Immanuel Women’s Fellowship, Woden Valley

Immanuel Women’s Fellowship, Woden Valley, meets each month for Bible Study, fellowship and business. We have been blessed to have Pastor (now Bishop of LCA NSW District) Robert Bartholomaeus, lead most of our studies, usually those from Lutheran Women. For the past seven years, Pastor Robert researched and prepared ahead of time to make sure we gained maximum benefit from the material presented by the various Bible Study writers. We will miss his participation in our study hour plus his depth of knowledge of all things scriptural and his ability to explain concepts to our much less learned minds. We will also miss his willingness to make suggestions, to attend our functions, to mingle and enjoy each occasion, to give his opinion. Change and promotions happen – we wish him well in his new role as Bishop.

Jenny Bartholomaeus, Frau Pastor, has also been a great blessing to our fellowship with her amazing abilities and her willingness to share them, her dedication to helping wherever and whenever she can, always calmly and with a smile. She will be very much missed in our group and congregation. Jenny will go on to excel in her new role as “The Bishop’s Wife” and we wish her well, too!

Our membership fluctuates around the 10–12 mark. We enjoy studying God’s Word and doing his work, very much enjoying fellowship with each other along the way. Life is busy with three-monthly Seniors Luncheons; including services with communion for the elderly in our congregation; catering for some funerals; socialising with fellow Lutheran groups and other denominational church groups. Representatives attend Retreat at Warrambui, World Day of Prayer, and ACT Church Women’s functions.

This year we are hosting the Canberra Zone Fellowship day. We are fortunate to have another local pastor, Ian Rentsch, who will talk to us about trekking in Nepal for ALWS, and a pastoral assistant, Jacob Traeger, to present the devotion. It will be great despite the rampant flu bugs around.

The past 12 months or so has had its ups and downs with the deaths of long-time member, Robyn Pfeiffer, last year and newer member, Ingeborg Krege, recently. Other members have been and are very ill.

Our birthday meeting was attended by members of local fellowships, those from other denominations and congregational members, around 50 people – a good number for our Hall. There was a lot of red decoration as the theme was “The China Experience” – a talk and PowerPoint presentation by Jenny Bartholomaeus about her and Pastor’s visit to that country as guests of former member students’ families and sightseeing. Eunita Pietsch presented the devotion which gave a brief outline of the growth of Christianity in China. A delightful afternoon’s entertainment with lots of good old-fashioned fellowship.

We are in a new era as our “Op Shop” was closed at the end of last year. We miss seeing the people who came regularly, those who called in occasionally, those who enjoyed cups of tea, coffee and a chat with us, and the excited ones who found ‘a great bargain’. It was always interesting, and I certainly miss it still. However, the work involved was a huge burden for some and a challenge for others. Our time has still been filled though, maybe things just take us longer to do!

There are always opportunities for us to work in the name of the Lord and we do this to the best of our ability, always praying for direction and wisdom.

Meryl Packer

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