A fall mission rally was an engaging mix of experiences with the theme, “We Share God’s Gift of Life.” Over 40 attendees gathered at Christ Lutheran Church in Klamath Falls, Oregon, for the Pacific Northwest region’s 37th annual rally on September 26–27, 2014.
Friday evening’s “Greet, Encourage, Meet” (GEM) time included a hearty soup supper as participants enjoyed fellowship with both new and old friends. The Rev. Matthew Crick spoke about being a missionary in Medford, Oregon. He spoke of connecting to your church’s community. For example, he is a cross-country coach at the high school across the street from the church.
Saturday’s program opened with a devotion by the Rev. Glenn Smith, who encouraged listeners to remember to trust in the Lord for results of mission work. Next, listeners were held spellbound as Tatiana Currie shared her experiences in the former Soviet Union, such as when the KGB burst into her grandmother’s apartment on hearing rumors that she owned a Bible. The technology of Skype allowed attendees to hear directly from Nick and Kerry Laper of Gift of Life in Ukraine, along with a deaconess who travels with mobile medical and dental clinics. The children of the Rev. Glenn and Maria Smith sang songs they had prepared. Erica Jacobsen shared information about Columbia Lutheran School, a classical Lutheran elementary school that opened in the fall at Bethany Lutheran Church, in The Dalles, Oregon.
Vice President Jan Sparley led the business meeting. Attendees voted for Columbia Lutheran School and the orphanages in India as mite recipients for 2014–2015. Three officers were elected: Kay Kassulke (Medford, OR), President; Brenda Hackett (Lakewood, WA), Secretary; and Matilda Kahler (Hood River, OR), Christian Growth. Barb Coggswell announced her retirement as Historian, after nearly four decades of dedicated service. Erica Jacobsen volunteered as her replacement.
Lunchtime included a Jeopardy! game, with categories like “Hymn Tunes” and “Past Rallies.” Afterward, the Rev. Larry Wentzlaff, the ELS’s new missions counselor, shared updates about the synod’s world and home missions. Barb Coggswell spoke about the “Joy of Serving” and read a poem she had composed, with the same title as the Rally’s theme. Participants viewed the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) evangelism movie, “Come Follow Me.” To close, attendees sang “God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage.” The ladies of Christ Lutheran Church offered goodie bags to pack for the drive home.
The next rally will be held September 25–26, 2015, in Lakewood, Washington.
Submitted by Erica K. Jacobsen