ELCA Newshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/ELCA presiding bishop joins faith leaders at peace summit http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7827http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7827<div class="ExternalClassD901FCD4794245619E0A35684E5B577E"><p><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; CHICAGO (ELCA) – The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), joined leaders of Christian churches and church-related organizations from the United States and the Holy Land in Atlanta April 19-20 for &quot;Pursuing Peace and Strengthening Presence&#58; The Atlanta Summit of American and Palestinian Churches.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">This first-ever gathering of American and Palestinian Christians in the United States focused on exploring the role of Christian churches in peacemaking in Israel-Palestine and helping strengthen the Christian presence in the Holy Land.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">&quot;It was significant that a broad spectrum of Christian churches – Evangelicals to Orthodox, historic black denominations as well as mainline denominations – participated,&quot; said Eaton. &quot;This diverse coalition has more credibility than the usual alliances. The freedom of Palestine, the security of the state of Israel and the preservation of Arab Christianity in the Holy Land are not political issues for a few but a faith issue for many.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">Other representatives from the ELCA included the Rev. Rafael Malpica-Padilla, executive director, ELCA Global Mission; the Rev. Jeffrey Thiemann, CEO, Portico Benefits Services; and the Rev. Cindy Halmarson, area program director for Europe and the Middle East, ELCA Global Mission. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Munib Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, attended along with patriarchs and other heads of churches in Jerusalem.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">The event, held at the Carter Center, brought together about 100 leaders from diverse Christian denominations and organizations, including Catholic, Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, mainline Protestant and historic African American and Latino churches.&#160;Former President Jimmy Carter delivered the keynote speech during the final session.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">&quot;Bishop Younan and other leaders are calling for U.S. churches to strengthen the Christian presence in Palestine,&quot; said Halmarson. &quot;I hope this conference is the beginning of a broader and deeper coalition of U.S. church support to accompany Palestinians in pursuit of peace and strengthening Christian presence in the Holy Land.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">The ELCA, through its Peace Not Walls campaign, is working for peace and justice in the region through accompaniment, advocacy and awareness-building. Among other objectives, the effort connects ELCA members with Palestinian Lutheran companion churches in the region to promote healing and reconciliation.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">The goals of the Atlanta summit included drafting a summit document that articulates a comprehensive vision for the future of the Holy Land and its Christians, writing a letter to President Barack Obama that communicates this vision, and adopting a strategy for common witness by American and Palestinian churches.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">The summit document states&#58; &quot;We have come together for two days of prayer and open dialogue in a spirit of theological and ethical urgency for a just peace, and to express our ecumenical unity in action towards the end of occupation and a lasting political situation in the Holy Land. We honor the land that witnessed to the life and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ affirming his call to justice, peacemaking and to the ministry of justice and reconciliation.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">The document outlines issues that merit special attention in order to effectively promote peace with justice and advance the two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. The points include&#58;</span></p><ul style="list-style-type&#58;disc;"><li><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">Develop more effective advocacy in the United States.</span></li><li><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">Educate members of congregations on the merits and necessity of a peace process that fulfills the rights of all people and nations in the region to live in security and peace.</span></li><li><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">Recognize, affirm and support the solidarity that is being demonstrated among some Christians, Jews and Muslims in addressing humanitarian needs, fighting poverty and fostering peace.</span></li><li><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">Designate a common day of prayer and reflections across churches in the U.S. and the Holy Land.</span></li></ul><p><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Following the Atlanta summit, Eaton and Younan joined Fouad Twal, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem; Suheil Dawani, archbishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem; and several other members of the Palestinian delegation in Washington, D.C., April 21-22. At the White House, the group delivered the letter addressed to Obama and a copy of the summit document. Meeting with Dr. Colin Kahl, assistant to the president and national security adviser to the vice president, and Yael Lempert, special assistant to the president and senior director for the Levant, Israel and Egypt at the National Security Council, the delegation highlighted the importance of education in the Holy Land, the need to fight extremism and radicalism, and Jerusalem's centrality to the peace process.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">The group also met with U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, congressional staff members and representatives of the State Department to discuss the outcomes of the summit.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">&quot;The Atlanta Summit was very significant in many respects but especially for its reaffirmation of the Palestinian Christian presence in the Holy Land and its call to revitalize advocacy efforts in the U.S. towards a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,&quot; said Dennis Frado, director, Lutheran Office for World Community, ELCA Global Mission. &quot;The delegation's follow-up visit to Washington was important to convey those messages to U.S. policy makers.