Dear Friends in Christ,

On Sunday, July 2, I announced that our regularly scheduled Monday evening Divine Service for July 3 would be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church in East Chicago. I would like to explain here what has happened and will be happening with this situation.

St. Paul Lutheran in East Chicago is located directly behind St. Catherine's HospitaL

Sometime in 2016, the small group of parishioners and their pastor ceased holding regular services.ed and we were able to move our family back in at the end of March 2017.

The East Chicago church is a member of the Indiana District of the LCMS, and we, as you know, are a member of the SELC District of the LCMS. This means the Indiana District has jurisdiction and responsibility toward the East Chicago Church.

Our children are in very good health and so pleased to be back home. Their Doctor is very confident that all the lead will leave their affected systems in a matter of time and there should be no long term damage. For this we are so grateful and thank God.

In May 2017, Pastor Peter Speckhard of St. Paul Lutheran in Munster (Indiana District) reached out with the Indiana District to the remaining membership of the East Chicago Church. St. Paul Munster has decided that,jor a time, it will take responsibility for the East Chicago Church. In partnership with the Indiana District, the Munster Church will provide pastoral and administrative support for East Chicago Church. They have arranged to begin holding services on Monday evening at 6:00pm.

So, the Munster Church is helping the East Chicago Church ... how does this involve us here at St. Paul, Whiting?

Despite the fact that we are not part of the Indiana District, our Whiting Church is geographically the nearest LCMS congregation. The pastors of the Munster Church have asked me if I would be willing to be a part of the rotation of preachers for the East Chicago Church's Monday evening service. I have spoken with our members who regularly attend our Monday evening service and they have told me they have no problem holding our service at the East Chicago Church occasionally.

Our Whiting Church has no administrative or financial obligation or association with the East Chicago Church. All of those matters are being handled by the Munster Church and the Indiana District. Our only connection would be an occasional church service with them.

There is, I think, good reason to consider moving forward here. In the first place, it is important to forge connections with the surrounding LCMS churches, even though we are a distinct District. Second, it is not clear at this point if the East Chicago Church will be able to remain open. If they should have to finally close, it would be good for them to know that there is another LCMS church and pastor nearby who can serve the membership.

At the time of this writing, I have agreed to do only 2 services at the East Chicago Church. The first was held on July 3rd (as announced on July 2nd). A few members of our church in Whiting attended the service in East Chicago together with members of the East Chicago Church. The second joint service will be held on Monday, July 17. I will be speaking with our Church Council before I commit to doing any more services in East Chicago, and I will keep the congregation up to ' date on what is happening on that front.

On a completely different note ... As I believe most have now come to know, Des. Dehlia DeLeon's term of ministry with us is coming to an end this month. July 9, the Sunday on which this edition of The Herald is published, is her last Sunday with us as our Deaconess, and following the service we had a farewell potluck. She will have her last Sunday at DMLC the following Sunday, July 16. Following this, she will be moving on to Grace Lutheran Church & School in S1.Petersburg, Florida, where she will serve as a Deaconess for the church and elementary school.

In early 2017, I presented at a Voters' Meeting the letter we received from the SELC District explaining why they could no longer fund Des. DeLeon's ministry here and at DMLC. I am including that letter in this edition of The Herald. This is to help answer any questions that might arise about what has happened. I am also including, for your consideration, Des. DeLeon's letter requesting a peaceful release from her call here. We will vote on this at our Voters' Meeting on July 16. Finally, please take the time to also read Des. DeLeon's own href="deaconesspage.html" title="deaconess newsletter">newsletter included in this addition of The Herald, as it is her final one.

click this link:
The Herald Newsletter

to read the entire newsletter for July.

Please keep in your prayers:
Deaconess. Dehlia DeLeon
St. Paul Lutheran Church in Whiting
St. Paul Lutheran Church in East Chicago
Dr. Martin Luther Church in Chicago
Grace Lutheran Church in Florida

In Christ,

Pastor John Henry