ELCA Newshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/ELCA presiding bishop issues statement on police shootingshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7843http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7843<div class="ExternalClass42C7ABB6CA4A4D49A26D533E536637E5"><p>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; CHICAGO&#160; – The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has released a statement in response to the shootings in Baton Rouge, La., and Dallas that killed eight police officers.</p><p>Eaton's statement follows&#58;</p><p>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <i>My soul is bereft of peace&#58; I have forgotten what happiness is.</i> (Lamentations 3&#58;17)</p><p>Too often in the past months we have been stunned by violence. Last Sunday in Baton Rouge, La., and earlier this month in Dallas, police were the target. Many in our congregations serve in law enforcement. These are our brothers and sisters, children of God who dedicate their lives to keeping our communities safe, who risk their lives for strangers.</p><p>Acts of violence, at home and abroad, are all too frequent. Each is evidence of a broken world. Lutherans understand this and believe that the state has the authority and obligation to protect its citizens. Good government and peace are among the things we ask for when we pray &quot;Give us today our daily bread.&quot;</p><p>Not all citizens have the same experience with law enforcement. We are working on that as a nation and a church. But the targeting and assassination of police officers is a threat to all of us. Nothing is solved by this violence.</p><p>Working in law enforcement is an honorable way to live one's baptismal vocation. Many of us know police who are members of our congregations. They serve with dedication to the common good even at the risk of their lives. Police and other first responders see the best and the worst of human nature, and they do that on your behalf and mine.</p><p>Officers killed in the line of duty leave behind families, comrades and friends. We continue to hold those who mourn in our prayers. But a little bit of us has died too. &quot;If one member suffers, all suffer together&quot; (I Corinthians 12&#58;26). </p><p>Although broken, our world is also a redeemed one. God's answer to hatred and violence is the love and life revealed in the death and resurrection of Jesus. In Christ, God reconciles the world to God's self. We are called to that ministry of healing and reconciliation in our hearts, in our homes and in our communities. God is ever faithful. We are held as one people in God's love and that love will never let us go.&#160;&#160; </p><p>&#160;<em>&#160; But this I call to mind, and therefore have hope&#58; The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning … .</em><em>&#160; </em>(Lamentations 3&#58;21-23)</p><p>&#160;In Christ's peace, </p><p>Elizabeth A. Eaton<br> Presiding Bishop<br> Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</p><p>The statement is available at <a href="http&#58;//bit.ly/29MGMeU"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//bit.ly/29MGMeU</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><span style="font-size&#58;12px;"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;"><span style="line-height&#58;115%;"><font color="#000000">For information contact&#58;<br></font></span></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;"><span style="line-height&#58;115%;"><font color="#000000">Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877 or </font><a><font color="#000000" style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size&#58;12px;">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</font></a><br> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/news"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size&#58;12px;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;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size&#58;12px;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;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size&#58;12px;text-decoration&#58;underline;"><font color="#0000ff">http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com</font></span></a></span>​​</span></span></p></div>07/20/2016ELCA members to gather in New Orleans for 2016 Churchwide Assemblyhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7842http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7842<div class="ExternalClass6BA0BE230E9F4363A45C1D842B526CD8"><p class="ExternalClass2EA3B74A54F7499BBCB1907D50D95656">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; CHICAGO&#160;– Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will gather Aug. 8-13 in assembly at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Meeting under the theme &quot;Freed and Renewed in Christ&#58; 500 Years of God's Grace in Action,&quot; the assembly's business will include preparations for observing the 500<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; The assembly – the highest legislative body of the ELCA – will be comprised of 980 voting members serving on behalf of the 3.7 million members of the ELCA. The ELCA's 65 synods elect voting members to serve at churchwide assemblies.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;Churchwide assemblies are a combination of legislative sessions, worship, Bible study, theological reflection and fellowship,&quot; said the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop. &quot;We deliberate and discuss and vote. Some would say that it is a messy way to do the work of the church, but [it] is a wonderfully open process.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; As part of planning for the Reformation observance, non-voting members are invited to attend the Grace Gathering, Aug. 10-13. Participants will experience the assembly proceedings and also prepare for 500<sup>th</sup> anniversary observances within their congregations and synods. &quot;God's Grace in Action Afternoon&quot; will offer experiential learning on several topics to inspire participants to take action back home, including&#58; Music, Justice and Peace; From the Doctrine of Discovery to #BlackLivesMatter; Human Trafficking; Care of Creation; and Food Security.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;Often members of congregations are not aware of the scope of the wider church,&quot; said Eaton. The Grace Gathering will give even more of our people the opportunity to see the whole church at work. We can do a lot more together than we can do separately. And, close to 2,000 Lutherans singing is a heavenly sound.