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Edition 42 | Read this eNews on our website | April 2020
eNews ... a monthly email publication of news and information by and for
the women of the LWML MN South District.
A Message from President Deb Vinkemeier:  "April Showers"
When we hear the words “April showers,” we think of flowers blooming, trees budding, and the dirt being washed away that winter has left behind. We can’t wait for that day. Now we are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and we wish that the April showers would wash this virus away and that life can become normal again.
 
Easter is in twelve days. We may or may not be able to worship at a church service to celebrate this joyful day. Just as the April showers wash away the dirt, Christ washed away our sins on Good Friday and has made us clean. So, no matter what April 12 brings, let us remember on that day (it is Easter) to rejoice and celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
 
Now is the time that we must shower the love of Jesus by sharing with those who are lonely and with those who need some assistance. Please take the time to call or send a card to a shut in or an elderly person who may not be able to be with loved ones. Let them see they are not alone, and that Jesus has not abandoned them.
 
May God’s richest blessings shower upon you during this uncertain time. On Easter, rejoice that Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope and daily renews us that He has freed us from our sin.
 
Have a Blessed and Joyful Easter,
 
Deb Vinkemeier
President, 2018-2022
Young Women in Mission:  St. Matthew's, Worthington
The LWML at St Matthew’s in Worthington has a Young Women in Missions group that meets monthly. One month the group does a devotion (taken from the LWML website) and the next month they do a servant event or special project. This month the group prepared and served a Lenten supper.

What a joy to see these young women “Serving the Lord with Gladness”.  If you don’t already have a young women’s group in your congregation, perhaps you could begin thinking about what you might be able to do to facilitate the starting of such a group!
Craft Day at St. John Lutheran, Atwater, MN
St. John Lutheran Church Ladies Aid and LWML of Atwater, MN, hosted a craft day on February 18.  A group of 17 men, women and children gathered together in prayer and service to create 31 pillowcase dresses which will be donated to the Orphan Grain Train and sent to underprivileged children overseas.

This idea came from a handout a few ladies picked up at the Litchfield Zone Fall Rally in October.  Members have been donating pillowcases since November. 

The group now has collected additional pillowcases which will be sewn in March.  The group is looking forward to another day of fun, and what a wonderful opportunity for fellowship and service. 

NOTE:  In a subsequent update, it was reported that the March 7 event produced an additional 56 dresses, making for a grand total of 87 dresses which will be donated to the Orphan Grain Train by the women, men and children of St. John Lutheran Church in Atwater.  To God be the Glory.
Carver North/Carver South Zones Spring Christian Life Workshop
The North Carver/South Carver Zones held their Christian Life Workshop on March 7, 2020 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Chaska. South Carver Zone Pastoral Counselor, Rev. Greg Snow, presented a thought-provoking devotion about the Coronavirus, noting that as God’s children, we are not to panic, but rather to be patient, take precautions, and know that God is with us during this time.  Keep in the Word!
 
The speaker was Nader Alaraj from POBLO “People of the Book Lutheran Outreach”.  His wife, Georgette, participated as well by adding her thoughts. In the Twin City area, they organized the International Friendship Centers (IFC).  Nader and Georgette work out of Mount Hope Lutheran Church in Bloomington, MN, yet other locations exist at Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Burnsville; Holy Cross, Prior Lake; St. Matthew, Columbia Heights; and coming soon to St. Cloud.
 
At their International Friendship Center (IFC) at Mt. Hope Lutheran Church in Bloomington, missionaries and volunteers are involved in missions and community engagement through various efforts. Missionaries Nader and Georgette, together with a group of volunteers, are connecting people from many countries to Bible study and worship as they share the Gospel message. They also provide food, clothing, and furniture to refugees in need. These centers offer free classes on English, computer, knitting, cooking and sewing for immigrants and refugees.  Citizenship classes are also offered, as well as childcare.  The International Friendship Center is open to anyone, no matter your country of origin. 
 
What can you do to help?  You can serve as an instrument to bridge the cultural and religious gaps that exist by serving as a prayer warrior for this mission effort.  You might also consider volunteering to teach classes, transport students, provide item donations (as needed), or provide financial assistance.
 
Matthew 5:14-16 reminds us: You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
 
The Journey to the Cross

Three Strands Lutheran Parish is a joint parish formed by Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Pipestone, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Trosky, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Jasper, Minnesota.

