NT-NL Area News for September

Faith Lutheran Church, Meridian, Texas

With the guidance of our previous Pastor Joan Iker, Faith Lutheran, Meridian applied for a grant from the Mission Endowment Fund and were fortunate enough to be given $1,000 to be used in our community. Our W-ELCA group asked for help from the Meridian ISD elementary school personnel for suggestions as to families that were experiencing difficult circumstances and could use a grocery gift certificate during the summer months when school meals were unavailable. We were given names and contact information of families who could use this assistance and we were able to surprise them with substantial grocery store gift cards. We were blessed to be able to do this and are so thankful for the trust placed in us by the Mission Endowment Fund.

Trinity Lutheran Church, Clifton, Texas

We are collecting items for school kits, and quilting weekly. We held August birthday party for Sunset ministry with Landry and Layton Cockrell performing on the keyboard and Pastor Clay McCord playing the guitar for the delight of the residents. We continue to contribute to any cause when asked.

St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Cranfills Gap, Texas

In July, St, Olaf WELCA held a birthday party for the residents of Lutheran Sunset Home in Clifton. The Girl Scouts, who meet at our church, entertained the residents with several songs and helped to serve them ice cream sodas. The July birthday men and women were given cheerfully wrapped gifts. The oldest was 103!

We also served the faculty of Cranfills Gap School during Inservice week. The church basement was beautifully decorated in a Hawaiian theme, with palm trees, seashells, and flowers. Teachers were given leis as they entered, and the menu followed the theme, with ham, sweet potatoes, fruit salad, followed by desserts of pineapple upside down cake, coconut cake, and banana pudding. All were grateful for the lovely break before readying for the return of students.

Exotic Hawaiian table decorations prepared for our teachers’ luncheon by Karen Sharp and her visiting sister.

First Lutheran Church, Longview

First Lutheran Church of Longview WELCA held its 8th Annual Ladies Retreat on July 30, 2016. Every summer, we use the three-session Bible Study from Gather Magazine in a one-day retreat setting. This year, the author of the study is our own Pastor Angela Shannon from King of Glory in Dallas. It’s not often that the author of the study in our national magazine is so close by, so we convinced Pastor Shannon to lead us through the topic The Heart of the Matter—Conflict, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation. She very ably and gently led us to look at these topics with new eyes and to see that the ministry of reconciliation is actually a way of life rather than a single act or event. One of the notes I received afterwards referred to the day as “a retreat we learn from and will remember a long time.”

We had a wonderful day including a scrumptious salad luncheon and a light-hearted session listening to pop songs about forgiveness from each of the decades beginning with the 30’s. That was interesting, to say the least, to see how a common theme changes with time; and the walk down “memory lane” was fun. We had women in attendance from age 14 to 97, so we had a lot of music to represent.

Women from five congregations were represented to hear Pastor Shannon and share in our day with us – King of Glory in Dallas, Bethany in Dallas, St. John’s in Dallas, Trinity in Sherman, and First in Longview.

Pastor Shannon will be speaking at the SWO Convention in Waco. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear her. You’ll be glad you did.

Fallfest, Quilts and World Records, Oh My!

October will be an exciting month in Clifton, Texas and for Lutheran Sunset Ministries (LSM)!

The annual FallFest (presented by Clifton Main Street) has brought family fun, food and entertainment to Clifton for many years and LSM is proud to be a part of this exciting event with their annual Volunteer Auxiliary Quilt Auction. This year marks the 25 th year of the auction, which will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2016.

The event is always held on the third Saturday in October in conjunction with FallFest, a day-long community event. This year the event has a new time and a new location! It will take place at the Clifton Civic Center (403 W. 3rd St., Clifton) with a preview at 11am, lunch served at 12pm and the auction beginning at 1pm. From resident phone systems to transportation to beautiful gardens and pergolas, the auction has funded numerous projects around the LSM non- profit campus, enhancing quality of life for residents.

Starting in 1991, LSM has hosted the Annual Quilt Auction, with approximately 100 quilts donated by more than 60 church congregations, groups and individuals throughout Texas and beyond. What once started as a relatively small gathering under a tent in the parking lot of the Sunset Home, has transformed into a nationally-recognized event that attracts more than 80 loyal bidders each year. In 2015, the Quilt Auction alone raised more than $39,000 for various needs of Lutheran Sunset Ministries. There is no admission charge.

