Well, girls, you know how I feel about the Women's Leadership Institute--I'd be laughing if it weren't so sad. Maybe you also saw the sad article in the Reporter, which bastion of journalistic integrity has quit printing letters to the editor. But I wrote one anyway, and I encourage you to do the same if you're LCMS and have time. If you like, feel free to cut and paste from and/or personalize the following.
Today's young women have heard that they can and should do it all; they are pushed into public careers to prove themselves intelligent and competitive; they are pressured to win paychecks and positions and worldly acclaim. The last thing they need to hear from their church is the churchified version of ambitious careerism. They need to know that the world has lied to them about their worth, and that the most basic and humble work they have been given by God is also the most blessed. Any woman who isn't sure what she can offer her church can simply stop by the church office and ask. Every parish has lonely elderly and ill, cleaning and maintenance jobs that wouldn't cut into the budget if someone would volunteer, and works of charity to enact in the local community.
Husbands and children should not be forced to compete with the world or especially the church for the time and attention of the lady of the house. Women who receive the higher gift of celibacy, or in some cases the cross of the widow, are those equipped for more full-time service to the Church. Married women who, like me, are blessed to be able to stay home serve the church primarily by serving their families. I am honored and happy to use the remainder of my energies and my gifts, such as they are, to help at my church.
Mrs. [Husband's name] (B.S.Ed. Concordia University Nebraska, MA Concordia Seminary)