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">The Atlanta Summit document is available at </span><a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Atlanta_Church_Summit_Document.pdf?_ga=1.122276939.1503715930.1461873236"><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Atlanta_Church_Summit_Document.pdf?_ga=1.122276939.1503715930.1461873236</span></a><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </span><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">More information about Peace Not Walls is available at </span><a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Peace-Not-Walls"><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;text-decoration&#58;underline;">ELCA.org/Our-Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Peace-Not-Walls</span></a><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">.</span></p><p>&#160;</p><p><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;">- - -<br><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> <span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,times,serif;">The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.7 million members in more than 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.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size&#58;14.66px;"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,times,serif;">&#160;</span><span style="line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,times,serif;"><font color="#000000">For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877 or </font><a><font color="#000000" style="font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,times,serif;font-size&#58;14.66px;">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</font></a><br> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/news"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,times,serif;font-size&#58;14.66px;text-decoration&#58;underline;"><font color="#0000ff">http&#58;//www.ELCA.org/news</font></span></a><br><font color="#000000"> Facebook&#58; </font><a href="http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,times,serif;font-size&#58;14.66px;text-decoration&#58;underline;"><font color="#0000ff">http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans</font></span></a><br><font color="#000000"> Living Lutheran&#58; </font><a href="http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com/"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,times,serif;font-size&#58;14.66px;text-decoration&#58;underline;"><font color="#0000ff">http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com</font></span></a></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,times,serif;">​</span><br>&#160;</span></p><p>​</p></div>05/03/2016ELCA invites members to consider future priorities and directionshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7826http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7826<div class="ExternalClassB01A56F851A54E50BF54A69BDA707137"><p>​&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; CHICAGO (ELCA) – In anticipation of the 500<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has introduced &quot;Called Forward Together in Christ,&quot; an initiative that invites its 3.7 million members to consider what kind of church God is calling the ELCA to become.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Led by ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and endorsed by the ELCA Church Council and in collaboration with the ELCA Conference of Bishops, the initiative asks members to join in a conversation about the future priorities of the ELCA.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;We're asking all of us to think together and to talk together about what our priorities are going to be so we can be as effective as possible in bringing people the good news of Jesus Christ,&quot; said Eaton in a video message.<br></p><p>The initiative has three main phases&#58;</p><ul style="list-style-type&#58;disc;"><li>Conversations across the church about the future</li><li>Consultations on the directions and priorities that emerge</li><li>Decisions as a church about where the ELCA is headed<br>&#160;</li></ul><p>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;We need you to be involved in the conversation,&quot; said Eaton, emphasizing the importance for all members to participate. &quot;The more of us we can hear from, the more of us who are praying and listening to the Spirit, the more possible it will be for us to get a clearer picture and understanding of the future God is calling this church to.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Questions for congregations to consider include&#58; What are your hopes for the future of this church? Who would you like to see joining your congregation, and how might this happen? What are the two biggest challenges facing your congregation right now?<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Following this process, a statement of future directions and priorities will be considered by the ELCA Church Council at its November 2016 meeting. The goal is to launch the statement in 2017 as part of the ELCA's observance of the 500<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the Reformation.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Information is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/future"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">ELCA.org/future</span></a>.</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 3.7 million members in more than 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 or <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</span></a><br> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/news"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.ELCA.org/news</span></a><br> Facebook&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans</span></a><br> Living Lutheran&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com</span></a><br> <br></p></div>04/26/2016ELCA Church Council approves strategies to address theological educationhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7825http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7825<div class="ExternalClassBAAC36D7C8CC45B1855A3BC7A24E6A59"><p>​&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; CHICAGO (ELCA) – The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) approved recommendations and implementing strategies to help sustain theological education across this church when it met here April 7-10. The council, which serves as the ELCA's board of directors, also took action on a variety of matters designed to help move the church's mission and ministries forward.