For Such a Time as This” – 30th Annual CEF Conference Theme

More than 200 CEF congregation reps, spouses, and special guests gathered at the Doubletree Hotel in Austin, March 2–4, for the 30th Annual CEF Conference. The theme was “For Such a Time as This.”

One of the focuses for the weekend was recognition for CEF Executive Director Stephen Block’s 25-year anniversary and his upcoming retirement. Block and his wife, Sandra, were presented with a custom-designed quilt created from CEF staff polo shirts. Additionally, there was a tribute video for Block featuring several Texas District leaders, pastors, and the CEF staff….

Meredith Wright, Texas District Office manager, created a quilt from previous years’ conference polo shirts that were donated by the CEF staff. The anniversary and retirement quilt was presented to Stephen and Sandra Block during the opening Friday evening reception. (L–R) Ruby Cruz; Meredith Wright, Pam Herber, the Blocks, Raelyn Pracht, Kenda Zawadzki, Sue Eckert, Bill Siegrist, Joan Zieschang, and Debbie Potter.


Rev. Mike Newman, Mission and Ministry Facilitator for Area “C,” served as the conference chaplain. His messages were based on the conference theme, “For Such a Time as This.” He used the book of Esther as the foundation for his presentations. Newman emphasized that God is working through each of us. God is working through your church. There is victory in God’s mission!
In 2009, Katie Stam was crowned Miss America. She grew up in an LCMS congregation and spent years working on the family dairy farm in Indiana. Her banquet testimony and songs were a highlight of the conference. Her first book will be launched on April 1, Easter Sunday.

During the weekend, President Hennings introduced Becca Jones as the next executive director of the Texas District Church Extension Fund. Previously, Jones has served as senior vice president of marketing and customer support at the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, ministry support coordinator at The LCMS Foundation, and project coordinator for Edward Jones Investments, a St. Louis-based brokerage firm.


At right, she is shown with Kenda Zawadzki, Raelyn Pracht, Pam Herber, Becca Jones, Bill Siegrist, Ruby Cruz, Joan Zieschang and Debbie Potter.

The Sunday worship service offering was more than $5,000. Texas CEF matched this amount. The combined total of $10,000 was designated for the Ken and Val Hennings Mission Support Endowment.

We give thanks to God for the ministry of the Congregation Reps!