Glocal Musicians Featured at Fall Gathering
See the video of Fall Gathering
November 11-13, 2016
Lake Yale Baptist Retreat Center
Almost 250 Lutheran women from all over Florida met at Lake Yale Baptist Convention Center, November 11-13, for their annual Fall Gathering. The theme of the Gathering was “To Love and Serve the Lord”, but there was a focus on global missions with another em-phasis on “Glocal”.
The ELCA Glocal Team headed by Sunitha Mor-tha led the women in Bible study, worship and music, and workshops. The ELCA Glocal Team is a group of musi-cians and worship leaders from all over the world who share their gifts at conferences like this. These leaders embody what the word Glocal means—simultaneously global and local—so we can accompany one an-other across cultures, even in our own neigh-borhoods. We do this by loving the Lord and serving Him by serving our neighbor.
There was another exciting event at Fall Gathering. The Global Mission Committee of the Florida-Bahamas Synod and the Florida-Bahamas Synodical Women’s Organization worked together to bring two ladies from the companion country of Suriname to the Gathering. The visitors were from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Suriname or ELKS. The visitors were Sandra Dompig-Esser from the Communion of Hope congregation and Marleen Hellings-van Ommeren from the Maarten Luther congregation. The women fully participated in all the activities of the Gathering and we got to know them and they us. It was a wonderful example of “walking in companionship with sisters from another country”. While they were there, Steve and Denise Beumer brought two sewing machines from their congregation in Winter Park for them to take back to Suri-name.
The Saturday night activity at Fall Gathering also had a Glocal theme. The Florida-Bahamas Synod has companion churches in four countries: Guyana; Suriname; Haiti; and Cuba; and a seminary in Jamaica. The women divided up and made displays of each of these 5 countries. The displays featured information about the countries—history, facts, arts, pictures, and other info. There were also games, food, music, and dress that were as authentic as possible so the women could learn about our companion countries. The ladies from Suriname were there and were able to have fellowship with the Florida women.
Another mission-oriented happening at the conference was that the women took up a special offering for Haiti because of the damages due to Hurricane Matthew. Hundreds of people were killed and more injured. There was extensive property dam-age including to the Lutheran Churches there. The preliminary figures are a $3,284 offering with $500 matching funds from the Global Mission Committee and $500 matching funds from the Synodical Women’s Organization for a total of $4,284. This offering highlighted the serving and giving spirit of the Synodical Women’s Organization. It also brings home their willingness to share with God’s people in the rest of the world.
by Marcee Strickland
A video of the Gathering will be posted by the end of December. See our Facebook page for photos.