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Recent News Stories

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

ELCA News
  • A pastoral word on the verdict of George Floyd's murder trial

    ​The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minnesota police officer charged with the killing of George Floyd, has riveted our national attention these past weeks, and now a verdict has been reached. Together with people around the world, we have anticipated the jury's decision with troubled hearts. As members of the community of Jesus, we affirm that "if one member suffers, all suffer together with it" (1 Corinthians 12:26, NRSV).

    No jury verdict can erase the pain of the Floyd family, and we share our condolences and pray for ongoing comfort in their suffering and for all whose lives have been touched by this tragedy. As people of the cross, we believe in the hope of the resurrection. Yet we cannot rush to Easter Sunday without reflecting on the oppression of Good Friday.

    The murder of George Floyd is one of the many examples of the ongoing abuse of police authority. The extrajudicial killings of Brown and Black bodies must stop.

    We recommit ourselves as a church to continue to fight against the sin of racism and to hold accountable unjust systems and structures that perpetuate injustices, including our own.  In the words of Martin Luther King Jr: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." The work of confronting these injustices is long overdue. 

    Let us together in our congregations and communities discern how we are being called in this moment to live out our baptismal promise to serve all people and strive for justice and peace. 

    For further discussion, you can read the following sections from ELCA social statements and policy:

     The Church and Criminal Justice: Hearing the Cries, elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Criminal-Justice (pages 9 and 13).

    Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture, elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Race-Ethnicity-and-Culture (pages 4 and 5).

    Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent, Slavery_Apology_Explanation.pdf  (page 2).


    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



  • A statement from Bishop Eaton addressing racial justice


    "But let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream" (Amos 5:24 NRSV).
     

    The last 16 days have been a microcosm of the original sins of racism and white supremacy in the United States. This has included the trial of Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd; the extrajudicial killings of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minn., and Adam Toledo in Chicago; the lack of justice for Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.; and the release of the body cam video of the abuse of Lt. Caron Nazario in Norfolk, Va.  

    As an anti-racist church that condemns white supremacy, we acknowledge how these injustices are traumatizing to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and call on God's comforting love. We join in lament over the lost lives of Daunte and Adam and in the cry for justice. We recognize that "rooted in slavery, racism is manifested through the history of Jim Crow policies, racial segregation, the terror of lynching, extrajudicial killings by law enforcement, and the disproportionate incarceration of people of color" ("Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent," page 2).   

    As we await the verdict in the Chauvin trial, we pray for justice, we cry out as in Amos 5:24: "But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." We call for reforms to this and any institutionally racist system. We also encourage you to join Campaign Zero, a 10-point policy platform created by the #BlackLivesMatter movement to address and improve relationships between local law enforcement and the communities in which they serve, at joincampaignzero.org and to learn more about ELCA resources at elca.org/blacklivesmatter.

    The 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted a resolution condemning white supremacy [CA19.04.18]. ELCA members can join the efforts to end racism by participating in the ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge here.

    We join other Christians in condemning these injustices. Read more at nationalcouncilofchurches.us/topics/statements/.

    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
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org



  • Earth Day statement from Bishop Eaton

    O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

    —Psalm 104:24

    Throughout Scripture, God promises to restore God's people to health and wholeness, a promise that includes the renewal of all creation. This promise is depicted dramatically in the final pages of the book of Revelation as a grand vision of a new heaven and a new earth. The earth and its inhabitants are weary and uncertain, battered by plagues and death, wars and destruction. But God is still there, persistent and faithful. At the last, God reveals a renewed heaven and an earth permeated by the presence of God, transformed from pain to be a place of healing and wholeness for all things. The 2021 Earth Day theme, "Restore Our Earth," reminds us of this vision and the holy work God entrusts to us — of seeking the well-being of creation as inseparable from the wholeness of humankind.  

    In the past year the world received a jolt from its collision with the COVID-19 pandemic, which laid bare persistent racial disparities in health care access and outcomes in our nation. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted the disproportionate impact (increased hospitalizations and deaths) of the pandemic on some racial and ethnic minority groups. The CDC found that "inequities in the social determinants of health, such as poverty and healthcare access, affecting these groups are interrelated and influence a wide range of health and quality-of-life outcomes and risks."  

    The racial reckonings of 2020 illuminate how the legacies of slavery, the Doctrine of Discovery and colonization continue to diminish life for people and creation. The glaring inequities exposed through the pandemic are being intensified by the global impacts of climate change. The final 2020 update of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) found last year to be one of historical extremes. There were 22 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters across the United States, which shattered the previous annual record of 16 events in 2011 and 2017. All these disasters disproportionately affected people of color and the most vulnerable populations. We are one people and one earth in need of restoration.  

