Dear Sisters in Christ,
The first half of the summer has gone by so quickly! Some of our plans have come to pass and some not, but the season is not yet over. Watch what comes next!
WELCA Retreat – New Date – September 9th
What comes next is our annual WELCA retreat. I look forward to this event every year, and have never been disappointed. We will gather in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday September 9th at 10:00 AM for a bible study and a program. There have been a couple of really interesting topics suggested: you and I will have to wait to satisfy our curiosity that Saturday. We will have lunch and then assemble our schoolbags for the children of Families Together (PLM). The whole affair should be over by about 2:00 PM.
These schoolbags have been crafted from material donated by members of WELCA according to a pattern from the NC WELCA website. The supplies were bought with donations from our luncheon in May (more has come in since then, as well). It is amazing what peace and joy accompanies our service to others, isn’t it true?
More Upcoming Events
Two more news items and I am finished. October 13-15th the All Lutheran Women’s Retreat at the Hospitality House and Conference Center (click here for more information). We are are also very excited that Grace Lutheran will host the Spring 2018 Gathering of the NCWELCA.
Thank you! THANK YOU so much Grace Members! Our Backpack Fundraiser Luncheon was a marvelous example of the generous spirit that is present at Grace Lutheran Church. We served a soup, salad, and dessert lunch to 45 guests with 5 meals to go added to that count. WE RAISED $412 and are over halfway to our $700 goal to send 100 backpacks (a 45 total increase from last year) to Lutheran World Relief. If you were not able to enjoy our Fundraiser lunch, contributions will still be accepted, just contact Helen Hauser or Lin Gunnet, or mail your check to Grace Lutheran with a note for WELCA LWR backpacks, or drop your check in the Sunday offering plate by August 1st.
WELCA will not be on hiatus this summer. We will not have our usual second Tuesday of the month meetings, but we are planning several special events throughout the summer. The June and July events are scheduled with an open invitation to all Grace membership.
Come learn what is happening and get new insight into the world of textiles. Monday, June 12th, we will meet in the Grace parking lot at 9:45am to carpool to the NCSU campus to take a tour led by our very own textile guru, Pete Hauser. Pete will lead a guided tour through the world of textiles, textile engineering, and nonwovens. “NC State’s Nonwovens Institute is home to the world’s first and only accredited academic program for interdisciplinary study of engineered fabrics.” Check out the web link at www. textiles.ncsu.edu for more background information prior to our tour to learn about the fantastic new products we use everyday that are designed, developed, and created right here in Raleigh. We will then carpool to the State Farmers Market Restaurant for lunch. Bring a friend, a spouse, a child, or a grandchild for this fantastic learning experience.
In July we are scheduling a trip to New Hill, North Carolina for a ride on the New Hope Railway and a tour of the railway Museum. Check out their website at www.triangletrain.com. Please join us for some summer fun.
SAVE THIS DATE: August 12, 2017, WELCA will host a Women’s retreat from 10am-2pm in the Fellowship Hall at Grace Lutheran. Lunch will be included. Women of all ages are invited, so please join us and bring a friend. Details will be posted as soon as our program speakers are confirmed and agenda completed.
Blessings to you all,
Lin Gunnet, WELCA President
Dear Sisters in Christ,
Happy Mothers’ Day! Hope your day was a happy one, surrounded by the people who love you the most, and whom you love the most. Where there is love there is forgiveness, and as mothers we depend on that forgiveness from our children as we get older! Where there is love, mistakes in parenting melt away, depend on it! Our May meeting was held on Tuesday May 9th, and there were nine women present. We planned our activities for the upcoming summer months.
Fundraising Luncheon – May 21
Plans have been finalized for the luncheon on May 21st. This is a fundraiser for our school supply backpack project. If you were at church on Sunday May 7th you saw for yourselves the backpacks made by members of WELCA on the backs of the chairs in the sacristy. They will be filled in August with school supplies. We need your donations to help fill the bags. There is no cost for the lunch, but donations will be very welcome. Our backpack assembly is going very well; at meeting time there were 90 made already and Helen and Lin were predicting at least 10 more by August, when we will get together to pack them up. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Human Trafficking – Making A Difference in Our Community
Worthy of mention here is a bill to be brought up in the NC House of Representatives regarding human trafficking. House Bill 910 is close to our hearts since it focuses on one of our outreach ministries. The bill would create a pilot program to train law enforcement officers, educate children, and appropriate funds for providing aid to victims of human trafficking.
