Photo blogs

A visual tour of ELCA congregations, people and events.


Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

Jun 09, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014, was the the Day of Pentecost, coming 50 days after Easter. ELCA congregations across the country celebrated the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Decorah, Iowa, celebrated the Day of Pentecost last year with new paraments. The design woven into the cloth suggests movement; red is symbolic of the fire of the Holy Spirit.

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

Keeping the spirit of Acts 2:1-21, the choir at Faith Lutheran Church, Marysville, Wash., donned “flames of fire” headbands signifying the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples.

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

At last year’s Create in Me Retreat, Living Lutheran blogger Kristin Berkey-Abbott focused on the Holy Spirit — more specifically, on the fire aspect of the Spirit as inspiration for preparation for Pentecost.

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

Jim Lindus, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Freeland, Wash., celebrates the spirit of the day with red paraments (altar cloths) and vestments (what the pastor wears).

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

Red is the color of the day liturgically. Los Altos Lutheran Church, Los Altos, Calif., uses a swath of red cloth draped over the cross to designate the descending of the Holy Spirit.

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

The bell choir rings in the Day of Pentecost at Salem Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, Minn.

ELCA graduations, 2014

Jun 02, 2014

Congratulations, grads! It is graduation season for the 26 ELCA colleges and universities and eight seminaries. Here is but a sampling of what is going on in our various institutions of higher education.

ELCA graduations, 2014

Four hundred degree candidates crossed the stage at Wittenberg College’s 169th commencement exercises on May 17 in the university’s “Commencement Hollow.”

ELCA graduations, 2014

The 145th commencement of Luther Seminary was on May 18 at Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis.

ELCA graduations, 2014

The 179th commencement at Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pa., was on May 18. The college is noted for its strong academic reputation. Since its founding in 1832, the college has upheld a rigorous commitment to the liberal arts in all their breadth.

ELCA graduations, 2014

Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago held its commencement on May 18. The ELCA has a long history of educating and preparing pastors and other rostered leaders to participate in God’s work in the world.

ELCA graduations, 2014

Students complete their academic journey at California Lutheran University’s commencement ceremony May 17 in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

ELCA graduations, 2014

Wartburg Theological Seminary honored 46 degree and certificate candidates at commencement exercises on May 18 at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Dubuque, Iowa.

Memorial Day 2014

May 26, 2014

On this Memorial Day we remember the members of the armed services, both past and present. We give thanks for all who have lost their lives and pray for the safety of those who are now on active duty.

Memorial Day 2014

Harold Jacobson, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Clarion, Pa., delivers the invocation at the town’s Memorial Day service.

Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day outreach Sunday school family makes cards for military personnel at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Gaithersburg, Md.

Memorial Day 2014

In front of Jacobs Lutheran Church in Pine Grove, Pa., is a stone memorial to the early settlers who were members of this Revolutionary War-era congregation and who are buried in the cemetery adjacent to the church. In front of the stone are bronze emblem flag holders representing all the wars in which Americans have fought.

Memorial Day 2014

Young members of Christ Lutheran Church, Floral Park, N.Y., hold signs at the community’s Memorial Day parade.

Memorial Day 2014

May God protect those who served, who serve and who will serve. May God give us the courage and wisdom to work for peace so that no more lives need be sacrificed. May we reach out with compassion to all returning veterans that they may feel welcomed, loved and appreciated. (Photo/Krista Mendoza, pastor Bethany Lutheran, Elmira, N.Y., Woodlawn National Cemetery, Elmira.)

Memorial Day 2014

World War II veteran Stanley Lesniak, who is now a resident of Wittenberg Village: A Lutheran Life Community, Crown Point, Ind., took part in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. The mission of an Honor Flight is to thank and pay tribute to veterans, especially from World War II, with a day of honor and remembrance at no cost to them.

We are the ELCA

May 19, 2014

The members of the ELCA make up a community of faith that shares a passion for making positive changes in the world. With nearly 10,000 congregations across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and nearly 4.2 million members, we are a diverse community working together as the body of Christ.

We are the ELCA

Luther Place is on Thomas Circle in the heart of Washington, D.C. The congregation is “called to a mission of hospitality.”

We are the ELCA

Members of Central Lutheran Church, Capitol Hill, Seattle, celebrate the Seahawks.

We are the ELCA

Patt Kauffman, pastor of St. Peter’s, Port Jervis, N.Y., welcomes all people to this Reconciling in Christ ELCA Lutheran congregation.

We are the ELCA

The Northeastern Iowa Synod, in partnership with the Naz Builders of Nazareth Lutheran, Cedar Falls, has undertaken a synod-wide service project to rehab family student housing at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque. Congregations and individuals are invited to join a work team.

We are the ELCA

PJ Jayne Thompson, campus pastor, and crew during “Chapel Rap” at Thiel College, Greenville, Pa.

We are the ELCA

Having fun at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp, Hillside, Colo.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

May 12, 2014

On Mother’s Day we celebrate all who nurture others and offer motherly love. We ask God to give them strength, hope and inspiration throughout the year.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

Anne Edison-Albright, pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Stevens Point, Wis., celebrates Mother’s Day with her son, Walter.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

Carnations are distributed at Hope Lutheran Church, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

The All-for-One support group works on a Mother’s Day craft project at Messiah Lutheran Church in Vancouver, Wash.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

Students at the Dar al-Kalima Evangelical Lutheran School celebrate Mother’s Day with a carnival. Kindergarten students and their mothers are making Mother’s Day crafts at the carnival.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

All women at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Clifton Park, N.Y., receive a rose and are invited to a free Mother’s Day brunch.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

In 2013, Joe Troester, ELCA East Africa regional representative, offered a Mother's Day tribute to the Central African Republic's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in theology, Antoinette Yindjara-Beanzoui: mother, grandmother, wife and pastor.

ELCA Latino community

May 05, 2014

The ELCA has approximately 147 Latino ministries in the United States. The work of these ministries supports pastors, lay leaders and congregations as they serve to share the good news of Jesus Christ. This church is composed of people from many different cultures, traditions and languages who work together as the body of Christ for the kingdom of God.

ELCA Latino community

Antonio Cabello, an ELCA pastor, and Palm Sunday procession at Bethel Lutheran Church, Madison, Wis.

ELCA Latino community

Hector Garfias-Toledo, ELCA pastor and director for evangelical mission, Metropolitan Chicago Synod, with his wife, Chienyu Jade Yi, also an ELCA pastor, and daughter Sofia Garfias-Yi.

ELCA Latino community

Preparing for a procession at Iglesia Luterana San Lucas. Eagle Pass, Texas.

ELCA Latino community

Iglesia Lutherana Nueva Esperanza, Aurora, Ill. fundraising for a mission trip to Nicaragua.

ELCA Latino community

Irma Banales, lay leader, Iglesia Luterana Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Irving, Texas.