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Key among the recommendations put forward by the Theological Education Advisory Council (TEAC) was the creation of an advisory committee to the Church Council. A working group was created to develop implementing strategies for the TEAC recommendations. In its report, the working group charged the new advisory committee &quot;to sustain a robust network of theological education for the ELCA and to prioritize and to oversee the implementation of the TEAC recommendations.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Authorized by the ELCA Church Council in 2013, TEAC was established to address in a holistic way issues on theological education, leadership development, candidacy, call and rostered leaders.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;We're taking a look at the need for theological education as well as the way we deliver theological education across this church,&quot; said the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, in her opening report to the council. &quot;The effort is for us to understand and recognize all the ways we deliver theological education and try to be more coordinated about it.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Introducing the working group's proposal to the council, the Rev. Dr. Robin J. Steinke, president of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., co-chair of TEAC and a member of the working group, described a leading question received during TEAC's work. &quot;Multiple times during every meeting we were asked this question – what does the mission of the gospel require of us to do in this time for the sake of the mission of the church?&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Presenting the proposed recommendation to establish an advisory committee, Steinke emphasized the Church Council's role in theological education. &quot;What we heard over the last 2½ years is this church has a stake in theological education for the sake of the future mission and ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ,&quot; Steinke said. &quot;And if that is true, then you all have a really important role in oversight.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; The Budget and Finance Committee, in addressing the funding implications of the TEAC recommendations, offered thanks to TEAC and the working group for their &quot;vision and contributions to our church as we seek to address in a holistic manner issues in leadership development, theological education, candidacy and call and the rosters of this church.&quot; The committee also acknowledged &quot;with thanksgiving the $15.7 million in FY15 churchwide funding in support of leadership priorities of this church including theological education and formation for current and emerging leaders.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; In her report to the council, Eaton identified five major initiatives across the church. In addition to theological education, the initiatives include <em>Always Being Made New&#58; The Campaign for the ELCA,</em> Mission Support strategy, and becoming a multicultural church.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;If we want to become truly multicultural, we have to be honest about racial injustice in our church and in our nation. That's how we start,&quot; said Eaton. &quot;I think this is probably the most difficult and among the most critical things that we do as a church.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; The fifth initiative – Called Forward Together in Christ – was approved by the Church Council at its November 2015 meeting. Led by Eaton and in collaboration with the ELCA Conference of Bishops, the process is designed to invite the 3.7 million members of the ELCA into conversations to provide ideas and feedback about the future directions and priorities of this church.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Eaton told the council that by their approval the church will &quot;develop a process to take a look at our priorities and the future God is calling us to in this church and find ways together to listen to the Spirit.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; During the meeting, the council participated in facilitated conversations, sharing ideas about the future of the ELCA. At its November 2016 meeting, the council will consider and approve a statement to articulate and decide future directions and priorities for the church.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; The Church Council also voted to recommend action to the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly to approve the Accompany Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO) strategy. AMMPARO is a commitment by the ELCA, as a church in the world, to accompany vulnerable children today and in the future. The strategy will respond to the situation in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala that has led to the migration of children and their families through Mexico into the United States.<br></p><p>In other business, the council&#58;</p><p>+ Received an invitation by The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) to study the significance of the Lutheran communion for the LWF member churches.</p><p>+ Recommended the following budget proposals for adoption by the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly&#58; current fund spending authorization of $65,296,005 for 2017; current fund income proposal of $64,057,220 for 2018 and $64,151,175 for 2019; ELCA World Hunger income proposal of $24,800,000 for 2017; $25,000,000 for 2018; and $25,000,000 for 2019.</p><p>+ Approved a revised 2016 fiscal year ELCA World Hunger spending authorization of $22,000,000. </p><p>+ Received a final report from ELCA Vice President Carlos Peña, who will not seek a third, six-year term. A new vice president will be elected at the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.</p><p>+ Adopted amendments to the ELCA constitution and bylaws that change the name of the Congregational and Synodical Mission unit to Domestic Mission unit.</p><p>+ Received the 2015 ELCA Churchwide Organization Operational Plan Report. </p><p>+ Recommended adoption of Rules of Organization and Procedure<em> </em>for the 2016 Churchwide Assembly. </p><p>&#160;+ Recommended action to the Churchwide Assembly to amend the ELCA constitution<em> </em>related to college corporation meetings. </p><p>&#160;+ Approved amended Policy and Procedures for Review of Liturgical Material. <br></p><p>+ Elected members to the board of directors of Luther Seminary, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Trinity Lutheran Seminary; to the board of trustees of the ELCA Endowment Fund; and to the Committee of Hearing Officers.