Passionate Believers....Confessing Christ
Changing Life
October is Pastor Appreciation Month!

October 2015
Dear friends and members of SWD:

Gifts. Everyone likes to receive a gift. A brightly colored package under a decorated evergreen in the family room. A parcel that is delivered to your door in celebration of your birthday. A gift with a bow that someone shares with you perhaps just to brighten your day. Gifts are fun, both to give and to receive. Gifts are expressions of love and friendship. Gifts bring smile, an expression of thanks, perhaps a hug and even a tear of happiness.
            Gifts are very much a part of our life with God. God is a giver. God is the ultimate gifter. Think of our Lord's words in John 3: "God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believers in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
            Our Lord has a well established pattern of giving. He is the God of grace.
  • Consider our Lord's words in His Sermon on the Mount: "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11
  • Consider our Lord's words to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well: "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." John 4:10
  • Paul writes to these Ephesians, "By grace you have been saved through faith. It is a gift of God, not by works so that no man may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
  • St. James writes: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights." James 1:17
Our Lord is always blessings His people. He is amazingly generous is all that he does for us. This month of October we remember and we celebrate one of our Lord's many gifts to His church, namely the pastors who serve us with Word and Sacrament.
In Ephesians 4 St. Paul takes us back to our Lord Jesus' ascension into heaven. It wasn't merely Jesus leaving this world. The ascended Lord Jesus showers rich and generous gifts upon His church. St. Paul writes,
He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Ephesians 4:10-14
Being a "pastor" is more than merely a title. Being a pastor is the highest calling in the church. Pastors are gifts given by our Lord Jesus to His church. Pastors share our Lord's gifts of Word and Sacrament, equipping God's people so that you might serve Him together. Pastors proclaim Law and Gospel. Pastors administer the Sacraments according to Christ's institution. Pastors visit families. Pastors visit the sick and the shut-in. Pastors counsel those with troubled hearts applying the soothing salve of the Gospel. Pastors baptize babies and bury the dead. Pastors are a great blessing for the church, a great blessing for our lives and our families.
October is pastor appreciation month. Please take the opportunity to express your gratitude to your pastor for all that he is and for all that he does for you as a servant of Christ, and as a minister or servant in the church. God uses pastors to bless us!! I thank my Savior for each of them!!

Serving our Lord Jesus and His Bride, the church

Rev. Dr. John C. Wille 
President SWD
Every One His Witness:

Equipping individual believers to be more effective witnesses

of Jesus in their everyday lives.

Rev. Mark Wood, Director of Witness & Outreach Ministry/Revitalization Office of National Mission-LCMS, presents this brand-new workshop for the South Wisconsin District on Saturday, November 14, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the District Office, 8100 W. Capitol Dr., Milwaukee, WI 5322.
The "Every One His Witness" workshop is designed to equip individual believers to be more effective witnesses of Jesus in their everyday lives. It draws on God's Word and the Lutheran Confessions to build a solid foundation for bearing witness of Jesus and provides practical resources for sharing the simple Gospel in today's complex world.

There are 5 sessions to this workshop...
1. Witnessing: What's It All About?
2. You Are a Witness - What Does This Mean?
3. Vocation and Witness
4. LASSIE: Listen, Ask, Seek, Share, Invite, Encourage
5. Going, Planting, Watering ... and Waiting Expectantly
Registration is $20/person (includes lunch). Please bring a check with you when you come.
To register, please call Peg Raabe, 414-464-8101; or

Absolute deadline for registration is Nov. 2, 2015

"No More Peek-a-boo Jesus: The Old Testament is Christ"   Prof. Jeffrey Pulse, of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, will give this fall's LCMS-U presentation at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) on Oct ober 6 at 6:30 the Todd Wehr Auditorium (connected to the Campus Center building). There will be free parking in the Milwaukee B Lot and Broadway Lot between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. (MSOE Campus map--click on map to enlarge.)
Understanding the Old Testament and its Christological foundation means first understanding the Hebrew people and their covenantal relationship with God. As a result, the task is not to "find Jesus in the OT" but rather to believe that Jesus IS the Old Testament.

Pulse's 22 years in the parish were served in St. John's Lutheran Church, Burt, Iowa and Peace Lutheran, Bremerton, Washington. He completed his Master of Sacred Theology from Concordia Theological Seminary while in the parish in 1990. Professor Pulse is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Durham, England, in the area of Old Testament, specifically, Concepts of the Afterlife in the Old Testament and Second Temple Judaism.

Dr. John Warwick Montgomery:    
Apologist and author, Dr. John Warwick Montgomery (a frequent guest on KFU  O's Issues, Etc.), will be at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon this October. While he is in the area, he would be available and willing to speak on Apologetics at your congregation. If you are interested in asking him to make a presentation sometime next month, please contact Joy Keith, 775-721-7645, to make arrangements.

  National LCMS Convention: 
The 65th Convention of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod will be held July 9-14, 2016, in Milwaukee at the Wisconsin Center.
The national convention of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod shall afford an opportunity for worship, nurture and inspiration, fellowship, and the communication of vital information. The convention is the principal legislative assemble, which amends the Constitution and Bylaws, considers and takes action on reports and overtures, and handles appropriate appeals. It establishes general positions and policies of the Synod, provides overall program direction and priorities, and conducts business in order to provide responsible service for and on behalf of its members.

If you would like to volunteer your time and talent at the synod convention click here.

