2017 SWO Fall Retreat

Wow!  What a gathering of women, presenters, fellowship, and renewal of faith in our ministry to serve Christ.  We learned more about Katie Luther and her work with Martin throughout the Reformation.  Kathy Dodson of The Texas Refugee Service provided some very good and interesting information about their work here in Texas.  Rev. Deb Louden-McCann of Mount Olive Lutheran Church and Savannah Sullivan of the ELCA in Chicago presented great programs on Global Missions and the Young Adults’ involvement in the Global Mission work.  Herb and Barbara Lammert concluded our study on Global Missions with slides of their trip to Tanzania several years ago.

We learned from Pastor Deb Louden-McCann, in the Bible study based on Deut. 31:6, how we can be those bold women who face adversities and overcome because we know God will go with us, will not fail us, nor forsake us. She showed us how people in the Old Testament had God with them also.

Bishop Erik Gronberg led us in a wonderful Compline Service Friday night, and Pastor Deb McCann presided over a beautiful closing worship services with communion Sunday morning.

Other activities included the Walk, Run, and Roll event, the Silent Auction, walking the Labyrinth, and lots of great crafts including making the Luther Rose and ironing Martin Luther on the front or back of a T-shirt.  We learned many new songs to be sung as table prayers, sang songs throughout the weekend, and after making S’Mores at the pit fire.

A most enjoyable weekend for all with time to relax, renew friendships, make new ones, enjoy the outdoor scenery at Briarwood, and thank God for all of his goodness.

Around the Mission Area – November 2017

From Around the Mission Area

Grace Lutheran, Abilene

The Women of Grace had their September meeting on Saturday the 23rd discussing “Women in Justice” conducted by Patricia Dodini. The discussion was very good and will be continued at a later date because there was so much more to cover on the topic. Linda Moss showed us how to make stuffed pumpkins out of old shirts/sweaters and odd items to decorate them with. A nice salad luncheon was enjoyed by about ten ladies in attendance. 


November 15 will be our regular Wednesday night meeting at 7 PM to discuss plans for 2018 and Linda Moss will be showing us how to make cute Christmas decorations.

Scholarship Opportunities

NT-NL SWO Continuing Education Scholarship

Looking to further your education?  The NT-NL SWO can help you reach that goal! 

Our Synodical Women’s Organization will be offering $500 scholarships to women in our organization who want to further their education and need some financial assistance. Applicant must be a participant in a W-ELCA unit and a voting member of the ELCA. Course of study may have a ministry job component, or it may be for continuing education in job training, or updating vocational training. Deadlines for application is November 15 and May 15. 

Contact Lori Beers or Ann Hanley for copies of the scholarship application, or if you have questions.

W-ELCA Church-wide Scholarships

Educational Scholarships may also be secured from the Women of the ELCA office. There are scholarships in two categories:  Scholarships for 1) Lutheran laywomen and 2) Ordained ministry.

 Scholarships for 1) Lutheran laywomen include: a. Administrative leadership, b. ELCA college and seminary leadership, c. Women of color leaders, d. ELCA service abroad, and e. Christian service. These scholarships for Lutheran laywomen provide assistance to Lutheran women studying for a career other than ordained ministry.

Scholarship for 2) – Ordained ministry provides assistance to Lutheran women during their final year at an ELCA seminary. Candidates must be preparing for ordained ministry in the ELCA and must have been endorsed by their synodical candidacy committee.

December 15 – Women of the ELCA begins accepting completed applications.

February 15 – All applications must be submitted on or before this date.

Go to http://www.womenoftheelca.org/scholarships for more info and to download applications.

Board Meeting Minutes – August

The NT-NL SWO Board met Saturday August 26th at New Life in Christ in Duncanville.

The minutes were approved with corrections.  The treasury report was approved. President Sarah encouraged local units to consider giving up to 50% above past years financial support to the NT-NL SWO.  This should help improve our organization’s low financial status.  

Debra Moenke (Immanuel Killeen), Cindy Bone (St. John Coryell City), and Linda Hyde (St. Matthew Waco) conducted an audit of the 2016 SWO financial books.   No errors found.  A copy of the audit has been filed.

Carol Otterstad and Ann Hanley discussed the Triennial Convention and Gathering.  Both expressed thanks for being able to attend.  It was a spiritual for both women.  The meeting was such an inspiration and W-ELCA is a powerful ministry.

