Not Just the Future...
This past June, thousands of purple-clad Lutherans gathered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the national LWML (Lutheran Women's Missionary League) convention, where the over-arching theme was Jesus Christ Above All. National LWML conventions are held every other year, and delegates from each of 40 districts gather to vote on a mission goal for the upcoming biennium. For those who are not aware, "the LWML is the leading group for LCMS women where each woman is welcomed and encouraged to use her unique God-given gifts as she supports global missions and serves the Lord with gladness." They do this in their local community, regionally and nationally by collecting mites and performing hands-on service. Based on the account of the widow's mite (Luke 21:1-4), mites are collected as offerings to fund district and national mission grants. (This is above and beyond the support given to congregations and the LCMS.) During the June 2017 convention, delegates voted on a mission goal of $2.075 million for the 2017-2019 biennium. I had the unique opportunity, along with 80 other women, to attend this convention as a Young Woman Representative (YWR).
The YWR program began as an effort to intentionally include younger women in the LWML. It was noted, rather early on, that if the organization was going to continue to prosper and grow, the next generation needed to be included. There seems to be a preconception floating around churches that the LWML is only for women who are more "chronologically experienced." Let's put a stop to that notion once and for all. All women, no matter their age, can participate in the LWML. However, if there is one thing that stuck out to me at this convention, it was that YWRs are treated as celebrities. There is nothing like getting a standing ovation from thousands of convention attendees at the mere mention of the YWR program. Why was that? What is the big deal? Well, ladies, it is because young women are the future of the LWML. We are the generation that will become leaders in our congregations, our districts, and at the national level. The future of this amazing organization lies with us. Kind of a hefty responsibility, isn't it? Well, let me add on one more statement: We are not just the future, we are the NOW! Let's not wait any longer. Seek out your church's LWML society. Don't have a local society? Start one! You do not even have to have a society to participate in the LWML—Participate as an individual member. Let's not let dust accumulate on us while we sit and wait to be invited to an LWML society, or wonder why no one is joining our societies. Stand up, shake it off, and be proactive. ALL women of ALL ages can and should be a part of this group that "assists each woman of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in affirming her relationship with the Triune God so that she is enabled to use her gifts in ministry to the people of the world." Let's continue to help the LWML grow. Collect mites. Be involved and share the Gospel in your community. Use your God-given talents to spread His Good News to the world. Be the NOW. SOS
Are you a woman of 22 to 35 years? If so, talk to your LWML District President about becoming a YWR! It is an experience you will never forget, as you deepen your relationship with Christ and discover new ways of using your gifts to serve the Lord! To learn more about the YWR program, visit http://www.lwml.org/young-women. To see the fun YWRs have during a convention, visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LWMLYoung-Women-in-Mission-1668889263367836/. Like and follow so you don't miss any of the excitement and opportunities available to you!
Lydia Landes was a YWR to the 2017 National LWML Convention, representing the Gulf States District. She is a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Destin, FL.
Greetings sisters in Christ! My name is Lydia Landes and I was selected to be the Young Women’s Representative for convention in Albuquerque this past June. I would like to use this opportunity to tell you a little about myself. I hail from Grace Lutheran in Destin, Florida, though I am a native Midwestern gal. Having just moved in July, 2016, I have enjoyed being on the Emerald Coast and immersing myself in this new and exciting area. My husband is called as an associate pastor at Grace and I am called as the Director of Parish Music. I also spend some time during the week serving a local Christian school as a music teacher.
The goal statement for the convention is as follows, "Empowered by the Holy Spirit, through Word and Sacrament, I will proclaim Jesus Christ above all." I hope and pray that by serving as the Young Women’s Representative for the Gulf States District I will have new ideas and strategies to help other young women proclaim Jesus Christ in our district. Since returning from convention I have a request for you and your societies: help me connect with the young women in your congregation. We have a group on Facebook called "Gulf States District LWML Young Women." Encourage your young women to find our page on Facebook OR to connect with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I believe that we have a unique opportunity to create fellowship with young women across our district.