Alphabetical list of resources
You are practical and methodical--or you just happen to know the name of the resource you want. Use this alphabetical listing to find the resource that is right for you or your group. Many of these resources are in Spanish. Don’t forget that most of these are free and easy to download. But we would love it if you made a donation to the organization!
Make this easy-to-assemble bookmark for yourself or as a group project. Use it in your Bible, journal, diary or other book as a reminder of your mission as a participant in Women of the ELCA: to act boldly on your faith in Jesus Christ. Download the instructions with photos.
Act Boldly for Health
This three-part Bible study supports Women of the ELCA's Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls initiative. Each approximately one-hour session is designed for group use but can also be used by an individual.
Session One: Act Boldly with Balance
Session Two: Act Boldly in Crisis
Session Three: Act Boldly toward the Goal
Act Boldly for Mission
This three-part Bible study explores how women can boldly take part in God's mission to love, bless, and save the world. To be in the church, says author Kelly Fryer, is to participate in that mission by sharing the good news about Jesus Christ in word and deed. Each approximately one-hour session is designed for group use but can also be used by an individual.
Session One: With the Message of Jesus
Session Two: Like the First Evangelists
Session Three: In the Power of the Holy Spirit
A Different Kind of Journey: Advent as a walk, not a sprint
A Different Kind of Journey offers several practices to explore, each helping you discover what is waiting to be born in you in the upcoming Advent season. Whichever of the practices you adopt, you are invited to follow Mary's example and ponder things in your heart as we await the coming of Jesus. Download your free copy.
Advent: A Season for All Generations
This two-part Advent program can be used by a group of any size. You’ll discuss various customs and explore the biblical figures of Advent (Zechariah and Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna, Joseph and Mary, and more). You might use it with your regular study group or as a special Advent Bible study group. Each part takes about 20 to 45 minutes and includes prayer, hymns, Scripture, narration, and discussion. Download your free copy.
All About Thankofferings
This program will help you better understand the history and significance of Women of the ELCA’s Thankoffering tradition. Did you know that the concept of Thankoffering celebrations dates back more than 100 years and beyond Lutherans? Thankofferings show gratitude for God’s blessings and give us an important and tangible way to express that gratitude. It is a tradition grounded in our celebration of community, of meeting together to joyfully give thanks for what God has given us. Download your free copy.
A Thoughtful Prayer Life
A Thoughtful Prayer Life: Making time and space for what matters explores some of Martin Luther’s and Deitrich Bonhoeffer’s thoughts on prayer. You’re invited to consider times at work where you feel particularly prayerful and reflect on times of trouble that drive you to prayer, among other things. This resource includes a hands-on bead making activity. Download your free copy. (top)
Learn what “virtual water consumption” is, how North Americans compare to Europeans and Africans on water use, and easy ways to conserve and recycle water—which is good not only for the local and global environment but for your wallet, too. Download your free copy.
A Bold Life of Faith: Katharina von Bora Luther
Katie Luther was a wife, mother, farmer, brewmaster, innkeeper, and more. In all that she did, she acted boldly on her faith in Jesus Christ. There’s a little bit of Katie in all of us. Learn about Katie while learning more about yourself. Use this resource, designed to take about an hour, a small group or individually. Download your free copy.
This series of eight programs for groups, each designed to take about 60-90 minutes, offers a wide variety of opportunities to explore together what God is calling you to be and to do.
- Called to a Global Perspective: Passport to Your Heart helps women to see themselves as a part of a global community in which all can play leadership roles.
- Called to Be Global Sisters: Seeing Each Other with New Eyes increases our understanding of women from other cultures. A one-hour program that includes role plays and probing discussion questions.
- Called to Be Political: But I Don't Want to Be Political! offers a fascinating glimpse into the teachings of Martin Luther on the role of Christians in politics and explores how those teachings still speak to us. A two-hour program.
- Called to Be Women in Mission: Exploring New Opportunities provides a biblical foundation for understanding God's call to be women in mission — in our homes, congregations, communities, and world.
- Called to Deal with Difficult Issues: A Challenging Ministry presents a process for thinking theologically as we face difficult issues in our daily lives.
