Report of the President
Book of Reports, Assembly 2020
Do you know the Purpose Statement of the Women of the ELCA? Here is how it is written: “As a community of women, Created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ and Empowered by the Holy Spirit, We commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts, support one another in our callings, Engage in ministry and action, and, promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.”
As this year has been for everyone, it has been a challenging time for our Synod W-ELCA since our last Assembly. We had a wonderful Fall Fun and Service Event at Kirby House in the Poconos in late September 2019. The Event, attended by 31 women helped build community through sing-alongs, games, a tea party, yummy meals and an inspirational Eucharist led by our weekend Chaplain, The Rev. Maritza Dolich. We talked, and we shared, and over the course of the weekend, we made 15 blankets and donated them to the Easton Children’s Home.
Then….it was 2020. As the Board planned and planned at our January meeting, we had no idea what was ahead. Eventually, we cancelled our March Justice Event. Then we postponed and eventually cancelled our Convention. The National Convention and Triennial Gathering in Phoenix, AZ was postponed until 2021. Lastly, we cancelled our 2020 Fall Fun and Service Event.
Have you ever heard the expression “It’s a world turned upside-down?” This saying goes all the way back to 1781 when General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, thus ending the American Revolution. The British band played a song entitled “The World Turned Upside-down. ” I’m certain that the British soldiers could not imagine what had transpired between their mighty nation and the scrappy…(and I mean that in the best sense of the word…) scrappy and relentless American Army.
Well, indeed today, we live in a world turned upside down, but we are finding with faith and determination, we discover new ways of BEING the Church, rather than being “in” church. We are also scrappy and relentless!
W-ELCA leaders from all over this synod have organized everything from birthday parades and card showers, to food drives, and grocery shopping for shut-ins. We’ve organized virtual quilting parties, Church Services and Bible Studies. …and more!
Driven by our Purpose Statement, and with donations from many Congregational W-ELCA units, your Synod Board did something extraordinary a few weeks ago….
**We may not have had our Justice Event, but we created scholarships for several female seminary students from our Synod.
**We may not have had our Convention, but we donated to seven food banks all across this synod.
**We may not have had a Fall Fun and Service Event. But realizing our church family in other parts of the world were facing hardship and danger, we donated to Lutheran World Disaster Relief.
We are driven by our Purpose Statement. We are a community of women, created in the image of God. We are called to discipleship and when we gather, we feel empowered by the Holy Spirit. We shall continue to support one another and engage in ministry and action, and through that action, promote healing and wholeness in the Church, Society, and the World.
Respectfully submitted, Lenna Harris, President, NEPA Women of the ELCA
President, W-ELCA NEPA
Our Mission and Purpose
As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts, support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.
Synodical women’s organizations (SWOs) like ours establish a partnership with units in their geographic areas and with the churchwide women’s organization. SWOs exist to support women in congregations. Each SWO has a board whose members are elected at an annual or biennial convention by delegates from units. Each SWO establishes clusters or conferences of units within its geographic area.
Through various program areas, Women of the ELCA’s community of women provide services in their churches, communities, and even the world. We engage in ministry; we take action through advocacy; we promote healing and wholeness; and we support one another in our callings. We offer anti-racism training; address domestic violence, commercial sexual exploitation, and human trafficking; and support families with special needs. We assist participants in their desire to discern God’s call in their lives and to discover their spiritual gifts through workshops, retreats, resources, scholarships, and global education. We offer grants to not-for-profit organizations, both domestic and international, that support healing and wholeness for women of all ages through the affirmation and advancement of women’s emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
PV for Phebe Project Update
The Illsababy Foundation has approved a grant request for $25,000 and expressed an interest in working with RREAL in the future. The Project still needs about $233,000 by November. Dr. Sibley, medical director at Phebe, has submitted a funding request to Global Health Ministries to help with procuring a new generator at Phebe so they can use the solar array again.
Please continue to spread the word and encourage folks to donate. Check out the new updated www.skipthegrid.org website.