Congregational Meeting Update

Dear Lord of Life,
This past Sunday, we met as a congregation in a called meeting to carry out important business for the future of our community. Thank you all for your participation in the process and for your continued support of God’s ministries at Lord of Life. We cannot do this work without you!  We wanted to take just a moment to update you on the results of the meeting.
There were two items of business, both of which were approved by unanimous voice votes.
  • We approved a budget for fiscal year 2023-24 of $1,448,134 including the following items:
    • Anticipated increases in utility costs;
    • Moving the 11:00 am worship musicians from restricted spending to the budget;
    • Funding for a new full-time staff position, the Director of Faith Formation, who will lead adult faith formation ministries and supervise our existing faith formation staff.
  • We approved a motion to explore what it would mean for Lord of Life to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation including the following steps:
    • The council will appoint a “Core Team” to lead the process;
    • The process will include a variety of conversations and opportunities for input;
    • Finally, the team will bring a recommendation back to the congregation.

Several updates about future and ongoing plans were also shared with the congregation.

  • Director of Outreach Jenny McKenna introduced us to Lydia, the mom of one of the Ukrainian refugee families that we have been helping to resettle in the United States. Lydia’s moving story allowed us to see our values in action.
  • Pastor David shared how our mission, vision, and values drive our ministry together, along with a staffing model that will allow our ministries to grow and operate more efficiently.
  • Tim Donoughue from the Development Campaign Strategic Leadership Team shared that the first two HVAC units are scheduled to be replaced within the next few weeks.
  • Ed Spaulding, one of our Synod Assembly delegates, thanked the congregation profusely for the way in which you all showed up to volunteer and welcome in over 250 people from across our region of the ELCA for their annual assembly.
There is great energy and excitement in our congregation right now! We continually welcome new guests to our community, and our giving is growing and providing new opportunities for ministry. We have a dynamic staff that is being unleashed to carry out ministry in the world. We are so grateful to each of you for your continued support of the ministry that we are doing together as we pursue our vision of a world where “all have life through the love of Christ.”
With abiding hope in the resurrection,
Linda Nicolosi 
Council President 
David Bauser
Lead Pastor
Church office: 281-367-7016

Development Campaign Update

At their March meeting the Lord of Life Congregation Council approved the Strategic Leadership Team to lead the Development Campaign process forward. This team will be gathering through April as they begin their work culminating with a mini-retreat with our consultant on April 29.
Each day in April, the team is praying for a different part of the Lord of Life community and campaign process. You are invited to pray along with us! You can use the calendar below to lift up your prayers with those of the Strategic Leadership Team.
Strategic Leadership Team:
Pastor David Bauser
Kirsten Beckler
Macy Cherry
Tim Donoughue
Jocelyn Earnest
Susan Gallup
Becky Havill
Marlene Hoffheiser
Rick Janacek (Staff)
Deb Spiess (Council Liaison)
Robert Strauss


Prayer Topic


For members of Lord of Life who have died


For members who are at Lord of Life now


For members who haven’t yet walked in our doors


For children of God who walk past our building and never walk inside


For children of God who will never know we exist


For children of God who have been hurt by the Church


For children of God who have been told they can’t be loved by God


For the students of Kids of the Kingdom


For the parents and families of Kids of the Kingdom


For the staff of Kids of the Kingdom


For space that Kids of the Kingdom uses


For the Fellowship Hall


For the individuals who will use the Fellowship Hall


For the Sanctuary


For people who experience God in our Sanctuary


For people who haven’t been able to experience God in our Sanctuary


For our Lord of Life building in total


For our congregation council


For the staff of Lord of Life


For the pastors of Lord of Life


For this Leadership Team


For the individuals who will support this Development Campaign


For the individuals who will refuse to support our work


For the contractors, designers, and laborers who will help complete the work


For the values that guide our congregation (Welcoming All, Finding Connection, Experiencing Grace, Serving God’s World, and Celebrating Life)


For the mission of our congregation (We seek and welcome all to connect, celebrate, and serve in God’s love)


For the vision of our congregation (That all have life through the love of Christ)


For Hannah Mello, our consultant who will be leading our retreat


For the retreat and our time together


Interim Director of Children’s Faith Formation

We are excited to announce that Nicole Forester has been hired as Interim Director of Children’s Faith Formation at Lord of Life. Nicole comes to this position as a long time member of the Children’s Faith Committee and several years of helping to organize Vacation Bible School and other critical ministry areas. She will be helping ensure that we continue to offer high quality opportunities for the youngest in our community to grow in their faith during this time of transition.