New this year to FallFest, Lutheran Sunset Ministries needs your help to break the Guinness World Record for most people in a 30-minute, chair-based exercise. Last year, in honor of Active Aging Week, LSM attempted to break the record of 481 participants; however, fell short with 166 participants. While they did not break the World Record, they did set a Bosque County record. The record was filed with the Bosque County Historical Commission on October 13, 2015.

Undiscouraged, they are back at it again this year! Please join them at FallFest in downtown Clifton at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 15, 2016 to help them break a World Record! All ages are welcome. Bring a chair and two canned goods to use as hand weights. After the event, all canned goods will be donated to the Clifton food bank. For more information on the Volunteer Auxiliary Quilt Auction or the World Record attempt, please visit lutheransunset.org or call 254.675.8637.

Smorgasbord Tickets Orders Postmark Sept.10-22

The annual 68th annual Norse Smorgasbord will be held one night only on Saturday, Nov. 12, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Clifton, TX. Ticket orders must be postmarked between Sept. 10 to22 for the event. Orders postmarked before or after these dates will be returned – and as always, no phone orders will be accepted.

There will be two servings of 120 persons each. Serving times are 4:30 and 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 and each order (limit 10 tickets per order) should indicate first choice of serving time, must include a self-addressed stamped envelope and check made payable to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Women.

Orders should be mailed to Mr. and Mrs. Charley Aars, 7047 FM 219, Clifton TX 76634; or Mr. and Mrs. Steve Heinley, 5518 FM 219, Clifton TX 76634. For additional information check the web at oursaviorsnorse.org/smorgasbord.html

Around the mission area: July 2016

Policies and Procedures Document Updated

The Policies and Procedures committee met at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Grand Prairie on Friday, May 13 to update this document. The last update had been in 2003, and a lot of changes needed to be made.

Each delegate to the NT-NL SWO convention in October will receive a copy of the updated document before the convention. If approval is received at our convention, then the document will be sent to the ELCA Churchwide Synodical Women’s board for approval. This document provides guidelines as to how our group is to function.

Appreciation to Hattie Hammer and Pastor Kathi Johnson for the use of their church fellowship hall. Members of the committee present were Carol Otterstad, chairman; Cynthia Sparks, Susan Remshardt, Diane Fehler, and Sarah Gohlke.

Eastern Mission Conference Spring Gathering

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Shreveport, LA hosted the Spring Gathering on Saturday May 21st. Over thirty ladies came together for a wonderful day of fellowship.

Laurie McGehee of the Caddo Parish Juvenile Services presented a very informative talk on Sex Trafficking. Dr. Dan Gibbs, a member of Holy Trinity, entertained us with beautiful piano music. A bountiful brunch was provided to the women of the ELCA from these three churches: Holy Trinity and St. Stephen in Shreveport, and First Lutheran in Longview.

One half of the offering was given to the sex trafficking program with NT-NL Synodical Women receiving the other half. Carol Shoul of Holy Trinity was elected conference coordinator.

Excitement Builds as Registration for Tenth Triennial Opens Sept. 6

The Tenth Triennial Gathering, July 13-16, 2017 will bring Lutheran women together from across the church with life-changing workshops, worship, Bible study, and more. Women will gather in Minneapolis, Minn., under the theme “All Anew.” Registration opens on September 6.

Early-bird registration, through January 6, 2017, is $310; after that registration is $350. Register at welcatg.org or email women women.elca@elca.org for a registration packet.
Liz Gaskins, one of the Triennial Gathering Promoters, will be at the NT-NL SWO convention in Waco October 7-9 with a display table with all things Triennial. She will answer your questions, have registration packets, etc. for you at the convention. She also will be speaking to our group on Saturday.

Because the Tenth Triennial Gathering falls during the observance of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017, the theme resonates with reformation and transformation images. At the gathering, participants will explore ways in which the Holy Spirit changes us, acknowledging that reformation and transformation have happened and continue to happen within the community of women known as Women of the ELCA.


The WELCA unit of Clifton will not meet in July but start again in Aug. We will host the August Birthday party at Sunset Ministries, using our Trinity youth and their blessings of talent in music and dance. Asking for prayers for Elaine Bell in her recovery from some difficult surgery.