A group of more than 240 women gathered June 21-22 in Redwood Falls to take part in the annual Southwest Minnesota synod Women of the Evan-gelical Church in America (WELCA) convention.
The event, which was held at the Redwood Area Community Center, brings people from all 10 conferences of the regional synod together for worship, to conduct business and to be educated and inspired.
According to Linda Pedersen, synod minister, the event was a great success, as the attendees focused on the convention theme "Legacy of Faith: Roots to Wings."
"WELCA exists for service and education in our community churches," said Pedersen, adding that in-cludes communing together in Bible study and working toward common goals through service projects.
Voting delegates elected new officers, and this year also selected those who are going to represent them at the national WELCA convention, which is in Charlotte, N.C.
During its Friday afternoon worship time, the featured presenter did not say a word, as Paul Oman let his paintbrush do the talking for him.
Through his ministry, known as “Drawn to the Word,” Oman creates pieces of art that reflect faith. As he painted, many of those who watched wondered what he was creating.
As he neared the end, Oman took the canvas and flipped it around to reveal the focus, which resulted in a number of “oohs” and “ahas” from those in the audience.
While there were keynote presentations throughout the two-day convention, there were also opportunities for those attending to make donations to projects and to take part in hands-on service.
Just outside of the main convention area, a sewing machine worked to create quilts which were made of squares brought by local congregations in the synod.
Those quilts made by WELCA were donated to the Lutheran World Relief.
The quilts made at the convention were part of more than 9,000 made by WELCA members over the past year. WELCA members also created fabric kits, which Pedersen said were donated to wom-en in poorer parts of the world, with the intent of helping them use those kits to make their own products and then raise money for themselves and for their families.
“This was an excellent convention,” said Pedersen, adding it was probably one of the best she has ever attended.