50th Fellowship Day
24 August 2017
Theme: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
Hosts: St Pauls, Murgon
Following a much needed shower of rain, bright sunshine welcomed approximately 40 ladies from across the zone, and together we shared a meet and greet time over a cuppa and delicious eats.
Pastor Mark Doecke led the opening service and he reminded us that change is a fact of life. He remembered dramatic changes he experienced while living for 15 months at an Aboriginal settlement some 232kms west of Uluru. One thing however remains constant – Jesus is here with us just as he was with the saints of old and at creation. He is still guiding, leading, intervening for each of us. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Service closed with the singing of How Great Thou Art.
Host president Nola Zerner and Zone President Pam Prange welcomed all present, including LWQ President Karen Bryce, LWA Secretary Lyn Weise, Zone Treasurer Kim Bryce and West Moreton President Shirley Klinge.
Pastor Mark presented Bishop Paul Smith’s report which encouraged us to pray earnestly regarding the vote on same sex marriage, and to publicly uphold the churches teaching, praying ‘Your will be done on earth as in Heaven’.
Karen Bryces’ report reminded us of LWA Convention in October 2018 at Rosehill Sydney, LWQ Convention July 2018 at Hervey Bay and 2018 Retreat at Coolum.
Pastor August Fricke conducted a thought provoking Bible study, which led us through the possibilities of confronting the world with the controversial message of Christ, the cross and resurrection. As worshipping Lutherans we must be very accepting of all facets of types of service and worship. We do need to remember Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Pastor asked us to remember some of the favourite sayings of Jesus – I am the way, the truth and the life – I am the good shepherd – I am the Light of the World, I am the bread of Life – I am the Vine you are the branches – I am the resurrection and the Life.
Pastor August encouraged us to remember a good work is not a good work unless it is rooted in Christ, and that if we just get the gospel right, we are the most blest people in the world. There were also times when Jesus spoke unpopular words, one example found in Matthew 10:37 – ‘Anyone who loves his father or mother…his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me…’ As part of our marriage and family life, this is a pretty hard ask. If we are seeking true peace in our families, we need to stand up for Christ no matter what the cost. Are we really letting our lights shine? Do we really love our enemies? Are we really being examples of the great commission? As in Matthew 28:18-20, making disciples, baptising, teaching, following Jesus. Making life uncomfortable for ourselves because of our love for Jesus.
Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life’ – the Saviour of the world, a claim opposed by all other religions then and now.
We need to re-discover the fellowship of the church within our communities today. Pastor August shared moving examples of life truly lived, because of knowing and living the love of Jesus. Pastor sees and experiences these living examples as he moves among the people of the fourteen countries he serves through the work of Asia Focus. Here these struggling and persecuted can truly say – Jesus loves me, Jesus told me, I will be with you always. Jesus is always there, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. We were encouraged to read the story of the old woman from Nepal, which can be found in the latest edition of Asia Focus.
We entered the lunch hall through replica doors of Wittenberg displaying the 96 thesis Luther nailed to the doors. A tasty lunch was enjoyed by all as we sat around beautifully presented tables, covered with white cloths, red runners and centre pieces depicting the Luther Rose and the 500 years since reformation and 50 years since the beginning of Lutheran Women Queensland.
The praise session was led by Pastor Mark on his guitar, with joyful voices raised to the glory of God. Songs included: In Christ Alone, Take thou my hand and lead me, and Amazing Grace my chains are gone.
Host guild member Florence Hatchett led a personal and truthful devotion for us all as we get older. It was based on the theme Hebrews 13:8. The singing of A Mighty Fortress followed and eyes were fixed on the banners which depicted the story of this hymn and knowledge that we are saved by grace alone.
We were privileged to have June (Janetzki) Elsner, the first President of the WBB Zone present and to be our guest speaker. June chose to speak on the life and times of Katherine Von Bora, wife of the great reformer Martin Luther and translator of the Bible.
In October 1515, Katherine became a Nun Novitiate, taking vows of chastity and obedience and giving up all personal belongings. It was 500 years ago that Luther decreed that it was best for priests to marry. In 1523 a set of circumstances saw Nuns being spirited out of this life and families were encourages to get their daughters out of convents. Martin and Katherine were married in June 1525. They had six children, 2 of them died very early in life. Katherine lovingly called Dr Martin Luther, “Sir Dr” he too addressed her as ‘my Lord Katie’. To learn more of this remarkable woman, June encouraged us to read other available books including ‘Kitty My Rib’ and ‘Katherine Von Bora – Dr Martin Luthers Wife’.
President of host Guild, Nola Zerner then shared loving memories and many happy moments of LWQ over the last 50 years. We all received copies of the minutes of the Constituting Rally WBB Zone held in Gympie on 5 July 1967. It was at this meeting that June became our first President. Today we were delighted to have June present, and to cut our 50th Birthday L.W.Q. celebration Cake, made and decorated by Nola Zerner. Great memories for all attending. Nola also announced that today’s offering of $500 would be shared between Asia Focus and Australia Lutheran College Students.
Closing devotion was led by Pastor Mark and was based on Isaiah 44:8 and Revelation 22:13. Do not be afraid my people….I am the first, and the last, the beginning and the end.
A very special and rewarding day for us all.