New Social Media Coordinator, Sarah Jenkins’ goal is to grow awareness of WELCA in the media.  

The Fall Retreat at Briarwood will be October 13-15.  Details of the meeting were solidified.  

Ann proposed we give $100 to Sierra Leone for flood disaster. Leslie seconded.  Motion passed.

Financial Report – October

Northern Texas- Northern Louisiana
Synodical Women’ Organization
Financial Report as of October 5, 2017


General Fund

August 12, 2017 Balance $5,749.07
Deposits: New Life In Christ – Duncanville, St. Stephens – Shreveport,Trinity – Hamilton, St. John – Wilson, Grace – Carrollton,Resurrection – Plano 470.76
MIF Interest 3.10
Debits: Sri Leone Relief 100.00
Women of the ELCA 655.38
Balance October 5, 2017 $5,467.55

Custodial Fund

August 12, 2017 Balance $7,539.68
St. Paul – Shive (HOT Conf) 470.76
MIF Interest 3.10
Balance October 5, 2017 $7,644.24

Scholarship and Convention Funds

August 12, 2017 Balance $3,227.61
Deposits: Retreat registration 4,455.00
MIF Interest 2.36
Balance October 5, 2017 $7,644.24

Scholarship Fund

August 12, 2017 Balance $1,350.14
MIF Interest .77
Balance October 5, 2017 $1350.91

Continuing Education Fund

August 12, 2017 Balance $2,754.11
MIF Interest 1.55
Balance October 5, 2017 $2,755.66

Respectfully submitted, Mail offering to:
Diane Fehler
3327 Pleasant Run Rd.
McGregor, TX 76657
NT-NL SWO Treasurer e-mail: dmfehler@gmail.com
Cell#: 254-744-6457

Note from the Treasurer
Ladies I am aware that attendance may be down, resulting in lower total giving, but we need to support the synodical and churchwide work of Women of the ELCA as well as our local units and congregations. We cannot out-give God! He has blessed us with abundant gifts – let us share them.

November Devotion

And you also, as living stones, be built up and become spiritual temples
and holy Priests to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable before God……. 1 Peter 2:5


When you first read this, you think: What an oxymoron!! How can this be?? Living stones?….are there any such things??….not in the geology or earth science class. There are fossils and 50-million-year-old parasites trapped inside Baltic amber. But living stones? There are Lithops plants in southern Africa. They look like stones but they are not living stones but rather succulents.

Rather I believe this is a picture of what God wants to do for each of us. Turn our bag of bones bodies from calcified beings; breathing life into us and turn us to prayer and praise for his name. We can begin living rather than existing by living spiritually rather than physically.

So what kind of living stone are we to be?

Like a molcajete the Mexican version of the mortar and pestle used for grinding food. A working stone. To preach, teach, organize and plan church activities or maintain God’s wonderful earth and His churches.

Or a glamourous, glittering, glitzy gem formed by heat and pressure to joyfully praise his name and encourage one another. Sing His praises! Alleluias to His name!

Or the minerals from hot springs for stomach ailments and with other healing powers. These stones give comfort, joy and encourage peace.

Or limestone carved into blocks and key stones to build churches and homes. Blocks become a foundation and the keystones are the central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole arch together to form the wonderful architecture of the European cathedrals. Buildings provide sanctuary from life’s perilous times.

Whatever stone we are, we are to be spiritual temples offering sacrifices, assistance and aid to the world in Christ’s name. Just as the minerals and stones make God’s beautiful earth, we are to build our stones together to make God’s church.

A bumper sticker says: it’s what you build; not what you buy.

We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 3:9
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

And in Galatians 6:10.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.


May we be grounded in our faith, and our actions be a blessing to our church family


This was devotion was presented at the October 26th meeting of the officers of the NTNL. Sunday October 27th lectionary Celebrate had several references that might say it best: In Isaiah the people are bid to look to their spiritual ancestors as the rock from which they were hewn. Jesus declares that the church will be built on the rock of Peter’s bold confession of faith. God’s word of reconciliation and mercy are keys to the church’s mission. Paul urges us to not be conformed to this world, but to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, using our individual gifts to build up the body of Christ.
The Prayer of the Day: O God, with all your faithful followers of every age, we praise you, the rock of our life. Be our strong foundation and form us into the body of your Son, that we may gladly minister to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen