“The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”  — Rom. 13:12

As we make our way along God’s path through this Advent season, we catch glimpses of the light of our heavenly home. 

These hints come to us as a favorite hymn. They also come as a renewed awareness of the forgiveness and peace God offers through worship. They especially come as that wonderful taste of the Heavenly feast when we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

These glimpses thrill our hearts and remind us of the wonderful place waiting for us. The candles on the Advent wreath remind us to prepare for the day that is rapidly approaching. Paul reminds us of this same fact in the Romans passage.

Like a beautifully lit house at Christmas time, Jesus shatters the darkness and fills us with the warmth of His glorious light. He is the Light of the World, who came into the darkness and vanquished it through His suffering, death and resurrection. In our...

November 14, 2019

A new exhibit at the Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) museum chronicles the history of LCMS mission work in India. The exhibit, “The Mercy of Christ Freely Given: The First Twenty-Seven Years of Missouri Synod Mission Work in South India,” opened to the public on Aug. 16. It highlights the people and events that led up to the commissioning and sending of the first LCMS missionary to India in 1894 and the ordination of the first native Indian pastor in 1921.

The exhibit is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Feb. 26, 2021. It includes many photographs from CHI’s extensive online photo collection of the Missouri Evangelical Lutheran India Mission (MELIM) and features the stories of six men and women who were involved in Lutheran mission work in South India: Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg, Eduard Baierlein, C.M. Zorn, Theodor Naether, Louise Ellermann and G. Jesudason.

These six are also included in CHI’s “Faces of Lutheran Mission in India” bulletin insert and handout series (in English...

November 13, 2019

You and I are making history, says the latest Adult Lutherans Organized for Action (ALOA) newsletter. Each time we send a text or open an email, we are setting new standards for the use of technology. In just the past 10 years, the time older Americans (age 60 and over) spend on screens each day has risen by almost half an hour. That seems even more remarkable when we consider that screen time among younger people has remained steady. Actually, according to the data released in June from the Pew Research Center Fact Tank (, those of us in our 60s, 70s and 80s spend more than half of our leisure time in front of screens. While we might not be suffering from screen addiction, finding a healthy balance with technology is important to our aging brain.

  • GPS-guided driving reduces the number of wrong turns, but brain activity spikes when we plan a route to a new location.

  • Using speed dial is quick, but face-to-face communication slows cognitive decli...

November 12, 2019

Pray, praise and give thanks! We have so much to be thankful for. Our Lord provides for all that we need and enriches our lives daily. In response to His many blessings, the Southern Illinois District LWML is the recipient of mite collections from ladies, societies and other groups throughout the district. These are then disbursed to support mission grants adopted in our district and nationally to help spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to all nations.

The Southern Illinois District LWML is gearing up for its next district convention to be held in September 2020. A large highlight of the convention has always been to hear from past mission grant recipients and to vote on mission grants for the upcoming biennium. The district LWML is accepting applications for mission grants to be funded during the 2020-22 biennium. All applications for mission grant requests should include a cover sheet and separate attachments with the following information:

▶ Brief description of the project

▶ Identif...

November 11, 2019

Recently, I had the honor to present the National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA) certificate to staff at Zion, Bethalto; St. Paul, Hamel; and Trinity, Hoyleton. St. Paul also received accreditation from the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education.

These schools, recognized for their quality programs of Christian education — as evidenced by its thorough self-study and acknowledged by an NLSA visiting team — are granted accreditation from September 2019 through August 2024.

What does “accredited” mean? It means that these schools are dedicated to teaching Christian values consistent with the LCMS and are committed to educational excellence. It means that the school leadership and staff are committed to continuous improvement and have a school action plan to guide that process.

The National Lutheran School Accreditation is a process to improve educational quality, make necessary changes, provide for staff development and make a difference in the lives of students and families. The...

Soon we look forward to our Thanksgiving celebrations with family and friends.

However, how often do we realize all God’s blessings in our lives? Here we will focus on how much we get from our Lord. Every day is a day of thanksgiving! As we look back on previous days, we realize God’s presence and His active work in every moment and situation of our life, even though sometimes our circumstances are extremely difficult. No matter what we are facing, there is always something good for which we can be thankful.

Heb. 13:5 says:

“Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will
never leave you nor forsake you.’ ”

Some people may say:

  • “I am really content with what I have until I start looking through some advertising.”

  • “I like my car, until I see the latest model.”

  • “I am satisfied with my clothes, until I go to the mall.”

  • “I love my home, until I see a friend’s new home.”

  • “I am satisfied with every area of my life, un...

 One very important decision for you to make when creating an estate plan is to decide who would be the guardian of your children.

When you write your first will, it is very possible that you still have children at home. While you may not have 11 children and face the challenge that confronted Shelly and Pat, this is still a very crucial and important decision.

Your guardian will raise the children, teach them values, select the schools they attend and perform the functions of a parent. If you do not have a guardian selected in a will, a court may select a person. That person may not share your cultural background, your religion, your general worldview or any other character aspects that you think are important for the person who raises your children. By selecting a guardian and an alternate in your will, you have a much better prospect of finding someone that you think is the right person to raise your children.

Two parents

If there are two parents, normally the survivor will be selected...

September 17, 2019

Making Disciples for Life (MDFL), a new initiative of the LCMS Office of National Mission (ONM), will assist God’s people as they witness to Christ and His eternal gifts.

Working alongside the districts and congregations of the Synod, the ONM will provide resources, training and opportunities for congregations to connect across the Synod in Witness, Mercy, Life Together® — in Christ, for the world.

“Making Disciples for Life … will put field-tested, theologically solid resources at the fingertips of God’s people 24 hours a day,” said ONM Executive Director Rev. Robert Zagore. “What’s more, this initiative is designed to grow when we work together as a Synod.”

The initiative is rooted in Jesus’ words in Matthew 28: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19–20).

The ministries of th...

September 16, 2019

The Prayerfully Consider Visit invites men and women of all ages to explore the pastoral and diaconal training happening at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), Ind., and gives a time for contemplation on the vocations of pastor and deaconess. The event will be held Oct. 10-12.

The visit offers prospective students an occasion to explore the campus, engage the students and faculty, experience the rich fellowship and worship, and consider the vocation of pastor or deaconess.

During this three-day visit, prospective students gather as a group to gain a richer and fuller picture of life as a seminary student and to investigate the options available to them at CTSFW.

For more information and to register, visit

Contemplate is an event for college-age or older potential students, providing an opportunity to learn more about life in the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, community and the preparation that leads to service as a pastor,...

September 15, 2019

The Southern Illinois District LWML is gearing up for its next district convention, to be held in September 2020. That sounds like a long time from now, but there is much preparation needed in making the event go smoothly.

A large highlight of the convention has always been to hear from past mission grant recipients and to vote on mission grants for the upcoming biennium.

The district LWML is accepting applications for mission grants to be funded during the 2020-22 biennium. All applications for mission grant requests should include a cover sheet and separate attachments with the following information:

  • Brief description of the project

  • Identification of the need

  • The mission focus of the project

  • How the money will be used

  • Is it current and ready for implementation?

  • The organization or person(s) responsible for the project

  • Two to six pictures (in jpg format)

Application forms for mission grant requests will be available at after Sept. 1. The fo...

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Fax: 618.234.4830