- Called to Ethical Decision Making: No Easy Answers, a two-hour workshop, explores the Lutheran ethical approach and the complexities involved in ethical decision making, and offers participants practical experience in ethical deliberation.
- Called to Love as God Loves — Unconditionally! is a three-session resource that focuses on God's call to love ourselves, to love our neighbors, and to support one another.
- Called to Obey God: It's Not Easy Being Jonah probes the book of Jonah for help in learning how to discern our role in carrying out God's vision for the whole of creation. (top)
Caring for the Earth as God's People
Discover what it means to have dominion over the earth and see why caring for the earth is an expression of gratitude to God for its riches. Use this short resource in connection with Earth Day or any time you want to explore increasing your commitment to caring for creation. Download your free copy.
The National Observance of Children's Sabbaths is an intergenerational and interfaith event dedicated to speaking out and acting faithfully on behalf of children and families. This short resource is an introduction to Children's Sabbath with tips on planning, suggestions for activities and action, planning and promotion ideas, and sermon help. Download your free copy.
The Colors of Christmas: A Reflection on Preparing for Christmas
Our celebrations are often sprinkled with seasonal traditions that bring us joy and remind us of times gone by or people who have graced our lives. Do you know where or when your traditions began and the meaning behind them? This resource takes a look at the some of the customs around Christmas. Download your free copy.
This introductory resource to commercial sexual exploitation (CSE), or sex trafficking, includes background on CSE and why Women of the ELCA is involved in the effort to end it, action steps, worship resources, links to online resources, and a list of ministries that work to address the challenge of CSE and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Download your free copy. (top)
Epiphany is a church festival celebrated on January 6. We also have epiphanies throughout our lives—sometimes suddenly, sometimes gradually—of how we understand the world, ourselves, and others. This resource looks at epiphany as both unfolding discovery and sudden illumination. Download your free copy.
The Faces of Grief is a three-session resource designed to help you find wholeness and peace after loss. Loss comes in many forms: miscarriage, trauma, natural disaster, goodbyes, death, foreclosure, to name just a few. Discover your own grieving process, explore how grief can transform you, learn to feel the feelings of grief. The Faces of Grief is filled with questions for reflection, discussion or journaling. Download your free copy. (top)
Finding Your Bold: An Ice-Breaker
Boldness comes in many forms. Some is bright and loud. Some is firm and quiet. Women of the ELCA celebrates this range of voices, knowing that the avenues for bold self-expression are limitless. Do you have a definition of BOLD? What do you believe is your best BOLD? Come explore what "bold" is. Download your free copy.
Discovering or recovering your spiritual gifts and exploring how you can better use them is part of growing in faith and discipleship. Gifts for You, complete with two Bible studies, will help you in that discovery with its spiritual gifts assessment. Download your free copy.
God Colors Outside the Lines: A Short Workshop on Diversity and God's Church
Diversity is one way God demonstrates genius at coloring outside the lines. Through scripture and simple, brief exercises, this short resource will help you demonstrate how diversity is a gift from God, as well as a trait of God, worthy of our exploration and embrace. Download your free copy.
We continue our focus on women’s health in all its many facets. If we look at our complete and total health holistically, doesn’t it make sense to include financial health? When we consider health in mind, body, and spirit, do we ponder how financial health and giving are integral to our wellbeing? Grace-Full Living can be used in its entirety all at once or divided over a longer period of time. It is divided into three parts of about 60 minutes each. Use in a congregational setting, as a conference event, or as a workshop. Download your free copy. (top)
Hospitality is more than being warm and friendly. It is a transforming way of life that opens our hearts to seeing Christ in others and being available to those in need. This resource is designed for individual study but can also be used in a group setting and should take about 60 minutes. Download your free copy.
How to Lead a Bible Study
Whether you are a confident, experienced leader or are struck with terror when someone asks, "Could you help lead the Bible study?" this resource offers practical suggestions and will motivate and inspire you to claim—or reclaim—your role in building up the body of Christ through teaching. You can lead Bible study! Download your free copy.
