Newly-formed executive board meets, deliberates
The churchwide executive board of Women of the ELCA met October 17-18, 2014, at the Lutheran Center, Chicago, Ill., examining referrals from the Ninth Triennial Convention, making a commitment to racial justice education, and hearing reports from the triennial convention and gathering, among other things.
Two referrals from the Ninth Triennial Convention call into play different aspects of the constitutions of this organization and so were sent to the board’s Constitution Review Committee for consideration. The committee reported that it is engaging in further study before making recommendations to the board on those referrals.
To aid this board in its leadership of the organization as it strives to have an anti-racist identity, board members committed to racial justice education at each board meeting.
The board received evaluation summaries from the Ninth Triennial Convention and the 2014 Triennial Gathering, both of which were held in Charlotte, N.C., this past July. Both events received strong affirmation.
The board adopted a rank order process to be used in synodical organizations as voting members to the Tenth Triennial Convention are elected. The Tenth Triennial Convention will be held July 11-13, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minn.
Three members were elected to the executive committee of the board. Those elected are Deborah Banks-Williams, of Chicago, Ill.; Joan Iverson, of Lamberton, Minn.; and Lisa Plorin, of Upham, N.D. They join the officers in making up the executive committee. Officers for the 2014-2017 triennium are: Patti Austin, president, of Decatur, Ga.; Jody Smiley, vice president, of Blacksburg, Va.; Becky Shurson, secretary, of Yucaipa, Ca.; and Ely Smith, treasurer, of Fircrest, Wa.
The executive board reviewed income and expenses through September 30 of Fiscal Year 2014. It also reviewed the budgets and performance of the Ninth Triennial Convention and the 2014 Triennial Gathering.
Upon the recommendation of the board’s Budget and Finance Committee, the board rejected a request from the Northeastern Minnesota Synodical Women’s Organization that the churchwide organization become the financial repository for a synodically based project to fund solar energy for Phebe Hospital in Liberia.
Upon the recommendation of the board’s Budget and Finance Committee, the board also rejected a request to engage in fundraising for specific ministries not funded in the FY2015 budget approved by the Ninth Triennial Convention.
Through staff reports, the board learned that the Katie’s Fund endowment had grown to $1,062,674 as of August 31; applications for the seed grants program of Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls, the organization’s health initiative, are being accepted through December 15, 2015; and the availability of the annual stewardship guide and Thankoffering service.
Fulfilling its constitutional mandate, the board received and acted on the recommendation of the executive director review committee that conducted the annual review of Linda Post Bushkofsky, the organization’s executive director.
In ongoing matters, the board heard reports from the president, treasurer, executive director and staff, and standing committees and received reports from advisors.
The board meeting was preceded by orientation for this newly constituted board that included, among other things, instruction on personnel issues, explanation of the organization’s financial statements and explanations of the roles of board members and staff.
The next board meeting is April 24-25, 2015, in Chicago.