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Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) is a unique ministry-through-investment organization that offers Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod members the opportunity to invest their money, earn interest, and help build LCMS churches and schools at the same time.

LCEF - Central Region serves Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod organizations and members in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Learn more about LCEF at lcef.org.

 

Join us for an LCEF Minnesota South District Lunch & Learn!

LCEF advocates and LCMS congregation and day school leaders/members in the Minnesota South District are invited to a Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) Lunch & Learn this August. 

Enjoy a catered, complimentary lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  To see a map and get directions, click the church name below. 

See Minnesota South District ministries who have successfully partnered with LCEF. Learn how LCEF can help equip your LCMS ministry. LCEF serves LCMS ministries and rostered church workers exclusively with loans, investments, ministry support, scholarships, grants and more. Please join us!

Questions, please contact Kai Larson, LCEF District Vice President – Minnesota South at Kai.Larson@lcef.org or  952-223-2163.

REGISTER NOW

Register by Wed., August 8, 2018!

Carlson Received 2017 LCEF Minnesota South District Scholarship

 Kristen Carlson received a $1,000 LCEF scholarship award on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at her home congregation, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota. Kai Larson, LCEF District Vice President – Minnesota South,  presented the check.

Kristen Carlson received a $1,000 LCEF scholarship award on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at her home congregation, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota. Kai Larson, LCEF District Vice President – Minnesota South,  presented the check.

[Kristen] is an excellent example of what we want for the next generation of church and world leaders that are willing to serve others because of the good news of Jesus Christ,” wrote Richard Heuton, Chairman of the Board of Elders at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota.

A 2017 scholarship recipient, Kristen Carlson received her $1,000 scholarship award on Sunday, January 28, 2018, at her home congregation. Carlson plans to graduate this spring from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, majoring in communication studies, music and philosophy. She expressed gratitude for the support of her home church and Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF).

LCEF is blessed to provide annual scholarships for active, faith-filled Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod students. To read more about Kristen’s story, click here: http://lcefuppermidwest.org/news-feed/2017/5/9/kristen-carlson-awarded-final-mns-lcef-scholarship.

The 2018 LCEF district scholarships will be announced this spring. Follow our newsfeed at lcefcentral.org for announcements.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.

Kaleidoscope Fund Announced $52,000 Grant for MNS District

 MNS District Executive Assistant to the President Rev. Bob Schulze (pictured left) received the presentation check from LCEF MNS District Vice President Kai Larson at the district Board of Directors meeting on December 5, 2017, at the district office in Burnsville, Minnesota.  Photo credit:  Billy Schultz, MNS District Director of Communications and Mission Support

MNS District Executive Assistant to the President Rev. Bob Schulze (pictured left) received the presentation check from LCEF MNS District Vice President Kai Larson at the district Board of Directors meeting on December 5, 2017, at the district office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Photo credit: Billy Schultz, MNS District Director of Communications and Mission Support

A $52,000 grant for the Minnesota South (MNS) District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) was announced by the Kaleidoscope Fund, a granting program established by Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF).

Having identified a need for emergent leadership training and continued education, the district plans to offer need-based scholarships with the grant funds. These scholarships will allow church leaders to attend intensive leadership training programs to help equip them to better serve God.

MNS District Executive Assistant to the President Rev. Bob Schulze (pictured left) received the presentation check from LCEF MNS District Vice President Kai Larson at the district Board of Directors meeting on December 5, 2017, at the district office in Burnsville, Minnesota. 

"It is a pleasure to present this check to the Minnesota South District," said Larson. "These funds will be put to great use to further God's Kingdom."

In November, the Kaleidoscope Fund announced their 2017 grant recipients. The fund awarded a total of $601,000 to 11 LCMS ministries throughout the United States. Visit lcef.org to learn more about the Kaleidoscope Fund and see additional recipients.

Loving Boldly: 2017 LCEF Fall Leadership Conference

 LCEF President and CEO Rev. Bart Day speaks at the 2017 Fall Leadership Conference.

LCEF President and CEO Rev. Bart Day speaks at the 2017 Fall Leadership Conference.

Well into its third decade, the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) 2017 Fall Leadership Conference continued its tradition of presenting the Gospel-inspired results and benefits of church extension work. This year’s conference was held in New Orleans on Nov. 17-19.

Organized around their annual corporate meeting, the conference serves as an opportunity to acknowledge and applaud all that God has done through LCEF’s partnerships with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).

Every year the conference follows a theme. This year’s theme was “Love Boldly.”

