Saturday, April 17, 2010

One Heart, One Voice

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6

I just got back from attending my first LWML District Convention. The verses above were the basis for the One Heart, One Voice theme of the convention. Somewhere around 320 LCMS Lutheran women from all over my fair state gathered in Oklahoma City for two days of singing, fellowship and parliamentary procedure. A good time was had by all… I think.

I went to find out more about the LWML and was torn. On one hand, I was a Delegate, who was responsible for voting for mission grants and LWML officers my first time out. On the other hand, I was also a Young Women’s Representative (YWR), a small group of 20-40ish year olds who seemed to be the fun bunch at the conference. And the most distinct group at the gathering.

I found out – and there were many jokes about this during the conference – that the primary body of the LWML has a lot of “maturity”. Perhaps 10% of the attendees were under 40, in my rudimentary approximation. There was a special servant project, a special interest session, a special evening social, a special seating section and a special luncheon, all for the YWRs. It gave us all a chance to get to know each other, as much as any group can in two days time.

The experience left me thinking, why does being labeled as part of a group give me both heartburn and confidence at the same time? Obviously from all the “special” events planned for the YWR group, we were enthusiastically welcomed at this event. Some of the more “mature” ladies, that I didn’t even know, even stopped me in the foyer and hugged me and told me they were glad that I was there. (For future reference: I’m not a hugger and I only have one purple shirt.)

I think truth be known, the LWML would like to see more YWRs attend events, but at the same time, I don’t want to be labeled a YWR because that means I’m a part of a group. That means I might have to do something. And don’t I already have enough to do? Don’t answer that.

Nevertheless, I left knowing that I should learn the ropes now. I’m thinking that by the time I’m of the 50+ crowd, I’ll be less open to change and new learning opportunities. I’ll probably be less fun, too. I left with the thought that my church should be doing more to bind the 20-40 crowd, or YWRs, or whatever you want to call them, together. The speakers said we’re supposed to take it “personal” too, so I’m sure the change must start with ME. I’m not sure I gleaned any distinct fellowship ideas that will have young mothers and college students running out of the woodwork, but maybe the opportunity will present itself. Hopefully my One Heart and One Voice won’t be overpowered by my One Mind which is sometimes too dense to get the message.

So maybe my attending the conference was just to make me think. Maybe I’ve met someone whom I’ll be bound with in service at a later date. Maybe I need to stay alert for opportunities for young women that I’ve never been sensitive to in the past. Maybe my mom was right when she said, “What’s in your heart eventually falls out your mouth.” Maybe I’ve already said it, or maybe there is a lot left to be said. I’ll let you know when I figure it all out!

It could be a while. Don’t wait up!

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” Proverbs 1:5


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