iab-728x90

The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

iab-728x90

Mission, marriage and more

As synods continued to meet this spring, assemblies discussed mission, urging support for the ELCA Malaria Campaign and campus ministries, sharing their stories and more. Others debated state legislation and marriage.

Western Iowa Synod
April 27-28, 2012
Spencer, Iowa

• Held a festival assembly where congregations were challenged to "show off their ministries" and share their stories.

• Signed a covenant with visitors from its companion partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile, to strengthen each other for life and mission within the body of Christ.

Music is a highlight at synod assemblies.
Music is a highlight at synod assemblies. Bishop Michael Last (left) and David Ludwig, worship and arts director of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Winter Park, Fla., lead a table prayer during the Western Iowa Synod Assembly in April.

Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod
April 27-28, 2012
Leesport, Va.

• Committed to pray for peace among Iran, its neighbors and the U.S.

• Gave support to the Maryland Civil Marriage Protection Act, calling on congregations and members to welcome, care for and support same-gender couples and their families and to advocate for their legal protection.

• Asked congregations to use the expertise of the Lutheran Association of Christian Educators.

• Supported the Dream Act's commitment to provide all immigrant children, documented or not, the chance to attend college at in-state and in-county tuition rates.

Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod
April 27-29, 2012
Wenatchee, Wash.

• Urged leaders to read again the ELCA social statement on human sexuality; invited congregations to conduct forums on the "broader and complex issues of human sexuality from which then informed and intelligent voter decisions can be made." A referendum on the state's marriage equality law may come before voters in November.

• Requested that the ELCA advocacy office solicit the federal administration to lift the requirement that ethanol be part of all motor fuel and ask Congress to phase out subsidies that "fund research into the conversion of food crops into fuel and the manufacture of these."

Oregon Synod
April 27-29, 2012
Sunriver, Ore.

• Urged congregations to seek out, learn from and help support ELCA ethnic ministries throughout the synod.

• Called on its council and synod staff to develop benchmark indicators for congregational health to be used for conversations with churches facing declining capacity or concerns around sustainability.

Northeastern Minnesota Synod
April 27-29, 2012
Grand Rapids, Minn.

• Affirmed its welcome, care and support of same-gender couples while opposing legislation that would prevent them and their families from "pursuing ordinary legislative or legal means to gain the support and protections afforded to all others." A Minnesota amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman will come before voters in November.

• Defeated a resolution calling on members to have conversation and moral deliberation about the marriage amendment to assist the "individual voter to vote their conscience."

Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod
May 4-5, 2012
Telford, Pa.

• Committed to supporting the ELCA Malaria Campaign through prayer, advocacy, education and financial resources.

• Urged congregations to participate in the Lutheran Association of Christian Educators.

• Asked congregations to increase awareness of and participation in lay theological education.

Southeastern Minnesota Synod
May 4-5, 2012
Rochester, Minn.

• Voted to oppose the proposed Minnesota amendment that would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

• Urged congregations to pass on a minimum of 10 percent of undesignated income to synod and churchwide ministries.

• Called for an increase in the synod's giving to the churchwide organization.

• Sought support of Lutheran Campus Ministry through prayer, a Campus Ministry Sunday and financially.

• Resolved to raise at least $100,000 a year until 2015 for the ELCA Malaria Campaign in addition to giving to ELCA World Hunger.

Florida-Bahamas Synod
May 4-6, 2012
Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

• Passed a resolution on racial healing that invokes prayer for the Florida justice system and the families involved in recent events in Sanford, Fla.; urges congregations to study the ELCA social statement on racism and the proposed statement on criminal justice; and calls for congregations to develop competency in cross-cultural ministries.

• Asked the synod and congregations to buy fair trade products that reflect the justice values of the gospel.

South-Central Synod of Wisconsin
May 5-6, 2012
Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

• Called for financial support to build a school in South Sudan.

• Recognized the Lutheran Association of Christian Educators as a key organization in support of Christian educators.

Northwestern Minnesota Synod
May 11-12, 2012
Moorhead, Minn.

• Challenged congregations to participate in the ELCA Malaria Campaign between 2012 and 2015, with the goal of raising at least $225,000 synodwide.

• Declared opposition to a proposed state marriage amendment that would "prevent one group of committed couples and their families from pursuing ordinary legislative or legal means to gain the support and protections afforded to all others."

• Asked congregations to develop strategies for including Lutheran outdoor ministries in their programming.

• Encouraged congregations to identify individuals for rostered leadership and to find ways to financially support seminarians.

Pacifica Synod
May 17-19, 2012
Irvine, Calif.

• Recognized the Lutheran Association of Christian Educators as an organization that provides support, networking and encouragement.

• Affirmed Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Calif., and California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, as they discuss a potential merger.

Southeast Michigan Synod
May 17-19, 2012
Lansing, Mich.

• Received a report on ways to partner in mission with the North/West Lower Michigan Synod.

• Heard the Detroit Lutheran Gospel Choir, made up of members from nine synod congregations, during a prayer and praise event.

