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
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
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
Pastor John Henry