ELCA Newshttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/ELCA hosts “Embody the Word” online Bible study serieshttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8161https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8161<div class="ExternalClass64CC20045A474E08BF8986E0CBD0B1FC"><p>​Chicago — In preparation for the 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, ELCA members are encouraged to participate in a series of online Bible studies that will explore the assembly theme, &quot;Embody the Word,&quot; from Luke 24. The assembly, the highest legislative body of the ELCA, will meet in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 8-12.</p><p>The Bible study series will comprise four online sessions to be held Sundays in July from 3 to 3&#58;45 p.m. Central time. Each session will focus on the meaning of &quot;embodiment,&quot; open with a video presentation and continue with a moderated discussion.</p><p>Members are encouraged to consider the double meaning of the assembly theme, &quot;Embody the Word&quot;&#58; &quot;embody&quot; can mean both the incarnation of Jesus Christ and the life of the church emerging from a pandemic, whereas &quot;word&quot; can mean both Jesus Christ and Scripture.</p><p>The Bible study schedule is&#58;<br></p><p><strong>July 10 – Rev. Jay </strong><strong>Alanís</strong>, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in San Juan, Texas.<br><strong> July 17 – Sally Azar</strong>, currently studying in Germany with plans to serve the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) as its first female pastor.<br><strong>July 24 – Man-Hei Yip</strong>, assistant professor of systematic theology at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa.<br><strong> July 31 – Denise Rector</strong>, doctoral student in womanist theology and race and history at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.</p><p>The series will culminate at the assembly on Aug. 10 with a theological presentation hosted by the Rev. Anthony Bateza, associate professor of religion at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. </p><p><a href="https&#58;//elcafoundation.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZRtO6O1ASTWDHXZNGpTjtw">Register</a> for the live Bible study series. <br><a href="https&#58;//www.elca.org/churchwideassembly">Find out</a> more about the 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, including livestream information.<br> The sessions will also be available on demand from the ELCA YouTube Channel. </p><p>- - -<br> <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 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 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><br>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> Public Relations Manager<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.Buchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.Buchbinder@ELCA.org</a>.<br></p><p><br></p></div>06/30/2022Craig Miller elected bishop of ELCA Upper Susquehanna Synodhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8160https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8160<div class="ExternalClassA5FFA4E12975427792BEA766EFE8A355"><p>​CHICAGO&#160;— The Rev. Craig A. Miller, Mifflinburg, 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 took place during the synod assembly, June 17-18, at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.</p><p>Miller was elected on the fifth ballot, with 103 votes to 91 votes for the Rev. Stina Schaeffer, pastor of Salem Lutheran Church, Selinsgrove. </p><p>The bishop-elect has served as assistant to the bishop and director for evangelical mission in the synod since 2016. He served as pastor of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., from 1996 to 2016.</p><p>Miller earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1985 and his Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary) in 1996. United is one of seven ELCA seminaries.</p><p>Miller will take office Sept. 1, and his installation is scheduled for Sept. 17 at Zion Lutheran Church in Sunbury, Pa.&#160;</p><p>The Rev. Barbara J. Collins, who has served as bishop of the Upper Susquehanna Synod since 2016, is retiring.</p><p>Information about the Upper Susquehanna Synod is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.uss-elca.org/">www.uss-elca.org/</a>.