Each LWML group is unique so adapt these suggestions to your group. Be flexible by holding gatherings at different hours (evening versus morning or afternoon) to accommodate women with various schedules.
TRY LWML FOR A DAY
Host a local or regional event designed to entice newcomers to come and get a taste of LWML – enjoy fellowship, grow spiritually, and discover opportunities for service. Share facts about the LWML organization and its objectives with your guests. Handouts might include a list of district and national mission grants, a packet of LWML Mustard Seed devotions, a recent issue of the LWML Quarterly, etc. (see LWML Event Tips, a free download on the LWML website.)
QUILT SHOP HOP
Meet at church for registration and devotions then carpool to visit a quilt shop or two in the morning. Lunch and the business meeting at church followed by a couple more quilt shops visits in the afternoon. This works well as a joint event between congregations where the opening devotions and morning shops are in one town and the lunch and afternoon shops are in a neighboring town. Try the same idea with book stores, antique stores, museums or even parks.
ADDRESS SPECIFIC INTERESTS OR CONCERNS
Engage a well-qualified speaker who addresses concerns and interests of specific groups (parents of school-aged children, empty nesters, working moms, single parents, empty nesters) or speaks to general-interest topics (time management, financial concerns, nutrition.) A hands-on activity that ties to the topic may be included. Keep in mind the generations LWML is attempting to reach as you plan.
PROGRESSIVE MEAL AND GOSPEL BIBLE STUDY
A progressive dinner is simply a party where each course is eaten at a different host's house in the same evening. Think of it like a potluck, but extended across multiple locations. To add a fun Bible study look at a common Bible story from each of the four gospels. The first home might serve appetizers and study the Bible story in Matthew. At the second home, salads are served and the Bible story is reviewed in Mark. The third location serves the main course and studies Luke and the final home serves dessert and concludes the Bible study in John.
MISSION SERVICE EVENT
Research local needs and host a hands-on servant event. Begin with an opening devotion and/or a brief Bible study, then launch the activity for the day. Perhaps there is a service organization in the community that needs help straightening a food pantry, sorting clothing, cleaning, or assisting with gardening chores offsite. Activities for those who feel more comfortable working on-site could include marking Bibles for prisoners, assembling kits for the homeless, making nursing home favors, or sending notes of encouragement to missionary wives. Gather together again for lunch and a brief business meeting if necessary.
REMEMBER SHUT-INS AND CHURCH WORKERS
Many groups remember their shut-in and church workers with cookies at Christmas but a visit and special treat at other times will be appreciated too. Some ideas might be Easter eggs at Easter time, a fruit salad for Independence Day or a loaf of home-baked bread at Thanksgiving.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LCMS RECOGNIZED SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
Invite a representative to speak on a specific ministry and give suggestions how LWML groups might become involved. A list of LCMS Recognized Service Organizations is available at lcms.org/how-we-serve/mercy/recognized-service-organizations.
Encourage individuals to bring items for local food pantries, battered women shelters, crisis pregnancy centers, etc. Embrace the opportunity to reach out to communities with the love of Christ! Invite a representative to explain the mission of their organization.
PLAN AN OVERNIGHT RETREAT
Individual groups or several congregations jointly can use an overnight retreat as an opportunity to bond with fellow LWML sisters. Extra time allows for more in-depth Bible study, singing, and crafts such as the LWML coloring sets or paper ornaments found on the LWML website at www.lwml.org/program-helps-creative-crafts. Each group could present a brief entertainment act for a talent show. Let the creative juices run! Cheer on each other with active group participation.
HOST A MISSION EVENT
Invite a representative of a district or national mission grant recipient. Perhaps a speaker from the mission field is available to speak in person or via Skype. Gather a special mite offering.
PICNIC IN THE PARK FELLOWSHIP/CONVENTION REPORT
Invite your Young Woman Representative (YWR) and convention delegates as special guests to an outdoor potluck. Everyone brings a dish along with the recipe to share. Begin with prayer and have your YWR and delegates report on their experiences at the district or national convention. A park with a shelter house is a good option in case of rain.
- Encourage interaction among participants by having attendees sit at tables in special ways (birthday month, initials, color of shoes, etc.)
- Set time limitations for devotions, speakers, and business meetings. Let your attendees know what time the program will conclude so they may plan their time commitment.
- Include an offering for mites or have a large Mite Box available for donations.
- Give away LWML products and resources as door prizes and inform women the products are available on the LWML website.