Why is Lutheran Girl Pioneers Important? // Guest Post

I am so excited to be a guest blogger on one of my favorite blogs!

I am Christine Bohn, and am so pleased to be able to say that I am the Executive Director of the Lutheran Girl Pioneers. I am also a part-time church secretary and have been for almost ten years. I have been married to Kevin, my biggest supporter and cheerleader, for nineteen years. We have two teenage girls, Rebecca and Emily, and two cats, Boots and Night-Night (who think that they are people!). I teach the upper grades for Sunday School at my church in the middle of Wisconsin and am the Caravan Counselor (the girl in charge!) of our local Lutheran Girl Pioneers.

I started working as Executive Director of the Girl Pioneers on August 1 of this year, so I am still trying to get everything organized and learning all that I have to do. It’s a big job, but I already love it! And I love the Girl Pioneers ministry!

 

What is Lutheran Girl Pioneers?

Lutheran Girl Pioneers is a para-synodical organization, which means that we are affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, but receive no synod funds. We are financially supported solely through membership fees and donations. We were formed in the 1950s in response to the Girl Scout movement.

The ladies of our synod wanted to give our girls a group, similar to Girl Scouts, but with Jesus as the center of all we do; instead of “trying our best”, we realize and teach that our best is not from us, it’s from Jesus.

Although Girl Scouts today is very different from the Girl Scouts in the 50s, Girl Pioneers isn’t. Yes, we teach different things than we may have back then, but our focus is the same - teach (and show through our every day example) these young ladies in a very practical way how to be a Christian woman in their world.

And Jesus said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
— Matthew 16:24

The nuts and bolts of it: Lutheran Girl Pioneers teaches life and leadership skills, all while promoting life-long Christian friendships that last into eternity. The girls move up in the program through different levels:

  • Sunbeams (Kindergarten through 2nd grade)
  • Travelers (3rd-4th grade)
  • Trailblazers (5th-6th grade)
  • Homesteaders (7th-8th grade)
  • and Spinners (high school) 

    The girls can earn charms for a charm bracelet by completing each level and by completing Special Achievements.

Any WELS or ELS church can charter (start) a caravan, and by doing so, they get the benefits of being part of a larger national organization: being able to purchase Girl Pioneer supplies from the National Office; leaders receive the support and guidance that they need; girls are able to attend District and National activities, including camps.

 

Why Is Girl Pioneers Important?

Lutheran Girl Pioneers is a vital ministry available to all the churches within the WELS and ELS. Girl Pioneers is so much more than a social club or craft club. It’s girls coming to the meetings and knowing that they are totally accepted for who they are. It’s girls on a camp out not having to worry about being picked on. It’s girls inviting their unchurched friend to come to a lock-in and her hearing about Jesus for the first time. It’s girls comfortably being able to chat about their faith struggles and victories. It’s girls growing strong in their faith, in world that often ridicules and insults them for that faith.

And if that isn’t enough, it even goes further! It’s leaders who are studying God’s Word together, answering questions and serving selflessly. It’s the parents of the unchurched girls who join you on a camping trip who get to sit through Bible studies around the campfire, and ask questions they would never ask in a large group.

Yes, Girl Pioneers is important because we teach outdoor skills, kitchen terminology, and make fun crafts. But, it goes so much deeper than that!

(Jesus said,) For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
— Matthew 18:20

Every generation is different from the last, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we all agree that the times we live in, at the very least seem more dangerous physically, but especially spiritually. You can’t turn on the nightly news or login into Facebook without seeing another terror attack, here or abroad. You hear daily of injustices, killings, riots in our city streets, terror groups recruiting young people, kidnappings and human trafficking. For adults, this news is overwhelmingly scary. Can you imagine what it’s like for our girls? Even schools aren’t safe anymore.