<br>- - -<br><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 nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities 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> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.Buchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.Buchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> &#160;</p><p><br></p></div>06/27/2022Sierra Pacific Synod Council Appoints Rev. Claire S. Burkat as Interim Bishophttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8159https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8159<div class="ExternalClass5C820CD8C98442ABB8255D8F6AA72A69"><p>​MILLBRAE, Calif. — After consultation with the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and per the Sierra Pacific Synod Constitution (S8.54), the Sierra Pacific Synod Council has appointed the Rev. Claire S. Burkat as its interim bishop. She hopes to begin working in the synod the week of July 10.</p><p>Burkat joins the Sierra Pacific Synod from the Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) Synod, where she served two terms as bishop (2006-2018). She is a 1978 graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and has served as a congregational pastor, assistant to the bishop, and mission director with the SEPA Synod, New Jersey Synod, and the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.</p><p>Since her retirement as synod bishop in 2018, Burkat most recently served as interim chaplain of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., and stepped in as acting bishop of the Delaware-Maryland Synod during Bishop William Gohl's sabbatical.</p><p>The Sierra Pacific Synod Council and staff warmly welcome Burkat and thank the Office of the Presiding Bishop for its support in this time of transition.</p><p>______________________________________________________________________________</p><p>&#160;<strong><em>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</em></strong><em>&#58;</em></p><p><em>The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities 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></em><span style="text-align&#58;right;"><br></span></p><p><span style="text-align&#58;right;">Catherine Slabaugh<br></span><span style="text-align&#58;right;">Communications and Connections Coordinator<br></span><span style="text-align&#58;right;">Sierra Pacific Synod, ELCA<br></span><span style="text-align&#58;right;">650-302-0364<br></span><a href="mailto&#58;catherine@spselca.org" style="text-align&#58;right;">catherine@spselca.org</a><br></p><p><br></p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><strong>El Consejo del Sínodo de Sierra Pacific designa </strong></p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><strong>a la Reverenda Claire S. Burkat como Obispa Interina</strong></p><p>&#160;MILLBRAE, Calif. — Tras una consulta con la Obispa Presidenta de la Iglesia Luterana Evangélica de Estados Unidos y conforme a la Constitución del Sínodo de Sierra Pacific (S8.54), el Consejo del Sínodo de Sierra Pacific ha designado a la Reverenda Claire S. Burkat como obispa interina, quien espera comenzar a trabajar en el sínodo la semana del 10 de julio.</p><p>Burkat viene al Sínodo de Sierra Pacific desde el Sínodo del Sudeste de Pennsylvania (SEPA), donde se desempeñó como obispa durante dos mandatos (2006-2018).&#160; Burkat se graduó en 1978 en el Seminario de Teología Luterana en Philadelphia y se ha desempeñado como pastora de congregación, asistente de obispo y directora de misión en el Sínodo de SEPA, el Sínodo de Nueva Jersey y la Diócesis Episcopal de Pennsylvania.</p><p>Desde que se retiró como obispa del sínodo en 2018, Burkat fue recientemente designada como capellana interina de Muhlenberg College en Allentown, Pa. y asumió como obispa del Sínodo de Delaware-Maryland durante el período sabático del Obispo William Gohl.&#160;</p><p>El Consejo del Sínodo de Sierra Pacific y su personal dan una afectuosa bienvenida a Burkat y agradecen a la Oficina de la Obispa Presidenta por su apoyo en este período de transición.</p><p>______________________________________________________________________________</p><p><strong><em>Acerca de la Iglesia Luterana Evangélica en Estados Unidos (ELCA)&#58;</em></strong></p><p><em>La ELCA es una de las congregaciones cristianas más grandes de Estados Unidos, con casi 3.3 millones de miembros en más de 8,900 comunidades religiosas en los 50 estados y en la región del Caribe. Conocida como la iglesia de &quot;El trabajo de Dios. Nuestras manos.&quot;, la ELCA hace especial hincapié en la gracia salvadora de Dios a través de la fe en Jesucristo, la unidad entre los cristianos y el servicio en el mundo. Las raíces de la ELCA tienen origen en los escritos del reformador de la Iglesia, el alemán Martin Lutero.