In February I wrote a post here on the power of inviting. I described my plans to personally invite women of my congregation who are not involved in Women of the ELCA to learn about our organization by attending an information session that I was hosting later that month. Here’s what’s happened since I held that session.
A number of women (ranging in age from their mid 30s to mid 50s) came to my session. I gave a slide show that explained our organization’s mission and purpose, and showed them our website and the many things it had to offer to them right now. Eva Yeo from our churchwide staff was also very helpful by sending me a box of sample resources and promotional items to share with the women that day.
The women who came were receptive to what I had to say, and we agreed to meet again the following Sunday to continue our conversation.
About half the women came back the following week, and those women decided our organization was worth pursuing, but they weren’t interested in joining one of the existing “circle” groups in our congregation. After some brainstorming, three of them met on their own later to plan an event for mid-April with the hopes that they will continue to meet each month thereafter, gaining new women along the way to their new group. Also, in keeping with my initial invitation strategy, one of the gals will be sending out postcard invitations for this event to targeted women of our congregation. She is utilizing the church’s newsletter and bulletins as well.
This inaugural event will consist of a “faith walk” at a local park and a Bible study using the April issue of Café. Women will be invited to download the Café study onto their mobile devices ahead of time. Printed out copies of the Café issue will be available for those without mobile devices. Some of us will have the Bible available on our mobile devices, too.
These three women are hopeful that a new study group can get started this way. They plan to keep having monthly events right through the summer, and then in the fall they will assess the women’s interest of formalizing their group as a part of Women of the ELCA. I am so excited about all of this.
I hope your efforts to invite new women to get involved in Women of the ELCA are bearing fruit, too!
Kris Brugamyer, of Dickinson, North Dakota, is currently serving a second term on the churchwide executive board of Women of the ELCA.