In his opening remarks, LCEF Senior Vice President – Ministry Support and conference emcee Max Biesenthal noted the noble nature of “loving boldly.” In practice, he said, “we tend to love the things we like,” such as ice cream, naps, our children, sunsets and books. Instead, loving boldly challenges us to love the unlovable just as Christ has shown us.

One ministry loving boldly was Redeeming Life Maternity Home. This home for unwed mothers in Sanford, Fla., offers a safe haven for women who may not know a pro-life Christian option is available to them. Pastor Ed and Sheryl DeWitt started the ministry when their unmarried daughter learned she was pregnant and knew that abortion was not an option. Their daughter shared her situation with the congregation and asked for their support—and it was given in abundance. LCEF gave Redeeming Life the 2017 Fred E. Lietz Mission Project Award.

“I loved hearing the stories of the awardees,” Rev. Jeffery David Nickel of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Clarence, N.Y. said. “It’s encouraging to hear how God is working around us, often in small, nearly invisible ways,” through His people and investors. “It’s a testament that LCEF support makes a difference in the Church.”

For his tireless and charitable work at his congregation and in the community, Rev. Dennis Bartels received the Lietz Individual Ministry Award. Bartels is a 35-year veteran of Holy Cross in North Miami and LCEF advocate.

Florida-Georgia District President Greg Walton said the following about Bartels’ generosity: “Their school feeds 400 students both breakfast and lunch. And when Irma went through Miami and the school lost power, instead of losing all the food in their refrigerators they grilled it and gave it away.”

The awards are named in honor of Fred E. Lietz, an early church extension pioneer and LCEF’s first president.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. From left to right: Dave Dravecky; Herman Cain; Rev. Bart Day; Rev. Dr. John Nunes; Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison.

Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. From left to right: Dave Dravecky; Herman Cain; Rev. Bart Day; Rev. Dr. John Nunes; Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison.

Joy and loving boldly
Noteworthy speakers like radio talk show host and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and former San Francisco Giants baseball player Dave Dravecky advanced the 2017 conference theme in their one-of-a-kind ways.

Dravecky shared the story of losing his pitching arm to cancer and how the bold love of friends helped him navigate that dark period of his life. Cain spoke about the idea that “you cannot love boldly unless you are happy.” He then explained how to achieve that happiness: have something to do; have someone to love (starting with Jesus); and have something to hope for.
Cain’s point about happiness wasn’t lost on LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison who spoke Saturday morning. Harrison said, “If we cease caring for the least, the lost, the last, the disaster victim, the divorced, the struggling, the broken, we lose the soul of the Church. Bold love requires us to be joyful—joyfully Lutheran.”

Other speakers included LCEF President and CEO Rev. Bart Day; Executive Director of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty Greg Seltz; and Concordia College New York President Rev. Dr. John Nunes.

“Dr. Nunes’ presentation had the biggest impact on me,” said Rev. Jason Shaw of Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Jackson, Mo. “I loved his personal testimony. He removed fears that I have about changing trends in our culture and gave me hope that the best of the LCMS will survive and prayerfully thrive.”

 Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. Fall Leadership Conference attendees fill care packages for inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola during the Servant Event.

Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. Fall Leadership Conference attendees fill care packages for inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola during the Servant Event.

The Servant Event, hosted just hours before the conference officially starts on Friday, is the highlight of the weekend for many attendees. This event invites people to participate in a benevolence project. This year, care packages were filled for inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.

LCMS Northern Illinois District President Dan Gilbert, who attended the Servant Event with his wife, said, “The very positive atmosphere and the encouragement to continue faithfully in the Lord’s mission makes this one of the best LCMS events I attend, year after year.”
Saturday afternoon was dedicated to LCEF’s annual meeting, which serves as an official review of the fund and current organization objectives. LCEF Board of Directors (BOD), officers, members-at-large, former staff, district vice presidents and district voting delegates attended this two-hour gathering.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. LCEF staff members pray after filling the truck with the care packages assembled during the Servant Event.

Photo courtesy of Lee Rohlf. LCEF staff members pray after filling the truck with the care packages assembled during the Servant Event.

George Cook, international consulting director with Graystone Consulting, shared an overview of the economy, as well as an investment market presentation. LCEF President and CEO Rev. Bart Day reported on LCEF’s 2017 fiscal year performance metrics; announcement of earnings distribution to the Synod and partner districts; and core initiatives for 2018 fiscal year. 


