top of page

The Lord is my strength and my song

Fall 2023

The Lord is my strength and my song,

and He has become my salvation;

this is my God, and I will praise Him,

my father's God, and I will exalt Him. (Exodus 15:2 ESV)

Seeing the blessings with which our Lord Jesus continues to shower us, we stand in awe and joy as the Lord has brought us through the summer events with our parishes, families and friends. One question that Lutheran Women in Mission is asked is, “How?” How do we serve the Lord with gladness, and mean it? How are we able to reach the unreachable and connect with the disconnected? How do we joyfully proclaim Christ? How do we support missions? How do we equip women to honor God by serving others? Our response is just as Moses sang after crossing the Red Sea: “The Lord is my strength and my song!” As we praise our Saviour and Lord, we do so knowing that as we are “Engaging the World with the Gospel of Hope.” That Hope is the crucified and risen Christ who allows us to walk on dry land, delivered from our enemies. He has given us a song to sing because of His innocent suffering and death on the cross and His rising from the dead for us. We give thanks for the wonderful things done in New York in Christ through the Lutheran Women in Mission!

LWML Atlantic District Mission Festival 2023:

On June 3rd, all seven zones of the LWML Atlantic District came together to celebrate the Lord, thank Him for His goodness, and encourage our supporters who gather their mite offerings to fund our thirteen Mission Grants of 2022-2024! We rejoiced as we engaged in the various activities offered at each booth after we received the Lord’s precious gifts in the Holy Eucharist at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in The Bronx, NY. We give special thanks to Bishop Taylor for leading, blessing and encouraging the women of the Atlantic District, along with Pastoral Counselor, Pastor Vetrano for preaching at the Liturgy.

Bishop Taylor led the unveiling and dedication of the LWML Convention Banner along with the blessing of participants attending the Convention in Milwaukee,WI.

We were blessed to hear from three of the mission grants from out of state and out of the country. We give special thanks to missionaries Pastor and Deaconess Jaseph for Zooming in with us to share the wonderful ways our Lord has called them to serve in Uruguay. We also received greetings from LCMS director for Life Ministries Deaconess Dr. Tiffany Manor. Another highlight for the mission festival was to hear from Lutheran Braille Workers (LBW) President Daniel Jenkins. As the energy grew many of our ladies were able to sign up for the upcoming servant event in September to work with LBW.

We thank all for participating, for preparing booths, for creating activities, and for attending the Mission Festival. During the afternoon, we were excited to announce that we raised over $1,375 towards Mission Grant 9 -Community Building Meals for Our Saviour Lutheran High School Students at Our Saviour Lutheran Church and School, The Bronx, NY.

LWML Atlantic District:

I had the honor of attending the Presidents’ Assembly on June 20-21 at which I presented a report about the LWML Atlantic District. President Debbie Larson appointed me to serve on the Voting Results Review Team for the LWML. That team served to prepare the presentation that announced the 2023-2025 Mission Grants at the LWML Convention.

As our Lord called many saints to rest from their labors throughout these past few months, we give thanks to God for their witness and service: Doris Scheer, LuJuana Butts, Artie Pabst, Estrella Walker

We give thanks for the newly appointed committee members and pastor of the LWML Atlantic District Board of Directors.

Human Care Committee Chair - Ms. Kareema Gathers (2023-2026)

Spiritual Life Committee Chair - Ms. Sheryl Schulze (2023-2026)

Public Relations Committee Chair -Ms. Christine Di Leo (2023-2026)

Young Woman Advocate - Ms. Kenisha Barrett (2022-2026)

Pastoral Counselor- The Rev. Brian Noack (2023-2026)

The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod met in convention July 29-August 3. The theme was, “We Preach Christ Crucified.” I attended as an LCMS Atlantic District Board of Directors Advisory Representative and I also served on Floor Committee 3- Mercy. During the LCMS convention, the LWML was thanked and recognized. President Keefe addressed the assembly and was present to greet people at the LWML booth.

In the upcoming months and weeks, we have much to which to look forward and much in which to participate. Thank you for the great work, for the fervent prayers, and for being daring and bold in Christ to serve the Lord with gladness.

Some Exciting Items for the Future:

October is Church Worker appreciation

LWML Sunday is in the month of October

District Fundraisers

Servant Event

Fall Retreat

Installations and Ordinations

LCMS Atlantic District Witness in the Public Square Luncheon

Fall Zone Events/Rallies

LCMS Atlantic District:

On July 23, 2023, an LWML Atlantic District welcome packet was given to The Rev. Zaza Kandakai and Christ Assembly Lutheran Church in Staten Island at Pastor Kandakai ordination and installation as Christ Assembly’s new pastor. We look forward to the days ahead for the many ordinations, and installations happening in the Atlantic District. Please watch take note of them in your emails and join in the celebration as we give thanks to God for those who are “Set Apart to Serve” as church workers.

