Around the Mission Area: May 2017

Trinity, Sherman prepares Baby Care Kits

In the month of April, Lutheran churches across America sent Baby Care Kits to Lutheran World Relief, to be distributed to the people of over 15 countries.

Last year, Trinity Lutheran Church in Sherman, Texas, gathered the materials needed to complete 10 Baby Care Kits for LWR. Our goal this April is to send 20 kits.

With that in mind on, October 2nd the TLC women hosted an International Baby Shower! The food served at the shower was from the countries LWR serves.

Indonesian dip and naan were served to represent the Asian countries. Salvadoran quesadilla (not the quesadillas we know, from Mexico; this is a kind of pound cake) and Peruvian energy balls represented the Latin American countries. Kibbeh (a kind of meatloaf) and tabouli were our Middle Eastern dishes. Pita bread and chakalaka, representing countries in Africa, rounded out our international menu.

It was wonderful! Everyone had a great time sampling new foods and enjoying fellowship with each other.
We are so excited to announce that, through the generosity of our congregation, our goal of 20 Baby Care Kits is over 90% accomplished. What a great kick start to our Baby Care kits.

Submitted by Marie Murphy, Trinity, Sherman TX

(Editor’s Note: I apologize for not getting this report in the March Tapestry but it fell through the cracks with me getting ready for surgery. Hope this makes it up to you.)

Upcoming Retreat Opportunities

Our Redeemer, Grand Prairie and Lord of Life, Glenn Heights will hold a one-day retreat on Saturday, August 12. More details will be available at a later date. Reserve the date now in your calendars!

The Young At Heart retreat has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 14 through Thursday, November 16 for seniors at Briarwood Retreat Center. If you have not attended one of these in the past, be sure to include this in your fall plans. Go to Briarwood’s website for more information.

Submitted by Hattie M. Hammer

You are cordially invited to attend the Spring Gathering of the Eastern Cluster of the Eastern Conference. We have invitations out to the churches in Shreveport, Marshall, and Mabank. We plan on discussing at the business meeting expanding the gathering to include the active metro east units in future years.

HOT Conference Spring Gathering

The Heart of Texas Conference Women of the ELCA Spring Gathering was held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church on Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 8:30-1:30. The theme was “Grace: Making a Difference,” celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Our theme verse was Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

Pastor Bill and Linda Metting greeted the 59 guests at the door wearing masks of Martin and Katie Luther. Tables were decorated with white tablecloths adorned with burlap and lace runners and beautiful standing crosses on loan from members of Our Savior’s.

Lauri Aars welcomed everyone and opened the meeting with the WELCA purpose statement. Pastor Beverly Blackman-Mounce provided the theme devotion and Bible study, “Pondering Pontifical Presence” for the group. A love offering was collected and divided between the SWO and Bag of Blessings. Karen Bentsen read the names of members of our local units that have passed since the 2016 Gathering during a special remembrance ceremony. Alice Brewer and Karen Bentsen presided over the silent auction. The proceeds from the auction went to scholarships for Women of the ELCA.

Kimberley Fehler was installed as coordinator, Diane Pitts was installed as treasurer to fill one year term vacated by Kimberley, and Debbie Moehnke was installed as secretary. We voted to change the name of treasurer to assistant coordinator. The proposal must be approved at the next meeting before it can be changed.

COW Conference-wide Meeting

In March, the Women of Grace had a conference-wide meeting of the WELCA in our area. We had a presentation by Lori Bunton about human trafficking in our own Taylor County. It was a real eye-opener for all of us, I believe. We never realized how close to home this subject really was. We may or may not have heard of it; or thought it was in bigger cities; or not in our state but other states, but never dreamed it was in our own backyard. If you ever have a chance to hear a talk on human trafficking, please do so.

Along with our meeting, we had a salad luncheon and then delved into attempting to make some crocheted Prayer Labyrinths for the Gathering in June. We met from 10 AM to about 2 PM which seemed to give the out-of-town guests time to get to Abilene and then plenty of time to get home before dark.

Our next conference-wide meeting will be June 17, so if you are in the Conference Out West or any other conference, please feel free to join us. An invitation should be going out soon, but don’t wait for an invitation—All Are Welcome‼ All the Time‼ We try to keep our Women of Grace Facebook page current so please check there for any updates or items of interest. The women are having a pottery painting class on April 19th at 6:30 at the church—wish us luck!

June mini-Conference

The date for the mini-June conference will be June 17, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Following is what the conference will be about:

The core of the June gathering is taken from the ELCA Faith, Sexism, Justice: Conversations toward a Social Statement by the ELCA Task Force on Women and Justice. One in Christ.

Women of 2017 stand on the shoulders of the women who came before them (mothers, aunts, etc.) just so, as disciples of Christ we stand on the shoulders of the faithful who came before us. The discussion will explore how living out our faith in the world strengthens the foundation for coming generations to stand upon.

