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Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) - upper midwest districts serves Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) organizations and members in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. LCEF is a unique ministry-through-investment organization that offers LCMS members the opportunity to invest their money, earn interest, and help build LCMS churches and schools at the same time. www.lcef.org

 

Abigail Luerssen Awarded Final 2017 NWD LCEF Scholarship!

“Abby is a wonderful Christian young lady and a joy to be around,” wrote Rev. David Karolus in his letter of recommendation for Abigail Luerssen.

Abby is the final 2017 North Wisconsin District (NWD) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 Scholarship winner.

A member of Peace Lutheran Church, Antigo, Wisconsin, Abby will graduate from Antigo High School (AHS) this spring. In the fall, she plans to attend Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) in Mequon, Wisconsin and become a Lutheran School teacher.

 “I have witnessed her leadership at our local high school as a student representative and also as part of the marching band,” continued Karolus. “She would be an excellent Lutheran School teacher. You can tell that Abby enjoys life, she looks at things in a positive way and lives out her faith on a daily basis, making an impact for Christ on those around her. She is a person of high Christian character and values. I'm looking forward to seeing what plans God has for Abby as she pursues her dreams and calling as a child of God.”

Pastor Karolus also wrote about Abby’s participation and leadership as a member of their church youth group. Peace hosts a thriving senior high youth group with about 40 students attending each week. One example of Abby’s service includes taking a leadership role in their National Youth Gathering fund raising activity making and selling pizzas two or three times a year. “At times they have made up to 1,000 pizzas in one evening,” wrote Karolus.

In her letter of recommendation for Abby, AHS Spanish Teacher Lorra Metko wrote about Abby’s volunteer service as her teaching assistant.  “…Abby is hard working, asks pertinent questions, and can work with any other student in the room. … Abby started a “word of the week” activity for the students in my classes. Her ethics are admirable and I trust her to write vocabulary quizzes for my lower level students. If I assign a project or have an activity for my Spanish 2 class, Abby may just join right in. The other students look forward to hearing the contributions and opinions of an upperclassman.

Abby has a main role in the high school musical this year, is quite involved in 4H, loves her music, and has a job outside of school…. Due to her work ethic, dependability, and intelligence, the future looks bright for Abby.”

In her scholarship application, Abby wrote, “The mission of Lutheran Church Extension Fund is simple and God pleasing. It is to support the Church in fulfilling its mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ by being a Christ-centered servant partner of the LCMS. Through this mission, it ensures that funds and services are available now and in the future. What a blessing to know that an organization is there to assist believers and their church both spiritually and financially.”

Not only is LCEF blessed to partner with congregations just like Peace to provide affordable loan funding, LCEF is also blessed to support active, faith-filled students like Abby with these annual scholarship awards. All sixteen upper Midwest district LCEF scholarship winners have been announced this spring. Visit our newsfeed and Facebook page to read their stories. The 2018 scholarship applications will be available beginning September 1, 2017.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.

Kristen Carlson Awarded Final MNS LCEF Scholarship

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[Kristen] is an excellent example of what we want for the next generation of church and world leaders that are willing to serve others because of the good news of Jesus Christ,” wrote Richard Heuton, Chairman of the Elders at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota.

Kristen is the final 2017 Minnesota South District (MNS) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 Scholarship winner. She is a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota and is a current student at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. Kristen is majoring in communication studies, music and philosophy.

In his letter of recommendation for Kristen, Heuton described her active service at church throughout her high school years with the youth group, at Camp Omega — the Minnesota South District Christian camp — and on two mission trips. While at college, she continues to generously share her gift of music with the congregation by playing handbells and violin.

“While at Luther, Kristen has taken up many leadership roles including holding the role of Service Vice President in a service organization, Alpha Phi Omega - Mu Theta. She also sits on the Luther College Hearing Board that oversees student conduct charges, is a member of Launching Luther Leaders, and is a Resident Assistant of her dorm. She continues to excel in the area of music, primarily as a violinist, but is taking organ lessons in hopes of working for the Church later in life.

