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Lutheran World Federation Tenth Assembly

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21–31 July 2003
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Miriam's Well

woman holds clay water jar near communal well, Kultuli, India


Miriam's Well is a place of hospitality and retreat at the Tenth Lutheran World Federation Assembly, sponsored through Women in Church and Society of the Lutheran World Federation, Evangelical Lutheran Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the ELCA Commission for Women and Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Miriam's Well is open from 8:30 am to 9:00 pm in Rooms 9-10-11, West Concourse, Main floor. Everyone is welcome.

Why Miriam's Well?

Water is an essential ingredient for life. Participants in the European Pre-Assembly Women's Meeting have called for the Lutheran World Federation to join in global efforts to highlight the life-giving importance of water to the world. Wells and other water sources have been traditional gathering places for women throughout the centuries.

Miriam, one of the women of the Old Testament, was the sister of Moses and Aaron. She secretly watched over the baby Moses afloat in his reed boat and led Pharoah's sister, his adoptive mother, to seek the assistance of his Hebrew mother in raising the child. She became a prophetess and led the Hebrew women in a victory song (including dance and music of tambourines) after the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 15:20–21).

Though there are no specific biblical references to a well with her name, Exodus 16 tells of the thirsting people of Israel finding a water source (maybe a well; maybe a pool) that was contaminated and God's cleansing of the water through Moses.

Obviously, Miriam would have been there also and would most certainly have led the women in gathering at and rejoicing in the water source. Numbers 12 relates how Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses and were punished through Miriam being stricken with leprosy. After being shunned for seven days, she was healed of the leprosy and joined the people again on their march through the wilderness.

Thus, Miriam's Well refers to activities and emphases of the Assembly's retreat centre—water, life, hospitality, praise of God, song, dance, gathering and healing.

Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, "Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water."

John 7:37b–38

What's available

A place for quiet meditation surrounded by plants, soft music and the sound of water running in the 'well'.

A space for meeting with others just to talk. For artisans, there will be supplies to artistically and creatively illustrate your feelings or reflections on the Assembly.

There will be pastoral care if anyone needs counseling or pastoral support.

Other Features

July 21 LWF Women in Church and Society (WICAS) gathering 1:15–2:15
July 22 Children's Dance group performance 1:00–1:45
Quilting Demo and opportunity for a person to begin making a small quilt sample morning and lunch
July 23 Children's Dance group performance 1:00–1:45
July 24 WICAS gathering 1:15–2:15
July 25 WICAS gathering 1:15–2:15
July 26 Pattern Dancers demonstration 1:00–2:00
July 27 CLOSED
July 28 Hopper Highlanders (Scottish Children's Dance group) 1:00–1:45
July 29 WICAS gathering 1:15–2:25


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