LWMS meets in South Dakota for annual convention

“We are here tonight, and we are here this weekend to remember and to rejoice again that God too has a long-range building plan. And that includes me and you and every single person that our ministries might touch.”

Rev. Jonathan Schroeder from Sharpsburg, Ga., set the tone for the 61st annual convention of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society (LWMS) in Sioux Falls, S.D., with those words from his sermon in the convention’s opening service.

More than 1,000 people gathered for the opening service. Among them was Paula Pease from Maitland, Fla. Attending her first convention, Pease noted, “The opening service was just phenomenal. Hearing a thousand people singing was just very—I’m going to say it—inspiring.”

This year’s convention theme was “Being Built into a Spiritual House.” Attendees learned about the expanding outreach by One Europe and Native Christians Network mission teams.

Conifer Berg presented information on his work as a missionary to the United Kingdom. He explained the importance of attending the convention—his first: “Our church is a group of maybe 70 people, and they feel really alone. So, I think for them to know that there are 1,000 people in this room who believe the same things they do, it’s huge! It’s like we’re not doing this ministry alone. It really is everything to have that support.”

“The convention,” Berg said, “is such a warm event. It’s like a big hug.”

In addition to world missionaries, home missionaries also shared experiences on outreach in Brandon, S.D., and West Des Moines, Iowa.

Workshops included: The Impact of Indigenous Art and Music on Missions, Trends in Engaging Your Community, Navigating Changes with an Unchanging God, The Real Missionary Wives—A Panel of Current and Former Missionary Wives, and a special Zoom presentation: The Lord Is With You, Mighty Warrior from a missionary in Boston, Mass.

Jacky Stoll from Oconto Falls, Wis., the current president of LWMS, marveled, “How amazing it is to hear from the missionaries in the field, engage with them and their families directly, and network with fellow believers from all over the United States and really the world!”

Convention highlights included the presentation of more than $100,000 to support WELS Home and World Missions projects and an opportunity to hear about the latest developments from WELS Home and World Missions administrators. In addition, the LWMS kids c.a.r.e. program received more than $43,000 in 2023-24 to support annual retreats for children of world missionaries who assimilate back to American culture.

For Mary Watson of Tucson, Ariz., the convention did more than inform her about missionaries who serve where she cannot go in person. She remarked, “What impressed me was just how many missions there are and how many of them just start with a single person connected with another single person, and—maybe that’s what I need to learn more about—making connections with other people in my everyday life. You just don’t know where that’s going to end up.”

The 62nd annual LWMS convention is scheduled to take place June 26-29, 2025, in Tulsa, Okla.

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LWMS 2024

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