Our History:

“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."
Our women’s organization was “born” on August 21-22, 1987 at UW-Stout, Menomonie under the theme “Make Us One” with approximately 360 delegates, visitors and participants in attendance. Adeline Myhrwold and Esther Bingea presided over the constituting convention and led the attendees through the election process and adopting the Constitution and bylaws for the women’s organization. Our purpose statement (shown above) was adopted as part of that process. A budget of $64,956 was approved. Officers and board members were elected with geographic representation in mind. They were: Joyce Breen, River Falls, president; Susan Gustafson, Poplar, vice president; Janice E Anderson, Cumberland, secretary; and Ruth Shafer, Eau Claire, treasurer. Board members were: Jackie Kennedy, District 1; Mae Sparby, District 2, Elaine Moore, District 3, Diane Gavic and Sharon Puttmann, at large.

The Transition Team in their November 1, 1987 message to all Women of the ELCA congregations state: “The women of the church have been on a pilgrimage these last months, a journey toward an emerging church. We’ve met new friends in Christ, and we’ve shared our hopes and concerns, our joys and frustrations. The Constituting Convention of the West-Central Wisconsin Synodical Women’s Organization was a heart-warming, spirit-lifting experience. It seemed of little importance that we represented different church bodies as we joined in reaching out toward one another and toward common goals as the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

On January 1, 1988 , three Lutheran bodies, the American Lutheran Church (ALC),the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), and Association of Evangelical Lutherean Churches (AELC) merged to became Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Did you notice - our synod at that time was called West Central Wisconsin? The synod name changed to Northwest Synod of Wisconsin a year or two later through Synod Assembly action.

The purpose statement has been the foundation and guiding principle for Women of the ELCA for over 25 years.

In Women of the ELCA, you’ll find support on your faith journey, opportunities to serve and make a difference in your community and around the world, a community of women that prays together, Bible study, and the joy of growing in faith and friendship.


The Presidents of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin Synodical Women's Organization 1988-2014.

Sue Saarem 2014 - 2018
Marcia Lindseth 2012-2014
Phyllis Beastrom 1994-1998
Ivy Reinholtzen 2004-2008
Elaine Moore 1990-1994
Ardala Littlefield 2002-2004
Cheryl Lowery co president 2006-2008
Joyce Breen 1988-1990
Adeline Myhrwold 1998-2002
Avalene Swanson 2008-2012