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Greetings everyone! The theme of our convention in July (27-29) at Saint Joseph, Missouri is “Sing to the Lord”. I am looking forward to this convention especially because I love music. I have my favorite old hymns that are memorized and embedded in my very soul. I have songs that I have no idea what the words are but the tune is somehow stuck in my head. Songs are an expression of who we are and where we are in life. We, as Women of the ELCA, believe in the one true and living God and all that we do is centered around our faith and the way we express the love we have for our Lord. Singing, praising, and worshiping are the natural course of events for most of us. We study the Bible, we pray about everything that we can think of, and when the end of the day comes we look back and see what wondrous things the Lord has done. We see when The Lord heard our prayer and answered, when He comforted the sad and lonely, when He gave strength to the weak and lowly. That is when we sing a song of thanks and praise in our hearts. God hears our songs and rejoices with us as we walk our spiritual life and we give Him the glory for all the good things that he has done. Familiar words and familiar tunes are part of our tradition in the church, but sometimes we need to sing a new song and go outside our personal favorites list to join in with the greater church. As we meet new people and make new friends, we join in each other’s songs and learn new music. Sometimes, we learn how to harmonize; sometimes we sing a fabulous set of rounds! I believe we have many gifted song writers and singers, both out loud and in our hearts in our women’s organization. I invite you join us at convention and also be a part of our convention choir. I would like to see an especially large choir this year as our music is one of the focal points of our gathering. We have lots of room for the convention and we will strive to fill it all to the rafters with music and singing and worshiping and praising and thanksgiving. Bring yourself and the song in your heart to St Joseph this July… I cannot guarantee that you will have a life changing experience, but I can assure you that you will be in good company if you love the Lord and you want to meet new friends and have some fun with other women of the ELCA! Make plans to come and click on our logo on the Women of the ELCA page and get the forms and information you need. Sing to the Lord every time you get a chance and find out how much difference it makes in your life…maybe you will feel uplifted and renewed like I do. Maybe you will feel the burdens and heavy heart you carry consoled and at peace…My prayer for every one of you is that no matter who you are or where you are at in life, that you find a song to sing and you lift it up the Lord… WE PRAISE HIM AND GIVE HIM THANKS FOR EVERYTHING…AMEN Official Newsletter of the Central States Women of the ELCA June 2012 Volume 23 Issue 2 We have an opportunity for exclusive shopping trip to "Charming Charlie's" from 9-11 PM on July 27! For your $5 donation to Central States Women of the ELCA, our group will be given exclusive shopping opportunity for 2 hours and Charming Charlie's will give us a 10% discount on our purchases! This is a win- win for Women of the ELCA shoppers!

Women of the ELCA executive director, Linda Post Bushkofsky, wrote in the March issue of Gather “the churchwide organization receives nearly all of its regular income from two sources: (1) regular offerings that come from congregational units through their synodical organizations and (2) Thankofferings that come directly from congregational units to the churchwide organization.” The article has pie charts that show where the revenue for Women of the ELCA comes from and how these revenues are dispersed. This article answers questions many of you have about how your offerings are used. This information is in the stewardship packet that each church’s Women of the ELCA treasurer receives every year. But other members of the unit don’t always get to see that. So I was so happy to see this article in Gather. If you haven’t read the article and still have your March issue, please read it. Now I will try to answer some of the questions I get about using Forms A and B. Form A (blue) is for sending your regular meeting offerings to the synod treasurer. You can designate on it if it is a regular offering or for a special purpose. Make the check payable to Central States Women of the ELCA so I can deposit it in our account and enter it in our records. If it is for a special purpose, I can then send a check to wherever you designate it to go. Form B (green) is for offerings your unit wants to send directly to churchwide, such as Thankofferings. You can designate on the form where you want the offering to be used. Make the check payable to Women of the ELCA and send it directly to Chicago, using one of the printed address labels that come in your stewardship packet. The Chicago address is also printed at the top of Form B. Churchwide determines that a church has an active unit of Women of the ELCA each year if they receive an offering during the year. There are also questions about cluster meeting offerings. Clusters don’t have treasuries, so at cluster meetings the host church collects registration fees and lunch charges and pays expenses out of these. So checks for these are made payable to the host church’s Women of ELCA. After expenses are paid, the host church unit treasurer sends a check for the remaining balance to the synod treasurer. All offerings received at the meeting are sent to the synod treasurer. Checks for the offerings should be made payable to Women of the ELCA. The host unit treasurer can deposit them and send one check for the total to the synod treasurer, or send the individual checks, along with the Cluster Offering Form designating where the offering is to be distributed. I will deposit the total in our account and record it in our records. Then I will send checks to wherever they are designated. If checks are made payable to wherever you want them to go (Gideons, Hospice, food bank, Habitat for Humanity, etc.), I have to send them direct and can’t enter them in our records as received from your cluster. If in doubt about how you should make out your check, whether it is for unit offering, cluster offering, convention offering, Thankoffering, of special offering, just make it payable to Women of the ELCA. That way the unit treasurer, synod treasurer, or churchwide can endorse it and deposit it. And it will be used for the purpose for which it has been designated. I am hoping this will answer questions you have about offerings and how they are handled. If not, please contact me anytime. Jewell Swinney 2132 S 3000 Rd. Herington, KS 67449


