The LWNSW 53rd Convention was held on 27 April at St Paul’s, Henty.
The theme for the day was The Lightkeepers, based on Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
After Elaine, President of Henty Guild, welcomed everyone, Pastor Kees delivered his opening devotion based on the theme. He stressed that we are the light of Christ in this world. We reflect Christ’s light, so we need to show love and care to all. Sometimes that’s easy, sometimes not. As women of the Lutheran Church of Australia in NSW, we should foster love to all, even those who may annoy us, especially those who annoy us the most! An ongoing challenge, and a reminder, that being a Christian is more than a label, or passive acceptance of our faith; we need to pass Jesus’ amazing love around, so we are ‘known as his disciples’ and keepers of his new commandment.
The Member for Albury, Mr Justin Clancy, said that we are all called together to ‘walk in the light’. He has known and admired the strong communities of Henty, Walla Walla and Alma Park over many years and, today, felt the warmth, generosity and hospitality, the sharing and fellowship which are such important aspects of ‘community’.
Charmain Lieschke, LWNSW President, welcomed everyone on behalf of her committee; Wendy Habel, President of the LWA; Pastor Robert Bartholomaeus, newly elected Bishop of the LCA NSW District; guest speakers; members and visitors. So many friendly, cheerful people giving of themselves, their time and information about the many projects supported by the women of our State. Generously supported as was evidenced by the offering of nearly $2,500!
Bishop Robert spoke about the NSW District’s Strategic Plan – “Walking Together in Mission”, with some “Sending Churches” already established. He then conducted successful elections for the new State executive and associated positions, with all but one position filled on the day.
Singing is a big part of our conventions. Wonderful hymn/songs all about ‘Light’ were chosen to enhance the theme. All were sung with gusto and in fine voice. A group of Henty ladies sang, Let Your Light Shine, relating each of the five verses to a specific Bible verse. A clever idea! In contrast, the chosen memorial hymn for those members who passed away during the past year, Lead Thou me on, Thou kindly, heavenly Light, moved us near to tears.
Once again ‘The Open Door Bookshop, from Temora displayed a great range of books, cards and other gifts; Lutheran Media, the LLL and Tract Mission, ALWS and Mission International all set up interesting and informative displays.
The sun shone, people relaxed and smiled – rejoiced in knowing that so much is happening in the name of the Lord to make many lives easier, and to give the underprivileged hope for a better future.
Time is always too short – so much to hear and learn; so much to cram into one day; so many old friends to catch up with; so many new ones just waiting to be met! It was a fabulous theme – a timely reminder to us all that we each have an important reason for being on this earth. We are the hands and feet of God with plenty to keep us busy! We must also pray for “eyes to see” just where our hands and feet are needed.
St Paul’s is a lovely church building with a welcoming feel. The talented ladies who create wonderful flower arrangements and banners there excelled themselves for convention. The people of Henty were warmly thanked for hosting the day and for their generous hospitality.
Gatherings like this are highlights in our Christian life as we are social beings designed by God to live in community. I’m sure that Jesus would say to everyone who attended, planned, prepared and presented on the day – “well done thou good and faithful servant!”
Yours in His Service