This triennium I have met many beautiful, inspiring Lutheran ladies across Australia. I have seen your strength and love to each other and your support on a National and International level. An amazing amount of $388,818.93 has been raised for projects, even with a COVID year in the middle. Thank you one and all for contributions and your devotion and commitment, serving in your local areas supporting your congregations and State projects also.
As Lutheran Women, striving to share the Gospel in and through our fellowships/guilds, we are sent by God to support and share our faith. I am encouraged and I’m sure you all have been blessed in some way through these past three years, despite COVID-19.
Our LWA magazine has been integral in the distribution of the State news, the sharing of successes within guilds/fellowships to a wide reader audience. What a privilege and a blessing it has been to work with the magazine committee of Grace Bock, Maureen Turner and Felicity Evans. I acknowledge and give thanks for the Bible Study and Devotion writers, who have continued to refresh us through the Word, challenged us to delve deeper into the Bible as we met together to grow and learn more about our Lord and Saviour. For those who were able to share some time together in study in a group, or if you were in your own homes, we had a bond that brought us all together, reading and studying God’s Word through the Lutheran Women magazine.
With the encouragement and support of the editorial committee, especially Felicity, we began to offer our magazine as a digital option. You have the convenience of a paperless magazine with news that pops up on to your computer, tablet, or mobile phone each week. This then allows you to see more photos, extra news, and longer articles, as it is not restricted by page numbers.
Have you thought about offering subscriptions to the younger women of your congregation/parish? What about taking out a subscription for someone close to you?
Membership has decreased through natural attrition and older members feel that their groups are too small to continue. I want to assure you, that YOU are all valued and, though YOU (we) all slow down with age, you are all an important part of God’s jigsaw and that your contribution is in staying connected through membership. You can keep praying for the projects and the continued support of these; and with your encouragement of the more able/younger women of your congregations. Let your passion shine through continuing membership.
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25 ESV.
Thank you to Joan Zilm who is our liaison with the Pastoral students. We continue in supporting them with an initial $200 at the start of their studies and then you support them in prayer, and we are there with emergency financial assistance.
Unfortunately, all the State Conventions were cancelled for 2020. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic commencing, I attended LW State Conventions in 2019 in LWNSW at St Pauls, Henty; in LWWA at Morley Bethlehem Church; and in LWSA-NT at Good Shepherd, Para Vista.
This year I have attended Conventions of the LWV at Shepparton; and LWSA-NT at Mannum and with travel allowed, will attend the LWNSW Convention in Canberra.
The LWA executive met regularly in the first year but were impacted by the pandemic in 2020. I thank God for our committee of dedicated women who have supported me with their prayers and wise words: Linda Niewand, Secretary; Irma Dymke, Vice President; Irene Geer, Treasurer; Leonie Hateley, Extra Member; and our two Spiritual Advisors, Pastor Ernie Kiss and Pastor Chris Raatz. Our Spiritual Advisors have supported us with their biblical knowledge, wise advice, and encouragement. As an executive, we became “familiar” with zoom technology, and this allowed us to continue “meeting” screen to screen! Our LWA Council meeting scheduled for July 2020 was postponed to October 2020, and two Representatives from each state, with apologies from NSW, attended online.
I thank the bishops and pastors from each State for the encouragement that you have given to your lovely ladies in their guilds/fellowships as they work together in serving here and for International Missions.
Lastly, I am so grateful to my Father God for his blessings that he has bestowed upon me. He has enriched my life, equipped me to walk the road with him, and forgiven the mistakes I have made! I/WE do have an awesome GOD. God’s Word is the most powerful weapon on the face of the earth and can support us in all that we do. Let us give to him what he first gave to us.
God’s love and kindness will shine upon us like the sun that rises in the sky. Luke 1:78 CEV.