by Gwen Edwards
Have you ever wondered what “promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world” means in the Women of the ELCA’s purpose statement? The phrase could mean different things to each person who reads it. It could also hold a different meaning each time a person reads it.
I am not a cradle Lutheran; I was born Protestant. Growing up as a military dependent, I attended worship with my girlfriends. I visited the Catholic, Protestant, and Lutheran services at the neighborhood chapel on the Air Force Base. One could say my faith life began there. (The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins Saturday.)
Years later, I met a friend who invited me to the Lutheran faith. That’s when I became a member of the ELCA. Then a woman invited me to attend a women’s event at church, and I became active in the Women of the ELCA.
How are we called?
As a participant in the Women of the ELCA, we are called to ministry and action. But how are we called? We study the Bible; we come together in fellowship; we attend events outside our church walls; we have fun; we make new friends. The list is endless.
After a difficult discussion one Sunday morning, I reminded myself of Women of the ELCA’s mission and purpose statements. They instruct me how to try and live my life; how I am called to serve our Lord.
The statements call me to mobilize women to act boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ. They also call me to promote healing and wholeness in the church, society, and world. Sometimes that means having unpleasant and uncomfortable conversations.
When women adopt resolutions at their Synodical Women’s Organization convention, we don’t stop there. We act on them. We live out Women of the ELCA’s mission and purpose statement. We follow Jesus’ example.
It is our task to help, advocate, and learn. When we use Gather magazine Bible studies to study the Word, we not only grow in our spiritual walk, we learn how to help others do the same.
How do you live out the Women of the ELCA purpose and mission statements? Did you know there are resources from the Women of the ELCA that help with conversations around social issues? Have you registered to attend the Gathering 2020 this July so you can make new friends, enjoy fellowship, and learn?
Gwen Edwards is a former Women of the ELCA executive board member. She lives in Bellevue, Nebraska, and attends Lord of Love Lutheran Church in Omaha.
Photo: Tenth Triennial Gathering | Patty Grieve, Georgetown, Texas, Christ Lutheran, counts hygiene items for In-kind gifts.