ELCA NEWS

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Recent News Stories

ELCA news releases are detailed accounts describing events and ministires of the ELCA 

ELCA News
  • Presiding Bishop issues response to DACA ruling

    "I was a stranger and you welcomed me" (Matthew 25:35).

    Dear church,

    Jesus taught us that when we welcome the stranger as a person made in God's image, we also welcome God. Our lives, ministries and congregations have been blessed by many immigrants and refugees over the years — from many of our ancestors to those we welcome among us today. Our faithful witness as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is enriched by people who are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

    Earlier this month, a U.S. district judge ruled to end the DACA program on July 19. Finding it unlawful, the judge's order suspends the acceptance of any new applications while keeping intact the protections for current DACA recipients. The long-awaited decision strikes a blow against the 2012 program, which has provided relief from deportation and the opportunity to pursue an education and start careers for thousands of young people whose remarkable contributions benefit our children, our families, our communities and our church. While these important protections may continue for current recipients, this is little solace to those who may not be able to receive DACA status in the future. We lament the anxiety and turmoil this ruling is causing in our communities. We pray for all who may suffer due to the end of this program. We grieve this potential loss to our church and to the communities in which we serve.

    As a church we will continue to welcome all people, regardless of their documented status, seeking to ensure hospitality and safety for all. Bishops and synods are encouraged to find ways to support congregations working with newcomers and existing vulnerable individuals and communities. We also continue our advocacy through the ELCA's AMMPARO strategy (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities) and by urging our elected officials to enact legislation such as H.R. 6: the American Dream and Promise Act (or "Dream Act"), which provides a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrants with deep ties to this country. We will also pray for the wisdom and courage to welcome the stranger, and in so doing to receive our Lord.

    Lord Jesus, as you were taken as a child to Egypt by your parents seeking refuge, you know what it means to be the stranger. By your love, you draw people to yourself and welcome them into the household of faith. May we show your joy by welcoming the stranger as we bear your creative and redeeming love to all the world. Amen.
      
    In Christ,
    The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
    Presiding Bishop
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

    Read the Spanish translation.

    - - -

    About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
    The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands.," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

    For information contact:
    Candice Hill Buchbinder
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org



  • Presiding Bishop issues pastoral message on Fulton v. City of Philadelphia

    ​As children of God, we give thanks for all of the LGBTQIA+ people who experience God's calling to the holy work of parenting. In particular response to the June 17 Supreme Court ruling on Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the ELCA stands with our LGBTQIA+ siblings in Christ and reaffirms our commitment to equal protection, opportunities and responsibilities under the law (Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, p. 33).

    Children and youth in the child welfare system are among the most vulnerable members of our society, and a disproportionate number of young people in the child welfare system are LGBTQIA+ and in need of compassionate and supportive homes. Our concern as disciples of Christ is for their best interests. This includes recognizing and affirming the vocation of LGBTQIA+ people as parents and foster parents.

    Each of us can respond through ongoing education and action in support of LGBTQIA+ people, including those who are called to provide loving care for children, and through compassionate care for our most vulnerable children and youth.

    Elizabeth A. Eaton
    Presiding Bishop
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

    - - -
    About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
    The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands.," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

    For information contact:
    Candice Hill Buchbinder
    Public Relations Manager
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org




  • Dee Pederson elected bishop of ELCA Southwestern Minnesota Synod

    ​CHICAGO — The Rev. Dee ("Diane") Pederson, St. Cloud, Minn., was elected June 12 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during an online synod assembly.

    Pederson was elected on the fifth ballot, with 205 votes. The Rev. Bryant C. Kaden, pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls, Minn., received 186 votes.

    The bishop-elect has served as director for evangelical mission in the Southwestern Minnesota Synod since 2019. Prior to that, she served as lead pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud from 2006 to 2019; as pastor of Bethlehem from 1988 to 2006; and as co-pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Spicer, Minn., from 1981 to 1988.

    Pederson earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in 1975 and her Master of Divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary (now Luther Seminary) in St. Paul, Minn., in 1981. She earned her Doctor of Ministry degree, focused on congregational mission and leadership, from Luther Seminary in 2010. Luther College is one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities, and Luther Seminary is one of seven ELCA seminaries.

    Pederson will take office Sept. 1, and her installation is scheduled for Oct. 9.

    The Rev. Jon V. Anderson has served as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod since 2003.

    Information about the Southwestern Minnesota Synod is available at swmnelca.org/.

    - - -

    About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
    The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands.," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

    For information contact:
    Candice Hill Buchbinder
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org
     


  • Felix Malpica elected bishop of ELCA La Crosse Area Synod

    ​CHICAGO — The Rev. Felix J. Malpica, Janesville, Wis., was elected June 13 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the La Crosse Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during an online synod assembly.

    Malpica was elected on the fifth ballot, with 108 votes. The Rev. Rebecca Piper, co-pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rapid City, S.D., received 81 votes.

