“Here We Stand: on Grace, as the Church, for the World”
The cozy Tuscarora Inn meeting room was packed to the walls for the Annual Meeting of the Women’s Ministries of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, June 24, 2017! Many had pre-registered, but so many additional women came for this event, combined with the Eastern Region Biennial Convention, that it looked like the luncheon fare would have to be miraculously multiplied to feed them all! Truly, the “loaves and fishes” amply provided for all, thanks to the intervention of the gracious Tuscarora staff.
Missionary Sandy Christofferson was the featured speaker at the Luncheon. Her presentation, “Musings about Ministry: Stories of missionary life in Taiwan,” gave us a glimpse into life in that island nation. We couldn’t help but empathize with her joys and sorrows, as she shared how God is impacting people’s lives through their ministry.
Sandy and her husband Ethan will have returned to Taiwan before September, this time without either of their children. Both Caleb and Hannah will remain in Bozeman, Montana attending college near relatives. Let us pray for both parents and these young adults as they adjust to family life separated by an ocean. Let us also pray for the people whose stories Sandy shared, that they would have faith and courage to believe the Good News that Sandy and Ethan are sharing with them!
“Bible Study or Book Club?” was a seminar that Barbara Heggland presented as part of the Eastern Region Biennial, that same day. Most Lutheran Brethren churches have women’s Bible studies, but not all women in our culture have the deep, rich Bible background that many of us grew up with. She challenged us to prepare to lead well: to know who we are as Christians; as Lutherans; as Lutheran Brethren women. She recommended We Believe by Tim Ysteboe, Luther’s Small Catechism, and Rooted in the Word by Ruth Vallevik. She stressed the importance of studying whole passages in context, with the goal (whether a study or a book club) to equip each woman to study the Bible for herself, to discover and rely on God’s truths.
Business was brief and concise. Elections included: Barbara Heggland for Chairman (a two-year commitment, completing a three-year term); Alison Olson for Secretary (a three-year term); and Kim Goodman for Treasurer (a one-year commitment, completing a three-year term). The 2016-17 budget goal was exceeded! Thanks to God and you, his people, for this blessing! Projects for 2017-18 were presented as follows:
Beyond Suffering: Equipping the Church in East Asia for Disability Ministry
Heart to Heart: Funding our Director, Ruth Vallevik, to travel more extensively in two Regions each year
S.W.E.E.T.: Retreat for Seminary Women to Encourage, Equip, and Train them for ministry
Crisis Care Fund: Caring for ministry wives and families in crisis (contact Ruth Vallevik for more information, or to contribute to this specific need at email@example.com)
H.E.L.P.: Household, Equipment, and Linen Project for missionary needs (send HELP contributions to Joy Mathiesen, 1421 Highway Terrace, Fergus Falls, MN 56537)
Join us in supporting these projects! Send donations to: WMCLB Box 655, Fergus Falls, MN, 56538-0655
Cheryl Olsen is the Faith & Fellowship Correspondent for Women’s Ministries of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren.