You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27)
The high standard above is set for us in an exchange between Jesus and a lawyer. Fortunately, God’s grace has freed us from the requirement to be this perfect. Out of gratitude for this great gift and as a participant of Women of the ELCA, you and I have several opportunities to grow in faith and love our neighbors as ourselves.
[bctt tweet=”You and I have several opportunities to grow in faith and love our neighbors as ourselves.” username=”womenoftheelca”]
Human trafficking awareness: When we are asked to love our neighbor as ourselves, we are called to imagine what it would be like to be in that person’s shoes. As a mother and grandmother, it is all too easy for me to imagine how horrible it would be if someone dear to me were tricked into being trafficked.
The victims of commercial sex trafficking are all someone’s dear ones, and I believe we are being called to put an end to this horrendous crime that affects not just people on the other side of the globe, but those right here in northeast Wisconsin.
The ELCA churchwide assembly last August approved a memorial forwarded by the East Central Synod Wisconsin, the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin and the LaCrosse Area Synod calling for a dedicated time of prayer to end human trafficking and to create resources to support congregations in this endeavor.
PV for Phebe: If you have ever had an operation, you can imagine how frightening it would be if, in the middle of the procedure, the power suddenly went out. This is a very real possibility for our neighbors served by the Phebe Hospital in Liberia since they use expensive, dirty diesel fuel that is not reliably available.
The PV for Phebe Project begun by Northeastern Minnesota Women of ELCA seeks to provide PV (photovoltaic/solar) energy for this hospital which serves 400,000. Not only will solar energy provide cleaner, more reliable energy, the project will also be the source of jobs for the people of the area.
PV for Phebe won a $100,000 National Geographic grant, but must raise an additional $300,000 by December 31 to qualify for it. We are encouraging all units to donate to this project by the end of the year. Read more here.
The Tenth Triennial Gathering will be July 13-16, 2017, in Minneapolis. Our synod voted at last fall’s convention to offer 12 $200 scholarships (two for each conference) to help women attend. We will also arrange for a bus if enough women are interested. Learn more in our December The Open Door newsletter.
What are ways you are a neighbor?
This blog by Shirley Paulson, president of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin’s Synodical Women’s Organization, was used with permission. It was first published in the organization’s newsletter, The Open Door.
Photo of Women of the ELCA’s human trafficking exhibit at the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering.