2017 Spring Gatherings

Panhandle conference

The Spring Gathering of the Panhandle Conference Women of the ELCA will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at Grace, Slaton, TX. Hosted jointly by the women of St. John, Wilson and Grace, Slaton, the day promises to be filled with a variety of opportunities for fun, fellowship and faith growth.

The gathering will begin with registration and reception at 9:00 a.m. and will end by approximately 3:00 p.m. Details will be provided as they are confirmed.

Please mark your congregation calendars and share this date with your Women of the ELCA leaders so women can make plans to attend.

Dallas Area Metro North Conference

The Dallas Area Metroplex North Conference is holding our 6th annual spring Women’s Retreat on March 25, 2017. This year it will be held at Christ the Servant, Allen, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Our guest speaker will be Karen Williams, who was also our speaker at last year’s extremely popular retreat. Karen presents fascinating information with great humor and grace, and her session will be wonderful!

This year we are collecting items to donate to UpBring (formerly Lutheran Services of the South), an organization that provides needed items to children entering the foster care system. We will be focusing on infant needs such as receiving blankets, sleepers, onesies, socks, and travel-sized baby toiletries. Please bring any donations with you to the retreat.

Download the Dallas Area Metro North Spring Gathering flier and registration form for more information. You can also register online at christtheservant.com (link opens in new tab/window). Registration forms are due by March 10.

We will be offering child care for children aged 3-10 (for an additional fee), so please indicate on your registration form if that is needed.

Everyone is welcome to attend, so please pass the word! Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Pam Grosze

HOT Conference

Download the registration form for the HOT Conference Spring Gathering on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at Our Savior’s, Norse. Please make copies and share this Gathering information with the ladies of your church and friends. It is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship, to study God’s word and to conduct the business of the Heart of Texas Conference.

A nominal registration fee of $10 will used to help the hosts cover the costs of the food, etc. A love offering will be collected and divided between the SWO and a charity chosen by OSLC. We will have a special memorial time for WELCA members of our local units that have passed since our last Gathering in 2016. In addition, we will again have Silent Auction items donated by each church to help fund WELCA Scholarships.

If you register by March 18 you will receive a special gift upon check-in. Late registrations will be accepted at the door or you may contact Lauri Aars or Glenda Phillips using the contact information on the registration letter. Payment for those can be made at the door with cash or check.

We look forward to seeing you all again and sharing in a fun day!

Lauri Aars, OSLC WELCA President
Glenda Phillips, OSLC Secretary

Grace: Making a Difference

Grace to you, dear sisters, and peace through God our Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ!

What a year we have before us as Lutherans, as we celebrate 500 years of our heritage of faith grounded in Grace!
I have been thinking about you for several weeks now. The desire to reach out and greet you and introduce myself has been strong, but what to say first?

Thanks to our sisters at Our Savior’s, Norse, it came to me! The theme they have selected for our spring gathering has such
POWER in it! Ephesians 2:8 says:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

Isn’t that just the best news ever?

Grace in Our Leadership Structure

This year begins with a transition as Glenda Phillips, who was our elected HOT conference coordinator, takes her place as Secretary to the SWO, following her election at the fall gathering in October 2016.

The Conference Executive Team was tasked with finding Glenda’s successor; I asked that Glenda and Bettye consider me for the role.

In January, I was confirmed to complete Glenda’s term, which will end in the spring of 2019. Also during that meeting, Diann Pitts, from Our Savior’s, Norse, was appointed to fulfill my term as financial secretary. (We have also appointed a nomination committee to look for a candidate for the secretary position, which Bettye Spears will vacate this month. Could it be your season to serve?

A Little about Me

I am a lifetime Lutheran; I began participating in church leadership at Bethany, Fredricksburg. My daughter was two at the time, so I served quite a bit in children’s and youth ministry, Sunday school, and the women’s choir.
I have just completed three years of service on Zion, McGregor’s church council, as worship team liaison. I also sing in the choir and do just a little bit of everything.

My first career was as a professional chef. I have had a life-long passion for feeding people and am elated that so many of our conference units have feeding programs or participate in local food pantries!

Today I am working on my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Trauma and Crisis and serve as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children (CASA) for McLennan and Hill Counties. My passion is therapeutic recovery treatments for women and children who have escaped domestic violence and attempting to rebuild their lives.

