I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one
under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Rev. Klement Preus as he is in hospice care.
Rev. Tim Benninghoff who is trsnsitioning to home care after his stroke.
Randy Schoemann who is having eye surgery.
Tom Feiertag as he has knee replacement surgery.
John Kelling as he has hip replacement surgery.
Our "new" SWD website will be up and running shortly. Calls & Vacancies will return then. Thank you for your patience.
Holy Ministry: Obedience, Patience, and Humility
Brothers in the Office of the Holy Ministry:
What follows is the sermon that Rev. Dr. Edwin Suelflow, who served as SWD president for many years, recently preached for the 20th
Anniversary service of Pastor Joe Fisher of Pilgrim West Bend. It is an excellent example of sound Lutheran preaching, with a balance of Law and Gospel, which is an essential element to a sound sermon. These are also words for every pastor to consider as we examine our own ministry in light of God's Word and His call to us through the congregation we serve. I give thanks to President Suelflow for allowing me to share these fine words with you!! INI
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
In writing about the Church, Martin Luther commented: "This ministry, that is, the Word of God, Baptism, and Holy Communion, comes directly from Christ .... and is not to be replaced. But the incumbents of the ministry do not remain. They die. This necessitates an ever new supply of preachers whom we install in this ministry to continue preaching the Word and administering the Sacraments."
We are quite familiar with this rhythm of change in the life of the Church. The incumbents of the office are ordained; they serve; they retire; they die; and new ones are ordained to take their place. It has always fascinated me how the Lord continues to provide Pastors for His Church - men with personalities peculiar to themselves; men of different temperaments; men with misplace loyalties in the mundane world of professional football. Read complete sermon here:
|Other SWD News:
Federal Judge overturns Wisconsin ban on same-sex marriage:
I am confident that everyone is aware of the federal court ruling overturning the State of Wisconsin's ban on same sex marriages. It has been in the news for several days now. State law and Federal law do not countermand the clear words of Holy Scripture. Our stand and our confession remain consistent with the clear words of Holy Scripture.
- St. Paul to the Romans: Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. Romans 1:24-28
- St. Paul to the Corinthians: Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
If someone knocks on your door requesting a same-sex marriage in your congregation, please let me know as soon as possible. I say that because in those states where it has been legalized, LCMS congregations have received such phone calls. May our gracious Lord have mercy, and grant us a clear confession!!
The 2016 LCMS Convention coming to Milwaukee:
If you haven't heard, the LCMS Board of Directors has established the location of the 2016 Synod Convention as Milwaukee. The last time the LCMS Convention was in Milwaukee was in the early 1970's.
Though I have known about the possibility of this taking place for some time...and was the one who originally "suggested" the location, I was asked not to let the cat out of the bag. That said, it is a great honor to have this significant LCMS event coming to Milwaukee! I am grateful that we can bring the LCMS convention back to Milwaukee once again. We have a great story to share about confessional Lutheranism here in SWD and how our Lord is blessing His Word!!We thank all the people in St. Louis and at the Milwaukee Convention Center who have been working quietly behind the scenes on this for some time!
For Circuit Forums and Circuit Visitors: In Preparation for the 66th Regular Convention of the LCMS...
Mailing No. 1: June 2, 2014....From the LCMS.org website.
It's Time to ... Prepare for Circuit Forums
It is time to begin your congregation's preparations for the 2016 convention of our Synod. It all starts close to home with preparations for a circuit forum, soon to be scheduled by your circuit visitor. The forum will handle 2015 district convention business and matters related to the 2016 Synod convention. An official voters meeting of your congregation prior to the circuit forum will be required.
Four Essential Items
The following four items should appear on the agenda of your voters meeting:
1. Designation of two representatives to attend the circuit forum
2. Nomination of candidates for circuit visitor for the 2015-2018 triennium
3. Participation in the triennial process for determining the Synod's priorities
4. Election of your congregation's delegates to your district convention
More Information to Come
Watch for the next four postcard mailings. Each will provide helpful information regarding one of these agenda items. For now, be sure to identify an appropriate date to hold your congregation's meeting.
