News & Events

Responding to Idols - Book Discussion (Zoom format) 

Identifying idols stands out as important in evangelism. When the church brings the Gospel to people around us, we should understand the idols we are up against. And we need to recognize the idols in our own hearts and lives. Idolatry lies at the heart of all sin, so our dealing with it cannot be superficial. For when we sinners fail to fear and love and trust in God, we all find substitutes. We look for substitutes not only for God as Creator, but also as Redeemer and Sanctifier.
As a theologian and a preacher, Martin Luther had much to say about idolatry. Even when he wasn’t using the word “idolatry,” he was engaging with the subject. He did so regularly as he expounded God’s Word in pulpit and classroom.
The book The Unholy Trinity: Martin Luther against the Idol of Me, Myself, and I by Michael Lockwood (CPH, 2016) lays out Luther’s multi-faceted case against idolatry and for the one saving God. This book applies the reformer’s biblical insights to our times today. For our idolatrous culture takes even good things and casts them as ultimate things. It coaxes us to do likewise. Against this, Dr. Luther provides stimulating spiritual help, centered on Christ.
Starting on Thursday, January 14, CID Evangelism Executive Ken Schurb will conduct one-hour Zoom discussions of this book every other week, with a break in February. Sessions will be live on Thursdays at 3:00 p.m. on: Jan. 14 (Introduction and chapter 1), Jan. 28 (chapters 2 & 3), Feb. 25 (chapter 4) Mar. 11 (chapter 5), Mar. 25 (chapter 6), Apr. 8 (chapter 7), Apr. 22 (chapter 8), May 6 (chapter 9). Any “make-up” session that proves necessary would occur on May 20. The sessions on the provided dates will be recorded. If you cannot participate live, you can view the session later.
These conversations are open to all members of CID churches. Pastors and other rostered church workers are especially encouraged to participate. To register, please fill out this form or email We will use that as your registration, and reply with the appropriate Zoom link when the time comes. 
There is no cost for the sessions. In fact, CID will provide the first 25 registrants for these sessions a gratis copy of the book The Unholy Trinity. (Please reimburse the District $3.00 for shipping costs.) If you register by January 3, 2021, we can mail a copy of the book early enough for you to read the introduction and chapter one before the first session on Jan. 14. If you have any questions, please email Ken at and he will respond accordingly.

Weekly Discussion Question Downloads:

Week Chapter(s) Downloads
Week 1 (Jan. 14) Intro & Chap. 1 .docx   .doc 
Week 2 (Jan. 28) Chap. 2 & 3  
Week 3 (Feb. 25) Chap. 4  
Week 4 (Mar. 11)  Chap. 5  
Week 5 (Mar. 25)  Chap. 6  
Week 6 (April 8) Chap. 7  
Week 7 (April 22)  Chap. 8  
Week 8 (May 6)  Chap. 9  
Week 9 (May 20) Only if needed - no additional questions  


Ramsey Plus

 If you have heard of Dave Ramsey, you have probably heard of Financial Peace® University, and vice-versa. Mr. Ramsey has taught money management skills for some years now. Although he has a number of platforms, including his own radio program, until now Financial Peace® University has amounted to his main set-piece teaching tool.

 By the way, the Stewardship page of our Synod’s website has for years featured a “Preview and Review of Financial Peace® University,” which offers helpful suggestions for Lutheran pastors and lay leaders who want to use that tool in their congregations. This “Preview and Review” was written by Pastor Jonathan Conner, Stewardship chairman for the Iowa West District. Find it at

 Now the Ramsey organization has unveiled Ramsey Plus, a suite of financial teaching and management tools. It includes not only Financial Peace® University, but also:

  • Jump Start - a basic place for beginners to begin
  • Legacy Journey – suggestions for giving in the form of bequests
  • Smart Money, Smart Kids – suggestions for teaching money management to children, with age-specific applications
  • Budgeting that Really Works – just as it says: how to budget effectively
  • A budgeting tool
  • A financial tracking tool

Ramsey Plus also offers online support through a Facebook group, a free coaching session for those who have questions and are challenged to find answers, and access to various live-streamed events.

With a generous grant from the Church Extension Fund, the Central Illinois District finds itself in a position to purchase a one-year Ramsey Plus subscription that will include a number of CID congregations. With this, a congregation could grant access to the entire Ramsey Plus bundle of financial resources to every family unit within the congregation for that year.

Would your congregation be interested in availing itself of this opportunity? How much use would you make of Ramsey Plus in a year? Would your congregation be willing to offer CID the sum of $500 – not to pay for its own subscription to Ramsey Plus, but to help CID do something like this again in the future?

Pastor Jonathan Conner appeared in an 11-minute video introducing the various aspects of Ramsey Plus. He made this video for Iowa West District, as part of that District's attempt to determine the interest among congregations there. The video may be viewed at

We are making similar inquiries of CID churches, and Pastor Conner has given us permission to utilize his video. Please address any reactions, including questions you may have, not to him or to the Iowa District West office but to Ken Schurb at the Central lIlinois District office,

We would like to hear from you by the end of February, even if it is just a preliminary expression of interest.


Lutherans for Life-Illinois 2021 Essay Contest

For students in Grades 6 through 12

Any Lutheran student in a Lutheran school or church is eligible. Lutheran students may also enter through a home school or congregation e.g. confirmation class, youth group when validated by a pastor or teacher.

Contest Guidelines

Students will write a life-affirming essay based on the theme: God Chose You with the bible verse: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit”(John 15:16)

For rules and submission information, click here.


LERT Volunteer Training Events

(No Current Scheduled Trainings)

The registration fee ($35.00) includes your disaster response training manual, disaster response vest, Certificate of Completion, I.D. badge, breakfast, and lunch. Please register at least one week before the event, if at all possible. Walk-ins are welcome. Please pay with check made out to the host church. If you are already LERT certified, the event is considered continuing education (no charge).

Welcome to the Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) volunteer training program provided by the LCMS Office of National Mission. Together we will walk through a simple training program designed to help you serve as a trained Christian volunteer when a disaster strikes.

This training is part of a Synod-wide disaster response program, facilitated by a network of District Disaster Response Coordinators and Teams, under the direction of LCMS Disaster Response. At the close of the program, you will receive a certificate of participation and a LERT volunteer credential issued by LCMS Disaster Response.

In the chaos of disaster, it’s important to stay focused on the task at hand. This training will help you focus on the most important thing to remember as you prepare for or respond to a disaster in your community or beyond. At the center of our LERT volunteer training is one thing— MERCY! Christ’s mercy is the basis for everything we say and do.

This training event will equip you to be an effective volunteer should a disaster strike in your community.


LERT Chainsaw Training Event

(None scheduled at this time)

Welcome to the ADVANCED CHAINSAW volunteer training program provided by the Central Illinois District – LCMS. In order to attend this course, you MUST have completed the six hour Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) basic training.

This eight hour event will consist of an instructional and operational based training. Once certified in chainsaw disaster applications, you will be equipped to be an effective chainsaw volunteer should a disaster strike your community.

You will be required to bring hearing protection, eye protection, helmet, chaps, leather gloves, leather steel toe boots, chainsaw, bar oil, and fuel. If you do not have these items, we will provide them for you at the time of the training.

The cost is $35.00, which includes breakfast, lunch, manual, and certification.

Bring your LERT disaster response vest and your LERT I.D. certification badge.


Video Resources

Video/Commercial - Spread the Good News of Jesus’ birth on your congregation’s website, Facebook page, Local TV/Radio station, etc. This high resolution file can be sent to you from the CID office. You can see this video on the CID website ( under theVideo Resources Tab.