Happy Easter 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.
The first quarter of 2016 has gone by in a whirlwind! We have had 58 more congregations join LMSG since I last wrote on January 4th of this year. We now have 139 congregational memberships on board in 10 months of operation. LMSG is well on its way to its 2016 goal of 200 churches joined by the end of the year.
The website, www.LutheranMilitary.org is being improved weekly. Many new features, such as a list of all our member churches and their liaisons is located under the “About Us” tab. This information is updated as new members join. We have also added a “News and Events” crawl across the center of the site to keep everyone up to speed as to projects, people, and LMSG participation in local events within WELS/ELS. Please see the most recent posting “In Memoriam” for Donald L. Heiliger, a warrior for God and Country. You will also notice that we are starting to feature a Service person of the month from each state. Please send in any active duty member’s information and picture from your church so they can be featured on the site. Coming shortly, you will also see a new category, Pastors Who Have Worn The Uniform, again if you know any present or retired pastor who served, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the information.
LMSG National Liaison coordinator, David Clark has done a yeoman’s job in laying out how to implement an effective liaison program at the local level. I would recommend a fire team size unit (4 or 5) veterans or interested people to form your local LMSG to work in coordination with our National office.
In March, LMSG approved the following grants:
- $5,000. To WELS Military Service Committee to support the vacancy pastor, Ken Kratz as the interim European Chaplain while a call has been made.
- $1,000. To the DryHootch Veterans support group in Madison, WI. ELS provides a pastor for spiritual weekly counseling. In last fall’s DryHootch “Stand Down”, pastors from both ELS and WELS and LMSG Board members, Opsahl and Behr helped about 100 veterans with various needs (see website).
- $500. To “God and Grub”, part of Wisconsin Lutheran Institutional Ministries. They offer one day a week ministry to homeless veterans, Life Skill classes and studies based on various parts of scripture. One on one counseling is also available.
I ask that you prayerfully consider supporting us as we hold our first Memorial Day fundraiser. Look for the “Ammo Can” in the Narthex of your church. Thank you standing “Shoulder to Shoulder” with the men and women from our congregations who have worn and those currently wearing the uniform and pay the price for the many blessings of this great country.
In His Service,