2023 Grand Canyon Women’s Convention


Memories from Grand Canyon Women of the ELCA
30th Convention/Gathering (Nov 2023)

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

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

Colossians 3:14

The 30th Convention/Gathering Mesa, AZ is history.  Though attendance was low, the participants experienced inspirational speakers who shared knowledge and ideas of how we could be doing God’s work.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Recognizing our Native land with readings by Wanda Frenchman, Oglala Lakota and Lenape, and Patty Charley, Navajo.
  • Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of Arizona (LAMA) is doing great work to advocate for justice in areas of hunger, voting rights and water rights in the state of Arizona.  Participants learned how to reach out and communicate with our political leaders.
  • In partnership with Lutheran Social Services of the SW, the Interfaith Homeless Lodging Program (I-HELP) is providing a safe haven for people who find themselves homeless and helps them move from crisis to stability.
  • StreetLightUSA is providing a faith-based, holistic healing place for adolescent female survivors of child sexual exploitation and trafficking.  This program gives survivors a place to dream, be empowered, and live a full and enriching life.
  • Watching “Kiss the Ground” film opened our eyes to what we are doing to the earth…and how we must wake up and make a difference.
  • How we can support the shelter for asylum seekers, La Casa de la Misericordia y Todas la Naciones in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.  A good start was the carload of in-kind gifts and financial donations provided during our event.
  • What’s all this about Justice?
  • How can we breath (CPR) life into our Women’s Ministries?
  • Calming Brain Gym exercise and meditation helped relax our minds and muscles.
  • An overachieving Chef provided meals to help us forget about our diets.
  • Music from Faith/Le Fe El Coro Choir had us all singing in Spanish!  And that amazing 8 year-old, Yzael, would make any grandma want to give him a hug!
  • Around the Grand Canyon Synod, narrated by Bishop Deborah Hutterer, a presentation that introduced us to parts of Arizona, Southern Nevada, and Southern Utah where many of us have never traveled.
  • Hands-on blessing of Pastor Kim as she retires and enters a new phase of life.
  • Relaxing Taize service to end the day led by Cyndy, our musical programming extraordinaire.
  • LOVE offering collection of $2,200 to provide scholarships and more educational programming for women of the Grand Canyon Synod.
  • A worship offering of $829 to be shared with churchwide Women of the ELCA, StreetLight USA, and I-Help.
  • Heard a report from our churchwide president’s representative, Laura Krueger
  • Elected a new GCS-WELCA Board:  Laura Krueger, Chair; Gail Turner, Co-Chair; Lisa Sherry, Secretary; Jenny Zweifel, Treasurer;,  and Sheri Moehling and Adriana Flores Cuadras, board members.  Affirmation of our GCS WELCA Ambassador, Suki Kisling.
  • Thanked our outgoing officers and board members:  President, Susan Holverson; Secretary, Phyllis Borchardt; Treasurer, Pat Shaw, Board members Debbie Romboletti and Michelle Cegon.

It was truly a full week-end of seeing old friends, meeting new friends, eating too much, cramming our brains with new ideas and with enthusiasm to go out and do more as we Just Love!