Featured Circuit November 2011




Las Vegas Circuit

Circuit Pastor:

Donald Pieper (pierpersnv@gmail.com)

FC.2011.11Las Vegas Circuit

As you will see from the schedule imbedded with the agenda below, the Las Vegas Circuit meets every month for study or fellowship from September through May (except for the month in which Easter falls). Here is the agenda from the circuit’s November meeting. It also includes their meeting schedule for the year as well as potential study topics suggested by members of the circuit.

Sample Agenda

Las Vegas Circuit Agenda
Green Valley Evangelical Lutheran Church
7 November 2011

I. Opening Devotion and Prayer

II. Study Issues

A. Text Study: Allen Schroeder

B. Topics

1. Ordained for Life Growth Resource Packet—(Pieper) In anticipation of sharing personal life growth goals in our January Circuit Meeting, we walk through the “You Were Ordained for a Life of Growth: Resource Packet”

2. Report from…This particular study presented a report from an ad hoc committee within the circuit dealing with a particular pastoral issue within their district.

III. Action Items

A. Christmas Party (at Kruschel’s, 12/2)

B. Golf Tournament (Guse)—more for fellowship @$65

IV. Retrospective

A. LWMS Golden West Circuit Rally, October 8, Green Valley

B. Softball Tournament (Guse)

C. MLC Alumni Picnic

D. AZ-CA Pastors’ Conference, October 18-20, Water of Life

E. Guse Farewell F. Other Items

V. Forward

A. 2010-2011 Calendar (Meetings and Parties Only!)

    • November 7 Circuit Meeting, Mount Olive
    • December 2, Christmas Party (Kruschel)—at the Kruschel’s
    • January 9 Circuit Meeting, Green Valley
    • January 30-31 California State Pastors’ Conference, Shepherd of the Mountains-Reno
    • February 2-3, Black Canyon Delegate Conference, Grace—Casa Grande
    • February 13, Circuit Meeting at Water of Life
    • February 22 Ash Wednesday
    • March 12 Circuit Meeting at Shepherd of the Hills
    • (April 8 Easter Sunday)
    • May 3-4, Arizona State Pastors’ Conference, El Paso
    • ________, Golf Tournament (Guse)—Place, Time TBA
    • May 27, Memorial Day Circuit Party
    • June 11-13, AZ-CA District Convention, Place TBA

B. Lent

C. Singles’ Group

D. Ministerium Continuing Education

1. Grow in Grace: Institute for Pastoral Growth

2. Choose Your New Topics for 2011-2012 Year

Exegetical: Who is the “one who handed me over to you,” of John 19.11 and why is he guilty of a greater sin? Aaron Strong What is the Armageddon of Revelation 16.16 and Revelation 20.7-10? When did Jesus do away with the Old Covenant? (Mark 7.19, Colossians 2.14, Luke 19.45-46) Raised to Life for Our Justification (Romans 4.25) men de in Ephesians 4.11-12 and the Controversy over the Public Ministry Between LC-MS and WELS Why Don’t They See What We See? (An Examination of Messianic Prophecies through the Tanakh) Don Pieper

Isogogical: 1446 BC: A Year Spoken Against. An Examination and Refutation of Objections to the “High” Dating of the Exodus Mathew Pfeifer In the Steps of Jesus: A Geographical Survey of the Journeys of Jesus Worship: Mining the new LCMS and ELCA Hymnals for Useable Hymns Invigorating Church Choirs

Dogmatics: The New Hermeneutic in the LC-MS and How It Will Destroy Exegesis as surely as Demythologizing Destroyed It in the constituent ELCA Church Bodies Understanding the Argument Against Universal Justification

Confessions: Why Expressions of “The Right” Are Wrong for the WELS (Augsburg Confession XXVIII.1-29: Of Ecclesiastical Power)

Church History: The Continuing and Corrupting Nature of Power and the Head that Was Slain, Yet Healed (Revelation 13)


