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Hosts: Good Shepherd Toowoomba
29th April 2015 Theme: ‘BE THANKFUL IN ALL THINGS’
Ladies Fellowship President Joy Frost and congregation chairman Earle Schultz welcomed us all to Good Shepherd. Earle spoke of 51 years of worship at Good Shepherd and the Ladies Fellowship has been very active; it was a privilege to have 2 of the original Fellowship members in attendance. Zone President Joy Wurst, chose Phil.1:3-6 where Paul thanked God each time he remembered the Philippians, and praying with joy because of their partnership in the Gospel. Joy thanked all the Guilds/Fellowships, as we are ordinary women, called by Jesus, and being thankful for each talent given to us.
Ilsma Giddings explained how the theme of the day was depicted by the carefully selected flowers in front of the cross, Horn of Plenty, Dove (Holy Spirit) and much more to symbolise the blessings of the gifts from God. We give thanks.
Opening devotion led by Zone Counsellor, Pastor Stan Rudowski, after the singing of hymn ‘Let all things now living’. He spoke of how we can have a head full of knowledge, but sometimes we are unable to put it into practice. We need the Holy Spirit to help and support us. God reminds us even through our difficult times, when the devil would have us turn our backs on Him, He, because of the cross and His great love for us, will never forget us. Revelation tells us, “Be thankful unto death”.
Offering was gathered during the singing of ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’. This amounted to $1306.55 and will support Koojarewon Youth Camp and ‘House of Praise’, a day centre for children in the slums of Bangkok.
Bible Study: Pastor Brenton Fiedler Good Shepherd, led our Bible study focusing on thanksgiving and questioning why we give thanks. Many reasons were given. We are so blessed to have God’s love and forgiveness, acknowledging our gift giver and His redemption through the cross. The human spectrum shows our emotions and experiences which often come under four categories. To be glad, sad, mad or scared. It is unfortunate that only one quarter of these gives us reason to be thankful. 1 Thess. 5:16 tells us “Be joyful always…..Give thanks in all circumstances. Jesus died for all. We must train ourselves to give thanks always and pray continuously. The Lord’s Pray, which can be prayed in less than twenty seconds, is a complete prayer covering all spectrums.
Soloist Max Smith, accompanied by Shirley Mundt, presented three beautiful songs. Once again we give thanks for such gifts
President’s Report: Joy Wurst presented her report. Our Zone comprises of 23 active Fellowships, with some struggling to fill official positions. Joy encouraged these groups to continue to meet for Bible study and fellowship, and keep in contact with the Zone. Our fellowship activities are many and varied. Fellowship Day 2014 was held at Pittsworth, the theme ‘Knowing me, Knowing you, Knowing God’. This was a day with a difference, ladies doing ‘art work’ – quite an enjoyable fun time with an important message. LWQ Retreat was held at James Byrne Centre, and 2016 Retreat will be held at Coolum, and hosted by our Darling Downs Zone. Fellowship day 2015 will be at Maclagan on 20th October with the theme: ‘Today’. Members are encouraged to bring along a friend.
Treasurer’s Report: Avalon Hall presented the treasurer’s report.
LWQ President’s Report: Karen Bryce gave a brief report on the LWQ Retreat held at the James Byrne Centre with the theme ‘GIFTED’. Fun, laughter, sharing and caring, as well as study and praise was enjoyed by 103 women. The offering of $2100 was given to ALWS Sudan Appeal. A donation of $5000 has been given to LCAQD Disaster Appeal. Scholarships were given to 2 Indonesian students who will be in Australia in June. The LWA Convention will be held 28 & 29 September 2015 at Redeemer Rochedale. Discussions were held by LWQ Exec. on short and long terms goals for Lutheran Women and how we can better connect with younger women. Karen also asked for more information to be placed on our web page: www.lwq.org.au
LCAQD Bishop’s Report: As Bishop Noel Noack was not present, Pastor Fiedler reported that Bishop Noel appreciates the work that the Ladies Fellowships do towards supporting the mission and ministry of LCAQD.
