500th Anniversary Challenge

Freed & Renewed in Christ: 500 Years of God's Grace in ActionHave you been challenged lately? If not, the leaders of Rockin’ Region 4 have a plan for you!

You are already hearing a lot about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Observance of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, which will be taking place this year.

Region 4 SWO presidents and vice-presidents are challenging each Synod to raise $500 for Women of the ELCA.

The money raised by this challenge, over and above our regular offerings, will be given to Women of the ELCA to be distributed in the following way:

  • 25% to support any special initiative that Women of the ELCA may choose for the Reformation celebration,
  • 25% toward Katie’s Fund, and
  • 50% to support the regular budget of Women of the ELCA.

Won’t you join us?

Send any amount that you or your local unit wants to contribute to Diane Fehler, our Synodical treasurer. NT-NL Synod wants to meet our $500 challenge!

Questions? Contact Sarah Gohlke at rsgohlke@gmail.com or Diane Fehler at dmfehler@gmail.com.

10th Triennial Gathering: All Anew

Links to welcatg.org open in a new tab.

[10th Triennial Gathering logo: an abstract figure with four leaves or wings (could be a flower or a butterfly) in four different colors, pink, yellow, green blue. Text reads, "all anew" in lower-case script and "Women of the ELCA" in blue, all caps block letters.]The Tenth Triennial Gathering will be held July 13-16, 2017 at the Minneapolis Conevntion Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Lutheran women from across the church will come together under the theme All Anew, for life-changing workshops, Bible study, and more.

Register now at welcatg.org or email women.elca@elca.org for a registration packet.

You can also prepare for the Tenth Triennial Gathering in any number of ways: knitting, sewing, crocheting, and more!

Quilters should consider entering a Black & White + One quilt challenge. Make a quilt interpreting the gathering’s theme, All Anew, using only black and white fabrics plus the addition of one color. Quilts should be 40 inches square; the deadline to enter is May 3.

Not a quilter? Make a finger labyrinth, quilted, knitted, or crocheted. They are hoping to collect 5,000 labyrinths, so each voting member at Convention plus each attendee at the Gathering may receive one. If they have extra, they will go to chaplains in schools, hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes. Examples, patterns, and directions are available on the website. The Churchwide Women’s Organization needs to receive them by June 1.

Find more information on these projects at welcatg.org/get-involved.

Nearly twenty women in our SWO area have already indicated to Sarah Gohlke that they plan to attend the Triennial Gathering. Please keep her informed by sending her the names, email addresses, cell phone numbers, and T-shirt sizes of any new attendees. Everyone will receive a Region 4/NT-NL T-shirt for picture taking day (cost of T-shirt will be announced later).

Tenth Triennial WELCA Gathering Scholarship

Triennial Gathering Scholarship application

Tenth Triennial WELCA Gathering Scholarship

[10th Triennial Gathering logo: an abstract figure with four leaves or wings (could be a flower or a butterfly) in four different colors, pink, yellow, green blue. Text reads, "all anew" in lower-case script and "Women of the ELCA" in blue, all caps block letters.]The tenth Triennial Gathering, to be held July 13-16, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minn., will bring Lutheran women together from across the church with life-changing workshops, worship, Bible study, and more. Women will gather under the theme “All Anew”. Register at welcatg.org or email women.elca@elca.org for a registration packet.

Because the Tenth Triennial Gathering falls during the observance of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017, the theme resonates with reformation and transformation images. At the gathering, participants will explore ways in which the Holy Spirit changes us, acknowledging that reformation and transformation have happened and continue to happen within the community of women known as Women of the ELCA.

NT-NL SWO is offering five $355 scholarships to women who want to attend the Women of the ELCA’s Tenth Triennial Gathering in Minneapolis, Minn., July 13-16, 2017. Scholarships will be awarded with preference given to first-time attendees to the Triennial Gathering, and will be shared across the NT-NL Synodical area as much as possible given the applications received. Applications must be received no later than April 1, 2017. Apply now | Download a PDF of the application

Triennial Gathering Scholarship Committee

Let me begin by saying there is nothing quite like attending a Triennial Gathering of Women of the ECLA, and as such the Syndical officers are pleased to be able to offer 5 scholarships to women wanting to attend but who find the expense of doing so a struggle.

This is exactly where I found myself a number of years ago. My husband was serving a 3-point parish in Central South Dakota, we were raising 3 young children and I was attending college full-time. The Gathering that year was also going to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I just knew there was probably not going to be a better opportunity to attend, so I filled out the form to request a scholarship from our local Synodical group and was excited to receive the news that I had been awarded one.

Travel to the gathering was by chartered bus with lots of women from all over our area of South Dakota. What a blessing to spend those hours traveling with these sisters, all of us focused on a single event!

