Feb 5, 2011, was a day dedicated by the LWMLC, Grace, Locksley, to our God. Most of our current members gathered together to celebrate how God has instrumented His work in our lives and to welcome our guests. Our objective was to invite ladies of our congregation, teenage and up, to participate in our “Taste and See what LWMLC is all about! Breakfast Campaign.” Our desire was to describe what LWMLC is really all about from a small scale to the larger scale. The two younger women (Mrs. Amy Boudreau and Mrs. Julie Davidson) who recently became members thought it was just an “old ladies group” before they joined, but after attending a meeting they decided to also become servants of Jesus Christ through LWMLC. Therefore, accurately informing the new members as well as the visitors was important to us. Mrs. Amy Boudreau (a teacher) graciously offered to have her students make up the invitations which were passed to each woman in our congregation. We prayed that God would intervene the day of this seminar and we would gain more women to serve Him through LWMLC.
Our day began at 9:30 a.m. with entering the parish hall to the smell of freshly made pancakes and waffles provided by the men of our congregation and some of our husbands who graciously volunteered to serve breakfast. Fresh fruit salad, whipping cream, maple syrup and sour cream was also served. Pastor Denninger kindly invited everyone to sample his secret Scandinavian-type breakfast consisting of pancakes with sour cream instead of whipping cream and fruit. Sour cream? As I sat with Mrs. Myra Witt (a long-time member of LWML and LWMLC) she told me that she tried the pastor’s recipe. I am not sure if anyone else tried his secret recipe.
Babysitting, which consisted of confirmation-age children willing to play with the little ones, was provided so the mothers could enjoy their morning without worry. Registration at the door provided each woman with a piece of paper for their names to be drawn for a gift throughout the morning. Each table was beautifully decorated to reflect Valentines Day.
After breakfast Pastor Denninger, District Pastoral Counsellor, opened the seminar with prayer. Using a powerpoint presentation, he described “What LWMLC is All About” as well as the significance of the Mite Box. The conclusion of his presentation consisted of what it takes to become a member of LWMLC.
A skit was performed for our entertainment. Mrs. Delta Neville sat at a table counting coins for the Mite Box while three different Mite Boxes entered the skit with explanation as to how large and small their contribution is for missions. Mrs. Julie Davidson was the first Mite Box with her speech to Delta then Mrs. Marguerite Saar followed by Mrs. Amy Bourdreau. Once the skit had ended a song “Mighty Mites” was sung by everyone to the tune of Jingle Bells.
When the presentation was over everyone had a chance to participate in crafts which were prepared by Mrs. Julie Davidson and Mrs. Joan Denninger. Valentines crafts or the making of plastic milk bag mats were offered. These mats are to be sent overseas as part of our missions.
A special thank-you recognized Shirley Saar who recently retired from over 25 years of devoted service as president and Christian Growth chairman for Grace, Locksley. It was a pleasure to honour her with a gift and applause for her great years of service.Our Heavenly Father has been gracious to us through Shirley. Much can be learned from her dedication. May our Lord Jesus continue to bless Shirley in her retirement.
We believe our breakfast campaign was a success. We greeted 13 visitors and some LWMLC members. The men cleaned the kitchen, the children were well looked after, crafts were a hit and it was wonderful to pull names for prizes. We believe the attendees have a clearer understanding of “What LWMLC is All About!” God willing, we will add new names to our “Called to Serve” LWMLC in missions.
Presentation by Shirley Saar
My Walk of Faith
The greatest blessing any child can receive is to be raised in a Christian home by loving parents. I was also blessed to have great teachers, as well as Sunday school teachers. My first memory of Sunday school was when I was four years old. When the class was over we would all march out proudly singing “Onward Christian Soldiers.” After three years of intense study at confirmation class the big day to be confirmed finally arrived. I was so excited. Everything, everything was so awesome I cried through most of the service. My dream and goal was to become a medical missionary. Instead God had other plans for me.
