In a special online meeting Dec. 7, Women of the ELCA’s executive board set a 2020 fiscal year budget and approved several proposed constitutional changes to be forwarded to the Eleventh Triennial Convention (2020) in July.
The proposed constitutional changes include reducing the size of the executive board from 21 to 15 and easing up on some recruiting policies for Synodical Women’s Organization (SWO) boards.
The $2,566,000 2020 fiscal year budget is based on bringing in $1,490,000 in offerings and gifts. Proposed revenue projections of $1,071,000 from Gather magazine and $5,000 in Women of the ELCA identity item sales make up the remaining income.
“The [budget and finance] committee came up with a conservative budget,” said Laura Krueger, who serves on the committee. “Where we got hopeful is in subscription income from Gather magazine. This means everybody’s got to be out there promoting subscriptions.”
Krueger said the budget calls for no changes in staffing. “Not at this point, though we discussed it if we have to.”
Executive Director Linda Post Bushkofsky is looking for ways to cut expenses for the triennial convention, said Anna Sarver, executive board treasurer. “We have talked about that as a committee.”
Proposed constitutional changes
Some of the more substantive proposed constitutional changes to be forwarded to the Eleventh Triennial Convention include:
- Reducing the churchwide executive board from 21 to 15, including two at-large members. The 15-member board should be made up of 20 percent people of color or people whose primary language is other than English, and 20 percent under the age of 45 or LGBTQIA+.
- Allowing churchwide and SWO board meetings to be conducted electronically by Zoom or other virtual meeting technologies.
- Allowing SWO boards to include members who are not in congregational units; however, stipulating that they must “strive to be” a participant in a unit.
- Allowing SWOs to have two board members from one congregational unit.
- Offering SWOs more flexibility in the number of members on their board, with the language changed to “three or more” instead of a specific number that may only be changed by petition to the churchwide board.
- Offering SWO boards more freedom on what to call officers. For example, SWOs will not be required to call their officers president, vice-president, secretary. They can call them conveners, coordinators, co-chairs, secretary/communicator. However, the name of the treasurer position must remain the same to meet legal and financial requirements.