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Posts Tagged ‘Lutheran Womens Missionary League’

“Nicci” Henke RIP

Nicci Henke

Nicci Henke

Obituaries used to be the simple announcement of the death of someone.  Lately some have become newspaper page eating tomes that chronicle just about everything in the deceased life.  Nicci’s family or who ever wrote this one struck just about the right tone.

Nicole Rowene “Nicci” Henke, 70 of Devils Lake, ND passed away at her home in the loving care of family and Hospice, on Wednesday morning, March 13, 2013.

A Memorial Service for Nicci was held on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Devils Lake with Rev. Timothy Stout officiating.

Nicole Rowene Henke was born at a birthing center in Mandan, ND on August 10, 1942. She grew up in Center, ND, the daughter of Oliver and Enid ‘nee (Henderscheid) Gullickson. While growing up she loved her farm life and spent as much time as she could on her grandparents’, aunts’, uncles’ and cousins’ farms. She and her cousins spent many hours riding horse-back and playing with the farm animals.

Nicole graduated from Center High School and attended North Dakota State University in Fargo for three years. She graduated from Minot State University with a degree in education, with special emphasis on education of the deaf.

Nicole married Merle Henke in 1963 and they moved from Rugby to Devils Lake where she worked for the North Dakota School for the Deaf for 32 years, retiring in 1997. She then worked part-time for Lake Region Special Education as a consultant to the hearing impaired and also did substitute teaching during that time. She ended that job in 2004 and she and Merle traveled to several places within the United States. In 2006, she was diagnosed with cancer and their lived changed to center around medical concerns.

Nicole was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and the LWML, serving as an officer locally and as a district officer. She also was a member of the North Dakota Retired Teachers Organization.

We are about partnerships here on this site and one of the things about partnerships is that you need to find a good partner.  I worked with Nicci and the Lutheran Womens Missionary League for a long time and she was the quintessence of a good partner.  Always solicitous and gracious, caring and endlessly patient, she exhibited to me at least, the qualities that Paul tells the Phillipians to think about – “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is  right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”  She would never describe herself that way I am sure.  She recognized her sin and her Savior and always relied on the illimitable grace of God.  She will be missed.

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LWML and Partnerships

Judy Anderson and Kay Kreklau at Trinity

“This little site is designed to help us to see how the body of Christ functions, communicates, works, struggles and cares up here, in this part of God’s creation. Up North, where you might see the Northern Lights, we are hoping to give glimpses of God’s light shining in our hearts as we “live together as Christ’s people”. We hope to hear from those people in the months and years ahead as paths “cross” and partnerships are formed and we witness, show mercy and share our “life together” in Christ.”  I keep going back to this statement that I wrote when we started this blog site in April.  There are so many things that churches are doing corporately to show the love of Christ in the world.  There are so many things that groups are doing to show the love of God in the world and so many things that individuals are doing too.  I am stunned at the programs and projects that the Board of International Missions looks at that take place all around the world.  I am completely amazed when I hear of the different projects that individuals are involved with.  We want to encourage all of that and at the same time focus on things that we can to together.

The Lutheran Womens Missionary League has always been a great source of inspiration and help to me in many ways.  There is a true partnership with the LWML at all levels from the congregational units to the District to the Synod.  At least there should be.  Kay Kreklau from Drayton North Dakota was recently elected to be the President of the national LWML at Peoria.  She was installed and commissioned but we had a little ceremony of blessing and “sending” at Trinity on Sunday July 10th.  Judy Anderson is the President of the Northeast Zone of the North Dakota District and she gave Kay the flowers.

I served as the counselor for the LWML and can attest to the meticulous care that they take with their mites and figuring out how best to use these gifts to extend the work of “mission and mercy”.  I have participated in retreats and presentations with the LWML of the Minnesota North District and I continue to be impressed with their commitment to bring the lost and erring into fellowship with Christ and to strengthen the faith and prayer life of their members.  I am getting to know Cheryl Petersen who is the LWML President in Minnesota North.  Dorothy Abrahamson of MN North can tell you all about the length and breath of the projects that these women undertake.  Sue Corwin the President of the North Dakota District LWML is a quiet example of service and caring.  Joan Johnson my friend from Grand Rapids is an example of the LWML’s evangelical soul.   Kay will be a great servant leader for this organization and I look forward to all kinds of partnerships.

One last word of advice to the Pastors who may be reading this.  It is a mistake that many of us make to think of the LWML as the altar guild or the funeral lunch crowd.  They do those things and they do them willingly and carefully but they are and can be so much more.  My prayer is that every Pastor when he works with the LWML at any level can say what Paul said –

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now”.  Philippians 1:3-5

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