    Repenting the sin of racism and repenting our destruction of creation should happen together. Because God gave humans the vocation to be stewards of the earth, we proclaim that, for Christians, care of the earth is not an "environmental cause." Instead, it is central to our holy calling to treasure the earth and care for it as our home, fully integrating creation care into our love of God, neighbor and all in the environment. Recalling the good earth and our call to be stewards of creation in hope and faith, we know our recovery from the pall of 2020 will, in many ways, be a transition to a new way of life.  

    Dear church, we can "testify to the good news of God's grace" (Acts 20:24), which empowers us to move forward. We know that healing is possible — for the planet and for our communities. We are not too late. The time is now. To us, God is calling; through us, God wants to work a miracle; through our finite and inadequate efforts, God can and will bring about "a new heaven and a new earth." God provides us with diverse gifts as protectors and guardians of creation. We affirm, therefore, the many stewards of the land who have been and are conserving the good earth that the Lord has given us.  

    As stewards of creation, we have many ways to lovingly serve the earth:  
    • Explore and use ELCA Care for Creation resources, including video, study and action guides with information about the Creation Care Ambassadors initiative.  
    • Read the Lutherans Restoring Creation story "5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day as Church Together but Apart."
    • Accept the ELCA Young Adults No Plastics for Lent challenge this Easter season.  
    • Participate in a local cleanup (with appropriate distancing) if permitted by local authorities, or participate in the Earth Challenge 2020 citizen scientist initiative, focused on plastic pollution and clean air.  
    • Join with the ELCA's ecumenical partner Creation Justice Ministries in advocacy, education and prayer. 
    •  Participate in Faith and Frontline Call to Action: Good Trouble for Justice on April 19, an ELCA-sponsored consultation focusing on climate migration, food security and just transition. This event brings together people of faith at this watershed moment and calls for the inclusion of the voices, ideas and expertise of the front line and faith communities alongside career politicians and others to address and implement climate solutions.

    Envisioning a world that is just, sustainable and resilient, we, as Lutherans, heed God's call and take concrete steps to repair inequities and wealth divides locally, nationally and globally. A framework built on hope and connecting climate to economic and racial justice is essential to our reimagining of communities as resilient and inclusive, void of poverty and leaving no one behind. 

     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



  • Bishop Eaton issues statement on gun violence

    He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24).

    Dear church, 

    As a nation we have lived through a very difficult two weeks following the mass shootings in Atlanta on March 16 and again in Boulder, Colo., on March 22. The shooting in Colorado was only the most recent of 104 mass shootings already in 2021. Colorado has a painful history of mass shootings. Since 1993 the deadliest incidents have been the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, the mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora and now the 10 lives taken, including the life of a responding police officer, at a supermarket in Boulder.

    Together with God, we grieve with the families and communities impacted by gun violence — especially in communities where it is an everyday occurrence. These shootings are not isolated but rather a pattern of the gun violence crisis in the United States. The numbers of victims tell only a part of the pain — the trauma caused by gun violence ripples across family members, friends, neighborhoods, communities and this country.

    As we near the Sunday of the Passion, we enter into the suffering of Christ and into solidarity with the sufferings of the world. As we look to the healing power of the cross, we celebrate the gift of peace through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As followers of Jesus, we are empowered to take up the challenge to prevent violence and grapple with the complex causes that make violence so pervasive.

    The ELCA is a church in society striving for peace in all the world. Let us join with others in calling for greater gun safety, including preventing easy access to assault-style weapons and strengthening our federal system of background checks for all gun sales. We call for support and protection for those living out their vocations to protect and defend society, enforce the law and work toward restorative justice. We pray for rostered ministers who provide support and counseling services to those affected by gun-violence-related crimes even as we pray for the perpetrators of violent acts. We call upon congregations to hold safe space for those dealing with the fears and threats related to violence in all its manifestations.

     
    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
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org



  • Bishop Eaton issues statement addressing anti-Asian racism

    My enemies trample on me all day long, for many fight against me. O Most High, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me? (Psalm 56:2-4).

    As a nation, we continue to witness and suffer from the cruelties of racial and gender-based violence. In recent days, we have witnessed the horror of gun violence in Atlanta and the vandalism of one of our ELCA congregations in Seattle.

    As church we grieve the mass shooting in Atlanta, Ga., that took the lives of eight people, six of them Asian women. As church we join Bishop Kevin Strickland of the Southeastern Synod in observing that "God has called us to become the beloved community that God created where all are valued and honored. We then are called through the waters of our baptism to strive for justice and peace in all the world, for all."

    Naming the victims' gender and race matters. Women of color live at the intersection of racism and sexism and do not get to choose oppressions. The ELCA social message "Gender-based Violence" (2015) teaches that "gender-based violence is a global evil that marks millions of lives" (2). A white male killing six Asian American women is a racist and gender-based act of violence. Over the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in anti-Asian racism and violent attacks, fueled by hate speech and racist political rhetoric. The organization Stop AAPI Hate has tracked 3,795 hate incident reports from Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Women constituted 68% of the victims, with many reporting instances of sexual harassment and sexual and physical abuse. Reports of escalating violence do not stop in the United States — they are global.

