Encourage one another in Christ

Seeking some long-awaited fellowship, the ladies from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Simcoe invited the ladies from Peace Lutheran Church in Tillsonburg to join them for the LWMLC Ontario District’s Mission Walk for Gillian’s Place. On May 18, 2022, seven ladies enjoyed the glory of God’s creation and the beauty of the day on the Waterford Trails. One gentleman from St. Peter’s with wonderful photography skills accompanied us on the walk also. Afterwards, we met another long-time LWMLC member, Emma Depner, and gathered for lunch at a local restaurant.

Ruth Ann Misener

L. To R. Carla Maffett, Kathy Waslowski, Eva Becht, Ruth Ann Misener, Karen Campbell, Janie Buchner, Audrey Weber
Photography credit: Tim Goodale
Yellow Warbler seen along the way.

Were you there?

The African American spiritual hymn “Were You There?” is one of my favourites during the Lenten/Easter season. Each stanza takes you through the crucifixion, the nailing to the cross, and the laying in the tomb, with the chorus emphasizing the magnitude of the scene, “tremble, tremble, tremble.”

Were you there? At the district convention?

What did you see? I saw many Christian women ranging in age from 80+, middle age, young, and even infants. I saw women with faces beaming as they hugged each other, rejoicing in the face-to-face fellowship. I saw women diligently working to make our visit comfortable and memorable.

What did you do? There was lots of action. Servant events to help those in need, visits to facilities reaching out to their communities, mission walks raising funds for great causes. In all this activity we served others as Jesus served us.

What did you hear? We heard about mission proposals and their goals to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. The Word of God was spoken, studied, and digested as we partook in numerous Bible studies. Guest speakers engaged us as they spoke of God’s purpose and direction in their lives. This in turn inspired and encouraged us in our Christian journey.

What did you feel? Did you tremble as voices blended singing hymns of praise, echoing in the sanctuary of God’s house during the divine service? Were tears in your eyes as the Words of God reached into your heart calling you to repentance? Was a weight lifted off as you received absolution and forgiveness?

I pray you experienced some or all these blessings at the district conventions. Even if you were unable to attend, these experiences can happen at your society and zone levels. Remember Christ’s words that “where two or three gather in My name I am with them” (Matthew 18:20). Feel the tremble as you study God’s Word, serve those in need, and encourage each other in faith.

Annette Borchardt, VP Member Development.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good (Psalm 106:1).

“Could that get any more adorable?” That was my most recent shopping trip this week. I was out getting groceries, a task I don’t really like, and I popped into a local five-and-dime store. There is one in every neighbourhood it seems, and my task was just to look and see what said, “buy me!”  As I shopped, I picked out a little of this, a lot of that, and a few treats, just for me. I kept in mind that the next day I was watching my youngest grandson who was battling a recurring stomach bug (not COVID). His parents had to work so he was spending “spoiling time” with me. My journey took me through the book section. Not expecting to find anything Christian my eyes rested on the cutest books you ever did see; “Thoughts for everyday…” written in a childlike manner. I could hear the words jumping off the pages, laughter in the questions, whimsical inquires like “When it rains…are you sad?” and the innocence of the children when they think of our Lord. “Do you really see everything?”

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight…” (Hebrews 4:13).

I wanted to sing that song… “I won’t grow up” by Mary Martin from the movie Peter Pan as I stood and read each book. Of course, they said BUY ME! So, I did!  We don’t live in a Neverland like Peter Pan; we live in a world full of wonders and if we take the time as children do, we will see the beauty in our world full of the promises of our Lord. 

So as our district conventions get closer, fill out those registrations, book accommodations and look forward with excitement to getting together with your sisters in Christ. For two plus years we have had Zoom meetings, Go-to-Meeting get-togethers and limited contact. it’s now time to celebrate! Remember God’s promise…

“I will instruct you and teach you in the ways you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8).

I look forward to all the pictures, the excitement of stories as ladies who haven’t seen each other in a long time get together, and the pictures of the mission walks throughout our beautiful country!

P.S. My grandson, with all my spoiling, is feeling much better!

