A visual tour of ELCA congregations, people and events.
ELCA Malaria Campaign is saving lives – lots of lives
The ELCA is part of a worldwide movement that is reducing the malaria mortality rate. According to the World Health Organization, malaria mortality rates have fallen by 58 percent among children in Africa and 47 percent worldwide since 2000. Through the ELCA Malaria Campaign, ELCA members and others have contributed $13.8 million toward the campaign’s goal of raising $15 million by the end of 2015. ELCA members have joined with companion Lutheran churches and partners in 13 African countries to educate communities, prevent and treat the disease.
According to the World Health Organization, malaria mortality rates have fallen by 58 percent among children in Africa and 47 percent worldwide since 2000.
Malaria costs about $3 to diagnose and treat, so every dollar committed to the ELCA Malaria Campaign makes a difference.
Through the ELCA Malaria Campaign, more than 32,000 expectant mothers have received preventive malaria treatment.
Through the ELCA Malaria Campaign, more than 50,000 mosquito nets have been distributed to vulnerable households.
Programs supported by the ELCA Malaria Campaign have educated more than 2 million people about malaria prevention and treatment.
Christians in China
According to ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, many American Christians and Lutherans would be surprised by the large Christian presence in China. In a trip to China this Easter season, Eaton, along with a group of ELCA leaders, met in Shanghai with representatives of the China Christian Council and leaders of the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China. Eaton also met with Christians in Meile, a small village in northern Yunnan, where she participated in a dedication of a new church building. Meile’s Christians are from the Lisu ethnic minority.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (center) visits Holy Trinity Church in Shanghai.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton presents a gift the Rev. Gao Feng, president of the China Christian Council.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton presents a gift to Elder Fu Xianwei, chairperson of the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (center) meets with representatives of the China Christian Council and the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (center) visits Meile Church in Yunnan, China. She is surrounded by church members dressed in traditional Lisu attire.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton sits among Sunday school students during a three-day vigil in the Maokenju village church.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (second from right) enjoys new friendships with (from left) Li Youni, Ong Jinaai, He Wenqin and Emily Demuth Ishida. In the background is the newly dedicated Meile “Rock of Ages” church.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton visits with Yu Liang-Jun, elder of the Maokenju congregation, and Zhao Wei, evangelist at Houdu Village.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton visits the Wijihou church, dedicated in November 2013. The ELCA provided funds to support the church building.
Jackie Utley, first African American ELCA ordination in South Carolina
Jackie Utley was the first African American to be ordained in the ELCA in South Carolina. Jackie received her Master of Divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C., in 2009. From 2011 to 2013, Jackie served as assistant minister at Ascension Lutheran Church in Columbia, a primarily White congregation in a formerly all-White community. Following the retirement of their senior pastor, the congregation called Jackie to be their new senior pastor, and on June 2, 2013, Jackie was ordained at the ELCA South Carolina Synod Assembly in Charleston.
Jackie Utley holds Lily, a newly baptized member of Ascension Lutheran. She was Jackie’s first baptism.
Jackie Utley is ordained during the ELCA South Carolina Synod Assembly on June 2, 2013. Bishop Herman R. Yoos III, of the ELCA South Carolina Synod, presides over the service.
Jackie pauses with a congregation member during the 2013 “God's Work. Our Hands.” Sunday, the ELCA’s dedicated day of service. Volunteers held a neighborhood recycling event for electronics to be safely disposed and recycled. They also collected clothes, shoes and toys for a local homeless shelter.
Ascension Lutheran church celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012. Jackie served as assistant pastor at Ascension from 2011 to 2013.
For many years, the congregation of Ascension participated in an outreach program called Seeds of Hope, a farmers market that runs throughout the state to help promote small, local farmers. Jackie chats with Ascension member Donna Bone and a customer who lives in the neighborhood.
On Jackie’s left is Herman R. Yoos III, bishop of the ELCA South Carolina Synod. Also present are Bob Hawkins, Ascension’s music minister, and Laura Browder, Ascension’s office administrator.
ELCA members celebrate Palm Sunday
On Sunday, March 29, Christians throughout the world observed Palm Sunday. This day inaugurates the most important week of the Christian year, beginning with Jesus’ glorious entry into Jerusalem and ending with his crucifixion and death. Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, remembers Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, as crowds gathered around him, waving palms and shouting “Hosanna!”. Many ELCA congregations commemorate Palm Sunday with processions and waving of palm branches.
The Sunday school bell choir from Beckville Lutheran Church in Litchfield, Minn., performed for the first time on Palm Sunday. The group is called All God's Ringers.
The congregation of American Lutheran Church in Burbank, Calif., gathers outside before the processional into the church.
The congregation of St. Mark’s in Mooresville, N.C., gathers before processing inside for Palm Sunday worship.
ELCA members help commemorate the 1965 Selma march
Some members of the ELCA joined civil rights activists, faith leaders and elected officials, including President Barack Obama, in Alabama March 7-8 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march. The ELCA social statement "Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture,” adopted by the ELCA 1993 Churchwide Assembly, expresses the ELCA’s calling to regard seriously culture and ethnicity, confront racism, to engage in public leadership, witness and deliberation, and to advocate for justice and fairness for all people.
Members of the ELCA delegation that traveled to Selma stand on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Ian McConnell (center), a student at the ELCA’s Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., stands with Bishop Paul L. Leeland from the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church (left), and Neil McDavid, director for Conference Ministries of the United Methodist Church.
The ELCA delegation meets with Maxine Waters, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California, and Deval Patrick, a former Massachusetts governor.
The ELCA 2013 Churchwide Assembly asked ELCA members to call on local, state and federal governments to guarantee the right to vote to all citizens and to discourage or eliminate all laws, ordinances or regulations that would have the effect of racial and ethnic discrimination in the exercise of that right.
Crowds gather on the Edmund Pettus Bridge where on March 7, 1965, protestors demonstrating for the right to vote departed from Selma for Montgomery and were met by law enforcement as they crossed the bridge. The events of that day – also known as Bloody Sunday – led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
John Lewis (center), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia, was one of the many civil rights leaders who marched in Selma 50 years ago.
Extravaganza energizes youth, family leaders
More than 1,000 ELCA youth and family workers gathered in Detroit Jan. 30 – Feb. 2 for the 19th annual ELCA Youth and Family Ministry’s Extravaganza. The event provides youth and family leaders the opportunity to renew and revitalize their ministry and also a chance to bond with each other over common experiences. This year’s theme, “Story: God’s, Ours, Yours, Mine,” focused on how God's story is interconnected with the story happening in people’s lives today.
A Martin Luther bobblehead stands in front of Detroit’s Ford Field, where the ELCA Youth Gathering will be held July 15-19, 2015. Extravaganza participants had the opportunity to tour the venue.
Minneapolis hip-hop artist Dave Scherer – also known as Agape – performs while Extravaganza participants join in.
Jonathan Swenson – an ELCA pastor and a trained actor and founder of Paraphrase Theatre in Cedar Rapids, Iowa – presents a dramatic monologue at the Extravaganza.
The ELCA Youth Ministry Network aims to strengthen and empower adult leaders who work in child, youth and family ministry in ELCA congregations and in other areas of the church.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton preached at the Extravaganza’s opening worship.
Phil Ruge, a professor of religion at Texas Lutheran University and also a storyteller, tells the story of the Gospel of Mark during the Extravaganza. He tells the story of Mark 3-6, as a participant simultaneously illustrates it on a giant 8-foot Bible.
In an interactive exercise for two-person teams, participants chose a religious symbol that represents their life story. Team members then “branded,” or marked, each other with the chosen symbol.