</em><em>&#160;<br></em><span style="text-align&#58;right;"><br></span></p><p><span style="text-align&#58;right;">Catherine Slabaugh <br>Coordinadora de Comunicaciones y Relaciones&#160;&#160;<br></span><span style="text-align&#58;right;">Sierra Pacific Synod, ELCA<br></span><span style="text-align&#58;right;">650-302-0364<br></span><span style="text-decoration-line&#58;underline;text-align&#58;right;">catherine@spselca.org</span></p><p><em>&#160;</em></p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><strong>Lub Chaw Tswj Haujlwm Tsev Teev Hawm Sierra Pacific Synod (Sierra Pacific Synod Council) Xaiv Tsa Rev. Claire S. Burkat ua tus Thawj Xibhwb Ib Vuag</strong><br></p><p>MILLBRAE, Calif. — Tom qab sablaj nrog tus tuam thawj tswj ntawm lub Tsev Teev Hawm Lutheran Tshaj Xov Tseem Ceeb (Evangelical Lutheran Church) hauv teb chaws Meskas thiab ua raws li Tsab Cai Tswj Tsev Teev Hawm Sierra Pacific (Sierra Pacific Synod Constitution) (S8.54), lub Chaw Tswj Haujlwm Tsev Teev Hawm Sierra Pacific (Sierra Pacific Synod Council) tau xaiv tsa Rev. Claire S. Burkat ua nws tus thawj xibhwb ib vuag. Nws vam hais tias yuav tau pib haujlwm nyob rau hnub tim 10 lub Xya Hli.</p><p>Burkat koom nrog lub tsev teev hawm Sierra Pacific Synod los ntawm lub tsev teev hawm Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) Synod, uas yog nws twb ua txoj haujlwm thawj xibhwb tau ob lub ncua sijhawm lawm (2006-2018). Nws kawm tiav xyoo 1978 ntawm lub Tsev Kawm Qib Siab Txog Kev Ntseeg Hauv Lutheran (Lutheran Theological Seminary) ntawm Philadelphia thiab nws tau ua ib tug xibhwb ntawm pawg ntseeg, tus pab thawj xibhwb, thiab tus thawj tswj haujlwm nrog lub tsev teev hawm SEPA Synod, New Jersey Synod, thiab Pawg Tsev Teev Hawm ntawm Cheeb Tsam Pennsylvania (Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania).</p><p>Suav txij hnub nws so haujlwm ntawm txoj haujlwm thawj xibhwb hauv tsev teev hawm xyoo 2018, tom qab kawg nkaus no Burkat yog ib tug tub ceev xwm ib vuag ntawm lub Tsev Kawm Qib Siab Muhlenberg hauv Allentown, Pa., Thiab nkag mus sawv cev ua ib tug thawj xibhwb ntawm Tsev Teev Hawm Delaware-Maryland nyob rau lub sijhawm uas yog Thawj Xibhwb William Gohl so haujlwm.</p><p>Lub Chaw Tswj Haujlwm Tsev Teev Hawm Sierra Pacific Synod thiab cov neeg ua haujlwm zoo siab txais tos Burkat yam puv npo thiab ua tsaug rau lub Chaw Ua Haujlwm ntawm Tuam Thawj Tswj Tsev Teev Hawm rau nws txoj kev txhawb nqa nyob rau lub sijhawm uas muaj kev hloov pauv no.</p><p>______________________________________________________________________________</p><p><strong><em>Hais txog lub Tsev Teev Hawm Lutheran Uas Muaj Kev Tshaj Tawm Tseem Ceeb hauv teb chaws Meskas</em></strong><em>&#58;</em></p><p><em>ELCA yog ib ntawm cov pawg ntseeg Christian uas loj tshaj plaws nyob rau teb chaws Meskas, muaj yuav luag txog 3.3 lab leej tswv cuab nyob rau ntau tshaj 8,900 lub zos teev hawm thoob plaws 50 lub xeev thiab nyob rau cheeb tsam Caribbean. Sawv daws paub hais tias yog lub tsev teev hawm ntawm &quot;Vajtswv txoj haujlwm. Peb cov kev koom tes,&quot; ELCA hais ntsees txog kev khaws txoj kev hlub ntawm Vajtswv cia los ntawm kev ntseeg tswv yisxus (Jesus Christ), kev sib sau ntawm cov ntseeg thiab kev pabcuam nyob thoob ntiaj teb. Cov cag keeb ntawm ELCA nyob rau hauv cov ntawv sau tseg ntawm tus hloov kho lub tsev teev hawm Yesmees (German) uas hu ua Martin Luther.</em></p><p><em></em><span style="text-align&#58;right;">Catherine Slabaugh<br></span><span style="text-align&#58;right;">Tus Neeg Lis Haujlwm Kev Txuas Lus thiab Kev Koom Tes<br></span><span style="text-align&#58;right;">Tsev Teev Hawm Sierra Pacific Synod, ELCA<br></span><span style="text-align&#58;right;">650-302-0364<br></span><span style="text-decoration-line&#58;underline;text-align&#58;right;">catherine@spselca.org</span></p><p><span style="text-decoration-line&#58;underline;text-align&#58;right;"><br></span></p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><strong>Manni Maree Sinoodoosii Siyeeraa Paasifikii Luba Kilaaree S.Buurkaatii'n luba yeroofii tasisuun muudeera</strong></p><p>&#160;MILLBRAE, Calif. —Dura taa'aa Waldaa Luuteraanii Warra Wangeelaa Ameerikaa waliin erga mari'ateen boodaa fi akkaataa Heera Sinoodoosii Siyeeraa Paasifikii(S8.54) tiin, Manni Maree Siinodoosii Siyeraa Paasifik Luba Kilaaree S. Buurkaatiin luba yeroof taasisuun muudeera. Hojii isaanii torbanoota Adoolessaa 10 keessa jalqabuuf abdii qabu.</p><p>Buurkaat Siinodoosii Kibba Baha Pensilvaaniyaa (SEPA) irraa Siinodoosii Siyeraa Paasifikitti makaman,Sinoodoosii duraanii yeroo lamaaf (2006-2018) luba ta'uun tajaajilaniiru. Bara 1978 Filaadeelfiyaatti Seminaara Ti'ooloojii Luteraanii irraa kan eebbifaman yoo ta'u, Tiksee waldaa, gargaartuu lubaa, fi daayreektarii ergama Sinodoosii SEPA, Sinoodoosii Niiw Jeersii fi Mana Lubummaa Ipiskoopaal Pensilvaaniyaa keessatti tajaajilanii jiru.</p><p>Erga bara 2018 luba sinoodoosii irraa soorama baatee booda, Buurkaat yeroo dhiyootti Kolleejjii Muhlenberg Allentown, Pa. keessatti yeroof luba ta'uun tajaajilaa turan, akkasumas itti aanaa lubaa ta'uun Sinodoosii Delaware-Maryland yeroo Phaaphaasii Wiliyaam Gooyil boqonnaa waggaa isaanii bahanitti tajaajilaniiru.</p><p>Manni Maree Siinodoosii fi hojjettoonni Siyeraa Paasifik Buurkaatiin haala ho'aan simatu, yeroo ce'umsaa kana keessatti Waajjirri Dura Taa'aa Phaaphaasii&#160; deeggarsa godheef&#160; ni galateeffatu.