The 52nd Annual Convention, May 2018 was held at Victor Harbor with the theme Bloom where you are planted. The 252 in attendance were hosted by Victor Harbor “Coffee & Chat” group. Pastor Paul Lohe, Spiritual Advisor retired from the position. Later in the year we welcomed Pastor Mark Welke to the role. Support from Assistant Bishop for Mission, Stephen Schultz, is gratefully valued.
The General Convention of LWA in Sydney, saw a group tour of LWSA-NT members (and some husbands), ably hosted by Tracy Smith. Some 40 ladies attended. With the invitation issued by Roslyn Zadow, LWWA President, to join them in Perth in the early days of May 2019, Tracy again hosted a group of more than 30 to join our sister members for their 50th Convention of LWWA.
Our 53rd Annual Convention, 18 May 2019, was hosted by the ladies at Para Vista, with 200 ladies in attendance. Radiant in Hope, a continuation of the LWA 2018 convention was chosen, based on Romans 15:13.
The 54th Annual Convention, programmed for 7 May 2020, was initially postponed, and then finally cancelled due to COVID-19. Thankfully, with the theme being The Strength of Gentleness based on Philippians 4:5, it was held at Mannum on 6 May 2021, with a recorded attendance of 218. An on-line registration procedure was introduced, as numbers for the venue were restricted and, also, in case there was a need to advise prospective attendees of a change to arrangements. There was much joy in being able to come together following the uncertainties of the previous twelve months.
Total monies raised: (Membership) Total project monies raised/distributed:
To Nov 30, 2018 $164,045.45 (1445) to November 30, 2018 $100,216.60
To Nov 30, 2019 $103,575.75 (1363) to November 30, 2019 $110,015.75
To Nov 30, 2020 $ 81,675.58 (1264) to November 30, 2020 $ 68,546.40
The increased contribution to projects at Nov 2019, was possible due to the claiming of GST paid on the group excursions to Sydney and Perth. We are indeed grateful to the members who joined these journeys and know many wonderful friendships and memories have been made.
These provide a valuable time of coming together for fellowship, Bible study time, recreation and sharing meals which we have not necessarily had to prepare. The year 2019 saw the end of an era – the last LWSA-NT Retreat held on the campus of Australian Lutheran College at North Adelaide. Pass it On was the theme based on Proverbs 22:6, with Pastor Nigel Rosenzweig as Bible study leader. The resources of Grow Ministries were shared with us, together with learning of the ministries and programs for the younger members of our church, our children, and our grandchildren. A new venue in 2020, Immanuel College at Novar Gardens, with boarding facilities for students, proved to be very adequate for retreat attendees. Pastor Reid Matthias was the study leader, and a theme In Stitches, with Colossians 3:12-14 as the base for weekend meditation. The Retreat Committee were delighted to have Karina Napangardi Penhall from Alice Springs in attendance. An absolute surprise was Katrina’s gift of her dot painting of Honey Ants, as a thank you to LWSA-NT for their support of ministries in Alice Springs.
Again, the fellowship, camaraderie evident among many faithful attendees from over the years, made for a special time together. Pastor Reid’s wife and daughters entertained us with their passion for music on Saturday evening. To the ladies who prepare these times of study/reflection/renewal – thank you so much.
Several of our state zones also embrace the retreat concept. A milestone of 50 years of retreats was celebrated by the Upper North Zone in February 2020. Whether it be for a weekend or just a day, we know that God is present there with us, to inspire and reassure us of our journey with him, and to help us to be an encouragement to others.
Grace Bock, Tracy Smith and Rosalie Polkinghorne joined the executive in May 2017, and in May 2019 we bade farewell to Heather Zimmermann who served for close to 10 years in various roles. Debbie Borgas has served as an additional committee member since May 2019. Rosalie Polkinghorne resigned in mid-2020. Lyn Pech, Chris Kuchel and Di Schlenk have joined the executive at the 2021 Convention, and Grace Bock and Grace Kroehn have retired. Josie Hunt of Keith was elected as the President.
Thank you to the auxiliaries, under the umbrella of LWSA-NT, which continue to give support in many voluntary hours, together with valuable financial assistance to provide the “extras”. Tanunda Lutheran Home, Glynde Lutheran Home and Fullarton Lutheran Home have all been the recipients of many hours of love and care generously given by those from nearby zones, providing for the needs of residents and staff alike. Again, the pandemic has caused a lot of voluntary support to cease or be conducted under strict restrictions.
The Lutheran Community Care and Clothing Committee is comprised of representatives from each zone and meet three times during the year. These ladies invariably bring large amounts of donated goods when attending and hear up-to-date info which in turn is shared back in the zones. With the phasing out of plastic bags, many hundreds of material bags have been lovingly sewed for Lutheran Care to use in handing out Emergency Relief.
The Nominations Committee, comprising zone representatives, seeks to find persons for the state executive and was also tasked with finding ladies to serve as the LWA Executive from September 2021.
The state newsletter Tidings continues to be an important link with all our members. While serving as our state secretary, Joan Schiller is also the newsletter editor, producing a publication full of interesting and informative news. Three editions – July, October and March – keep members informed of state and zone activities. Given the larger membership in SA, with respect to providing info to the Lutheran Women magazine, we have chosen to print our Zone Fellowship/Rally Day reports, only in our state newsletter.
Upon Helen Fiebiger’s retirement as SA-NT Statelink reporter to Lutheran Women, Maureen Turner now serves in this role.
“Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.” How special it is, when those of us who are members of fellowships with smaller numbers, can join with many more, to be encouraged and hear from informative guest speakers we perhaps feel less inclined to ask to address a small group. Attendances at these days have been good, serving those members who, in their more senior years, find travelling longer distances to a state convention, no longer possible.
In 2020, just one Rally/Fellowship Day was held, with the Eyre Peninsula Zone meeting at Port Lincoln on 1 March, before the restrictions of the pandemic. Easing of restrictions saw the ladies from Eyre Peninsula gather at Tumby Bay on 7 March 2021, and other zones are now planning their days for later in the year.
Honey Biscuits – Lovingly baked and decorated and packed into cellophane bags, with a Christmas tract attached, are delivered to Lutheran Care in Blair Athol and Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley. They are then provided to various state institutions to be shared among inmates/residents and, we are assured, readily received, and enjoyed. Again, thank you to the generous providers and cooks!
During the Barossa Vintage Festival in 2019, an outstanding display depicting Women of the Bible, was staged at Angaston by a fellowship member with the assistance of two other ladies. A DVD and script for the story of each scene has been made.
This award valued at $150, is provided to each of the 13 Colleges, who in turn select the recipient. It is presented to a student from Year 10–12, meeting criteria which LWSA-NT provides. Where possible, a member of the executive attends and presents the award. In colleges, more distant, a local fellowship member has been the presenter.
Many years of faithful service, and with thanks to our loving God, have been acknowledged by various fellowships, but probably most notable was the 125th Anniversary of Bethlehem Adelaide, in October 2018.
With praise and thanks to God for his unending grace and love to our Lutheran Women in SA-NT.