    The bishop-elect has served as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Janesville since 2017. Prior to that, he served as associate pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas, from 2014 to 2017.

    Malpica earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in 2009 and his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 2013. Luther College is one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities, and Luther Seminary is one of seven ELCA seminaries.

    Malpica's installation is scheduled for Sept. 26.

    The Rev. Wm Chris Boerger has served as interim bishop of the La Crosse Area Synod since Jan. 2021.

    Information about the La Crosse Area Synod is available at lacrosseareasynod.org/.

    - - -
    About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
    The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands.," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

    For information contact:
    Candice Hill Buchbinder
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org
     


  • Kevin Jones elected bishop of ELCA Northeastern Iowa Synod

    ​CHICAGO — The Rev. Kevin T. Jones, Mason City, Iowa, was elected June 12 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Northeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during an online synod assembly.

    Jones was elected on the fifth ballot, with 168 votes. The Rev. Stacey Nalean-Carlson, pastor of Glenwood and Canoe Ridge Lutheran churches in Decorah, Iowa, received 118 votes.

    The bishop-elect has served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Mason City, since 2014. Prior to that, he served as associate pastor of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Marion, Iowa, from 2001 to 2014, and as associate pastor of Blair (Wis.) Lutheran Parish from 1993 to 2001.

    Jones earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich., in 1986 and his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 1993. Luther is one of seven ELCA seminaries.

    Jones will take office Sept. 1. His installation is scheduled for Sept. 25 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mason City.

    The Rev. Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl has served as interim bishop of the Northeastern Iowa Synod since Sept. 2020.

    Information about the Northeastern Iowa Synod is available at neiasynod.org/.

    - - -
    About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
    The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands.," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

    For information contact:
    Candice Hill Buchbinder
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org
     


  • World Refugee Day

    "And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me'" (Matthew 25:40).

    The global need for refugee resettlement has never been greater, and the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is that lifeline — for children forcibly conscripted into armies, for LGBTQ+ people attacked for who they are, for religious minorities persecuted for their worship. In response to deepening crises around the world, the United States must reclaim its humanitarian and moral responsibility and reassume global leadership in refugee resettlement.

    With so many lives in danger, we will continue to honor the Lutheran legacy of generous and compassionate welcome for those who seek refuge in our communities. How would we respond if the refugee on our doorstep were Jesus himself? As Jesus taught, "Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).  

    For more than 80 years, Lutherans in the United States have joined together to respond to God's call to love the neighbor who comes to us as a stranger. Since 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has led the Lutheran movement to welcome vulnerable migrants and refugees in America. LIRS is the largest faith-based nonprofit in the United States dedicated to serving vulnerable immigrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees. Together with Lutherans across the country, we have equipped and supported over half a million newcomers as they settled into cities across the country, and we have advocated boldly for policies that protect those we serve. We work rigorously to ensure that our policies reflect the best of our nation, and when a child of God has no safe home to return to, we open ours.

    This legacy of welcome is woven into our tradition and history as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Many of our Lutheran ancestors faced the pain of having to flee their homes and knew the joy of being welcomed into new communities across the United States. Because this church believes in sustaining a faithful presence in the world, it "holds power accountable, advocates justice, stands with those who are poor and vulnerable, provides sanctuary, and meets human need" (ELCA social statement, For Peace in God's World, 1995). Offering refuge to displaced people and people fleeing persecution is a natural extension of that biblical witness. The ELCA's AMMPARO strategy (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities) — a holistic churchwide commitment to accompanying vulnerable migrant children and families, now and into the future — reflects this calling. Around 199 welcoming and sanctuary congregations, as well as 36 synod AMMPARO or immigration task forces with connections in 53 ELCA synods, have committed to offering accompaniment to migrants in their communities.

    This year, World Refugee Day will include a social media campaign, prayer services, and opportunities for advocacy and education. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America invite you to learn, pray, and act on behalf of those seeking refuge on our shores. We encourage you to explore the ELCA's social message "Immigration," its AMMPARO strategy, and these LIRS resources to determine how LIRS and the ELCA can best support your congregation as it responds to God's call to serve the most vulnerable. With such pressing need, we urge our leaders and elected officials to push for quick  resettlement of as many refugees as the United States admits this year, to strengthen and streamline the process so fewer families experience prolonged separation, and to help our nation forge a system of even warmer welcome, as resettlement partners work to rebuild.

    This World Refugee Day let us recommit ourselves to empowering those driven from their homes by conflict, persecution, poverty, and climate change. We pray that all will experience grace in welcoming the stranger.

     
    Together in hope,
     
    Krish O'Mara Vignarajah
    President and Chief Executive Officer, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

    The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
    Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America   
     


Sunday
Worship 9:30 AM
Social Hour 10:30 AM

Worship

08/08/2021     10:30 AM

Worship

08/15/2021     10:30 AM

Church Council

08/18/2021     7:30 AM

Worship

08/22/2021     10:30 AM

Worship

08/29/2021     10:30 AM