might be more effective in encouraging each in fellowship and support, as well as accountability.  We are still at those goals, and so once again, three years later, we have invited leaders of every district to get together to gauge our progress and to continue to learn how we can improve.  

Our district leaders will be meeting on July 15th and 16th at Hosanna Lutheran Church in St. Charles, Illinois.  

For more information, contact Mark Vander Tuig at mark@lcmc.net.]]>
Register Now for LCMC's 14th Annual Gathering! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/register-now-for-lcmcs-14th-annual-gathering/a525.html Thu, 27 Mar 14 00:00:00 +0000 What do we say and how do we respond?  These are the questions that often face Christians and Lutherans in 2014 right here in America.  We are now living in a “post-denominational era”; the way we used to do church is no longer working.  Times have changed and we now need to be able to defend, explain and affirm our faith in Christ alone.  We have been given a great heritage of faith and theology through the Lutheran Reformation.  This theological framework is more than capable of helping us to proclaim the Gospel to our generation.  We just have to figure out how to do it, and then start.

From October 5-8, 2014, we will gather leaders, pastors, and church members from all over the world to celebrate our 14th Our Annual Gathering and Convention in Des Moines, IA. 

The focus of our gathering this year is “Reason for Hope”.  We have invited three keynote speakers who will each in their own way help us to consider how we might engage this culture with the Good News of Jesus Christ and his gracious love and atoning sacrifice:
  • Rev. Dr. Walter Sundburg, Professor of Church History, Luther Seminary
  • Rev. Margaret Manning, Speaker/Writer, RZIM
  • Rev. Dr. Mark Mattes, Professor of Theology, Grand View University

Our gathering will also include two worship services, morning Bible studies and singing, over 75 vendors, more than 30 breakout sessions and opportunities for fellowship and networking.

This year we will also have a chance to serve the hungry of the world, both here and abroad by participating in a meal packaging event on the Tuesday evening of our gathering.  If we can raise $80,000, gather 1000 people for two hours, we could put together 400,000 meals, a part of what it means to be “in Mission for Christ”!
 
Registration is now open at our website.  
 
Register Now!  |  Learn More  |   Meal Packaging Project Info
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LCMC to Add New Staff Position, Package Meals in 2014 http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/lcmc-to-add-new-staff-position-package-meals-in-2014/a470.html Mon, 28 Oct 13 00:00:00 +0000 Budget for 2014One very important thing took place at our convention in Dearborn…we approved the budget for 2014! 

Our 2014 budget calls for a 16% increase in giving from our member congregations.  At first, this seems like a lot, and we have not often ever asked our congregations for more.  But, as our association has grown, so have the requests for greater resources and help. 

We remain committed to a horizontal structure and to finding ways to help the congregations, pastors and leaders carry out the work of ministry, however, this requires an increase in staff.  Our new position, Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry replaces the former position of Coordinator for Pastoral Certification and moves the position from ¾ time to full-time. 

The graph below shows clearly the growth with which we have been blessed.  But to whom much is given, much is required. 

Number of Congregations in LCMC

Still, this only requires an increase of $100 per congregation!  Some of us can do more, not all of us will be able to do that much…but this does not seem too great a challenge to continue to support what God is doing in and through LCMC.



Packaging Meals in Des Moines

One of the things that we are hoping to do at our Annual Gathering in Des Moines, IA next October is a service project! 

Meals from the Heartland is an agency that organizes people to package meals to send all around the world, as well as to areas here in the U.S.  You have maybe seen this happen, or even helped to do so in your area.  These efforts are also known as Kids Against Hunger, Feed My Starving Children, and others.

Our hope is to get 1,000 people to package meals on Tuesday night during our gathering.  If we can do this, we could package 400,000 meals together in two hours.  To purchase the supplies, the packaging, and to pay for shipping will require about $80,000 to be raised, and so we are asking each congregation to begin now to set aside funds in order to bring an offering to make all of this happen.  With 706 congregations in the US, this comes only to about $115 from each church.  Again, some of us can do more, some not as much, but we can all do something to help feed the world’s hungry.]]>
LCMC: In the Cloud http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/lcmc-in-the-cloud/a459.html Mon, 23 Sep 13 00:00:00 +0000
I now have a Facebook page as the Service Coordinator for LCMC.  My page is pretty lame…nothing inflammatory, political or personal, just a few posts once in a while to let people know where I am, where I’ve been and that’s about it.  LCMC has a Facebook page as well and I find it to be very well administered, having good questions, answers and discussion.  Plus, it is a source of information about what is happening in our association and in some cases what is happening in the lives of some of our pastors, leaders and congregations.  The posts that I most love to read are the requests for prayer.  Who would have guessed that the internet would be such a great network for people to pray!

If you have not yet signed up for our LCMC Facebook page, you can do so on our website, another great source of information as to what all is going on!  And this seems so natural for our association since we were born out of the Word Alone Network, another internet-based movement.  I love the words of Hebrews 11, “For we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…”.  Obviously, the writer was not referring to the Internet, but now when I read it as a member of LCMC (an association that genuinely does occupy the “cloud” in the 21st century), all I can think of is us!

