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Rev. Peter Kelm, Missions Executive 
South Wisconsin District
414-464-8101 Kelm@swd.lcms.org
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"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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June 2014

I'm a huge fan of inverse relationships. I love when they seem to completely defy expectations. I ran across one that fits this category recently.  

Are you ready for it?  

"There is an inverse relationship between the closure rate and the growth of a denomination. The lower the closure rate, the more likely the denomination is declining. The higher the closure rate, the more likely the denomination is growing."


Denominations that close churches are more likely to be growing. Denominations that don't close churches are more likely to be declining.  


Now, at this point, I could throw at you all kinds of data around this topic. Of particular interest might be where the LCMS fits in this spectrum. I'll let you guess about that one. Of more interest to me is the concept itself.

Back to the inverse relationship: "The instinct to never let a church die actually discourages energy from being directed toward the development of new churches." [ii]   

I think this really speaks to the situation that we find ourselves in today, in the American church in general and in the LCMS in particular. It's a sad thing when a church dies. I would argue that it's much sadder when new churches aren't planted.





[i] Olson, David T. "The American Church in Crisis." Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008, p. 124.

[ii] ibid
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 at Divine Savior, 3200 Highway K South, Hartford. 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.

"A great way to work together with my staff and develop an exciting vision for reaching the lost in our community," (said a pastor, MNS).

"It got our group thinking outside the box, thinking of new ways to reach more people!" (said a lay person, IDW).

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. Registration can be made online (register with a user name and password first), or call Peg Raabe at the District office (414-464-8101).
Deadline is September 30.
Small Places, Big Mission--Standing in the Gap

The LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission
is holding a National Mission Conference November 6-8, 2014 at the Marriott Kansas City Airport, Kansas City, Missouri, for LCMS congregational leaders in rural and small-town settings. This conference will address the blessings and challenges facing rural and small-town congregations today as well give encouragement for cultivating healthy churches that are eager to bear witness to Christ, show mercy to those in need, and develop a robust life together with their fellow members. Online registration. Deadline is Sept. 15.
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
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. 
Coral Rose 
LCMS Missionary of the Month    
Coral Rose serves the Lord through The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) as a GEO missionary in Ghana, West Africa. In this role, Coral uses her teaching experience and love of different cultures to partner with other LCMS missionaries and African educators in this region.

Born in Texas and raised in Milwaukee, Wis., Coral worked for more than 20 years in various industries, using her skills as auditor, business and system analyst, software developer and implementation manager and management consultant. She then switched gears, earning a master's degree in religious education from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. (2002). With this degree, she then worked several years in children's ministry. Most recently, Coral served for three years as the business manager for the LCMS Office of International Mission in Africa.

Read more about her and the Ghana mission here.
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 Fall.
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