Our mission statement calls us to act boldly. What does this mean? It means a variety of things, for boldness has a range of voices. Some is bright and loud. Some is firm and quiet. Do you know what is your “best bold”? This program will help you discover it and put it into action! I Am She can be used in a congregational setting, as a conference event, or as part of a synodical convention. It could be conducted over five to six weeks or as a weekend retreat. So boldly claim your boldness today, declaring, “I am she!” Download your free copy. (top)
Journaling can open up pathways to new thoughts, new insights and new energy. If you're intrigued by the idea of journaling but need some guidance on how to get started, this resource will show you the many benefits of regular journaling and set you on your way. This resource is primarily for individuals, but it would also be good for a small group that wants to come together to learn about journaling and then support one another along the way by sharing tips, struggles, inspiration and success stories. Download your free copy.
Do you discuss your beliefs and values around giving together as a family? Have you ever asked your children if there are places or causes they would like the family to make a commitment to? This short resource has ideas to help you start talking about giving with your family. It includes conversation starters, questions for personal reflection and ideas on how to make giving a regular part of your children's lives. Download your free copy.
Knitting as a Spiritual Practice
Knitting, a once grandmotherly craft, has been rediscovered. New generations of women are toting their knitting bags around, making scarves, hats and prayer shawls. Knitting has also emerged as a spiritual practice that opens a way to meditation. Understand the connection between craft and spirituality with his simple scarf project that will help you practice deliberate focus and meet the Divine as you work. Download your free copy. (top)
Our resource engages your imagination as you explore Lenten practices and our Christian history. Intended for use by a group, this resource also includes Lenten practices, some of which can be taken up immediately and others that call for additional preparation. Download your free copy.
Lessons for Today's Disciples
This resource will help you discover, practice, and be empowered by the seven marks of discipleship: praying, studying, worshiping, inviting, encouraging, serving, and giving. Use it individually or as a group study, perhaps covering each of the seven marks over seven sessions of about an hour each. Download your free copy.
The Level Playing Field
We are called by our constitution to be an anti-racist organization. This program is part of our anti-racism education materials and uses an activity called The Level Playing Field to help people make the connection between racism and real life. It is ideally used with a cross-cultural group, either large or small. Download your free copy.
Listening to God: A Guide to Discernment
This resource was written for Women of the ELCA by Debra Farrington, a popular author and motivational speaker. It consists of six flexible hour-long sessions exploring what it means for an individual to discern God's hopes and desires for her life and what it means for a group to discern what their God-given gifts are for ministry. Ideal for a small group in either a retreat or workshop setting. Download your free copy.
Living a Life of Daily Bread
A reflection on the phrase “Give us this day our daily bread” that explores what you can learn about by baking bread: patience, community, how to be intentional and attentive, and the joy that comes from wide-eyed anticipation. Can easily be used as a one-day retreat, complete with bread-baking! Download your free copy.
Living from the Heart of God: A Journal for Life's Stages
This journal for women of all ages offers reflections, devotions, and prayers on the many life stages and experiences of women, from first friends to marriage and family life, from buying a home to chronic illness. Each section also includes space for the reader to record her own thoughts, prayers, and experiences. Available in print only. Please contact us for a copy or call 800-638-3522, ext. 2730.
Living Hope: Funeral Hymns and Scripture
Have you thought about hymns or Bible readings for your funeral? Or the funeral of a loved one? Living Hope: Funeral Hymns and Scripture guides your exploration of hymns and Bible readings, drawing on the experiences of women and worship planners. Living Hope offers a great 90 minute program, but it can easily be expanded into two sessions or even a three-hour mini-retreat. Download your free copy.
Looking into the Mirror: A Lenten Reflection
Lent is about looking into a metaphorical mirror, the kind we hold up to out souls. Use the Lenten season to refocus your faith life and realign your relationship with God through 40 days of reflection. The discussion questions work best in small groups, though this resource can also be used independently. Download your free copy. (top)
Acts 1:8 commissioned the apostles to engage in mission to the ends of the earth. We have received the same command; we no longer leave our global mission ministry to men and women who leave home for years to go to parts unknown. Each of the four sections of this short program—Purpose, Language, Approach and Navigate—contains commentary, biblical references with questions and directions for connecting the P.L.A.N. Once completed, it will give participants a new tool for viewing and navigating their participation in global mission. Download your free copy.