Facebook Page
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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 +0000 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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We are Going to the Motor City! http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/we-are-going-to-the-motor-city/a368.html Tue, 26 Feb 13 00:00:00 +0000 www.adobadearborn.com).  The hotel has more than enough rooms for all who want to attend!

The theme for this year’s gathering is:  “The Grace of Giving”, as we consider how we might fund the Great Commission in our generation.  Our opening preacher for our Sunday evening worship is Pr. Derek Johnson of Community Church of Joy, Glendale, Arizona. 

Monday’s Bible study leader is Pastor Sue Gunderson, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Bailey’s Harbor, Wisconsin.  Monday’s keynote presentation will be given by Pr. Kyle Idelman, author of the book, “Not a Fan”.  Kyle is the teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.  He is also the author and presenter of the award-winning video and curriculum series, “H2O: A Journey of Faith and the Easter Experience”.

Tuesday’s Bible study leader is Pastor John Lewis of Lutheran Church of the Master, Omaha, Nebraska.  Tuesday’s keynote presentation will be given by Chuck Bentley, who is the CEO of Crown Financial Ministries (www.crown.org).  Chuck leads this ministry that now reaches around the world with staff on every continent, a media presence throughout North and South America, and books and materials serving the spiritual and financial needs of all people, affluent, middle income, poor and ultra poor.

The Bible study leader for Wednesday morning is Pr. David Gran, St. Luke’s, Garfield, Mn.  Our keynote address on Wednesday will be given by Pr. Enrique Estrada, our first international partner and newly elected member of the Board of Trustees.  Enrique is a pastor in Monterrey, Mexico and is the executive director of Mission Mexico International.

As usual, we will have over 40 breakout sessions, more than 75 vendors and great music.  As a special treat, we have reserved the Henry Ford Museum (www.thehenryford.org) for LCMC on Tuesday night, beginning with supper at the Museum—but you will need register in advance for this special evening--spaces will fill up fast!

Plan now to attend the LCMC Annual Gathering and Convention, October 6-9, 2013!
 
For more info on the Annual Gathering, click here.  
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LCMC Invites All to Participate in Three Days of Prayer http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/lcmc-invites-all-to-participate-in-three-days-of-prayer/a341.html Tue, 18 Dec 12 00:00:00 +0000 markEvery congregation, member and pastor is being invited to set aside some time each day of January 8, 9 and 10, 2013 for prayer.  

Our attitude toward prayer has often been characterized by saying, “well, all we can do now is pray!”. 

Prayer is not the hopeless act of desperation.  Prayer is a gift that God has given to us as a means to approach the throne of grace with confidence—like that of a child coming to her parents sharing concerns, victories, defeats and every part of life.  It is an opportunity to express the deepest heartache and the greatest joy.  Prayer is a conversation between the Creator and the created…and the conversation began with God, for us, in Christ Jesus.

Organize these three days of prayer any way that seems good to you.  Some of our congregations will put together a prayer vigil—a person signing up to pray in 30 minute intervals for example—for all three days, or a few hours each day; some will offer a prayer service at a set hour each of the three days, some will simply ask each person to spend some time each day in prayer…whatever works best in your congregation is the right way to go.

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By-Law Changes to be Voted on at 12th Annual Gathering http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/by-law-changes-to-be-voted-on-at-12th-annual-gathering/a309.html Mon, 13 Aug 12 00:00:00 +0000  LCMC was founded in March of 2001 and its constitution and by-laws approved in October of the same year. About three years ago, it was decided that we should review those original documents and make any necessary changes, additions and deletions. Our constitution and the “pastoral admonition” have not changed—they both continue to serve our association well.

However, in reviewing our by-laws, the team assigned to this task noticed a number of editorial inconsistencies and, in addition, there were a few things missing that needed to be included, primarily in Section 2.  The Board of Trustees has reviewed their work and has approved for your consideration
the proposed by-laws.

The by-laws, with the recommended changes and additions, are being sent to you and every LCMC congregation for your review.  The changes are highlighted so that you can see what is being recommended. These by-laws will then be voted upon at our Annual Gathering in Denver, Colorado, October 7-10. There is also a break out session dedicated to this topic that if you have interest you may attend.
 
Rules for changing by-laws are outlined in detail in the last section of the by-laws, section 9.01.
 
Thank you for your commitment to and partnership in the Gospel.  I believe that God is at work in our congregations, that the name of Jesus is being proclaimed and that the Holy Spirit is in fact calling, gathering, enlightening and sanctifying his people.  I believe that our association continues to be
true to our beginning: a commitment to the authority of Scripture, a desire to fulfill the Great Commission and living in the freedom of the Gospel.

I want to express thanks to all those who have worked so diligently on this task on behalf of our Board and all of our congregations.

See you in Denver!]]>