Recap and highlights of the June 1–3, 2018
LWML Eastern District and LWML South Dakota District Conventions:
LWML Eastern District
The DoubleTree by Hilton in Niagara Falls, N.Y. was the location of the 37th Biennial LWML Eastern District Convention, June 1–3, 2018. The convention theme, “The Voice of the LORD … Enlightening, Electrifying, and Empowering” edifies the theme verse, The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty (Psalm 29: 3–4). The attendees were encouraged to incorporate an early family vacation with the convention, come early/stay late and tour the beautiful Niagara Falls area.
The convention, presided over by LWML Eastern District President Kathy Pavelock, was filled with enlightening words from Keynote Speaker Rev. Dr. John Sound; electrifying special Interest Sessions by Rev. Kristian Bjornstad of the LCMS Eastern District Disaster Response, and by Jan Struck; empowering words from LWML President Patti Ross. LCMS Eastern District President Rev. Dr. Chris Wicher brought warm greetings.
Saturday included the presentation of and voting for seven mission grants totaling $27,900 and the election of officers. Elected President of the LWML Eastern District was Susan Bell from Downington, Pa. The Gifts from the Heart benefited Heart, Love and Soul a non-profit organization dedicated to feeding those in need: body, mind, and soul. This entity has served as an oasis of hope and help serving the residents of western New York, especially the Niagara Falls area. The Mite Pledge Walk was along the “thundering” Niagara River. The pledges from the walk will fund local, regional, national, and international mission grants. Following a Bible Study, Communion Worship Service, and installation of officers, the convention was adjourned.
LWML President Patti Ross remarked, “All the YWRs and other young women here have encouraged me so much! I think God is blessing LWML mightily now and for the future!”
LWML South Dakota District
The LWML South Dakota District (SDD) met in convention June 1–2, 2018 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Kindling the excitement of the registrants was the theme “Sharing God’s Love From Generation to Generation” based on Psalm 100:5 For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. LWML Senior Pastoral Counselor Rev. Robert Mundahl served as Proclaimer at the Friday evening worship service. The uplifting convention music was led by Pamela Baker 2017 Young Woman Representative. LWML SDD Pastoral Counselor Steve Weispfennig led the convention in sharing God’s love through the Bible studies. LWML SDD President Lisa S. Asmus presided over the business of the convention which included the approval of the 2018-2020 Mission Goal, selection of 10 Mission Grants, bylaw changes, and the election of officers.
Participants were invited to bring items for two special showers: 1) A baby shower that included items gathered for the Alpha Center, a non-profit agency in Sioux Falls that provides a full range of services to women and men involved in an unplanned pregnancy. 2) A food shower with food items and Walmart gift cards for use by the Children’s Inn, a Sioux Falls agency that provides free services for women, children, and men who are victims of family violence, elder abuse, child abuse, neglect or sexual assault. Serving God by Serving Others servant activities gave participants an opportunity to serve by cutting and tying fleece for blankets that were donated to Orphan Grain Train and stamping/packaging cards into packets to be sent to our soldiers serving our country, enabling them to send cards to their loved ones back home.
Building upon the theme of striving to make Jesus Christ known from one generation to the next, during her keynote address, Past LWML President Linda Reiser spoke of God’s calling to the LWML to help our brothers and sisters living in poverty working through Lutheran World Relief. Interest sessions provided an opportunity to learn more about LWML. Rev. Robert Mundahl presented information for pastors and other professional church workers in reaching the lost and the erring through LWML mission education, inspiration, and service. Representing the LWML was LWML Meeting Manager Leslie Jaseph who spoke on Embracing our Future. Leslie commented that the enthusiasm was evident in the memories shared by each of the nine LWML SDD Past Presidents and by the young women and 46 First Timers who look forward to remembering their time together at this convention and to their continued involvement in LWML.
Explaining how working animals are trained to interact with people of all ages who are in need were Kim & Dog Moses, representing the Lutheran Church Charity K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry. Cynthia Khan related how POBLO (People of the Book Lutheran Outreach) works to meet the physical, social, and spiritual needs of Muslims and other immigrants in the United States by sharing the love of Jesus in practical and culturally relevant ways. Mites in Action speakers shared how God has used our mite offerings throughout the world. Two convention offerings were gathered, the first one supporting the 2018–2020 mission goal and the second assisting the South Dakota Disaster Relief Fund.
Concordia Theological Seminary—Ft. Wayne, Indiana welcomes LWML representatives to campus for a reception honoring graduating pastoral and diaconal students.
Brent Keller and Annalise enjoying gifts
Rev. Dr. Lawrence Rast, CTSFW President and his wife Deaconess Amy Rast, Associate Director of Deaconess Formation graciously and warmly welcomed the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League representatives from the Growth and Development Committee, Deaconess Rachel Jaseph and Ann Marie Bollas, LWML Indiana District President Emily Rogers, LWML Michigan District President Susan Gruber, and LWML Ohio District President Jeanne Schimmelmann to a reception honoring graduating Seminarians and their families on Sunday afternoon, May 6, 2018. Delicious food provided by Director Food and Clothing Co-op Deaconess Katherine Rittner, fellowship, prayers, and information were shared by all at the event.