Raymond L. Hartwig
Thanks for your prayers once again!
Once again I thank each of you for your prayers, support and compassion during my recent surgery! As I entered surgery and especially afterwards I have come to cherish the prayers of God's people. Thank you!
As far as recuperation is concerned, though I cannot cut my grass I am back to work. As many of you know, I have been in the office and at various locations with face to face meetings. Grass cutting begins once again around July 4th.
June 15 Happy Father's Day to each of you! We especially give thanks for our Heavenly Father who created us and in His love redeemed us; and who has also sent His Spirit into our hearts to create saving faith by the power of His Word.
June 16 pastoral visitation, Racine area
June 17 conference call re the upcoming tweaks to our Concordia Health Plans. (The Affordable Health Care Act is complicating our health care as well.)
June 19 Confessional Symposium in Sussex
June 19 Congregational visitation, St. Peter, Reedsburg voters meeting
June 20-21 LWML District Convention at CUW
June 22 lead divine service at Living Word, Jackson
June 24-26 Staff devotional leader
June 26 All SWD team meeting, office
From CFW Walther:
The history of the Church, too, illustrates the importance of understanding this distinction.
Corruption entered the Church when Law and Gospel began to be confounded.
A perusal of the writings of the Church Fathers soon reveals the cause of the Church's misery in those early days: people did not know how to distinguish properly between Law and Gospel. Up to the sixth century we still find glorious testimonies exhibiting this distinction, but from that time on we notice that this light is growing dim and that the distinction is gradually forgotten.
Walther, C. F. W., Dau, W. H. T., & Eckhardt, E. (2000). The proper distinction between law and gospel: 39 evening lectures (electronic ed.) (62). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.
From Herman Sasse:
For as soon as the sola Scriptura is superordinated to the sola fide we are on the road to a false understanding of the Lutheran Church....It sounds so enticing that all churches for which the Holy Scripture is still the verbally inspired, inerrant Word of God should stand together. Should not Bible-believing Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Baptists today together and jointly proclaim and defend the authority of the Word of God? Do they not, for practical purposes, already stand together? Is not that which Kretzmann and [Theodore] Engelder [1865- 1949] (The Scripture Cannot Be Broken, St . Louis, 1944 ) have published in Concordia Publishing House concerning the Holy Scripture found in precisely the same manner in the writings of the Baptist and Reformed Fundamentalists? But is it possible that a Lutheran should write so much as even one page concerning the Holy Scripture on which all is not dominated by the fundamental distinction of Law and Gospel? Is it possible for a Lutheran to admit in earnest that a Baptist is a Bible-believing man? Luther would not do it. Is it possible for a Bible-believing person to deny that Holy Baptism is the washing of regeneration and the bread which we bless in the Lord's Supper the body of Christ? What kind of faith in the Bible is it that can deny these things? And even though the theologians, when they teach concerning the Scripture in the same manner as the orthodox Reformed do, in spirit accompany this teaching with the whole Lutheran doctrine or presuppose this doctrine, the simple Missouri Synod Christian who reads the books of the Fundamentalists and the devotional literature that is based upon them will not even notice the difference. It will not be long before they will find as much edification in a radio sermon which is substantially Baptist as the Southern Baptists experience listening to The Lutheran Hour. Sasse, Herman (2014-01-03). Letters to Lutheran Pastors - Volume 2 (Kindle Locations 769-788). Concordia Publishing House. Kindle Edition
September 12, 2014 from 9 am - 3 pm at Bethlehem 300 Broadway Dr. Sun Prairie
September 13, 2014 from 9 am - 3 pm at SWD office 8100 W. Capitol Dr. Milwaukee
Concordia Plan services and the South Wisconsin District are hosting two 1-day workshops for professional workers and their spouses to help them understand the process and importance of planning for retirement. There is no cost for you to attend a workshop. The district will be providing morning refreshments and lunch. Advance registration is needed to make sure you have the materials and a seat, so please register with the district office, Karen, no later than Monday August 22, 2014. We will need your name, spouses name if attending, an email address and phone number. Please make sure that all benefit-eligible workers at your church or school are aware of this workshop!
See Workshop Flyer