eNews Issue #303 — September 1, 2020
LWML New Jersey District Meets Virtually
The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) New Jersey District Convention was scheduled for August 28–30, 2020. Like most districts this year, the decision was made to cancel their in-person convention and meet virtually. On August 29, LWML New Jersey District President Susan Harnos led her first convention following the theme, “Living Water,” based on the Scripture verse, Whoever believes in me, … rivers of living water will flow from within them (John 7:38 NIV). The voting body met two weeks in advance of the convention to elect officers, choose mission grants, and vote on bylaw changes. At the convention, the results were announced with nine new mission grants and a mite goal of $17,000. Rev. Timothy Drawbaugh, Hackettstown, was chosen as their junior pastoral counselor.
God’s Quilt of Comfort: Wrapping Up in the Psalms
Do you have a favorite quilt? Does wrapping up in it bring you comfort? “God’s Quilt of Comfort: Wrapping Up in the Psalms” is a new LWML retreat package featuring Bible studies focusing on the Psalms. It has optional activities for faith journaling and/or quilting. Author Diane Grebing leads us through a very comforting study of five favorite Psalms and tosses in just enough quilt trivia and personal stories to make this retreat one of your all-time-favorites.
Just as there are many ways to make a quilt, there are many ways to use this study:
- use the entire package for a women’s retreat;
- study each section separately in a traditional women’s Bible study group;
- use the sessions as inspirational openings for quilting group meetings;
- gather in an assisted living facility and use this study for a special time together in God’s Word;
- organize a lock-in for teens and their moms;
- construct a paper quilt wall hanging with your crafting group; or
- relax under your comforting quilt and use it as an individual study.
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Food Bank Sends Thanks
The LWML Office received a letter of thanks from Hannah Loum, Interim Food Bank Coordinator at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. She wrote, “As the Food Bank operates solely on donations, your contributions are vital to funding its two important objectives: providing essential budget relief to our students and ensuring that their nutritional needs are met. The Food Bank — and the Seminary’s campus as a whole — has operated differently since the coronavirus outbreak began this past March.”
They set up an alternate system of providing the Food Bank’s grocery items to the students with an online form on which to make their selections, and then pick up their groceries on a staggered schedule in a large space to ensure ample room for social distancing. This new system will continue throughout the term.
“I extend my biggest ‘thank you’ to all those who donate to the Food Bank,” says Brandon Bettcher, a second-year Master of Divinity student from Ray Township, Michigan. “You provide so much peace of mind to us as students so we can focus more fully on our studies and advancing the Gospel.” Read about the Seminary Food Bank here.
Mission Grant Proposals — It’s Not Too Late to Submit!
It is not too late to submit a mission grant proposal for consideration at the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League 39th Biennial Convention, Thursday, June 24 through Sunday, June 27, 2021, in Lexington, Kentucky. There are four basic steps: research/information gathering, the electronic submission, the necessary review/approval process, and the final, hard copy submission, which is due September 30, 2020. All the details are outlined in the Mission Grant Guidelines here, and Vice President of Gospel Outreach, Eden Keefe, is ready to assist you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Message of Hope from Louisiana
The following letter was written by LWML Louisiana-Mississippi District President Michelle Zollinger.
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a). After staying up most of Wednesday night, watching the Weather Channel in my home in Monroe, Louisiana, I fell asleep, waking at 6:30 a.m. to sounds of rain and wind. By 7 a.m., the power went out and all household noises ceased. The winds increased and continued to escalate, becoming more frightening throughout the day on Thursday as Hurricane Laura approached northeast Louisiana. Thursday evening brought calm and prayers of thanksgiving ascended in the quiet and stillness following the hurricane. Our gracious God brought back the displaced birds to the swaying and fallen trees, and He brought His dear children safely through the storm.
My husband Bill and I began cleaning up the tree limb debris in our yard on Friday morning. I could hear the buzz of chainsaws, sirens of emergency vehicles, and a low humming noise coming from generators. More prayers ascended, asking our Lord to grant care, safety, and relief to those receiving aid. Bill and I traveled 3½ hours to family in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as that area was spared damage and had electricity and Internet service.
I sent out an email to the LWML Louisiana-Mississippi district officers, hoping to receive replies about everyone’s condition and situation. Several live in the hardest hit southwest region of Louisiana. Communication in many areas of the state was limited, but I received replies that everyone was safe. Though most in that region would be without power and possibly water for an estimated 3–6 weeks, and there was structural damage to their homes, property, businesses, and churches, prayers of gratefulness and praise ascended to our Lord for protecting His dear children.
LWML Louisiana-Mississippi District Southwest Zone President Andrea Ferguson included in her reply: “During the storm while praying, the story of the disciples being on the boat with Jesus came to mind. Fervent prayer by multitudes is evident. The damage is bad but could have been worse. James 1:2-4 has comforted me repetitively over the years: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
You can help: Several of the affected congregations in the southwest region of Louisiana are small in size and membership and would benefit from financial support as they rebuild their church buildings. Also, many parishioners may be displaced for months because of a lack of electricity, gas, water, and basic communications. The pandemic compounds the situation. LCMS Southern District President Rev. Eric Johnson reported that District Disaster Coordinator Rev. Ed Brashier will be setting up a volunteer camp in Lake Charles to assist our congregations and volunteers in serving their community. For assessment and relief updates, please visit the LCMS Southern District Facebook page and their website at www.facebook.com/southernlcms.org/ and www.southernlcms.org/. These links provide the opportunity to contribute to the relief efforts.
On behalf of your sisters and brothers in Christ in the LWML Louisiana-Mississippi District, thank you, dear LWML sisters across our nation, for your outpouring of prayers, love, concern, and support.
Enjoy God’s peace, grace, and joy upon you, Michelle Zollinger
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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