At the age of 98 years and nine months, it seemed like Esther would be with us forever, but God called her home while she was resting on the couch. She was one of the first people I met when I moved here 40 years ago to serve as the parish deaconess. Her gift of hospitality was well known, as was her jello fluff salad brought to all church functions.
A picture board was displayed at her funeral with photos of family, summer outings, and friends. But also noticable on that board were pictures of the church staff. For her, they were part of her family. We celebrated with Esther at family birthday parties, confirmations, and weddings. Now we were celebrating her going home to heaven.
In October, churches around the country celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month. For Esther, every day was clergy appreciation day. With the apostle Paul, she frequently exhibited his words: I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:4).
Take time this month to appreciate those who serve at your church. Expressing your gratefulness for their service can show them how much you care. Pray that the Holy Spirit will give them strength. Provide them with small gifts or notes of encouragement. Volunteer when extra help is needed.
The LWML website has many suggestions for supporting, encouraging, and acknowledging pastors. Check out www.lwml.org/posts/kit-ideas/pastor-support-and-involvement-ideas. Sharing these supportive gestures with your whole church staff can encourage them to continue serving the Lord with gladness.
Posted on October 20, 2019 9:00 AM
Serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100:2a).
Has anyone asked you the question, “What is LWML?” Did you pause for a minute before you answered?
The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League started over 77 years ago. The organization has changed through the years to stay current with the times, but the mission statement remains the same: “… to assist each woman of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in affirming her relationship with the Triune God so that she is enabled to use her gifts in ministry to the people of the world.”
If you need a refresher on the basics of the LWML, take a look at “Women in Mission University” on the website’s “Service” tab (Group Resources). Look at “LWML 101 — The Basics,” where you’ll find helpful statements such as “LWML women gather with a purpose: to be in God’s Word, to be in fellowship with one another, and to participate in servant opportunities.” We also support missions here in the United States and around the world to spread the Gospel through our mite offerings. Use LWML Sunday, or any other day, to share what LWML is all about!
The best answer to “What is LWML?” is rephrasing the question to ask, “What is the LWML to me?” and answer how you personally serve the Lord with gladness through the organization.
Posted on October 13, 2019 9:00 AM
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The beautiful colors, crisp days, and spectacular sunrises and sunsets remind us of God’s love! Fall also brings to mind new beginnings and transitions. It was always exciting to start the school year by renewing friendships, as well as forming new ones!
As your newly-elected treasurer, I have been transitioning and learning many new things. I have already been blessed with new friends on the board of directors, office staff members, and other LWML members. What special and unique talents and love they have brought to my life since convention! I am extremely blessed!
How about you? Are you grateful for your friends? Especially your LWML friends? Are you excited to learn something new? Or maybe you just want something familiar. Either way, check out the many resources under “The Word” tab. There you’ll find Bible studies, devotions, program helps, and even coloring sets! Enjoy them with your friends!
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you (John 15:12).
Posted on October 07, 2019 11:14 AM
This week is the beginning of October. October is traditionally when many local LWML groups celebrate LWML Sunday and look forward to sharing their passion for the Gospel. LWML encourages and equips women to share their Savior and serve His people.
LWML focuses on mission inspiration and education, mission service, and mission giving. We focus on Christ!
Women often display the handmade quilts they’ve worked on all year on the backs of the pews or chairs in their sanctuary. They set out information about the mission grants in their districts and those at the national level. They may show a video highlighting those grants. Many churches sponsor a congregational meal.
Does your church celebrate LWML Sunday? If not, visit with your pastor about taking part in LWML Sunday. This year’s LWML Sunday resources are found here. I won’t tell you what the theme is … click on the link to find out! Do you think it’s too late to organize a Sunday celebration in your congregation? It’s not! Lutheran Women in Mission may celebrate LWML Sunday whenever they would like to share the benefits with others. Work together with your pastor and choose a date to celebrate!
In His service, surrounded by His grace,
Posted on September 29, 2019 9:00 AM
I reside in a college town whose school color is purple. The street signs and trash cans are purple, my neighbor’s mailbox is purple, and last week I saw a display of purple vacuum cleaners in a shop window.
Emblazoned across the entryway to the football stadium are the words “Purple Power.” When fans on the west side chant “purple,” those on the east reply back with “power.” My team, along with every other team, begins the season thinking we have the power to be number one. Yet only one team ultimately has the power to win the championship.
God reminds us that He is the one with true power. He will not only lead all season, He will be champion in the end! As Christians we know that power is from God alone. As Lutheran Women in Mission, we love our purple, but power is not in the color purple. It is in our almighty and all-powerful God.
The LWML Bible studies Who is Number one? and All Things Through Christ remind us of God’s power. Both are available as free downloads at www.lwml.org/program-helps-bible-studies
By the power of the Holy Spirit, help us to take to heart the words, I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
Posted on September 22, 2019 9:00 AM
Thanks be to God for those who give aid to hurting people, for those who help people experiencing devastating losses, and for those who give sacrificially of their time, talents, and treasures to support others.
LWML Toolkits are available as free downloadable resources to help in offering encouragement to first responders, teachers, care givers, and more — anyone who may be giving aid and helping others in distress. The What’s New in LWML tab on the right side of this page spotlights two of those kits, First Responders and Teachers.
To access more free resources, type “toolkits” in the search bar on this home page for a list of categories ranging from baptism, to cancer care, to a toolkit for teachers; or click on one of the kits listed below. Let someone know you are thinking about them.
Cancer Care Kit
First Responder Kit
Shut-In and Nursing Home Kit
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus (Romans 15:5).
Posted on September 16, 2019 11:11 AM
In August, the LWML Board of Directors met in St. Louis to prepare and plan for the new biennium. What an exciting time as we prayed for the Lord’s guidance to select women He had already chosen to serve Him for the next two years! Committees and their chairmen were appointed, and we praised God for the women who said, “Yes! I’m honored to serve the Lord with gladness!”
As LWML Women in Mission let us share with each other the opportunity to be in the Word and encourage her to use her unique gifts in God’s service. Let each of us, by God’s grace, strive to make a significant difference in the lives of all people. As servants of the Lord let us help women in our congregations to grow in their relationships with others so they can help them know forgiveness, life, and salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Now in September, as you plan events in your local group, help is available with new resources here on the LWML website. A Missionary? Me? presents real-life, non-scripted stories, written by women serving in the mission field. Study how Jesus not only leads, but carries these women through many difficult challenges. Check out Where Love Abides, an 8-lesson DVD Bible study based on John 15:1–17. Written by Donna Pyle, this study takes an in-depth look at what it means to abide in Jesus, the True Vine, to bear lasting fruit.
Posted on September 08, 2019 9:00 AM