Bold Connections

 

 



 

Stay connected with Bold Connections

View the latest issue of Bold Connections, the monthly e-newsletter that features the latest news and information about our programs and activities. Bold Connections is delivered via e-mail toward the end of the month.

 

 

September 2014
Published September 30, 2014

WHAT'S YOUR STORY?
Yet this fall 16 of our synodical women's organizations are meeting in conventions, and the newly-elected churchwide executive board will gather for its first meeting. It's easy to get caught up in business (or choose to ignore business) and lose sight of our mission and purpose. Pause a few times this fall to talk with other women and ask about their faith stories. You'll be inspired to live out our mission and purpose in new and exciting ways!

APPLICATION PERIOD FOR SEED GRANTS OPENS OCTOBER 15

Will the churchwide organization plant a seed in your congregation, allowing to engage women and girls in your church and communities in making and fostering emotionally, spiritually and physically healthy choices?
 
The 2014 - 2015 cycle for seed grants in our health initiative, Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls, opens October 15. Application materials will be available at womenoftheelca.org. All applications must be postmarked or emailed by December 15, 2014 and be submitted by active units of Women of the ELCA who are familiar with the Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls initiative and the criteria of this program.  

NEED SOME INSPIRATION FOR YOUR THANKOFFERING SERVICE?
 
Sue Connors, president of Pacifica SWO, recently offered a Thankoffering challenge to the units in her SWO. In Sue's column in the September issue of their newsletter, she writes: "Thank you to the churchwide staff of the Women of the ELCA, the churchwide board, and all that planned, worked and participated in the Triennial Gathering in Charlotte. .... How can we show our gratitude for a job well done? With every unit taking a Thankoffering. ... There are as many ways as there are units to collect this special offering."

Take up Sue's challenge. The 2014-2015 Thankoffering service is now available, with songs, prayers, and litanies from the opening worship service, held July 24, 2014, at the Ninth Triennial Gathering. See how one congregational unit breathed new life into Thankofferings.


For more about offerings and stewardship, download the 2014-2015 stewardship guide.

CALLED TO EXAMINE GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. What better way to observe the month than by reviewing a draft social message on gender-based violence?


The ELCA Church Council has authorized a social message on gender-based violence. Messages are adopted by the Church Council as a means to encourage learning and moral discourse. The tentative timeline calls for a message, or messages, to be considered by the Church Council in April of 2015.

Download the draft social message. Get a group together to study that draft, providing everyone with copies. Then complete a response form, either individually or as a group. Check out these FAQs. The comment period runs through November 26.


REACHING BEYOND WITH COMMUNICATION

Do you use the micro-blogging site Twitter to invite new audiences to participate in your women's group? Approximately 19% of women are using this social media outlet to share about events they attend, their thoughts and even their ministry. Considering the largest group of Twitter users are between the ages of 18-49, if you would like to invite women in this age range, you need to use Twitter. There are a lot of helpful links to get you started. Also, you can ask any person at church, in your family and among your friends to teach you how to tweet. Check out how we used our hashtag #welcatg, to share about our triennial gathering this past July.
 
While Twitter can help you get information out about your ministry, your own personal, authentic invitation is really more important than any social media tool. What tools are you using to invite more women?

JOIN OVER 500 SMART WOMEN

Over 500 women have already preregistered for the Tenth Triennial Gathering to be held July 13-16, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minn. Join the crowd and preregister before the end of this year and you get a discounted registration fee of just $280. Now who's smart

DONATE TODAY 
Want to make a difference in women's lives, here and around the globe? Make a gift today to Women of the ELCA. 

 



August 2014
Published August 28, 2014

ARE YOU READY?

It's time to gear up for another program year. We've got a new Bible study and Thankoffering service. Our triennial convention delegates set before us new social justice issues that require our response. Luckily there were over 2,300 women fired up in Charlotte last month, so find someone in your community who attended the Ninth Triennial Gathering and have her help shape your plans. It's going to be a great year!

BISHOP EATON'S ADDRESS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

Earlier this week we announced on Facebook that Bishop Elizabeth Eaton's address to the Ninth Triennial Gathering is available online. Darlene Smith, of Erie, Pa., wrote, "It was even better the second time!!"

We led our status update with "you've been waiting for this." Many agreed. "Thank you, thank you," wrote Liz Loring-Brennan Burgess, president of the New England Synodical Women's Organization. "Yes, we have been waiting. Our CU is going to invite women to view together and 'spread the word.' Thank you for this timely resource."  

