Women of the ELCA (WELCA) is an organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As a partner in the total ministry of the church, the organization affirms, supports, and challenges women in their daily ministries at home and around the world.

Mission Statement
Serving all women of Our Savior’s, WELCA mobilizes women to act boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ.

As a community of women created in the image of God,
called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit,
we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts,
support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and
promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.

All confirmed women of Our Savior’s are members of WELCA. Any member or friend of Our Savior’s is welcome and invited to participate in WELCA activities.

Small Groups
Women are invited to participate in a small group to share studies and fellowship. Small groups, called circles, generally meet once a month either at church or in a member’s home. For more information on circle gatherings, contact Cathy McCulley-Rothkopf (815-262-9550 or cathymcculley@comcast.net).

Deborah Circle 3rd Wednesday, 1:00 PM at Our Savior’s
Elizabeth Circle 2nd Thursday, 7:00 PM in members’ homes
Lois Circle 3rd Tuesday, 9:15 AM in members’ homes
Miriam Circle 2nd Thursday, 1:00 PM at Our Savior’s
Naomi Circle 3rd Monday, 9:15 AM at Stockholm Inn
Sarah Circle 2nd Thursday, 7:00 PM in members’ homes

Mission Projects
As women of Our Savior’s, we are committed to doing God’s work with our hands. WELCA serves those in need locally, nationally, and globally.

Lutheran World Relief – Items are collected and then packaged into kits by women at twice-monthly Do-Day work days. Personal Care Kits, School Kits, Health Kits, and Layettes are distributed by Lutheran World Relief. Work days are generally the second and fourth Tuesdays and are held at Our Savior’s.

Quilts – Each year, hundreds of full size quilts and baby quilts are created by women who participate in the twice-monthly Do-Day work days. All are welcome to participate, regardless of whether you have any sewing talent or not. There are many activities for everyone. Quilts are distributed to local agencies, sent to India, and sent to Lutheran World Relief for distribution to those in need around the globe.

Eye Glasses – Glasses and glasses cases are collected and given to the Lion’s Club which helps provide glasses to those in need around the globe.
Items for the kits and glasses may be brought to any Circle gathering, WELCA program, or put on the WELCA stand in the Atrium.

Fair Trade – WELCA partners with Lutheran World Relief to support small farmers throughout the world and help them make a fair wage for their products. The Fair Trade program helps alleviate poverty in developing countries. 100% of sales goes to LWR for distribution to the farmers. Products offered include coffee, olive oil and chocolate. Stop by the desk in the Atrium on Sunday mornings to support this program.
In addition, throughout the year, individual Circles support local agencies and families in need in a variety of ways.

Prayer Chain
The Prayer Chain is an important ministry utilizing one of the more powerful resources we have – prayer. God promises that “…whatsoever you ask in prayer, you shall receive if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22
To submit a prayer request, contact Mary Kay Thomas at 815-229-1032.

Three Days in Minnesota with 3,400 Women!

Women of the ELCA Triennial Gathering (July 13-16 2017 in Minneapolis, MN)

We gathered from all 50 states and 7 foreign countries. Together we sang, we worshipped, we laughed, we cried, we learned . . . . at the 10th Triennial Gathering of the WELCA! And in those 3 days, powerful life stories of inspiration and challenges were heard!

I think of Mary Jo, a teacher from Pine City, MN who spearheaded a $600,000.00 project to bring solar power to a hospital in Liberia.

I think of Sarah, waiting in line with me at one point, and learning that she and 25 women flew in from Alaska to attend the Gathering!

I think of Debra, a film maker, who shared her story of the importance of girls receiving an education, in her Emmy Award winning film,”The Beauty of Their Dreams.”

I think of Brenda, a former prostitute, who now has co-founded the “Dreamcatcher” mission in Chicago to help women and girls leave the sex trade industry.

I think of Leymah, a 2012 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who said “How dare you send a check abroad and you don’t shake the hand of a neighbor!”

I think of Alexia, urging us to “Use everything we have been given, in the name of compassion, and that includes justice.” Ask me to tell you the story she shared of Jose and his Guardian Angels.

I think of Elizabeth, our approachable ELCA Bishop, who proudly proclaimed, “I don’t want to be colorblind. I want to be color amazed, embracing the gift of diversity.”

I think of Angela, who in her unique, delightful and humorous manner proclaimed, “Being a Christian is not easy or comfortable. If you’re comfortable in Jesus, you’re not doing it right!”

I think of Julie, who had stresses of leadership decisions troubling her, and found peace and a fresh new outlook at the Gathering.

And last but not least, I think of James. Yes, a very dear young man who, with a genuine smile and a twinkle in his eye, welcomed us to his hotel in Minneapolis. He proudly wore our Women of the ELCA Button on his lapel! None of the other reservation clerk women wore one!

There were so many more stories to tell, but it is time now for me to thank the OSLC WELCA Board for the financial support that assisted two of us from our church to attend this 2017 Gathering. Both Sandy and I used a portion of our support from you to buy gift cards for the designated charities, both locally in MN and worldwide. We encourage all women to think ahead to Phoenix, AZ for the 2020 Triennial Gathering!!

In the meantime, let us all reflect on the words of Leymah Gbowee, “Being All New, means getting down on your knees each morning in prayer and getting up refreshed to go out and touch people’s lives. It means doing your part to bring the world one step closer to sanity.”

Marlene Winkie

WELCA 2017 Officers
President Cathy McCulley-Rothkopf
Vice-President vacant
Secretary Julie Trank
Treasurer Pat DeWitt
Mission Growth Chair JoAnn Hudson
Assistant Chair vacant
Mission Action Chair Turid Addams
Assistant Chair Pat Timmerwilke
Mission Community Chair Brenda Moorhous
Assistant Chair Karen Schanstra

More Information
For more information about the women’s programs at Our Savior’s, contact Cathy McCulley-Rothkopf (815-262-9550 or cathymcculley@comcast.net).
For more information about the national WELCA program, visit http://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Ministry/Women-of-the-ELCA.aspx.