For a number of years we attended the United Church in the village; they had a great youth program. Both Lutheran churches in the area held only German services. It was years later when they called a new pastor and began having services in English that we went back to the Lutheran Church.
We moved to the family farm in Golden Lake and later my Dad purchased the hotel in the village. I had worked there for several years when I met my husband. After our marriage we moved to his family farm near Pembroke where we lived for over 50 years. It is so wonderful to once again be back in the Lutheran Church.
I joined the Ladies Aid and LWML shortly after my marriage. Meetings were held in homes in the afternoon. Quite often a quilt was set up and the older women would work at that; the younger women also attended and everyone brought their children. After our parish hall was built, meetings were held in the evenings.
As a young mother I was extremely busy raising our five children. We operated a dairy farm and I did the milking for many years. We also had a Vacation Farm for eight years. Earl and three of our sons operated a saw mill near the farm. Life was busy but also rewarding. We dealt with the challenge of raising teenagers—there were girlfriends, boyfriends, drugs, wrecked cars, you name it. Living in the country doesn’t protect your children from all the evils of society. Only prayer and building a strong relationship with your child will see you through it. One of my favourite Bible passages was always uppermost in my mind, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
By the grace of God we endured and overcame six fires in the past 55 years. Three were major. When lightning struck Earl’s saw mill it burned to the ground. Five years later our house burned and 25 years after that the barn burned. I found comfort in the Bible verse “All things work together for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28).
As the years went by and the boys assumed more of the farm duties I was able to focus on other interests. I was able to get more involved in the church, especially LWML which has brought much joy to my life. Our members share a special bond with each other that reaches out to women in the zone and the district, when we attend rallies, prayer services and conventions.
The Founding convention for the Laurentian District was held in May 1950 at St. John’s Lutheran Church Germanicus. All the societies in the district received their charters at that time.
I attended my first International convention in St. Paul Minnesota in July 1975. Dr. Oswald Hoffman was the keynote speaker and also conducted the Bible study. What a great experience to have lunch with ladies from Alaska and dinner with members from Florida. You make friends that last a life time. The Lord has blessed me with a dear friend and mentor, Hilda Marion; we have shared many special times together over the past 40 years.
LWML has always made a special effort to train and educate their members in leadership. These workshops were held in each district. In 1980 a seminar was held entitled “You are God’s Gift.” I was chosen to attend the training seminar in September 1979 in St. Louis. In May 1980 we made a presentation at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pembroke. There were 150 ladies in attendance. Many other workshops have been presented since then. A great new seminar has been written by ladies of LWML Canada and will be presented in all districts across Canada. It is entitled “Good Lord What Shall I Do?” based on Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your path.” Watch for more info and plan to attend.
In 1990 I was elected Laurentian District President at a convention in Timmins. It was a wonderful, challenging experience. We were still part of Int. LWML and I had the opportunity to attend several board meetings and International conventions. The highlight was attending the 50th anniversary convention in Cleveland in July 1991. I have so many special memories from travelling throughout the district to rallies, workshops and conventions. I thank God for the privileges He has bestowed upon me through my service to Him through LWML and LWMLC.
In 1993 the International convention was held in Edmonton, Alberta. The theme was “One in Spirit, One in Purpose.” As the convention ended a new era began. The Founding convention for LWML Canada became a reality. Societies from the five districts across Canada participated and members from each society signed the charter. Berndina Karau signed on behalf of our society. It was an exciting time after years of planning. Eloise Schaan from our district was our first president.
I have been president of our Grace Locksley society for over 25 years. Most of our once active members are over 80 years old. They are still faithful in attending the meetings. I have had health problems for the past five years and it is time to retire. I was so pleased when Joan Denninger, our pastor’s wife, agreed to take over the presidency; I leave it in good hands. In closing I would like to share the words of a favuorite hymn.
Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand I am tired, I am weak, I am worn Through the storm through the night Lead me on to the light Take my hand, Precious Lord, Lead me on.
I still marvel that God has allowed me to serve Him with my talents and good health all these years. I look forward to continuing to be ‘Called to Serve.”
© LWML-Canada 2011