ELCA Newshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/ELCA presiding bishop letter of support in response to Indonesian bombingshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7932http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7932<div class="ExternalClass08D72948509949CC8A7096FC08C62099"><p>CHICAGO – In response to the recent terror attacks at three churches and a police station in Surabaya, Indonesia, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), sent a letter offering prayers and support to The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) National Committee in Indonesia.</p><p>&quot;On behalf of your brothers and sisters in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I join all of you in the 13 Lutheran churches across Indonesia as you advocate for peace and harmony among all Indonesian people, especially between the different faith communities; as you call on your government to prevent radicalism and acts of terror in Indonesia and beyond; and as you find God's wisdom to guide you,&quot; Eaton wrote. </p><p>The national committee represents the 13 LWF member churches in Indonesia, which together have more than 6 million members.</p><p>The committee has issued a statement calling on the government of Indonesia to investigate the terrorist acts while also addressing the root causes of terrorism in Indonesia. According to the LWF, the statement urges Christians in Indonesia to respond to acts of terror in a way that will lead to peace and harmony among the different religious communities in Indonesia. </p><p><a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/ELCA_Letter_to_KNLWF.pdf?_ga=2.121793486.472995412.1526391790-700236965.1524075884"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Read</span></a> Bishop Eaton's letter.</p><p>&#160;<br>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.5 million members in more than 9,300 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribban region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands,&quot; 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.<br> <br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br>Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>​</p></div>05/18/2018ELCA presiding bishop's pastoral message on situation in Gazahttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7931http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7931<div class="ExternalClass768532EFC613487886BCF1C772857067"><p>May 15, 2018</p><p>Like so many here in our country and around the world, I am appalled and saddened by yesterday's escalation of Israeli military action against protestors in Gaza. Many reports indicate that at least 60 Palestinians, including six children, have died and more than 2,000 have been injured as a result of Israel's disproportionate use of force. Our church will support a planned medical mission from The Lutheran World Federation's Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem to Gaza to assist the wounded.</p><p>I join Bishop Sani-Ibrahim Azar of our partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), who today said&#58;</p><p><em>We mourn with the families of the dead and dying and pray for the recovery of the injured. We believe that violent actions against the Palestinian civilians will hinder the potential for peace and reconciliation efforts between Israel and Palestine and will only lead to more violence and bloodshed.</em></p><p>I endorse his call &quot;upon the Israeli government to show restraint and to pursue negotiations with Palestinian leaders rather than choosing violent action against unarmed protestors.&quot;</p><p>Yesterday's events should also be seen in the context of the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. When that decision was announced late last year, I said&#58;</p><p><em>This unilateral action would not support the cause of peace and a two-state solution but rather would unnecessarily create further tensions and possible violence that would make efforts to bring them back together for talks much more difficult.</em></p><p>I also support the ELCJHL's long-standing position, affirmed by Bishop Azar today, that &quot;any final status agreement will include Jerusalem as a shared city for Jews, Christians and Muslims with free access to holy sites for all and that it must serve as capital of both Palestine and Israel.&quot;</p><p>Always, but especially in this time of deep distress, I urge us all to join his call to &quot;continue to pray, advocate and faithfully work towards a peaceful and just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.&quot;</p><p>&#160;</p><p>God's peace, <br></p><p>The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton<br> Presiding Bishop<br>Evangelical Lutheran Church in America<br></p><p>​</p></div>05/15/2018Susan Briner elected bishop of the ELCA Southwestern Texas Synod http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7930http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7930<div class="ExternalClass1E14F09D82E84977844133C14775EE50"><p>​The Rev. Susan J. Briner, Seguin, Texas, was elected May 6 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Southwestern Texas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election was held during the Synod Assembly May 5-6 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in San Marcos, Texas.</p><p>Briner was elected on the fifth ballot with 175 votes to 157 votes for the Rev. Paul R. Ziese, pastor of MacArthur Park Lutheran Church, San Antonio, Texas.</p><p>The bishop-elect currently serves as the bishop's associate of the synod. She served as a pastor of St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Summerville, S.C., from 2003 to 2012. </p><p>Briner earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Duke University in Durham, N.C., in 1984, and a Master of Divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C., in 2003. The seminary is one of seven ELCA seminaries.<br></p><p>The Rev. Ray Tiemann has served as bishop of the Southwestern Texas Synod since 2000 and will retire Aug. 31. </p><p>Briner will be installed on Sept. 1.