by Glenda Ofstehage
As I opened my Bible one recent morning, this verse from 1 Timothy 6:11 popped out at me. “[You should] pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.”
In the margins of that page I had written: “enjoy those things God places in your life today and wait, full of hope, for the life to come.”
That was probably my takeaway from some sermon or speaker I had heard somewhere. Whatever the source, these words called me to set aside my planned reading for the day and chew on this text for a while.
It brought to mind the words from Women of the ELCA’s Purpose Statement, “…called to discipleship in Jesus Christ…”
Looking for ways to serve
How are we “called to discipleship”? I think we in Women of the ELCA work hard at becoming aware of places where our discipleship and love can make changes in others’ lives. I think we look for ways to serve as the hands and feet, heart and mind of Christ in the world.
As we walk through our daily lives, we bump into all sorts of situations that this broken world creates.
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we sometimes are inspired with an idea that will bring comfort and hope to those who find themselves in difficult situations. I applaud all who answer the Spirit’s call and find a way to bring relief and joy into the lives of those in need, thus enriching your own lives.
I am still living in the joy of the days of fellowship we were able to share at our convention in June! How good it was to see so many of you, to share worship, the Word, fellowship, and good food with you. I loved hearing about the things you are doing in your own congregations to further the Kingdom.
At each convention or gathering, it seems we spend a lot of conversation wondering about those who were not there. Everyone seems to have an opinion on why the younger, older, busier, smarter, richer (you can fill in the blank here) women of the church don’t join us.
We cannot pretend to get into the minds of every woman in the church, explain why they were not with us, and so gear the next convention to inspire them to come. We can take home our experiences from this year’s convention and share them enthusiastically with our neighbors and friends.
And we can invite, invite, invite someone who has never attended such an event before. Maybe you could save your pennies and sponsor a “scholarship” convention registration for someone you think would gain from attending such an event.
Again, enjoy the gifts God places in your life today. Don’t diminish today’s joy by worrying about who isn’t there with you and why they didn’t come. Instead, bring them next year!
Glenda Ofstehage is the president of the South Dakota Synodical Women’s Organization. This message was featured in the SWO’s summer newsletter.
I really applaud your attitude. We do enjoy our times together as Sisters in Christ, and we do tend to dampen things a little by worrying about those who are absent from our mist. We are the best advertisement for Women of the ELCA ,so I agree that we need to be creative in talking about what good times and good things we do, invite others and maybe even help them financially to attend.
Great thoughts! Thank you for sharing them.