    • Disciplining POSSLQs
    • Keeping Stewardship Gospel-Centered When the Wolves Are At the Door Allen Schroeder
    • Teaching Purity in Human Sexuality
    • Child Abuse Guidelines
    • My Brother’s Keeper—The 8th Commandment and Our Relations in the Ministerium
    • Providing Annual Statistics in light of Matthew 17.24-27
    • Why doesn’t the WELS Route Relief Money through the Lutheran World Relief Fund any more?
    • Why keep the name Lutheran?
    • Modern Day False Teachers: An Examination of Rick Warren’s Law-Driven Life
    • “He Isn’t Like His Older Sister”: How to Appreciate Each Confirmation Student for Who They Are
    • Thoughts on an Exit Strategy: Deuteronomy 27,12-23 (The Retiring Founding Pastor)
    • Thoughts on an Exit Strategy: Deuteronomy 27.12-23 (When Is It Time to Go?)
    • Seeing Life through the Eyes of Faith (Against the Skeptics)
    • Seeing Life through the Light of Reason (Against the Schwaermer)
    • The Hospice Visit: (Panel Discussion?)
    • Of All the Fields of Inquiry, Why Is Religion the Only Field Where Bad Ideas are Permitted to Thrive—When Will Itching Ears Be Scratched Enough? (2 Timothy 4.3-5)
    • Star Power: How Unsearchable Motives, Not Methods or Doctrine, Can Tear the WELS Apart

3. Assignments C. January Assignment – Each of us is to have completed their Ministry Growth Plan and will be able to present it to the brothers for encouragement and feedback. If you do not wish to participate in this format, please do not come to the meeting. Speak to me privately as to what you are doing for personal growth in the ordained ministry.

VI. Congregational Reports

VII. Adjournment with Lord’s Prayer

IX. Lunch!

There are several items about the agenda and study plan of the Las Vegas Circuit worth noting:

  • At each of the study meetings, after their opening devotion and prayer, one of the pastors in the circuit serves in rotation to present a text study on a lesson from the pericope that will be used in worship within the next month. They spend about thirty minutes working through that text study.
  • At each of their study meetings they follow that text study with two pastors presenting topics chosen from the list you will find later in the agenda (“Ministerium Continuing Education”). Each of these two studies also has thirty minutes set aside for presentation and/or discussion.
  • The circuit works hard to encourage each pastor to assist in building that list (“Ministerium Continuing Education”) across a broad range of theological topics. You will notice that they have slightly expanded the list from the traditional four areas of theological study by separating out study of the Confessions and Worship.
  • The title “Ministerium Continuing Education” was chosen by this circuit to mark this as different from the more “formal” aspects of continuing education that are available, for instance, through our seminary’s continuing education program. The goal of “Ministerium Continuing Education” was to express the conviction that some of the best growth for pastors takes place when circuits work together to study topics that fit the pastoral concerns and unique gifts of the brothers in the circuit. The goal is to use the two study topics on each agenda to help every pastor in the circuit to keep growing as he delves into issues that have a special impact on his ministry or that reflect a gift/interest he has in a particular area of theology. When the text study is factored in, that allows three different pastors from the circuit to be involved in presenting during each circuit study meeting. That certainly keeps the opportunities to grow spread out among the whole circuit.

Here are two suggestions for circuits that would consider adopting/adapting larger or smaller portions of the plans of the Las Vegas Circuit:

  • One additional type of study that could be included under “Ministerial Continuing Education” would be to have the pastors in the circuit suggest current and classic books in the various areas of theology that the circuit could study together. Since the meetings end already by lunch, perhaps the addition of a discussion of a portion of a book could be taken up as a “post-lunch” agenda item. Or perhaps study of a book could, at some meetings, replace one of the two study topics.
  • While there appears to be at present a healthy balance of “study” and “circuit business,” there are three major sections of “business” items on the agenda (Action Items, Retrospective, Congregational Reports). The challenge would be to keep those business items brief so that they don’t begin to intrude upon the study time. Wisely, the study time has been given the “top billing” on the agenda.