<br>&#160;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; The council also received reports from the church's treasurer, secretary and executive for administration, and the ELCA Conference of Bishops. It received updates on <em>Always Being Made New&#58; The Campaign for the ELCA</em>, greetings from ecumenical partners and ethnic specific ministry associations, a primer on Federal Chaplaincy Ministry, and Church Council roles at the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.</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 3.7 million members in more than 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> <span class="baec5a81-e4d6-4674-97f3-e9220f0136c1" style="white-space&#58;nowrap;">773-380-2877<a title="Call&#58; 773-380-2877" href="#" style="margin&#58;0px;border&#58;currentcolor;left&#58;0px;top&#58;0px;width&#58;16px;height&#58;16px;right&#58;0px;bottom&#58;0px;overflow&#58;hidden;vertical-align&#58;middle;float&#58;none;display&#58;inline;white-space&#58;nowrap;position&#58;static !important;"></a></span> or <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</span></a><br> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/news"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.ELCA.org/news</span></a><br> Facebook&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans</span></a><br> Living Lutheran&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com</span></a><br> <br></p></div>04/15/2016ELCA introduces initiative to address voting rightshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7824http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7824<div class="ExternalClass638CCB8310C241CBB52F3AD6BAEF6879"><p>​&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; CHICAGO (ELCA) – Affirming its commitment to ensure voting rights for all U.S. citizens, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has introduced ELCAvotes, an initiative to help members advocate for fair elections and engage in local efforts to guarantee the right to vote. <br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;ELCAvotes is about linking faith, civic engagement and theology in the public square,&quot; said Rozella White, program director, ELCA Young Adult Ministry. &quot;It is our hope to invite more people, especially young adults, into fuller conversation as they live out lives of faith in society.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; ELCAvotes was developed in response to &quot;Voting Rights to All Citizens,&quot; a social policy resolution adopted by the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. The resolution states that &quot;members, congregations, and synods of this church be encouraged to 'promote public life worthy of the name' by speaking out as an advocate and engaging in local efforts such as voter registration and supporting legislation to guarantee the right to vote to all citizens.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; The ministries leading the initiative include ELCA Advocacy, ELCA Racial Justice Ministries and ELCA Young Adult Ministry.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;In this election year filled with divisiveness and at times hateful rhetoric, it is easy to forget that our electoral process exists to ensure all voices are heard in the shaping of our representative democracy,&quot; said Tia Upchurch-Freelove, program director, ELCA Advocacy communications and grassroots outreach. &quot;Voting is one of the most important ways Americans can be involved in our democracy. As part of our ELCAvotes initiative, we will share resources and work together to find ways to ensure all citizens have the right to vote.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; ELCAvotes provides faith-based resources to encourage faithful and non-partisan voter participation and a context for all Lutherans to learn about issues such as economic and racial justice that influence voting rights. The resources also provide tools to help young adults understand what it means to be a young person of faith who is civically engaged and will help equip ethnic communities to talk about race and voting rights and the connection with the election year.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;After gaining many of the strides won during the civil rights era, voter suppression and voter restrictions still remain under attack for communities of color,&quot; said Judith Roberts, program director, ELCA Racial Justice Ministries. &quot;The racially blatant discriminatory laws and state sanctioned violence under the Jim Crow era denied blacks and other people of color the opportunity to vote are gone. However, the U.S. Supreme Court's 2013 decision to dismantle a key provision of the Voting Rights Act removed a critical element to combat racial discrimination in voting.&#160;This removal of protection continues to have unintended consequences in extending all citizens the opportunity to fully exercise their right to vote.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Roberts emphasized that the ELCA, through the social policy resolution, has stated &quot;the guarantee that all citizens may exercise the right to vote on an equal basis is a fundamental requirement for a just society.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;We have to be a church that not only thinks about engagement and has prolific documents on our theological views as they pertain to public life, but we also have to be a church that models active, living, daring faith in Jesus Christ,&quot; said White. &quot;Our faith calls us to action, and this initiative is one way of being a church committed to doing God's work with our whole being.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Information and resources are available at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Resources/Advocacy"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">ELCA.org/Resources/Advocacy</span></a>.