The Women of the ELCA executive board held its fall meeting, October 18-20, 2018, in Scottsdale, Ariz. at the Franciscan Renewal Center. The weekend meeting included a tour of the Sheraton Grand Phoenix, the site of the Eleventh Triennial Convention (2020) and the Phoenix Convention Center where the next triennial gathering will be held.
Eleventh Triennial Convention (2020)
The board established a policy against electioneering, for use leading up to and during the Eleventh Triennial Convention (2020) and also established a policy for the appointment of at-large voting members. The board adopted a $741,530 budget for the triennial convention.
Coming from committees
The board adopted a $3,081,531 budget for FY2019 on recommendation of the budget and finance committee. It also approved the audit report presented to the budget and finance committee by Crowe, LLP, auditors, for FY2017, and adopted a $1,033,953 budget for the 2020 Gathering.
The board received the annual review of the executive director, presented through the executive committee by the executive director evaluation committee.
On the request of the programs and communication committee, the board encouraged the executive director to move forward in the development of a letter writing campaign directed at the six global manufacturers of baby formulas, urging them to comply with code provisions around marketing.
The board learned that the constitutional review committee referred to the recently appointed exploratory committee a constitutional change request from the 2018 Conference of Presidents that would allow women to serve in elected leadership in the organization without being a member of a congregational unit. This would signal a fundamental shift, if it were proposed and adopted.
Working individually, in pairs, then in small groups and as the whole board, the board members continued strategic planning work begun in April, answering two questions: what are the most critical areas of concern for the organization and what would you like to see the churchwide women’s organization achieve. Both questions drew answers centering on financial sustainability, reaching more women, developing leaders and increasing communication. A visioning exercise—what will be the news about Women of the ELCA in 2030? – concluded this stage of strategic planning.
In other matters, the board:
- Received reports from the executive director and staff, including several new initiatives that are being planned and will be unveiled in the near future.
- Heard reports from representatives of the Office of the Presiding Bishop, the ELCA Conference of Bishops and Lutheran Men in Mission.
- Adopted a theme for the 2020 gathering.
- Engaged in racial justice education from Jennifer DeLeon, Women of the ELCA’s director for justice.
- Engaged in stewardship training with Audrey Riley, director for stewardship.
- Held a Service of Holy Communion sampling a draft Bold Women’s Day liturgy that will be introduced for BWD 2019. Offering of $1,925 was received at worship, one-half of which was designated by the executive committee for the Refugee and Immigration Services of Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest. Members of the Grand Canyon Synodical Women’s Organization and a former churchwide executive board member joined the board and staff for worship and a reception following.
The next board meeting is April 26-28, 2019 at Loyola University Chicago – Water Tower Campus.
You can view our photos from this meeting.