&quot;</p><p>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Key action items at the assembly include&#58;<br></p><ul><li><p>Electing an ELCA vice president. Carlos Peña, the current vice president, has decided not to seek a third term. Peña​ has served&#160;for 13 years.<br></p></li></ul><div class="ExternalClass2EA3B74A54F7499BBCB1907D50D95656"><ul><li><p>Considering the Word and Service task force recommendations that the three rosters of church lay leadership be unified into a single body known as deacons.<br></p></li><li><p>Voting on the recommendations for the ELCA Strategy to Accompany Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO).<br></p></li><li><p>Considering the &quot;Declaration on the Way,&quot; a document that draws on 50 years of Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in preparation for the Reformation anniversary.&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</p></li></ul></div><p>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; ​Voting members will also receive&#58;<br></p><ul><li><p>An update on the ELCA's first major fundraising campaign, Always Being Made New&#58; The Campaign for the ELCA. Approved by the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the campaign seeks to raise $198 million to help extend the ministries of this church.</p></li><li><p>A report from the presiding bishop and officers of the ELCA.</p></li><li><p>Reports on ELCA churchwide ministries, including ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response.</p></li><li><p>Proposals (known as memorials) from the ELCA's 65 synods, which include&#58; repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery; deepening of relationships with historic black churches; a responsible energy future; supporting military personnel, veterans and their families; and peace with justice in the Holy Land.</p></li><li><p>Budget proposals for 2017 to 2019.</p></li><li><p>Greetings from ecumenical guests, global partners and others.​</p></li></ul><p>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Along with voting members, hundreds more will participate in the assembly as ELCA congregational observers, special ecumenical guests and global leaders, presidents of the eight ELCA seminaries and 26 college and universities, advisory and resource members, staff and others.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; ELCA members and others not attending the assembly can access live video of plenary sessions at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/ChurchwideAssembly"><span lang="EN">ELCA.org/ChurchwideAssembly</span></a>. <br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; The ELCA's newsroom will be at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in Room 227. Two news conferences are scheduled during the week. On Aug. 10, Eaton and others will discuss the &quot;Declaration on the Way&quot; consideration by the assembly. On Aug. 12 a news conference will introduce the new ELCA vice president. Reporters are welcome to participate in person or through teleconference. More details about the news conferences will follow. To register as press and for other news and media information, contact Candice Hill Buchbinder at Candice.HillBuchbinder@elca.org.</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.<br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877 or Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<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></p><p>​</p><p>​</p></div>07/13/2016ELCA presiding bishop responds to shootings in Baton Rouge and St. Paulhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7841http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7841<div class="ExternalClassF8BF555552544F52A52A4780636A83FA"><p>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; CHICAGO (ELCA) – In a July 7 video message responding to the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minn., the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), urged members to &quot;be present in our communities.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;We are killing ourselves, and until we in the white community feel that the death of a person of color is our death too, it's not going to change,&quot; said Eaton.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Eaton's message is available at <a href="http&#58;//bit.ly/29ljMDv"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//bit.ly/29ljMDv</span></a>.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; On Friday, July 8, at 11&#58;30 a.m. (CDT) the ELCA will be live streaming a service of prayer and lament from the offices of the churchwide organization over the loss of lives due to gun violence and racism. Watch live and join us in prayer at <a href="https&#58;//community.elca.org/page.redir?target=http&#58;//www.elca.org/blacklivesmatter&amp;srcid=100633&amp;srctid=1&amp;erid=19724190&amp;trid=d036674a-eb19-4d5f-99a0-1d52650f418c"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">ELCA.org/blacklivesmatter</span></a>. A recording of the worship service will be available for those who are unable to view it live. </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>​</p></div>07/07/2016Lutheran publisher adopts new name http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7840http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7840<div class="ExternalClassC034EAFE1DDE4A208C071FF1D7527E83"><p style="margin&#58;0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">CHICAGO </font><font color="#000000">– Augsburg Fortress, the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has adopted a new name&#58; 1517 Media.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">Beth A. Lewis, president and CEO of 1517 Media, said the new </font></span><span lang="DE" style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">“</font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">doing business as” identity </font></span><span lang="DE" style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">“</font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">expresses our rootedness in the Lutheran reforming movement – ignited by events in the year 1517 – and the gifts this tradition continues to offer to the whole church, society and the individual.” The Protestant Reformation sparked by Martin Luther began in 1517.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">1517 Media creates resources that communicate the gospel, enhance the faith and enrich the life of the Christian church and the communities it serves. The publishing house designs and develops innovative resources for congregations, higher education and the home – delivered in a wide range of media, including print and digital formats, videos, apps and online subscription services.