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Lessons from an Ol' Comfort Dog Print E-mail
Kare 9 and K-9 Teams LCC President Tim Hetzner and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and Kare 9 Military Ministry were invited by Pecatonica High School for Tim to be the speaker a their Baccalaureate Service. Tim's topic was "Lessons Learned from an Ol' Comfort Dog". Some of the golden nuggets were: "Bark Less" and "If you want what you cannot see, dig until you find it". These and 13 other golden nuggets were shared. LCC worked through Rev Terry Theiss a St John Lutheran Church in Pecatonica. LCC wishes the class of 2016 God's best.

The K-9 Ministry Team included:
Comfort Dogs:
Jonah (LCC), Adeena (St. John Lutheran, Burlington, IL)
Kare 9 Military Dogs: Britta and Spike
Handlers: Vicky Pientok, Shar & Dave Farran, Keith & Judy Stanton, Joyce & Dale Sasse, and Raleigh & Linda Showens

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 18:00
History of The Challenge Coin Print E-mail
The Challenge Coin The Challenge Coin has been an honored tradition since its origination during World War I. New flying squadrons were formed in Europe and were comprised of American volunteers from all over the country. The squad contained varying economical classes, including many wealthy Yale and Harvard men who quit college mid-term to serve in combat. A wealthy lieutenant in one of the squadrons ordered solid bronze medallions made with the squadron insignia on them, and presented the medallions to his unit. The coin was carried as a symbol of pride and camaraderie.

Shortly after the presentation of the medallions, one young pilot from the squadron was shot down, landing behind enemy lines. Captured by the Germans, he was stripped of all personal identification except the coin. The young pilot escaped, however he had no personal identification. Dressed in civilian clothing, he was able to reach the front lines where he came upon a French outpost. Unfortunately, because of the high proliferation of saboteurs masquerading as civilians, the French were suspicious of the young pilot. Having no personal identification, the pilot was sentenced to execution. Pulling out his medallion, the pilot showed the coin to his French captors. One of the men recognized the squadron insignia on the medallion and delayed execution so that the pilot could confirm his identity. Once identified, the pilot was given a bottle of wine instead of an executioner’s bullet.

The Challenge Coin Soon a tradition was born as members carried their medallion or coin with them. Whenever squad members gathered, a challenger could ask to see the medallion of the challenged. If the challenged could not produce a medallion, he was required to buy a drink for the challenger. If the challenged member could produce a medallion, the challenging member was required to pay for the drink. This tradition continued throughout the war and still lives on today.

Lutheran Church Charities Kare 9 Ministry has adopted the Coin Challenge as a means of encouragement and support for our veterans. Each LCC Squad Member carries a supply of specially made LCC coins to present to the many veterans that the Lord places in their circle of service and care. These coins have become particularly meaningful to the Vietnam Veterans due to how poorly soldiers were treated when returning from the war.

LCC staff member and Army veteran, Jim Morrison, recalls one ministry moment that was particularly moving. “There are numerous occasions when we witness first-hand the power behind this time honored tradition, but one encounter in particular moved us to tears. While visiting a WWII veteran in a Texas Veterans hospital, the very day we visited was an anniversary of remembrance for this veteran who served in 1944. He recounted marching with the 3rd Infantry Division into Rome. As he spoke, he gestured to all his medals that he had in a shadow box display on the hospital wall. When we asked him if we could pray with him, he said “Yes”, but asked if we could sing a song afterward. As our prayers ended, this treasured veteran began to sing “Amazing Grace” a capella. It was one of the most moving renditions we had ever heard. It is a moment we will always carry with us.”

The LCC Kare 9 Squad distributes approximately one thousand coins a year, each individually numbered, and each given and received with great honor. Squad members extend comfort, mercy, and compassion as they reach out to God’s people.

On the back of the coin is inscribed 2 Corinthians 1:5, “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” And comfort is what we do!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 08:03
The Glories of Ireland - July 31-August 12, 2017 Print E-mail
Dublin, Waterford, Ring of Kerry, Galway, Derry and more! Ireland trip
Dear Friends,

“I am of Ireland,
And the Holy Land of Ireland,
And time runs on,” cried she.
“Come out of charity,
Come dance with me in Ireland.”

These words of the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, speak to the hearts of all people who have wished to visit his native land. My invitation to you is one of welcome . . . to encounter the hospitality, the history, the culture of a people who have given so much to the world and who have received so much from the world.

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

I look forward to traveling with you, experiencing the glories of the Emerald Isle, with some of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Europe, the historic sites, the quaint villages and the cities. With a smaller traveling group, we will have many advantages to enjoy together as well as the benefits that go along with it. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or write.

Tim Hetzner
President Lutheran Church Charities

Click here for the Travel Brochure
Click HERE to notify us of your interest in this trip
Last Updated on Monday, 23 May 2016 12:02
Join Tim Hetzner on a Biblical Study Tour of Israel and Jordan - April 9-22, 2017 Print E-mail
Trip highlights include: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Tiberias, Caesarea-by-the-Sea, Jericho, Masada, Mt. Nebo, Bethany Beyond Jordan, Petra, Wadi Rum (Bedouin Camp), Jerash, Bethany (Four Homes of Mercy) Holy Land - Jordan trip
Dear Friends in Jesus,

Join me on this specially designed Biblical Study Journey tailored for those who want to go and walk where Jesus walked and not go inside of every church! Smell the air, see the land, feel the atmosphere where Jesus did his teaching and read the stories in their settings of where they happened. This is a Spiritual Journey. Explore the Fifth Gospel - the Land.

Through visits to the scriptural sites, enriching experiences, prayer and reflection, we will deepen our appreciation of and gain new insights into the land, its people, culture and life, as well as the political and religious milieu from our Lord's time to the present age.

Consider joining me on my 30th visit to the Middle East where I have been leading Biblical Study Journeys for the last 35 years. Space will be limited to 20 people. Please make your reservations as soon as possible - first come basis. Only those interested in studying the Bible and being on a spiritual pilgrimage should sign up.

Tim Hetzner
Founder of WORD Bible Studies
President of Lutheran Church Charities
Click here for the Travel Brochure
Click HERE to notify us of your interest in this trip
Last Updated on Friday, 13 May 2016 07:40
2016 Swedish Singers’ Concert in Elgin Print E-mail
Swedish Singers The Young Swedish Singers, a 43 member gospel singing group from Hasslehom, Skane, Sweden, will appear in concert at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Elgin, IL on June 26 at 6:00 p.m. The group’s tour includes stops in Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kansas, June 16 – July 3, 2016.

The concert is being supported by the members and families of Good Shepherd and St. John Lutheran churches of Elgin.

This youth choir, founded by Director Birgitta Rosland in 1991, comes from a very musical Lutheran church in the far south of Sweden. Choir members range in age from teenagers to young adults in their early 20’s. This is their sixth US tour in fourteen years.

The Young Swedish Singers’ concert, sung mostly in English, will include gospel, hymns, and Swedishfolk music. The choir is directed by Birgitta Rosland and assisted by her husband Connie Rosland. The choir will be hosted by approximately 300 families during their 2 ½ week tour.

The choir will perform at sixteen churches and two Swedish festivals while they are here. This is the choir’s second visit to Good Shepherd, Elgin.

Choir members have raised funds to cover not only their airfare to the US, but their bus transportation for the entire tour. All offering and CD income received during the tour will benefit Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat, a non-profit ministry providing counseling retreats for pastors and their spouses.

CLICK HERE for a sneak peak of one of their songs on the Good Shepherd website.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 09:51
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