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FROM YOUR PRESIDENT:
Greetings Sisters in Christ. As you read this you are most likely in the midst of Christmas activities or they have passed by and you have begun to focus on the New Year – 2020. To me the year twenty twenty should be something good if not perfect. It is my prayer that we as a women’s group have the vision to sustain our members with prayer and friendship as we continue to serve our fellowman with love. At the moment, as I write this the most pressing thoughts to most of our members throughout Queensland is about rain. When will we get some, or how much did we get in the brief storm that has passed over. We rejoice with each other as we announce our rain gauge readings. We pray for rain and many of our fellowships are supporting Drought Relief campaigns.
Place all your cares in our loving Lord Jesus who promises to provide for us in our need. He blesses us, heals us and leads us.
As your president I have been able to attend all the zones Rallies and Fellowship Days as well as the Mackay Fellowship 90th Anniversary Celebrations. Thank you, sisters, for your warm hospitality and all that you do for Lutheran Women.
End of year brings about the necessity to pay membership fees and distribute money to Lutheran Women projects. Could I advise that money for Lutheran Women Projects can be forwarded to your zone treasurer at any time. Membership fees/zone fees should be paid to the zone treasurer during January/February. You should have a relevant remittance form for this. If you do not have a form for your fellowship please contact your zone treasurer.
LWA Magazine has seen some changes and now has a new editor. Please continue to send state news and photographs to Inari for inclusion. There will also be a price rise for the magazine of $1 making it now $11 for group mailing.
Our recently held LWQ Executive meeting was held in the LCAQD House in Milton. It is always a very interesting place to hold our meetings as we get a chance to meet with the leaders in our church in Queensland. We were introduced to Nick Ryan the new CEO of Lutheran Services as well as Rick Davenport the new LCAQD District Administrator. Members of the LYQ team and Mission and Ministry Team presented to us as well. Bishop Paul as usual takes the time to update us on all that is happening in our church. Be assured the Lutheran Church in Queensland is very supportive of our Lutheran Women and whilst they appreciate us for our services, they too would like to be of service to Lutheran Women.
At this meeting we sadly accepted the resignation of Pastor Matthew Schultz as our spiritual advisor. Pastor Matthew has been a valued member of our executive for six years. He has been there for us with advice and with a commitment to attending our meetings and conventions. Thank you, Pastor Matthew, for what you have done for Lutheran Women and we wish you well with your ongoing Parish Ministry. I hope you enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed yours.
Registration Form for Retreat/Convention 2020 is in this issue. I would like to encourage you to ensure your registration is lodged before 15th June closing. There is no option for late registration and you should allow for our tardy postal service who can take 14 days to deliver a letter. Email registration and direct payment is recommended. The venue has given us a very good deal for this weekend. Please note we do not have the option to meet individual requests regarding part time retreaters and dietary requirements other than Celeriac and Diabetic. There is a refrigerator in each room for your special needs that you should bring. There is a cost for Full Retreat and a Saturday-only cost. This includes Saturday night Gala Dinner. The men’s package is included on the registration.
Retreat/Conference Bus has been booked and there will be a pick up in Toowoomba, Gatton, Ipswich and Caboolture or as needed on this route. Thank you to Faith College Plainlands for allowing us the use of your 57-seat bus. There will be a small charge for this service. The bus will also be utilized for the men’s outing on Saturday.
The programme is well organised and will appear in full in the March Newsletter together with the convention programme.
DARLING DOWNS ZONE FELLOWSHIP DAY – 5 SEPTEMBER 2018
Theme: “Varieties of gifts but the same Spirit” Hosts: Good Shepherd
Did you know that you are a very special person for a very special purpose? This is because of God’s various gifts to each of us through the same Spirit. Rev Raymond Pace from Good Shepherd Toowoomba, reiterated this message theme through his Bible Study from 1 Corinth 12:1-11 to the 58 persons gathered for the Darling Downs Zone Fellowship Day hosted by Good Shepherd Ladies. We are all special in God’s sight, not because of our talents, skills, hopes or desires but filled with the Holy Spirit we serve God’s purpose.
