Mar 15, 2019
Dear Church, Today we awoke to the devastating news of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. We join in mourning for the people who were killed and wounded, for their families, for the first responders and grief counselors, and for all whose lives have been shattered today. We know that God is present in the midst of their suffering. We know that our own Muslim neighbors here in the U.S. are also experiencing grief and fear. Many will wonder whether it is safe to attend Friday prayers today. These are not the kinds of questions that[…]Read more...
Mar 8, 2019
CHICAGO — Gathering under the theme "Be transformed by the renewing of your minds," the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) met here Feb. 28 – March 4. The conference is an advisory body of the ELCA that includes 65 synod bishops, the presiding bishop and the secretary. "Across differences, in the midst of significant challenges, our time together really was an experience of renewal and transformation in the power of the Spirit," said the Rev. William O. Gafkjen, bishop of the ELCA Indiana-Kentucky Synod and chair of the conference. For the first time, the[…]Read more...
Mar 6, 2019
Approved by the ELCA Church Council in 1990, Vision and Expectations has, through several revisions, outlined this church's standards for its rostered ministers since that time. As a Conference of Bishops, we recognize and acknowledge that its application has been uneven and inequitable. We express our profound grief and deep regret for the times when Vision and Expectations has been misused to single out, marginalize, and block people seeking to be leaders in this church when their peers were not always held to the same vision and expectations. This has caused considerable pain that has disproportionately been borne by those[…]Read more...
Mar 4, 2019
The Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) stands with and holds up in prayer the people of Venezuela during the current multifaceted crisis within their nation. We care about the consequences of this crisis as already felt in neighboring countries and about its wider impact on international peace and security. We fervently support our companion church the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Venezuela (IELV) and second the call from the Rev. Dr. Nestor Friedrich, vice president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) for Latin America and the Caribbean Region, for "a negotiated, peacefully constructed resolution" of[…]Read more...
Feb 27, 2019
Dear Church, This morning at worship in the Churchwide Office we sang;God, when human bonds are broken, and we lack the love or skillTo restore the hope of healing, give us grace and make us still…Give us faith to be more faithful, give us hope to be more true,Give us love to go on learning: God, encourage and renew. (ELW 603)These words speak to many aspects of our current world. Today they resonate especially with our continuing prayers for our full communion partner, The United Methodist Church (UMC), and, as they call themselves, for all "the people called Methodists."Yesterday the[…]Read more...
Feb 19, 2019
CHICAGO – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has formed a preferred vendor agreement with Vanco, an eGiving software developer and payment processor serving more than 20,000 churches across the country. The agreement offers Vanco's GivePlus suite of eGiving solutions to ELCA congregations.The ELCA churchwide organization has sought new working relationships with companies that serve ELCA congregations. Vanco has proven its commitment to the ELCA over the last 20 years by processing payments for nearly 4,000 ELCA congregations.Preferred vendor agreements with a few select companies are being pursued to enhance operating efficiency, leadership effectiveness, congregational vitality and financial sustainability. Special[…]Read more...
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