To fill a vacant BOD seat in the West Region, members voted and elected Dale Wagner. Wagner is a retired  finance executive and sat on the LCEF Rocky Mountain District Loan Committee. To fill a vacancy in the East Central Region, members voted and elected Don Scifres. Scifres is President of SmartFile in Indianapolis and serves on the LCMS Indiana District Board of Directors. Incumbents Michael Kzirian and Mark Pieper, both up for re-election, kept their BOD seats. Additionally, a vacancy in an At-Large position was filled with the election of David Worthington by the LCMS Board of Directors at their November 2017 meeting.


Ending on a strong note
There was a general feeling that the love boldly theme energized the attendees and all the presenters connected back to it. This truth could be seen on display during Sunday’s Divine Service. 

Rev. Dr. Ulmer Marshall, first vice president of the Southern District, preached on 1 Corinthians 13:13, the conference verse. He said, “When we are dire and in despair we need to have hope, unconditional love. We need to keep reminding those who are hurting of this truth, through words and deeds, God is love.” 

He left the audience with this thought-provoking question: “Does the world know how much we love?” 

LCEF, a non-profit organization, has served as the financial extension of the LCMS since 1978, offering funding and resources to congregations, schools and Rostered Church Workers through investment support of LCMS members.

The mission of LCEF is to support the Church in fulfilling its mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ by being a Christ-centered servant partner of the LCMS, ensuring that funds and services are available now and in the future.

Kristen Carlson Awarded Final MNS LCEF Scholarship

kmc-photo.jpg

[Kristen] is an excellent example of what we want for the next generation of church and world leaders that are willing to serve others because of the good news of Jesus Christ,” wrote Richard Heuton, Chairman of the Elders at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota.

Kristen is the final 2017 Minnesota South District (MNS) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 Scholarship winner. She is a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota and is a current student at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. Kristen is majoring in communication studies, music and philosophy.

In his letter of recommendation for Kristen, Heuton described her active service at church throughout her high school years with the youth group, at Camp Omega — the Minnesota South District Christian camp — and on two mission trips. While at college, she continues to generously share her gift of music with the congregation by playing handbells and violin.

“While at Luther, Kristen has taken up many leadership roles including holding the role of Service Vice President in a service organization, Alpha Phi Omega - Mu Theta. She also sits on the Luther College Hearing Board that oversees student conduct charges, is a member of Launching Luther Leaders, and is a Resident Assistant of her dorm. She continues to excel in the area of music, primarily as a violinist, but is taking organ lessons in hopes of working for the Church later in life.

During the summer of 2016, she was a Lutheran camp counselor for middle/high school youth in remote Montana. Presently, she is traveling in Tanzania with a Luther College program that studies the effects of conservation, tourism, and missionary efforts on the native population of East Africa.

Kristen is very dedicated to all she endeavors, showing maturity, level-headedness, confidence, and humility, all while maintaining a sense of humor. She is especially strong in her faith, sees it as an identifying feature of her life, and is willing and ready to reach out and care for others,” wrote Heuton.

In a second letter of recommendation, Luther College Professor of Music, College Organist and Music Department Head Dr. Gregory Peterson wrote, “Kristen is a person of high intelligence and academic achievement. She is a student who is intellectually curious, and someone with a strong work ethic. Her interests are broad but she also goes deep.

She is a person who will make a difference in the world after she leaves Luther College, regardless of what discipline she ends up in. …Her life of faith is an important motivating factor, which she sees as transformative. Her contributions to the Church through worship, music, camping ministry and Bible study are representative of her Lutheran identity and sense of vocation.”

“As LCMS members, we must embrace faith’s transformative nature and join in God’s calling by investing into organizations such as LCEF that grow the greater Church body,” wrote Kristen in her scholarship essay. “…By taking on the same attitude that LCEF embraces, and extending the Lutheran tradition, one can continually be blessed in seeing the Gospel move beyond earthly boundaries to bring others into the truth and care of God’s love.”

LCEF is blessed to support faith-filled students like Kristen with these annual scholarship awards. Fifteen of the sixteen 2017 upper Midwest district LCEF scholarship winners have been announced. The one remaining Minnesota South District LCEF scholarship will be announced yet this week. Visit our newsfeed and Facebook page to read the scholars’ stories. The 2018 scholarship applications will be available beginning September 1, 2017.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.

Amber Billings Awarded MNS LCEF Scholarship

“Bright, genuine, intelligent and funny, Amber Billings was the first student I met this August on my first day at Rosemount High School (RHS). Her demeanor and smile drew me in, while her accomplishments and sincerity have continued to impress me,” wrote RHS Counselor Carol Grzybowski.

