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Women’s ministries ripple throughout ELCA

coloring bookWomen of the ELCA held its annual Conference of Presidents Feb. 19-21 with a theme of “The Ripple Effect.”

“It was a full weekend of learning, fellowship and worship combined with fun and laughter,” said Linda Post Bushkofsky, executive director of Women of the ELCA.

Workshop topics included leadership training, racial justice and implicit bias, and preparation for the Tenth Triennial Convention and Gathering in Minneapolis in July 2017.

About $5,000 in gift cards was collected for Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.

In pre-conference events, presidents viewed Women of the ELCA’s anti-human trafficking display from the ELCA Youth Gathering and turned in reports regarding their synods’ anti-trafficking efforts. At the 2014 Women of the ELCA Triennial Convention, voting members voted on a memorial to bring awareness to and prevent human trafficking.

Presidents also tested two triennial gathering-related exercises: a coloring sheet and a beading project. (The "All Anew" coloring sheet can be downloaded here.)

Bushkofsky and Patti Austin, president of the churchwide board, offered ministry reports.

“I ask you to think about three questions,” Austin said. “How did you come to be involved in Women of the ELCA? What do you think is God’s purpose for the ministry of the women in your synod? What vision do you have for the future of your synod and for Women of the ELCA?”

Bushkofsky asked the synodical presidents to “take a look at where your ripples are leading you and how you can fulfill your purpose. Our passion is the driving force in everything we do. Embrace your passion.”

She asked them to consider their legacy as participants in Women of the ELCA.

“What will future historians write about Women of the ELCA in general? What will be our legacy? We can be reminded of whose shoulders we stand upon and challenged to lead into the future,” Bushkosky said.

Offering collected during the Sunday morning worship was $6,960, with half going to the Chicago-based Partnership to Rescue Our Minors from Sexual Exploitation and half going to the ongoing ministries of the churchwide women’s organization.