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A  downloadable copy of the minutes are at the bottom of the page. 

The 2018 Suncoast Conference Spring Gathering was held at Hope Lutheran Church, St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, March 3, 2018.  The theme was “Let Your Gentleness Be Known” based on Philippians 4:5 (NRSV).  President Sharon Koelsch opened with devotions and a prayer at 9:35 a.m.


Pat Shipley, unit president of Hope, welcomed everyone and introduced Pastor Bob Bresemann.  Florida-Bahamas Synodical Women’s Organization Board members, Debra Lantz and Pat Shipley, attended and Ms. Lantz brought greetings from President Tracy Moffatt.  She wore a WELCA shirt available through Land’s End.  Registration info for the 2018 FL-BA SWO Fall Gathering, “It Is All About Love,” November 9-11, will be available on the SWO’s website at beginning March 10.  The full overnight cost is $209, but a discount is being offered to anyone who registers early.  Voting members will be electing a vice president, treasurer, four Board members, and voting members to the 2020 triennial convention in Phoenix, AZ.  Volunteers are needed to host FL-BA SWO games at the June 1-3 Synod Assembly.  Let Ms. Lantz know if you can help.    


Following a skit about Adam and Eve’s first argument presented by Ms. Koelsch and Connie Feig, Ms. Koelsch gave a presentation about how to argue gently which solicited many comments. 


Kathy Bartelt, Hope, St. Petersburg, volunteered to serve as conference secretary for a two year term.  Ms. Shipley installed the officers. 


Roll call by congregational unit revealed that 4 of 11 units were represented.  There were 19 women and 1 guest (Pastor Bresemann).  Although the women from Tampa Conference were invited, none attended.  There were 3 first timers.  They received crocheted crosses made by Ms. Lantz. 


In the absence of the conference VP, Ms. Koelsch asked for comments on the scripture for the day, Philippians 4:4-8 (NRSV).


An offering totaling $339 was given which will be forwarded to the SWO Treasurer to help cover costs of the officers and Board members who are attending spring gatherings throughout the state and the January Board meeting attended by the conference presidents.  Ms. Feig invited all to St. Mark, Dunedin for the 2019 Spring Gathering.  Women from the north county units will help host.  The exact date will be forthcoming.  Upcoming unit and church events were shared.  Prayers and good thoughts were encouraged for Ms. Bartelt’s son, Frederick, who is graduating from seminary in May and will be heading to his first church in South Dakota.  Watch for news about his ordination at Hope. 


Conference responsibilities at the 2018 Fall Gathering include creating and maintaining Meditation Stations on the grounds surrounding Maguire Hall.  We will also create an event for the “love” event on Saturday evening, together with the women from the Space Coast Conference.  This could be a game or craft.  The conference leaders will plan these activities in late summer or early fall.  Attendees will be encouraged to wear 60’s and 70’s attire (love beads, mini-skirts, tie-dyed T-shirts, go go boots, etc.).  There may even be a karaoke machine.   Voting members to the 2017 triennial convention made one change to the standard constitution and bylaws for congregational units as outlined in the program.  All units were asked to make this change.


Grace by Ms. Koelsch was followed at 11:50 a.m. by a soup, salad, and dessert lunch served by the ladies of Hope.  Volunteers stuffed toiletries into socks to be given to the ministries to the homeless at Hope and Trinity, St. Petersburg.  Copies of the Luther Rose and Psychedelic Luther left over from the 2017 Fall Gathering were available for coloring with markers.


2018 FALL GATHERING.  Pencil this in on your calendar now.  We may have registration forms available at the 2018 Spring Gathering and they should be available on the SWO website ( by June 1.  The SWO Board is encouraging EARLY registration and is even offering a discount if you do so.


                  2018 Florida-Bahamas SWO Fall Gathering

                  Friday, November 9-Sunday, November 11, 2018

                  Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center, Leesburg

                  Theme:  It Is All About Love


We’ll be reliving the ‘60’s and ‘70’s (those decades of love), so search your closets for your go-go boots, mini-skirts, tie-dyed t’s, and love beads!  The Suncoast Conference has two responsibilities at this event.  We will be creating and maintaining the Meditation Stations around the grounds and we will be working with the ladies from the Space Coast Conference to create a “love” event on Saturday evening.  As usual, I have some ideas and will be getting together with the other leaders (Suncoast and Space Coast) to finalize them in early fall.


2018 DUES.  Prince of Peace, Largo jumped the gun and got their 2018 dues to me already!  Thank you, Prince of Peace!  If your unit included this in your budget, please ask your unit treasurer to send a $10 check payable to Sharon Koelsch to me.  (In the alternative, send this check to the Spring Gathering with your attendees.)  These funds will be used to cover the cost of photocopying and mailings to the units (yes, some units still get hard copies!), expenses of the Meditation Stations, and expenses of the “love” event at the Fall Gathering.  My thanks in advance for your prompt response to this request!!!


NEW ADDRESS since last winter!  Same phone and e-mail.


Sharon Koelsch                                         6251 Shoreline Drive, #2302

President                                                   St. Petersburg, FL  33708

Suncoast Conference                                727-393-2130

Women of the ELCA                     



Elaine Heine,
Mar 8, 2018, 10:40 AM
Elaine Heine,
Feb 9, 2018, 1:15 PM
Elaine Heine,
Feb 9, 2018, 1:16 PM
Elaine Heine,
Feb 9, 2018, 1:17 PM
Elaine Heine,
Feb 9, 2018, 1:17 PM