During the summer of 2016, she was a Lutheran camp counselor for middle/high school youth in remote Montana. Presently, she is traveling in Tanzania with a Luther College program that studies the effects of conservation, tourism, and missionary efforts on the native population of East Africa.

Kristen is very dedicated to all she endeavors, showing maturity, level-headedness, confidence, and humility, all while maintaining a sense of humor. She is especially strong in her faith, sees it as an identifying feature of her life, and is willing and ready to reach out and care for others,” wrote Heuton.

In a second letter of recommendation, Luther College Professor of Music, College Organist and Music Department Head Dr. Gregory Peterson wrote, “Kristen is a person of high intelligence and academic achievement. She is a student who is intellectually curious, and someone with a strong work ethic. Her interests are broad but she also goes deep.

She is a person who will make a difference in the world after she leaves Luther College, regardless of what discipline she ends up in. …Her life of faith is an important motivating factor, which she sees as transformative. Her contributions to the Church through worship, music, camping ministry and Bible study are representative of her Lutheran identity and sense of vocation.”

“As LCMS members, we must embrace faith’s transformative nature and join in God’s calling by investing into organizations such as LCEF that grow the greater Church body,” wrote Kristen in her scholarship essay. “…By taking on the same attitude that LCEF embraces, and extending the Lutheran tradition, one can continually be blessed in seeing the Gospel move beyond earthly boundaries to bring others into the truth and care of God’s love.”

LCEF is blessed to support faith-filled students like Kristen with these annual scholarship awards. Fifteen of the sixteen 2017 upper Midwest district LCEF scholarship winners have been announced. The one remaining Minnesota South District LCEF scholarship will be announced yet this week. Visit our newsfeed and Facebook page to read the scholars’ stories. The 2018 scholarship applications will be available beginning September 1, 2017.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.

Emma Walters Awarded 2017 NWD LCEF Scholarship

“Emma loves her Lord and it is a joy to see her sharing that faith,” wrote Rev. Gary Schultz in his letter of recommendation for Emma Walters.

Emma is the fourth of five 2017 North Wisconsin District (NWD) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 Scholarship winners. She is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau, Wisconsin and will graduate from Wausau East High School (WEHS) this spring. In the fall, Emma plans to attend the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in Minneapolis.

“Her work ethic and never give up attitude are definitely Emma's strongest qualities which is evident in the difficult classes she has taken and her ability to maintain a 4.0 GPA,” wrote Emma’s Calculus Teacher and WEHS Mathematics Department Chair Brian Buege.

“Emma has been involved in a variety of activities both in and out of school. She has been a four-year member of FFA, where she has served as both vice president and president, has been involved with 4-H since first grade and has held secretary, treasurer, and historian positions, and has participated in Key Club, volleyball, and Nordic skiing. Emma has also volunteered her time with the 4-H club working at the county fair every summer, raking leaves for local residents, and bell ringing for the Salvation Army.”

In her scholarship essay, Emma wrote, “Undoubtedly, whether I'm working with my 4-H club to plan a meal for the hungry, cleaning up the Wisconsin River with my FFA chapter, or volunteering my time elsewhere, I believe that giving back to my community is of high importance. 

That's what I like about the services that LCEF provides; the services and investment opportunities given by LCEF are changing the lives of both individual investors, by giving them financial confidence, and church members and their communities, by [supporting] churches with the financial means necessary to increase and grow their ministries.”

LCEF is blessed to support active, faith-filled students like Emma with these annual scholarship awards. There is another NWD and a Minnesota South District LCEF scholarship yet to be announced this week. Follow our newsfeed and Facebook page for the most recent award announcements.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.

Amber Billings Awarded MNS LCEF Scholarship

“Bright, genuine, intelligent and funny, Amber Billings was the first student I met this August on my first day at Rosemount High School (RHS). Her demeanor and smile drew me in, while her accomplishments and sincerity have continued to impress me,” wrote RHS Counselor Carol Grzybowski.

