Encourage one another in Christ

Have you had that call like I had today? Good friends have contracted COVID-19 and then a family member is in hospital struggling to breathe with COPD. I couldn’t run to either place to help…but I could pray. Sometimes all you can do is pray. Ask in prayer, believe and trust!

James 4:2b – “You do not have because you do not ask.” 

Ask for His will, believe in what God says is yours, trust in His promises until youreceive allthat He has for you.

You make time for those you love. You make time for what you consider a priority. If Jesus Christ is the priority that we say He is in our lives, then why do we spend so little time with Him on a daily basis?

Think over your last day…your last week…your last month. What did you make time for? What you did tells you what you really feel strongly about.

Time is important to God and godly use of time should be important to the believer. How are we to live every day if we don’t consult Him to give us the wisdom and encouragement we need to carry on as well as godly direction and guidance in place of the world’s noise, confusion & disorganization?

Daily prayer becomes the opportunity to communicate to God our needs, and desires, asking, waiting and watching for His will to unfold – always beyond our expectations and always in His time frame.

Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

God wants us to consult Him about everything. Philippians 4:6 seems a direct encouragement to us: Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. God proves to us that a willingness to pray, rather than worry, unleashes the Holy Spirit’s power to work in our lives.

Let Bible reading & prayer become your natural reaction when faced with a dilemma or a decision. Allow God to confirm direction for you and grant you peace amidst the turmoil.

He is our Shepherd. God can, God will, and God does do the impossible. 

Mark 10:27 – “Jesus looked at them (His disciples) and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’”

Arletta, Saskatchewan

Convention thoughts

There we were, our little group of eleven, gathered together in convention; the first ever virtual convention of LWMLC. This was nothing at all like other conventions where 200 women came together in a convention hall, exchanging hugs and catching up. This was not something any of us could ever have imagined, and yet here we were.

As Patti did her morning devotion I sat at the back of the room and looked at the backs of the heads of the women in front of me and tears gathered in my eyes. I was suddenly overwhelmed by the love I have for these women who have been examples to me of how “Christ lives in me.” I was also surprised at how much I had missed being in this place, my church home. I realized I had probably become complacent during our COVID-19 lockdown. I felt, mistakenly it would seem, that all was good for at least I was getting some “church” on Sunday mornings. I was “attending” online, from the comfort of my living room recliner, tea close by, my cross-stitch work on my lap. Does it get any better than that?!

Turns out that it does! In a “normal” life nothing brought me joy like going to church on a Sunday morning to attend Bible study with a group I’ve been part of for 20 years. How I’ve enjoyed sitting in our fellowship hall between services, drinking my tea and having good conversation with a fellow parishioner. To top it all off I enter our sanctuary to hear the Word of God, recite the comforting words of our liturgy and sing hymns I love with those around me.

In the past when someone would state that you don’t need to go to church to be a Christian, I would disagree. That will continue to be the case; even more so now! While I’m sure there may be lots of Christians who don’t feel the need to attend a corporate church or for some reason are unable to, they are likely much more disciplined than I am. For me, I need my church, the physical building; the people within it, as well as all those I’ve met because of it (many of them being the wonderful women of the LWMLC). Being in that environment strengthens and helps ground my faith. This time in COVID has made that very apparent to me. As much as we’re told that we are the church, and that where two or more are gathered Christ is there, I like that I have a structured place to go where many people gather.

I’m so excited at the prospect of attending, face to face, our district convention in 2022, and the national convention in 2024! I look forward to sharing in discussions how Christ has been using us; to the casual flow of verbal banter and actually participating in the Bible studies. To meeting in a hotel room, or by the pool, with fellow attendees for snacks and wine. And to hearing stories from those who walk where our mission dollars go support them.

While I commend the convention committee for doing a great job in putting on a virtual convention, nothing beats the hugs and fellowship of “real-life” being together!

I also thank you for reminding me of how important a church home is!

Roberta, Saskatchewan

Women of LWMLC serve others

Despite the pandemic, women of Lutheran Women’s Missionary League–Canada have managed to find many ways to serve others. Leading up to the triennial national convention they were encouraged to share pictures of what Christ has accomplished through them.