Over the next several months the Personnel Team, along with representatives from Children’s Faith, will be conducting a search to fill the permanent role. Nicole, while serving as an interim, would be eligible for this position should she be interested in putting her name forward. When the time comes, Personnel will be advertising the position with in and beyond the congregation to find the right candidate. We thank you for your continued prayers and support of Children’s Faith during this time of transition.

Proposed Campaign

January 9, 2023

Dear Lord of Life Members,

We are writing to you today to inform you about a proposal coming to you for approval at the upcoming congregational meeting on Sunday, January 29, 2023, and to invite you to informational forums on Sundays January 15 and 22.

Some Context:

You will recall, at our last meeting in May 2022, the Council commissioned a Capital Campaign Study Team. The purpose of this Team was to determine if a capital campaign would be appropriate, and, if so, to define a scope for the potential campaign. The Study Team met weekly for the last 8 months and proposed to the Council a campaign scope, timeline, and fundraising goal. At its December meeting, the Council unanimously approved the proposal. The Study Team is now preparing to bring the proposal to the congregation for approval.

A Summary:

At the direction of the Council, the Study Team’s work began by evaluating existing facility needs and by soliciting feedback from staff and committees regarding building usability. Possible funding solutions were discussed and evaluated by the Team, and they determined that a campaign would be the most appropriate path forward. Then, with Council approval, the Team engaged the help of outside professionals to further define the scope of the campaign and develop cost estimates for several projects. In that process, the Team discerned that the projects were integral to our present and future definition and expression of our congregation’s affirmed Mission and Vision.

We owe this team our gratitude. They have worked diligently and faithfully to vision for the future of our congregation. Now, with Council’s full approval, the Team is proposing a development campaign to fund projects in three areas:

  • Brand Identity Refresh (including website and communications plan),
  • Facility Improvements, and
  • Facility Maintenance.
The estimated cost of this work is $1.36 million. It is the belief of the Council and the Study Team that this work is necessary to help us live into our Vision “that all have life through the love of Christ” and to proclaim the Gospel message: “You are welcomed, loved, accepted, and forgiven here. Come and know God’s love for you.” The work of this development campaign is one avenue through which we live into this message as a faith community—now and into the future. 

You’re Invited!

We are excited to share the work of the Study Team with you and to answer your questions about their proposal.

We invite you to join us for one of two forums hosted by the Council and Study Team on Sundays January 15 and 22 at 9:45 am. Then, please plan to join us for the congregational meeting on Sunday, January 29, 2023 at 12:30 pm, as we make a decision on this proposal and other matters that will be identified in the meeting agenda that will be sent out ahead of the meeting.

Thank you for your partnership and faithful support of God’s ministry at Lord of Life. May we continue to boldly pursue our Mission “to seek and welcome all to connect, celebrate, and serve in God’s love.”

Peace in Christ,

Joe Cox    

Council President
David Bauser
Lead Pastor

The Council’s Campaign Study Team Members are:

Nick Brown – Chair

David Bauser – Lead Pastor

Craig Bourgeois – Finance Liaison

David Harris – Property Liaison

Rick Janacek – Staff Liaison

Bruce Mestemacher – Member at Large

Ed Spaulding – Council Liaison

Carrie Kessler

Dear Lord of Life,
I am writing to you today to inform you all that earlier this week Carrie Kessler, our Director of Children’s Faith Formation, notified me that she would be resigning from her position at Lord of Life. You can read a brief message from Carrie at the end of this message.
Over the last two years, Carrie has been a great gift to the children and families of Lord of Life. Her dedication to sharing the love of God with every child to enter our building has shone through in everything from Vacation Bible School and Trunk or Treat to Sunday School and our Footsteps in Faith. Our community has been blessed by her ministry among us and there is much for us to celebrate!
There will be an opportunity for us to recognize Carrie’s hard work and bless her in her departure during worship on December 18th. However, Carrie’s last day with us will not be until Dec. 31. I hope you will all join me in taking time over these next several weeks to thank Carrie and share a story of how you have seen her work benefitting the mission that God has put before us.
As we approach the season of Advent, we remember that this is a time of waiting and hopeful expectation. Though we will certainly grieve Carrie’s departure, we stand in a posture of hope for what God is going to do among us. Your Personnel Committee is already beginning its work to vision for and create a plan for next steps with the goal of continuing the thriving, engaging, Jesus centered children’s ministry that Carrie has helped us to cultivate.
If you have questions or concerns regarding this announcement, please feel free to contact me directly.
God loves each of you and I do too,
Pastor David
email or call 281-367-7016
God blesses us sometimes in unexpected ways, sending us in a direction we thought impossible. That direction for me is an opportunity to return to full-time military orders starting in the new year. I am eternally grateful for the faithful support our congregation has given to our Children’s Faith program and to me as the director over these past two years. I’ve never experienced being part of a church family such as this – the outpouring of God’s love is evident. And although I am stepping aside as your Children’s Faith Formation Director, my family and I are staying in the area and will continue to serve at Lord of Life.