Many animals hibernate during the cold winter months. In preparation the animal eats for a healthy storage of fat. Next, they need a place to hibernate – a cave, hollow tree trunk, or a tunnel into the snow. Hibernation is not a long nap but the undergoing of physiological changes—body temperature drops while heartbeat and breathing slows.

The past two years with the pandemic have seemed like a hibernation of sorts with limited access to services, social isolation, shut down of church services; daily routines were often limited to our own homes. Unfortunately, we were not able to hibernate through the pandemic or lose stored fat but instead gained.

Our faith too can become dormant and stale. We fall asleep in our study of God’s Word, attendance at worship services, serving our neighbour, community and world.

Most animals stop hibernating during spring because the days are getting longer, temperatures are warmer, and food is readily available. The animals, once their metabolism adjusts, are thirsty and starving for food.

Jesus, when He went to Gethsemane to pray asked His disciples, Peter, James, and John, to remain with Him and watch. Jesus prayed in great distress knowing what laid ahead for Him. He returned three times, only to find His disciples sleeping. He asked Peter, “Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). When Jesus found them sleeping again, their eves were heavy, and they did not know what to answer Him.

Are we not like those first disciples? We try to be supportive and energetic in our service to others, but our sinful flesh is weak. Like the disciples, we do not have an excuse for our failure to watch and pray. We take comfort that Jesus went to the cross for our spiritual sleepiness.

As we return to some normalcy in our daily lives may we awaken from our spiritual sleepiness with a thirst and hunger to search God’s Word, pray for His guidance and watch for opportunities to support and encourage each other in our service to others.

Annette Borchardt, VP Member Development

A Saskatchewan LWML member, Arlene Kish, and her family have a story to share.

My granddaughter Rianna Kish and her team won the provincial junior curling championship at the end of February. They qualified to go to Curl Canada’s 2022 Canadian Junior Curling Championship in Stratford, Ont., March 26 – April 1.

Curl Canada paid for their flights, the team raised funds for hotel costs and food. Their moms were given a menu to follow from Curl Sask’s dietician. The mothers were to prepare the meals, so the curlers would know what they were eating. But the hotels have no kitchenettes, so where do they cook was the question.

I knew some LWMLC gals in Ontario and sent an email to Linda Long to ask if she knew who I could approach. The person she suggested has cancer and couldn’t help. That person referred me to Pat Schallhorn, a former assistant editor of LWMLC’s magazine, Tapestry. We emailed back and forth a couple times then I gave Laurie Kish, Rianna’s mom, Pat’s contact information and they went back and forth.

I sent an email to thank Pat for all her help. The championship is still going on as I write this. She replied:

“We are having so much fun with the group. The curling girls are just ‘honeys’. And they are doing well [on the curling ice] also.

Wayne and Wendy Wharren were happy to help out. Some of the other ladies at church helped also with pies, tarts and muffins. It was so kind of them. Our church is St. Peter’s Lutheran. Go girls go!!! Called to Serve……Bob and Pat”            

I asked my daughter-in-law Laurie what Pat and Bob have done; this is what she sent me.

“They baked us muffins, provided us with crock pots, induction plate, kitchen items, home to cook supper in a couple nights, cheered us on at our games, dessert at the supper we made at Bob and Pat’s home. They also offered the barbeque to use, however the Stafford weather has become cooler while we are here. Wayne and Wendy, Pat and Bob also sit in with our Saskatchewan cheering crowd.”

The competition ends April 1. So far, the girls are 4 wins, 1 loss. They play a tough team tonight. The championship will be over by the time you read this. If you want to check on the results, here is the score link: https://www.curling.ca/scoreboard/#!/competitions/7480.

Sisters in Christ, and brothers too, are a wonderful support. A heartfelt thank you to those in Stratford.

Back, l to r: Wayne and Wendy, Pat and Bob. Frong: Hannah (lead), Rianna (second), Madison (skip), Kya (third).

Fluffy lambs share love

Love is patient, love and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 14:4-7 NIV).

This Scripture opened our LWMLC meeting on a sub-zero winter’s day in February with seven ladies attending. Louise led a Bible study on love messages found in numerous parts of Scripture. The greatness of the Lord’s Word is that is doesn’t have a Best Before date attached. The study really set the tone for Valentines Day later in the month.

