When voting members gather in Phoenix in September of 2023, they will be electing women to positions of churchwide leadership for the 2023-2026 triennium. Four officers and 11 board members will be elected. Starting today and continuing until November 30, 2022, nominations will be received for secretary, treasurer, and board member.
What’s it like to serve on the churchwide executive board? How does this leadership experience change a woman? We asked those who will be ending their service on the churchwide board in September 2023 to offer a few words about what serving on the churchwide board has meant to them. There are some similar threads: growth in faith, expanded understanding of community, an opportunity to shape the future, increased personal understanding.
Elizabeth Burgess (New England Synodical Women’s Organization) says “service on the executive board has grown my faith (see Joshua 1:9b). The opportunities have been priceless– whether it’s praying with and sharing God’s blessings with others; discovering my white privilege through racial justice education, traveling alone, then pivoting with unexpected travel changes; the gift of observing St. Elmo’s Fire (corona discharge) on an airplane’s wing tip, after an 18-hour day. But most precious is the joy when I meet like-hearted women who love God and hate injustice. It has been a rare privilege to serve.”
“Being a part of the executive board has opened my eyes to so many things,” says Angela Bell (Metro Chicago Synodical Women’s Organization). “The relationships I have formed not only with those who served with me but with women around the country have helped me to grow and learn in more ways than I can count. I’ve actually been able to stretch myself and find out that I’m much stronger and more bold than I ever knew.” Bell currently serves as secretary of the churchwide organization.
“My experience with the board has enriched my professional development and interpersonal relationships,” says Dr. Freddie Jordan (Southern Ohio Synodical Women’s Organization). “This experience provides challenging opportunities to build on the past and look toward the future – truly a Sankofa experience. I will remain forever grateful to God for the women of my church and region 6F SWO’s leadership, for their love, support, and confidence in my gifts.” Jordan is the current vice president of the churchwide organization and served as secretary in the previous triennium.
“Being involved with the Women of the ELCA has not only been a boost to me spiritually, but also professionally,” Joy Michalicek (Northeastern Minnesota Synodical Women’s Organization) shares. “The leadership skills I have learned from being involved with my synod organization and the churchwide executive board have translated to job promotions for me.” Michalicek is the current president of the churchwide organization.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom; and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue,“ (Proverbs 31:26) begins Lynette Todd (Delaware/Maryland Synodical Women’s Organization. “This scripture speaks to my experience on the board. I was blessed and grateful to be in the community of faithful, generous, and strong woman who love Woman of the ELCA.”
A final piece of advice to those considering any type of service in this organization comes from Freddie Jordan. “My hope is that each of you will work to ensure that the organization survives and always is relevant (has life) to how the world views Christ. Be bold and confident in all that God has given you – you are able!”
To learn more about what is expected of those serving on the churchwide executive board and particular requirements, read the summary of positions and frequently asked questions.