</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 3.7 million members in more than 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> <span class="baec5a81-e4d6-4674-97f3-e9220f0136c1" style="white-space&#58;nowrap;">773-380-2877<a title="Call&#58; 773-380-2877" href="#" style="margin&#58;0px;border&#58;currentcolor;left&#58;0px;top&#58;0px;width&#58;16px;height&#58;16px;right&#58;0px;bottom&#58;0px;overflow&#58;hidden;vertical-align&#58;middle;float&#58;none;display&#58;inline;white-space&#58;nowrap;position&#58;static !important;"></a></span> or <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</span></a><br> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/news"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.ELCA.org/news</span></a><br> Facebook&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans</span></a><br> Living Lutheran&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com</span></a><br> <br></p></div>04/08/2016ELCA awards 11 Rossing Physics Scholarshipshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7823http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7823<div class="ExternalClass868D3E2FAD6E4BEB98F7FDF64E8AD968"><p>​&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; CHICAGO (ELCA) – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has awarded the 2016-2017 Rossing Physics Scholarships to 11 ELCA college and university students. The annual scholarships are made possible through gifts from Dr. Thomas D. Rossing, who created the fund through the ELCA Foundation. There are 26 ELCA colleges and universities.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Three students received Rossing Physics Scholars awards in the amount of $10,000 each. The students are&#58; Kevin Honz from Luther College in in Decorah, Iowa; Cameron Olson from Augsburg College in Minneapolis; and Colin Scheibner from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Eight students received Rossing Physics Scholars Honorable Mention awards in the amount of $5,000 each. The students are&#58; Caleb Anderson from Luther College; Michael Da Silva from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Nicholas Hulstrand from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.; Grace Kerber from Gustavus Adolphus College; Emran Lallow from Muhlenburg College in Allentown, Pa.; Justin Livingston from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa; Ian McKeag from Gustavus Adolphus College; and Thinh Truong from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;The scholarship program endowed by Dr. Tom Rossing highlights the excellent quality of the physics programs in the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities and celebrates the superb work being done by students majoring in physics at ELCA schools,&quot; said the Rev. Mark Wilhelm, ELCA program director for colleges and universities.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Rossing began his academic career as a professor at St. Olaf College, where he became chair of the physics department, and later continued at Northern Illinois University. Now retired, he continues to teach part-time at Stanford University.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;During the past 12 years, the ELCA has awarded Rossing Physics Scholarships to 73 young people studying physics at ELCA-affiliated colleges,&quot; said Rossing. &quot;I have met several of these scholars and have corresponded with others. Following the careers of these folks has been a great joy to me, and I look forward to keeping in touch with them. More than ever, we need leaders educated in science and technology with a strong foundation in the liberal arts.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Award recipient Da Silva said the scholarship helps ease the financial burden for his family and puts him &quot;one step closer to achieving my dreams.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;This scholarship not only drastically reduces the number of loans I would need to take to complete my two degrees, it also makes me more competitive in today's market for graduate studies,&quot; said Da Silva. &quot;The honor presented to me may very well be a deciding factor in my success upon graduating from California Lutheran University.&quot; </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 3.7 million members in more than 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> <span class="baec5a81-e4d6-4674-97f3-e9220f0136c1" style="white-space&#58;nowrap;">773-380-2877<a href="#" title="Call&#58; 773-380-2877" style="margin&#58;0px;border&#58;medium none currentcolor;left&#58;0px;top&#58;0px;width&#58;16px;height&#58;16px;right&#58;0px;bottom&#58;0px;overflow&#58;hidden;vertical-align&#58;middle;float&#58;none;display&#58;inline;white-space&#58;nowrap;"></a></span> or <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</span></a><br> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/news"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.ELCA.org/news</span></a><br> Facebook&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans</span></a><br> Living Lutheran&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com</span></a><br> <br></p><p>&#160;</p></div>04/04/2016ELCA presiding bishop delivers Easter messagehttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7822http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7822<div class="ExternalClassD07EC94D3EE7480FB1C6EFF2534FA392"><p>​&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; CHICAGO (ELCA) – In her Easter message, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), said, &quot;On Easter morning we will gather to greet the risen Son and give thanks to God for the new life we have in Jesus Christ.&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <a href="http&#58;//bit.ly/22s2Q3y"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Click on this link to watch Bishop Eaton's Easter message&#58;</span></a></p><p>&#160;&#160;<a href="https&#58;//vimeo.com/158655979"><img src="http://search.elca.org/elcanews/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20News/AllItems/Eaton%20Easter2016.png" alt="Eaton Easter2016.png" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></a></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 3.7 million members in more than 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> <span class="baec5a81-e4d6-4674-97f3-e9220f0136c1" style="white-space&#58;nowrap;">773-380-2877<a href="#" title="Call&#58; 773-380-2877" style="margin&#58;0px;border&#58;medium none currentcolor;left&#58;0px;top&#58;0px;width&#58;16px;height&#58;16px;right&#58;0px;bottom&#58;0px;overflow&#58;hidden;vertical-align&#58;middle;float&#58;none;display&#58;inline;white-space&#58;nowrap;"></a></span> or <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</span></a><br> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/news"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.ELCA.org/news</span></a><br> Facebook&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans</span></a><br> Living Lutheran&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com</span></a><br> <br></p><p>&#160;</p><p>&#160;</p></div>03/23/2016