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Thanks to Ruth

September to Remember

Ruth Utech influenced and encouraged my involvement in LWML. Her excitement about LWML nudged me to learn more about the organization and attend a national convention.

In the summer of 1981 when we lived in Ohio, our family was traveling in Wisconsin. One of our stops was at the home of my husband’s Aunt Ruth. She had just returned from serving on the host committee for the LWML convention held in Milwaukee. To say she was excited would be putting it mildly! Her enthusiasm over the speakers, the mission grants, and the fellowship was contagious. So much so, that when I saw the 1983 convention was to be held in Detroit, just a few hours’ drive from where I lived, I decided to go and see what this organization was all about. So began my experiences with the LWML.

May each of us share the things that we have seen and heard in LWML and encourage women to come and see what it’s all about!

Janice Wendorf

Thanks to a Past District President

September to Remember

A past LWML Nebraska South District president (along with other mentors) influenced my involvement in LWML. Observing her lead a convention was the inspiration God used to nudge me into leadership positions in my congregation and as a zone president. The support also encouraged me to allow my name to be submitted for national LWML president.

At that convention, I saw women expressing laughter, joy, hugs, fellowship, purpose, and celebrating what God had done through mites, and continued to do as they selected new grants through faith. Every woman was able to use her God-given gifts. It was an “aha” moment: God surrounded me with women who loved the Lord, loved missions, and had hearts to serve and to help.

The blessings of that “aha” moment which led to my saying “yes” to serving include:

  • Hearing thanks from missionaries for our prayers and loving support;
  • Listening to Synod leaders say how the LWML is a tremendous blessing to the Church;
  • Recalling convention scenes of faithful women gathering to praise God and serve in love for missions; and
  • Rejoicing with Heart to Heart Sisters and Young Woman Representatives; their participation make us stronger and better.

Linda Reiser

Thanks to Helen … and many others!

September to Remember

Several people, including my mother and my mother-in-law, influenced and encouraged my early involvement in LWML. Their support led me in 1979 to say “yes” to LWML President Helen Gienapp to serve as coordinator for the 1981 LWML convention in Milwaukee. I was a hostess at that 1979 Omaha convention, where Helen had been the coordinator and also was elected to serve as the LWML President.

Helen was a wonderful teacher, expecting perfection and respect. She listened to new ideas, gave advice when asked, and set an example for others. We were close friends until the day she met Jesus. Other past LWML presidents, too, have mentored me.

Women from younger generations, like our Young Woman Representatives, have also been my mentors. They ask a lot of questions that sometimes are difficult to answer! It’s fun to learn alongside them as I determine the answers.

Blessings received:

  • Being involved daily in God’s Word;
  • Meeting a great variety of people, including the president of the LCMS and LWML women in the smallest churches;
  • Learning to direct and delegate responsibilities; and
  • Realizing that I am always someone’s president, no matter how many years ago it’s been.

Virginia Von Seggern

Thanks to Louise

September to Remember

Mrs. Louise Hartner influenced and encouraged my involvement in LWML. Her method led me to say “yes” to serving.

It all happened so many years ago. As a young woman in a new, young congregation, we had an enthusiastic, engaged group of women. We were involved in Bible study and in serving our growing congregation. Some of us did attend zone rallies, but otherwise were not much involved beyond our own group.

Mrs. Hartner (we never used her first name, since we viewed her as very committed, but also very old!) called one day and asked me to meet her at my church on a Sunday afternoon. How could I refuse? We sat near the small fountain in our church courtyard. She asked me to serve as the next zone president. Again, how could I refuse? This committed, respected woman had driven from the other end of our zone to talk to me in person. She spoke convincingly of her perception of my abilities.

Over the years I have been grateful to her. Her asking led to so many possibilities of serving the Lord through Lutheran Women in Mission.

Gloria Edwards

Thanks to Gerry

September to Remember

The late Gerry C. influenced and encouraged my involvement in LWML. Her support led me to say “yes” to serving as a local group (society) president in the 1960s.


Gerry in center

Through our church relationship, a friendship developed. Gerry, even though she knew that crafting was not my thing, invited me to help make table decorations for a district LWML convention. Being a friend, I said “yes.” She invited me to an LWML meeting; I joined and served as president. Many other opportunities followed to serve God and His people through the LWML as a result of my saying “yes” to something I did not like to do. It was Gerry who presented me with a bouquet of yellow roses at the 1991 ILWML Convention in Cleveland where I was elected president.

Blessings received from saying “yes” to serving include:

  • Prayers and greetings sent to me during times of need and times of celebration;
  • LWML national convention attendance by all my immediate family members;
  • My daughter’s LWML service to God;
  • The opportunity to facilitate the writing of the LWML Mission Statement; and
  • The blessings of LWML friendships.

Ida Mall

Thanks to Vicki

September to Remember

Mrs. Vicki Davis, the LWML Southern Illinois District President when I served as their district pastoral counselor, influenced and encouraged my involvement in LWML. Her support helped me to say “yes” to serving as a pastoral counselor on the zone, district, and national levels.

President Vicki kept the focus on the mission of the LWML, served with joy and conviction, and felt that the ministry of the LWML was important and vital. As I finished my last term, I could hear her whispering in my ear, “How are you going to continue to serve the LWML in the years ahead?” This inspired me for further service. I give thanks for the opportunity to serve under her leadership.

Blessings received:

  • Serving three zones in the LWML Southern Illinois District, including one term alongside my wife, Penny, the zone president at the time, which enabled us to work together to grow the zone;
  • Learning the strengths and hearing stories of the women with whom I served;
  • Realizing the ministry of the LWML reaches far, touching hearts and lives of women around the world; and
  • Leading Bible studies, prayer and worship services, and attending rallies and retreats.

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Thanks to Honey

September to Remember

She is an energetic and creative force, and the biggest cheerleader, all wrapped into one person. When I first met her, she said, “Hi! My name is Honey.”

For the past 18 years I have come to see that no one seems to have a more fitting name. Honey Pabst is very active in the LWML at the group, zone, and district levels. She always has a way of encouraging people to be part of LWML, she comes up with great ways to meet together both for service and fellowship, and she is committed to supporting the work of the LWML and the mission of the Gospel.

She does all of this with a seemingly ever-present smile on her face. She is an inspiration simply by her devotion to LWML and her love for the Lord. I have been blessed to know Honey, and to be continually encouraged by her to this day. Thank you, Honey, for your faithfulness to Christ and for your servant heart!

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