The women of Pilgrim Lutheran in Chicago organized their women’s group a year ago, and that’s when they began meeting every Wednesday for Bible study using Gather magazine.
The first half an hour starts with refreshments, and at 7 p.m., they are ready to engage in Gather magazine’s Bible study. Six to eight women meet regularly for an hour. They sing, pray, and read the Bible.
The bold women’s group at Pilgrim are determined to meet virtually during the COVID-19 global pandemic that has led their congregation and all most places to close their doors temporarily, says Renee Studemann, the group’s leader.
Exciting news even while physical distancing
Recently, Studemann received some exciting news. She applied for and received a $250 Thrivent Action Teams grant that paid for Gather magazine subscriptions for all the women in the group.
“Not only does the magazine have Bible studies, but it also has interesting articles,” Studemann said. “My idea is that the women will all have the magazine, and we will set up our study on Zoom, Google Hangout, or something like that.
“Now, we can have Bible study together with each of us staying in our own homes.”
Studemann said that because Gather has a special offer for new subscribers, she can extend the invitation to other women in her congregation. “Our women have developed a great relationship because of Gather magazine.”
“Our women have developed a great relationship because of Gather magazine.”
Pilgrim’s pastor Anna-Kari Johnson wishes more ELCA congregations would apply for the Thrivent grant.
“We could keep the women connected through Gather Bible studies,” Johnson said. “The women were not scheduled to come back together until after Easter. But now we have all promised to meet weekly over Zoom since this is such a hard time.”
Johnson said a couple of the women in the group have lost their spouses, “so grieving and having to stay alone is difficult. They are very excited to get together.”
How do you staying connected with your women’s group?
Eva James Yeo is director for membership for Women of the ELCA. Find tutorials on Zoom here.
Feature photo: The December 2019 meeting was hosted by Renee Stuedemann. From left are Laura Brix Newbury, Carol Wood, Rosanna Heverin, Betty Ramos, Pastor Anna-Kari Johnson, Jane Maring, Alicia Figueroa, and Esmeralda Hernandez.