</p><p>______________________________________________________________________________</p><p><strong><em>Waa'ee Waldaa Luteraanii Warra Wangeelaa Ameerikaa&#58;</em></strong></p><p><em>ELCA'n waldoota kiristaanaa gurguddoo Ameerikaa keessaa tokko yoo ta'u, miseensota gara miliyoona 3.3 ta'an hawaasa waaqeffannaa 8,900 ol ta'an guutuu kutaalee 50 fi naannoo Kaaribiyaanii keessatti argamu. Waldaa &quot;hojii Waaqayyoo&quot; jedhamuun beekamti. Harki keenya.,&quot; ELCA'n ayyaana fayyina Waaqayyoo karaa Yesuus Kiristoositti amanuu, tokkummaa Kiristaanota gidduu jiruu fi tajaajila biyya lafaa kana irratti xiyyeeffannoo guddaa kenna. Hundeenii fi ka'umsi ELCA, barreeffamoota Maartiin Luuteer-haaromsaa waldaa Jarmanii kan ta'e keessaati.<br></em><span style="text-align&#58;right;"><br></span></p><p><span style="text-align&#58;right;">Kateriin Islaabaa Qindeessaa Qunnamtii fi Walitti Dhufeenyaa<br></span><span style="text-align&#58;right;">Sinoodoosii Siyeeraa Paasifikii, ELCA<br></span><span style="text-align&#58;right;">650-302-0364<br></span><span style="text-decoration-line&#58;underline;text-align&#58;right;">catherine@spselca.org</span></p><p><em><br></em></p><p>&#160;</p><p><span style="text-decoration-line&#58;underline;text-align&#58;right;"><br></span></p><p><em><br></em></p><p>&#160;</p><p>&#160;</p><p><em><br></em></p><p><br></p><p><strong></strong><br></p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em>&#160;</em></p><p><strong>&#160;</strong></p><p><br></p></div>06/25/2022Bishop Eaton issues pastoral message on SCOTUS ruling regarding Roe v. Wadehttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8158https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8158<div class="ExternalClass768F4631E25649588DE3C30D7FFD2F18"><p>​Dear church,&#160;</p><p>Whatever personal perspective one might take on the June 24 abortion ruling from the Supreme Court, it is the legal framework in which we now minister, and I wish to speak a pastoral word at this time.</p><p>The Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, removing federal constitutional protection for safe and legal abortion and leaving decisions about abortion law largely to the states.&#160;As a result, safe and legal abortion will likely not be <a href="https&#58;//www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-abortion-laws">accessible in every state</a>. This church's 1991 social statement <a href="https&#58;//www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Abortion"><em>Abortion</em></a> argues that &quot;the number of induced abortions is a source of deep concern&quot; but teaches that the practice should be legal (pp. 3, 9-10). In other words, &quot;Laws should be enacted and enforced justly for the preservation and enhancement of life, and should avoid unduly encumbering or endangering the lives of women&quot; (p. 9). Overturning Roe v. Wade and placing decisions about abortion regulation at the state level encumbers and endangers the lives of all persons who need to make decisions about unexpected pregnancies.</p><p>First, as a pastor of this church, I want to acknowledge that this decision affects many people, especially those whose pregnancies unfold in complex situations and the people who love them. Many now find their moral agency restricted because federal law no longer guarantees access to legal and safe abortion. They already face difficult moral questions, and the Supreme Court decision only adds to their anguish. As our social statement reminds us, we have both the freedom and the obligation to serve neighbors in complex situations. As a church, we are called at this moment to recognize and spiritually support people who are struggling with decisions around pregnancy.&#160;</p><p>Second, as presiding bishop, I want to remind this church that, despite this new legal landscape, we continue to depend on our social teaching for guidance. Our social statement provides the moral framework for our church's communal discernment and ministry, holding in tension both the strong Christian presumption to preserve and protect all life as well as the complex moral situations in which pregnancy sometimes occurs. Our social teaching is complex and does not hew to clear categories or labels such as &quot;pro-abortion&quot; or &quot;anti-abortion.&quot;&#160;</p><p>That complexity is reflected in several points. The statement recognizes that pregnant persons have moral agency; they are the ones to make decisions about a pregnancy (see pp. 5-6). This church and its ministers trust them to decide but expect them to make such decisions in relationship—with God, self, partner, family, ministers and others.