I have recently come to realize that an invitation can be a powerful thing. I know this is not an earth-shattering revelation, and I suppose I’ve always known it to be true, but I find myself focused on this idea these days.
Let me start by saying I do not consider myself a blogger, but yet here I am, writing my third blog entry. Why? Because someone saw some potential in me and invited me to write!
Last year, the Altar Guild that I serve on held its second letter-writing campaign in six years to personally invite women of our congregation to join us. Both campaigns yielded about a half-dozen new members, and these women joined simply because someone saw their value as an Altar Guild member and asked them to join!
As I think back even farther, I realize that my years of service on my own synodical board (12 out of 14 years!) was due, both times, to invitations I received from someone to submit my name into nomination. Someone saw something in me that I hadn’t yet seen myself, and that was just the push I needed to get involved.
I also serve on the executive board for Women of the ELCA. True, I had to be elected by a majority of my peers to be in this position, but how did my name end up on a ballot in the first place? It is because somebody saw my potential and invited me to submit my name into nomination.
So now, back to the present: I am thinking a lot these days about how powerful invitations can be. I have had a dream for the past year or so to get new women in my congregation interested in Women of the ELCA, and so I have chosen Bold Women’s Day to hold an information session at church for them. There will be a general invitation in the church bulletin, of course, but I will also personally invite about a dozen women from a list I have been putting together over the past year.
It is my hope that the personal invitation these women receive will be just as powerful for them as the ones I’ve received in the past were. The invitations I received gave me new ways to act boldly on my Christian faith. I hope my invitation to these women, to come and explore what Women of the ELCA can offer them, will do the same for them.
Finally, I also remember a survey I took of the women in my congregation a number of years ago. I wanted to find out why they didn’t participate in our organization. The #1 answer as to why they didn’t participate was, “I have never been invited.” So there you go! Get out there, and join me in doing some inviting!
Kris Brugamyer of Dickinson, North Dakota, served two terms on the churchwide executive board of Women of the ELCA.
Photo by Nat Tung, used with permission, Creative Commons