Also our Women of Grace WELCA group is planning a trip to Chandor Gardens on May 13. The cost is $5 for an unguided tour or $10 for a guided tour. More info at the website.

Submitted by Teresa Weicht

BOLD Women Sunday in Trinity, Sherman TX

On Sunday, February 19, 2017, Trinity Lutheran Church in Sherman, Texas, celebrated Bold Women Sunday in Honor and Remembrance of Sue Sappenfield. Sue was active all phases of the congregation life at Trinity over many years. We selected 19th because it was Sue’s Birthday.

Sue was fascinated by Katie Luther and her life in the history of the Lutheran Church. Her interest led her to study Katie’s life and prepare presentations (dressed as Katie may have dressed) to share her story. Her presentation was presented locally and in many communities in the U.S. as well as a Triennial Gathering.

A Temple Talk during the service by Mary Burkart explained Bold Women Sunday and its significance in the Women of the ELCA organization. The congregation participated in “A Remembrance of Sue” offering as they exited the Sanctuary. The offering will be designated for “The Katie Fund” with Churchwide W-ELCA.

Submitted by Barbara Rechtzigel

LWR Boxes Transported to Dallas

Twelve Heart of Texas congregations and one non-ELCA congregation participated in the 2017 Lutheran World Relief Items.

On Thursday, April 20 at 8:30 a.m. Saint Matthew, Waco volunteers loaded 156 boxes into a rented truck and delivered the boxes to Bethel Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas.

A completed 2017 LWR inventory final report will be e-mailed to each HOT Unit President to share with your membership.

A BIG THANK YOU to all the churches who made a free will donation towards the rental of the truck and fuel.

THANKS to volunteers who worked so hard this past year to make this collection so successful, and to the members who delivered the boxes to Waco.

God’s Blessings to each of you.

Submitted by Wanda Kilstrom, St. Matthew, Waco TX

Calvary, San Angelo Partners with Mosaic

A partnership between Calvary, San Angelo, Texas, and Mosaic in San Angelo, a ministry of the ELCA, has brought about wonderful relationships while benefitting the community.

Last summer, Doris Wendland, a member of Calvary, called Mosaic to see if we were interested in working with them on a project making mats out of recycled plastic bags for homeless people in San Angelo. She said she thought it would work well, since the activity included many skill levels. Bags needed to be flattened, folded, cut, and tied together to make “plarn,” and then crocheted. We decided we would try it and see what happened.

As a non-profit organization that works with people with intellectual disabilities, this kind of project is perfect for the variety of people served by Mosaic.

Almost a year later, the activity has morphed into so much more than making mats. The faces of the four volunteers that come every Monday light up almost as much as the faces of the people at Mosaic who are waiting for them.

They have completed two mats so far, with a third one in progress. All completed mats will be donated to an organization that works with San Angelo’s homeless population in the fall.

“I like to be part of the project,” said Shaunna Cochran, who lives in one of Mosaic’s group homes in San Angelo. “They (homeless people) need a place to sleep, and I like making the mats so they will be warm.”
The Calvary ladies have added more than just mat-making to their Monday afternoon repertoire. In December, they worked together to make Christmas ornaments. In January and February, they learned how to knit hats on a loom, which were then added to others made by the congregation, and were blessed by Pastor Paul Zwarich before being sent on a mission trip to Nepal.

After the donated hats were complete, the people from Mosaic wanted to make hats of their own. They have just recently finished those with help from the Calvary volunteers, and cannot wait for the weather to get cold again so they can wear them!

For volunteer Marie Williams, a retired special ed teacher, “Monday Funday” as it is called, is perfect, since it gives her an opportunity to use her teaching skills and projects she has used in the classroom. “Interacting with anybody in a positive manner is educational for both,” she said.

Kara Martinez, another volunteer, said she was in special ed classes when she was little, which is where she says God told her to take care of others. “People used to make fun of me and my friends,” she said. “I learned that God made everyone special in their own way.”

The volunteers are excited about the relationships being built, which seem to grow stronger week after week. “It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” said Calvary’s Sassy Puckett. “We all have different talents God gave us.”

Mosaic: Discover the Possibilities

What does your perfect day look like? Join us to learn how Mosaic partners with people with intellectual disabilities to help them become the people they want to be. Hear stories about how Mosaic helps to create a meaningful life in caring community, giving a voice to the needs of those served. Please join us for Discover the Possibilities, held twice a month. See our Facebook page events tab for tour dates, times, and locations.

Contact Ami Mizell Flint (325-651-3333 ext. 206 or for more information or to register or host a Discover the Possibilities tour. Events are free and open to the public.

Mosaic: Christmas in July

Is your unit looking for a project for this summer? Consider  partnering with Mosaic’s Dallas office for Christmas in July!

Mosaic is collecting donations to help us restock their group homes with much needed hygiene, cleaning, household, and health supplies! For more information call Lori Baum at 972-866-9989.

Download Christmas in July fliers to see which items they are collecting.

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