What does Women of the ELCA mean to you? Have you thought about that? What has Women of the ELCA done for you? A lot of us have been involved in the organization for a long time. We have given of our time, our energy, our talents, and our money. We have gotten a lot back: being a part of a wonderful faith based organization; we have made lifelong friends; and we have been able to take part in wonderful experiences. Have you ever thought about giving back to Women of the ELCA? I know we all give generously to the organization with our time, energy, talents, and money. But have you considered giving a special monetary gift to the organization. I would challenge you to give prayerful consideration to giving a special monetary gift. I encourage you to think about what Women of the ELCA means to you and consider giving back in a special way. ~Rhonda

Join Us at the Convention I hope all of you have the dates of July 27-29 marked on your calendars to join us in St. Joseph, MO, for the 25th annual convention of the Central States Synodical Women of the ELCA. The convention committee has been busy planning an exciting convention for you. The theme of the convention is “Sing to the Lord”. One of the special highlights will be having Jennifer Michaels, our newly elected Churchwide President of the Women of the ELCA, in attendance. She is very enthusiastic about the Women of the ELCA and her excitement is contagious. She will be addressing the convention and leading a workshop. Other workshop topics include Veronica’s Voice - human trafficking, bullying, and the Pony Express. On Friday evening we will have a Cowgirl Supper and be entertained by some “urban” cowgirls. On Saturday evening we will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Women of the ELCA during our banquet. We will also have the opportunity to participate in some Basic Zumba to help raise money for Inter-Serv which supports the Wesley Center preschool and childcare. As you can see, there is much to look forward to when you register to attend. I know you won’t be disappointed. Remember to register before June 15 so you won’t have to pay late registration. I look forward to seeing each of you in St. Joseph. ~Gloria Sharp Tour the Historic Wyatt House There is an opportunity to step back in history and treat your sweet tooth at the same timeBuilt in 1891 for John Cavan Wyatt, this home clearly showcases St. Joseph’s Golden Age by capturing the excess & opulence of the Victorian Era. Enjoy a variety of desserts prepared by Chef Jeff Keyasko. The tour will be Friday, July 27 from 2:30-4:00. The cost is $16. Please send reservation & check by June 25 to: First Lutheran Church 302 South 10th St. St. Joseph, MO 64501 Meet in the Ramada Lobby at 2PM and they will shuttle women to the Wyatt House. Questions: Carol Bunge 816-238-2410

Central States Women of the ELCA Board: President: Susie Borgstrom 265 Eisenhower Rd, Windom, KS 67491

Vice-President: Kathy Ouellette 1711 13th Rd., Washington KS 66968 785-325-2563

Secretary: Carolyn Bauer 1501 W 20th St., Sedalia MO 65301 660-829-2597

Treasurer: Jewell Swinney 2132 S 3000 Rd., Herrington KS 67449-5007 785-983-4479

Gloria Sharp 1702 Canterbury Rd., Jefferson City MO 65109 573-636-8843

Mary Kern 4210 HWY D, Syracuse, MO 65354 660-287-2115

Cheryl Taylor 5121 Congressional Circle, Apt. G105 Lawrence KS 66049 785-841-1147

Rhonda Templing 234B NW 210 Rd, Hoisington, KS 67544 620-935-4213 785-483-9402

Lois Viebrock 13672 Graystone RD, Versailles, MO 65084 573-378-5783

Newsletter Editor: Lisa Youngquist 913 Meadow Lane, Lindsborg, KS 67456 785-342-4877

