by Anne Hansen

We usually define God’s grace as ‘undeserved favour’. Grace cannot be earned, bought or attained by our actions. It is purely and simply a free gift God gives us through the sacrificial suffering and death of his beloved Son Jesus on the cross.

But it doesn’t end with our Saviour on the cross. He rose again from death and ascended to glory, also bringing that same glory and the joy of the assurance of heaven to us. We can be assured of God’s grace and the relationship he built with us through it.


To help individuals, congregations, and school and aged-care communities share God’s gift of grace, a free downloadable and printable Lenten devotional entitled ‘Understanding Grace – God’s riches at Christ’s expense’ has been prepared by Lutheran Tract Mission.

The Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday on 14 February and goes to Easter Sunday on 31 March. There are 40 days in the season – not counting the seven Sundays that are excluded – but the devotional covers them all with 47 short devotions, Bible readings and prayers. Each day there is a different quote about grace. The Bible readings speak of the undeserved love God has for each of us. We are led through Jesus’ life and ultimately to the cross where we can then celebrate his resurrection and God’s ultimate gift.

Download the Understanding Grace devotional at


Lutheran Tract Mission has many resources for you to strengthen and encourage you to see yourself as God does. Browse through our website and find what you need for your personal growth and ministry:

Please share stories with me of how tracts have spoken and reached you and others in your community! Give others new ideas as to how to use tracts in sharing God’s love!

Anne Hansen is Lutheran Tract Mission Development Officer.

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Since 2017, LCA International Mission has produced an annual prayer guide and devotional resource for the season of Lent.

By using this guide, we hope members of the LCANZ will join our church’s mission partners, as together we meditate on God’s word and pray for his global mission.

The ‘40 Days – a Lent Devotional and Prayer guide’ for 2024 carries the theme of ‘40 days with the Storyteller’.

We pray that readers will deepen their understanding of Jesus’ words by meditating on devotions written by LCA International Mission partners.

Each devotion is written by LCA International Mission partners from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Madagascar, Myanmar, Philippines, Germany, the US, Japan and Burundi.

Readers are also invited to pray for the extension of God’s kingdom, with the help of prayer prompts.

You can download and print the ‘40 Days – a Lent Devotional and Prayer guide’ from the LCA International Mission website at 

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Since 1886, more than 1000 people have been called and served as missionaries of the Lutheran church in Australia in other parts of the world.

Most of these overseas missionaries served in Papua New Guinea in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. In the years since many of the returned missionaries have met for annual reunions.

In February and March, there will be reunions for people based in South Australia and Queensland who have served in this way. The reunions are opportunities to renew friendships and relive experiences with people who shared them and understand the impact they had on their lives.

The 2024 reunion in South Australia will be held at Tanunda Lutheran Home in the Barossa Valley on Sunday 10 March, while the Queensland gathering will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at Toowoomba, on Saturday 24 February.

LCANZ’s International Mission Department has begun recognising, collecting and preserving the fascinating stories of those people who have served as our missionaries. You can find their stories presented in a timeline format at

If you would like more information or if you are one of these missionaries, or one of their children or friends, and would like to add to the story collection, please contact Erin Kerber at LCA International Mission by email at or phone 0447 354 122.

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by Libby Krahling

Lutheran Education Australia (LEA) has launched a new website and print resources to support worship and devotions in LEA learning communities.

Throughout 2023, the Worship and Devotions Project team engaged with staff in all regions to determine how best to encourage and support staff and students in their faith life. The team identified the need for clear, practical guides in everyday language, as well as supporting resources that assist staff working with students of all ages to implement devotions in classrooms and regular worship services.

The resulting LEA Guides to Worship and Devotions provide a general overview of both worship and devotions, as well as detailed advice specific to the Early Years (0-3 years, pre-school and Junior Primary), Primary and Secondary communities. The guides were printed and distributed to every LEA early childhood service and school in Australia late last year, with additional copies made available to school boards and pastors of supporting congregations.

LEA Director, Associate Professor Lisa Schmidt, said: ‘Lutheran schools and early childhood services, as part of the mission of the Lutheran church, are communities of worship and service, sharing and living the good news of Jesus Christ.’

