About Jean Gerald

WELCA Newsletter – April 2017

Women of the ELCA

Dear Sisters in Christ,

We opened our last meeting by reading our mission and purpose statements, and went directly to the first of two Bible Studies. They were worth waiting for because they validated our purpose statement exactly. The first one dealt with the theme of His work, our hands, and repeated the message that works were not necessary for salvation but a demonstration of our gratitude for His love.

We all know that many places in the New Testament record this message, but I found it interesting that it is also found in the Book of Habakkuk, in the Old Testament. He and Paul both stated that the righteous will live by faith. The second Bible Study reassured us that we are all God’s adopted children; therefore we are all sisters and brothers, and adoptive sisters and brothers of Christ. Abraham’s domestic situation was examined, where the children of Sarah and Hagar were found to have different statuses because of their mothers. Abraham stated that the child of a wife is a son and the child of a slave is a slave. Abraham recognized Isaac as his son, and God recognizes us as His children. Both programs promoted a lot of discussion and were joyfully received.

WELCA Mission Updates

The School Backpack Mission is ongoing, and to date 70 backpacks have been assembled. To fill them, we will have a luncheon in May, on Sunday the 21st, for all church members. Donations from the luncheon will help defray the shipping costs and purchase of school supplies to stuff in the packs. These backpacks are to be filled with necessary supplies and equipment for the use of children unable to afford these items in the typical school year. We have applied for grants to cover the luncheon and the supplies, but donations are welecome.

Save the Date – Retreat August 12

Our yearly retreat has been scheduled for August 12th. It will take place in the Fellowship Hall at Grace, and we will get together there to assemble the backpacks. After lunch we’ve scheduled a women’s safety course and, hopefully, a program on human trafficking. There is an unbelievable feeling of fellowship that is a result of a program like this, and the support generated among the women for the different ministries we are involved in, and for each other, just keeps growing and growing.

Our meeting closed with a request for joys and concerns, and heartfelt prayers were offered for each of them. We left the church feeling a renewed love for each other, and calls of support echoed across the parking lot. See you in April!

WELCA Newsletter – February 2017

Dear Sisters in Christ,

As you may have observed, we had quite a January! The snow and ice striking right after the New Year did not help, but, with the help of neighbors and friends, we got through that, too. I will always be grateful to a particular neighbor who, with his ten-year-old son, cleared off the ice from our driveway without any pleas from us or any remuneration. The discovery of kindness in strangers is very precious.

At our January gathering we assembled Prayer Beads for the study of Luther’s Small Catechism. We were also finally were able to pick our Prayer Sisters for the coming year! If any of you were unable to attend the meeting, will you please contact me and I will be happy to connect you with a prayer sister. There was also an assembly project to work on our School Bag Mission project. Helen Hauser led the effort with the help of numerous women, many with with portable sewing machines, to assemble the bags. They will be filled, as a separate project, later on this year. Watch the weekly Letter of Grace if you would like to be involved next time around.

Coming Up This Month

February 2nd-4th will see the “Bold Like Jesus Crossing Borders conference taking place at Trinity AME Zion Church, Greensboro. Hopefully, many of you had been watching your bulletins and were able to attend to represent our congregation. Communication is always a valuable tool of God. On February 9th will see the launching of a new ministry of the NC Synod, called the Leadership School; Mission & Renewal. It is a four phase course, weekly classes taking place at Holy Trinity Lutheran, Raleigh, on consecutive Thursday evenings. The charge for the first phase is $90.00, covering four to six evening courses. There is a $20.00 scholarship available for qualifying applicants. To register, visit: www.nclutheran.org/events/index.php.

Bold Women’s Sunday will be celebrated on February 26th. Details of this celebration will be found on the NC WELCA website. There is also a spring course entitled Delving Deeper in Faith. In the Fall, another course titled Leading in Faith.

Remember to check out our NC Women of the ELCA Website, especially the Quarterly Newsletter, “Carolina Vine,” and Gather Magazine – subscriptions cost $15.00/year.

Special Delivery – School Packs for PLM Families Together

Tuesday, July 12th, special delivery day! Grace WELCA (Women of the ELCA) members gathered to finish our school supply project for PLM Families Together (PLM-FT). To complete the task we needed to sort, box, and pack the donated supplies in preparation for their trip to PLM-FT.

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I have to share a story of the events that unfolded during our lunch stop at Big Ed’s restaurant. Our group sat down at a table and we were greeted by the waiter, a young man very near his teens. He took the orders, delivered the food and was preparing to leave to take care of other customers.

One of us remarked, “We need to bless our meal’” and the young man said “Okay!” and held out his hands. Everyone joined hands, and the young man proceeded to recite a blessing he probably heard and used at home. Then he said, “Enjoy your meal!” and left. What a wonderful way to enjoy a meal, a restaurant, and the community of our sisters in Christ! Bravo, young man! A very special incident on a very special day!