Lecia White, of Columbus, Ohio, offered this great response. "Wow. Gives me hope for the future of our church and of our world!"

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

Delegates to the Ninth Triennial Convention took action last month on several social justice issues, including human trafficking, bullying, creating safe places and the current immigration crisis involving children. These actions call into action every expression of Women of the ELCA--congregational units, synodical women's organizations and the churchwide women's organization. Read and study the actions taken and determine how you will respond.

WHAT IF $1 MILLION IS JUST THE BEGINNING?
 
In December 2012, Women of the ELCA set a historic goal to grow its endowment, Katie's Fund, to $1 million by the start of the Ninth Triennial Gathering, which was held July 24-27 in Charlotte, N.C. In fact, participants learned that Katie's Fund had exceeded the goal, reaching $1,051,112.

Katie's Fund was established in 1997 as an endowment for the churchwide women's organization. Each year, the interest we earn is available to support ministries of leadership development, global connections and living theology.

NEW STEWARDSHIP GUIDE, THANKOFFERING SERVICE ONLINE

 
Is it time to plan your next Thankoffering event? The 2014-2015 Thankoffering service is now available, with songs, prayers, and litanies from the opening worship service, held July 24, 2014, at the Ninth Triennial Gathering. For more about offerings and stewardship, download the 2014-2015 stewardship guide.


WE VOTED. NOW WHAT?

At the Ninth Triennial Convention, Syd Brinkman voted "no" to reducing the size of the executive board.
This led her to vote "yes" to increasing the budget. In today's blog post, Syd reflects on what these votes mean for her financial giving and yours. "This isn't a flashy blog post," she begins, "but it calls us to great responsibility."

RELIVE THE GATHERING WITH PHOTOS, SOCIAL MEDIA
Experience the triennial gathering again through social media. This blog post tells you how!

DONATE TODAY 
Want to make a difference in women's lives, here and around the globe? Make a gift today to Women of the ELCA. 

 



July 2014
Published August 1, 2014

WHAT A WEEK IT WAS!
Worship, speakers, workshops, servant events, business sessions and even simple conversations over meals formed a space last week for rich inter-generational dialogue among women of six generations. Read on for inspiration, ideas and more!

BOARD ELECTED, JUSTICE ISSUES ADDRESSED
The Ninth Triennial Convention met July 22-24, 2014. Here's an overview of business conducted:

  • The convention offering of $67,532.91 will be shared with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the Charlotte-based On Eagles' Wings Ministries and the churchwide organization of Women of the ELCA.

SPEAKERS EXPLORED GATHERING THEME, MOVED PARTICIPANTS    
Laughter and tears went hand in hand as featured speakers and preachers explored the triennial gathering theme, of many generations. 

In her sermon during opening worship, Claire Burkat laid the foundation for the gathering. "We will be honoring and remembering  generations, the generations of women upon whose shoulders we stand. ... And we will be discerning ways to equip and raise up the next generation for word and witness and service in the world," she added. Burkat said that "we are living in a time in history unlike any other time ever in the history of humanity" because six generations are living at the same time. (And all six generations were represented at the gathering.)
 
Focusing on the theme verse, Isaiah 58:12, Susan Sparks reminded participants that laughter can help repair and rebuild the
breaches in life.  
 
By explaining the ministry of Magdalene and Thistle Farms, Becca Stevens told participants "It is in coming together, in
speaking our truth, in being honest with one another that we begin the rebuilding and restoration process."

IN OTHER GATHERING NEWS
It's impossible to do it all at a triennial gathering, so check out some of the activities you might have missed through this summary.


2014-2015 THANKOFFERING SERVICE AVAILABLE NOW
 
The 2014-2105 Thankoffering Service (used at opening worship at the Ninth Triennial Gathering) is now available for download. Continue a tradition that stretches back more than 100 years by holding a Thankoffering Service in your congregation this fall. Download the service now.

YOUR OPINION MATTERS
Delegates to the Ninth Triennial Convention are invited to complete an online delegate evaluation.
Participants at the Ninth Triennial Gathering are also invited to complete an online gathering evaluation
Both evaluations are available through Friday, August 8.

RELIVE GATHERING WITH PHOTOS, SOCIAL MEDIA
Experience the triennial gathering again through social media. This blog post tells you how!

DONATE TODAY 
Want to make a difference in women's lives, here and around the globe? Make a gift today to Women of the ELCA.