First Lutheran Church Women
Mission Statement - Women of the ELCA
To Mobilize women to act boldly on their
faith in Jesus Christ.
Congratulations BOLD WOMAN of 2020 - Hazel Bowlinger
The Women of First Lutheran give Thanks for God for Hazel Bowlinger, for your faithful, BOLD, and unselfish leadership through the generations of our rich history within the congregation of First Lutheran Church.
Summer Greetings (I hope), Dear Girlfriends in Christ,
As we continue to face the challenges of COVID-19, I came across a reflection from a graduating nursing student from UND who so aptly expressed how probably so many of us are feeling in our own particular circumstances. She is a Student Intern at Christus Rex, the Lutheran Campus Ministry at University of North Dakota. I decided to share it in her own words rather than try to paraphrase and lose some of the content and her raw and true feelings.
REFLECTIONS FROM A CHRISTUS REX STUDENT INTERN
“I have sat down to write this reflection many times over the past few days, unsure if I have the words to articulate everything that has been weighing on my heart lately. As I am sure most of us can attest, life is not what it used to be. At the start of March, Christus Rex was preparing for another wonderful spring break trip, this time to learn about fair trade and sustainability from one of the most eco-conscious countries, Costa Rica. After fundraising, putting together Care for Creation presentations to teach local congregations, and convincing anyone who would listen to go, our yearlong preparation was officially cancelled the day before our intended departure. I was devastated. Knowing that this would be my last trip with Christus Rex before I graduated, I felt robbed of the opportunity to travel and spend the week with people who have become so dear. However, as I mourned the cancellation of the trip, more and more of life became upended. My classes were moved online for the rest of the semester, my roommate decided to move back to her parent’s house, and the memory care assisted living facility where I work increased their protective procedures so I can no longer hug my residents – something that has become increasingly desired as loved ones are no longer allowed to visit.
I remember turning off my computer after my first day of online classes in a fit of rage, as uncontrollable tears poured down my face. The day had been filled with back-to-back classes where our professors attempted to push on as if nothing was happening, while everything was happening. As a nursing student, I had come to rely on my interactions with people as a constant, dependable support in my life, and yet, here I was physically alone, struggling to understand why God had forsaken us in our time of need. The Easter story I had come to know as a child felt all too real this year, and I wanted what has felt like the longest Lenten season ever, to end, and for life to finally restore to normal. However, even in Jesus’ crucifixion, life did not return to “normal” on resurrection day. The lives that we have previously known are changing, and I pray that on the other side of this, life can be better.
On a zoom call earlier this week with Wilderness Canoe Base, my potential summer employment, pandemic permitting, we were asked to answer where we have seen hope lately. Not feeling particularly hopeful at the time, I said that I see hope in the new life budding outside. Reflecting more on my answer after the fact, I realized that like plants, we have the opportunity to have our own new life as we emerge out of this time of dormancy. I pray that when it is finally safe to be in the community again, that we embrace each other with open arms and hearts. I pray that we continue to take time to rest, to connect with one another, and to be grateful for all that we do have, rather than fixating on what we do not. I still struggle with moments of grief, loss, and loneliness, but I am grateful that God has shown up for me in rest, love, safety, health, and in and through all of our essential workers. And while this pandemic continues to negatively impact the most vulnerable and marginalized, I pray that God leads us to the injustices of our neighbors so that we may rise as a community. Peace be with you. Julene”
We still lie in limbo when it comes to our church life. As things seem to be looking a little brighter, we continue to still take one day at a time. We will remain on hold with our agenda until the church makes some decisions on how we intend to proceed on opening our doors again. It is a huge, huge decision – so many uncertainties amidst a continuing fluid and changing environment. There is nothing on our plate that cannot wait until we can get together and “start being busy again.” I am missing our women, our comradery, our times together, our fellowship. It has been refreshing to be able to do small committee meetings (with physical distancing, of course), starting to edge ourselves back to some normalcy and socialization.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy
to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
First Lutheran Spring Rummage Sale - Postponed
*Good clean sellable Items
*Only Children's Clothing Items
*All items can be brought to the Market Place room anytime.
Rebecca Circle (10:30 first Wednesday) and Naomi Circle (3:00 p.m. second Wednesday), both use the Bible Study found in the Gather magazine. All women of First Lutheran are welcome to attend either circle group. Contact gathermagazine.org to get the print or digital version of the magazine.
For more information or question, please contact the Church
First Lutheran Church Women's Officers