ELCA NEWS

ELCA

 

Recent News Stories

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

ELCA News
  • Pastoral message on the verdicts concerning the murder of Ahmaud Arbery

    ​In response to the verdicts in the trial of Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan in Brunswick, Ga., for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, we offer a word of prayer and healing. We pray for Arbery's family because no verdict can ease the pain and suffering of the murder of their loved one. As a church concerned for all, we pray also for the defendants, that God's grace may transform their hearts.  

    God has created all of us with inherent dignity, value and worth. Racially motivated hate crimes deny this to Black and Brown people. The sin of racism distorts so many aspects of life together. The ELCA's social policy resolution "Condemnation of White Supremacy and Racist Rhetoric" states: "As persons called to love one another as God has loved us, we therefore proclaim our commitment to speak with one voice against racism and white supremacy. We stand with those who are targets of racist ideologies and actions."  
      
    May our prayers continue to lead us toward transformation and fulfilling our call to justice and care for all. He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8). 

     
    In Christ,                                       

    Elizabeth A. Eaton                                                      Kevin Strickland
    Presiding Bishop                                                        Bishop 
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America                  Southeastern Synod, ELCA 

    Learn more about ELCA Racial Justice Ministries.

    - - -
    About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
    The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 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


  • A pastoral message on the Rittenhouse acquittal

    ​Dear church, 

    In the book of Leviticus we read: "You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor" (19:15). 

    Our social message on Community Violence urges us to become more involved in countering the reality and fear of violence in our communities and our neighbors' communities, pursuing justice and seeking peace no matter how long the journey or complex the challenge.   

    When a child is allowed to become a vigilante without recourse, we are forced to confront the idols of our society: guns, violence and white supremacy. To be sure, this is not about one person, but indeed about all of us, together. 

    Today's acquittal is an injustice. It points to the disorder in which we all live. As we seek to restore justice; so also will we restore God to God's rightful place at the center of our life together. 

     In Christ,

    The Rev. 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


     


  • ELCA Church Council expresses gratitude for leadership of Bill Horne

    ​CHICAGO — Gathering here Nov. 11-13, the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) began its meeting with a shared time in remembrance of William B. "Bill" Horne II, ELCA vice president, who died Aug. 14 in Clearwater, Fla.

    In action, the council gave thanks for Horne's life and faithful service and "expressed appreciation for his wise, fair, and strong leadership as vice president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and his collaborative spirit, steadfast commitment, and genuine compassion for the congregations and communities throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."

    In her report to the council, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton recalled Horne's dedication. "For him, serving as vice president, was a deeply felt call from God to serve the church."

    The council welcomed Carlos Peña, who will serve as interim vice president until the election of a new vice president at the 2022 Churchwide Assembly. Peña previously served as vice president for two terms, having first been elected by the 2003 Churchwide Assembly.

    Eaton also addressed the Future Church priorities and the shared ministry goal of engaging one million new, young and diverse people by the end of this decade.

    "This [work] takes each of us and all of us," said Eaton, emphasizing that the goal will be achieved only through the engagement and resources of the entire church body, including synods, congregations, colleges and universities, seminaries, social ministry organizations and all ELCA networks. "We have received this gift. We are called to share it out loud with the world."

    To further the conversation of reaching one million new, young and diverse people, the council received a working document from the youth and young adults serving on council titled "A Fresh Perspective: ELCA Church Council Young Adults." In response, the council created a working group of youth and young adult members of the Church Council plus other members to be appointed by the executive committee. The working group will prepare a report with ideas, concerns, recommendations and aspirations to be presented at the spring 2022 Church Council meeting.

