Seeking to put their talents and skills to work in service to others, about 2,000 women participated in servant projects at the Ninth Triennial Gathering of Women of the ELCA, July 24-27 in Charlotte N.C.
Servant opportunities focused on one of the four actions in Isaiah 58:12 and offered opportunities to learn and practice collective stewardship and discipleship. The Quilting Cottage, for example, was one of the many servant events available where donated quilts and those made on the spot were to be sent around in the world via Lutheran World Relief.
“All of these quilts that are made are going to Lutheran World Relief, which will be sent (to areas) where they are needed most,” said Trish Williams, head of the Quilting Cottage event. “With all the disasters, both human- and nature-caused, there are a lot of people losing everything, and we hope to provide just a little bit of comfort to them.”
Participants of the Quilting Village have made more than 90 quilts together with more on the way to be sent locally and overseas to help provide comfort.
Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls, another service opportunity, uses activities to look at the heart of the Women of the ELCA’s Health Initiative. These activities included engaging the work of the American Heart Association by learning about the initiative. Recipients of seed grants offered through the Raising Up Health Women and Girls initiative were on hand to explain their programs.
“The Health Initiative started several years ago because women within the board decided that in order to take care of ourselves and one another, we need to look within ourselves as deeply as possible and be as healthy as possible,” said Victoria Hamilton, recipient of a seed grant for the past two years. “The ELCA is looking into how to change the way women see themselves into a more healthy and meaningful way.”
Other servant opportunities included receiving the stories of women in the military; creating safe havens for girls; learning more about the plight of women in the Congo; and community organizing.
Jeremy Lensing/ELCA News Services