Adapt these suggestions to benefit your zone as each is unique and travel distance is a factor in planning events. Consider holding spring and fall gatherings at different hours (evening versus morning or afternoon) to accommodate women with various schedules. Be flexible!
Meet on a Saturday morning with a brunch served immediately following registration. A program may follow the meal. End with a brief business meeting. Dismiss shortly after noon.
TRY LWML FOR A DAY
Host a zone 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 the newcomers. Handouts might include a list of district and national mission grants, a packet of LWML Mustard Seed devotions, a recent issue of the Lutheran Woman's Quarterly, etc.
Alternate speakers and Bible studies between afternoon and evening events. At one event, have the Bible study in the afternoon and a speaker in the evening; then reverse for the next event. Those who prefer coming in the daytime can come to the afternoon event and those who work outside the home and prefer the evening can attend in the evening (or they may want to stay for both). All join together for dinner and a brief business meeting held between the events. Scheduling this event on a weekday would free up the weekend.
SPECIFIC INTERESTS SPEAKERS
Engage a well-qualified speaker who addresses concerns and interests of specific groups (parents of school-aged children, empty nesters, working moms, single parents) 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.
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 or activities 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.
WOMEN’S DAY OUT
Offering an event exclusively geared toward women provides an excellent opportunity for fellowship. It also opens the door to mentoring opportunities. Hostesses should plan a theme to include women of all ages. It should be Scripture-based and full of fun.
Invite a representative of a district or national mission grant recipient to speak. Perhaps a speaker from the mission field is available to speak in person or via Skype. Gather a special mite offering.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LCMS DISTRICT ACTIVITIES
Invite a representative to speak on a specific ministry and give suggestions how groups might become involved (e.g., Lutheran Social Service, youth ministry, parish nurses, or disaster relief).
Host an overnight retreat. This opportunity to bond with fellow LWML sisters allows extra time for in-depth Bible study, singing, and crafts such as the LWML coloring sets or paper ornaments found (link to Program Helps-Creative Crafts.) Each group could present a brief entertainment act for a talent show. Let the creative juices run! Encourage active group participation.
GIFTS FROM THE HEART
Encourage individuals and/or groups 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.
JOINT ZONE EVENT
Host a joint event with other zones if geographically feasible. This widens the opportunity for fellowship and affordability of quality speakers.
- Invite a district representative to give a brief update on what is happening on the district level at each zone event. This can be any officer, committee chair, or pastoral counselor. Having district representation fosters a healthy zone-district relationship.
- Encourage interaction among participants by having attendees sit at a 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.
- Establish an expense-sharing policy for zone events. Registration money may be used to help defray expenses of the host group.