The powdered sugar from the beignets has been washed out of our clothes by now. We’ve caught up on our sleep and our e-mail. And now it’s time to draw some observations about our time at the ELCA Youth Gathering. So here are some of my own observations, in no particular order.
- The high school women of this church are bright, thoughtful, articulate women of faith.
- These high school women respect the older women of the church (remember, when you’re in high school, anyone over 21 is an “older woman”) and, even if they don’t tell us this, they look to us as role models.
- These young women want to be in relationship with “older women,” and they understand that to be in relationship with one another means give and take on all sides.
- These young women love their moms and grandmas!
- The chaperones of the high school women, who themselves are mostly in their 30s – 40s, are excited to learn about Women of the ELCA. Many didn’t know about Lutheran Woman Today or the program resources the organization offers or even the option of becoming an individual partner in Women of the ELCA.
- These women in their 30s and 40s (who are “younger women” to many of our congregational units) are yearning to be part of a women’s organization, but they aren’t being truly welcomed into Women of the ELCA.
- We “older women” aren’t doing a very good job of inviting younger women in or telling them about the resources that Women of the ELCA offers.
- Those who read Lutheran Woman Today and Café think both publications are top-notch!
As churchwide staff we’ll be pondering these observations, figuring out ways to shape future resources, programming, and training to respond to these fabulous high school women and their chaperones.
Here’s my invitation to you: pray over these observations and follow the Holy Spirit’s prodding. How might your congregational unit of Women of the ELCA prayerfully respond?