Moving Forward in 2016

Moving Forward in 2016

Dear Pastor, LMSG Liaisons and Your Congregation,

Happy New Year from your Lutheran Military Support Group, “LMSG” and our WELS National Chaplain, Pastor Paul Ziemer. It would be greatly appreciated If you could post or include this letter in your upcoming bulletin.

2015 was LMSG’s first year of existence- it was a year spent dealing with organizational issues and gearing up to be fully operational by January 2016.

January 1, 2016, I assumed the office of LMSG President. I accept this responsibility with a deep sense of obligation to the men and women in uniform, and veterans and their families that the LMSG mission is prepared to serve.

Past President Phil Mowry did all the heavy lifting in 2015 as he oversaw the many organizational hurdles in order to have a strong foundation to build LMSG going forward. He prepared all our business documents, by-laws, incorporation- 501 c non-profit, developed a clear mission statement and made sure everything lined up with our Synod’s doctrine and policies. Phil will continue to serve on our board as Judge Advocate and Legal Advisor. “Please review President Mowry’s early statement by clicking on President’s Report under the title of this message”. Phil, the LMSG board Thanks You for a job Well Done!

LMSG officially stood up on May 1st, 2015. Although most of our time was spent on organizational matters, we did not sit on our hands. Here’s a snapshot of other activities and accomplishments in 2015.

  • Elected LMSG officers and selected Board members
  • Built the official LMSG website: www.lutheranmilitary.org “take a look”
  • Developed our “Shoulder to Shoulder” logo
  • Began free LMSG counseling for PTSD
  • Recruited 81 charter Congregations as members from both WELS and ELS
  • Have over 81 Liaison Officers serving member congregations

At our final 2015 Board meeting on Dec 19, the LMSG Board approved the following grants:

  • $1,500 to the National Chaplain’s office, part of which was used to fly Pastor Gumn from Hawaii to Okinawa for Christmas services for our military families stationed there.
  • $1,000 to the new WELS congregation, Redemption Lutheran pastored by Aaron Goetzinger in Watertown, New York. This congregation just purchased an existing building and is located very close to Camp Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division.
  • $5,000 to the WELS Military service committee to help sponsor the Military Contact Pastors working conference to be held in the fall of 2016 in San Antonio Texas.

A Look-Ahead. With our Lords help and Blessing, and your prayers and support, LMSG hopes to accomplish the following in 2016:

  • Grow membership to 200+ congregations.
  • Have an LMSG liaison attend each district conference to update the pastors about the LMSG mission.
  • Plan and Organize a Veterans appreciation day throughout the WELS and ELS Synod’s.
  • Partner with the Blue Star Mothers “National Organization started in 1942” to provide care packages for all our WELS and ELS active duty military who are deployed on remote tours, or in combat zones.
  • Complete a Synod-wide census as to the number of Active Duty personnel who are members of our congregations. We currently believe there are somewhere between 1500 to 4500. In other words, we have no idea!
  • Oversee and plan our two main fundraising activities for Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

In Closing, please pray and support the LMSG cause so that we can all Stand “Shoulder to Shoulder” with the men and women who pay the price for our right to worship our Lord and Savior and enjoy the many blessings of this great country.

Semper Fidelis
In his Service,

John Stedman
President, LMSG
Lutheran Military Support Group, Inc.