Christ Lutheran Church, Petawawa hosted the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League–Canada Laurentian District Convention April 26-27. The weekend theme “What’s the Problem – God’s Answers to Life’s Problems” was based on Exodus 14:15, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to Me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.’”
Friday evening a sizeable group — from as far away as Sudbury in the west to Montreal in the east — gathered to enjoy fellowship. After viewing a video on the story of Medical Missions participants rolled up their sleeves in a servant event which had them all measuring, cutting and rolling bedsheets into bandages. The rolls were added to the ingathering of four boxes of health care supplies which will be sent to medical missions throughout the world.
Convention participants also collected, with help from their local congregations, ten boxes of care package items for Canadian troops — mostly familiar Canadian snacks not available in their deployed countries. Garrison Petawawa Chaplain David Gallas (a member at Christ Lutheran) gratefully received them saying, “those items reinforce to the recipients that the people at home do care about them.”
More women and some men arrived for the Saturday session, which opened with Matins led by Pastoral Counsellor (and host pastor) Rev. Bill Stanfel, and with East Regional Pastor Rev. Marvin Bublitz preaching. A total of 40 were present for convention business and 56 attended the banquet.
The voting body approved a mites goal for 2019-22 of $24,150. A major change made by this convention will channel all grants through a Mission Opportunities Fund, hopefully eliminating proposed projects lying dormant.
Delegates elected officers for the next triennium: Pat Geick, President; Rena Detlefsen, VP Christian Growth; Christine Pollex, VP Christian Service; Elaine Stanfel, VP Comunication; Amy Boudreau, VP Member Development; Mary Ann Alles, Recording Secretary; Brenda Pighin, Financial Secretary; Rachel Kuhl, Treasurer.
Guest Speaker Olga Groh shared some of her experiences as a deaconess and the journey that brought her from South America to North America, to entering the diaconate, and eventually to Kanata, Ontario. She focused on how God took the Israelites to and across the Red Sea: “They had the question, Why did You take us out of Egypt? Many of us have had a ‘shore line’ experience too and questioned, Why did You lead me here?” She assured her listeners, “God will lead you and be with you.”
Rev. Bublitz began the afternoon session with a Bible study on 1 Peter, interjecting various humorous and/or thought-provoking experiences from his life. LWMLC President Linda Long’s presentation highlighted the new logo and provided an update on national affairs. The Director of Canadian Lutheran World Relief, Karin Achtelstetter, presented an engaging report on how their funds and services help those around the world find hope and love. During the business sessions and in between speakers, Laurentian President Pat Geick kept things running smoothly.
The convention closed with a catered banquet and a concert by the Christ Lutheran Handbell Choir.
Elaine Stanfel with notes from Skye Craig and Shirley Detlefsen