The LCMC Northwest District prints a newsletter several time a year.  Just click on one you are interested in reading.  Make sure to print additional copies and place them around your church for others to read.  “This is the ONLY OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER FOR THE LCMC NORTHWEST DISTRICT!”

Oh Lord, Our Lord, How majestic is your name in all the world.

I come before you, humbly addressing your throne, in grateful adoration and love for all the blessings that you have bestowed on me. Where you have placed me here in the great northwest: The friends that you have so graciously surrounded me with; My husband that you have continued to see fit to care for and support me in all that I say and do; A church family that consistently prays for me and holds me up with their love; All the gifts that you had planned for me since before my conception in my Mother’s womb; And the call to serve that you planted in my soul when the time was right and perfect. I believe in you Lord, and I ask that you forgive my unbelief, weakness, and straying heart. I cast all my cares at your feet and pray that I may be clean and whole in your sight. Bless those that I love and answer the concerns and cares that I have for those you place in my purview. All this, and more, I offer before you, trusting in your overwhelming knowledge, foresight and mercy.

This is a prayer that I should pray each and every day of my life. And I ask that all of you continue to offer up your daily prayers for me and those you care for.  God has seen fit to “mostly” keep me on my feet these past months, although one incident with my grandson’s large German Shephard, left me with a bad concussion and eight hours of unresponsiveness. But now I can say, when I forget things, “Look, I’ve had a concussion!”

Our NW District has several churches still in the call process, but I thank God for His Spiritual guidance in all these circumstances and I am confident that each church going through this change can honestly say that they are blessed and truly lead by the Holy Spirit. Our District has also grown by new members, and may I take this chance to say “Welcome to our family – stay in touch”.  And I mean that with all my heart. And all you “Old Relatives, that maybe we haven’t heard from in a while, we are still thinking of you and trying to watch your back.” (In a good way)  Each one of the Council members is assigned a small group to pray for and every one of you is covered in prayer.  I hope that you know that and perhaps you’ve heard from your prayer partner.  If not, call Mary or Mot or me and ask who your secret, or not so secret, prayer partner is.

I had the wonderful pleasure, in July, of going to Chicago, Illinois for our LCMC Annual District Coordinator’s Meeting. I guess that there are approximately twenty districts in the United States (I really don’t have an exact count – should, but I don’t). Hosanna Lutheran, our host church, was amazing. We arrived with our camping trailer and John and Martha had even offered to change the wiring in the Church to get me an outside plug to connect to during our stay.  Absolutely not!! But, John did find us an amazing RV Park, (actually an arboretum) right in the middle of the busy city, ten minutes away from their church that cost only $20 a night. What a blessing for us and for Richard, my driver. They fed us, wined and dined us (well dined us- the wine-ing was my joy in the evening) and even gave us parting gifts. (Was that significant?)  I was the only one there (out of 16) who was not a pastor, but they convinced me that I could hold my own with each and every one of them.  Being the quiet one in the bunch, I was blessed with listening and learning from their history and knowledge.  I offered my quiet observations and “new-be” comments with sincere meekness. Forgive me Lord, I just lied. If you know me I was not particularly quiet and nosed my way into most conversations and offered suggestions. The group made me feel so welcome and being as this was the second meeting I had attended (missed one the year I was sick) for the first time I really felt like part of the immediate family and everybody knew my first name and visa-versa. We discussed things about our being big and little churches; where we go from this point on as an association; how being autonomous congregations is both a strength and/or a weakness; our pastors and church leaders and their need for support; our need for community when we are each so independent; our youth and where they are going; and our future and God’s plans for us.  We laughed, told jokes, gave up our high school mascots, and our computer passwords, and all in all, rejoiced in the company of our Lord and our fellowship together.  Richard and I spent a little time on the road with family on our way back home, and immediately after the National convention in October, the “Riepma” Siblings, (My 100% Dutch maiden name) are going to have our first ever reunion, without our parents (they’re finally both in Heaven together) or our children in Galena, Illinois for 5 days.  I’m the family Matriarch and the District Coordinators gave me an official plaque that decrees so, because my siblings don’t agree with me. Now I have the “proof”.

My hotel room at the National convention in Des Moines, Iowa will again be the Hospitality suite for the NW District and I hope that everyone one of you that can attend, comes to our room for fellowship and fun.  We’re staying in the Hilton Hotel where the convention is held. “Growing up” is this year’s theme. Kent Hunter is our re-noun key-note speaker. There will be great Bible study, lots of world-wide and little town fellowship. Sign up for the “District Dinner and Meeting”, and we’ll see you there with rings on our fingers, bells on our toes and smiles on our faces.

No really-I hope to see you there, and until then may God bless and keep you in his rich grace and love.

Barb Fagley – NW District Coordinator

P.S. Sorry – I always talk too much – but all words spoken in love.