</p><p>Information about the Southwestern Texas Synod is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.swtsynod.org/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">swtsynod.org/</span></a>.<br></p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.5 million members in 9,300 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands,&quot; 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.</p><p>&#160;For information contact&#58;<br>Candice Hill Buchbinder<br>773-380-2877<br>Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br></p><p> &#160;</p><p>&#160;</p><p><br></p></div>05/10/2018Ann Svennungsen re-elected bishop of the ELCA Minneapolis Area Synodhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7929http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7929<div class="ExternalClass40293161B5924E38A04944B8F27FAA67"><p>The Rev. Ann M. Svennungsen, Minneapolis, was re-elected May 5 to serve a second six-year term as bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election was held during the Synod Assembly May 4-5 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Ramsey, Minn.</p><p>The bishop was re-elected on the second ballot with 337 votes to 50 votes for the Rev. Jeffrey P. Nehrbass, pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.</p><p>Svennungsen has served as bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod since 2012. She served as interim pastor of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., from 2011 to 2012 and as president of Texas Lutheran University in Seguin from 2007 to 2010. St. Olaf and Texas Lutheran are among the 26 ELCA colleges and universities.</p><p>Svennungsen earned a degree in mathematics from Concordia College, an ELCA school in Moorhead, Minn., and a Master of Divinity degree at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 1981. Luther is one of seven ELCA seminaries.</p><p>Information about the Minneapolis Area Synod is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.mpls-synod.org/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">mpls-synod.org/</span></a>.<br></p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.5 million members in 9,300 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands,&quot; 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.</p><p>&#160;For information contact&#58;<br>Candice Hill Buchbinder<br>773-380-2877<br>Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br></p><p> <br><br></p><p>​</p></div>05/10/2018James Gonia re-elected bishop of ELCA Rocky Mountain Synodhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7928http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7928<div class="ExternalClassE62AF513E6D3425DA46F10A5F04CF569"><p>The Rev. James W. Gonia, Denver, was re-elected May 3 to serve a second six-year term as bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election was held during the Synod Assembly May 3-5 at the Westin Hotel Westminster in Westminster, Colo.</p><p>The bishop was re-elected on the first ballot with 321 votes. A total of 293 votes was needed for election.</p><p>Gonia has served as bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod in Denver since 2012. He was ELCA program director for West Africa, Tanzania and Madagascar from 2009 to 2012, and he served as associate pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church in Lakewood, Colo., from 1999 to 2009. &#160; </p><p>Gonia received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind., in 1982. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Northwestern Seminary (now Luther Seminary) in St. Paul, Minn. in 1988, and a Master of Theology degree in Islamic studies at Luther Seminary in 1997. Luther is one of seven ELCA seminaries. </p><p>Information about the Rocky Mountain Synod is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.rmselca.org/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">rmselca.org/</span></a>.<br></p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.5 million members in 9,300 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands,&quot; 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.</p><p>For information contact&#58;<br>Candice Hill Buchbinder<br>773-380-2877<br>Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br></p><p> <br><br></p><p>​</p></div>05/09/2018Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld elected bishop of South-Central Synod of Wisconsin http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7927http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7927<div class="ExternalClassF06F2C1EB0A54A9BA59FECE1149F62F5"><p>The Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld, Beloit, Wis., was elected May 6 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Thomas-Breitfeld is the second African American woman to be a bishop in the ELCA.</p><p>The election was held during the Synod Assembly May 5-6 at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.</p><p>Thomas-Breitfeld was elected on the fifth ballot with 224 votes to 150 votes for the Rev. Steven Kottke, assistant to the bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.</p><p>The bishop-elect currently serves as interim pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Beloit. She served as pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wis., from 2010 to 2013.</p><p>Thomas-Breitfeld earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1974 and she received her Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 1979.</p><p>The Rev. Mary Stumme Froiland, current bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, has served as bishop since 2013 and will retire June 30.</p><p>Thomas-Breitfeld will be installed on Aug. 18 at First Lutheran Church in Janesville, Wis.</p><p>Information about the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.scsw-elca.org/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">scsw-elca.org/</span></a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">.</span></p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.5 million members in 9,300 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands,&quot; 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.</p><p>&#160;</p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br> &#160;</p><p>&#160;</p><p>​</p></div>05/09/2018