</p><p>I also want to underscore for the whole body of Christ the statement's exhortation &quot;that those who counsel persons faced with unintended pregnancies respect how deeply the woman's pregnancy involves her whole person—body, mind and spirit—in relation to all the commitments that comprise her stewardship of life&quot; (p. 5).</p><p>Further, our church teaching holds that there are no exclusive rights in pregnancy. A pregnant person does not have an exclusive right to abort a fetus at all points during the pregnancy. A developing life does not have an exclusive right to be born (p. 2). This church does not support abortion as a normative form of birth control but rather understands it as necessary in some morally responsible circumstances. This church does not condone late-term abortions except in extreme circumstances, which must be determined by the individual with their medical caregivers (p. 7).&#160;</p><p>This church acknowledges that individuals and religious traditions hold divergent viewpoints over when life begins. These divergent views are not only scientific but also biblical and cultural. The ELCA social statement acknowledges these ethical ambiguities and states that &quot;the closer the life in the womb comes to full term the more serious such [moral] issues become.&quot; (p. 7).</p><p>As we live into this new legal framework, we can respond to and minister in the current situation, for instance, by ministering to individuals who seek abortions; advocating for laws that provide free or affordable health care, child care and education; providing and promoting sex education; continuing to be a community of discernment where thoughtful and diverse perspectives can be shared and heard; and advocating for state laws that provide legal, safe and affordable abortions, and against legislation that would outlaw abortion in all circumstances (p. 9).&#160;</p><p>Finally, I wish to remind everyone that this church supports peaceful means of expression within a diverse society. Peaceful protest is a crucial element of civic engagement; violent protest is not, and this church reproves it. Likewise, this church is on record against hate speech. Let us be instruments for peace where there is none. Let us listen to one another. Let us serve the needs of neighbors in all the complexities life presents. God calls us to be <em>for</em> others, just as God in Christ is for us.</p><p>In Christ,<br></p><p>The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton <br>Presiding Bishop<br>Evangelical Lutheran Church in America </p><p>- - -<br><strong>&#160;</strong><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 nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities 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> <br></p><p>&#160; &#160;</p><p><br></p></div>06/24/2022Stacie Fidlar elected bishop of ELCA Northern Illinois Synodhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8157https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8157<div class="ExternalClass60961FFE7FAF44289F400FBEE8DB8862"><p>​Rock Island, IL&#160;— The Rev. Stacie R. Fidlar of Rock Island, Ill., was elected June 18 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during the synod assembly, which met online on June 5 and 12 and then in person at Augustana College in Rock Island June 17-18.&#160;</p><p>Fidlar was elected on the fifth<sup> </sup>ballot with 219 votes to 111 votes for the Rev. Dr. Janet Hunt, pastor of First Lutheran Church in DeKalb, Ill. A total of 166 votes was needed for election.&#160;</p><p>The bishop-elect has served as pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in Rock Island since 1999. She was pastor of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Seneca, Ill., from 1995 to 1999 and interim pastor of St. James Lutheran Church in Forreston, Ill., in 1995.&#160;</p><p>Fidlar earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in religion with an Asian studies concentration from Augustana College in 1991 and her Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1995. She completed the Shalem Institute Group Leaders Program in 2002 and participates in ongoing continuing education with foci on leadership, spirituality and foundation management. The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago is one of seven ELCA seminaries.</p><p>Fidlar will take office on Sept. 1. Her installation is scheduled for Oct. 8 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Rockford, Ill. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will officiate at the installation.&#160;</p><p>The Rev. Jeffrey Clements, who has served as bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod since 2012, is retiring.