Saturday, June 24, 2017

Celebrating Connections

It is important to remember 
what every flower looks
 like as an individual.
There is often a different story 
when we are seen all together.

Today we celebrate on this blog-
the gathering of stories.
This blog of posts of the 
Women of the Southeastern District
 was started on April 23, 2013.
As of today there have been 271 posts
 highlighting the women, 
events, and communities of the SED.

There have been 75,000 page
 views of the individual posts.
Not bad, for a small share of cyberspace.
That may not seem like a huge number.
There are about 60,000 total Lutheran members
 in the churches we claim 
as our own in this District.
But, it is also interesting to note
 that those reading the stories 
collected here are beyond our District.
This week the posts have been viewed
 in these countries:

We might think our reach is limited,
or not of interest to others.
These numbers daily give another picture.
We are all connected to women 
that have lived
 or are living amazing stories.
Our stories are amazing because 
we have been redeemed by a Savior
 who loves us, 
and remembered by a Lord 
who thinks of us.
There are stories of faith-
hard times that have forged both 
softness and courage.
Stories of those who bless others 
with words of encouragement and 
gift hope in small ways.

Won't you think about someone 
whose story would lift others up?
Maybe YOU are ready 
to share a part of YOUR story.
You may reach me at:
to share a story.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Erika Radke- Visual Faith Coach

Erika Radke - Visual Faith Coach

Erika has worked in the Visual Arts for a long time.
In fact, I have always thought of her as an artist.
She is trained that way- using her God-given talents.
But, then sometimes folks think
 if that isn't your degree,
or your "gift", 
then there isn't an open door for exploration.
Erika has faithfully gathered folks
 in community to walk with them
 in "trying out and discovery"
 with Bible Journaling.
Whether we are gathered under 
wings of protection,
 giving thanks for a love so great,
 or contemplating the intricate plans of weaving
 in God's master Plan for His people.
We have dreamed of "in the beginning",
 sat by a tree in hope,
 given thanks that in Christ 
we live as a "new creation",
 wondered about Jesus 
who calms the storms of live,
 and breathed deep 
that He hears us in our distress.
 Erika meets every "new artist" 
right where they are 
and gives encouragement.
A carefully planned out approach 
helps to make everyone successful.
 Erika will be a presenter for 
Visual Faith -Bible Journaling
 at the Southeastern District- LCMS- 
Tending the Flame event this August.
 Maybe this is the very opportunity that YOU 
have been waiting for to explore 
the fun and creativity of reading and responding
 to God's text message to us.
 You don't want to miss out.
 This milestone faith marking- 
just might be the very legacy
 you want to give to your family.
And this HOSANNA blessing
 might just be the very gift 
waiting for each of your neighbors.


Erika is a busy mom 
of two little boys and blogs here:

Friday, June 16, 2017

Vernice Sittmann- In Memory

In Memory of

Vernice Bumgarner Sittmann

November 6, 1929 - June 13, 2017
Vernice Elizabeth Sittmann (nee Bumgarner), 87, 
wife of the late Rev. Gustav E. Sittmann, Jr., 
went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, June 13, 2017
 at Catawba Hospice and Palliative Care in Newton.

Born in Catawba County on November 6, 1929, 
Vernice Bumgarner Sittmann was the daughter
of the late Vernon George Bumgarner and Flora Belle Hollar Bumgarner. 
She spent her early years in Hickory, NC 
and later attended Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN.
After her studies, Vernice returned to Hickory 
where she met her future husband, Gustav Edward Sittmann, Jr.  
He was serving as a Vicar and elementary school teacher
 at St. Stephens Lutheran Church LCMS. 
They were married on May 28, 1950. 
Together they raised four children and lived in South Carolina, Tennessee, 
Missouri, and Arkansas. During these years, she worked 
as a school and church secretary. 
Upon retirement, they returned to Hickory, NC.