For more information on the LCMS Synod Convention click here. 
2016 National Youth Gathering:

Held every 3 years, the LCMS Youth Gathering provides thousands of youth and adults the opportunity to come together as a community of God's people to learn more about Jesus Christ, the Christian faith and their Lutheran identity. During the five days of the Gathering, youth spend time together in God's word, worship, service and fellowship with others from across the synod. This event is organized by LCMS Youth Ministry in Saint Louis, Missouri.

For more information about the Gathering in 2016, visit the     Gathering website.

Last year, many individuals and congregations in the South Wisconsin District provided funds for Thanksgiving meals to families living in the central city of Milwaukee. The meal consists of a turkey and all the fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The goal every year is to fulfill the requests for the Thanksgiving baskets we receive from central city Lutheran pantries in Milwaukee, Last year 1043 baskets were delivered to the pantries, and we have the same goal of 1043 this year. Again this year we will we will partner with Brookfield Lutheran who has purchased, assembled and delivered Thanksgiving baskets int he central city for many years. Please let me know if you or your congregation would like to help or consider being a host site in the future.
This is where we need your help. You can help by praying for the mission, the individuals who are preparing, assembling and delivering, and for those who receive them. We also ask for financial help. Your generosity not only provides nourishment, it also shows the love you have for your neighbor.
Come and help me share your joy and love to others this Thanksgiving!
Rev. Peter Kelm - SWD Mission Executive  
**For additional questions or needed information, please contact, Rev. Peter Kelm at 414-464-8101 or Barb Slak 414-464-8100, ext. 13. Donations appreciated by  

Student Indebtedness:
There has been a lot of chatter, good conversation, lately about helping our seminary and commissioned workers with their student indebtedness. Some of the conversation has been good, others futile handwringing with nothing to show for it. But here's an example that something can be done; for the past several years the Racine/Kenosha circuits have banded together for a pig roast fund raiser with the proceeds dedicated to help the pastors in those circuits with their student indebtedness. The most recent pig roast was this past weekend. Here's the report that was posted on Facebook: "What a successful day! Almost 300 people attended and $14,429.27 was made to help the pastors! Thanks to all of you for your generosity and support!"

Thanks to the pastors and congregations of Racine/Kenosha for your great example to the rest of the church. Wonderful! Perhaps it is time for all of us to stop talking and do something about student indebtedness? That is not an indictment; rather a challenge.

Concordia University Wisconsin hosts a Luther Heritage Sites Germany Tour
Here is your chance to experience the life of Martin Luther during the 500 year anniversary of the Reformation along with seeing the sights of Germany. Travel with Rev. Dr. Timothy Maschke of Concordia University Wisconsin along with a local travel guide as they share their expertise in this once in lifetime experience. This ten-day trip ($3,095 including airfare) will take place Tuesday, May 17 through Thursday, May 26, 2016, with an option of a three-day extension. Attached you will find a brochure with the detailed itinerary and a registration form.  The commitment deadline is December 1, 2015 so airfare can booked. 
If you have any questions, you can email Rev. Dr. Maschke at or call him at 262-243-4252 or Tempo Travel at 414-774-1080.



The goal of this three-week emphasis is to address whole-life Christian stewardship. We first receive with gratitude the generous blessings from our Heavenly Father; then we are called to faithfully manage those blessings; and then we are to share the blessing that God has entrusted to us. Through this emphasis, your members' relationship with their Lord will be deepened, they will better understand Christian stewardship, and they will grow as stewards.  Click here to learn more!

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Our Mission:
Empowering life-changing
bold, passionate witness
of the
Jesus Christ
Vision Statement:
For Christ and for His world SWD magnifies partnerships, multiplies ministries, and maximizes resources.
Rev. Peter Kelm as he continues cancer treatments; with chemo not working they are shifting to radiation   
 Rev. Dennis Schueler recovering after several hernia surgeries and will now be starting treatments for esophageal cancer 
Cheryl Krueger and family as her husband Ken lost his battle with cancer

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He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11 ESV

Happy Fall!
Upcoming Events Around the District
  • October 12-14, 2015:  Fall Pastors Conference - Stoney Creek Conference Center, Onalaska
  • November 12-13, 2015:  North/South Teachers Conference - Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells
  • November 14, 2015:  Everyone a Witness Conference - District Office, Milwaukee
  • January 23-30, 2016:  National Lutheran Schools Week
  • January 30, 2016:  Passionate Believers Conference - Divine Redeemer Hartland ( Watch for more details!)
  • July 9-14, 2016:  Synod Convention, Milwaukee
  • July 16-20, 2016:  National Youth Gathering - New Orleans, Louisiana
Pastor Calls and Vacancies
Calling Congregations
  • Messiah - Beloit
  • First Immanuel - Cedarburg
  • Our Redeemer - Delevan
  • Risen Savior - Franklin
  • St. John - Mayville
  • Hope - Milwaukee
  • Oklahoma Ave. - Milwaukee
  • Immanual & St. Stephen - Random Lake/Batavia
  • St. Paul - Sheboygan Falls
  • Trinity & St. Thomas - Town Wilson/Waldo
  • Bethlehem - Wales
  • Our Redeemer - Wauwatosa
  • Pilgrim - Wauwatosa

Pastors Accepting a Call

  • Gregory Koepsell - Alive, Monticello, Minnesota to Good Shepherd, Oshkosh
  • David Knuth - Our Redeemer, Jaconsville, Illinois to Pella, Waupun
Contact Information

President John C. Wille
Karen Rayner