Triennial Gathering



“Attending the Triennial Gathering was a God thing.  My initial thought was to attend with my mom, so she would go.  Being there among all those women was a wonderful rekindling of the Holy Spirit within me.  God put me right in the path of W-ELCA from our region at the First Attendee breakfast.  These gracious ladies invited me to lunch.  I instantly felt a kindred spirit with everyone at lunch and I feel blessed and look forward to beginning a W-ELCA unit at my home church.”  – Sara Kriesel-Hall


As I was reflecting on the Triennial, I likened it to our youth going to Church Camp or the Youth Gathering.  I say that because in all these events, it’s like you’re in a bubble – away from daily demands and routines; you’re allowed to fully focus without all the worldly distractions coming at you from all directions!  You’re able to truly LISTEN – listen to others, to the Word, to the Presenters, to the Holy Spirit.  And then there’s also the ability to ponder and process it all in this special setting. For example, after one of my workshops, (The Practicing Life: Simple Acts, Sacred Living) I just felt the need to get away, to seize the moment and let it all soak in.  Sooo, I bought my favorite cappuccino,- white chocolate mocha with raspberry-  found a table outside the Convention Center and sat down to enjoy the delightful weather (79’) and let the experience penetrate my soul. It was a special time for me.

The Triennial is truly an experience that is hard to explain- put into words. The Workshops, Servant Events and Exhibits were excellent.  And Bishop Eaton- she is Awesome! We are so fortunate to have her as our Bishop at this time.  She speaks with such wisdom and strength and yet with compassion and kindness and firmness.  She is funny – very witty – and so real, so down to earth.  Praise God for this special leadership of the ELCA!

The Opening Worship prepared us for the days to come and the Closing Worship sent us out into the world feeling restored and challenged.   This quote from Angela Kwabeb caught my attention:  “God of the UNIVERSE blesses EVERYONE.  God cannot be God of the Universe if the seeds of His love don’t fall on everybody.”  GOD OF THE UNIVERSE!   It’s not just me, or the Lutheran Church, or the United States that He blesses – we are just one of the many parts of God’s Universe.  We are ALL part of God’s Universe!

We were also reminded that ALL ANEW is not just a moment or event but a process.  And as I left Minneapolis, things did seem different as I looked at them All ANEW.

Ann Hanley, Board Member, NT-NL SWO


Unbelievable!!!…What a great time!!…The power of the heavenly spirit was so strong from all those women of our great nation and world could be felt the moment one walked into the convention hall…….. As a 70 year old woman and a first timer, I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to go….Thank-you all from the bottom of my heart…..Hopefully see more new faces in Phoenix ….

Marilyn Nelson—Rejoice Lutheran Church…Frisco, TX


BY THE NUMBERS: Triennial 2017 

Nearly 3,400 participants attended the gathering, and more than 1,300 were first-timers.

$49,094.60 was raised in Thursday evening’s Thankoffering service.

404 participants ran in the Run, Walk and Roll, and 

$19,116 was raised for seed grants to support Women of the ELCA’s health initiative, Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls.

In-kind gifts included more than $19,000 in gift cards, more than 27,000 items of hygiene products, clothing, quilt kits, and Days for Girls kits. 

5,850 labyrinths were collected and given to gathering and convention participants. The remainder will be distributed to various ministries in the Twin Cities.

Nearly $64,000 was collected during Sunday’s service of Holy Communion. The offering is being shared among PV for Phebe (25 percent); Cherish All Children (25 percent); and Women of the ELCA (50 percent). (To give regularly to Women of the ELCA, enroll in our Faithful Friends program.)

97 people gave blood for a total of 81 good units. Each unit is separated into red cells, platelets and plasma, which could potentially help 243 people.


Triennial 2020

Be thinking about being nominated as a voting member to the Triennial in Phoenix AZ in 2020.  We probably will be able to have three voting members – our president and two others who are members of our Synod.  (We now have 40 active units.  If we reach 50 active units, we will be able to have 4 voting members.) We will be voting on these voting members at our 2018 SWO Convention to be held next October.  We will be using the Rank Order Process to make the decisions.  There will be three tickets voted.  Ticket A will be used to elect the number of women of color or, whose primary language is other than English as set forth in the constitution.  Ticket B will be used to elect the number of first time voting members as set forth in the constitution; and Ticket C will be used to elect the remaining number of nominees needed to complete the delegation. I encourage you to begin thinking about serving as a Triennial voting member.  Next Spring when the nominating committee begins its work, please contact them and complete a nomination sheet.  No person can be nominated from the SWO Convention floor.  All nominations have to be on the ballot prepared by the nominating committee.  

Also, four officers and 17 members of the Executive Board will be elected at the Triennial.  If you are interested in being nominated to be an officer or a member of the executive board, please submit your application between July 30 and November 30 of 2019. I know this is a long time away, and hopefully our new SWO president will remind you.  But for now, I am giving you the info to keep while you ponder your decision.  Region 4 can have three members on the Executive Board, but only one from the NT-NL Synod.  You will be able to find up-to-date info on this on the Churchwide website in 2019. 

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