CHICAGO – Beginning March 28, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will host six retreat-style events across the country, to support the greater involvement and influence of women in shaping the denomination.
The conferences, scheduled across 2004 – 2005, are entitled “Saying Yes! The Next Step,” following the Women of the ELCA’s 2002-2005 theme, “Listen, God is Calling.”
"The retreat is a combination of presentations led by staff of the women's churchwide organization, small-group work and individual time," said Sally B. Sedgwick, director for programs in the Women of the ELCA. "This will also be a chance to meet new friends, enjoy music and otherwise enter into this 'time for you.'"
According to Sedgwick, the unique name, “Saying Yes” was chosen to reinforce the triennial theme established by the group 2 years ago. Through these actions, the Women of the ELCA hope to "to mobilize women to act boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ."
"We wanted an opportunity to honor our triennial theme in a national way," said Sally B. Sedgwick, director for programs, Women of the ELCA. "At its best, [the theme] has taught us to pay attention to our families, our communities, our world and our hearts. Yet, this theme also calls us to grow more deeply in our understanding of who we are and where we are going," said Sedgwick.
Women of all social status, rank, race and ages are expected to attend the retreats, which aim to provide a deeper spiritual awakening for those gathered.
“[The retreat] provides a chance to truly know, as a whole person, the joy of walking in God's call and to recognize the strength of being accompanied on the way,” said Sedgwick. “It brings women to a different level, offering an in-depth experience.”
The retreat schedule is as follows: March 26-28 at the Marriott O'Hare Hotel, Chicago; April 30-May 2 at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore; July 9-11 at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center, Minneapolis; Oct. 1-3 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, Miami; Nov. 5-7 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, Denver; Jan. 7-9 Warner Center Marriott, Woodland Hills, Calif.