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </font></span><span lang="DE" style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">“</font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">When I first heard the new name for the ELCA’s publishing ministry, I smiled at the old and the new, the past, present and future all rolled into one,” said the Rev. Gerald L. Mansholt, bishop of the ELCA East-Central Synod of Wisconsin and ELCA Conference of Bishops liaison to the 1517 Media board of trustees. </font></span><span lang="DE" style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">“</font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">1517 Media connects us to our Reformation history and conveys the vision needed as together we communicate God’s liberating grace for the sake of the world.”<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">1517 Media has three publishing units&#58;</font></span></p><p style="margin&#58;0in 0in 0pt 0.5in;text-indent&#58;-0.5in;"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">&#160;&#160;&#160; •&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">Augsburg Fortress, which serves Lutheran congregations in North America with resources to support worship, faith formation and the congregation’s life.</font></span></p><p style="margin&#58;0in 0in 0pt 0.5in;text-indent&#58;-0.5in;"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">&#160;&#160;&#160; •&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">Fortress Press, which supports students and teachers across </font></span><span><span style="color&#58;windowtext;font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;">the</span></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000"> ecumenical and interreligious landscape with resources for the classroom and for individual study.</font></span></p><p style="margin&#58;0in 0in 0pt 0.5in;text-indent&#58;-0.5in;"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">&#160;&#160;&#160; •&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">Sparkhouse, which creates Christian faith formation resources for children and youth in congregations. Resources for the home are created through Sparkhouse Family.</font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;arial unicode ms&quot;,sans-serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><br> <font color="#000000"></font><br> </span></p><p style="margin&#58;0in 0in 0pt;"><span lang="DE" style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; “</font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">For 200 years our publishing predecessors in North America have carried on a Lutheran reforming perspective under a variety of imprints, along the way reaching ever-wider audiences,” said Lewis. </font></span><span lang="DE" style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">“</font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">And even as the reformers embraced the emerging media of their day, we will embrace a wide array of media to meet the needs and support the ministries of the diverse audiences we serve. We think 1517 Media captures both our rootedness and the innovative, forward-looking commitment of the organization.”<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">More information is available at </font></span><a href="http&#58;//1517.media/"><span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;"><font color="#0462c1">http&#58;//1517.media</font></span></span></span></a><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">.​</font></span></p><p style="margin&#58;0in 0in 0pt;"><span lang="DE" style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">- - -</font></span></p><p style="margin&#58;0in 0in 0pt;"><strong><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</font></span></strong><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">&#58;</font></span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;arial unicode ms&quot;,sans-serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><br> </span><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000">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.</font></span></p><p>​</p></div>06/29/2016Lutherans represented at historic Orthodox Church council meetinghttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7839http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7839<div class="ExternalClassDE2DF9EA486541B4BC2C8FD2119B8A2E"><p>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; CHICAGO<em> </em>– The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) joined Christians from around the world in offering prayers as the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Christian Church convened on the island of Crete June 20-25. It was attended by 220 Orthodox bishops and archbishops, as well as 70 official advisers. According to the council's website (orthodoxcouncil.org), the last time such a council was convened was 1200 years ago – predating the Reformation by 700 years.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; The Rev. Donald McCoid, former assistant to the ELCA presiding bishop and executive for ecumenical and inter-religious relations, was invited to represent The Lutheran World Federation at the meeting. McCoid, who served as co-chair of the U.S. Lutheran-Orthodox dialogue and the Lutheran World Federation-Orthodox dialogue from 1995 to 2012, described the opening session which convened on the Monday of Pentecost&#58;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;When the opening session began with the patriarchs, metropolitans and other official&#160; representatives invoking the Holy Spirit with the Pentecost chant, I was deeply moved,&quot; said McCoid. &quot;After so many years of planning and an uncertainty about when a council might happen, it was finally here. The strong image of the Orthodox Church in council is one that should inspire all Christians. Let us remember Orthodox leaders and members in our prayers so that God's will and way may unfold in all ways.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; In his keynote address, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, leader of the worldwide Orthodox Christian Church, stressed the importance of unity among the 14 churches that comprise the Orthodox Christian Church. Ten of the 14 churches attended the council meeting.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;The voice of the Comforter calls all to unity and calls us to turn our attention and widen our heart toward all people, lovingly embracing the vital problems that concern them, preaching the good news of peace and love to those near and afar,&quot; said Bartholomew.