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Excitement builds as registration opening nears

Excitement builds as registration opening nears

Triennial gatherings bring Lutheran women together from across the church with life-changing workshops, worship, Bible study and more. The Ninth Triennial Gathering, July 24-27, 2014, will be no exception. Women will gather in Charlotte, N.C., under the theme “of many generations.” Featured speakers, preachers and workshop leaders will bring the gathering theme to life, exploring the theme verse from Isaiah 58:12, “Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.”

Understanding the theme

The theme describes who we are: women of many ages, places and experiences. It reminds us whose we are: women surrounded by generations—those among us, those who came before and those who will come after. The theme invites every woman to claim her place at the gathering and in Women of the ELCA, not despite her age or experience, but because of it.

The theme boldly names what so many see as a problem—not having enough generations involved in Women of the ELCA or the church. Instead of pointing to a problem, this theme calls us to identify and celebrate how we are already living out the identity of many generations. The theme invites women to participate in the present-day rebuilding of economies, market places, relationships, neighborhoods and places of worship. Isaiah 58-12 paints a picture of what will happen if we follow the call to reclaim the spaces of our communities as places of transformation, justice and opportunity—“you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.”

Featured speakers

Helping attendees explore the gathering theme will be Susan Sparks and Becca Stevens. Susan Sparks, a lawyer, pastor and comedian, hails from North Carolina and currently serves Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. Sparks’ book Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Power of Humor was named one of the best spiritual books of 2010. As a comedian, she tours with Rabbi Bob Alper and Muslim comedian Azhar Usman in the Laugh in Peace Tour. She’s also a popular blogger for Good Morning America, Huffington Post and Psychology Today while also maintaining her own blog.

Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest serving as chaplain at St. Augustine’s at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., is founder of Magdalene and Thistle Farms, a community and social enterprise that stands with women recovering from violence, prostitution, addiction and life on the street. Stevens has authored eight books and has been featured on NPR, PBS and CNN, among other media outlets. She was named by the White House as one of 15 Champions of Change. Her latest books are Funeral for a Stranger and a walking Bible study series named The Path of Peace, Justice and Love.

Registration opens September 16

Registration for the Ninth Triennial Gathering opens on September 16. Early-bird registration, through January 6, 2014, is $325.00; after that registration is $350.00.

Complete information about the gathering and all its varied offerings will be found at welcatg.org, a brand new website being built for the gathering that is expected to be available beginning September 4. Registration materials will be sent to past participants in late August.