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Past issues: 20:04 A Future with Hope; 20:03 The Gift of Wonder; 19:11 Love Justice; 19:09 Life as a Story; 19:08 How to Pray; 19:06 The Love of God; 19:05 The Work of Healing; 19:04 We Belong to Each Other; 19:03 Faith as a Wellspring; 19:02 What To Do About God; 19:01 The Mantra of Advent; 18:12 Unstuffing the Turkey; 18:11 Where To Next; 18:09 Is Your Ego in the Way; 18:07 Subject to Authority; 18:06 Unexpected Voices; 18:05 The Tie That Binds; 18:04 Meeting Up; 18:03 Believing or Trusting; 18:02 Abiding in Love; 18:01 A Moment in Time; 17:12 A New You; 17:10 An Exhortation; 17:09, 17:08; 17:05; 17:04; 17:03; 17:02; 17:01; 16:12; 16:11;16:10; 16:09; 16:08; 16:06; 16:05; 16:04; 16:03; 16:02; 16:01; 15:12; 15:11; 15:10; 15:09; 15:08; 15:06 15:05; 15:03; 15:02; 15:01; 14:10; 14:09; 14:08; 14:07; 14:05; 14:04; 14:02; 14:01
The last couple of weeks have been trying ones for everyone across this church. Our synods, congregations and ministries are facing challenges that they’ve never faced before. Being church together means more now than ever before.
The churchwide office is launching a comprehensive Covid-19 response
across the ELCA beginning today. We have three new approaches designed to provide
several levels of support for our most vulnerable congregations and ministries.
These three approaches are Daily Bread Grants, Here to Serve, and the Covid-19
DAILY BREAD GRANTS
ELCA World Hunger is announcing the immediate launch of
Daily Bread Matching Grants. Through these grants, ELCA congregations can raise
funds for their feeding ministries using an online fundraising platform and
will receive a grant of $500 from ELCA World Hunger. Up to 100 Daily Bread
Matching Grants are available for ELCA congregations on a first-come, first-served
basis, with the possibility of more grants becoming available in the future. Apply or donate here.
HERE TO SERVE
The churchwide organization is inherently a resource in
support of the members, congregations, synods and partners of the ELCA. During
this time, Domestic Mission will pivot to a project-based, service-oriented
structure so this church knows we are here to serve. By the first week of
April, we will launch a chat function on ELCA.org along with an 800 hotline for
prayer, support and questions that will be answered by our staff. As soon as
these channels are live, we will let you know.
COVID-19 RESPONSE APPEAL
It’s more important now than ever to support our church
across the country through these difficult times. We will begin to raise funds
to support our congregations, ministries and synods. This effort will launch
the week of March 30 via email and social media with a special form online to
In addition to our new three-pronged response, our work
continues in providing and updating resources on ELCA.org/publichealth. We are also
still at work in the world. Our global mission work continues and grows in this
time of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are working with our global companions to
provide support where we can. Learn more about that here.
I am proud to say that even during challenging times, we
continue our service in living out the mission of this church: Together in
Jesus Christ we are freed by grace to live faithfully, witness boldly and serve
Peace and be well,
Elizabeth A. Eaton
The Evangelical Lutheran Church America, as part of the body of Christ, is united with other Christians in our communities, in our country and around the world. This unity takes many forms, including prayer.
I am writing to extend an invitation we have received from Pope Francis, through the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches, to join in the Lord's Prayer tomorrow, March 25, at noon your local time. Please share this invitation through your synods, congregations, ecumenical communities and individual networks.
During the global pandemic of COVID-19, the church can and should give witness to our unity in Christ and express our deep concern for God's creation. Despite social distancing, through prayer we are able to enter together into the presence of Christ and the communion of believers. By praying the prayer that Christ taught us, we are united with followers of Jesus in every time and in every place. When the church gathers in this way, we can be assured that Christ, our eternal hope, is present in the midst of suffering.
In Christ,The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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ITASCA — For the first time in the history of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the ELCA Church Council and the ELCA Conference of Bishops held a joint meeting over multiple days. The purpose of the meeting was to nurture their relationship and foster dialogue around shared work that guides this church into the future to which God is calling it.
During the historic meeting, held March 6-8 at the Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, Ill., the council and conference received and participated in the following:
The meeting also included time for the council and the conference to hold their separate annual spring meetings.
In key action, the council, which serves as the ELCA board of directors and legislative authority between churchwide assemblies, voted to remove the document "Vision and Expectations" from use in the ELCA. In its action the council affirmed that "Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline" remains the document that describes the grounds by which officers, rostered ministers, congregations and members of congregations may be subject to discipline according to the practice of this church. Candidates for rostered ministry are also held to the disciplinary standards stated in the document.
The council requested that all relevant documents and manuals, including candidacy and mobility documents, will be updated by June 1, 2020, to reflect the role of "Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline" in defining the grounds for discipline.
In other action the council approved nonsubstantive edits to "Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline" and "Manual of Policies and Procedures for the Management of the Rosters of the ELCA," removing references to "Vision and Expectations" and addressing changes to the rosters and entrance rite adopted by the 2016 and 2019 ELCA churchwide assemblies; changes to the law related to same-gender marriage; and changes to the Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions of the ELCA.
The council also requested that the Domestic Mission unit engage in conversation with the Conference of Bishops at its fall 2020 meeting and the Church Council at its November 2020 meeting to consider the goals and purpose behind a new aspirational document.
During its meeting, the Conference of Bishops approved a plan to alter the current assignment process for candidates for rostered ministry. Potential benefits of the new plan include being able to create a more streamlined process that is localized, encouraging synods to take responsibility for their own candidates. The approved plan will be designed as a three-year experiment and will uphold the practice of encouraging persons newly entranced into the candidacy process to consider serving across the church. The current system of assignment for ELCA candidates will remain in place through September 2020. A plan of implementation is being drafted by a task force and will be finalized at the fall 2020 meeting of the Conference of Bishops.
The conference also received a 10-year review of the role of director for evangelical mission. The directors are churchwide staff who coordinate the partnership between the ELCA's churchwide ministries and its 65 synods. The bishops decided to better focus the role of the directors around helping foster congregational vitality and improving communication between synodical bishops, directors for evangelical mission and staff of the churchwide organization.
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
For information contact: