by Debby Rieselman
This fall, my friend Tina Smith and I made the long drive from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Crestview Hills, Ky., to South Bend, Ind., for the Indiana-Kentucky Synodical Convention of Women of the ELCA.
I had been to many biennial and even national triennial conventions, but Tina was an eager first-timer.
While we had no desire to volunteer for anything, we were both eager to learn and experience new opportunities. Our excitement would center on nothing more than discussions, workshops, Bible studies, worship and voting.
We were so naïve.
By the end of the convention’s first afternoon, I suggested Tina run for the board, and she agreed. By the end of that evening, I felt called to run for president and even discussed it with secretary Kathy Coleman. She and I both knew it would be impossible for several reasons.
Still, I woke up the next morning with a vision of Linda Doerge, president at the time, walking up to me and saying, “What about …?” I woke up before she finished the sentence, and I knew it didn’t matter. Looming obstacles were definitive.
As I reached the meeting, I did spot Linda walking toward me uttering the familiar “What about …?” She had a suggestion that allowed me to run for president and Tina to become social justice liaison.
Without going into details, her suggestion eliminated three of my obstacles. At the time, we had no nominee for president, and the organization was going nowhere without one. We also lacked enough board-member nominees, which started my earlier recruitment.
[bctt tweet=”I finally decided yes, God was calling me. ” username=”womenoftheelca”]
It seemed like a call
While I was pondering whether Linda’s approach was a sign, I realized I had hand-picked almost half of the dynamite board members on the prior day through nominations. All the sudden, it did seem like a call. And I said yes.
But my deeper incentive was twofold:
1) Linda had explained how the job had been exciting because she had opportunities to meet so many church leaders in the six-synod region. I had served on the board and understood the workload. But this was a new angle, and for a “people person” like me, it intrigued me.
2) Also, we were studying the Book of Esther for two days, and verse 4:14 kept ringing in my ears: Who knows? Perhaps God has put you where you are for such a time as this. At the Friday evening worship, the pastor kept repeating that line, and each time I glanced heavenward and whispered, “God, are you talking to me?”
I finally decided yes, God was calling me.
Are you being called into deeper service? After all, who knows? Perhaps God has put you where you are “for such a time as this.”
Debby Rieselman of Erlanger, Ky., is the new president of the Indiana-Kentucky Synodical Women’s Organization. The featured photo is of new board members, l-r, Maryann Lovas, Charlotte Hawkins, Debbie Rieselman, president.