“6 in the City” is an effort prompted as a result of the Atlantic District Festival of Workshops to gather young adults in the district. Started by young people in Circuit 6, the latest event conducted in Brooklyn included young adults from Circuit 5 as well. Several of our Young Women Representatives of the LWML Atlantic District participated in this event.

Also, on the weekend of July 21-23, youth groups from The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Garden City and Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in The Bronx youth gathered for Bible study, fellowship, service, and food! We are thankful and excited to see how the Body of Christ serves together and as communities are nurtured over the miles.

Lutheran Women in Mission (LWML):

“Celebrate the Lord of the Nations!” We have been excited about the Lutheran Women in Mission (LWML) 40th Biennial Convention in Milwaukee, WI. We rejoice that we had over 40 participants (including Bishop Taylor) from the Atlantic District with a full delegation representing all seven Zones. During the convention, we had the opportunity to recognize and pin Ms. Kenisha Barrett (Redeemer, The Bronx) and Ms. Leah Lalljie (Trinity, New Hyde Park) as Young Women Representatives of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML). We also had the joy of recognizing and pinning The Rev. Justin Vetrano (The Life, Old Westbury) as Pastoral Counselor of the LWML Atlantic District. Bishop Taylor of the LCMS Atlantic District brought greetings and encouragement at the District Caucus.

During convention, I was given the opportunity to be the guest speaker at the Teen Social on Friday, June 21st. I was able to connect with the youth at the convention and help them see what it means to be “Set apart to Serve” as deaconess and how my journey has been shaped as I serve in the LWML.

Lutheran Women in Mission (LWML) from all over the world gathered to vote on the new goal of $2,350,000, thirty-one (31) new mission grants that cover 83 countries and to vote for new officers, including the new LWML President Eden Keefe from the LWML Kansas District. We give thanks to our Lord that He richly and abundantly blesses His people. The Lutheran Women in Mission gave thanks to our Lord for His servants Pastor Paul Engfehr and our own Ms. Maureen Consiglio!

Both of these servants of Christ have used their various gifts to plan and enhance many of our conventions. To learn more about each of them, go to page 105 in the convention manual. (Convention Chronicles - Sunday, June 25, 2023- issue 4, page 8).

We remain thankful and blessed as we returned to New York to energize, equip, and encourage all in the Atlantic District in what we heard and saw at the convention. Thank you to all the delegates, the LWML Atlantic District Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and all members representing the Atlantic District.

¡Atrevete en Cristo!

“It’s easier said than done” or “ it’s been easier done than said” by God’s Grace! For most of us it has become easier to say, ¡Atrevete en Cristo! after 12 months. I have heard it shared even to encourage others in their parishes, groups, and zones. I have been excited to witness this being said and done!

We have also been reassessing, reimagining, and revitalizing throughout the District with the tools, prayers and encouragement of the Lutheran Women in Mission.

Reassessingthrough the resources of the LWML Atlantic District means constant communication with the local groups, church workers, pastors, and congregations of the LCMS Atlantic District. It includes updating contact information from local leaders, group members, parish offices, church workers, and pastors. It also includes knowing where these groups are by assessing the number of members of each group and their activities while learning why active groups have become inactive.

Reimagining through the conversations and data received from the Zone, we ask that you be open to hearing what works and does not work in the local congregations. Looking over the resources available on and fashioning these resources to the specific needs of a congregation also would be part of this. Learning what types of service the group/congregations are doing already and seeing how the Zone and District may serve alongside them would be part of reimagining. It also includes thinking of brand new ways of “serving the Lord with gladness” as women are encouraged in their various vocations.

Revitalizing our local congregations through prayer and service would mean they are made alive and active. Meeting them where they are will allow the focus to be “joyfully proclaiming Christ, supporting missions, and equipping women to honor God by serving others.” We have been afforded the opportunity to live, breathe, and serve with joy and vigor; revitalized groups can help congregations in “Making Disciples for Life” by “Engaging the World with the Gospel of Hope.”

We continue to do so knowing that we are not alone for the Lord is my strength and my song and we serve alongside one another.

It is an honor and a joy to pray for and serve you. May our Lord continue to bless you as you “serve the Lord with gladness!” ¡Atrévete en Cristo!

Grace, mercy, and peace,

Deaconess Raquel A. Rojas

LWML Atlantic District President


bottom of page