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Mission Update
Rev. Peter Kelm, Missions Executive 
South Wisconsin District
414-464-8101 Kelm@swd.lcms.org
Passionate believers... confessing Christ
Upcoming Mission events
SOS Center Open House
  • JUNE 7,
    10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 
Lutheran Hour Ministries
Center for US Missions
"Churches planting churches"
Rural &Small Town Mission's National Conference
"I have other sheep that are not of this  
sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice..."
(John 10:16)
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May 2014
Apathy and Passion

One of the core characteristics of good Lutheran theology is a brutal honesty about sin. We don't coddle sin. We name it, we out it, we bring it to light. Sin is, in fact, the greatest problem that human beings face: not hunger, or lack of education, or a need to "belong" - as important as all of those things are. No, our biggest problem is sin. Sin that we are conceived in, born with, and practitioners of throughout our lives. Sin that separates from God in the here and now, and sin which threatens an eternity away from God in hell. The prophets called sinners to repent. John the Baptist called sinners to repent. And when Jesus began his public ministry he clearly said, "The time has come. The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15) You might know that Martin Luther's first thesis of the famous 95 was simply this: "When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, 'Repent,' he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance."

        And so the life of the believer becomes a never-ending cycle of repentance and faith, acknowledgment of sin and faith in the One who bore that sin on the cross. There is a rhythm to our lives together: we repent and are forgiven, we confess and are absolved, we fall short and are lifted up, we run away and are brought back.

        Lives of repentance.

        But of course, if we're going to repent of our sins, we need to be clear about what actually is sin. Ah...and here is the rub. Sin has lost its meaning in our culture. People today don't "sin." They make poor choices and questionable decisions, perhaps. But sin? A bygone word for a bygone church era.

        But forget about the loss of the meaning of sin in our culture. What about in the Church. What about in our churches? If the whole life of the Christian is to be about repentance and faith, then a rigorous engagement with the reality of the sins that plague is so important. And I would submit that different generations of the church struggle with different kinds of sin.

         Which brings me to the point of my article. Permit me an observation: the sin of apathy is ravaging our churches.  
Save the date!
Churches planting churches... 
The South Wisconsin District will be hosting a "Churches Planting Churches" Seminar on Friday, October 17-Saturday, October 18. This seminar is led by the Center for US Missions (an LCMS RSO), and is intended for congregational leaders (pastors and lay leaders) whose congregations are interested in beginning the conversation about the possibility of planting a church. Even if you aren't sure if your congregation is being called in this direction, the seminar is a great way to explore the possibilities. Why plant churches? So many reasons, but primarily because planting new churches helps us to reach the lost!

Please click here for more information. If you or your congregation is interested in attending this seminar, please let me know.
Summer VBS outreach opportunity 

Hispanic Lutheran Ministry (a partnership of congregations working together for Hispanic outreach) is seeking volunteers to assist with Vacation Bible School at St. Martini Lutheran Church and School, 1500 S. Cesar Chavez Dr., Milwaukee, June 16-19 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. St. Martini Lutheran School has some 260 students and the congregation is an aging congregation, in need of assistance in hosting a VBS program for the school families.

Please contact Bessie Fick:
Bessie.Fick@yahoo.com, or 414-477-9448 if you would like to help. They are also in need of some VBS supplies: 8.5 X 11 copier paper and snack supplies (paper plates, napkins, cups). If you would like to financial support a VBS student you may send donations to: HOST, Oklahoma Ave. Lutheran Church, 5335 W. Oklahoma Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53219
SOS Open House, June 7  

Join us in celebrating the rebirth of ministry at the SOS Center, 4620 W. North Avenue in Milwaukee on Saturday, June 7th, from 10 am to 1 pm. Enjoy some great food and tour the building as you find out about our after-school programs, upcoming Summer program, as well as future plans and goals. God bless this ministry in the name of Jesus in the heart of the city!
Special College Student Rate for Dynamic Outreach Conference  
Do you believe that you're SENT by God? Do you want to be a part of a gathering of Christians who are passionate about living 24/7 as disciples of Jesus? Then register today with the new student rate for the first-ever Lutheran Hour Ministries Outreach Conference at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan, July 24-27.

A special conference registration fee of $79 is available for college students and includes all main-stage presentations, workshops, labs and recordings of key sessions (lodging, meals and special evening events are additional costs).

Call our SWD Missions office and let us know if you have a group that would like to attend this summer. We may be able to share travel expenses. 
Danelle Putnum
Our partnership in the Dominican Republic   
Career missionary Danelle Putnam, who works with the developmentally disabled in the DR, is planning a trip to Wisconsin in early August. If your congregation would like to have her speak about the work there, please let me--or her--know. Here's the link for more information: http://lcms.org/putnam
Need a guest preacher?  I'd be happy to preach for a mission festival or District Mission Sunday...or just to give your preacher a break.  My calendar opens up in August.
Rev. Peter Kelm, Missions Executive, Kelm@swd.lcms.org
Peg Raabe, Administrative Assistant, Raabe@swd.lcms.org
You may call us directly at 414-464-8101