Almost one year ago, I was installed as president of the Texas District. What a joy and honor it has been to see congregations, schools, and ministries around Texas sharing the Good News of Jesus, to meet outstanding servant-leaders who care deeply about God’s precious people and their communities, and to serve with dedicated staff and volunteers who help make the partnership we call the Texas District a vibrant, servant-hearted, mission-focused endeavor!
Sometimes people ask me, “How are things at the district office?”
While it’s true that the Texas District has an office building in Austin, I see the district “office” as something much bigger. In fact, history backs up this assessment.
For the first 50-plus years of the Texas District, the office moved to where the district president was serving as pastor. St. Paul Lutheran Church, Thorndale, was the first location of the district office, during Rev. Adolf Kramer’s presidency (1906-09). Successive presidents brought the district office to Trinity, Houston; Holy Trinity, Fedor; Trinity, Riesel; St. Paul, Wichita Falls; St. Paul, San Antonio; and Trinity, Corpus Christi, before it landed at St. Paul, Austin in 1959.
The Texas District office was always on the move! Jesus was, too. Our Savior was always “going” (the Greek verb poreuomai) — going to visit towns, heal, raise the dead, to the cross. After His resurrection, He sent us to do the same (Matt. 28:18-20). That’s why the people of the Texas District have always focused on reaching new people, new cultures and new communities. By God’s grace, following Jesus’ steps, the people of the Texas District have always made sharing the Gospel, developing servant-leaders and starting new faith communities priority number one.
And that’s what we still do. We’re on the move. The Texas District is a partnership of congregations that confess the name above all names — Jesus Christ — and work together to share this saving name with people we would never be able to reach on our own. So, together, we contribute offerings in order to deploy more than 100 missionaries around Texas. Together, we walk with schools and congregations that become rooted in communities with an enduring witness to our Triune God. Together, we pool resources to help build churches through the Texas Church Extension Fund. Together, we give bequests that have lasting mission impact through Legacy Deo. Together, we rejoice in the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus and we share that precious gift.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement throughout this first year of my service as your district president. Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel throughout Texas!
By Rev. Michael Newman
President, LCMS Texas District
Questions for reflection:
Read Is. 4:32-37
▶ How is this paradigm of giving from the early church replicated in your life, in your congregation, and in our district?
Read Acts 8:26-39
▶ Philip the Evangelist was directed by God to go. How do Philip’s actions in these verses inform your mission as a follower of Jesus and your mission as His church?
Prayer starter: Read Matt.28:18-20
Thank Jesus for saving you and sending you. Pray for someone you know who needs the Gospel.