We were entertained with an action song by Grade 1 pupils from the Warwick St Campus of Concordia Lutheran Primary School; and also by talented flautist Katy Kucks accompanied by Marcia Ruhle. We heard from Redeemer Bookshop; the Pastoral Care Hospital visiting program to local hospital and Aged Care facilities by Charlie Uebergang; Kaylene Stehn told of the workings and monetary giving’s of the Good Samaritan Bargain Shop, Bowen St, Toowoomba, operating for the last 42 years; loyal Lutherans For Life advocate Joy Wurst, urging us to write to our local members asking that government monies be spent on improving Palliative Care and not on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Scheme (VAD); and President Karen shared LWQ State happenings.
We heard stories from a ‘Pyjama Angel’ Leslie Kennedy – a volunteer from the Pyjama Foundation who visits foster children in their home; assisting them with reading, writing, homework (or whatever may arise), and committing to twelve months which ensures
consistent love and support and creates a positive one-on-one relationship. The $890 offering was shared between this Foundation and current DDZ Projects.
Our new Spiritual Advisor, Ps Mark Demmer, St Paul’s, Toowoomba, was installed and performed his first official duties in presenting the Opening and Closing Devotions. Discussing ‘faith based solutions to secular problems’ through the feeding of the 5000 (Matt 14:13-21). We don’t always allow God to be God and get anxious about things that are God’s regime. He closed with Luke 14:25-33, “The cost of being a disciple”. Continue to be faithful and to walk along the path where Jesus leads for us to follow.
The theme was visually depicted with the cross as the focal point; the white dove (Holy Spirit—the giver of gifts), the royal purple cloth (kingdom of God), the three (Trinity) green (life) ribbons descending from the cross to the gold (precious/special) lamp placed at the foot of the cross with its unusual shape signifying each one of us. As the main purpose of the lamp is to be lit to be seen, so we too let God’s special purpose in our lives be seen and experienced by others around us.
MACKAY FELLOWSHIP REPORT
On Sunday, the 25th August, the Mackay Women’s Fellowship celebrated their 90th Anniversary. It was a great day of rejoicing and thankfulness to God.
The Church and Hall were beautifully decorated to mark the occasion. Pastor David Schmidt led the worship service, the hymns were chosen by the Fellowship ladies.
Karen Bryce, President of the L.W.Q presented a short summary of the activities within the District. The Mayor, Greg Williams spoke highly of the Fellowship contributing to local charities outreach within the community. Karen and Tony Bryce gave us all an insight of life in Antarctica after their recent holiday.
During lunch, some of the ladies entertained the gathering with a humorous skit depicting a typical Guild meeting in the 1930’s which brought lots of giggles from the audience. A comprehensive display of items from yesteryear proved very popular.
We thank God that He has richly blessed us over the past 90 years and that we continue to support and serve the congregation and the community.
WEST MORETON ZONE RALLY DAY – 22 MAY 2019
Theme: “The Book of Knowledge – the Bible” Hosts: Redeemer, Laidley
The beautiful Redeemer Lutheran Church was the venue for our Rally Day, with 36 ladies in attendance, plus two pastors, Peter Geyer & Rob Edwards, and our guest speaker, Nicholas Robins from the Bible League.
The theme was represented visually by a display on the altar of many old Bibles and prayer books that had been handed down through generations.
Opening devotion by Pr Edwards was based on John 17:17, and concluded with the song “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet”.
Nicholas Robins outlined the difference between the Bible Society and the Bible League. He outlined his early learning difficulties and call, through a vision of the feet of Jesus on the cross, to the mission of Bible distribution and education. He takes the story of Philip and the Ethiopian official (Acts 8:26-39) as a model for his work. The Bible League not only distributes Bibles, but also teaches those who receive them. We sang “Let your Word fill my days”
An offering for the Bible League was gathered during the singing of “God has spoken by his prophets”
Karen Bryce presented an update on LWQ State news, and we sang the In Memoriam hymn, “Be still, my soul”.