LWML presentation to Seminarians
LWML representatives brought greetings, encouragement, and presented a newly produced video which tells of the mission of the LWML and how church workers are encouraged to be a vital part of that mission. The graduating Seminarians were given a gift from the LWML, along with materials such as the LWML Church Workers in Mission brochure containing information as to staying engaged and connected to LWML. President and Mrs. Rast thanked the LWML for their continued support and partnership with Concordia Seminary.
Featured June 2018 Mission Grant
2017–2019 LWML Mission Grant #10 Christian Eldercare Home in Haiti — $100,000
Haiti is a nation in need of special attention. Since the earthquake in 2010, Lutheran baptisms in Haiti have been multiplied beyond expectations and Lutheran church attendance is increasing. However physical and spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ are left unmet.
A center for the elderly people who have outlived their families, and some of whom are currently living in tents and deplorable conditions, is planned to be built on the same property where an orphanage was constructed in 2014. The children will have grandparents and the elderly will have children to make them smile. The center, built with funds supplied by this grant, would result in a dwelling with clean water, suitable waste containment, beds, food, and care for these forgotten people. Ministry in Mission desires to fulfill the intent of creating a true community for Haitian Lutherans by providing a safe living environment for all Haitians in the surrounding area and particularly the forgotten elderly society. Read more about this mission grant here: www.lwml.org/featured-mission-grant-resources.
Your Mite Offerings in Action — Mission Grant Update:
2017–2019 LWML Mission Grant #3 Christ for Veterans and Their Families — fully funded at $27,750.
Your Mite Box offerings are being utilized to host national training events for Operation Barnabas, an extension of Ministry to the Armed Forces (MAF), which provides a network of care through trained congregations that want to reach out to members of the military, their families, and the veterans in their congregations and communities. Operation Barnabas, the only program of its kind in the U.S., together with LCMS congregations seeks to care for Reserve Chaplains and their families and congregations; train and assist local congregations in their care and support of local military members and their families and veterans.
The MAF sent a letter of appreciation for this mission grant. —
“We are so grateful for the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League and their commitment and outreach to all military connected people. Due to the LWML’s loving mites, The Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod’s Ministry to the Armed Forces was able to hold a National Operation Barnabas conference entitled:“Christ for Veterans and Their Families” in St. Louis, MO on March 15th and 16th. This national conference — made possible by the gracious grant from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League — offered free registration, meals, and lodging. Its purpose? To share ideas, promote networking and motivate attendees to start or expand Operation Barnabas ministries in their congregations and districts to bring Christ to the Veterans and their families in their congregations and communities.”
Armed Forces Sunday Resources Available
The 2018 resources produced by the Synod's Ministry to the Armed Forces include:
- a responsive prayer and Ministry-by-Mail registration form;
- a bulletin insert, available in color and black-and-white;
- a letter from MAF Director Chaplain Craig G. Muehler; and
- a suggested sermon based on Isaiah 40:31, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint”.
The resources may be used on “Armed Forces Sunday” (May 20), Memorial Day Sunday (May 27), Independence Day weekend (July 1), Veterans Day (Nov. 11) or an alternate date. “It's less important which Sunday you choose,” Muehler notes. “We simply want to give thanks to God in honoring the men and women who faithfully answered the call to serve in our nation’s military,” including those in active duty, chaplains, reservists, National Guard members and veterans — “anyone who's ever worn a uniform in service to the United States.” Muehler adds that it is “so important for us to recognize those who serve and have served our nation in this honorable vocation — and reach out to them with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.” To learn more about the LCMS Ministry to the Armed Forces, or to download free online resources, visit lcms.org/armedforces. For more information, call 800-248-1930, Ext. 1337, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mite Offering Report as of May 31, 2018
Thanks be to God for blessing your Mite Box offerings!
Mission Goal for 2017–2019: $2,075,000
Amount Received: $1,096,540.85
Mites Needed per Month: $86,458.33
Total Mites Still Needed: $978,459.15
Read the full Mite Report here: www.lwml.org/mites-received
You and your congregation help support LWML grants through individual Mite Box offerings to local societies, zones, and districts, the LWML website’s online donation process, setting up recurring electronic donations through Joyful Response®, by calling the LWML office — 1.800.252.5965, or mailing your contribution to: LWML, 3558 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, MO, 63118.
Thank you to Mill Neck Family of Organizations for gifting the LWML with a grant for hearing impaired interpreter services at the 2019 LWML Convention in Mobile, Alabama.
For on-site hearing screenings during the 2019 LWML Convention, visit the Mill Neck van in the convention Exhibit Hall in Mobile, Alabama.
Come praise the LORD, June 20–23, 2019!
The LWML is the leading group for LCMS women where each woman is welcomed and encouraged to use her unique God-given gifts as she supports global missions and serves the Lord with gladness.
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