Interim Associate Pastor

February 27, 2023

Dear Lord of Life,

I am pleased to announce the Associate Pastor Call Committee has completed its work and has recommended Cassandra Nagle for the position of Associate Pastor at Lord of Life. At its meeting on February 21, the Congregation Council unanimously approved their recommendation, and we now bring Cassandra to the congregation for approval.

This letter serves to inform you of an officially called congregational meeting to take place at 12:15 pm on March 12, 2023. The only agenda item for this meeting will be the Associate Pastor Call. Any voting member of the congregation is welcome to attend. This meeting will only take place in person, and we are not able to accept absentee voting.

Please join me in thanking the Call Committee for their dedicated work over the last 7 months. If you have questions about the meeting or about the call process, please feel free to contact Pastor David, any of the Call Committee members, or myself, and we will be glad to help. We hope you will make a point to join us for this exciting opportunity in the life of our congregation.

Peace in Christ,
Linda Nicolosi
Congregation Council President
Lord of Life office: 281-367-7016
Call Committee Members:  
Deb Spiess – Chair
Pastor David Bauser EMAIL
Rich Kreitz
JJ Minarcik
Charles Payton
Emily Vacha
Zach Wirt
June 2020
Dear Lord of Life,
It is my pleasure to announce to you that the Congregational Council has voted to extend a contract to Ms. Cassandra Nagle for the position of Interim Associate Pastor. The base period of the contract will run from July 12 through the end of this year with monthly extensions possible afterward.
Cassandra is a native of Houston and comes to us as a recent graduate of Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. During her studies she spent a year as a pastoral intern at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Renton, WA. When her internship was complete, she continued working for this community while she finished her coursework. To Lord of Life, she brings a fresh energy, a diverse perspective and a strengthening of our ministries. During this contract period she will also be working through the Ordination process. The Synod office has indicated they will extend to Cassandra approval to fully function as an Associate Pastor at Lord of Life for the referenced period.
Please join me in welcoming Cassandra into our Congregation.
Joe Cox
Lord of Life Council President

Spam Emails


Dear Lord of Life,

We are aware that there are more attempts to scam our members by someone pretending to be me. The email/text message claims to be from “Pastor David” and generally asks you to respond in the same manner because there is a “confidential issue” I need to speak to you about.
Unfortunately, because the emails are “spoofs” (emails that pretend to be from someone they are not) there is very little we can do as a staff to prevent this. However, there are a few easy things you can remember to protect yourself:
1) If you ever have a question or concern about something you receive from the church, you can call the church office at 281-367-7016 or contact the staff/volunteer member directly. We will never communicate with you about money and refuse to talk to you in person about the same issue.
2) DOUBLE-CHECK THE EMAIL ADDRESS and not only the “name” that appears. Spoof emails are often some form of “pastor” + random numbers @gmail or other email providers (yahoo, hotmail, etc.). Whenever possible LoL staff will use our staff emails coming from If you see a different domain please contact the church or staff directly to confirm the information.
3) All the staff at Lord of Life have access to funds to make purchases in emergency situations. We will never ask you to purchase gift cards or process other funds by simply claiming an “emergency.”
Thank you all for your patience and continued faithfulness to God’s ministry at Lord of Life!