Pr Geyer installed the office bearers, and led a closing devotion, speaking about the Bible as a book of knowledge and a guide to relationships, directing us to Jesus as our Saviour. When we read the Bible under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it becomes our chief weapon against the devil. We sang the hymn, “How precious is the book divine”.
Dawn Heck thanked everyone for attending, and the organist, Elsie Oddi, the caterers, speakers, and pastors, for making the gathering possible.
Over lunch, we heard from Janelle Anderson, Principal of Faith College, and Judy Bannerman, Director of Tabeel Rest Home, and other members of staff.
BRISBANE SOUTH & GOLD COAST ZONE FELLOWSHIP – 8 NOV 2019
Theme: “Country girls just need to have fun” Hosts: Trinity Southport
66 ladies from the Brisbane South and Gold Coast Zone arrived in country style dress at Trinity, Southport on Friday 8th November for a day of Fellowship. We were pleased to welcome also Karen Bryce & Felicity Bradford from LWQ executive who brought us the latest news on Convention & Retreat 2020 and greetings were received from Avalon Hall. Trinity ladies demonstrated wonderful skills in providing a photographic PowerPoint as background to our day, a life size cut out of a horse, a scarecrow, a model farm and all the trimmings of life on the land complete with saddles, Akubras and lambswools.
Pastor Will Heidrich immersed us in an opening devotion using Romans 12 and an image of wind sailors to demonstrate that each of us is there to sustain one another in love. When one part is in need the other part steps up to help out and this is what we are doing today by thinking of our country sisters by providing pamper packs for them. God in his righteousness and love rains down on us and we pray for rain and nourishment for our country families also. Later in the morning Pastor was able to bless over 3000 items brought by ladies of the zone to be packed into pamper packs and conclude with encouragement to walk and talk and listen as Jesus did and then we can Rejoice in the Lord Always.
Vickie Schuur representing the LCAQD Drought Assistance Committee gave us some practical insights into life in drought affected Qld and NSW’s where some lands have been drought stricken for more than seven years. She shared freely of her own families struggles on a property near Dalby. Vickie brought home to us how the Government reacts immediately to floods and cyclones but not to drought; how insurance companies pay out for flood but not for drought and then you need to meet the criteria and match the formulas to get assistance. Not only property owners are suffering but also the employees, local businesses, freight companies, contractors, agricultural and grazing manufacturers and commodity traders.
Water is the life source of everything on earth and without it and without the crops our Government begins importing what we could not provide and this brings more problems with bio-security risks as diseases infiltrate into crops. Also, as stock is decreased the farmers lose their strain of genetics that have sometimes taken generations to build up. Farmers are innovative people but when the land is so dry the kangaroos, emus, deer cockatoos and wild pigs become another devastating blow. Banks are now doing six monthly reviews of loans and it is only land values that are keeping funds available. Fathers, being unable to keep employees on, struggle alone, or wives give us their jobs to come back on the farm. They don’t like to be seen as a failure and don’t like to ask for help. We need to all pray for their strength endurance, trust and faith and also rain. Practical help is greatly appreciated and if anyone has time ‘to lend a working hand’ it would be greatly appreciated.
Proceeds from the offering and various donations came to $3050 which will be given to these families. The BSGCZ executive will be in contact with ladies throughout other zones to assist in the distribution of the pamper packs and in ensuring the money (which will become bank/gift vouchers) are given to those who need a helping hand.
Trinity ladies brightened the day with uplifting group singing and with special guests from the Gold Coast Country Music Association who led in some wonderful songs. We also had Collette grace us with her beautiful voice in a couple of songs. This was complimented by a number of poems from various sources, one written especially for the day. Trinity’s trading table gave some wonderful bargains to take home and the food they provided for morning tea and lunch was deliciously abundant. I am sure it was the atmosphere of the day that propelled ladies to open their pockets to assist their sisters in the country so generously. Praise God!
