As I write this, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Erie, Pa., waiting for some friends from Pittsburgh to arrive for a weekend of bowling. I have driven here from Minnesota with two other friends. Are we going to win money? Probably not. Will we enjoy each other’s company, laugh and make memories? Definitely, it’s why I drove all this way for the weekend.
This past summer was the Ninth Triennial Convention and Triennial Gathering in Charlotte, N.C., for Women of the ELCA. It was a time of God’s work, inspiring speakers and a lot of information. I remember all of those things, yet when I think back on triennial, I remember the people. Friends from my synodical organization, friends from other synodical organizations and new friends that I met that week. So many friends, so many hugs, so much laughter. It’s part of why I go to triennial. I can always find inspiring speakers and music, there are plenty of opportunities in my church and near my home for God’s work, but the time with friends, as the old MasterCard commercial would say, is priceless.
So be sure to make time for your friends, see them for the laughter and hugs that only old friends can provide. Most importantly, stop and thank God for your friends. They are truly God’s gift and blessing to us. For any of my friends who are reading this, I have thanked God for you, and you know I love you!
Nancy Giddings, of Blaine, Minn., is a newly-elected member of the churchwide executive board.
Friends Heidi Vine (l.), of Oelwin, Iowa, and Lisa Bahe, of Stanley, Iowa, attended this summer’s triennial gathering. Photo by Elizabeth McBride. Used with permission. #welcatg