    For the Asian community, fear of violence affects daily life. This week Grace Chinese Lutheran Church in Seattle was targeted with a racist message scrawled on the driveway of its property. Responding to this incident, Shelley Bryan Wee, bishop of the Northwest Washington Synod, said, "The violence that is being done against people of Asian descent is heartrending and blasphemous. We are mindful that people are being injured and even killed in the name of bigotry."

    As church, let us affirm the words of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms: "A crime against any community is a crime against us all." As church, we condemn the sins of racism, sexism and xenophobia in all their forms. As church, we lift up and pray for the support and protection of Grace Chinese Lutheran and its pastors, Jimmy Hao and Wendy Chew. We declare solidarity with our Asian American siblings; we lament with the families that lost loved ones in the shootings; we remember our neighbors working on the frontlines of the pandemic; and we seek ways to support organizations that combat racial violence against all communities. This violence and aggression must stop.

    I invite you to watch this video in which members of the Association of Asians and Pacific Islanders-ELCA share the "Embodied Blessing and Healing" prayer, part of the litany for the church's day of lament for anti-Asian racism.

    O God of all, with wonderful diversity of languages and cultures you created all people in your own image. Free us from prejudice and fear, that we may see your face in the faces of our Asian siblings and people around the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship Occasional Services for the Assembly.)

    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 and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) resume dialogue

    ​CHICAGO — The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have resumed a bilateral dialogue that will define a new ecumenical relationship for common mission and ministry.

    In a March 10 meeting, leaders from the two church bodies resumed the dialogue that had begun in 2004 but been put on hold due to leadership and staff changes at both churches.

    The goal of the dialogue is to determine what form of ecumenical relationship will enable the two church bodies to affirm their common confession of the Christian faith and to witness to the good news of Christ together more fully. The two churches will explore how they have grown in mutual understanding and common mission over time. An important consideration will be the maturity of the full communion relationship each church shares with the United Church of Christ (UCC). For this reason, the UCC was invited to appoint an observer.

    "We celebrate the resumption of this dialogue with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as a sign of the visible unity that is already ours in Christ Jesus," said the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop. "This dialogue will intentionally draw from the deep well of shared mission and ministry in local and regional settings, while tending to the complex theological questions that arise between us as churches. In this way, we hope to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit and the possibility of new forms of ecumenical relationship that serve the gospel and enrich the body of Christ."

    "I am grateful that we are now moving forward in our dialogue with the ELCA," said the Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. "In times like these, it is more important than ever that we as Christians can model for the world what it looks like to walk together, serve together, even when we may disagree on points of doctrine. Our goal must always be to amplify our witness to the limitless love of God, and we have an opportunity to reimagine how we do that through this dialogue with our Lutheran siblings."

    This first round of meetings focused on building relationships, identifying the questions participants bring into this dialogue and sharing ideas for next steps.

    "The path to Christian unity is hard, but if we can embody the love and grace of God revealed in the life of Jesus, then the journey the ELCA and Disciples have undertaken will be worth the effort," said the Rev. Dr. Robert D. Cornwall, who serves as dialogue co-chair from the Disciples of Christ. "We may not know where the journey ends, but I am ready and willing to get on the road."

    "The renewal of this dialogue is extremely important right now," said the Rev. William O. Gafkjen, bishop of the ELCA Indiana-Kentucky Synod and dialogue co-chair from the ELCA. 

    "In a world that is so deeply divided as we try to deal with profound changes and challenges in our common life, these two different traditions sitting at the table to listen deeply, think creatively, and act boldly together is a much-needed witness to the justice- and peace-seeking spirit of the crucified and risen Christ."

    In the next round of discussions, planned for later this year, the churches will focus on getting to know one another, as traditions and as people. They will make use of case studies developed by each church that highlight examples of common mission and challenges to fuller cooperation and ministry, along with papers from the initial round of dialogue in 2004.

    The two churches agree that seeking unity is not the goal of this dialogue, because that has already been accomplished in Christ. Rather, they seek to manifest their unity so that "the world may believe" (John 17:21 NRSV) and God's just peace may be experienced more fully by all people and creation.

    More information about the dialogue, including a list of participants, is available at https://www.disciplescuim.org/elca-disciples-bilateral-dialogue/

    - - -

    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
     


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

Church Council

04/21/2021     7:30 AM

Men's Breakfast/Study

04/24/2021     8:00 AM

Worship

04/25/2021     10:30 AM

Pancakes

04/25/2021     9:00 AM

Sunday School

04/25/2021     9:15 AM