BRISBANE NORTH & SUNSHINE COAST – 6 SEPTEMBER 2019
Theme: “Shackled – Set Free” Hosts: Calvary Glasshouse
LWQ Brisbane North and Sunshine Coast Zone ladies met at beautiful Glasshouse Mountains on a very warm spring day 6th September 2019. Calvary Glasshouse Fellowship ladies, being the hosts for Fellowship Day chose the theme “SHACKLED – SET FREE” based on John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. Morning tea prepared by the hosts and a time of Fellowship was enjoyed before beginning the programme.
President of the Zone, Judith Smyth welcomed 50 members and friends, with a special welcome to Karen Bryce, President of LWQ. and our Guest Speaker, Pastor Meelis Rosma.
Opening Devotion to set the Theme “Shackled – Set Free” (John 8:32) was presented by Marilyn Jonas. We think of being shackled as being imprisoned or losing our freedom, but in this day and age, we can be shackled by worry, sickness, fragmented relationships, unemployment, homelessness, loneliness, domestic violence, mental health, loss of faith and a myriad of other things. We need God in our lives. We all come to the foot of the cross with nothing to offer and repent and ask for forgiveness, and Jesus our Lord gives us the strength and power to put one foot in front of the other. God gives us many promises. He says, “Do not be afraid for I am with you now and always”. Bring your pain and sadness to Jesus. He will always listen and walk beside you. He has unshackled us from ourselves and Satan and has shown us THE TRUTH has set us free. Marilyn closed with prayer.
Praise Time hymns, “He set us free” and “Wake us O Lord to human need” were sung, being appropriate songs for our “theme”.
Pam Flesser proposed that in honour of Pastor Fricke’s 50th Anniversary of his Ordination, the offering for the day $750.00 be donated to ASIA FOCUS to help with the building of the school for the poor on the outskirts of Sumatra, where parents work 10 – 12 hour days to survive – hence the neglect of children. Although the school is almost finished, donations are still appreciated. The motion was carried unanimously.
A short skit transported us back in time relating to the time of “Abram and Sarai”. Highlighting Gen 12:2 “I will make your name great and you will be a Blessing”.
President Karen Bryce announced the appointment of the new Editor for Lutheran Women Magazine, Maureen Turner. She also outlined the excitement of this Zone’s hosting a combined Retreat/Convention in July 2020. Karen gave a short report and has had contact from Tracey Smith who is hoping to bring a tour party of SA women to Retreat/Convention. Karen asked us to pray for Lutheran Women to remain an integral part of our Christian life. Karen was thanked unanimously for the work in her role of President of LWQ, as she retires at Convention.
Del Davis gave us an insight into the work and money raised from “stamps for mission”. In 2018 funds raised reached $16,100.00. This brings the total money raised since stamp collecting began in 1938 is $433,900.00. Currently this is divided between 6 different recipients. Keep on collecting used stamps!
The guest speaker Pastor Meelis Rosma being newly welcomed into the Lutheran Church Qld District at the recent LCAQD Synod, gave us an insight into the history of, and his life in, his former homeland of Estonia: about his work with the wounded soldiers in the Estonian Defence forces, helping those Soldiers “Unshackle” the horrors of war and find a new place in society again. Pastor Rosma was Pastor to the Estonian Congregations in Sydney and Canberra, for eight years and then went back to Estonia for a year. He commented that the theme for the day, “Shackled – Set Free” was most appropriate for the history of Estonia which celebrated their independence in the nineties, and their freedom, after being under foreign dominance. He has moved back to Australia and Queensland and has applied for a Chaplaincy position in the Australian Defence forces. While waiting he has found employment in the Queensland Corrective Services as a guard. He made comment on the “freedom” that he is also experiencing in his own life. Pastor Rosma was thanked most sincerely with a gift and a vote of thanks.
Table grace was sung, followed by a shared lunch, to bring our day to completion.