2023 Grand Canyon Women’s Convention


 Grand Canyon Synod Women of the ELCA

Biennial Convention/Gathering

November 10-12, 2023

Three “W’s” of Love:  Why, Where, When

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”  Colossians 3:14

Join us at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center, Mesa AZ

The board of directors of the Grand Canyon Synod WELCA invite you to join us at our Biennial Convention and Gathering, to be held November 10-12, 2023, at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Mesa, AZ.  All women are invited!  Invite your friends to join you!  Grand Canyon Synod Bishop Deborah Hutterer will bring greetings and officiate at our communion worship service on Sunday morning.  Our Convention Chaplain is Pr. Kim Sterner from Lord of Life Lutheran in Sun City West, AZ.

Our Convention opens on Friday afternoon at 1:30 pm (MST) to conduct the business of our organization and elect new board officers and board members.  In addition to electing women in leadership positions, we will receive reports, approve a budget, and hear from Laura Krueger, representing the churchwide WELCA executive board.  Laura will also serve as our Convention Parliamentarian.  Myrna Wells-Ulland, newly elected President of the 2023-2026 churchwide executive board, will also be present.

SPEAKERS for our GATHERING event include:

  • Solveig Muus, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry Arizona
  • Pastor Adele Resmer, La Casa de Misericordia shelter in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico
  • Gail Turner, Faith Lutheran, Social Justice
  • Angel George, Lutheran Social Services-SW’s I-Help program serving women who are homeless
  • Hanna Burke, StreetLight USA’s program assisting victims of sex trafficking  


  • Cyndy Warnier, music director, will lead our event music
  • Join us for a a Saturday evening Taize service 
  • Cyndy will also conduct our choir for the closing worship service
  • Choir volunteers are needed! 


  • A craft project based on Psalm 139:14 led by Debra Cunningham from Spirit of Grace in Surprise
  • Kristin Sager will lead us in some stretch activities to keep us moving! 
  • Since we’re meeting on Veteran’s Day week-end, notecards will be available to write messages of thanks to our veterans for their service.  The cards will be delivered to patients at the VA Hospital in Phoenix.
  • On Friday evening, after dinner, view an inspiring and award-winning film trailer on climate change, “Kiss the Ground” 

IN-KIND GIFTS:  We encourage you to bring diapers for infants and toddlers, rice, dried beans, and flour (including maize).  Your gifts will support the La Casa de Misericordia shelter serving migrants seeking legal immigration to the US.

OFFERINGS:  Our Worship Offering will be collected on Sunday morning.  Gifts from church units, conferences and individuals are welcomed.  50% will go to our churchwide WELCA, 25% to Streetlight USA and 25% to I-Help.  If writing a check, make it payable to Women of the ELCA – GCS.  Note your church’s name/city in the memo line.

Units, conferences and individuals can make LOVE offerings.  The LOVE offering remains 100% in our Grand Canyon Synod Women’s treasury, to support the work of our GCS WELCA.    Please note LOVE on the envelope.

Offering envelopes will be available.

Convention/Gathering Registration 

  • Registration for our week-end event is $195 for the full week-end (Convention/Gathering)
  • $150 for Saturday Gathering sessions, lunch and dinner
  • $75 for only the Saturday Gathering evening dinner
  • Registration deadline is October 27.  No registration refunds after October 27, but you may  transfer your registration to someone else.  Please notify our Registrar of any registration changes.
  • You can register online and choose to pay by credit card or by check from this link:


  • The downloadable paper registration form can be found by clicking the “Registration Form” below. 

 2023 Registration

Hotel Registration

Holiday Inn & Conference Center, 1600 S. Country Club Drive, Mesa AZ 85230. 

For reservations, call 1-888-280-5056 and request code ELS (ELCA Grand Canyon Synod).  You can also reserve your room online thru this link:  Select your room (ihg.com)

Rates are per room and include breakfast in the Holiday Inn Cafe for each occupant.  RESERVE YOUR ROOM NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 20. Check in is 3 pm; check out is 12 noon.

  • Single occupancy:  $149         
  • Double:  $74.50 each           
  • Triple:  $50.00 each         
  • Quad:  $37.50 each

All rates subject to 14.27% room tax


We have two scholarship opportunities for women who have never attended one of our Convention/Gatherings:  four Today’s Katie for women aged 18-30, and one June Klar for a woman aged 40 or under.  Today’s Katie scholarships select one woman from each of our four geographic areas.  The June Klar scholarship honors a former president of our Grand Canyon Synod Women, and this scholarship is focused on current and future leadership potential.   Both scholarships offer a full registration to the Convention/Gathering, double occupancy hotel room for Friday and Saturday nights, and all meals.  Transportation is not included.  The application forms are below, and both are “fillable,” meaning you can fill them out online.  You do need to save your completed document in order to email it to Phyllis Borchardt from our Scholarship committee.  If you prefer, you can download and print the application to complete it.  Deadline to submit applications is September 15.  Scholarship decisions will be made by September 27.

Katie’s Fund application

June Klar application


Each church can send one official voting member who can be elected, appointed, or volunteer.  Voting members are required to attend the Convention business sessions.  All other attendees are invited to the Convention business sessions without voice or vote. 

Voting members may also be asked to serve on convention committees, including:

  • Credentials Committee:  assist the Registrar in determining and reporting the number of voting members present
  • Elections Committee:  prepare, count and report ballots for all elections at the business sessions
  • Minutes Committee:  assist the SWO secretary in capturing the minutes of the business sessions Offerings Committee:  assist the SWO Treasurer in counting all offerings received throughout the week-end
  • Resolutions Committee:  work with the Parliamentarian to review, revise if necessary, and present any resolutions to the voting members during the business sessions

Call for Officer and Board Member Nominations: 

We are prayerfully seeking women willing to serve in leadership positions for our Grand Canyon Synod Women’s organization.  If YOU are a voting member of an ELCA congregation, if YOU like to form new and meaningful relationships, if YOU want to be strengthened in YOUR Christian faith and have a part in shaping the ministry of women in our Grand Canyon Synod, then this opportunity is for YOU!  We will elect a Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, and up to eight (8) board members.  Terms of office are two (2) years (or until re-elected) and begin immediately after the convention, except that of the Treasurer, who assumes office on Feb. 1.  Two women from the same congregation may be elected, providing one is an officer and one is a board members.  Please contact Pat Shaw, chair of the Nominating Committee, if you have questions.  Find information about the job descriptions by clicking the “Call for Nominations” below.  

Call for Nominations

The nomination form for all officers and board members can be found by clicking the “Nomination Form” below.  Nomination forms must be returned on or before September 24, 2023.

Nomination Form