ELCA News Bloghttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/Augsburg Fortress receives Top Workplaces recognitionELCA Newshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/89http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/89<div class="ExternalClass90F118C9CF894BE58E484605459832AA"><p>​Augsburg Fortress, the publishing ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has been named one of the Top Workplaces in Minnesota by the Minneapolis <em>Star Tribune</em>. The recognition was published June 14 in a special section of the newspaper. <br>According to an Augsburg Fortress press release, the Top Workplaces report of the 100 best-performing public companies in Minnesota “recognizes the most progressive companies” in the state “based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health and satisfaction. The analysis included responses from over 69,100 employees at Minnesota public, private and nonprofit organizations.”</p><p>“It is all of us working well together on work that matters that is being recognized with this Top Workplaces award,” said Beth Lewis, president and CEO of Augsburg Fortress, announcing the award. “I am so proud of each of you and of the major improvements we have made in recent years through our individual and collective callings to serve God’s people through Augsburg Fortress.”<br></p></div>06/22/2015Jon Anderson re-elected bishop of ELCA Southwestern Minnesota Synod ELCA Newshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/88http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/88<div class="ExternalClass7DE3BF1244514F15B38115B94700F499"><p>​The Rev. Jon V. Anderson was re-elected June 13 to serve a third six-year term as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He was re-elected on the second ballot during the synod assembly June 12-14 at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.</p><p>Anderson was elected with 349 votes to 110 votes for the Rev. Laurie Skow-Anderson, director for evangelical mission and assistant to the bishop in the ELCA Northwest Synod of Wisconsin.</p><p>Prior to becoming bishop in 2003, Anderson served as pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minn., from 1996 to 2003, and Atonement Lutheran Church in St. Cloud, Minn., from 1991 to 1996. He served as associate pastor of Kinsmen Lutheran Church in Houston from 1985 to 1991.</p><p>Anderson earned a bachelor's degree in religion from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., in 1981, and a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., in 1985.</p><p>Gustavus Adolphus and St. Olaf are two of 26 ELCA colleges and universities; Luther is one of eight ELCA seminaries.</p><p>Information about the ELCA Southwestern Minnesota Synod is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.swmnelca.org/index.html">www.swmnelca.org/index.html</a>.</p></div>06/16/2015ELCA offers prayers and support for those impacted by storms and floodingELCA Newshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/87http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/87<div class="ExternalClass29C4D6F75B21438D98A0DD4ABD248289"><p>​Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are offering prayers and support for all those impacted by the recent severe storms and flooding in Texas and Oklahoma. As of June 3, at least 28 people have died as a result of heavy storms that began May 23. There are no reports of serious damage to ELCA congregations. </p><p>“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering due to the storm ravaging their communities,” said the Rev. Michael Stadie, program director for Lutheran Disaster Response in the United States. “Lutheran Disaster Response is in contact with our partners in the area ready to provide support to the long-term recovery efforts.”</p><p>Lutheran Disaster Response will provide assistance to those affected by the storms through local affiliates, social ministry organizations and ELCA synods.</p><p>“We continue to monitor and assess the situation with our government and community partners and also our Lutheran partners such as Lutheran Disaster Response,” said Mark Minick, senior vice president for external relations at Upbring (formerly Lutheran Social Services of the South). “We’re prepared to meet the immediate needs of those impacted by the storms and also the long-term recovery needs. The needs are widespread into Oklahoma and even Louisiana.”</p><p>Lutheran Disaster Response provides assistance to survivors of natural disasters and humanitarian crises throughout the world. This support is carried out, both domestically and internationally, in coordination with local affiliates – social ministry organizations, agencies, partners and international companion churches – located in the disaster-affected communities.</p><p>Information about Lutheran Disaster Response is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/US-Spring-Storms">www.ELCA.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/US-Spring-Storms</a>.</p></div>06/03/2015Dr. Tawfiq Nasser, CEO of Augusta Victoria Hospital, diesELCA Newshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/86http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/86<div class="ExternalClassF3C799A3601C483A8477F2022B09574F"><p>​Dr. Tawfiq A. Nasser, CEO of Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem, died May 16. The hospital, located on the Mount of Olives, is a program of The Lutheran World Federation, a global communion of 144 churches representing more than 72 million Christians in 79 countries. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is the communion's only member church from the United States.</p><p>“My heart aches at the passing of Dr. Nasser,” said the Rev. M. Wyvetta Bullock, ELCA executive for administration and a member of the Augusta Victoria Hospital board since 2012.