Concerns over a decline in worship were expressed, and a plan to engage key congregations in a review of their ministry and engagement in a vision of strategies program, by which it is planned to revitalise the mission of the congregations. The district newsletter is now in electronic format. All the congregational giving goes to the work of the church, 50% to LCA and the remainder is divided up to fund mission and ministry projects. Bishop Noel and Pastor Brenton met with leaders of the Toowoomba Mosque that had recently been destroyed by an arson attack and shared concerns that such matters are not supported by the Lutheran churches; that we want to find friendship and peace for the wellbeing of the society in Toowoomba.
Koojarewon Report: Jodie Hauser manager at Koojarewon, shared with us her passion for her work. Her ability to share Jesus with those who come is a great joy to Jodie and her staff and is very much appreciated by parents of young children.
Redeemer Bookshop: We thank those who bring along this Display where Christian books and items are able to be purchased.
Tract Mission: Marie Pawsey gave a brief report on the LLL and the Display of tracts.
Memorial Hymn: ‘How Deep the Father’s Love’ was sung before breaking for lunch.
Guest Speakers: Val and Des Steinhardt enlightened us on their mission work in Bangkok, Thailand. They had been preparing for a holiday, but after doors opening and closing, God revealed to them the need in Thailand, answering their prayers for mission work overseas. Their work, along with other volunteers, has involved much repairs and renovations to existing buildings. ‘Home of Grace’ is a shelter for pregnant, unwed mothers, who are given support for twelve months after giving birth and ‘Home of Praise is a day centre for children of the Klong Toey slums. The conditions in which people live are nothing more than shanties. They visited Emmanuel Lutheran Church, a building of five stories, assisting in the cleaning and providing swings and a cover over the sand pit. A beautiful mural of Noah’s Ark was painted by some of the girls. Thailand is only 1% Christian. Des and Val are thankful to be part of the team of the body of Christ, to bring help and the Gospel to these people. They have made two trips so far and are willing to go again. They closed with Ephesians 3:16.
Joy Wurst moved a vote of thanks to retiring executive. New Executive: President – Joy Wurst, Vice President Meryl Rosenberger, 2nd Vice President Tracy Smith, Secretary – Margaret Burkert, Treasurer – Avalon Hall, Zone Councillor – Pastor Stan Rudowski, Extra Members Joyce Schefe, Beverley Pile, Hazel Weis, Audrey Hansen.
A comprehensive vote of thanks was given by Shirley Horrigan. Pastor Stan Rudowski installed the office bearers and closed with a hymn, prayer and benediction. Afternoon tea concluded a wonderful day.
Explanation of Theme Floral Arrangement –
We’ve chosen the theme, ‘Be Thankful in all Things.’ 1 Thessalonians 5: 16 – 18. We in Australia have so much for which to be thankful, especially material things and as we will no doubt find out, as we listen to our Guest Speakers this afternoon. Most importantly, above all other blessings –
The CROSS – The vertical reminds us of God’s ultimate sacrifice of his Son for us. The horizontal arm is close to the people on this earth.
DOVE – Represents the Holy Spirit which is part of the Trinity or God himself.
BIBLE – Opened at the text and is the Word of God.
HANDS – Representing Praise and Thanksgiving.
HORN of PLENTY – Represents life spilling over with an abundance of life’s everyday needs and blessings.
COLOURS – Used in the arrangement –
Red – Joy, Strength and Blood of Christ
Yellow – Joy, Son of Righteousness
Green – Faith & New Life
White – Symbolical colour “God is Light’ and pure.
IVY – Eternal Life
WHEAT & GRAPES – Bread & Wine ( The forgiveness of Sins)
FLOWERS – I have placed the flowers in rows – representing our loving God flowing through us.
SHOES – Represents people. One is full of water, the other only a small amount which signifies the circumstances we go through in life…..Abundant and lean times. Water is essential to our life and we also have the life giving water of Baptism. All of these blessings are gifts from our God for which we give thanks.
(Condensed by Lois Schultz from a very comprehensive report by Joan Mischke and Jill Lange