My career goals include serving the wider church in areas of advocacy for women and children.

I am a proud mother of a wonderful, bright, compassionate 16-year-old. Hannah is a sophomore at Vanguard College Preparatory School in Waco where she is in Latin Club, on the Yearbook Staff as the business manager, and on the golf team. She serves Zion on the audio/visual team and sings with the choir and praise team.

Grace: Making a Difference

Lauri Aars and Glenda Phillips of Our Savior’s, Norse and their team are putting together a great day for us on March 25.
The theme brings Luther’s word for Christians in full focus through Ephesians 2:8 and what a gift that is! I encourage you to make plans, invite friends, and come join us!

Even if you are unable to make it to the gathering, I urge each unit in our conference to take on a special project this year in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. There is nothing too big or too small.

If there is anything that I can do to help you with your unit’s plans to make a difference, or if you have ideas that could bring us together as a conference for service, please do not hesitate to reach out to me! Email me at kdfehler@gmail.com. I would enjoy getting to know every group as we join together in service to our Lord!

Blessings Always,

Kimberly Fehler
HOT Congerence Coordinator

Around the Mission Area January 2017

What the churches are doing

Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Dallas

Greetings, My Sisters in Christ!

It has been quite a while since the Women of Mount Olive connected with you via Tapestry. We have been missing-in-action from the heart of the functions of the synodical organization; however, please know that we have been as busy as ever doing God’s work with our hands!

You will find the WELCA at Mount Olive involved in every area of outreach ministry supported by our congregation. Let me tell you about a few of those ministries:

Frances Byrd Horn of Plenty Food Pantry

Organized in 1999 under the direction of Mary Smith, in 2016 a total of 1,609 families and 9,100 homeless individuals were served via the Wednesday distribution. This would not have been possible without the faithful partnership of several individuals, churches and organizations. For this partnership, we are truly grateful.

Five women of the congregation spend a minimum of five hours each Wednesday volunteering at the pantry. Some women also spend their Tuesdays helping to prepare for Wednesday’s distribution. Ten to fifteen volunteers from other congregations also serve each week.

[Image description: photo of several youth, mostly African-American, standing outside listening to a presentation by a police officer. There is a police car in the forefront of the photo.]South Dallas Youth Conference

This one-day conference, established in 2006, is designed to reach the young people in South Dallas and surrounding areas. It is our hope that these sessions will provide youth with opportunities to develop vital skills and competencies, and to have positive experiences with caring adults.

Grants from the Mission Endowment Fund as well as donations from individuals have enabled this program to exist for ten years. The women of the church are involved in every phase of planning and execution of the project.

{Image description: photo of several families, mostly people of color, at the Back to School Rally]Back to School Rally

In 2016, with the assistance of sister churches and donations from church members, Mount Olive was able to provide 180 students with all the school supplies needed to start the school year. Twelve women from Mount Olive spent a total of 280 hours assisting with the packing and distribution of the supplies.

Computer Learning Center

This learning center, currently open one day a week, is spearheaded by Helen Beaujour. With the partnership of Christ Lutheran Church and other donors, this center makes available computer skills training in basic computer usage as well as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher.

Submitted by Helen Beaujour

St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Waco

Save The Date! Our Spring Gathering will be held February 25, 2017.
Speakers will be Pastor Amanda Brobst-Renaud from St. Peter (Malone) and Serena Cole with Mosaic in Waco. Registration forms coming soon. All are welcome!

Dallas Area Metro North Conference

The Dallas Area Metro North conference will host a retreat on March 25 at Christ the Servant (Allen) from 9-4. We will hear once again from Karen Williams about brains and will also have several workshops. Applications are coming. Childcare will be provided for a small fee.

Heart of Texas Conference

The HOT Conference W-ELCA presidents will be meeting January 28 at Our Savior’s (Norse) in the parsonage.

Items on the business agenda are to elect a new conference coordinator to replace Glenda Phillips, who was elected to the SWO board at the Convention in October; to establish constitutional guidelines for choosing a new coordinator in the middle of her term; and to make plans for the Spring Gathering to be held at Our Savior’s.

Another issue will be changing constitutional guidelines from three conference officers to two. Our Churchwide organization requests the elimination of the treasurer position, keeping only the conference coordinator and secretary positions.