Mission/Action at 2012 CSS Women of the ELCA Convention

As I write this it is less than three months until our 2012 convention in ST Joseph Mo. another week-end of renewing friendship, making new ones, and praising the Lord with our voices and our hands! On Saturday our service project is assembling Lutheran World Relief kits from the supplies you bring with you. This is a unique opportunity to share fellowship with our sisters and help others all over the world. A list of all LWR kits is in the convention packet. The vision of Second Harvest Community Food Bank is to create hunger-free communities in Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. Second Harvest strives to accomplish this mission through a variety of programs. These programs focus on: Nourishing Families, Nourishing Children, Nourishing Seniors and Healthy Eating. One-fourth of our convention offerings will go to Second Harvest. INTER-SERV is a group of volunteers, churches and community organizations that work together in St Joseph for change. One of their programs is the Wesley Center. The Wesley Center provides a quality preschool and childcare, as well as offering financial assistance to those parents who cannot afford the full cost of care. Your pledges from the Zumba dance will help support the Wesley Center. Finally the in-kind gifts you bring to the convention will go to the YWCA Women’s Shelter. A list of their need is also included in the convention packet. See you in St Joseph! Cheryl Taylor

The Active Unit Assessment is an online tool that allows every synodical women’s organization President (or someone she designates) to enter data and contact information for the Women of the ELCA units in her synod. (The following information is from Women of the ELCA web site.) What does it mean to be an active unit of Women of the ELCA? A unit must commit to four things in order to be recognized as active: 1. Come together for study, support and action. There is no prescribed way to come together for study, support and action. And how your particular group of women comes together can change as the makeup of the group changes or your needs change. Not everyone in a unit needs to participate in every activity. Study could mean coming together monthly for the Bible study found in Gather magazine (formerly Lutheran Woman Today), or a group could gather regularly to discuss the featured topic in Café (Women of the ELCA online publication.) You could also come together using one of the many Women of the ELCA program resources (available from on the Women of the ELCA web site.) Supporting each other can come in many forms. It could be expressed by praying together or organizing a prayer chain. Action could involve working in a food pantry, writing letters to elected officials, or making relief quilts. 2. Participate in the ministry of Women of the ELCA beyond the congregation. Programming and activities occur in several different expressions of Women of the ELCA. The women in your unit could attend an event sponsored by the synodical women’s organization, such as a retreat of convention. Some local area conferences or clusters are very active and offer regular programming in which to participate. Subscribing to Gather magazine, Interchange, or Café are all ways to participate in ministry beyond the congregation, as is attending a triennial gathering. 3. Support financially the total program of Women of the ELCA.    

Collecting regular offerings and sharing a portion with their synodical women’s organization Having regular Thankoffering services and sending 100 percent of the Thankofferings to the churchwide women’s organization Supporting designated giving programs of Women of the ELCA Subscribing to Gather magazine and Interchange; purchase resources produced by Women to the TLCA

4. Designate leadership that shall be in communication with the synodical and churchwide women’s organization This is a simple requirement. One person in the unit needs to be a contact person, so that information from the synodical and churchwide women’s organizations can be provided to the unit through this person. This is where the Active Unit Assessment enters in. Units need to keep their synodical leaders informed of the current contact person so their name, address, etc. can be entered into the Active Unit Assessment so that information from the synodical and churchwide women’s organizations can be provided to the unit through this person. Submitted by Carolyn Bauer Secretary, Central States Women of the ELCA

Cluster Coordinators-Central States Synod Women of the ELCA AMAZING WOMEN (no current contact person)

CLUSTER 3D (no current contact person)

ARK RIVER VALLEY Mary AnnSchrog 714 S Willison Rd Hutchinson, KS 67501 620-663-1995

GOD’S SONFLOWERS Pat Olson 307 Hamilton St Beattie, KS 66406 785-353-2424

HEARTLAND Marian Thompson 501 N Elmira Highland, KS 66035 785-442-3323

MID-MISSOURI Nanette Ellis 506 William St. Holts Summit, MO 65043 573-298-0662

CLUSTER 4A (no current contact person)

OSBORNE-SMITH-PHILLIPS Donna Westbrook 418 S Main Kensington, KS 66951 785-476-2238

HEARTLAND SOUTH (no current contact person)