    In other key action, the council:

    • Approved revisions to "A Declaration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to the Jewish Community" as an expression of this church's continual opposition to rising anti-Semitism and its ongoing work to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery.
    • Adopted editorial revisions to this church's social message "Suicide Prevention" to provide accuracy and relevance to the contemporary social context. The council also encouraged conversation within ELCA congregations and invited discussions with ecumenical and interreligious partners to study this social message.
    • Received a report of activities called for by its implementing resolution for the social statement Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Call to Action.
    • Authorized development of a social message on climate change.
    • Approved revised spending authorizations for FY2022 for the churchwide organization of $65,816,150 and a 2022 ELCA World Hunger spending authorization of $22,665,000.
    • Received an update on research work related to discriminatory treatment within the call process and the inequitable compensation of rostered ministers of color, and requested a final report at the fall 2022 Church Council meeting.
    • Approved a revision to "Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline" to incorporate a definition of the word "promiscuity" as proposed by the Committee on Appeals.
    • Suspended consideration of an aspirational document to replace "Vision and Expectations" until the need arises to develop such a document.
    • Adopted amendments to continuing resolutions in the Constitutions, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions (CBCR) of the ELCA.
    • Recommended amendments to the CBCR to be considered by the 2022 Churchwide Assembly and recommended ratification of amendments adopted by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.
    • Approved a COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirement for all participants at the 2022 Churchwide Assembly.
    • In response to a resolution from the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, adopted continuing resolution 5.01.H21 to clarify that, for purposes of the representational principles, the percentage of laypeople not allocated to women or men may be allocated to persons who identify as gender-nonbinary, gender-fluid, women, men or other genders.
    • Received a final report of the Mission Support experiment and recommended that changes to congregational vitality grants and the funding/employment model for the position of director for evangelical mission include a review of possible implications for future models of Mission Support sharing between synods and the churchwide expression; encouraged the Mission Support experiment synods to continue their models of sharing with the churchwide expression until such decisions are made; and reminded all synods that changes to their models of Mission Support sharing are to be the subject of conversation with the churchwide expression.
    • Approved amendments to various Corporate Social Responsibility documents.
    • Elected board members for seminaries, separately incorporated ministries and social ministry organizations and approved bylaw changes to the Mission Investment Fund.

    The council also:

    • Heard reports from the church's presiding bishop, interim vice president, secretary, treasurer and council committees.
    • Learned from council member Loni Taylor, a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, of the history of abusive treatment and cultural genocide that Native American children experienced in Indian Boarding Schools and the role of Christian churches in those schools.
    • Acted as the corporation for St. Olaf College, approving amendments to the college's bylaws.
    • Spent time in worship, prayer and fellowship.

    - - -
    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




  • Churches Beyond Borders releases devotional inspired by United Nations anti-violence efforts

    CHICAGO (Nov. 9, 2021) – Working alongside the United Nations' "16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence" campaign, the four member churches of Churches Beyond Borders have compiled a 16-day devotional focusing on the campaign's theme opposing intersectional violence against women.

    The devotional — an annual tradition for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada — dives into each of the 16 days in the U.N. campaign, which begins with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Nov. 25 and ends on Human Rights Day, Dec. 10. This year, Mary's Magnificat — found in Luke 1:46-55 — was selected as the guiding text for the booklet in recognition of the campaign's alignment with Advent. 

    For the first time, the annual contributions include devotions written by laity and clergy in addition to ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and the other heads of communion. New writers were selected for their work related to anti-violence, missing or murdered Indigenous women, trafficking, women at the borders, and domestic violence.

    Joining Eaton as authors from the ELCA are the Rev. Joann Conroy, president of the ELCA's American Indian and Alaska Native Lutheran Association; Denise Rector, womanist theological student at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; and the Rev. John Lund, director of Emmaus Campus Ministry at the University of Montana in Missoula.

    Readers of "Churches Beyond Borders Joint Devotions 2021" are encouraged to utilize the writings throughout the year. The devotional can be found here.

     
    - - -

     

    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:
    Jocelyn Fuller
    Sr. Director, Strategic Communications
    773-380-2547
    Jocelyn.fuller@elca.org 


  • ELCA Foundation announces launch of Ministry Growth Fund

    CHICAGO (Nov. 1, 2021) – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Foundation today announced the relaunch of its Endowment Fund Pooled Trust — also known as Fund A — under a new name, the Ministry Growth Fund, which better represents the foundation's goals for the future.

