The Twelfth Triennial Convention of the Women of the ELCA met from September 19-21 in Phoenix, AZ; it was preceded by a meeting of the Executive Board on September 18, and followed by the Women of the ELCA Gathering entitled “Just Love” on September 21-24, 2023.
This was the first time in six years that the convention had met in person, due to constraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, a result of the pandemic has been the ability to do the mission of God’s church through the women’s organization in new and different ways. This was noted in Executive Director Linda Post Bushkofsky’s report, which also included: the organization’s commitment to the $1 million campaign for Katie’s Fund, designed to support the ministry and mission of the Women of the ELCA through global connections and leadership development into the next 100 years; making use of online platforms for learning; reaching out to those in need; and addressing on-going work in anti-racism.
Presiding at the opening worship was the Rev. Wilma S. Kucharek, Bishop of the Slovak Zion Synod and Advisory Bishop to the Executive Board of the Women of the ELCA on behalf of the ELCA Conference of Bishops; preacher at the opening worship was the Rev. Julia Seymour, pastor of Big Timber Lutheran Church, Big Timber, MT.
The voting members numbered over 250, and met for worship, enrichment, elections, and other business. Actions of the convention included encouraging participation in studying systemic racism, and participation in the Truth and Healing Movement. A board of 4 officers and 11 members was elected to serve in the 2023-2026 triennium, led by Myrna Wells-Ulland who was elected as president. In addition to welcoming those newly elected to serve on the board, out-going board members were recognized for their service to the organization, including Elizabeth Burgess of New England Synod, the mother of Slovak Zion Synod Pastor Kathleen Mills of Holy Trinity, Trumbull, CT.