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WELCA convention, gathering history

Come to the WatersWomen of the ELCA has always had triennial conventions. In the early days of the organization, the conventions involved keynote speakers, workshops, and other activities happening simultaneously with the business. Delegates (now called voting members) were busy conducting the business of the organization and often could not take full advantage of workshops, servant events and the like. Meanwhile, the conventions spanned several days and many felt the costs to attend (both in time and money) were too great. Providing adequate staffing for all those many simultaneous activities was a significant challenge to the organization’s staff.

Beginning in 2008, the convention (i.e., business) was separated from the gathering (i.e., featured speakers, Bible studies, workshops, worship, etc.) and the two events were held back-to-back. That pattern continues. The triennial convention (attended by approximately 400 people) is held Tuesday through Thursday morning, and the triennial gathering (attended by approximately 2,500 people) is held Thursday evening through Sunday morning.

1987 Constituting Convention

Milwaukee, Wis.

June 11-14, 1987

Theme: Embrace God’s World

Theme verses: Psalm 117, Isaiah 35:1-8a, Ephesians 2:14-22, Matthew 13:3-8

1990 First Triennial Convention

Anaheim, Calif.

July 11-15, 1990

Theme: Celebrate God’s Creation

Theme verse: The biblical foundation for the convention theme and logo is drawn from the first account of the creation story (Genesis 1: to 2:4a)

1993 Second Triennial Convention

Washington, D.C.

August 7-10, 1993

Theme: God’s Gift of Hope

Theme verse: Jeremiah 29:11          

1996 Third Triennial Convention

Minneapolis, Minn.

July 11-14, 1996

Theme: Proclaim God’s Peace

Theme verse: The book of Ephesians will stand as the biblical background for the look at both eternal and earthly peace with Ephesians 6: as the theme verse

1999 Fourth Triennial Convention

Saint Louis, Mo.

July 8-11, 1996

Theme: Live God’s Justice

Theme verse: Micah 6:8       

2002 Fifth Triennial Gathering

Philadelphia, Pa.

July 11-14, 2002

Theme: Listen God is Calling

Theme verses: Ephesians 4:4-5 and Ephesians 4:11-13

2005 Sixth Triennial Gathering

San Antonio, Texas

July 5-10, 2005

Theme: Act Boldly

Theme verse: Acts 14:3

2008 Seventh Triennial Gathering

Salt Lake City, Utah

July 10-13, 2008

Theme: Come to the Waters

Theme verse: John 7:37b, 38

2011 Eighth Triennial Gathering

Spokane, Wash.

July 14-17, 2011

Theme: Renew, Respond, Rejoice

Theme verse: Philippians 4:4-9

2014 Ninth Triennial Gathering

Charlotte, N.C.

July 24-27, 2014

Theme: of many generations

Theme verse: Isaiah 58:12

2017 Tenth Triennial Gathering

Minneapolis, Minn.

July 13-16, 2017

Theme: All Anew

Theme verses:  Psalm 104:30, Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Titus 3:4-5; Isaiah 43:19