His Song in the Night
July 16, 2016
Bethel Lutheran Church
Fergus Falls, MN
Our theme, “His Song in the Night,” resonated with many at our 2016 Women’s Ministries Convention, Saturday, July 16. Mary Beth Carlson’s talented piano playing, interspersed with spiritual insights, made her presentation more than a concert. It brought God’s healing to women’s hearts; balm to weary spirits; hope in darkness. It became his message set to music. It was also a blessing to learn and sing a song together to bring home with us, “Our Song in the Night,” with music and lyrics written for our convention by Mary Beth.
Here is the refrain: Thank you, Lord, for hope in the darkness. Bless you, Lord, for mornings of joy. Praise You – We praise You – Praise You, Lord, our song!
Other Highlights: We enjoyed hearing about ministries funded by your gifts: Project Guinebor has reached many women in Chad through your generosity.
Rachel Patterson has completed her term as our Chair, and declined to run again. After a prayerful and diligent search for candidates to replace her, the Nominating Committee recommended Barbara Heggland, current Treasurer, to be appointed interim Chair for one year. The convention voted to concur.
We voted to approve the proposed changes to our By-Laws. Some of these changes included updated job descriptions for the Director, Secretary, Treasurer, Regional Presidents, and Information Coordinator. The Information Coordinator will serve as part of the National Team, appointed by the Director and Chair.
We look forward to what God will do through our next Focus Project: “Beyond Suffering—Equipping churches in East Asia for disability ministry.” Children with disabilities and their families face many challenges in East Asia. There is growing interest from churches that want to get involved in mercy ministries, but often don’t know how. Our project helps these churches set up a disability ministry and provide actual training. We will also continue to support Heart to Heart visits by our Director, Ruth Vallevik, to local church groups; as well as the SWEET Retreat for Seminary women; the HELP Fund for missionaries; and the Crisis Care Fund for pastors’ wives in need.
An interesting feature this year was the Opening of the CLB Biennial Convention just prior to our Noon Luncheon. Saturday included worship and learning as women together, as well as continuing education for pastors, youth workers and laity. Each of these separate groups joined together with the CLB delegates as President Paul Larson welcomed all of us for this “Day of Equipping.”
After lunch, we had three Workshop Elective options: “God’s Heart for the Disabled in East Asia,” by Liz Christenson; “Mirroring the Mission Heart of God,” by Sue Olson; and “Winsome Warriors: Taking God’s Love to the Spiritual Battlefields of our Time,” by Carolyn McElfatrick. Each excellent presentation gave us plenty of good ideas for follow-up in our own hometowns. The day ended with a final session with Mary Beth, as she shared her heart for the Lord and music with us.
Cheryl Olsen is the Faith & Fellowship correspondent for WMCLB.
Special Guest Mary Beth Carlson
Special Guest Mary Beth Carlson, composer, recording artist, author, inspirational speaker and former Teacher of the Year, performs nationally as a pianist and speaker for a wide variety of special events. As Lead Pianist at Nordstrom Mall of America for nearly 15 years, she man-aged piano entertainment for most of those years.
Much of her original music has been inspired by her daugh-ter Jody, who was born with cerebral palsy and autism. She's written and performed music for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, International Special Olympics, Arc, Fraser Community Services, Children's Cancer Research Fund, Alzheimer's Association and Joni Eareckson Tada's ministry, Joni and Friends.
Married for forty-one years to her husband Kent, they've raised three daughters and reside in Eden Prairie, MN. They immensely enjoy spending time with their eight grandchildren.
To listen to her music or read more about her ministry, you can visit www.marybethcarlson.com
“Mirroring the Mission Heart of God” Presenter: Sue Olson - What’s really on God’s heart? How does He show and tell us? What should be my response? Come and share in the stories of seeing how simple it can be to mirror the mission heart of God, right now, right here, with you just the way you are.
“Winsome Warriors: Taking God’s Love to the Spiritual Battlefield of our Time” Presenter: Carolyn McElfatrick - The conscience of America is increasingly controlled more by political correctness and emotion than by God’s Word. How do we, as Christians, determine our role in a changing society and be authentic “light in the darkness” to a rapidly deteriorating culture?
“God’s Heart for the Disabled in East Asia” - Presenter: Elizabeth Christenson - Elizabeth along with her husband, Dr. Joel, are missionaries in East Asia. She will share her vision for reaching out in compassion to the disabled of her country. Presently an effort is underway, motivated by the love of Christ, to train caregivers and to provide support for families whose children suffer. WMCLB has made this outreach our Focus Project for the coming year.
The Lord is my Strength and my Song and He has become my Salvation -