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After a century of service: Auxiliary disbands

Dear Members of the Eastern Synod: 

It is with regret and a measure of sadness that the board of The Auxiliary of Martin Luther University College has decided to disband the organization.  

The Women’s Auxiliary began its existence in 1913 when Ida Stahlschmidt (of Preston) gathered four women who believed that a women’s group could be a good support to the newly established seminary. For over 106 years, the Auxiliary has been supporting students studying at the seminary for the Lutheran ministry, as well as those who were enrolled at Waterloo College School; Waterloo College of Arts; and in later years, Waterloo Lutheran University. In recent decades, Auxiliary members have focused their work on supporting students enrolled in clinical pastoral education (CPE) programs; tending to the school’s gardens; gathering quilts crafted by Lutheran congregations and presenting them to newly rostered ministers; and decorating the school for festive seasons.  

Over the past years, numerous changes have brought us to this difficult decision to wrap-up the AuxiliaryThe waning number of women’s groups in local congregations has been reflected in declining support for the Auxiliarydecreasing attendance at annual meetings, and a lack of volunteers to provide ongoing leadership. In addition, fewer Lutheran MDiv students pursuing studies toward pastoral ministry and changes in the programmatic offerings at Luther have also contributed to this conclusion  

We are rightfully proud of the rich legacy of the Auxiliary and all that it has done to support pastoral students in their education at the seminary for over a century. In recognition of their contribution to the life of the church it had been hoped that a celebration thonour the ministry of the Auxiliary and those who contributed to its work would be held. But like so many other things, it had to be cancelled because of COVID-9. It is still our desire to have such a celebration and we hope to organize one sometime in Spring 2021. Stay tuned for further details. 

There continues to be a desire to continue the work to provide scholarships for students enrolled at Luther to take CPE. If you wish to donate to these scholarships you can send a cheque made out to Martin Luther University College, noting CPE scholarships, or donate through our website. As well, the quilts continue to be stored at Luther and will be given to Lutheran students when they are ordained. Most recently, Rev. Brooklyn Lane received a quilt on August 22nd. She has most recently begun her ministry in Mahone Bay, N.S.  

We remain hopeful that we will be able to physically gather next spring. We will share more information, as it becomes available, directly with our membersthrough the Eastern Synod, and through Luther’s newsletters and social media accounts. 

Kind regards, 

Helen Weber 

The Auxiliary of Martin Luther University College 


Kristine Lund 

Interim Principal-Dean 

Martin Luther University College 

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