North/West Lower Michigan Synod
May 17-19, 2012
Lansing, Mich.

• Received a report about ways to partner in mission with the Southeast Michigan Synod.

• Called on congregations to renew their commitment to work with justice and mercy for all who are affected by crime, and discuss the proposed ELCA social statement on criminal justice.

Metropolitan New York Synod
May 17-19, 2012
Tarrytown, N.Y.

• Challenged congregations to raise a minimum of $3 per baptized member for the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

• Asked congregations to review or redefine their mission plans, including incorporation of ministry with and to diverse populations.

• Requested its council to develop a process to regularly review the viability of congregations.

Northwest Washington Synod
May 18-19, 2012
Everett, Wash.

• Set a minimum goal of $150,000 for the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

• Encouraged congregations to provide tuition assistance for seminarians; adopted a synod 10-year goal of full tuition funding for all its candidates.

• Supported Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Calif., and California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, as the two discuss a merger.

• Affirmed marriage equality in Washington, urging members to study Scripture and the ELCA social statement on human sexuality and "prayerfully consider how to publicly respond if a Marriage Equality referendum" appears on the November ballot.

St. Paul Area Synod
May 18-19, 2012
Burnsville, Minn.

• Voted to oppose a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would define marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

• Called for resources to help congregations address issues of faith and conscience with regard to military service.

• Affirmed its goal of becoming multicultural and anti-racist as a focus of its mission strategy and witness.

• Voiced opposition to a voter identification amendment to the state constitution.

• Declared a desire to "live out more lovingly and act more justly toward [our] Native American compatriots, and creatively seek out opportunities for greater solidarity and service that furthers the reconciliation between our communities."

Nothwestern Ohio Synod
May 18-19, 2012
Bowling Green, Ohio.

• Adopted new vision and mission statements for the synod.

• Passed a resolution calling for more youth and young adult participation at assemblies.

Southwest Washington Synod
May 18-19, 2012
Vancouver, Wash.

• Called upon synod leaders, members and congregations to provide support "insofar as it is consistent with their conscience-bound beliefs" to pastors and congregations where same-gender couples are married; and to advocate for legal protection for these couples and their families.

• Committed to support the ELCA Malaria Campaign through prayer, advocacy, education and fundraising.

Sierra Pacific Synod
May 18-20, 2012
San Jose, Calif.

• Recognized the Lutheran Association of Christian Educators as a partner in the ministry of Christian education.

• Asked congregations to support the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

• Supported Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Calif., and California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, as the two discuss a possible merger.

• Asked members to advocate for the replacement of the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole in California and Nevada; requested that the 2013 Churchwide Assembly do the same for the 32 states that have the death penalty.

Southwestern Texas Synod
May 19-20, 2012
Corpus Christi, Texas.

• Encouraged congregations to place one or more of the campus ministries located within the synod in their budgets. Reminded congregations and leaders to share the names of graduating seniors with campus ministry.

Northern Great Lakes Synod
May 20-21, 2012
Marquette, Mich.

• Provided learning opportunities, with Lay School for Mission instructors teaching workshops titled "Apocalyptic — the End of All Things," "Pentateuch," "Lutheran Confessions," "World Religions," and "Stewardship and Spiritual Gifts."

• Honored seven graduates of the Lay School for Mission, which offers classes at six synod sites.


Comments

Donald Bohlken

Donald Bohlken

Posted at 12:25 pm (U.S. Eastern) 7/6/2012

How sad it is that the assemblies for the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Syond, the Eastern-Washington Idaho Synod and the Northeastern Minnesota Synod, the Southeastern Minnesota Synod, the Northwestern Minnesota Synod, the Northwest Washington Synod, St. Paul Area Synod, Southwest Washington Synod,   acted in complete contradiction to God's Word in either opposing state constitutional amendments designed to protect marriage as an exclusively a union between one man and one woman, supporting homosexual "married" couples,  or supporting the ELCA Social Statement. on Human Sexuality.

The Bible clearly condemns homosexual behavior as sin.  "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination."  Lev 18:22. "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." Romans 1:26-27.  See also Gen 19: 4-8, 15, 24; Lev 20: 13; Deut 23:17; 1 Cor 6:9, 10; 1 Tim 1: 8-11; Jude 1: 6-7.

It is our duty to lovingly point out to homosexuals that this conduct is sin and that the way out of sin is to seek forgiveness through the blood and sacrifice of Christ. 1 Cor. 6: 11. To follow the path. of denying the scripture's teachings, which the ELCA General Assembly has chosen, is to assist homosexuals on a path to hell.  1 Cor. 6: 9-10.

God's law on marriage, as set forth in  Genesis 2: 23-24 and affirmed by Jesus Christ at  Matthew 19: 4-6, is also clear.  It provides that marriage was created exclusively as a union between one man and one woman.

The policy of lying to sinners about sin can hardly be considered a Christian or loving alternative to the truth.



Print subscribers and supporting Web members may comment.

Log in or Subscribe to comment.

text size:

this page: email | print

iab-728x90
August issue

AUGUST issue:

Advice for evangelism

More...