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9-8-2021 September to Remember article

September to Remember


I caught her one morning with her head bowed, standing in front of her dresser, praying. She placed something in an envelope and went about her day.

She was providing housing for me during my deaconess internship. A humble, faith-filled servant of God of meager means, she was a loving mother, grandmother, volunteer, and active member of the church.

I couldn’t get the picture of her praying out of my mind, so I just had to ask what she was doing. Her response was, “Giving thanks to God for all He has given me. I was filling my offering envelopes so I could pay my bills. First setting aside a portion of what God has blessed me with helps me prioritize things.”

It was an important message I needed to learn. Her firstfruits giving has been an example for me these forty-plus years. Garnette was, and still is, a shining light in my life. Who has been that shining light for you? Consider remembering that person with a special gift to the LWML during our September to Remember campaign.

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce (Proverbs 3:9).

Deaconess Betty Knapp

9-7-2021 September to Remember article

September to Remember

Check! It’s Finished!

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

As a new church plant, we had the opportunity to begin an LWML group. What shall we name it? We decided on WinGS — Women in God’s Service.

Does a family need a funeral meal? “Check.” Should cards be mailed or a prayer shawl delivered to a shut in? “Done!” Shall we collect for the food bank? “I’ll bring boxes.” Who is on this month’s altar committee? “It’s finished.” Who has snacks for the midweek service? “Already signed up!”

At each turn and every situation, this WinGS group inspires me. They lift each other up. They encourage others. They are welcoming. They are enthusiastic. They “let their lights shine” through their kindness, service, and care for others. Oh, that we could all be like them as they give wholeheartedly, reflecting God’s love to their church and community!

God’s blessings as you let your light shine!

Brenda Piester

9-6-2021 September to Remember article

September to Remember

My Shining Light — Kaja Gade


I was four years old when I met Kaja Gade — my first Sunday school teacher. She gently “corralled” a rambunctious class of eight boys and two girls, patiently and quietly teaching us songs like “Jesus Loves Me” and “The B-I-B-L-E”. She kept us focused and always shared the Gospel.

Kaja was the first adult I met who wasn’t a family member and she always made me feel like we were part of God’s family. She showed compassion and love, and taught me how to pray, be thankful, and to serve others. She showed me how to be a light for Christ.

Kaja taught Sunday school for 55 years. I am grateful for her servant heart and willingness to share her faith. She touched many lives and , after 98 years of life here on earth, Kaja is now at home with her Savior, Jesus.

Honor someone who shared the light of Christ with you by donating to the mission of LWML on September 14!

Karla Koehler

9-5-2021 September to Remember article

September to Remember

A Faithful Teacher and Encourager

Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches (Galatians 6:6).

There was a nervousness in me when, as a 6th grader, I began my time in confirmation at church. Mrs. Hafer taught the basics of the faith and the meaning of grace. My nervousness quickly evaporated into ease as she patiently taught our class. At the end of the year, Mrs. Hafer pulled me aside and encouraged me to look for a sign that God might be calling me into ministry, because that might be God’s plan. I mentally laughed it off at the time, having other dreams, but that conversation stayed with me. Her encouragement kept open the possibility of pastoral ministry, and this year, I began my 17th year serving the saints of God in Christ’s Church. Her encouragement continues as she sends messages to support me along the path she helped send me upon.

Thank you, Amanda Hafer, for your faithfulness in teaching God’s children, and for your encouragement to me and many others. You truly shine the light of Christ and have been a blessing to me and to the Church!


9-4-2021 September to Remember article

September to Remember

Lighting up the Whole Sky

The number of people who have been “shining lights” in my life light up the whole sky! They provided light to me by encouraging, challenging, and prompting me; they poked and pushed me. All were used by the Spirit to bring me to a reasonable level of spiritual maturity.

There are those who truly stand out above others, some common to all believers, such as parents, pastors, and friends. My list also includes seminary professors and local pastoral associates. My dad, although not outspoken, was a shining light through his enduring and continuing faithfulness to me. Several pastors encouraged me to enter the seminary.

But my dear Judy tops them all. As my wife, she never waivers, always encourages, and, when needed, gently corrects. I cannot be more pleased and thankful.

Now, more recently, the many outstanding LWML leaders I’ve come to know are in a league of their own, routinely encouraging me to develop a closer oneness with the Savior.

I am exceedingly thankful for these many shining lights in my life!

Pastor Gary Piepkorn

9-3-2021 September to Remember article

September to Remember

Let Your Light Shine

“Let your light so shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

knitted hats

Certain people light up a room just by being there. The women and men in our church quilting group are prime examples. They come willing, eager to make quilts, plastic sleeping mats, and diapers. One member sews bears for agencies in our community and to give as a remembrance to those who have lost a loved one. An honorary member of our group, Millie, age 100 in October, made quilts and crocheted baby blankets and hats until her eyesight failed. She motivates the rest of us to let our lights shine to others.

Working together, we accomplish more than when we’re apart. Every time we gather, we have a time for sharing concerns and prayer requests. Remembering the less fortunate and doing things to help ease their burden is an example of glorifying God with your time and abilities.

How do you use the talents God gave you to remember and serve others?


9-2-2021 September to Remember article

September to Remember

“First Responder” — A Shining Light

My shining light is a man with a kind word and a prayer asking God to bless His people. He’s a “first responder,” but not the kind you hear about on the news. This man responds with prayer — which should always be our first response.

He serves others daily by visiting with people, counseling and consoling them, and laughing or crying with them. His life is a life of service. He’s been there for me and many others; he listens and prays for you and with you.

Pastor Mitchel Schuessler

When the LWML “I am the Heart of LWML” Task Force first met, we began by looking to Scripture. This shining light quoted Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Our treasure is Christ, our heart is with Him, and we show His love by serving others. That describes this man of God; he shines his light in service to the women and men of the LWML and to his congregation.

Thank you, Pastor Mitch Schuessler, for being a shining light for the LWML!

For LWML’s September-to-Remember campaign on September 14, consider donating to the LWML Mission Goal in honor of someone who is a “Shining Light” in your life.

Susan Donnelly


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