The September 8, 2017 Board of Directors' meeting began with a devotion taken from Psalm 73:1: ""Surely God is good to Israel; to those who are pure in heart." (v. 1) Loneliness is not so bad when it alerts the Christian that he can't do it all by himself. Psalm 73 here speaks of God's gracious actions for loneliness. We Christians may find that "it's lonely at the bottom," but God is still with us, as Jesus went to the bottom Himself to bring us forgiveness and raise us up.

The Board heard reports and made decisions to further God's Kingdom in the Ohio District.

District Personnel
1. Pastor Kevin Wilson and Mrs. Karen Dutton are now certified trainers to guide District congregations through "Re:vitalization," the new Synodical program for congregational revitalization
2. Rev. Kevin Guynn and members of the District Personnel Committee have developed survey questions concerning the performance of the District President as well as the Executive staff for evaluation purposes. The Committee will present this survey at both the Pastors' and the Teachers' conference to receive their comments and suggestions.

District Finances
1. Despite the decline in mission support, the cash position continues to be positive with 4.8 months of non-discretionary spending in available cash.
2. The Synodiccal Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) checking account transferred the $1,414,661.70 to the Ohio District checking account. The Board approved a resolution stating that an investment account would be established through Thrvient Financial for these funds.
3. The Board suggested that the District should take a tithe (10%) from the LCEF money and give this portion to the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and possibly to Lutheran World Relief in view of all the recent hurricanes. The Board also suggested that the remaining portion be invested in Thrivent or such other investment services company and the District would utilize the interest for congregational projects; however, if the right opportunity for a new mission or ministry should arise, the District staff could bring it up to the Board to consider using the principal for mission purposes. Thus, this investment would be flexible for District missions. The merger between the Ohio District Lutheran Church Extension Fund and the LCEF will be complete once the District has sold its portion of the Ohio State mission in Columbus, OH.
4. The District received extra money from a real estate tax refund of $44,965.66 from a former congregation.
5. Immanuel Lutheran Church, Youngstown, Ohio, was dissolved and its building sold to another church for $150,000. The Board decided that this fund should be designated as a Board-designated fund, and should be released to the Executive District Staff for the next three years to revitalize congregations and to deal with possible dissolutions.
6. Victory Lutheran, Youngstown, OH also voted to dissolve. St. Mark, Boardman is interested in keeping the food and clothing ministry operating. The property was deeded to the LCEF.

District Congregations
1. Several congregation have experienced growth, including St. Matthew, Huber Heights, OH St Mark, Broadman,, OH and Redeemer, Austintown, OH.
2. President Cripe has received several inquiries from congregations about affiliation with the Ohio District. One, in the Strongsville/North Royalton area, is an independent Lutheran congregation, while the other two, in the northwest region, have left or are leaving the ELCA.
3. Now that the District has joined the LCEF, it now has gained knowledge of their congregation evaluations which will be applied to congregations.
4. The District now provides 3-year ministry grant to help revitalize congregations. Pastors and congregations will find more information about this grant at the District website.

Upcoming Events
1. Preparatory steps are underway for the 2018 Ohio District convention to be held at Concordia University, Ann Arbor, June 28-29, 2018. The theme for our convention is "Immeasurably More," taken from Ephesians 3:20.
2. The Board is considering how to develop more effective communication between itself and District pastors and congregations. A committee is considering several possibilities.

Next Board meeting:  December 1, 2017 at the LCMS District Office, Olmsted Falls, OH