We had our days filled with great speakers, workshops and worship events. We got to see God at work in so many places and events.

The event I remember the most was a bus tour of Minneapolis in which we were shown the city from the view point of a homeless young man. He was connected to a ministry that provided individuals a place to receive mail, phone calls and a place to shower, all basics needed to assist with finding a job.

The young man who led our group spoke about living on the streets. He told us how, since he was cleanly dressed, he could often sleep on a park bench without being disturbed or told to move on, like many people experiencing homelessness are treated.

At the time I was in my 30’s and was so amazed by his story and how it was not the grand gestures that were making a difference in his life but the basics most of us take for granted.

Attending the gathering back then really did make a difference on how I look at the world and remember how sometimes it is just the little things we do that make big differences in other people’s lives. I can’t tell you how attending this gathering will impact you, your faith, or how you view the world you live in, but I can guarantee you it will impact you in some way.

I would encourage all of you to make the decision to attend the Triennial gathering of the Women of the ELCA and to apply for a scholarship if that is what you need to make the trip happen.

The event will be like nothing else you have ever experienced.

Lori Beers, Scholarship Committee

Apply nowDownload a PDF of the scholarship application

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day: January 11

At the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly last August in New Orleans, voting members approved a memorial “calling for a dedicated time of prayer to end human trafficking and to create resources to support congregations in this effort… including dedicated times of prayer each year, such as January 11, Human Trafficking Awareness Day.”

The Assembly also asked the ELCA worship team to create worship resources surrounding the issue of human trafficking, including prayers and litanies. The worship team, in turn, asked Women of the ELCA to consult on those resources. Women of the ELCA continues to create resources, found at welca.org/humantrafficking, that equip people to tell the story of human trafficking and move into action against it.

Lutherans in Wisconsin wrote prayers for each day from January 11 until February 5, Super Bowl Sunday.

Additional resources:

Celebrating BOLD Women’s Day

Celebrating BOLD Women’s Day

[Image description: right side of image is a green rectangle with black text: "This is what BOLD looks like" above a smaller, yellow rectangle with black text: "BOLD Women's Day." Left side is a close-up of a white person's hand holding up a white card with green text: "Practicing hospitality."]BOLD Women’s Day is celebrated the fourth Sunday of February. It is a day when we celebrate acting boldly on our faith in Jesus.

Have you found your bold? What are some ways that you, and women in your congregation, act boldly?

If you are looking for resources, download these PDFs from Women of the ELCA:

  • Celebrating BOLD Women’s Day: Honor and celebrate the bold women in your congregation and community on Bold Women’s Day, Sunday, February 26, 2017. Be bold, take risks on account of the gospel, but believe more boldly still in Jesus, said Martin Luther. And that’s what we celebrate through Bold Women’s Day: women who are bold, women who take risks on account of the gospel, women who believe more boldly still in Jesus. Check back in January for updated Bold Women’s Day resources.
  • Finding your Bold: An Ice-Breaker: Boldness comes in many forms. Some is bright and loud. Some is firm and quiet. Women of the ELCA celebrates this range of voices, knowing that the avenues for bold self-expression are limitless. Do you have a definition of BOLD? What do you believe is your best BOLD? Come explore what “bold” is.
  • A Bold Life of Faith: Katharina von Bora: Katie Luther was a wife, mother, farmer, brewmaster, innkeeper, and more. In all that she did, she acted boldly on her faith in Jesus Christ. There’s a little bit of Katie in all of us. Learn about Katie while learning more about yourself. Use this resource, designed to take about an hour, a small group or individually.
  • Act Boldly bookmark: Make this easy-to-assemble bookmark for yourself or as a group project. Use it in your Bible, journal, diary or other book as a reminder of your mission as a participant in Women of the ELCA: to act boldly on your faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Act Boldly for Health: This three-part Bible study supports Women of the ELCA’s Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls initiative. Each approximately one-hour session is designed for group use but can also be used by an individual.
  • Act Boldly for Mission: This three-part Bible study explores how women can boldly take part in God’s mission to love, bless, and save the world. To be in the church, says author Kelly Fryer, is to participate in that mission by sharing the good news about Jesus Christ in word and deed. Each approximately one-hour session is designed for group use but can also be used by an individual.
  • I Am She: Our mission statement calls us to act boldly. What does this mean? It means a variety of things, for boldness has a range of voices. Some is bright and loud. Some is firm and quiet. Do you know what is your “best bold”? This program will help you discover it and put it into action! I Am She can be used in a congregational setting, as a conference event, or as part of a synodical convention. It could be conducted over five to six weeks or as a weekend retreat. So boldly claim your boldness today, declaring, “I am she!”