Published 9:00 am Saturday, May 26, 2018

First Lutheran Church Women

First Lutheran Church Women met April 11 in Bethany Hall with President Donna Ludtke presiding. Cindy Gandrud provided the prelude music.

Members and guests were welcomed by Ludtke. Jo Hanson gave the devotions based on Luke 18:17. She told members they need to hold on to our child-like faith, as their beliefs are often threatened. Jesus’ love and care is for a lifetime. A good source for reading comes from children’s prayer books. People tend to trust when things go well, but when wronged they still need to stay on the path and stay with Jesus. The members then read the Freeborn Lutheran Church Women purpose led by Donna Ludtke.

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Jo Hanson introduced the guest speakers, Mary Jo Dorman and Diane Schultz, along with several students representing the Karen population. Mary Jo Dorman stated the Karen population is the fastest growing in the Albert Lea school district with 146 enrolled. Albert Lea has 24 languages spoken in our district schools.

The Karen people who have come to the U.S. are formerly from Burma, now Myanmar. Buddhism and Christianity are the two religions of the Karen people. Because of conditions being so bad in their home country, many Karen people live in refugee camps in Thailand. Two of the Karen girls who spoke came from the oldest camp in Thailand. Living in the camps is very difficult, as no work is available, so no money to spend for supplies. They forage the forest and rivers for food as well as raising their own gardens. Shelters are determined by the size of a family and are made of bamboo and leaves. Only 10 percent  of camp refugees apply to come to the U.S. or other locations such as Australia. Leaving the camp can result in death or prison. There is a lot of fear and emotion when leaving a camp, as the people don’t know the language of their new country and many of the younger people leave their families behind to come to a better life situation. This is the only way of life many have known. The refugees want their children in school to be educated.

Several of the Karen girls who spoke now work as interpreters traveling from building to building in our school system. They help assimilate the Karen people into the community as the people want to make a connection. There are 50 Karen families between here and Clarks Grove.

Schultz said they try to get the Karen people into their school buildings so the teachers can learn of their culture, as well as teach them the English language and other skills. All of the attendees of our meeting received a copy of the book “Grandpa Green,” which is part of the literacy program of the district.

The group sang the hymn “Guide Me Ever, Great Jehovah.”

Ludtke called the meeting to order. The secretary’s report was approved as printed with a motion from Nancy Jensen, seconded by Bonnie Trampel. The treasurer’s report was given by Cindy Gandrud, who referenced the printed report.

Trampel, corresponding secretary, reported a plea for support was received from the Salvation Army. St. John’s is having a rummage and bake sale at St. John’s on Luther Place.

Hanson gave a report on the amount received from the sale of the Herberger’s Community Days coupon booklets.

The Blue Earth River Conference was April 7, with Tim O’Shields leading the program.

The annual FLCW field trip will be in July with lunch at Green Lea Golf Course, and participants will attend the Saturday afternoon performance of “Beauty and the Beast” at the Marion Ross Theater.

The group sang “Praise and Thanksgiving” during the offering. Jo Hanson gave the offertory prayer based on 1 Corinthians 12.

Circle roll call was taken by Moran.

President Ludtke thanked ushers Deloris Fligge and Hazel Senske; greeters Carol Olson and JoAnn Palmer; and hostesses Gen Montei and her committee of Deloris Goskeson, Norris Lovik, Carol Olson and Dawn Rozinka.

Caring and Sharing: Co-Chairwomen Joyce Fredin and Sheri Nicol and their committee served no funerals in March.

Good Earth Women’s Day will be June 30.

The meeting closed with the Lord’s Prayer and table prayer.

Duplicate Bridge

Six tables played Duplicate Bridge May 15 at the Senior Center in Austin. Winners were Loren Cleland and Dave Ring, first place; Vandy Newman and Bud Higgins, second place; Larry Crowe and Dave Solomonson, third place; Gail and Ray Schmidt, fourth place; and Joyce Crowe and Millie Seiver, fifth place.

Five tables played Duplicate Bridge on May 16 at the Senior Center in Austin. Winners were Gail and Ray Schmidt, first place; Eunice Michaelis and Dave Ring and Loren Cleland and Bud Higgins, tied for second; Barb Rofshus and Millie Seiver, fourth place; and Vandy Newman and Ron Peters, fifth place.

Duplicate Bridge is played at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and noon on Wednesdays. Players come from Adams, Austin, Albert Lea, Rose Creek, Northwood and Mason City. All bridge players are welcome to come and play. Those who need a partner can call 507-437-2750.