PRAIRIE ANGELS Laura Anderson Rt. 2 Box 82 Wakeeney, KS 67672 785-743-2096

OZARK MOUNTAIN Kay Hase 27360 Bob Scott Dr. Eagle Rock, MO 65641 417-271-4405 REVELATION Gloria Martin 2283 E 360th Herington, KS 67449 785-983-4482

SE KANSAS CITY METRO Paula Simonich 1900 Grandview Blvd Kansas City, KS 66102-4817 913-321-2424

SE MISSOURI Dee Cannon 2030 Sherwood Cape Girardeau, MO 63701 573-335-2983

SMOKY VALLEY Melanie Ryding 635 N Main ST. #9 Lindsborg, KS 67456 785-227-8946

SUNFLOWER Tanya Fraker 20583 Flying R Dr. Scranton, KS 66537 785-828-3396

NORTHERN LIGHTS Delores Bliese, AIM C/O St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Main and Fisher Glasco, KS 67445 785-374-9204 POST ROCK Myrna Schrepel 609 N Cedar St Hoisington, KS 67544 785-764-1003 Tri State Ardythe Cederberg 301 E Commercial Oberlin, KS 67749 785-475-2535

Judy Hill, Parish Ministry Associate, Marie Krueger, and Kathy Ouellette, all of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Washington KS, are showing off a few of the coats Krueger purchased from the Habitat Thrift Shop, to be added to Good Shepherd's ingathering of coats this fall.

Ephesians 5:18b-20a states "...but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times..." and this was the basis for the Bible study presented by Rev. Charlene Barnes, Salem Lutheran Church, to those attending the Women of the ELCA cluster meeting of God's Sonflowers, held from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., in conjunction with the Served by Salem meal, Saturday, March 31, at Lincoln Center, Marysville. From 11:00 to 1:00, more than 35 ladies took part in groups touring the Habitat Thrift Shop, the Marysville Food Pantry, and helping serve the noon meal. Cluster meeting attendees brought in-kind offerings of pies, which became dessert for the meal, canned and boxed goods for the food pantry and gently used items for the free table, which are shared with those who come for nourishment on that one Saturday each month. There was also a monetary offering for the CSS W of the ELCA. The meeting began with a welcome by Iris Turnbull, Salem W of the ELCA president, the business session was conducted by Pat Olson, Salem, the cluster coordinator of God's Sonflowers, with remarks by Kathy Ouellette, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Washington, who serves as vice-president of the Central States Synod Women of the ELCA. Representatives of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Waterville, served morning coffee and pastries. A special thank you goes to Salem's youth who helped in the kitchen that morning.

Just a reminder to let you know that I will be coordinating prayer requests for the Central States Women of the ELCA this year. If you have a prayer concern or request that you would like your Central States Women’s board to pray about, please e-mail me at and I will share your information with the board members. Remember we have been instructed to pray for each other when there is a need. Please let me know your prayer requests so that I can pass them on to the board. “Pray till prayer makes you forget your own wish, and leave it or merge it in God’s will.” F.W. Robertson


Mid Missouri Cluster IV-C Women of ELCA Spring 2012 meeting minutes Immanuel, Brauersville, MO hosted the W-ELCA Mid MO Cluster April 28, 2012. The theme was “Spring Forward in Faith” via Hebrews 11:1. Baked goodies, fruit, juice, and coffee were served during registration of 37 participants. Linda Eckhoff welcomed everyone. She then shared a brief history of Immanuel. Karen Dusheke, Trinity, Russellville gave an opening devotion, entitled, “Bloom Where you are Planted”. “Joyful, Joyful we Adore Thee” was sung by the group. Pastor Kim Knowle of Christ and Trinity, Sedalia gave a Bible Study: ‘The Meanings of Faith’. She shared a poem and urged us to reflect where we have been, see with children’s eyes as we learn it is about God, not us. Pastor related some of her personal travel ‘faith builders’ when in Europe. She brought a scallop shell, a symbol attributed to St James the Apostle, as a visual reminder that God gifted us even before baptism. As we walk daily be aware that God is with us. Joyce Evenson led a sing-along. Carol Braaten – Columbia gave an offering prayer. In kind gifts were received for Show Me Christian Youth Home, LaMonte, MO. Nanette Ellis, Cluster Coordinator, conducted the business meeting. Two volunteers are needed to serve on the Cluster Planning Committee. Carolyn Bauer distributed copies of Cluster guidelines. Names of college students are to be provided to Cheryl Taylor for Lutheran Campus Ministries. Mary Kern reported that the next Synod convention will be July 27-29, 2012 @ St. Joseph, MO. CWO President, Jennifer Michael will be there. The 25th W-ELCA anniversary will be celebrated. Charlotte, North Carolina is the site for 2014 Triennial gathering. Cluster group agreed to change date of fall meeting to September 29, 2012. An invitation was then given to come to Kent Memorial Lutheran Church, Sunrise Beach, MO. Joyce Evenson gave the table prayer. A prayer partner exchange was arranged by ladies of Our Savior’s Jefferson City. Everyone enjoyed fellowship, tasty rice/chicken casserole, salads and desserts. Floral centerpieces adorned the table coverings décor of spring designs and colors. Seed packets for everyone were in special designed holders. Afternoon gathering songs were led by Janice Gerken, Cole Camp. An offering of $550 was received. Half of offering will go to Central States Synod W-ELCA and half to the Malaria Initiative, Mosquito Nets. The “Bakeless” Bake Sale donations of $30 were also designated for the Malaria Initiative. A motion was approved to continue with the Bakeless Bake Sale at future Cluster gatherings. Decision of distribution of these funds will be made each time. Chad Puckett of Show Me Christian Youth Home LaMonte, MO was the featured speaker for the afternoon. A closing prayer was given by Our Savior’s Camdenton. Respectfully Submitted, Beth Rockelman, Secretary

