HJ/EDHerald Journal, Feb. 6, 2006

HL church to host first women's conference

By Liz Hellmann
Staff Writer

What started as three ladies talking in the kitchen of a church, is about to materialize into the first-ever women’s conference at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake.

The conference will be Saturday, Feb. 11 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It will include local women speakers, uplifting worship music, and feature speaker Susie Larson.

“Women need to take time and bolster our faith so we can go back into our homes and nurture others,” said Susan Kubasch of Howard Lake, a member of the conference committee.

The idea for the conference first came about when Liz Paetow of Waverly was telling Pat Schoephoerster and Diane Sonstegard, both of Howard Lake, about her recent trip to a women’s conference.

After Paetow got done explaining how much she enjoyed the conference, the same thought struck all three of the women.

“We all looked at each other and said, ‘We can do that,’” Schoephoerster said.

Eight months, and plenty of planning, later, the ladies are less than a week away from hosting their own conference.

“It’s about women sharing how their faith is growing with the circumstances of their life,” Schoephoerster said. “It’s just a sharing, not a teaching, about how God has touched their lives.”

Larson, who is the featured speaker, has spoken to thousands of women about such issues as prayer, balance, and choices.

Larson is a freelance writer for Focus on the Family. She has also authored several books, including the latest, “Balance that Works When Life Doesn’t: Simple Steps to Positive Physical and Spiritual Health.”

Larson will share her own story of personal struggle, along with challenging the audience to be all that Christ wants them to be.

She resides in Andover with her husband and three teenage boys.

Larson also has a local connection to Howard Lake and St. John’s, as her sister, Karen Egeberg of Howard Lake, is a member.

Other speakers will include local women Kari Jorgenson, Joni Decker, LaVonne Youngren, and Marge Lundeen. They will share experiences on such topics as faith and family, finances, and creation.

“It’s about making our relationship with God everything it can be, and coming back to that throughout the music and the worship,” Kubasch said.

Music will be provided by Michelle Heuer of Waverly, Dawn Kalvig of Howard Lake, Mae Wannarka of Howard Lake, and Linda Weber of Waverly.

These ladies will lead the conference in worship through instrumental and vocal praise.

Besides the highlighted events, the conference will include a worship session, continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea with bars and treats.

There are close to 100 women already registered, and more are welcome.

Registration forms can be picked up at the church Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration can also be completed the day of the conference in the morning.

The cost for the event is $20 including lunch, and $15 without lunch.

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