The room was filled with standing delegates and visitors as Betty St.Onge, President of the Evangelical Lutheran Women (ELW) asked those who had ELW groups in their church to rise. "Evangelical Lutheran Women are an active and driving force in our churches across Canada," says Betty, "there are approximately 400 congregations with ELW groups. Two groups of women with ELCIC roots have joined and there is potential for groups in locations such as Universities or where church has had to close."
Ruth Vince, ELW Executive Director addressed the assembly, noting the intentional partnering that ELW has begun with other Canadian and international organizations. They are also assisting Anglican Women in organizing a national group. ELW has joined with Canadian Lutheran World Relief to facilitate HIV-AIDS education and other support projects in Chamanculo, Mozambique.
Walking by Faith as Leaders and Mentors is the theme for ELW programming during 2006. "We can really take concrete actions on issues," says Ruth, "let's not be afraid to do what needs to be done."
Later, ELW and the ELCIC Women's Desk personnel teamed up to host a special luncheon. The focus was on how, 10 years after the global Beijing Conference (United Nations) women's issues and concerns still need to be raised and addressed, both here and globally. Among the areas discussed in small groups at table were education, poverty, violence and abuse, girl-child, economic and leadership opportunity. It was agreed that though progress is made in some parts of the world, the issues around equality for all people has not yet been achieved.