Revelation Cluster IID Hebron Lutheran Women/ELCA hosted the annual cluster meeting of the Revelation Cluster II D on Saturday, April 28, at the Hebron Lutheran Church at Burdick. Twenty-five women from Scherer Memorial, Chapman; St. Paul, Herington; and Hebron, Burdick attended. The morning began with a brunch. Tables were decorated with vintage purses, handkerchiefs, and jewelry. Carol Riffel, Hebron W/ELCA president welcomed everyone with devotions and prayer and gave a presentation about “Sisters”. Jewell Swinney, Synod board treasurer gave a report. The Synod convention will be July 27-29 in St. Joseph, MO. Gloria Martin was selected cluster coordinator for the next two years. An offering of $265.00 was received for Camp Tomah Shinga. A skit titled ”Purses “R” Us” was presented and reminded us of all the baggage that we carry around with us each day when all we really need is a change purse with a bible inside. Each woman attending made a discipleship scarf that they could take home with them. The morning closed with prayer and an invitation from Scherer Memorial, Chapman to the 2013 spring cluster meeting.

Report of Spring Cluster Meeting: Ark River Valley Cluster of the Women of the ELCA Resurrection Lutheran Church of Haysville sponsored the Women of the ELCA Spring Cluster Meeting for the Ark River Valley Cluster IIC, Area Ministry 5 on Saturday, April 21. Thirty-seven women from eight churches were in attendance. Jewell Swinney shared greetings from the synod board. She addressed concerns and brought insights as to how our gifts to synod are utilized. She provided clarification as to how submitted monies are allocated, the importance of usage of correct forms and assigned payee on checks and answered questions regarding cluster meeting offerings. A handout was also provided that she had written for future reference. She encouraged the read of March’s issue of Gather citing an article entitled “Your Gifts at Work” by Linda Post Bushkofsky- -a very informative article. Jewell provided information regarding our upcoming ELCA convention in St. Joe, Missouri-- July, 27- 29. We were reminded that registration grants are available for first time attendees. Nomination forms were provided for the three open positions on the synod board. Hopefully, a good representation from our cluster will be able to attend this year’s convention. An intriguing program, “Creative Prayer” was led my Lynn Standrich, Alice Burnett & Laurie PetersonFlaharty. They provided insights to enriching our prayer lives with thought provoking prayer journaling, “walking a prayer labyrinth” (on foot or w/ pen on a paper labyrinth), prayer beads, individualized crafted greeting cards, prayer shawls (& bears), prayer rocks, etc. A generous donation of canned and packaged food items were given as in-kind gifts to the local food bank. The fall cluster meeting will be in Hutchinson w/ Emanuel Lutheran hosting on Saturday, October 20th. We were also reminded that we need to be prayerfully considering an individual to serve on our cluster coordinator board. Nominations will be received at the Fall Cluster Meeting.

Respectfully submitted, Mary Ann Schrag, 3rd year coordinator

Walking in the Word -- June 2012  

Official Newsletter of the Central States Women of the ELCA March 2012. Volume 23 Issue 2. Download: March Walking in the Word.

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