LWQ Wide Bay South Burnett Zone Retreat 2017
What a wonderful weekend of celebration and enjoyment of perfect weather held at the James Byrne Centre Toowoomba by Lutheran Women Queensland, from Moree to North Queensland and all the areas in between.
The theme for the weekend “In Christ Alone” reflected the Reformation 500 celebration of our General Church.
We entered our registration hall through the replica doors of “Wittenberg” with the 96 theses of Luther nailed to the doors. The hall came alive with the two large urns of Red and White gladioli at the front joined by a sea of red. Either side of the flowers tendered lovingly by Helen Golley, toward the front were the two wonderful banners reflecting “A mighty Fortress” and “Saved by Grace both these creations and the front door was the work of by Kay Bochmann who explained in detail the meaning of the banners reflecting the times of Luther. At registration we were presented with our name tags on a brightly coloured lanyard with our name and the name of a member of Luther’s family which then became our team for the weekend. We received our beautifully made carry bags depicting the Luther Rose. Inside our “bag of tricks” we received many reformation style tracts from Lutheran Tract Mission, and a treasure of Luther’s Small Catechism, along with Kingaroy peanuts ,prayer Jelly Beans, paper and pen from LLL and our laminated before and after meal blessings.
Our evening got off to a lively start with our music coordinator for the weekend Bev Kappernick, leading us with the theme song “In Christ Alone” and other Praise songs, Bev carefully choose over the whole weekend songs through the ages and the history of them. We then divided into our Luther family groups for some lively interaction activities.
Dormitory Devotions commenced our Saturday morning at 7.15 am. After breakfast we commenced our session with some praise singing before Pastor Dylan Miegel lead us through our two Bible Study sessions using the 4 verses of the theme song “in Christ Alone” line by line and verse by each group sharing personal views on what the word meant to them and how it related to Luther and Christ. We all came away with a better understanding of how the song “In Christ Alone” reflects the continuing personal reformation for each of us.
Our afternoon session commenced with Bev again leading us through praise songs commencing with table grace we were taught as a child “Thank you for the world so sweet” on to confirmation where many had to learn the words of Rock of Ages or Take though my hand and lead me, then marriage where many had the song “O Perfect Love, then as the years pass”Abide with me” at many funerals. Today “In Christ Alone seems to be a song now requested at many funerals. Praise sessions were greatly appreciated and sung with gusto.
Guest speaker Margaret Watson took us back to being peasant girls at the time of Luther and how we would have been treated at the time, through to today and then back to Luther’s time. Margaret gave us a lot to consider on how we are today compared to Luther’s time. Free time was enjoyed with board games, chatter, and choir practice. Saturday night dinner the tables were decorated in red and gold to take up the Reformation and 50 years of LWQ.
Sunday morning commenced with devotions in the big hall, and after breakfast our church service centred on the Reformation with the choir singing “A mighty Fortress” and Reformation readings. Pastor Dylan preached on the Gospel reading John 8:31-36 picking up “Justification by Faith”. Retreaters came together as one in Holy Communion and the service closed with the linking of hands and singing God Give you joy always. After morning tea President Karen introduced the LWQ Executive members and gave her report and advised of the dispersion of funds her report is included elsewhere in the newsletter. Karen then introduced LWA President Tulla who in turn introduced the LWA executive and advised of LWA Convention at Rosehill 2018. The reports were concluded with all members rising as one, linking hands and singing “What a Friend we have in Jesus. What a moment.
To Retreat coordinator Kim, President Pam and the team that worked so hard for us all to enjoy the Retreat it would be hard to name you all so our most heart full thanks that God gave you the strength, wisdom and ability to give all of us an enjoyable weekend. You all worked so hard in the lead up to, during and after the Retreat. You are to be commended.
Respectfully submitted by “Happy Camper”