The Glory Has Departed
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Sunday, June 19, 2011
ELCA NEWS SERVICE
June 17, 2011
Women of the ELCA Gathering Features 'Renew, Respond, Rejoice!' theme
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- "Renew, Respond, Rejoice!" is the theme of the Eighth Triennial Gathering of the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), July 14-17 in Spokane, Wash.
About 1,900 women are expected to attend the event, featuring Bible study, worship, speakers and community service, at the Spokane Convention Center.
"The Triennial Gathering offers opportunities for women of the church to escape from their busy lives and renew their spirits, respond to God's love for the world and all creation and rejoice in thanksgiving," said Linda Post Bushkofsky, executive director, Women of the ELCA.
Gathering participants will present "in-kind" gifts to support local women, she said. Gifts will go ministries in Spokane, including Lutheran Community Services Northwest, Lutheran World Relief and Transitions, Post Bushkofsky said. Gifts include health kits, school kits, plus gift cards, phone cards and socks.
Leymah Gbowee, a Lutheran from Liberia and executive director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa in Ghana, is a featured speaker July 16. Gbowee organized peace-building initiatives for a women's network of peace builders throughout much of Liberia. Her work is credited with helping to force Liberian dictator Charles Taylor to the negotiating table after many years of civil war. An award-winning documentary film, "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," chronicles Gbowee's struggles and will be shown at the gathering.
The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, will lead a response panel following Gbowee's presentation. He will also be a presenter at the gathering and answer questions from participants.
Nora Gallagher, author, speaker and preacher-in-residence at Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa Barbara, Calif., will be a keynote speaker July 15.
Another highlight of the gathering is the "Run, Walk 'n Roll" July 16. The 5K event is a primary fundraiser for "Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls," Women of the ELCA's ongoing health initiative. The gathering will also feature a variety of workshops and other learning opportunities.
The Eighth Triennial Convention of Women of the ELCA is before the gathering July 12-14. More than 400 delegates will attend the convention, the chief deliberative body of Women of the ELCA. They will elect a churchwide executive board and officers for the organization, act on proposed initiatives and resolutions and adopt a budget. Hanson will address the convention July 14.
The gathering and convention can be followed at http://www.ELCA.org/triennial on the Web and on the Women of the ELCA's Facebook and Twitter pages.