by Lisa Lopez
Invitations begin early in life. As children, we anticipate these invitations to play dates, sleepovers, and birthday parties. Soon we welcome invitations to dances, graduations, and weddings. At any stage of life, an invitation brings a sense of excitement, anticipation, and possibly a little fear of the unknown.
My involvement in church, school, and community organizations always started when another person extended an invitation. Several years ago, Patsy Meyer invited me to serve as treasurer for our congregational unit’s Women of the ELCA board.
Her invitation to participate broadened my knowledge and brought me more friendships than I could have imagined. I learned I would never serve alone. We share the workload, and anyone is willing to help–all I have to do is ask.
Incredible Lutheran women
In South Texas, we have some truly incredible women in the Lutheran church. Past and current leaders Dinah Ryson, Dawn Young, and Debbie Mattke invited me to consider serving WELCA at the synod level. These women live the importance of the invitation!
At our annual convention in 2019, I became the Cibolo Creek representative for the Southwestern Texas Synodical Women’s Organization board.
Our newly elected president, Lorie Garcia, led the board in an interactive retreat centered on the idea of invitation. I was excited to serve but had no idea what I was supposed to do.
On my drive home from the retreat, I decided to create for myself, “WELCA Wednesday.” It took me months to follow through with the idea, but now it is a weekly habit.
WELCA Wednesday is my intentional day of study, prayer, or connecting with other women. WELCA Wednesday keeps me focused on growing my spirituality, supporting my emotional and physical health, and creating social networks of support by remaining connected with women.
I invite each of you to develop your own WELCA Wednesday. What could your WELCA Wednesday look like? Call a friend, write a letter using the Dear Friend in Christ format, volunteer, study scripture, join a zoom meeting, serve a meal, or take a walk. The possibilities are endless. Each Wednesday will look different.
Rise up, share, and invite! And start your own WELCA Wednesday. Use the hashtag #WELCAWednesday to post what you’re doing on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Lisa Lopez is on the Southwestern Texas Synodical Women’s Organization board. She is treasurer for her congregational unit at Christ the King Lutheran Church, Universal City, Texas. This column ran in the July 2020 issue of the SWO’s newsletter, Grapevine.
Photo by Jim Veneman at Augustana Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas