KANSAS CITY, MO (July 29, 2016) – More than 860 women from around the world gathered Thursday night at the Sheraton Kansas City at Crown Center for the opening worship of Triennial XV, which is being held in a year that marks two historic moments in the history of the Covenant.
Michelle Sanchez, executive minister of Make and Deepen Disciples, told the gathering that the event was an opportunity to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of Women Ministries. “We want to do this not only to celebrate what happened before but also to propel us forward to the new and exciting ministry that God has in store for us.” Sanchez said.
Sanchez also noted that 2016 marks the fortieth anniversary of the vote to ordain women in the ECC. ‘We really are so grateful to be part of a community that allows us to lead in that way.”
Tammy Swanson-Draheim, superintendent of the hosting Midwest Conference, further highlighted the meaning of the anniversaries, “The church of Jesus Christ needs the full deployment of all of her women to accomplish the mission, the exciting and adventurous mission that Jesus Christ has invited us into.”
She added, “The church will function most fully when you are using your leadership gifts for the goodness of God’s kingdom.”
The theme for the event, which runs through Sunday, is “Quench,” and Swanson-Draheim told the women that it was the perfect theme for a conference meeting in Kansas City, also known as the City of Fountains.
The city has more than 200 registered fountains – more than any other city in the world except Rome. The first city-built fountain was constructed in 1899, and Swanson-Draheim noted that the only remaining original structure is called The Women’s Leadership Fountain, which drew applause and cheers from the crowd.
Meagan Gillan, the director of Women Ministries, preached the opening message and said she hoped that women who came to the conference feeling spiritually dry would have their thirst quenched by Jesus, the Living Water.
She added that as women are filled with the Living Water, they would be able to share it with others. “Friends, it is a thirsty world out there. People are thirsting to know Jesus. We have water to offer women, children and men who are spiritually thirsty.”
Each of the worship services is being webcast live on the Triennial homepage and will be available for later viewing. National Covenant Properties and Bethany Benefit Service, are sponsoring the livestream. Upcoming worship services will be Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and Sunday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Participants also are sharing their experiences on Twitter, using the hashtag #ecctriennial