Three LWML-Canada leaders, Iris Barta (president), Lorraine Kaija (vice-president member development) and Fran Porteous (vice-president Christian mission) attend the board of directors meeting of LWML in Bridgeton, Missouri (just outside St. Louis) February 1-3, 2013. LWML president, Kay Kreklau, shared, “It is a joy and privilege to continue to share ideas with, and serve alongside, our Canadian sisters as we serve our Lord in the many tasks He places before us to do in His name.”
We share here comments from the two vice-presidents. Comments from the president will be shared in Tapestry. Additional pictures are posted at photoalbum.lutheranwomen.ca.
Fran Porteous, Vice-President Christian Mission:
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to St. Louis and the warm and loving welcome that we received there, including the tours, the gifts, and a standing ovation!!! Wow! It was humbling to learn about the scope and size of LWML and how much they are blessed to be able to support in the mission fields. However, I remember the widow’s mites and am thankful for what we are able to do here in Canada. We are the “baby sisters” but we continue to “grow up & mature.” I also noticed that they are all very down-to-earth just like us, and our meetings progress much the same as theirs. I am looking forward to attending their national convention in Pittsburgh this summer.
Lorraine Kaija, Vice-President, Member Development:
It was a blessing to attend the annual LWML executive and board of directors’ meeting in St. Louis with President Iris and Vice-President Fran on behalf of our LWML-Canada’s General Council. While waiting in the lobby we were targeted as LWML-ers by a member of their national convention organizing committee. Tuesday night we were introduced to members of the executive committee and had the opportunity to learn about each other. It was very interesting to learn about my counterparts in LWML. Our Member Development overlaps with their Special Focus Ministries, Gospel Outreach, and Organizational Resources responsibilities. It was overwhelming with “new” terminology such as HOPE, Gifts from the Heart, PING, Friends into Serving Him and LWML 101.
The week of meetings started out with the meetings of the national convention committee, executive council, district presidents and committee chairmen, until Friday when all the committee members were also in attendance.
It was surprising (but very practical) that everyone on the executive committee had their laptops for the meeting. For example, the ease of access to wireless Internet in the conference room, the agenda, reports, etc., were all accessible online.
Even though it was overwhelming to take in all the LWML information, we did have time to explore our Lutheran roots in North America. We were able to tour the seminary with Dr. Meyer and attend their daily chapel service. We also toured the International Centre with the district presidents and attended a daily service in their chapel. Afterward it was wonderful to tour Historic Trinity Church in downtown St. Louis (Walthers’ home congregation) where we enjoyed a wonderful guide who brought history to life.
One of the many highlights of the trip for me was meeting a former classmate from Concordia, Seward, Nebraska. It is very encouraging to know that we are part of a strong group of women in service to our Lord and Saviour! It was a pleasure meeting with our sisters in Christ and to know that we are all Lutheran women serving Christ with the support of enthusiastic pastoral counsellors. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!