By Judy Wice, Dryden, Ontario
The following will stir memories for many. Ed.
Memories are what life is made of. The older you get the more you have. Permit me to share some personal ones as we, Our Saviour Lutheran Church Lutheran Women Missionary League (Canada) of Dryden, Ontario, celebrate our fiftieth year of love and service.
Our ladies had an active Ladies Aid of which my mother, Matie Felske, was president. I was a teen at home then when she organized meetings and housed two ladies from Minnesota North LWML district for two nights. These eager ladies met with ladies here and Dryden’s LWML was born. We received our charter January 1962.
LWML meetings were separate from the Ladies Aid for a time. Because of duplication of meetings it was decided to join LWML and Ladies Aid. Soon a decision was made to form three ladies groups. Perhaps it was time of day and/or common interests but over the years that got more women involved and broadened the areas in our mission work and support. Today each society has about fifteen ladies. We are known as Esther Guild, Rebecca Sisters, and Mary Martha within our Dryden congregation and we have a coordinator over us. This is unique as across Canada.
LWML/LWML-Canada is known as the right arm of Lutheran Church-Canada. The mites we gather do mighty things. The ladies do a great deal of service in the local church and community, as well as the world at large. In reality some of the women in the Bible were LWML-minded, too. We are always thankful to have supportive pastors.
Our journey took in some milestones.
During 1990 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, our Ontario region, known as Arrowhead Region 1B, broke bonds with the Minnesota North District to form the Ontario Sonset District, covering the area from Manitouwadge to the Ontario/Manitoba border. I was honoured to have chosen my suggestion of the district name. The meaning is this: the sun sets last in this part of Ontario and we ladies set our eyes on Jesus, SON of God, and light within our walk and work.
In 1991 ILWML met in Cleveland, Ohio, to celebrate 50 years under the theme “Celebrate the Jubilee and Glorify His Name.”
In 1992, at the district convention in Dryden all Ontario Sonset LWML District societies received re-dedication certificates from ILWML president Ida Mall.
The LWML-Canada Founding Convention was held June 20-21, 1993, in Edmonton, Alberta. This meant new beginnings and new ventures for all of Canada’s LWML as we became independent from ILWML.
And now we celebrate our charter in Dryden. LWMLC Sunday, October 14,2012, was chosen for this event. The theme was “The Word Is Key….Hold It Fast.” The gold altar flowers were given to the glory of
God, in memory of our departed sisters in Christ. The greeters handed out special LWMLC pens, engraved with “Women In The Word,” to all women in attendance. A special ingathering of “pennies” was given that day. Some of the hymns included LWML and LWMLC anthems “Serve the Lord with Gladness” and “Called to Serve,” and from the hymnal, “For All The Faithful Women.” Ladies who served included: acolyte, scripture readers, ushers, and leaders for our league pledge. After the service a picture was taken of all the LWMLC society women present and Pastor James Wood with our special cake inscribed with “Glorify the Lord with me. Let us praise His name together as we celebrate 50 years of LWML membership at Our Saviour Lutheran Church.” This cake was shared with the congregation at a luncheon following the service. Charter members cut the cake. The fellowship room walls were adorned with LWML banners, including the 50th anniversary banner of LWML. The tables were dressed in checkered cross-stitched multi-coloured tablecloths, made by our LWML ladies years ago. Centrepieces were made up of “preserve” jars enhanced with 50th labels and filled with golden shades of fall flowers. We had a large display of convention manuals and materials. A highlight during the luncheon was a PowerPoint presentation of some of our LWML pictures over the years. The presentation was prepared by Norma Kiiskila who serves as coordinator over all three societies.
I am grateful to have taken part in many conventions and serving every level of LWML-Canada with Christian friends.
Looking back and looking forward – girls become mothers, mothers become grandmothers, and when generation to generation remain faithful to LWML/LWML-Canada then we can smile and work on for another fifty years – that will make me well over 100!