But Pioneers is! Not because nothing bad could ever happen at a church or to a church group; no one is so naïve to believe that. Pioneers is safe because of what we offer love. Jesus’ love shown to us, and our reflection of that love to our girls. And when our girls feel loved, accepted and safe, they then reflect that light everywhere they go. We can’t change the world, but we can certainly reflect Jesus’ light which we know can change hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit.

As leaders in this great ministry, we have the opportunity to not only teach skills, we have the enormous responsibility to show what it is like to live in this ever-changing world as a Christian woman, wife, mother, sister, friend.

And, if all these other things weren’t enough, Lutheran Girl Pioneers creates a fun place to come hang out with your friends and have a great time!

Now what?

If your congregation has a Lutheran Girl Pioneers ministry, support them! Offer assistance, donate to their treasury, pray for your leaders and the girls they serve.

If your congregation doesn’t have LGP, prayerfully consider starting a caravan. You don’t have to know everything, or have a large number of girls. Our Caravans vary in size from 5 girls to 100 girls. You can tailor the Girl Pioneers ministry to fit your church! You can meet once a month, or four times a month. You may meet all together, or have separate leaders for each age level. You can bring in guest speakers. You can go on outings. The possibilities are endless!

The beauty of Girl Pioneers is that you are not in this alone! You have questions? Call the National Office or your district rep. You need ideas? Visit the Girl Pioneers Facebook page and ask. You are not doing Lutheran Girl Pioneers alone - you have a tremendous support system in place!

To find out more information about Lutheran Girl Pioneers, visit our website at www.lgp.org, “like” our facebook page “Lutheran Girl Pioneers”, call (608-731-5232), or email me (girlpioneers@gmail.com) in the National Office!

Dear children, let us not love with words but with actions and in truth.
— 1 John 3:18

Luke 23 & 24

LukeIntroduction1 God opens our minds so we can understand the Scriptures. In Luke, we have read about the life and ministry of Jesus. The disciples saw many miracles and heard the teachings of Jesus - yet they didn't fully understand his purpose until after he rose from the dead.

Jesus said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them,  "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness fo sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." Luke 24:44-49

What was the gift the Father promised? 

And afterward,     I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy,     your old men will dream dreams,     your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women,     I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens     and on the earth,     blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness     and the moon to blood     before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls     on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem     there will be deliverance,     as the Lord has said, even among the survivors     whom the Lord calls. Joel 2:28-32

 

Below is a Bible study sheet that will serve as a guide for Luke 23 & 24. Click here or on the image below and print pages 27-28. Most notes will be written in the margins of your Bible or printed Luke text but there are some specific questions to be answered on the Bible study sheet as well.

Luke23and24

 

Here‘s what else you need: - A Bible journal with wide margins OR you can print the whole book of Luke double spaced with 12 font. - An additional Bible translation to compare. NIV, NKJV, NASB, & ESV are some reliable ones. - An audio Bible, audio Bible app, or you can listen online here. - A trusted Bible commentary. I have the Luke People's Bible Commentary. - A regular pencil & some colored pencils. - A Holy Hen House annotation bookmark (below).

HHHAnotateBKMK

It may feel hard at first. Jen Wilkin in her book Women of the Word reassures us, "...Bible study becomes more intuitive the more you do it. It is the process for an orderly, long-term building project with cumulative benefits. Even if you are in a season of life that won't allow you to use ALL the tools of the process exhaustively, you can use them as far as your time does allow. Build slowly if you must, but by all means, build."

One important aspect that should not be overlooked during our time in God's Word is prayer. Before, during, and after. As Jen Wilkin says,

Prayer is what changes our study from the pursuit of knowledge to the pursuit of God himself.

Let's encourage one another throughout the week by sharing images of us studying the book of Luke on Instagram and Facebook using #HHHBibleStudy. It is an extra motivation to know we are reading God's Word together!

If you haven't already, don't forget to join our private online bible study Facebook group of 250+ women! That's where we will be discussing our questions, answers, and thoughts throughout the week.

Amanda2