The women of the LWMLC society at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Simcoe, Ont., along with the assistance of the congregation, collected hygiene products for Emergency Care Kits for their chosen servant event for the LWMLC national virtual convention. Eighteen complete kits and various other hygiene sundries were presented to the Haldimand & Norfolk Women’s Services to be given to the women and children who arrive at the shelter in crisis and in need. Small cards with the LWMLC symbol and the church’s contact information were included in the kits.

Called to serve because Christ lives in me! (Galatians 2:20) We have enjoyed many recaps of the convention, and they are still on our LWMLC website. Remember to revisit them.

Canada is reopening ever so cautiously but with great joy and lots of prayer for continued health and healing. Churches that have only been virtual and are inviting members back; committees are meeting live and in person and our ladies in many churches are planning to get back together this fall. Welcome back Ladies!

Max Lucado once said, “Jesus gives us hope because He keeps us company, has a vision and knows the way we should go.” So, as each society moves forward from the convention, trust we are moving in the right direction, make your plans for the  next triennium and enjoy your time together as sisters in Christ.

For many of us the picture will look a little different; societies are different so keep telling yourself change is good. Mark 9:23 tells us, “Anything is possible if a  person believes.” God has big plans for us–believe, because He does.

How many of you have ever said, “If these walls could talk!” I walk around the church in the silence of each room and wonder, will these walls ever hear the laughter of Sunday school children, the giggles of ladies completing mission projects, the joy of social gatherings? I know those days are not far away now and I  pray a prayer of thanksgiving that these walls will soon hear new songs of joy.

So where do we go from here? Forward! Be very hopeful. Someone once said, tomorrow has never happened before! Christ Lives in Me and may our new tomorrow show that. Let us know where did you go? How did your society     move into this new fall? We look forward to hearing from you.

Pam O. Member Development

Shepherd to My People

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood. Acts 20:28

I have a vivid memory of my father-in-law officiating a funeral for an elderly faithful Christian man. A new pastor had just arrived at the congregation. Not knowing the man well, the widow had asked the retired pastor to assist with the service. After the interment, the retired pastor went to the widow to offer words of comfort, the pastor leaning forward, the widow leaning forward, heads touching, and words being spoken. This precious moment in time spoke of the pastor being a true Shepherd to God’s people.

During this pandemic, the shepherds of God’s people have faced great challenges. Person-to-person contact has been limited or non-existent especially to those at greatest risk in care homes and hospitals. Pastors struggle as they seek to administer the commendation of the dying via a phone. Not being able to give that physical comfort of God’s love to the dying and family members leave the shepherd feeling empty and inadequate.

A faithful church member was moved to tears when he and his pastor after being vaccinated and hands sanitized finally were able to shake hands after a year of no physical contact. Tending to God’s people requires that human touch. These earthly shepherds, God’s representatives, have certainly risen to the challenge by making routine phone calls and reaching out with online church services.

People thronged to be near Jesus, even if it were only to touch His robe as the woman with the heavy flow of blood did. People yearned to hear His Word and be reminded that “your faith has made you well.”

Our pastors, faithful men of God, struggle daily as they seek God’s direction in ways to serve and comfort God’s people. They know the only way to give comfort is God’s Word, whether it is delivered physically or by the power of the spoken Word.

Pray and thank God for these faithful servants as they search to shepherd God’s people. Share with them your love for their dedication and service.

Annette Borchardt, VP Member Development

In April Prayer Squares were made to deliver to hospital shut ins when restrictions are lifted. Fifteen squares in total were made with nine of the squares being delivered to young families in the congregation. They were delivered at Easter with some chocolate eggs and a note encouraging families to place the square at the seat of a different family member, giving each of your family a chance to lead you family in prayer, praise and thanks to our Lord.
Twenty-four “Blessings in Bottle” were delivered by Annette Borchardt and Carissa Zachar to the Bear Clan in Winnipeg, an Indigenous community service organization reaching out to the homeless in the city. They clean the streets of any sharps and distribute bottle of waters, fruit, granola bars, hygiene kits, etc., to those in need. The Bear Clan and the work they do, is highly respected by the neighbourhood.
Bear Clan

Despite the pandemic, women of Lutheran Women’s Missionary League–Canada have managed to find many ways to serve others. Leading up to the triennial national convention they have been encouraged to share pictures of what Christ has accomplished through them.

