A rich trove of resources for women is available through the Women of the ECLA website. “Lutheran women,” it notes, “have a long history of Bible study, discipleship, and desire to deepen their spiritual life and learn about issues.”
The mission statement of the women’s organization is as follows:
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.
To explore the website, dip into Daily Grace, a blog written by Lutheran women available in several formats. Readers can sign up for daily emails, download the free app from iTunes or Google Play, or access it through Facebook.
The resource tab on the website offers 47 different resources for individual or group study, single or multiple sessions, or retreats. The resources are free, downloadable, and in English and Spanish. They are designed to help women grow in faith and engage in ministry and action. They are listed both alphabetically and by church season.
A good example of the quality of these resources is the six-session guide to discernment called “Listening to God.” The study is written by Debra Farrington, former publisher of Morehouse Publishing and author of Hearing with the Heart: A Gentle Guide to Discerning God’s Will for Your Life and other books and articles about Christian spirituality.
The study consists of six flexible hour-long sessions exploring what it means for an individual to discern God’s hopes and desires for her life and what it means for a group to discern their God-given gifts for ministry. It could by used by small groups in either a retreat or workshop setting.
The study is scripturally based and the sessions are well-paced with an emphasis on prayer and small-group discussion. Outside materials consist of paper, pens, old magazines, easily obtained objects from nature, and a flip chart.
While there is no cost for the resources, Women of the ELCA requests donations to continue this work. Materials may be reproduced for use in conferences and women’s organizations, provided each copy is reproduced in its entirety and carries a copyright notice.
Dorothy Linthicum (@dslinthicum) is an instructor at Virginia Theological Seminary and program coordinator in the Center for the Ministry of Teaching.