The new Lutheran Family Ministry Network had signed up more than 30 charter members as this Reporter went to press. A story in the February Reporter announced its formation.
“As I read about what it offered, I realized the network would be in line with the things I need to be doing,” said Rev. James Rodriguez Jr., assistant pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Seymour, Ind.
Rodriguez is the first LFMN member to take up the network’s offer of free Marriage Enrichment Experiences (MEE) for member congregations that would cover only the facilitators’ travel expenses.
Rodriguez is planning an MEE weekend at Immanuel for July 17-18, for which Rev. Jeffery Schubert, director of LCMS District and Congregational Services — Family Ministry, and his wife, Judy, are scheduled to be facilitators.
While Jeffery Schubert is in Seymour, Rodriguez said he plans to talk with him “about what we’re doing and give us some guidance about where we should be moving in family ministry.”
Leslie Schnake, who holds the first full-time minister of family life position with St. Paul Lutheran Church, Boca Raton, Fla., said she had just received her packet of membership materials in early March.
“There is a huge need to help families in our congregation,” Shake told Reporter.
“I think membership in the Lutheran Family Ministry Network will be a perfect way for me to learn how to help our families and to see what other congregations are doing for their families,” she said.
Immanuel, Seymour, has about 3,200 baptized members, and St. Paul, Boca Raton, counts at least 1,000 worshipers each weekend. Schubert describes the LFMN as “an organization of Lutheran family-ministry practitioners who are convinced that ministry to the home is essential for the continued health of our churches, schools and our Synod itself.”
With the annual network membership fee of $325, he said that members help support the work of the ministry and receive the following benefits in addition to the Marriage Enrichment Experience retreats:
- a credentials kit with a membership certificate, card, logo pin and outline of all the benefits;
- networking opportunities that include video conferencing, electronic chat rooms, national conferences and a directory of all other LFMN members;
- an electronic bulletin to keep members informed about research, products, statistics, trends and news;
- free access to family-ministry resources on the DCS — Family Ministry Web site, available only to network members;
- on-site consultation and strategic-planning services; and
- discounts on resources and offers from a variety of organizations and vendors.
For an LFMN application or for more information, contact Schubert or Susan Musler at DCS — Family Ministry, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7295; (800) 248-1930, Ext. 1716; or go to the Web site: www.lcms.org/family.
Posted March 26, 2004