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News from the April 2014 executive board meeting

The churchwide executive board of Women of the ELCA met April 25-26, 2014, at the Galt House, Louisville, Ky., hearing reports, engaging in both racial justice and stewardship education, and receiving updates on the Ninth Triennial Convention and triennial gathering, among other things.

Ninth Triennial Convention
The Ninth Triennial Convention of Women of the ELCA will be held in Charlotte, N.C, July 22-24, 2014. The board learned that 380 delegates have been elected to serve at the convention, with 40 of those delegates being women of color or whose first language is other than English. The board reviewed the agenda for the convention and learned that the Rev. Dr. Wyvetta Bullock, executive for administration and assistant to the presiding bishop, will lead a Bible study during the convention.

Additional information regarding the convention is available at womenoftheelca.org.

Financial matters
The executive board reviewed income and expenses for the first two months of FY2014. It learned that, as of April 15th, Katie’s Fund had reached $1,014,331.60, surpassing the goal to grow the endowment to $1 million by the start of the triennial gathering. The annual appeal for Katie’s Fund will occur in May.

As of February 19, 2014, $147,865 had been received for the 25th Anniversary Appeal. The anniversary year ended May 31, 2013. Half of this amount, or $73,932.50, was given to the ELCA Malaria Campaign in fiscal year 2013, helping the campaign to reach its fundraising goal for the year.

Other matters
The executive board modified the Board Stewardship Development policy, originally adopted in April 2009, to include a statement encouraging board members to continue supporting board development goals after their service on the churchwide board ends.

During its stewardship education time, the board met with Carol Winkler, a member of the Presbyterian Women’s Churchwide Coordinating Team (akin to the executive board), who shared ways in which current and former PW leaders help lead fundraising efforts for their organization. PW’s national offices are in Louisville.

The executive board learned that the organization’s communication efforts and publications were recently honored by both the Associated Church Press and the Religion Communicators Council.

Staff reported that the next Women Building Global Community travel seminar will be to Tanzania in November 2015. The trip has already been announced to the 19 companion synodical women’s organizations (SWOs) to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania because of their companion church relationships.

The board learned that in 2013, over 40 individuals requested information to start or revitalize a congregational unit. Over 11,000 A place for you brochures in English and 2,000 in Spanish were distributed since February 2013.

Staff reported that more than 1,700 women have already registered for the Ninth Triennial Gathering, scheduled for July 24-27, 2014, including more than 600 first time attendees. Staff reported that in-kind gifts being collected for the gathering will be distributed to these groups:

  • The Legacy Hall program of Florence Crittendon Services works with at-risk adolescent females, ages 16-21, who are in legal custody of the Department of Social Services and need assistance in learning vocational, life and social skills development in order to facilitate positive future outcomes.
  • The Journey Place program of The Relatives works with young adult males, ages 18-21, who are aging out of foster care and need assistance making the transition from foster care to being an independent adult.
  • Faith Farm, of Lutheran Services Carolinas, provides transitional housing for homeless female veterans and provides them employment and benefit assistance, transportation to and from medical appointments and job interviews, counseling, re-integration into the community and support from local faith groups.
  • Lutheran World Relief provides relief on behalf of U.S. Lutherans, helping Lutherans put their Christian faith into action. Quilts and kits travel around the globe, helping those in need.

Additional information about the gathering is available at welcatg.org.

In ongoing matters, the board heard reports from the president, treasurer, executive director and staff and standing committees; engaged in racial justice advocacy education; and received reports from advisors.

While in Louisville for the board meeting, the board members, advisors and staff attended portions of the Quadrennial Assembly of the United Methodist Women which was taking place there at the same time. A highlight for all was hearing a plenary address by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The board will meet in Charlotte prior to the Ninth Triennial Convention, on July 21, 2014. Following that, the next board meeting is October 16-18, 2014, in Chicago.