The Ra’ah Village (exhibit area) is the place to practice the All Anew that God speaks of in Isaiah 43:19, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Ra’ah, meaning to cause to see or to understand in Hebrew, helps us to focus on God’s question in Isaiah with new eyes and actions. The Ra’ah Village is home to the servant events, the Market Place (exhibitors and vendors) and much more.
Throughout the story of God’s people, events convince people to follow God’s plan. Servant events in The Ra’ah Village help us respond to Isaiah 43:19 through stewardship and discipleship. We’ll learn together from local and global ministries here at the gathering. The interactive servant events take place Friday and Saturday from 2-3:30 p.m. and 4-5:30 p.m.
Take time to read the brief descriptions and discern what you wish to experience. Please reference The Ra’ah Village map on page 35 and plan to spend 30 to 60 minutes in the triad areas that interest you. Each servant event area of The Ra’ah Village is an opportunity to experience God’s All Anew message.
In-kind gifts display and assembly will be a busy place as participants get the thousands of in-kind gifts (gift cards, phone cards, hygiene items and clothing) ready for the in-kind gifts presentation with the recipients. These in-kind gifts have both a local and global impact. All hands on deck! Your guides are Gail Starr and Deborah Banks-Williams. Download an In-Kind Gifts information sheet.
One Body, Many Members is a journey that maps a course for creating a beloved community and shows how the church can make an impact on society. Drawing from interactive cross-cultural relationship-building resources, participants will become architects and builders in the Beloved Community. Led by the ELCA Domestic Mission Unit’s Ethnic Specific and Multicultural Ministries team.
Solaris Industria demonstrates how one trip and pursuing an idea can make a solar-size impact. The story of PV for Phebe—bringing solar energy to Phebe Hospital in Liberia—is much bigger than solar panels getting installed at one hospital. Meet BJ Allen, RREAL (Rural Renewable Energy Alliance) staff, and Mary Jo Mettler from Northeastern Minnesota Synodical Women’s Organization to learn more.
Family!, a crucial part of community in God’s plan, can be fragile. Even a healthy family needs work. Learn how external influences affect all families today. Staff from Families Moving Forward, a program of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, will share the importance of building and supporting family.
Community is more than houses and streets. Learn how the ELCA Community Development Services Program accompanies and assists congregations, social ministry organizations and non-profits in addressing poverty and social justice issues. The conversation will focus on how to access the Domestic Hunger Grants Program, Developmental Loan Fund and Missional Sustainability Program. Joe Young and Josselyn Bennett will be your leaders.
Breaking Free will help us tackle the hard issues of human trafficking by understanding how prostitution has impacted the lives of women and girls. You will be able to see—through U.S. statistical data—where your state stands in addressing human trafficking. Learn how to better equip your church to make a difference. Join Breaking Free staffer Jennifer Gaines for honest conversation.
Water Footprint will teach us how to care for water as a part of creation. Today, water is not only threatened by misuse and natural disasters, but by neglected water systems in cities. Learn the difference between a green, blue and gray water footprint and how a few changes in your daily water usage can make a difference. Come wade in with your leader, Désíree Quintana.
Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls (RUHWG) will look at the heart of Women of the ELCA’s health initiative and the work of units. This servant event will feature St. John’s Women in Jacksonville, Fla., a seed grant recipient, and the spiritual retreat they created—Come to the Well, which has become an annual event. Also, hear about the work of the RUHWG initiative and the new global seed grant— A World of Healthy Women Healthy Girls. Join the Rev. Victoria Hamilton, co-pastor of St. John’s.
Migrating Mother: Walking in Her Shoes makes the migrant journey with a mother. It starts in Central America where she discerns she must leave her home and extended family because of the threat of violence. You’ll walk with her through the perilous journey in Mexico and experience the dangers she confronts. Will she—by the grace of God—be reunited with her family in community? Hear from international guests the Rev. Blanca Irma Rodriguez and Erika Murillo.
No Home includes a conversation about two vulnerable communities— teens and refugees—with Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota. LSSMN will tell you about the growing reasons people end up without the security that comes from a safe home. How will a new understanding help? Come and see.
In its booth, Women of the ELCA welcomes you to the gathering by giving you an opportunity to catch up on what’s new, remember why we exist and learn how to find your place in this community of women. Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the organization by walking the perimeter timeline and reading up on our history.
Note: The Book Shop will have many so many gifts, books and Women of the ELCA idenity items that we needed set it up on the Mezzanine Level (beneath the first floor). Prepare to shop.
Pop-up Park is the place to relax and meet your friends. Conversations will pop up from time to time so check the sandwich board for the topic of the hour.
The Collaboration Station is a community hot spot for finding answers, brainstorming and planning.
The Quilt Challenge display features quilts interpreting the gathering theme. These entries were made by women from across the country.
Alice’s Garden is a 2.2-acre urban farm and community garden in Milwaukee, Wis., that connects land, food, families and communities. Be in conversation with executive director Venice Williams and make some herbal bath salt.
Walking Together will help you reflect on your life’s journey, discern God’s presence and articulate your faith legacy through a spiritual autobiography. Tammy Devine will walk with you.
Girls Space is a safe haven for our youngest participants (6-18). There they will navigate who they are and focus on leadership and discipleship skills. Jean Morehouse will host the space.
Days for Girls provides menstrual hygiene kits to girls around the world, giving them back days in schools they would normally lose while menstruating. Days for Girls has provided kits and health education to more than 640,000 women and girls in more 100 countries. Join Kimberly Jackson Bryant to improve this statistic.
The Quilting Cottage is where you will turn quilt kits into quilts (an in-kind gift) for Lutheran World Relief. You will also hear stories of the people who receive the quilts and those who create them. No experience necessary. Trish Williams will lead you in the process.
Hands Together Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association will offer hand massages, a healing touch and prayer. Experience the ministry of care and hospitality with Nancy Deetz and her team.
Walk the Labyrinth. A labyrinth is an ancient form of praying that engages the body, mind and spirit. Walk it to be released from distractions, to gain spiritual insight or to pray. Sojourner White will be there to help.
A Peace of My Mind exhibit (See page 32 of the Gathering Guide for more.)
Artist-in-residence Vonda Drees will help you experience All Anew by creating your own story through art. No experience is needed. (You can pre-order notecards at The Book Shop Vonda's unique artwork. See page 47 of the Gathering Guide for more information.)