eNews Issue #289 — May 6, 2020
LWML District Presidents Hold Virtual Meetings
From April through September in even-numbered years, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) districts ordinarily hold their conventions, bringing women together for worship, business, education, and service. This, however, is no ordinary year.
As of May 5, 2020, 29 of the LWML district conventions have been canceled, three (Montana, Kansas, and Utah-Idaho) rescheduled to mid-July or August, and several of those canceled conventions are working to hold their event in a virtual setting.
LWML President Debbie Larson met, via video conferencing, with all district presidents in the last two weeks. At each of the three meetings, Senior Pastoral Counselor Rev. Mitchel Schuessler led the group in a devotion which included the theme of every district convention. President Larson shared information that the LWML Board of Directors’ representatives would have shared during the gatherings. Parliamentarian Barbara Volk answered all questions regarding voting, protocol, and bylaws, and every district president was given the opportunity to share her disappointments, challenges, and ideas for making the best of this difficult situation.
Voting for officers, mission grant recipients, mission goals, and bylaw changes will take place electronically or through mail-in ballots for many of these districts. Videos of speakers and reports may be available on district websites. The mission and service of the women of the LWML will continue, to the glory of God. All presidents agreed that while districts will work through these challenges, face-to-face meetings will always be an important part of LWML. Fellowship and LWML hugs are a large part of this organization.
LWML District Conventions Report
Even as many LWML district conventions have been canceled due to travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlights of each district’s convention will still be reported and the work of the LWML will continue to share the Good News of our Savior.
The LWML Gulf States District had planned to hold its convention in Naverre Beach, Florida, on April 17–19, 2020. They have chosen to cancel their convention. LWML District President Gwen Marshall will continue to encourage members remotely, using the convention theme, “It's Time to Sparkle,” based on the Scripture verse found in Zechariah 9:16 (NIV): The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. Convention business, including voting for officers and mission grants, will be reported at a later date.
LWML Kansas District President Brenda Piester announced that the district convention, originally planned for April 17–19, 2020, has been rescheduled to July 31–August 2, 2020. Those who have registered for the convention are looking forward to carrying out the theme of “Be Thou My Vision,” based on Looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2 NRSV). The Capitol Plaza Hotel, Topeka, Kansas, will still be the site of the convention.
On April 24–25, 2020, sisters and brothers of the LWML New England District had planned to hold their 45th Anniversary Convention in Taunton, Massachusetts. LWML New England District President Barbara Jean Lis and the convention host committee decided to cancel this event. The convention theme, “Let There be Light,” based on Genesis 1:3, And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light, continues to encourage members to trust in the Lord. Plans are being made to host a day of celebration at a later date and voting results will be announced in mid-May.
The LWML English District chose to cancel their district convention scheduled for April 24–26, 2020, at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. LWML District President Darlene Keca announced in a letter that the LWML English District would hold its first electronic convention. Although registrants were saddened to not be able to celebrate the theme, “Open My Lips!” based on the verse O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise (Psalm 51:15), they are trusting in God’s plan for the convention.
The women and men of the LWML Montana District decided to reschedule their convention from April 24–26, 2020, to the new date of July 17–19, 2020. LWML District President Shari Miller and everyone on the convention host committee is overjoyed that the convention may still take place in Billings, Montana, at Trinity Lutheran Church. Celebrating the “Victory Through Christ” theme, based on 1 Corinthians 15:57, But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, will bring excitement to everyone.
LWML Utah-Idaho District President Lois Anderson announced that the district convention has been rescheduled to later in the summer. The original date of April 24–26, 2020, has been changed to August 14–16. Plans are underway to celebrate the theme, “Lift Up Your Eyes” from John 4:35b: Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Concordia University School of Law in Boise, Idaho, will still be the site of the convention.
Psalm 71:17, O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds, is the verse that led to the LWML Central Illinois District Convention theme: “Proclaiming Jesus — 75 Years of Serving the Lord with Gladness.” Although they could not meet in person as originally planned on April 29–30, 2020, in Morton, Illinois, LWML District President Sheila Lutz electronically guided everyone through the convention business of electing new officers and voting on mission grants. Among those elected were Laura Strattman, Chapin, Illinois, as the new district president and Pastoral Counselor Rev. Gaylord Spilker, Edinburg, Illinois. A mission goal of $105,000 was chosen for 2020-2021 and eight grants were selected. Members of the LWML Central Illinois District will continue to serve the Lord with gladness while assisting these grant recipients.
The LWML SELC District, led by LWML District President Millie Kwiatkowski, decided to cancel their convention originally planned for May 1–3, 2020, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Parma, Ohio. The convention theme, “God's Forever Word,” based on Isaiah 40:8, The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever, is, and will still be, celebrated and shared by the women and men of the district. Convention business, including voting for officers and mission grants, will be reported at a later date.
LWML Nominations Sought
The LWML Nominating Committee is seeking candidates and relying on women from across the nation to submit names of those they feel God may be calling to serve as a national LWML officer. Prayerfully consider names of possible candidates to be elected at the 2021 LWML Convention in Lexington, Kentucky, for the offices of:
- Vice President of Christian Life
- Vice President of Gospel Outreach
- Vice President of Communication
- Recording Secretary
- Nominating Committee (5)
The deadline for nominations and completed application paperwork is August 15, 2020. The LWML Procedures Manual and LWML Bylaws 2019 job descriptions are available through the Nominations webpage.
Do you know a woman equipped and eager to serve in one of these offices? Nominate her now at lwml.org/nominations. Nominations may be submitted online or through paper forms (via mail or email). For questions, please contact Brianne Stahlecker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14b).
Mobile Convention Offering #3 Update
The third offering collected at the 2019 LWML Mobile Convention, “Spiritual Care for Unaccompanied Refugee Children,” had two recipients. One of these was Upbring, an organization that provides spiritual care for unaccompanied refugee children. The Upbring team shared that they are deeply grateful to the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League for the generous donation of $15,560.20 in support of their spiritual care. Thanks to this LWML donation, Upbring can share Christ’s love through their spiritual care program at each facility through a variety of activities and worship services. In their thank-you letter, they wrote, “The generosity of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League has enabled the unaccompanied refugee children served by Upbring to grow in their faith. Upbring is truly honored by this partnership with LWML.”
What’s Your Why?
The LWML Growth and Development Committee shares this message with the women of every district:
As Lutheran Women in Mission, we support each other. It is important that we also reach out to the women within our congregations. As we build relationships with other women, it is essential to make connections by finding common interests and shared experiences. What is your personal LWML story? When you identify your "why" for being a Lutheran Woman in Mission, you can share that with others. The What's Your “Why?" Reflection Tool can be used for your reflection or as a local group, zone, or district activity. During this period of social distancing, it is a great time for prayer, reflection, and self-evaluation. Find the Reflection Tool and other group resources on the Growth and Development page at www.lwml.org/growthanddevelopment.
New Bible Marking Instructions
New to the LWML website — instructions and a label sheet for marking Bibles. These resources, from the Gospel Outreach Committee, can be used with any Bible version and are appropriate for use in prison ministry or evangelism and outreach. Get all these downloadable materials here.
Lutheran Women in Mission — The Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) is an official auxiliary of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Since 1942, the LWML has focused on affirming each woman's relationship with Christ, encouraging and equipping women to live out their Christian lives in active mission ministries, and to support global missions.
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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