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LWQ CONVENTION – August 27-8, 2016
‘Buttons, Bows and Blessings’
Ephesians 4:7 “But to each one of us, grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ”
How do Buttons and Bows fit into the theme text of Ephesians 4:7? Blessings, yes. But buttons and bows?
I was not alone in wondering. Pastor Jade Bauer wondered also. Two daughters into cheerleading and a son into superheroes, finally led his thoughts to costumes and masks – embellishment and something to hide behind.We were once in darkness, but Christ’s light strips everything away. Jesus masks His power in simple things like water, bread, wine, and us!
Rev. Debbie Hill, Logan City Council representative and mother of 5 boys, loved the wonderfully feminine sounding theme: the universal symbol of women.
The banner, designed by Kaye Rossmann, had buttons and bows in all different shapes and sizes, interacting in different ways. They are used in different roles (practical or decorative) – just like people, held together with Christ’s spiritual glue.
Floral arrangement by Ruth McLennan: she can’t throw out any garment without saving the buttons (visible in the glass vase). Similarly, we are saved from different backgrounds, then joined together. Ruth needed many tries to tie the gold bow successfully. Similarly, we try to please God, fail, and try again. White gladioli and pink (host Zone colour) oriental lilies with red centres were featured. Red and white are the colours of forgiveness. The black cross and the red heart-shape button remind us of Christ’s love and His blood, shed for us on the Cross.
We sang songs related to the theme, chosen by pianist Jane. We were “bright buttons”, producing the sound effects in a story being told about the sleepy town of Bethania.We heard that poet Donna Davis’ favourite childhood toy was her mother’s tin of buttons. However, she would rather have lived in boxer shorts than the bows and frills of her dresses!
Just as they bless garments, Christ gives us His grace to be a blessing to others. Blessings abounded during the day.
Bishop Paul Smith reminisced about the first Lutheran missionaries in Queensland arriving in 1838, in Humpybong. They lived knowing that they walked with the Lord, Who is always with us. Today, also, we need to know that God says “Surely I am with you – you can trust Me”. He encouraged us to be willing to be on the edge of change, using, as examples, his new hybrid car which got him to the Convention using electricity, and his son who will become another Pastor without a German surname!
LCA Mission International representative Glenice Hartwich, talked about seeing people changed from absolute fear, to experiencing Jesus’ love. Scholarships for foreign students to ALC help them learn to understand justification through faith; children of Debora Orphanage wouldn’t have a home without our offerings; Home of Praise shows children what it is to be loved, Bethany Home welcomes the outcast with disabilities. Our offering of $1775 will be used to help Meri Wok Training (Women’s Work) in PNG.
Tom Schmidt (LYQ) spoke about connecting with young adults, including having open house every Monday night for dinner with him, his wife, and 2 children. The LWQ Project for the next 2 years will be LYQ ‘Luminate’, a discipleship gap year.
Chaplain Colin Stiller talked about the Helping Hands van that has a 3 hour run every Friday.
LWQ Bursary recipients Alyssa Burns and Isaac Heuschle gave first-hand information about the manner in which they used the Bursary donation given to them.
Representatives from each Zone lit a smaller candle from the travelling Unity Candle, to take back for our own Conventions.
New Office Bearers: Karen Bryce (President), Shirley Horrigan (1st Vice President), Felicity Bradford (2nd Vice President), Heather Kleidon (Secretary), Ros von Hoff (Treasurer), and new Spiritual Counsellor Pastor Jade Bauer, were installed by Pastor Matthew Schultz.
Pastor Matthew closed with John 1:14,16. Although tempted to compare ourselves to others, we are all uniquely different, and often don’t realise that we are doing God’s work.
Another big meal, a long enjoyable day, and time to head home saying “Blest be the buttons and bows that bind our hearts together with Christian love”.
Margaret Burkert, Reporter