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This is your newsletter and I want it to be full of all the information you ladies want!!!
Blessings to you all!!
President, Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast WELCA
President’s Message – November, 2015
Greetings Sisters in Christ!
Since not all of you wonderful ladies were able to attend the convention in September, I decided to use my message that I wrote for the convention book-let for this Scroll’s message. This convention marked the end of my first term as president for the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synodical Women’s Organization. I’ll be honest, I haven’t accomplished nearly as much as I’ve hoped to, but maybe I’ve laid down some good foundations for the next two years. I am running again for the position of president, and, God willing, I will have more time to complete some of the goals I set for my time leading this organization.
The last year has been a challenging one for me personally. Last sum-mer I partnered up with a good friend of mine to open a business – 12 Strings Bar & Grill in Bay City, Texas. Many people have said, “I think it would be so cool to own a bar!” Well, it has definitely been an interesting experience. I don’t regret it, because I have learned a lot about myself and other people and I have also met some amazing new friends. However, it has required a huge investment of my time and resources and the whole experience has been very stressful and challenging. But, I love my bar and you are all welcome anytime you are in Bay City! (Maybe I’ll have to offer a Women of the ELCA discount!)
On top of the new business adventure, in October I left the bank job that I’d been at for 12 years and started working as an account executive for a small radio station. (If you live in the Brazos Valley or around the Matagorda/ Wharton County area – you can check out my station at 105.3 or 94.9 FM! J ) I’ve never done sales before and I’m still not sure that I’m really a salesperson, but I’m try-ing really hard. I do love the station and the genre of music we play so I want to do everything I can to help it grow.
So, with all the challenges and stress going on in my personal life, I feel like the work for Women of the ELCA has suffered. But, as I mentioned at the beginning of my letter, I hopefully have two more years to make up for that and I’m a little more settled in with the new business (our 1 year anniversary was on September 5) and the job at the radio station.
So let’s talk about what the past year has been like for me as far as Women of the ELCA is concerned.
Last year’s convention in Baton Rouge was small in attendance but I real-ly enjoyed it and I think all the women that were in attendance did also. Alt-hough we had hoped to engage more of the women from the Louisiana area, I do believe that with some continued contact with the churches over there, we can get some more involvement in our organization from their women. At least that is my prayer! The board has discussed rotating conventions around the Synod, and if that continues, we would be back in the Louisiana area for a WELCA con-vention in about 6 years.
In February, I attended my second Conference of Presidents in Chicago. This was, once again, a great opportunity to meet with and learn from my fellow SWO presidents from around the country! The weekend is always packed with lots of information about Women of the ELCA and ways to grow our organization. I came back with some new ideas that I was able to share with my board at our
retreat that was held the next weekend at Lutherhill.
In April, Kim Holle and I attended the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod Assembly in Houston. I was a delegate for my church and Kim manned a table for the Women of the ELCA. She and I both visited with a lot of women and handed out a lot of information about our organization. We also added several email addresses to our distribution list (and many of them were for women that don’t have an active unit at their church!!) Hopefully this will lead to some new units being formed and growth for Women of the ELCA!
I am still trying to attend as many Cluster Gatherings as possible. I have a goal to visit each Cluster at least once a year and so far, I think I’m doing pretty well at meeting that goal. I really enjoy the Cluster Gatherings because, not only do I get to find out what is going on all around our Synod but I learn a lot from the presentations. I continue to be amazed at how much women do not only in their congregation, but also in their community. I send out invitations to all Cluster Gatherings via email because I would like to encourage you all to attend whatever gathering is most convenient and interesting for you. Please feel free to attend any Gathering you’d like. By attending others, you might learn something new and meet some wonderful women in the process! I know that I learn something new (whether it is a project or a speaker’s topic) at every event I attend (and I’ve met some amazing women!)
My continued goal for my Presidency is to grow our organization, either by getting more churches involved (forming new units) or finding new women to get involved in an existing unit. One way to make this happen is to remember that in order to be an active unit in Women of the ELCA doesn’t mean the church has to have a traditional circle meeting once a month. In order to be considered an active unit, a group must:
1. Meet together for study, support and mission (this doesn’t have to be once a month and can be achieved in a lot of ways!) This doesn’t have to be an in person meeting – some churches are taking advantage of social media as a way to learn and discuss!
2. Participate in the ministry of Women of the ELCA beyond their congregation (attend cluster gatherings, annual con-vention, etc.)
3. Support financially the program of Women of the ELCA
4. Designate someone to communicate with the synodical and churchwide women’s organization
Be creative in how you interpret Women of the ELCA within your church and how you get involved! One of the things I like the most about this organization is our involvement in so many different issues and the many resources that are available to us. What-ever issues spark your enthusiasm – Women of the ELCA can help you fan that passion.
Thank you for your participation in Women of the ELCA throughout the year. I challenge you to find a woman in your part of the Synod that isn’t involved in Women of the ELCA and invite her to your next event. That is how we will grow this wonderful organization that has so much to offer each and every woman in the ELCA!