• A Pastoral Word on the Grand Jury Decision in Louisville

    Sep 24, 2020

    ​For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. ― Ephesians 2:14In response to the grand jury decision in Louisville, Ky., we offer a word of prayer and healing following the decision not to charge police officers for Breonna Taylor's death. As a nation, we are struggling with and divided by the decision. It has affected so many of us in so many ways. We grieve the brokenness of the criminal justice system. We are tired and weary of the violence. Has not God created all of us to have inherent dignity, value and worth? Despite the anger, violence and injustice connected with this sad and horrible[…]

  • Bishop Eaton and Rick Steves host ELCA World Hunger virtual fundraiser

    Sep 21, 2020

    ​CHICAGO — The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), along with Rick Steves, guidebook author and travel television host, and the Rev. Shelley Bryan Wee, bishop of the ELCA Northwest Washington Synod, will host  "Hunger in the Time of COVID-19: Life for Today, Hope for Tomorrow" to benefit ELCA World Hunger.This virtual fundraising event — the first of its kind — is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. Central time. During this pandemic we are witnessing an alarming increase in hunger around the world, and ELCA congregations are hard at[…]

  • Presiding Bishop responds to gross disregard for human life and dignity at private detention facility

    Sep 18, 2020

    ​"As Christ on the cross did not lose his dignity, but in fact revealed himself fully in vulnerability, every human who is being mistreated retains the image of God that confers dignity. A society should not deny a person's dignity for any reason." —ELCA social message "Human Rights," p. 4On Monday, Sept. 14, I learned of the very disturbing account of human rights violations against immigrant women in custody in the privately run Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga. The center is run by LaSalle Corrections under a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The whistleblower complaint that was filed on Monday by a licensed nurse practitioner revealed a[…]

  • Laura Barbins elected bishop of the ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod

    Sep 16, 2020

    ​CHICAGO — The Rev. Dr. Laura Barbins, Mentor, Ohio, was elected Sept. 12 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during an online synod assembly.Barbins was elected on the fifth ballot, with 171 votes. The Rev. Angela Freeman-Riley, pastor of Bethesda on the Bay Lutheran Church in Bay Village, Ohio, received 148 votes.The bishop-elect has served as pastor of Celebration Lutheran Church in Chardon since 2001 and adjunct faculty at Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, since 2018. Trinity is[…]

  • Survey to assess pastoral needs for ministry in a multireligious world

    Sep 12, 2020

    ​CHICAGO — The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is conducting a survey to collect the experiences and needs of the church for ministry in a multireligious world. The survey is a first step in the development of guidelines for the church as outlined in A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, adopted by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. The declaration reflects the longtime inter-religious commitments of the church. The policy statement acknowledged that "there are many pastoral considerations beyond the scope of this declaration, for example, the common reality of multireligious[…]

  • ELCA congregations participate in annual day of service

    Sep 11, 2020

    ​CHICAGO – On Sunday, Sept. 13, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will observe "God's work. Our hands." Sunday. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, ELCA members will mark the annual day of service by helping make a positive change in their communities, building and deepening relationships and sharing God's love.Although the pandemic has forced congregations to cancel in-person worship and move to virtual services, ELCA members have continued to support ministries that assist vulnerable people in their communities. "God's work. Our hands." Sunday will mark the work that congregations participate in on a daily basis.Projects to[…]

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