Pastor David


Dear Lord of Life,
I, for one,  feel broken and empty.
I find myself grieving for the community of Uvalde, grieving for the teachers and staff of our local schools, grieving for the students – like my daughter and all our kids at Lord of Life – for whom this has become a reality, and grieving for our communities that are weary from the regularity of these tragedies.
I am exhausted.
I am at a loss for solutions.
I am at a loss for explanations.
One thing has become clear to me: we have a spiritual problem. Some may point to guns, or to mental health, or to some other issue. I believe these are merely symptoms of an underlying cause. Our spiritual sickness prevents us from seeing one another as beloved children of God, it prevents us from reaching across divides to search for common ground, it entrenches us in our idolatry of political posturing, and it distracts us with anger at our neighbors rather than a love that seeks healing.
As you have heard me say over and over, at Lord of Life we cling to a vision of a world in which “all have life through the love of Christ.” Yesterday at Robb Elementary 19 children and 2 adults had that life stolen away. We hold firmly to the promise of the resurrection and that life does not end with our final breath on this earth.
Yet we also believe that life through the love of Christ begins now and so, as we pursue this vision, we must seek healing for our spiritual illness. We must see one another, even those who call us enemies, as children of God. We must treat others with humanity even when they deny our own. We must turn to one another in community when we are told to draw lines and choose sides. We must stretch beyond the boundaries that separate us — those we choose and those placed upon us. I have been in prayer for the community of Uvalde, for the teachers of our community, for students across the country.
The reason I pray is not for God to fix some problem on my behalf. I pray so that I may be drawn closer to the heart of God. When this is my aim, then I become the agent of God’s mercy, love, and justice on this earth. In prayer we feel God’s heartbeat, we are held close like a newborn on their mother’s chest, and our life echoes that beat into the world.
So, I encourage you to join me in prayer. Prayer for the victims and the perpetrator; prayer for leaders who will work for change; prayer for our friends and our enemies; prayer that our very lives would echo God’s heartbeat and “that all have life through the love of Christ.”
God loves each of you and I do too,
Pastor David
If you or anyone in your life needs a place to process or discuss these incredibly challenging issues, please know that I, and the entire staff at Lord of Life, are here for you.
Call us. 281-367-7016
Do whatever you have to.
But always remember that we do not need to walk these roads alone. We are here for one another.

Covid Update 3-2022

We are following the CDC’s updated guidance which currently puts our area at “Medium Risk” for transmission.
We encourage all our members to take appropriate precautions for their health and the well-being of the community.
As always, if you are feeling unwell (cough, sneeze, fever, etc.) please stay home and take advantage of the live-stream of all our worship opportunities and most of our adult education courses.

Pastoral Response to Ukraine and Transgender Youth


Dear Siblings in Christ,

This morning we faced two crises developing in our world that a few weeks ago we may well have thought to be unimaginable.

First, we awoke to the news of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. I will not pretend to be an expert in the geo-political situation that is at play in this war and these acts of violence. I will stand as a disciple of Jesus and say that we are called to stand with the poor, the oppressed, and those suffering at the hands of political powers. I encourage us all to be in prayer for the people of Ukraine. Those fleeing their homes. Those hiding in shelters. And those fighting for their country. I will also remind us that as followers of Jesus we are called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. So, we are also in prayer for President Putin and the Russian leaders that they would turn away from their violent actions and seek a path of peace. As far as it is possible for us, we pray that God would make us instruments of peace in our own lives and for our communities.

Second, in our own community new directives were handed down by Gov. Abbot regarding policies for the Department of Family and Protective Services and children/teens who identify as transgender. Again, I do not claim to understand all the legal implications of the Governor’s directive. But I do understand what a parent would feel if they told that caring for their child who identifies as transgender is now a crime. I do understand how teachers, counselors, social workers, doctors, and others who are considered mandatory reporters would feel if they now have to choose between following a law or providing a safe and loving environment for a child who is already facing innumerable challenges in society.

I don’t know what will come from Gov. Abbot’s directive, but I want to say as clearly as I can that when we at Lord of Life say in our mission statement that “we seek and welcome all” we do not put an asterisk after “all.” All truly means ALL. We believe in a God who loves, embraces, welcomes, and redeems ALL people. And so, as God’s people on the corner of Panther Creek and Glen Loch, we follow God’s lead to do the same. If you identify as transgender, you are welcomed and loved at Lord of Life. If you have a child, grandchild, neighbor, friend, co-worker who identifies as transgender, they are welcomed and loved at Lord of Life.

In times such as these, when so much pulls our focus away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it can be tempting to curl inward. To build up our walls and try to protect ourselves from outside dangers. But our call as followers of Jesus is not to stay hidden in the upper room; it is to be led boldly by the Spirit to proclaim God’s reign of justice, peace, love, and healing for all of creation. May God grant us the strength and wisdom to be instruments of this proclamation. May we endlessly pursue the vision of our community, “That ALL have life through the love of Christ.”

God loves each of you and I do too,

Pastor David

Senior Pastor
Lord of Life Lutheran Church
The Woodlands, TX 
Lord of LIfe Lutheran Church, 3801 S. Panther Creek Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77381
Telephone: 281-367-7016