Since I’ve been participating in Women of the ELCA events, one of the concerns I hear most is about the future of the organization. We know of many concerns about “Who will do this job” like funeral meals, quilting, altar guild, board meetings, mission activities, and all the things Women of the ELCA participants do in our churches and in the world around us.
I hear the concerns. They are valid and real. I don’t have the answers about to how to fix the concern about involvement not only in WELCA, but also in our whole church. If I did, I would be a millionaire!
Even if we can’t get everyone we would like involved and active, we all know at least one person we could talk to about who we are as Women of the ELCA in our local units, synod, churchwide and worldwide. We can’t talk to everyone, but what if we spoke to one woman—to excite her, to inform her, to encourage her about what it means to be part of Women of the ELCA?
This is what I hope you will do: Communicate who we are and what we do as Women of the ELCA so that this generation and the next generation will want to be a part of being God’s hands in this world in this way.
How can you do this? You can ask a woman (high school graduate through age 45) to experience a WELCA gathering or convention. Encourage them by offering scholarships. Offer to drive them so they don’t incur those expenses. This does take work.
It takes you, a woman of the Women of the ELCA to speak to another woman in your church and get them to your event.
This is how I got to be where I am. The women of Salem Lutheran in Longville, Minn., filled out the application for the scholarship program and told me what time they were picking me up and driving me to and from Duluth. All I had to do was sign my name.
And now look what has happened. I am on the synodical board.
You can do this.
The Rev. Erika Foss is pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in McGregor, Minn., and vice president for the Northeastern Minnesota Synodical Women’s Organization.
Photo: Young women who attended the Ninth Triennial Gathering last July in Charlotte, N.C.