The guides’ content is at

The site, also launched late last year, features digital and downloadable versions of each guide, as well as a host of resources for Bible stories, Bible themes, seasonal and special occasions, prayers, planning, music and much more.

Libby Krahling is LEA Worship and Devotions Project Leader.

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Are you a Laudio listener? If you haven’t yet caught up with the LCANZ’s podcast series, you can start today.

Aimed at Lutherans in Australia and New Zealand, Laudio was introduced on a trial basis in 2023 as part of the LCANZ’s efforts to shape our communications to the ways you like to receive information – as we know many people prefer to listen rather than read. The fortnightly podcasts have already covered a wide range of issues relevant to congregation leaders and members. These allow you to keep up to date with church news and the latest resources while you are on your daily commute, driving the header, or pounding the treadmill.


Some of you have been asking whether Laudio is available on third-party services, such as Spotify, Audible or Apple. Not yet. If it becomes clear that lots of people love Laudio and our Laudio eNews subscriptions increase, we’ll certainly consider graduating it to podcast platforms.

For now, to sign up to receive our email notifications when a podcast is released, access any of the 12 podcasts published so far, or check for new podcasts, go to the LCA website at

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by Tania Nelson

Social media – some people love it, others hate it, and there are a range of opinions in between. Like many tools, social media can be used for good and it can be used for evil.

While social media can weigh people down or be used as a distraction from facing present realities, Christian content via social media platforms can lift people up and remind them that they are loved by a gracious God.

Lutheran Media uses platforms including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to share messages of hope in Jesus. It’s wonderful to see that many Christian congregations and organisations also use social media to shine the light of God into the world.


According to McCrindle research, the first faith encounter for new and exploring Christians is online. Almost half of Gen Z use social media as their primary source of spiritual life. So, if young people are going to social media for spiritual encounters, what are they seeing and where are we in that landscape?

In having an active online presence through social media, we are offering a voice of hope into the lives of people who are seeking hope in a hopeless world. Lutheran Media and its associated ministry Messages of hope posts daily on social media, sharing messages of hope in Jesus to more than 6000 followers.


From 2024, Lutheran Media will post the gospel reading from the LCANZ’s lectionary readings each week on Facebook and Instagram. Lutheran Media would love you to:

  • ‘Like’ and ‘share’ these posts on your social media presence. By liking and sharing Christian content, a whole new audience (the audience of your friends and followers) hears of God’s love for us.
  • Have your church like and share the posts too.
  • Reflect on the gospel reading as preparation for your weekly worship.
  • Copy the post into your congregation’s or school’s PowerPoint slides, for example, as an introduction to the worship time or as a sermon/message slide.
  • Use the post in your church bulletin or school newsletter.

To find these posts, either follow Lutheran Media (and Messages of hope) on social media, or download the post directly from

Another great thing about the posts is that they’re free!


Encourage your congregation to have a social media presence to bless your local community.

If your congregation wishes to delve into the world of social media, check out the LCANZ’s excellent ‘Social Media Policy’ found at

My advice to a congregation that is considering a social media presence is to ensure that there are at least two administrators of your site, so that communication can be consistent and timely, and comments can be appropriately monitored.

Jesus tells us to ‘let your light shine before others’ (Matt 5:16). Social media is one means of doing just that.

Tania Nelson is Lutheran Media Manager.

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by Jonathan Krause

As the world struggles to respond to the hurt and loss of the Israel-Gaza crisis, the promise of new life is a blessing we need more than ever.

And keen gardeners, Paul, Claire and Rex from South Australia, know all about blessing others through new life. The trio knows not only how to give new life to a veggie or flower patch but also how to use their gifts – and the produce that results – to bring new life to more people through Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS).

For more than 20 years, these wonderful ALWS supporters have been planting and propagating, loading and unloading, and smiling and selling through chilly mornings and windy afternoons at weekend markets and local shows to sell plants to raise money to help people through ALWS! Paul’s wife, Annette, was a key part of the team until she was called by God last year to walk his heavenly garden.

These green thumbs have now ‘grown’ more than $500,000 with their hard work.


Thousands of kilometres from Paul’s hothouses on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide, there are hothouses at Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, which are supported by people like Paul, Rex and Claire through ALWS. There Ayenai grows capsicum, kale, spinach and tomatoes, along with outside crops of maize, pumpkin, butternuts, onions, watermelon and sorghum. She sells surplus produce to local cafes and supermarkets after she has made sure her children have enough to be healthy, strong and fit for school.

You can support Ayenai and others like her through the new season of ALWS Gifts of Grace.


Our theme this year for ALWS Gifts of Grace is ‘See your love grow’. And you’ll be able to do exactly that with gifts like:

  • Veggie seeds ($11)
  • Irrigation ($9)
  • A school food farm ($756)
  • Banana seedlings ($7)
  • A mushroom farm ($330)

The theme Bible verse for Gifts of Grace has a beautiful promise of what we can grow together, as we help bring new life to people the world forgets:

‘God will provide rain for the seeds you sow.

The grain that GROWS will be abundant’ (Isaiah 30:23).

That’s not all that’s growing. Your Grace Cards this year each have a seed diamond that can be planted (after being hung on the family Christmas tree) to produce forget-me-not flowers!

For more gifts and to order go to or phone 1300 763 407.

Jonathan Krause is ALWS Community Action Manager.

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by Anne Hansen

Sometimes what you don’t say can be more effective than a multitude of words. A smile or a word of concern can bring more people to see Jesus in you just by who you are!

Lutheran Tract Mission has many resources to help in your subtle mission. Leaving a tract in a letterbox with the words ‘Thinking of you’ or an activity sheet for a fussy child waiting for their parents – these small things can express so much.


Most Christian churches, schools, aged-care facilities and other institutions have websites. But how many times is Jesus mentioned on your website? Does it actively share the gospel? Lutheran Tract Mission has developed a subtle way to refresh your website and highlight gospel resources or a message of good news – a digital spinner. The digital spinner is free to add to any website. Just contact me at and I will create a link to get you started. You can choose from our 950 resources to put on your spinner, and it can be updated at any time, according to the church season or for any activity you may have.

Some of our Lutheran schools and congregations have already taken up this offer – see them on our website:


Lutheran Tract Mission has many Advent and Christmas resources designed to share Jesus, ‘the reason for the season’. These include a downloadable Advent devotional, stand-up and magnetic nativity sets, children’s activity books and sticker calendars and tracts, Find these and more at

Anne Hansen is Lutheran Tract Mission Development Officer.

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The 12 days of Christmas mark the period between the birth of Jesus and the visit from the wise men. For Christmas, LCA International Mission has provided Australian and New Zealand families with a resource they can use with their children during the 12 days of Christmas.

Entitled ‘Joy to the World – 12 Days of Christmas Around the World’, it shares insights into ways Christmas is celebrated among our partner countries and churches. It aims to encourage families to spend time reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas.

The booklet also includes activities for readers to do and pass on to friends and relatives who aren’t Christian. So, this is designed to be both a faith-building and faith-sharing resource.

There are three parts to each day (and country) in the booklet – firstly, information about Christmas in that country; secondly, a Bible verse and a few words about the verse; and, thirdly, a craft, activity, or recipe to do or make related to the country and/or the Bible verse. The Bible verses tell the story of Jesus’ birth as you go through the booklet.

‘Joy to the World – 12 Days of Christmas Around the World’ is a reminder that Christmas is not just about carols, decorations, beautiful lights or the gifts that we give and receive. It is about Jesus Christ. Jesus’ birth fulfilled God’s promise that he wants to bring us into his loving arms forever.

Order your booklet by emailing or by phoning 08 8267 7317, or download one at  

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LCA International Mission’s Soul Food cookbook is a great Christmas gift and family and community resource. A book of recipes from countries where the LCANZ’s partner churches are based, it contains instructions and ingredients to make 23 dishes from Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar, along with colourful photos. By ordering your copy (or copies), you support ministry done through hospitality among LCA International Mission partner churches, with all proceeds helping our overseas partners to share the gospel.

Order your book or some extra copies to give away for a donation of $20 per copy, plus postage.

For more information or to order, contact Erin Kerber at or phone 08 8267 7317.

You can also watch a video about the book, which features testimonies from our overseas mission partners at  

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