Amber is the third of four 2017 Minnesota South District (MNS) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 Scholarship winners. She is a member of Messiah Lutheran Church, Lakeville, Minnesota and will graduate from RHS, Rosemount, Minnesota, this spring. In the fall, Amber plans to attend Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.

“Academically, Amber has an unblemished, unweighted 4.0 GPA. She has taken honors and coursework throughout high school,” continued Grzbowski. “Outside of the classroom, Amber has a full schedule. Spiritually, she is a leader in her youth group and participates weekly. In her community, Amber volunteers 12-18 hours a week as a Homework Help volunteer and at a local hospital working with infants. As a RHS band member, Amber has chosen to participate in our nationally recognized, and awarded, Marching Band. Squad Leader for the Color to Guard, she spends hundreds of hours during the summer, after school and many weekends during the and winter, competing or practicing.

…I do believe her impressive intelligence allows her to tackle more than others in her peer group. Amber is very smart - even passing the AP Biology College Board exam without taking the class. …I have no doubt that Amber will be answering to "Dr. Billings" very soon!”

In her scholarship essay, Amber wrote,

“As a member of a church who has used LCEF’s services as a way to fund renovations, I have witnessed first-hand the blessing of this wonderful program. Personally, I have been provided with opportunities to take advantage of LCEF’s services as well through the savings stamp program. This program taught me essential skills about how to save money. I still have money in an account through LCEF and plan to use this money to help pay for my college education.

After completing my college education, I plan to continue on to medical school to become a Pediatric Hospitalist. I look forward to spreading the love of Jesus Christ through my actions when I treat patients. My experiences in church youth group and on mission trips taught me that even the simplest actions as a doctor may show Jesus’ love and thus bring them to Christ.”

“Amber is not one to stand by and watch. She wants to be involved and likes to get her feet wet and her hands dirty,” wrote Messiah’s Director of Christian Education Andy Frerich. “Amber is very committed to growing in the Lord and continually trying to better herself as a person. Her involvement in church, school, and community shows a willing spirit, which Amber has.”

LCEF is blessed to support faith-filled students like Amber with these annual scholarship awards. There are additional North Wisconsin and Minnesota South Districts LCEF scholarships yet to be announced this spring. Follow our newsfeed and Facebook page for the most recent award announcements.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.

Kortney Klipstine Awarded 2017 NWD LCEF Scholarship!

Kortney Klipstine is the third of five 2017 North Wisconsin District (NWD) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 Scholarship winners. Kortney is a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Pulaski, Wisconsin and will graduate from Pulaski High School this spring. In the fall, Kortney plans to attend Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana, and pursue a degree in Civil Engineering.

Pastor Larry Yaw wrote the following in his letter of recommendation for Kortney,

“Kortney has always been a studious individual from the time she was in confirmation class with me and through high school with her various classes. She is not only a dedicated student, but also highly involved in the school’s marching band, traveling with them recently to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl Parade.

In addition to her time spent on school activities, Kortney gave of her time this past summer lending a hand with our churches renovations. …she has a fun and caring personality that brightens people’s day. … I believe that [this scholarship] will not only bless her, but also be a blessing to all those who meet her throughout her college education and in her future vocation.”

In a second letter of recommendation, Pulaski Community School District Digital Learning Specialist Sara Malchow wrote,

“Kortney was always a pleasure to have in class. Her love of learning, kind demeanor, and positive attitude always stood out. Kortney is an extremely hardworking individual who has set high standards for both herself and her future. She has impressed me with her intense focus, drive, and commitment which is evident in the job shadowing experience she set up for herself over the past year at a local engineering firm.

She is also an active member and leader in the Pulaski High School marching band, jazz band, pep band, and pit band for both the middle school and high school musicals. In addition, she also assists and performs for various church functions.”

LCEF is blessed to support faith-filled students like Kortney with these annual scholarship awards. There are NWD and Minnesota South District LCEF scholarships yet to be announced this spring. Follow our newsfeed and Facebook page for the most recent award announcements.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit lcef.org or call 800-843-5233.