So much of the vibrancy of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne is due to not only the grace of God but also the generosity of faithful people such as the dedicated ladies of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML).
Recently, ladies from both the regional and national LWML gathered at the Seminary for a lovely send-off dinner in honor of our fourth-year seminarians and their spouses. We heard from LWML National President Debbi Larson, Vice President of Organizational Resources Marie Chow, Marketing and Development Coordinator Patti Miller, and Public Relations Director Susan Donnelly—together painting a beautiful picture of the legacy of support of and partnership with the Seminary.
Not only did the ladies bring gifts to hand out to the students, but they also made sure that they were aware of the breadth of resources that the LWML has created and made available to church workers, including Bible studies and a smartphone app (learn more: lwml.org/church-workers-in-mission).
Dr. Rast expressed how grateful we are for our faithful partnership with the LWML over the years. “The wonderful ladies of the LWML, the incredible gifts that you bring, the way you faithfully seek to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of our students helps relieve some of the anxiousness that can come with preparing for ministry. Much of what we do would not be possible without the thoughtfulness and hard work of these women. To all of the women of the LWML, we cannot thank you enough for your support of the Seminary. Most importantly, thank you for your support of our students who are preparing to be pastors and deaconesses in our Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and its missions throughout the world. It is your support that enables us to raise up future church leaders who will teach the faithful, reach the lost, and care for all.”
Director of the Food and Clothing Co-op Deaconess Katherine Rittner works closely with the LWML and sees the fruits of their labors daily. “The love, care, and support given to each one of our students during their time at CTSFW by the LWML is immeasurable. The lifelong commitment by these dedicated women in mission who serve the Lord with gladness daily is an amazing gift that allows the Food and Clothing Co-op at CTSFW to provide for our future pastors and deaconesses. It is here that they learn, the LWML has their back, so that when they get into the harvest field of Christ, there is that immediate ally ready to go into the trenches with them. I am eternally grateful for their steadfastness and their continued prayers as we move ever forward to prepare those who teach the faithful, reach the lost, and care for all.”
Second-year deaconess student Michaela Dub spoke on behalf of the deaconess students. “I would like to thank the wonderful women of the LWML who give their support to the Seminary and co-ops. Both the Food and Clothing Co-ops are a great blessing to us as we study here at the Seminary. There is a section in the clothing co-op of navy clothing that I and the other students are able to get and use for deaconess garb. My husband was even able to get the suit that he wore for our wedding from the co-op. So on behalf of the deaconess students here at the Seminary, thank you so much for your support and prayers as we go through our studies.”
Second-year seminarian Patrick Cox also said a few words of thanks. “Every time I receive a lovely gift at the seminary, the LWML is behind it. When Christmastime was approaching, I heard a bunch of seminarians joyously telling each other about the mail they had received that day. I had no idea what the hubbub was all about I went to my mailbox and found in it an envelope with gift cards given to me by the LWML. Hundreds of dollars worth! It was so unexpected and lovely that it was like Christmas at Hogwarts! With this delightful gift, I was able to fill my gas tank, eat a meal at a restaurant with my wife, and even procure several gifts for my own adult children for Christmas. On my second Christmas at the Seminary, we attended a special Christmas service in the chapel with many others. After the service, we were led into the long hallway of one of our classroom buildings. Lining the walls were tables overflowing with beautiful quilts. We could choose any quilt we wanted for free, as a gift from the LWML. Quilts are pure labors of love. No one could charge the actual value of a quilt, because they take too much skill and too many hours to be priced that way. Only the very rich would own a quilt if the prices were set accurately. But the LWML gave us these quilts as gifts. Our Christmas quilt is our topmost blanket on our bed at home this very moment.”
John Kastner, also a second-year seminarian said a prayer, and the evening was spent enjoying wonderful food and fellowship.
Thank you again to everyone who helped make the event happen, especially the faithful and generous women of the LWML.