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; In addition to McCoid, ecumenical observers included representatives from the Anglican church, the Vatican, the Middle East Council of Churches, the Orthodox Coptic church and the Oriental Orthodox church.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Addressing these guests in his keynote speech Bartholomew said, &quot;We have journeyed together in theological dialogue and ecumenical cooperation in our willingness to respond to the theological divisions of the past and the global challenges of our time.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;The occurrence of the Orthodox Council is itself remarkable,&quot; said Kathryn M. Lohre, assistant to the ELCA presiding bishop and executive for ecumenical and inter-religious relations. &quot;And the opportunity for the Rev. McCoid to be present was a precious gift for deepening our understanding as Lutherans in relationship to the Orthodox and our partnership together. The unity of Christ's church, wherever it is sought, is of life-giving importance to us all.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; During the meeting, the council affirmed dialogue with other Christians but indicated there would not be any compromise in doctrine.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; A statement released at the conclusion of the council reads, &quot;Our church attaches great importance to dialogue, primarily with non-Orthodox Christians. In this way the remainder of the Christian world comes to know more precisely the authenticity of the Orthodox tradition, the value of patristic teaching and the liturgical life and faith of the Orthodox. Dialogues conducted by the Orthodox Church never imply a compromise in matters of faith.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; The council adopted joint declarations on Orthodox mission, diaspora affairs, church autonomy, fasting and ties with other Christian churches, and a document on marriage, which states that heterosexual unions are &quot;an indispensable condition for marriage,&quot; and which barred church members from &quot;same-sex unions or any other form of cohabitation.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; The council also made a commitment to the unity of the church, according to the principles of conciliarity, or the highest form of church administration and decision-making.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;In a time of rapidly changing religious landscapes, Christians around the world are seeking to understand and explore what conciliar life looks like and how it functions,&quot; said Lohre. &quot;This Holy and Great Council has provided a glimpse for all of us into those important questions.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; In addition to the commitment to the unity of the church, the council lifted up commitments toward inter-religious dialogue, human rights and religious freedom.<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 3.7 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.<br> <br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877 or Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/news"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">ELCA.org/news</span></a><br> Facebook&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">facebook.com/Lutherans</span></a><br> Living Lutheran&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.com/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">livinglutheran.org</span></a></p><p>​</p></div>06/28/2016Barbara Collins elected bishop of Upper Susquehanna Synodhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/7838http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7838<div class="ExternalClass7C768C14F25E49309B54A18CEC72BF68"><p>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; CHICAGO<em> </em>– The Rev. Barbara Jeanne Collins, Selinsgrove, Pa., was elected June 18 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Upper Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election was held during the Synod Assembly June 17-18 at Weber Chapel at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Collins was elected on the fifth ballot with 133 votes to 122 votes for the Rev. William S. Henderson, pastor of Christ's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lewisburg, Pa.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;I'm humbled by and in awe of being given this responsibility by our Synod Assembly voting members. The Holy Spirit is definitely doing something new here,&quot; said Collins. &quot;This confirms the growing sense for mission across our synod. We're talking about renewal and about building relationships.&#160;We're talking about how we are blessed by God's abundance – empowering us to be generous in our living. I am impassioned to be able to help engage others in this vision to be the church, to be the change, and to be in the midst of our communities where God is calling us to be.&quot;<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Collins has served as assistant to the bishop and director for evangelical mission of the Upper Susquehanna Synod since 2013. She was pastor of a two-point parish serving at St. John Lutheran Church in Potts Grove, Pa., and Follmer Lutheran Church in Milton, Pa., from 2002 to 2012.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;The bishop-elect&#160;earned a Bachelor of Arts from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in Bloomsburg in 1997 and a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2001. Gettysburg is one of the ELCA's eight seminaries.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; The Rev. Robert L. Driesen, current bishop of the Upper Susquehanna Synod, has served as bishop since 2007 and will retire Aug. 31.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Collins will be installed as bishop Saturday Oct. 29, at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sunbury, Pa.<br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Information about the Upper Susquehanna Synod is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.uss-elca.org/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">uss-ELCA.org</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.<br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877 or Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/news"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">ELCA.org/news</span></a><br> Facebook&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">facebook.com/Lutherans</span></a><br> Living Lutheran&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.livinglutheran.org/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">livinglutheran.org</span></a></p><p>&#160;</p><p>​</p></div>06/23/2016