Ladies from Grace, Oshawa made appreciation cards that they took home and distributed to those who deserved a word of appreciation during COVID.

Despite the pandemic, women of Lutheran Women’s Missionary League–Canada have managed to find many ways to serve others. Leading up to the triennial national convention they have been encouraged to share pictures of what Christ has accomplished through them.

Robin and I have been working on these during the fall/winter/spring. Sometimes others join us and do their own thing, but I’m sure we’ve done about 20. We have 10 ready to be delivered to our local senior homes and that many have gone out already. Robin Frank does the sewing, while I cut, lay out the pattern and press the seams. Together we “sandwich” the blankets and then she does the final stitching. Voila! We have done another one.

Sharon Kentner

Despite the pandemic, women of Lutheran Women’s Missionary League–Canada have managed to find many ways to serve others. Leading up to the triennial national convention they have been encouraged to share pictures of what Christ has accomplished through them.

LWMLC Grace Society of Calgary, choose the Mustard Seed as the recipient of their Servant Event. The Mustard Seed is a safe and supportive religious organization, a place where individuals experiencing barriers associated with poverty and homelessness can have their physical needs met in the short term and, in the long term, to heal and grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually so a better life down the road can begin. 
The LWMLC Grace Society and congregation filled 40 water bottles with toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, lip gloss, sanitary wipes, and deodorant.  They also donated 96 bottles of water plus extra items put in the water bottles, for the Centre to utilize as needed.

The prayer shawls, six in total, were made for our society by a member of Grace Lutheran Church, Calgary, in support of the LWMLC convention’s servant event. One prayer shawl was given to a gentleman member of our congregation who has cancer, another will be given to a young girl of our congregation who also is undergoing cancer treatments. The plan is to distribute to our congregational members as the need arises.

Linda Horton

Despite the pandemic, women of Lutheran Women’s Missionary League–Canada have managed to find many ways to serve others. Leading up to the triennial national convention they have been encouraged to share pictures of what Christ has accomplished through them.

Here are some photos of a Prayer Shawl project I have sewn – as opposed to knitting! 

Getting ready to sew another row of squares together.

I am trying to find someone who has served in the Canadian Military since the prints are all very Canadian. I started with folks who might fit that category in our own congregation. Or I might be successful in finding someone here at our Silver Birch Lodge which is also my home!

I have someone in mind and have just finally made the contact with that person. This person has A.L.S. and is now in some of the late stages of this disease. His wife is caring for him at home. She, too, could use this prayer shawl to wrap her in God’s loving care at such a stressful time as this. It is my intention then, since I do not drive, to have my son or daughter-in-law take me to their home and give this prayer shawl to them to be used as they see fit.

Emerald Schoepp, Concordia Zone, Sherwood Park, Alta.

Finished product.

Following is the note I am putting with the prayer shawl.

Dear Recipient:

I recently put together two quilts for the “QUILTS OF VALOUR” organization, which are given to wounded Canadian military veterans. Of course, one always has scraps left over from quilting projects.

Our Lutheran Women’s Missionary League at Bethel Lutheran Church is part of a national organization. We are holding a virtual national convention this July. We always choose a Servant Event to submit at our conventions and this year I have chosen to make a prayer shawl. Most prayer shawls are knitted but I am not a knitter, so I chose to sew one from the scraps left from those two “Quilts of Valour.”  

Because our convention will be virtual, we are asked to give our items to local recipients as opposed to taking them to the convention site. You have been chosen to receive this prayer shawl. It was made with much love, and prayers that you will feel that love and warmth of care and blessings as you wrap it around your shoulders. 

May this shawl be a sign of God’s presence. May it warm you when you are weary.

May it encourage you when you are discouraged. May it assure you of God’s care and comfort. May it remind you that you are surrounded by the prayers of others.