“Go for it” is Elva Cope’s philosophy about God, service, and Bold Women’s Day.
That attitude plays out every fourth Sunday in February as women of Trinity Lutheran Church, San Antonio, Texas, consider what they’ll do to celebrate Women of the ELCA’s special day recognizing bold women.
“If something is in our head, let’s go for it trusting that God is not only commanding us to do something but that God will be there with us as long as we’re ready and willing,” said Cope, who is president of the Trinity Lutheran Church women congregational unit.
In 2020, using Luke 12:33 as their inspiration, Trinity women will offer the local Dress for Success organization new and gently used purses. Dress for Success provides professional outfits to women who are entering the workforce.
“Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven,” the gospel commands.
“We hope to have a representative from Dress for Success here at the service [on Bold Women’s Day, Feb. 23] to speak about their organization,” said Cope, who is in charge of the service that day.
“We’re going to go through the whole Bold Women’s Day liturgy that’s online. The pastor is not going to be there, and I usually lead worship in his absence. So, I said, this is a good time [to observe Bold Women’s Day],” she chuckled.
The 108-year-old Trinity Lutheran Church has about 100-125 members, “48 to 50 who come most Sundays,” said Cope, who joined the church in 1997 when her husband was called as pastor.
She was one of only three Hispanic members at that time (her husband, who died in 2008, was Anglo), and now the church is “about half Hispanic,” said the elementary school teacher.
“I was pretty active as soon as I got here. I wanted to get involved in Bible study and the things women sponsored.”
Inspired by Act Boldly
She learned about Bold Women’s Day when she served as a board member for the Southwest Texas Synodical Women’s Organization. And, she was inspired by the “Act Boldly” theme for the Sixth Triennial Gathering in San Antonio and Bold Women’s Day stories in Gather magazine (then Lutheran Woman Today).
“We’ve been doing Bold Women’s Day for a while. Sometimes with a project, sometimes without.”
One year, the women wore home improvement store aprons and constructed book stands for a local social service agency that cares for children in crises. Another year, they wore stoles to honor women clergy. One year, they donated pet food for Meals on Wheels recipients with pets.
They’ve donated cans of Spaghetti-O’s to a local homeless shelter while wearing chef’s hats. They’ve dressed as women in the Bible. And once, they created a gallery of photos and bios of women in the congregation for members to stroll by and learn more about them, such as favorite hymns, Bible verses, and other personal information.
“We do something a little different every year,” she said.
Cope said she loves Bold Women’s Day because she thinks it’s important to share her faith journey with others boldly.
“Sometimes, we step into faith, not knowing what will come to pass, and if we don’t take that one step forward, we don’t know what will come,” she said.
“I strongly believe anyone can be bold in their faith.”
Terri Lackey is director for communication for Women of the ELCA. Let us know what you’re doing for Bold Women’s Day.