As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts, support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society and the world.
October President’s Report
WOW! My mind is whirling from the information packed into the 10th Annual Triennial Convention and Gathering. The convention was the work of the people, our women, who met in to discuss business, elect officers and board members, participate in Bible Study, and hear fantastic speakers.
At the Gathering we learned more about PV for Phebe, a solar panel project which is now complete. PV means “photovoltaic” – the process by which light is turned into electricity. PV for Phebe is a project of Northeastern Minnesota’s Synodical Women’s Organization, voted on by the 9th Triennial Convention in 2014. Donations provided solar panels for electricity to the Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing near Monrovia, Liberia, so that there is no worry that the electricity may shut down. Future donations will help cover the cost of medicine and supplies. Women of the ELCA is currently supporting Phebe Hospital Nursing School and Curran Hospital, a ministry of the Lutheran Church in Liberia.
The Presidents of Region 2, which includes 2A Sierra Pacific, 2B Southwest CA, 42C Pacifica, 2D Grand Canyon, and 2E Rocky Mountain, met August 29. During a conference call with Women of the ELCA churchwide administrators Lisa Polin, Linda Post-Buskofsky and Valora Starr, each conference answered Lisa’s request to describe a SWO joy. I mentioned our Autumn Renewal coming up at California Lutheran University entitled “Dream Anew,” coinciding with the Western States Youth Gathering “Dream Big” and the 10th Triennial “All Anew”. During this conference call, I heard many new ideas. The Grand Canyon SWO will have Mark Allen Powell come to discuss his 2018 Bible Study. Most are planning their fall gathering and working on their newsletters.
Dream Anew, our Autumn Renewal, is set for October 20 – 22, 2017 at California Lutheran University. Our theme is based on Ephesians 3: 20-21. Valora Starr is our Bible Study leader and Rahel Mwitula Williams is our keynote speaker. Valora Starr, as director for discipleship, develops and coordinates programs, events and conversations that involve discerning God’s call, understanding God’s gifts and responding to God’s presence in our lives. She also serves as coordinator of Women of the ELCA’s global education network and administers the scholarships program, which offers annual scholarships for post-secondary education and graduate studies. Rahel Mwitula-Williams, a third-generation Lutheran, tells about growing up in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.
This is the year, the 500th year of the anniversary of Reformation, we in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America use the theme “Freed and Renewed in Christ.” “500 Years of God’s Grace in Action” is a tagline. In “The Freedom of a Christian” (1520) Martin Luther famously wrote :“A Christian is lord of all, completely free of everything; a Christian is a servant, completely attentive to the needs of all.” The ELCA’s theme expresses this message of the Christian faith’s freedom and a renewed life of service to others in Jesus Christ.
The Southwest California Synod just completed the Reformation Roadtrip from the South end of the synod to the North. Six churches were selected and Bishop Guy Erwin, a Luther scholar, gave inspiring lectures. The Synod currently is retaping these lectures, and they will be made available as soon as possible.
What has your church planned for the 500th Anniversary? I located five dramas on Luther that St. Timothy in Lakewood presented with our Lenten Evening prayer. The Greater Long Beach Conference is planning a Reformation Service for October 29 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Long Beach, with Bishop Erwin presiding. The Gather Bible Studies for 2017 – 2018 is something I would encourage each unit to purchase and participate in.