This resource is your starting point for participating in our health initiative, Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls. It is a guide to having healthy dialogue in your community about women's total health: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Use it with your women's group, as part of a cluster or conference event, or as part of a synodical convention. Try it with a confirmation class or with young adults. The program can be used over several sessions or as a one-day retreat. Download your free copy.
Out of the Mouths of Babes
Author Barbara Gove Gill offers 21 heart-warming devotions inspired by insights from children, enriched by questions for discussion and reflection. Can be used by individuals as well as by groups. Download your free copy. (top)
This resource helps you build a book club that suits your style. It features four different book clubs along with an annual book retreat and the reflections of a solo reader. A helpful companion for those wanting to learn about book clubs or how to start one, Page Turners can take those in existing book clubs to a new level with its creative ideas. Six book lists are included. Download your free copy.
Paths to Wholeness
How is your spiritual life? Do you sometimes find it hard to connect with God or let God connect with you? Would like to try some new things? Take a journey in spirituality and learn about the many different paths to God. Paths to Wholeness is a retreat experience that offers a holistic approach to spirituality. You will recognize your own spiritual paths as well as the spiritual paths of others. This retreat resource can be conducted over a period of several weeks and is ideal for a one-day retreat. Download your free copy.
Pentecost, Prayer and Power
This short program connects the disciples’ experience at Pentecost and the days leading up to it with three areas in which we can be a blessing to others through prayer and action: women’s health, violence against women and clearing the “red tape” that keeps people from being fully empowered. Download your free copy.
Planting Seeds for a Healthy Tomorrow
This resource can be used to introduce your unit—or better yet, all the women in your congregation—to the Women of the ELCA health initiative, Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls. It includes 17 easily adaptable program ideas that have been created and used by congregations just like yours from around the country. Programs include health and wellness fairs, healthy eating education, exercise and fitness programs, health retreats and more. Download your free copy. (top)
This new resource offers step-by-step information on how you can carry out a service project that helps incarcerated mothers and fathers read to their children. Your congregation donates books, blank tapes, and recorders, and then volunteers help parents choose a book, record it, and mail the recording to their children. Rachel’s Day is observed by Women of the ELCA annually on the first Sunday in May, though it can be observed any time of the year. It is a time set aside to mourn the loss of our children and to renounce the forces of violence and fear. Download your free copy.
Also see our more extensive section on Rachel's Day for more ideas on observing the day, including a litany and responsive reading and other resources. [TO COME]
Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls: Connecting with and Supporting Girls
Girls need the women in their lives more than ever as they search for deeper connections and for more than their peers can provide. Talking and being with them early in their lives will help us to help them navigate their most challenging life passages. This resource is designed to help women and girls build relationships and can be used by an individual or with a planning group. Allow about 60 minutes for the first meeting. Download your free copy.
Renew. Respond. Rejoice!
This resource is intended as an introduction to some of concepts that were explored at the triennial gathering in 2011. Participants will also have the opportunity to view themselves and others anew as expressions of God’s goodness in human form. Download your free copy.
Resurrection: A Holy Discipline
In Luke 20:36, we are called “children of the resurrection.” What does this mean? Is it a reference to a future event, the resurrection of our spiritual selves? Or might it have implications for our lives and the lives of others here and now? Consider how resurrection might appear in our everyday lives here and now with this multi-session program. Download your free copy. (top)
This is a helpful guide to creating a personal sacred space that enriches and supports your practice of regular worship within a community of faith. Learn how to select and create a sacred space, whether that space is a whole room, a quiet corner of a room, or your garden. Download your free copy.
Sacred Space as Metaphor
Sacred Space as Metaphor follows an earlier resource, Sacred Spaces. Since we know God creates a sacred space within each of us, we can live into this metaphor, embracing all that is ours in Christ and the question, “In what ways am I experiencing the life of Christ?” This resource will help you engage the sacred work of growing into Christ as a bearer and reflector of God’s grace and love for the world. Download your free copy.
