September 2013 | Michigan District, LCMS Supplement

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The September 2013 Michigan District, LCMS supplement to The Lutheran Witness

Transcript of September 2013 | Michigan District, LCMS Supplement

  • michigandistrict.org/mit 1 michigan SEPTEMBER 2013 IN TOUCHA publication of the Michigan District of The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod The Lutheran Witness Michigan District, LCMS Supplement Table of Contents From the President Great Commission Ministry New Media Great Compassion Ministry Healthy Church Workers Annual Report Healthy Congregations Congregation News Special Recognition LWML and LLL Calls and Roster Update Calendar of Events 2013 Michigan District, LCMS, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan In Touch is published monthly by the Michigan District and inserted into The Lutheran Witness and distributed to subscribers 11 times a year. It is also available online at www.michigandistrict.org/mit. Reproduction of articles is permissible with written permission of the Michigan District Communications Department and should give credit to Michigan In Touch. References to resources and websites for further information are included in Michigan In Touch for the potential use by individuals and congregations. Resources not associated with or published by The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod or Concordia Publishing House may contain helpful programmatic information but may vary in doctrine from The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod. Please use discretion or consult your pastor on doctrinal issues. Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier, President Debby Fall, Editorial Manager Michigan District, LCMS 3773 Geddes Rd Ann Arbor, MI 48105 Official Periodical of the Michigan District of The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod September 2013, Volume 12. No. 4 ISSN: 1538-8115 michiganIN TOUCH Jenna Szpara, Art Director Seth Hinz, Web/Media Director 888.225.2111 intouch@michigandistrict.org www.michigandistrict.org 1 5 6 7 9 11 16 17 19 21 23 24 May We Never Forget by Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier Spoken about 150 years ago, the following words by one of the most respected Presidents of the United States of America recognized and exposed a current problem that continues to plague our country. (His sug- gested remedy, appointing a National Fast Day, should also be given serious consideration.) We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. (Emphasis mine) We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us ... and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with the unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness. - Abraham Lincolns proclamation appointing a National Fast Day, March 30, 1863.1 President Lincolns words are quite reminiscent of Mosess words to the children of Israel before they enter the Promised Land in Deuteronomy 8:6-20. Although I would encourage you to read the citation fully, here are some selected verses: 10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. 11 Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His com- mandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12 otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God ... 17 Otherwise, you may say in your heart, My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.18 But you shall remember continued on page 3 FROM THE PRESIDENT iStockphoto.com/adisa
  • 2 September 2013 The Church has played an integral role in shaping who you are, what you believe and how you live. Thanks to the ongoing support of your parents and theirs, it has been your guiding light. Now, you have your own family, your own career, your own hopes, dreams and goals. And today, the future of the Church has never been more important. For generations the groundwork has been laid. Now, its time for the next generation to carry on by investing in CEF financial products and help fund ministry growth locally and across Michigan. Embrace the future, enjoy competitive interest earnings and build on your Church and your faith. To learn how your investment through CEF can benefit your family and your church, call 800-242-3944 or visit us as www.mi-cef.org And light the way forward. passed the torch. This is your opportunity to carry on. Contact CEF today to learn how CEF can help with your retirement investments. Church Extension Fund Michigan District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod 3773 Geddes Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105-3098 www.mi-cef.org Offices: 800-242-3944 Interest rates anytime: 800-232-7313 This is not an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy CEF securities. The offering of CEF securities is made solely by our Offering Circular. CEF will offer and sell securities only in states where authorized Investments in CEF are not insured by the FDIC, SIPC or any other governmental agencysecurities are subject to certain risk factors as described in our Offering Circular. 800-242-3944 www.mi-cef.org WHY CEF? PROVEN investment products, measurable results DEDICATED Christian financial management since 1901 FOCUSED on funding the needs of Michigan District congregations Theyve
  • michigandistrict.org/mit 3 the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth... (NASB). These verses are a perfect passage to apply to our beloved US of A. God was telling Israel through Moses and us today NOT TO FORGET Him when they have entered the land and enjoyed its rich stores and bounty, and have had plenty to eat, and have experienced His protection and blessing. Please remember that until they entered the Promised Land, the Israelites depended on God to provide every- thing. He provided the food, the guidance, the leadership of Moses, and the moral code. God had made everything possible and He was warning the Israelites not to forget all that He had done and was still doing. But what happened? Abundant stores of food would lead to satisfaction. Satisfaction would lead to com- fort. Comfort to security, seemingly a result of their hard work. Comfort, security, and satisfaction would lead to Israel forgetting God. Forgetting God meant no longer remembering Him in their daily thoughts and the daily affairs of life. Forgetting God would lead to a disregard of His Word and His commands. Having no regard for His Word and commandments has continually led to the disintegration of nations and societies. Does this at all sound familiar? Let me be more specific and at the same time share a warning that comes from clear lessons of history. Dr. J. D. Unwin (1895-1936), a British scholar, social anthropologist, and an expert on cultures, spent seven years of his life studying the birth and death of the 86 major societies and civilizations in the world throughout history. In his landmark book, Sex and Culture, published in 1934, he shares his discovery of the same pattern of prosperity and then disintegration consistently showing up in all of them. Each society or national power fell because of one thing a breakdown of the family and morality. Whats interesting is that Unwin had no reli- gious convictions and applied no moral judgments. Here is the general track that EACH of these civili- zations followed: during the early days of each society, premarital and extramarital sexual relationships were strictly prohibited. Great creative energy was associ- ated with the inhibition of sexual expression, causing the culture to prosper. Much later in the life of the society, its people began to rebel against the strict prohibitions, demanding the freedom to release their internal passions and do whatever they wanted. As the morals weakened, the social energy abated. This resulted in the eventual decay or destruction of the civilization. When a man is devoted to one woman and one family, he is motivated to build, save, protect, plan, and prosper on their behalf. However, when his sexual interests are dispersed and generalized, his effort is invested in the gratification of sensual desires. Dr. Unwin concluded: Any human society is free either to display great energy, or to enjoy sexual free- dom; the evidence is that they cannot do both for more than one generation. Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) wrote about one of the great civilizations in history the Roman Empire. He listed five reasons for the fall of Rome in his book, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (published in 1776): 1. The decay of religionfaith fading to form and los- ing its power, resulting in moral collapse. 2. The rapid increase of divorce and breakdown of the familywhich is the basis of human society. 3. The mad craze for pleasuresports and fun became increasingly important and more and more exciting and brutal. 4. Higher and higher taxesto compensate for higher spending. 5. The building of huge armamentsfor protection from outside enemieswhen the real enemy lies within. Dr. Bill Bright (1921-2003, founder of Campus Cru- sade for Christ) once stated, The level of Americas sins today would have astounded even ancient Rome, whose own moral decay resulted in her self-destruction. Psalms 33:12 says, Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance (NIV). Well, God was at one time very important to this nation. Yet, revisionist historians continually emphasize over and over