&#160;</p><p>Information about the Northern Illinois Synod is available at <a href="https&#58;//nisynod.org/">nisynod.org</a>. &#160;</p><p>- - -<br><strong>&#160;</strong><br><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 nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities 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> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.Buchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.Buchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> &#160;</p><p><br></p></div>06/21/2022World Refugee Day 2022https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8156https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8156<div class="ExternalClassA0B8A9B14F514C3FAE9C30C8DE69A81F"><p>​</p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><em>&quot;</em><em>You shall</em><em>...also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt&quot;</em> (Deuteronomy 10&#58;19).</p><p>The global need for loving the stranger through accompaniment of migrants and refugees has never been greater. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports there are now over 100 million people who have been displaced around the world through conflict, famine, climate change, and disasters. With so many lives in danger, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) call Lutherans on this World Refugee Day, June 20, to continue to honor our legacy of generous and compassionate welcome and advocacy for those who seek refuge and safety, including those who have resettled in the United States.</p><p>The Lutheran community in the United States is providing hospitality to newcomers from Ukraine, where the war has internally displaced more than 8 million and compelled 6.5 million more to leave their homeland. We continue to welcome the newly arrived from Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central America, and other regions around the world where our neighbors face war, violence, and persecution. Newcomers enrich our communities with kinship, resilience, and abiding hope. Our relationships call us to tirelessly challenge the racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious indifference and intolerance that stems from the failure to see the image of God in each person.</p><p>For more than 80 years, Lutherans in the United States have joined together to offer radical hospitality in response to God's call to love the neighbor who comes to us as stranger. Since 1939, LIRS has led the Lutheran movement to welcome vulnerable migrants and refugees in America as the largest faith-based nonprofit dedicated to serving vulnerable immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees in the U.S. In partnership with the ELCA, LIRS has equipped and supported more than half a million newcomers while advocating boldly for policies that protect those seeking safety. This World Refugee Day, LIRS invites the Lutheran community to visit <a href="https&#58;//www.lirs.org/speakup">their website</a> to watch an interfaith prayer vigil for Ukraine and use a template for hosting a similar event in your own community, as well as join in other opportunities for advocacy and education alongside our immigrant and refugee neighbors. </p><p>The ELCA accompanies migrants and refugees around the world through the Lutheran World Federation and other international organizations and, in the United States, through partnership with LIRS. The ELCA's strategy for Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation, and Opportunities (AMMPARO) is animated by relationships with companion churches and other partners. It is enlivened through the many ways this church witnesses with migrants domestically as welcoming and sanctuary congregations, through synods, and as advocates, as well through sponsorship of asylum-seekers and partners in refugee resettlement. Visit <a href="https&#58;//elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/Eastern-Europe-Crisis-Response">Lutheran Disaster Response</a> for ways to help internally displaced people in Eastern Europe and refugees, and ELCA <a href="https&#58;//www.elca.org/AMMPARO">AMMPARO</a> for resources to continue to support your congregation's ministry of welcome.</p><p>As we mark World Refugee Day, we encourage renewed prayer, welcome, and action for so many children of God who are forced to flee their homes and embark on often-perilous journeys to strange lands, driven by conflict, persecution, poverty, disaster, and the increasingly adverse effects of climate change.&#160; </p><p>We pray that you experience grace and joy in radical hospitality.&#160;&#160;</p><p>Together in Hope,&#160;&#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160;&#160;</p><p>Krish O'Mara Vignarajah<br>President and CEO<br>Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service<br></p><p>The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton<br>Presiding Bishop<br>Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</p><p><br></p></div>06/15/2022