</p><p>“Dr. Nasser was an innovative and passionate leader. As CEO of Augusta Victoria Hospital, his vision and determination served to move the hospital to a place of prominence as a specialized center of medical excellence for cancer, hematology, and bone marrow, kidney and diabetes.&#160; He will be deeply missed. My prayers are with his family that they might find comfort in the hope of the resurrection,” Bullock said.</p><p>According to a press release from The Lutheran World Federation, Nasser was appointed the hospital’s CEO in 2001 at the age of 36. He served as its administrative director from 1997 to 2001. Nasser shaped the hospital into the leading center for nephrology and oncology in the Palestinian territories.</p><p>“Tawfiq worked at (Augusta Victoria Hospital) on the Mount of Olives for 18 years,” said the Rt. Rev. Dr. Munib A Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Younan is president of The Lutheran World Federation and also serves as chair of the hospital board. </p><p>“He cherished and loved Augusta Victoria Hospital. Tawfiq did not want it to be just a hospital. He wanted it to be a community of healing on the Mount of Olives,” Younan said.</p></div>05/21/2015Ulysses Burley invited to serve on Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDSELCA Newshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/85http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/85<div class="ExternalClass9E841681A3BF41A289F3E1998ACE649B"><p>​Dr. Ulysses Burley, program associate for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) strategy on HIV and AIDS, has been invited to serve as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS. Council members are appointed by the secretary of health in consultation with the White House Office on National AIDS Policy. Burley was nominated by ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. The two-year term begins May 21.</p><p>“It is an honor to be appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS as the second youngest member in the history of the council,” said Burley.</p><p>The council is comprised of prominent community leaders with expertise in a broad range of areas, including HIV and AIDS, global health, philanthropy and business. The council provides advice and recommendations to the U.S. secretary of health about policies and programs that promote effective prevention methods and that continue to advance HIV and AIDS research.</p><p>“A component of the ELCA strategy on HIV and AIDS is to treat HIV by treating humans and treating hearts through the development of relationships, the sharing of stories, and the restoration of dignity,” Burley said. “By focusing on the people infected and affected by HIV versus HIV itself, we begin to see the healing of stigmatization and changed behaviors through changed hearts. This type of healing cannot be wholly achieved in laboratories or hospitals, but in community with one another.”</p><p>Burley is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Although his primary training is in scientific research and clinical medicine, Burley has dedicated much of his time to social justice advocacy through the church and community. His primary work with faith groups has been in the area of HIV and AIDS awareness, but it also includes mass incarceration, gender and racial justice, food security, and peace in the Middle East.</p><p>“It will be my role as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS to assure that human care and heart care are as much a part of the goals as health and HIV care. I'm excited about the possibilities this opportunity creates for the ELCA, this country and the world,” he said.</p></div>05/18/2015ELCA partners continue assessments after second earthquake strikes Nepal ELCA Newshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/84http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/NewsBlog/84<div class="ExternalClassD3933D360D9F4B28A98FFE56AAA739F1"><p>​<span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">A second earthquake struck May 12 in Nepal, with its epicenter approximately 40 miles northeast of Kathmandu. Partners of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) there &quot;are conducting assessments to determine how original response plans will expand to address new needs,&quot; according to Vitaly Vorona, program director for ELCA Lutheran Disaster Response (International). &quot;Our response and projects will grow while we remain committed to providing assistance to those who need it most,&quot; he said.</span></p><p>Through Lutheran Disaster Response, ELCA members had allocated an initial $500,000 to support ELCA partners engaged in emergency assistance following the April 25 earthquake that struck 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu. The funds were sent to ACT Alliance – $200,000 allocated to The Lutheran World Federation based in Geneva, and $200,000 to Lutheran World Relief based in Baltimore. Separately, the ELCA had allocated an initial $100,000 to the United Mission to Nepal.<br> <br>Staff members of The Lutheran World Federation World Service in Kathmandu and elsewhere in the country are safe and will resume relief activities. The Lutheran World Federation is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. The ELCA is the only U.S. member church of the communion. Active in Nepal since 1984, the communion began an immediate large-scale emergency response in and around Kathmandu after the first earthquake struck. ELCA funds will support the communion's establishment of shelters and camps and the distribution of clean water, food, sanitation supplies and more in several districts in the Kathmandu Valley. The Lutheran World Federation is the lead agency for ACT Alliance and has been working directly with the Nepalese government.</p><p>Information about Lutheran Disaster Response is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response">http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response</a>.​</p></div>05/13/2015