In recounting the story of her first encounter with Women of the ELCA, Linda Post Bushkofsky asked voting members a question.
“Why do you participate in Women of the ELCA?”
Bushkofsky, executive director of the organization, was speaking to nearly 300 Tenth Triennial Convention voting members during their first day of meetings, July 11.
After graduating from law school, Bushkofsky said she searched for a church to call her own. The church she chose—St. John’s Lutheran Church, Fullerton, Pa., —had an active group of “women of all ages.”
That church offered her a scholarship to attend the first Triennial Convention in 1990 in Anaheim, Calif.
“We had this fabulous celebration of the then 20th anniversary of the ordination of women. And I said if this is what Women of the ELCA is about, I want to be part of it.”
Little did she know where her “course would go and that I would end up serving now 15 years as executive director.”
Yet, the organization, she acknowledged, has financial challenges.
“You know that our revenues have continued to decline over the last decade and a half at least,” she said. “And yet we’ve been able to still do incredible ministry.”
And Women of the ELCA staff helps participants accomplish their ministry, she said. “We do that by creating resources, whether it is that Bible study that appears in Gather magazine, Café online magazine, or the 50-plus resources available for free download on our website.”
Staff puts on events like the Tenth Triennial Gathering, treasurers’ training, the Conference of Presidents, and through “lots of one-on-one work that we do to support you with your individual questions and whatever is necessary within synodical organizations.”
Mentioning the more than 1,100 first-time triennial gathering registrants, Bushkofsky said, “That speaks to the vitality of the organization, to the hospitality that you’ve extended to others in inviting them to join us.
Despite financial challenges, she said, “I don’t see a demise of our organization, though we may have to do things a little differently.”
But change is fine, she said.
“I know that you share a great love for our organization, a great dedication to this organization,” she said. “And, I hope that you will continue to reflect that in your giving because with that giving, we are able to do so much more together than we could ever accomplish independently.”
Voting members and participants of Women of the ELCA, the women’s organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, are in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Tenth Triennial Convention (July 11-13) and Gathering (July 14–16).