Three Strands Lutheran Parish is sponsoring “Journey to the Cross”, an outreach and educational event for our parish congregations and community. This powerful program invites families to experience the road to Calvary and the path to the empty Easter tomb. Through activities based on Scripture, participants experience the joy of Palm Sunday, the disappointment of Judas’ betrayal, the devastation of the crucifixion, the jubilation of the resurrection, and so much more.

Small groups of people will walk to 13 sites for activities that relate to the Passion event. At each station, they will engage their senses through an experience-focused activity. There will be interaction with biblical characters who teach the biblical Passion account. Site activities include:

·        Tasting Passover foods and learning about the Lord’s Supper,

·        Praying with an olive garden owner who tells about the Garden of Gethsemane,

·        Touching a crown of thorns and seeing a whip to imagine the true pain of Jesus’ trials and suffering,

·        Listening to an angel and Mary, wife of Clopas, report about Jesus’ resurrection, and much more.

This event will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2020, from 2:00 to 6:00 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church located at 401 Wall Street East, Jasper, MN.

For more information check our website threestrandsparish.com or email pastormoeller@threestrandsparish.com

A Strange Way to Save
(A devotion from Pastor Robert Moeller, Jr., Three Strands Lutheran Parish)

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).

After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the Israelites had not learned. God had provided for their every need, yet still they bellyached. Bread from heaven and water from the rock wasn’t good enough; they wanted something more. So, the Lord sent fiery serpents that bit the people. and many died. Moses interceded and God had mercy. He had Moses make a brass serpent and set it on a pole. He promised that anyone who looked toward it would live.

It’s a strange way to save somebody. Logically, it doesn’t make sense. But God’s Word has the power to bring about what He says. God attached His promise to that bronze serpent and the Israelites looked to it in faith—believing that God would save them from the deadly venom, and they were.

A deadly venom courses through our veins, too. It’s called sin. We inherit it from our first parents, Adam and Eve, who fell for the ancient serpent, Satan’s temptation. This venom is deadly and it’s killing us. But God has mercy on us. He sent His Son to defeat the serpent, undoing the deadly consequences of sin, even as He Himself suffered and died up on the cross. Just as the Israelites were saved from the venom of the serpents when they looked in faith toward the bronze serpent, so we can look to Christ in faith and be saved from the spiritual venom of sin.

It’s a strange way to save somebody. Logically it doesn’t make sense. But God has attached His promise to that cross, so we know it is true. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
 
Pastor Robert Moeller, Jr.
Three Strands Lutheran Parish
Our Saviour’s-Pipestone, Trinity-Jasper, St. John’s-Trosky

COVID 19 and our Spring Rallies ... a Message from President Deb
Even though we don't know how long COVID-19 will last, as Lutheran women we put our trust in God. In our hearts and minds, we are motivated to continue to serve Him with gladness. With this in mind, we must be thoughtful in protecting our fellow neighbors and our LWML sisters. I am advising strongly that you consider canceling or postponing your Spring Rally to a later month or defer your plans to your Fall Rally or event.
 
Even though our groups may not be gathering together during this time of uncertainty, there are many ways that we can continue to support our mission in your churches and your community. Food shelves are looking for supplies and assistance.  Perhaps you could pack a bag of groceries for those who are unable to go out, deliver groceries or prescriptions, call and check on the elderly or shut-ins, or simply send them a card.  At this time, they are lonely and not able to see visitors.  You might consider putting meals together for kids, calling a mom who may be at home with her children and asking if there is some way you can help her.  Ask your pastor about various ways your church is involved in helping the community. Now is the time to ask the women in your congregation to become involved and show them that Lutheran Women in Mission is about serving.
 
Most of all, please continue to collect and submit your mites. The United States Postal Service is still delivering. This is also a perfect opportunity to support mite contributions through online giving. Our new website now makes it easy to contribute to mites. We still need to fulfill our commitment to our mission grants. Mites should be sent to: Irene Mensing, LWML MN South Financial Secretary, 41000 - 50th Street, Blue Earth, MN  56013.  The deadline is April 25, 2020.
 
Every day the health situation in our country seems to change, but we know that Christ never changes, and will remain the same through this challenging time. We need to support one another and our mission partners now more than ever.  This is the time “To Tell Everyone What He Has Done!”  We must stay strong and encourage each other during this difficult time.
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