By Linda Murdock

Truly I say to you, wherever the good news is preached in all the world, what this woman did will also be told in memory of her.

Jesus never failed to notice the unselfish work of others. His appreciation for the woman with the alabaster jar is noted in Mark 14: 3-9. The woman anointed Jesus with perfume in appreciation for what He would do for her.

The Council of Lutheran Women (CLW) is a network of Detroit and suburban churches and inter-congregational organizations that meet to share information about women’s ministry and opportunities to serve in their community. Every year they plan a luncheon program to honor women who have been selected as the Woman of the Year in local congregations. St. Luke is a member of CLW through our Lutheran Women In Mission (LWML) ministry. The 2015 luncheon will be held on Tuesday, March 17 at the Sterling Inn, Sterling Heights at 11:15 a.m.

We are pleased to announce that Linda Schilbe has been chosen as our Woman of the Year by virtue of her long-standing volunteer commitment to St. Luke (Hope Clinic and Giving Tree) and the Living Water site. In particular, Linda has a heart for caregiving to people of all ages, particularly children, young mothers, and the elderly. She has been blessed with the gifts of discernment, giving, and teaching as evidenced by the care she shows to others and bestows on her abundant flower and vegetable gardens.

He called the crowd to him along with His disciples and said, “If anyone would follow after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)

Just as Jesus chose a gifted team of disciples to carry out His earthly mission, Linda is part of the Children’s Ministry team at Living Water, where she currently serves as the coordinator of Children’s Church. She was the first Children’s Ministry leader at Living Water and served in that capacity for several years. According to Linda “somehow I was selected to lead Children’s Ministry.”

Any apprehension on her part was relieved through Linda’s experience during Vacation Bible School in 2005, when she enjoyed team teaching with other gifted women at Living Water. Just like Jesus called the disciples, someone saw Linda’s potential as a leader and asked her to step forward in faith.

“Come follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed Him.” (Mark 1:16-18)

Linda Schilbe has continually shown her unselfish attitude by working “under the radar” at Living Water, where she has an uncanny ability to see where needs exist in families and then takes action to help fill those needs. Pastor Dan Flynn relies on Linda’s proactive spirit in order to help him do ministry. She cooks, cleans, and mentors whenever and wherever she sees that something can be done.

Linda’s pastor, Dan Flynn, put it this way, “Linda is my partner in ministry. She intuitively knows how to care for people and extends care into their lives. I’ve seen her take meals to homes, work on the gardens of people in the congregation, and offer empathy to those suffering physically and emotionally. Linda has an extraordinary gift of mercy. I am really blessed to serve with her at Living Water.”

Linda finds great joy in serving others and is thankful for her good health, resources, and a very supportive husband named Doug. She faithfully fills her LWML mite box to help fund grants for organizations like MOST Ministries and Women of the Pearl.

Reservations for the 51st annual Woman of the Year luncheon are $24 per person and can be made by contacting Linda Murdock or Carol Shaffer by February 16. Proceeds from this event help to fund multiple scholarships for seminary students and two Concordia University Ann Arbor scholarships. Recipients from St. Luke/Living Water include: Jonathan Petzold, Adam Steinbrenner, and Adam Peitsch.