In addition to her parents, Vernice was preceded in death
by her loving husband of 64 years, Rev. Gustav "Gus" Edward Sittmann, Jr., 
two of her brothers, George and Dennis Bumgarner, 
one of her sons, Gustav Edward Sittmann, III 
and one of her daughters, Leslie Ellen Roberts.

She is survived by:
son Stanton Sittmann and wife, Linda of St. Louis, MO; 
daughter, Lucinda Stephens and husband, Randy of Hickory, NC; 
daughter-in-law, Cynthia Sittmann of St. Louis, MO; 
Bradley Roberts and wife, Kayla of St. Louis, MO, 
Eric Roberts and wife, Kelli of Dupo, IL, 
Jennifer Willis and husband, Matt of St. Louis, MO, 
Claudia Sittmann of St. Louis, MO, 
Benjamin Stephens of Hickory, NC, 
Elizabeth Stephens, of Hickory, NC,
Katia Sittmann of Olathe, KS; 
great-grandchildren Ava Mae Willis, 
Luke Roberts and Anistin Roberts (due to arrive in July); 
brother Charles Bumgarner and wife, Joan;
brother Conrad Bumgarner and wife, Billie;
sister-in-law Nancy Bumgarner;
sister-in-law Peggy Bumgarner; 
sister-in-law Marguerite Scarpa 
and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, June 17, 2017 
at Concordia Lutheran Church in Conniver.
 Pastors Mark Schudde and Gavin Mize will officiate. 
Burial will follow at St. Stephens Lutheran Church Cemetery in Hickory.

The family will receive friends prior to the service
 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at Concordia Lutheran Church in Conover.

Memorials may be made to Concordia Lutheran Church, 
or Concordia Christian Day School, 
215 5th Ave., SE, Conover, NC 28613.

We give thanks for the servant heart of Vernice 
as she served her family and friends and in all the ministry settings.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

65th Ordination Anniversary- Done Right

Pentecost Sunday was June 4, 2017
 and this was also the celebration day
 for the 65th Anniversary of Ordination
 for Pastor Kenneth Schwengel.
In honor of this landmark-
sixty-five handmade doves
swirled in honor of the 
Pentecost Celebration.

 Pastor Schwengel has been faithfully serving
 (in retirement) 
First Lutheran Church, 
Bowie, Maryland since 1993.

 Deaconess Sally (Meyer) Hiller 
and SED President John Denninger 
bless Pastor Schwengel with prayer.

 A beautiful worship celebration 
and luncheon was put together
 by a congregation currently
  worshipping an average of 10-15 per Sunday.
 The handmade doves were Pinterest inspired 
and made by Chuck and Sally Hiller 
and Sally's sister-Sue Meyer. 
Chuck served as installation engineer.
 Sue Meyer created the beautiful ordination brochure
 and coordinated the stunning floral arrangements. 
Sue serves as the office administrative assistant.
Penny Meyer gathered folks
 to put together a wonderful luncheon
 after the service.
Gordon Meyer serves as usher 
and communion assistant.
Tags were made by the Meyer family
 using Joanne Fink wrapping paper 
and collaged napkins onto tags.
  People could then write blessings and prayers 
for Pastor Schwengel.
This prayer and blessing
 hangs on the walls of the church as you exit.
 This small congregation
 has sent 4 people into full-time ministry.
This Meyer family continues
 to give their gifts, bless the congregation and 
"hold things together."
There is a community/neighborhood
 gathering at the church about every 6 weeks.
Lately, Sister Sally has been introducing
 Visual Faith and Bible Journaling to the group.

Connections go "way-back" 
here for the Meyer- Hiller crew.
Chuck and Sally met here when Sally 
began teaching Sunday school 
after Confirmation and Chuck came to be a "helper."
Both of Chuck's parents and Sally's dad 
are buried in the cemetery out back.
 There is a long-time love 
for the ministry of this location.
There is wondering about what the future holds....
But, in the mean time...
this Meyer family will continue to
serve when needed,
bless all,
love well, 
and keep on celebrating.