Random Musings WA District Convention – Katanning It is always nice to know that people are thinking well of you and commending you to God’s grace. Can I tell you that last weekend, a whole lot of people were doing just this for you!
People from all over the WA Lutheran church gathered in the annual convention last weekend. We met in the Great Southern Wheat belt town of Katanning. Interstate guests were also present: Mike Semmler, the President of the Lutheran church in Australia, Loyd Fyfe, representative from the Lutheran Schools Association of WA, NT and SA, and Rev John Henderson, the principal of Australian Lutheran College, the premier higher education and vocational education provider of the Lutheran Church throughout the Lutheran church in Australasia.
There was a great moment when the convention decided to show some sign of their heartfelt support for the staff, students and families of Ocean Forest. Way back in the beginning, before the college was even open, some money was loaned to the interim board as part of the overall plan to get Ocean Forest up and running. This $7500 has always been seen as an “outstanding loan” and has never been able to be sorted out between college and state organisation.
As a show of support and concern over the “rough trot” we have had with two of our senior staff dealing with cancer and all the stresses this has caused over the last couple of years, the good folks of the Lutheran Church unanimously decided to wipe that money off in a tone of genuine encouragement.
Our Principal, Mike,was able to address the convention and express out thanks. We all need support in our efforts to educate and love our kids. We as a college are here because the WA Lutheran church cared and did something about it. We are all here living and breathing together because God cared enough to bring us into being. God was not forced to create us or love us – he just did and still does. Easter is coming up. I can tell you that there are people thinking well of you and praying for you – praying that you would really ‘get’ the love and kindness of God poured out in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
† News †Cecilia’s—Note CONVENTION WRAP There was plenty of welcoming and positive spirit was the flavour of this Convention. There was also indication that the Lutheran Church of Australia is in rapid transition – at least at its theological and political centre. There is a new inclusivity and willingness to engage people from within and without as the church tries to do justice to the task of living faithfully as God’s gifted and gospel hearted people in Australia these days.
The WA District is undertaking the most substantial project for decades in the redevelopment of St Johns Lutheran Church in Aberdeen St in North Bridge. It is estimated that within 10- 15 years, this new three story office building will bring in around $1M per year to the WA District, once loans have been paid off. The need is for WA Lutheran to raise a further $1M now and for a long term tenant to lease the top two stories of the new building when complete. The bottom floor will house congregational and WA District offices, catering and meeting areas and teaching area for youth, children and family ministry.
NEWS † Pastor Greg Pfeiffer remains President and Pastor Adrian remains Vice President of the WA District. Scott Nuske remains a member of the WA District Church Council.
† Easter is gearing up to be an excellent witne4ss in our community with Maundy Thursday Passover, Good Friday Ecumenical worship in the community hall and Easter Day all taking shape with a team of around 15 people signed up to get involved. Some of the local Dalyellup folks who are part of the Grace Christian Church are going to cater for morning tea after the ecumenical service to raise money for the purchase of a wheelchair for a local person in need. Great stuff! † Pr Adrian will be taking 3 weeks annual leave immediately after Easter. Our Pastoral Assistants are gearing up for that. † Gloria Kitson has been appointed as a “Carer” at the college in a voluntary capacity. She works to provide care and support in our community in Jesus’ name. † The people responsible for the appointment of a new college Principal are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that an appointment of a new principal for our community is made. Pray for them and for those considering coming to work with us in this role. Especially pray for the chair of the college board, Dean Pfitzner. † The college board and spouses/families gathered for a meal at Dean and Tania Pfitzner’s a few weeks back. It was a great night of fellowship for all concerned. Thanks Dean and Tania! † The Executive of the college (including Pr A – he’s taking the photo!) are working tirelessly to try and pull all the new people and systems together in an attempt to make our community more of a community in Christ. Pray for Jan Daly (Head of our Primary School), Graeme Scales (Head of Senior School), Mike Leske (Principal) and Margaret Pfitzner (Head of Middle School) (oh… and Pr A! – head of nothing but around the place!) Updates/ News Dear Pr Adrian and members of the OFLF Thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend the LCA WA District Synod Convention in Katanning. Although I found myself in “deep water” when asked to attend the convention, listening to the reports of the leaders and different committees, as well as their new proposals, got me really excited about the future of our church in WA. All conversation was done in line with the theme of the convention, being “Gathered Under His Wings”. I was very impressed to experience the structure in which things are happening in the WA District and it was a privilege to meet many of the important role players. There are so many arms and legs working together to make our church function as one body, it was good to see the faces of so many dedicated people. I guess we will have to wait for the minutes of the meeting to make sure that the members of our congregation are fully informed of all the decisions and proposals made at the convention. However there is lots to look forward to this year, youth camps in April & July and a dads & lad’s camp in May to name a few. The District also requested that all WA congregations should set aside money for the further professional development of our pastors. Another exiting project “Faith for the Future” entails a new building being developed by St Johns Court Northbridge aimed to celebrate the love of God not just for St Johns but also for the local community and the WA Lutheran District. Thanks to the people of Katanning we experienced the love and care of a “mother hen”. The food was great and the people were warm and inviting. I would like to challenge all members of our congregation to attend the Synod Convention whenever given the opportunity. If you are asked to deliver a speech make sure you grab the opportunity otherwise you might just miss out on a jar of Pastor Pukallus’s tomato relish!