You can read the full text of the bill at North Carolina General Assembly website We hope that after you read it that you will be moved to contact your State House and Senate Members to voice your support for the legislation. It is hard to believe that such things go on in the modern world; we should be so much more evolved than this. Let your voice and will be heard to bring about change.
Summer WELCA Activities at Grace
July 29 – Family outing on the New Hope Valley Railway
If you are interested in a great ride back in time to when railroads were brand new and the biggest things in technology, please contact Lin Gunnet or Dottie Scott for information.
August 12 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM – WELCA Retreat
We will gather in the Fellowship Hall for bible study, an interesting program, and assembly of our 100+ schoolbags.
Additional Activities – Summer 2017
June 23-25th, 2017 – NC Women of the ELCA 30th Annual Gathering at Lenoir-Rhyne College
July 13-16th, 2017 – Tenth Triennial Gathering at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN. Registration is open!
October 13-15, 2017 – All Lutheran Women’s Retreat in Fredericksburg, VA at the Hospitality House and Conference Center.
Looking Ahead – Grace will be hosting the Spring 2018 Gathering of the NCWELCA– Stay tuned for the details.
Catch up on other WELCA news!
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!
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.
What are you doing to celebrate Advent?
(Has anyone ever asked you that question?)
I can hear the conversation in my head,
“Wait, you celebrate Advent? I thought all there was to celebrate this time of year was Christmas, with the trees, lights, decorations, and candlelight services.”
“Actually, the season of Advent is all about preparation. We’re watching and waiting for a special event, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
We hope that you will download a copy of the study and gather with your family to share weekly devotions.
The study focuses on the weekly lectionary and includes questions for reflection, prayer and hymn suggestions centered on the theme of World Hunger.
Advent Study Weekly Themes
Week 1: A People of Promise – Matthew 24
Week 2: Bearing Fruit – Matthew 3
Week 3: Healing of the Whole World – Matthew 11 and Isaiah 35
Week 4: God in Unexpected Places – Matthew 1
Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC) is excited to announce the anticipated opening of Building Independence Lake Wheeler – three homes that will serve nine low-income adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities . To celebrate the completion of this project, LSC is hosting a dedication service and open house on Sunday, August 21 at 4:00 p.m. The service will be held on the grounds of the homes located at 2610 Lake Wheeler Road in Raleigh. A barbecue, sponsored by Thrivent Financial, will take place following the service.
Building Independence Lake Wheeler was initiated as a collaboration between The Serving Cup, Habitat of Humanity of Wake County, and LSC. With more than 5,430 adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities living in Wake County, there is a crucial need for supervised, independent, and affordable housing. LSC will operate the homes and offer services that empower residents on their journey to independence. Michelle McWilliams, program director for Building Independence Lake Wheeler, is excited to welcome residents into their new home.
“I am honored to see these residents start off on a brand new adventure in life”, she said. “The residents will show their community that having a disability will not stop them from following their wishes and dreams. The residents will soon find themselves with new friends working towards the same goal:independence!”
Each energy efficient home includes three private bedrooms and bathrooms, and common kitchen, living, and dining space. Additionally, one home will have a larger common space for resident activities. LSC will operate the homes, which will include offering services that empower residents on their journey to independence. Residents will benefit from affordable monthly rents, access to public transportation and shopping, life skills coaching, opportunities for paid jobs and vocational training, and continuous encouragement from LSC staff.
Other Building Independence partners include the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, Wake County Lutheran congregations, Thrivent Financial, Wheat Ridge Ministries, and many other generous individuals and organizations.
For more information about the August 21 service, please contact Ellen Watts,, LSC donor relations specialist.