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"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Volume III, Issue 31
August 23, 2018

Encourage Newsletter
Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan

By Him, Through Him and In Him Are Everything

“[Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:15-20  

Many consider the first digital computer, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator), invented by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvania between 1943 and 1946.  It weighed nearly tons and took up 1800 sq. ft. of space.  Now anyone walking down the street has far greater power in their hands as they punch away on their smart phone.  So much power in one little device.  

In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he exuberantly describes the sheer power and force of God that is contained in Christ Jesus, our Lord.  In human flesh dwells all the fullness of God.  In this one man, all things were created through Him.  All things, in heaven and on earth, are held together in Him.  In the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger and in the man stripped of everything and hanging on the cross is the means through which the Father reconciled all things unto Himself.  Through Him, God wrapped in human flesh, God has made peace through His cross with His wayward children. 

When Sunday School teachers opens up the Scriptures, they hold something in their hands far more powerful than any phone or computer.  As parents lead their children in family devotions, they are filling them with the One, by whom all things were made.  When the seminary student preaches his first sermon, he proclaims the One in whom all things hold together.  As the child in a Lutheran school goes home and explains what they have learned in religion class, they are speaking about the one who is preeminent over everything.  Whether at worship or in our witness, we have Christ in our hearts and on our lips.  This cosmic Christ, in whom all the fullness of God dwells, dwells with you through His Word and the faith kindled in your heart.  This certainty gives us both comfort and boldness because we trust that if God has accomplished all the things that Paul describes in Colossians 1, then He will accomplish what He intends when we read, mark, learn, inwardly digest and boldly confess Christ the Word made flesh, in our daily lives.  May God grant you this comfort and boldness by, through and in Christ! 

Prayer – Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, may Your Word take root within me and bring forth the fruits of faith that I might love and serve my neighbors and bear witness to Christ in my daily vocation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen. 

Fraternally in Christ,

President Lee Hagan

Events and Information

Third Annual St. Louis Area Winkel
August 29

All pastors who attend St. Louis and St. Charles Winkels are invited to the St. Louis Area Winkel on Wednesday, August 29th at Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, Clayton, MO  63105.

Registration is online only:  Click here to registerWe will not be able to take registrations over the phone or by email.

There is no cost to attend the Winkel, but you must register online as space is limited. Lunch will be provided.  The deadline to register is August 20 (or when space is filled). Last year’s gathering had a waiting list, so if you register and then need to cancel, please send an email to

The Winkel provides a great opportunity for pastors from all over the city and across circuit boundaries to come together for the mutual consolation and conversation of the brethren.  

Tentative Schedule:

 8:30     Refreshments (Chapel Plaza)

 9:15      Welcome (Chapel Plaza)

 9:30     Chapel – (Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus)

10:15     Text Study (Koburg Hall)

11:15      Confessions Study (Koburg Hall)

12:00    Lunch (Koburg Hall)

12:45     Announcements

 1:00      Plenary Presentation (Koburg Hall)  “Engaging Millennials”  Rev. Mark  
               Kiessling, Director of LCMS Youth Ministry 

 1:45       Table Talk – (Koburg Hall)

 2:30      Closing

Missouri District Pastors' Conference
September 30-October 2

District Pastors will meet at Tan-Tar-A in Osage Beach on September 30 – October 2 for the Missouri District Pastors’ Conference. 

 The conference will focus on helping pastors continue to hone their homiletical skills through a preacher’s clinic format and prepare pastors for utilization of the “Preach the Word” modules from the Synod.

The Divine Service will be held at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Lake Ozark on Sunday, September 30th at 7:00 p.m. No evening program has been planned, allowing time for “mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren.”

The conference will begin on Monday morning, October 1st and conclude shortly after noon on Tuesday, October 2nd.

Click below for more information and to register.

LESA's 6th Annual "Brew in the Lou" Festival Returns to Francis Park
October 13

LESA's 6th Annual "Brew in the Lou" Festival Returns to Francis Park
October 13.

The St. Louis-based Lutheran Elementary School Association's (LESA) sixth annual “Brew in the Lou” festival will return to the Lily Pond at Francis Park, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, from 1-5 pm.

"Brew in the Lou" offers one-stop tasting of St. Louis’ best beer, wine, spirits, coffee and good eats. Last year's festival raised a record $92,000 for Lutheran schools and showcased more than 40 local and regional craft breweries, along with unlimited tastings from The Stellar Hog, Gobble Stop Smokehouse, Volpi, Dogtown Pizza, Nothing Bundt Cakes and many more. Festivities include live entertainment, arts and craft vendors, a “People’s Choice” Home Brew Competition, a "Battle of the Bratwurst" and our annual Brew Chili Contest.

Wristbands are available now at special pre-sale price of just $30 through June 30, 2018 – a $20 savings over same-day admission. On July 1, tickets will increase to $40 advance/$50 day-of-event. To purchase at the special pre-sale rate, call (314) 200-0797 by 4 pm on Friday June 29, 2018, or purchase online by midnight June 30, 2018, on the event website by clicking here. Wristband purchases include a commemorative glass.

More than 8,800 children attend LESA member Lutheran schools in the St. Louis Metro Area, making Lutheran schools the second-largest private school system in the Bi-State area. A Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, LESA represents 35 elementary and high schools and five related agencies. For more information, visit

Don’t miss this year’s “Brew in the Lou!” We hope to see you October 13 at Francis Park in the St. Louis Hills - 5399 Donovan Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63109.

Fall Junior High Retreat
October 19-21

The Missouri District Lutheran Jr High Retreat is returning this Fall on October 19-21 around the theme, “One”. Our focus this year is the Sacrament of the Altar. Our presenter & worship leader is Rev. Matthew Ryan Gonzalez, pastor at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church – The Bronx, New York. You may have seen him as a Bible Study Presenter at the 2016 National Youth Gathering.  We are excited to have him join us! Click here for complete bio and more info.

Missouri District Pastors' Wives Retreat
November 3 & November 10


Save the Date - Sr. High District Youth Gathering
November 16-18

Save the date for the Missouri District Sr. High Youth Gathering. It will be at Cross Pointe Retreat Center in Rocky Mount, Mo., November 16-18, 2018.

Watch for more information, including a registration link, coming soon.

Volunteers Needed for LEA Convocation 

The Missouri District is looking for volunteers to help out at the Lutheran Educators' Association (LEA) Convocation October 10-12 at the Americas Center in St. Louis.

Volunteers will be needed to welcome and direct participants, run errands and assist with registration and hospitality. This is the perfect opportunity for retirees, especially retired educators, so that current educators can attend events rather than serve in volunteer roles.

There are many opportunities available, so everyone is sure to find a fit for their skills, talents and desire. Whether you can be there for a few hours, half a day, or multiple days, we'd love to have your help.

If interested, please send an email with your name, phone number, email address and availability to Alan Freeman at


Plus One Participation Forms
Many congregations are turning their attention to our community outreach effort, the Plus One Initiative. Congregations are encouraged to complete a Plus One participation form and either mail it to the district office or email it to If you want additional information about Plus One or a copy of the Plus One participation form, go to

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