A short business meeting was followed by a potluck lunch – oh, how we missed those delicious times together. Thanks be to the Lord for the opportunity to enjoy this once again. The afternoon was spent decorating a colouring page of a lamb to decorate the tired-looking message board in the church entry. To add some fun and tell the message hearts with the above Scripture passage were added. Pieces of quilt batting and Elmer’s glue stuck to our fingers, stickers landed on the floor and on our tops, to say  nothing of in our hair. Finally fluffy lambs appeared. Did some need shearing, we wondered?

Sisters in Christ, we had a fun-filled day and would like to think the Lord was laughing as He watched our child-like happiness together.

First St. Matthews LWMLC, Hanover, Ont.

A rockin’ good time

The members of Grace LWMLC in Calgary gathered at the church one Monday morning in November for some good fellowship while painting prayer rocks for our Sunday school children. To our surprise, we actually painted all 60 by the time we all needed to leave. We had a great time laughing and visiting. Each rock was hand-delivered by our members and the package consisted of a prayer rock, the Rock Prayer and the most recent LWMLC bookmark.

Our society members have been blessed in that over the past year we have been able to all meet together each month at our church while following all government health regulations. Praise God for that!

Saviour Lutheran Church in Delta, B.C., celebrated LWMLC Sunday during the worship service with responsive prayers, singing LWMLC songs, and a LWMLC video shown during announcements on October 17, 2021.

A collection of any loose change and mites from the congregation, guests and LWMLC members was received after worship and a treat of a two-pack of cookies was given out for those attending to take with them.
The LWMLC ladies removed masks for the taking of this photo.
Left to right- Beverley Askin, Christa Rink, Linda New, Nadine Darby, Linda Rittaler, Pat Fenske, Marilyn Carter.

We can all use a little encouragement and some fresh ideas. The Member Development Committee of Lutheran Women’s Missionary League – Canada has just published the first issue of The LWMLC Encourager, with the desire to provide both.

You may have noticed that Staying Connected disappeared. With the online LWML–Canada Update & Link its purpose was no longer needed. But getting word out to you about mission opportunities and enabling you to put them into action, all the while encouraging you as you do so, seemed to be needed…hence The LWMLC Encourager.

You will find the first issue on the LWMLC website, ready for you to download and share. Here’s the link: https://lutheranwomen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/March-2022-final-Encourger.pdf

Please let the Member Development committee know if you find it helpful. Email them at vpmemberdevelopment@lutheranwomen.ca.

In this issue you will find:

  1. A description of what “Member Development” is all about.
  2. Mites in Action – a focus on one of the mission grants with ideas for society sharing amongst their members and with their congregation. The focus this time is development of a new mission site in Ukraine. Given what is happening there, there may be a delay in the ability to use this grant. We will leave the timing in God’s hands.
  3.  Some ideas to help you make your district convention even more user friendly than usual for yourself and those attending, especially those attending their first convention.


I had a high school class assignment interview this week initiated by a Grade 11 student from one of Regina’s Christian schools. During these COVID-19 times, the interview was done via Zoom on camera. The only requirement was that I be someone over 50 years of age. I nailed that part but the very thought-provoking questions threw me for a loop!  

“O LORD, You have searched me and known me!”  Psalm 139:1

As LWMLC sisters in Christ, I urge you to read the points below carefully, thinking through each question as how you would answer.    

  • In your experience as a mother/influencer/grandmother, what important things have you learned?
  • What things about these experiences are worth being proud of? Do you have any regrets regarding these experiences?
  • How would you define happiness and success, and what comes to mind when you think of these two things?
  • Most people set goals and either do them from time to time or completely ignore them.  Do you have any advice on how to maintain your goals and stay motivated?
  • If you made better choices concerning how you managed your money, would you be wealthier?
  • If you weren’t a devoted Christian, where would you see yourself?
  • What is the most valuable life lesson you learned from your parents?
  • What is the best decision you have made in your life?
  • Lastly, what advice do you have for young individuals who are still struggling to find a settled path in life?

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11.

Arletta, Saskatchewan