A visual tour of ELCA congregations, people and events.
‘God’s work. Our hands.’ Sunday
Thousands of ELCA members from across this church participated in the 2014 “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday. Wearing gold T-shirts, the day involved ELCA members serving their communities in ways that shared the love of God with all people. From striving to build awareness about hunger and poverty in the United States to cleaning up parks and neighborhoods, ELCA members were reminded that “we are church together for the sake of the world.”
Within the first few hours of a food drive hosted by a group of congregations from the ELCA Southeastern Iowa Synod, volunteers loaded vehicles with food to be delivered to local food pantries for sorting.
Members of Zion Lutheran Church in Davenport, stood by the entrance of Save-A-Lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. collecting food to support local food pantries. Many shoppers who donated said they have personally received food from a food pantry and wanted to give back.
This week an ELCA member from Denver asked Living Lutheran why so many church buildings have the same architectural elements and furnishings, such as tall peaked roofs, steeples, stained-glass windows, altars and pews in rows. Be sure to see how an ELCA synod bishop and pastor responded to that question in our Ask a Pastor section. In the meantime, enjoy these photos of ELCA church buildings from across the country.
St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Williams County, N.D.
ELCA higher education
The 500-year-old Lutheran intellectual tradition lives on in ELCA higher education. The 26 colleges and universities of the ELCA offer both undergraduate and graduate education in the best of liberal arts, pre-professional and professional education. Our schools are dedicated to the freedom of inquiry and the development of the whole person. At ELCA colleges and universities, students are educated for a sense of calling or vocation, opening the path toward a meaningful life of contribution to the common good through whatever career they choose. Enjoy these “back to school” images from students at this church’s colleges and universities.
On Move In Day at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, students walk through the university’s Memorial Gate to the applause of parents, faculty and staff. Four years later on graduation day, they will walk out of the gate. Capital University, an ELCA school, will welcome about 745 new students (plus 75 transfer students) this fall.
Andrew Larsen, a student at Pacific Lutheran University, was one of two Peace Scholars from Pacific at the Peace Scholars program in Oslo, Norway, this summer. Last spring, Larsen and fellow student Amy Delo attended the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis held at Augsburg College (also an ELCA school) and the University of Minnesota. (Photo/John Froschauer)
Pacific Lutheran University student Nellie Moran, an economics and French double major, met some interesting people while working for the Democratic National Committee this summer. Nellie, who graduates in May, would like to eventually run for public office. Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma, Wash., is one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities. (Photo/White House photographer)
As a part of first-year orientation, students at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., participate in Gettysburg is Volunteering Day, designed to enable students to help out and get to know their local community. This is performed in conjunction with the college’s award-winning Center for Public Service. Gettysburg is one of the ELCA’s 26 colleges and universities.
In anticipation of the 2014-2015 academic year, faculty, staff and students spruce up the campus of Newberry College in Newberry, S.C. Newberry is one of the ELCA’s 26 colleges and universities.
Signs of faith
What’s your sign? Church sign, that is! We asked ELCA members through the ELCA Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/Lutherans to share images of their church property sign. Here are a few images that were shared – including one from a Lutheran companion church overseas.
Covenant Lutheran Church in Wheatland, Wyo.
Emanuel Lutheran Church in Bradford, Pa.
Malaria in Malawi
The Lutheran malaria program in Malawi works to fight malaria through education, disease prevention, treatment and sustainable living. The program is implemented by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi and the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa with support from the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Since the start of the campaign four years ago, ELCA members and our companions overseas have already seen a reduction in the number of deaths from this preventable, treatable disease.
This young girl has learned about malaria through the Lutheran malaria program at the Salima Parish Center in Malawi. Children under 5 are especially vulnerable to malaria because of their undeveloped immune systems.
Esther participates in the Lutheran malaria program in the Kanoga village in Malawi. Children like Ester have become great ambassadors in sharing malaria education and insisting on prevention methods in their home.
John Bvumbwe, left, is the malaria focal person in a community near Nkhotakota, Malawi, and Mphatso Thole, right, is the information and communications officer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi.
The ELCA Malaria Campaign supports comprehensive, community-based programs that empower communities to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria. These children have learned about malaria prevention.
ELCA outdoor ministries
ELCA Outdoor ministries offer a wide variety of programs that provide growth and faith formation experiences for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities – summer and year-round. They represent: 132 outdoor ministry sites, 300 full-time directors, 3,500 summer staff, 30,000 acres of land, 175,000 summer campers, and 275,000 fall/winter/spring campers and retreaters.
Whether you are interested in youth or adult programs, finding a place for a group retreat, or need assistance with a program in your congregation, discover what Lutheran outdoor ministry opportunities and resources are near you.
Outdoor ministry programs and their leaders are committed to creating experiences that deepen the faith of campers across the United States and in Puerto Rico – in rustic cabins and in high-comfort retreat centers, on mountaintops and prairies, city streets and ocean shores, in conference rooms and canoes. (Luther Point Bible Camp, Wisconsin.)
The unique gifts of an outdoor ministry experience include living with others in an intentional Christian community, the presence of trained and caring staff, and being in a place where you feel free to open up to God’s Spirit, creation and the people around you. (Camp Kinard, South Carolina)
Summer programs include youth camps, adult and family camps, travel and adventure camps, day camps, leadership training, urban day camps, service learning experiences, and more. (Lutherdale Ministries, Wisconsin)
Young people, in particular, can benefit through camp experiences that encourage growth in faith and spirituality, self-confidence, independence, making friends, creativity and learning new skills. (Luther Point Bible Camp, Wisconsin)
Through worship, Bible study, games, group building and challenging activities, participants discover how active and vibrant their faith can be by learning to live and work together in an intentional Christian community. (Lutherdale Ministries, Wisconsin)
For many youth and young adults, outdoor ministry experiences are a starting point for becoming leaders in the church and their communities. Pastors and other church leaders often connect their first thoughts of serving in fulltime ministry with the experiences they had at camp while growing up. (Camp Kinard, South Carolina)
Most camps, retreats and conference centers provide programs throughout the year. Weekend retreats, outdoor schools, conference meetings or older adult programs all strive to minister to the whole person in every season of life. (Lutherdale Ministries, Wisconsin)
The stereotype of camp used to be young kids sitting around a campfire with their Bibles roasting marshmallows and singing “Father Abraham.” It’s still that – and much, much more! Outdoor ministries have grown to serve all ages, year-round, in a variety of settings. Learn more about how and where you can get involved or use outdoor ministries as a resource for your congregation. (Lutherdale Ministries, Wisconsin)