Lifeway Women’s Fellowship – Epping, NSW

The Lifeway Women’s Fellowship at Epping consists of those who are able to meet during the week and members who cannot, for one reason or another, attend daytime meetings, but who like to keep up with the excellent articles and news in Lutheran Women.

Some time ago, we tried three Saturday afternoon meetings at the suggestion of a member who worked fulltime. Unfortunately, it wasn’t successful, as those who work have many commitments and found it difficult to slot another weekend activity into their busy schedule. The trial was abandoned as extra meetings were too much for the regular daytime members. A suggested Sunday after church meeting was also considered unsuitable because of other activities which occur after church.

Like many guilds or fellowships, we are a dwindling group – in numbers only – not in enthusiasm for meeting together around God’s Word, prayer and fellowship. We try to contribute to every project of LWA and LWNSW but, recently have had to cut back somewhat. We are fortunate that another retiree joined us last year – a younger energetic member around the table who now leads our Bible studies from Lutheran Women, which is wonderful.

In 2018 we hosted the World Day of Prayer with our own Alex Duarte, the youth worker at Lifeway, as the guest speaker. The ladies were surprised and wondered how they would be able to do what was expected of them when Alex said he was going to put us to work! However, they soon rose to a new style of presentation of the topic and made appropriate suggestions in response to Alex’s questions. Thankfully it was just our brains that were required for the work. If I could find my notes, I would give examples of what we were asked as we explored the theme: All God’s creation is very good!

We haven’t gone out for lunch as we did in past years as some ladies are not as mobile as they once were or have other family commitments. We made an effort for our end of year lunch though, taking up the generous offer of a regular guest who attends church with us, but is a member of another guild in what used to be her home congregation. Her home was highly decorated for the season and was fascinating to explore. She makes a huge effort so everyone who enters her home is aware that Jesus is the heart of Christmas, the reason for Santa and gifts. We put our hearts and voices into singing Christmas carols before watching a video chosen by Mary for the day. We were then ready to enjoy a delicious lunch to which each member in attendance contributed. A few tips on how to make some tasty dishes were exchanged for future use.

This year we are hosts for the Australian Church Women (ACW) service in October which accepts donations for the Fellowship of the Least Coin. We still manage to provide all that is necessary for these services as we take our turn on the roster of hosts in the Epping area. I remember, many years ago, we always had a good attendance at these services as ladies came to see what our church looked like. I’m not sure how they expected it to be different from any other church they had held services in. It was intriguing to see them tentatively enter our church as if about to get a fright or something, only to find there was nothing strange about a Lutheran church on the inside, just as it was a regular church building on the outside!

May we continue to look to the Lord our God, who saved us and is preparing a place for each of us when he is ready to welcome us to his home. He is our strength, our hope and our guide as we live out our lives, witnessing to his immense love for us and all people, bringing glory and praise to his name.

Yours in his Service

Marie Glover

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