Amber is the third of four 2017 Minnesota South District (MNS) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 Scholarship winners. She is a member of Messiah Lutheran Church, Lakeville, Minnesota and will graduate from RHS, Rosemount, Minnesota, this spring. In the fall, Amber plans to attend Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.

“Academically, Amber has an unblemished, unweighted 4.0 GPA. She has taken honors and coursework throughout high school,” continued Grzbowski. “Outside of the classroom, Amber has a full schedule. Spiritually, she is a leader in her youth group and participates weekly. In her community, Amber volunteers 12-18 hours a week as a Homework Help volunteer and at a local hospital working with infants. As a RHS band member, Amber has chosen to participate in our nationally recognized, and awarded, Marching Band. Squad Leader for the Color to Guard, she spends hundreds of hours during the summer, after school and many weekends during the and winter, competing or practicing.

…I do believe her impressive intelligence allows her to tackle more than others in her peer group. Amber is very smart - even passing the AP Biology College Board exam without taking the class. …I have no doubt that Amber will be answering to "Dr. Billings" very soon!”

In her scholarship essay, Amber wrote,

“As a member of a church who has used LCEF’s services as a way to fund renovations, I have witnessed first-hand the blessing of this wonderful program. Personally, I have been provided with opportunities to take advantage of LCEF’s services as well through the savings stamp program. This program taught me essential skills about how to save money. I still have money in an account through LCEF and plan to use this money to help pay for my college education.

After completing my college education, I plan to continue on to medical school to become a Pediatric Hospitalist. I look forward to spreading the love of Jesus Christ through my actions when I treat patients. My experiences in church youth group and on mission trips taught me that even the simplest actions as a doctor may show Jesus’ love and thus bring them to Christ.”

“Amber is not one to stand by and watch. She wants to be involved and likes to get her feet wet and her hands dirty,” wrote Messiah’s Director of Christian Education Andy Frerich. “Amber is very committed to growing in the Lord and continually trying to better herself as a person. Her involvement in church, school, and community shows a willing spirit, which Amber has.”

LCEF is blessed to support faith-filled students like Amber with these annual scholarship awards. There are additional North Wisconsin and Minnesota South Districts LCEF scholarships yet to be announced this spring. Follow our newsfeed and Facebook page for the most recent award announcements.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.

Concordia Academy’s Adam Maser Awarded MNS LCEF Scholarship

Adam Maser is the second of four 2017 Minnesota South District (MNS) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 Scholarship winners. Adam is a member of King of Kings Lutheran Church, Roseville, Minnesota and will graduate from Concordia Academy (CA), Roseville, this spring. He plans to attend Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa in the fall and pursue a degree in computer engineering.

In her letter of recommendation for Adam, CA Director of Guidance & Academics Kelly Mack wrote, 

“As a student, Adam has proven himself to be an incredibly hard worker no matter what task is in front of him. He has been able to find joy in what he does whether it is studying an Edgar Allan Poe poem or solving complex math problems.

He naturally invites others into conversation and participation and leads discussions and group work with humility and inclusion. I have seen Adam work with students of different backgrounds and abilities as him and he has not only supported others in their learning, but has done it with incredible grace.

His authenticity as a leader is also easily noted in his leadership in athletics. Despite some injuries this school year, he has continued to lead his team by encouraging his peers to participate with an eye on the big picture of how God uses all circumstances to draw us closer to Him. His character is authentic and his leadership respected because he models the faith in which he proclaims.”

“As a member of the LCMS church, I fully support the evangelical aspect of our faith, and that is what makes LCEF so appealing to me,” Adam wrote in his scholarship essay. “With every dollar that I invest, I know that LCEF is using it to affect the lives of LCMS churches and organizations everywhere, increasing the effect we have on our communities.”

In his letter of recommendation for Adam, Rev. Steven Bielenberg wrote,

“Adam commits himself to each goal he sets, whether it is his academic life at Concordia Academy, athletics (he plays football, basketball, baseball), or extra-curricular activities like the Prayer Team, Student Ambassadors, Weekly Bible Study co-leader, and the National Honor Society. Adam also works here assisting our custodian at King of Kings.”

LCEF is blessed to support faith-filled students like Adam with these annual scholarship awards. There are more North Wisconsin and Minnesota South Districts LCEF scholarships yet to be announced this spring. Follow our newsfeed and Facebook page for the most recent award announcements.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.