Shared Wisdom: An Effective Style of Leadership
Are there occasional (even frequent?) differences of opinion at your meetings? Do tempers flare? This resource summarizes a group discernment model for decision-making built on the principle that every person has a piece of the wisdom, but not all of it. Try it at your next meeting to help move you in a new direction. Download your free copy.
Speaking Faith through Art
Explore how one's deepest convictions can be expressed through art by looking at the work of two Christian artists from different centuries. Lucas Cranach was a painter, propagandist, printer and illustrator during the Reformation. Sister Corita Kent was a nun who used her artistic gifts to communicate her commitment to the anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1950s and 60s. How does art inspire you or help you express what you believe? Download your free copy.
Stand Up for Justice
This is a good first step in your journey toward tackling tough issues. Working for justice is not a quick and easy process but a long-term commitment involving both reflection and action. In this justice journey, your actions emerge after Bible study, prayer, reflection, listening, research, and careful planning. This resource can be used by individuals as well as by groups. Download your free copy.
Stitches and Scripture
This 4-session Bible study takes place over seven weeks and pairs seasoned knitting mentors with beginners. Novice knitters will learn several basic knitting techniques as the group makes scarves and dishcloths, perhaps to donate to others. Everyone will learn a bit about how knitting is frequently used in Scripture as a metaphor to describe God’s creative and intimate relationship with us. Download your free copy.
The Story of Peter and Cornelius
This Bible study on Acts 10, the story of Peter and Cornelius, can also be used in your group to introduce people to Scripture that affirms diversity as being both of God and part of the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The study consists of an introduction (to be read aloud by the leader at the beginning of the study), five brief sessions with questions for reflection on a passage of Scripture, and a closing prayer or litany. This study can be done at one time or broken out into shorter sessions. Download your free copy. (top)
This 30-40 minute tool can be used as an ice-breaker activity at the beginning of a retreat, workshop, or other group time. Its meditative approach helps participants to clear their minds, to "do what they need to do" in order to become open and ready for their time together as a group. Download your free copy.
Human trafficking is the third-largest criminal industry in the world after drugs and arms trafficking. It is a much wider problem than most of us realize because it is often so well hidden. This program will help you understand what human trafficking is, what is being done to stop it and how you and your church can participate in those efforts. Download your free copy.
Help your church family open its hearts to people, especially those often marginalized by society. This resource will help you identify barriers to welcoming strangers and develop a deeper understanding of the meaning of hospitality. Designed for group use and can be completed in about 3 hours, or over 4 shorter sessions. Download your free copy.
The Witness of Women
This 3-year program is based on the Samaritan woman's encounter with Jesus. Year One focuses on helping individuals and groups become comfortable with their own stories, explore the call to be a witness, study biblical examples of witness, and recommit to evangelism. Year Two focuses on how your witness affects the lives of others and how you, in turn, are affected by the sharing. Year Three prepares you to do intentional evangelism and observe changes in the lives of others. To order, and for more information, please contact us or call the churchwide office at 800-638-3522, ext. 2741.
Who? Me? Women of Faith Making a Difference
Individuals and groups can use this 8-step process for addressing justice issues that affect women, children, and families. Learn how to gather information from those with firsthand experience, welcome new partners in your work, identify issues, and develop action plans. This program can be conducted over 6 sessions of about one hour each.
Download your free copy.
Women Over 50 and HIV/AIDS
In the United States, the number of new cases of HIV among women 50 years of age and older has been increasing at an alarming rate. This is a population well represented within our organization and denomination, and among our friends and family. This short program addresses the need for people over 50 to know how to protect themselves and help their neighbors learn how to protect themselves. Download your free copy. (top)
A Thoughtful Prayer Life
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
A Thoughtful Prayer Life: Making time and space for what matters explores some of Martin Luther’s and Deitrich Bonhoeffer’s thoughts on prayer. You’re invited to consider times at work where you feel particularly prayerful and reflect on times of trouble that drive you to prayer, among other things. This resource includes a hands-on bead making activity.