    "As we look toward future growth for our church and its ministries, we must ask ourselves how we can invite even more people to take part in the work we are called to do as one body in Christ," said Kathy Freeman Summers, president and CEO of the ELCA Foundation.

    For years, the Endowment Fund Pooled Trust has been a significant way for ELCA congregations, synods and seminaries, and affiliates to carry out this work. The investment vehicle Fund A has grown exponentially since its inception, providing participants with stable distributions to grow the ministries they care about most.

    "This renaming of the fund is an important and exciting step in engaging even more members and supports of the ELCA in the life — and future — of the church and its partner organizations," Summers said. "We hope that, through this change, we will more effectively communicate the purpose of the fund: to support and grow the ELCA's ministries for generations to come."

    The Ministry Growth Fund will provide the same opportunities as the Endowment Fund Pooled Trust, allowing participants to invest in an endowment fund that generates quarterly distributions for ministry.

    The ELCA Foundation partners with individuals, congregations, synods and other ELCA-related organizations to offer a variety of charitable and planned giving options to ensure the continuation of God's work in the world for years to come. The foundation provides expertise — as well as resources, financial education and investment and endowment management services — to help ELCA members and organizations answer the call to love and serve their neighbors.

     

    - - -

     

    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:
    Jocelyn Fuller
    Sr. Director, Strategic Communications
    773-380-2547
    Jocelyn.fuller@elca.org 

  • A pastoral letter from the ELCA presiding bishop regarding the actions of the Reformed Church in America General Synod 2021

    "I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:1-3 NRSV).

    Dear church,

    Like many of you, I have been praying for the Reformed Church in America (RCA) as it met in General Synod, Oct. 14-19, in Tucson, Ariz. For nearly a quarter century, we have grown in full communion with the RCA, sharing in mutual ministry and mission. We have come to know each other through our common witness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    In recent years, we have accompanied the RCA as it has wrestled with differences in theology and practice with regard to human sexuality. After being postponed due to the pandemic, the final Vision 2020 Report was presented to the General Synod in Tucson. This report offered recommendations for the future of the denomination with regard to staying together, radical restructure and grace-filled separation.

    The synod said yes to all three by affirming the central place of global mission in the RCA, forming a restructuring team, and adopting regulations to provide an unobstructed pathway for those local churches that will depart the denomination. On the whole, these actions reflect the RCA's commitment to walking together, respecting differences, and affirming common mission and ministry. Importantly, the spirit of the synod was conciliatory and hope-filled, as delegates shared their disagreements in the bond of peace. We give thanks to God that the RCA, and our full communion partnership, will continue. 

    This is not the first time that we have accompanied an ecumenical partner in this way, nor will it be the last. We also have benefited greatly from the accompaniment of others as we traveled this same road. Our presence with our ecumenical partners is an opportunity to offer solidarity, to encourage unity, and to give witness to the good gifts from God received through the full inclusion of all people in the church and in ministry. We affirm that it is possible, by the grace of God, to be a church that makes an active choice to live with the disagreement among us, and "to accompany one another in study, prayer, discernment, pastoral care, and mutual respect" (Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, 2009). This is the same spirit in which we approach our ecumenical partnerships.

    As the apostle Paul reminds us, we are to bear with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity that is already ours in Jesus Christ. We pray that God will continue to strengthen the bond of peace within the RCA and the body of Christ, and to reveal new ways for us to be in service to God's liberating love for all people and creation. This is a life worthy of our calling together.

    In Christ,

    The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton

    Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


    For more information, see General Synod 2021 News Summary | Reformed Church in America (rca.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:
    Jocelyn Fuller
    Sr. Director, Strategic Communications
    773-380-2547
    Jocelyn.fuller@elca.org 

Sunday
Pancakes 9:00 AM
Sunday School 9:15 AM
Worship 10:30 AM

Worship

11/28/2021     10:30 AM

Worship

12/05/2021     10:30 AM

Worship

12/12/2021     10:30 AM

Church Council

12/15/2021     7:30 AM

Worship

12/19/2021     10:30 AM