What is WELCA?

What is WELCA? It’s an easy way to say Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Quite a mouthful!  Our organization includes Lutheran women who gather in more than 4,500 locations in the U.S. and the Caribbean, for service, study, advocacy, fellowship, and more! WELCA embraces all kinds of ministries that support our mission of mobilizing women to act boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ. There is a place for you in Women of the ELCA. WELCA is the women’s ministry organization of the ELCA. It is separately incorporated and is not an auxiliary of the church. It is financially independent and responsible for its own financial affairs. Financial support comes from individual and group offerings and gifts.

Lutheran women in the United States have been gathering in mission since the 1800s, and we owe much to our foremothers who responded to God’s call, created a place, and lived out a purpose when women had no voice in the church.

Three groups came together in 1987 to form Women of the ELCA. These groups were the American Lutheran Church Women (of the American Lutheran Church), the Lutheran Church Women (of the Lutheran Church in America), and Women in Action for Mission (of the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches). The constituting convention was held June 13-14, 1987, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with the theme “Embrace God’s World.” The organization was officially constituted on Jan. 1, 1988, with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

There are three expressions of Women of the ELCA, each with its own constitution:

  • Congregational, inter-congregational, and special units (about 4,500)
  • Synodical Women’s Organization (in 64 of the ELCA’s 65 synods)
  • Churchwide Women’s Organization

The Nebraska Synodical Women’s Organization or NSWO for short is one of the leading SWOs in the nation in both monetary donations and involvement! Nebraska follows the ELCA regions and we are in Region 4, lovingly known as Rockin’ Region 4. We are movers and shakers and we get things done. In the last 10 years alone the NSWO has been a leading group in organizing a Human Trafficking Task Force to help educate about what is happening in our own backyard, paving the way for being mindful of our resources, being innovative with our programming, and so much more!

In this time of declining membership and giving that everyone is experiencing, the NSWO is thinking of new ways to help, to teach, and reach out! Your own church unit may be declining or perhaps it has disbanded, but that doesn’t mean you can’t participate in things! Subscribe to our Expressions newsletter, check out our website, look us up on Facebook, email me at, or give me a call at 402-801-0521 and let’s see what we can do to help meet you where you’re at!

It’s all about relationships and the NSWO wants to have one with each and every one of you!