The ELCA Church Council recommended April 6 that the 2013 Churchwide Assembly approve a proposed 25th ELCA anniversary fundraising campaign and a proposed social statement on criminal justice. The assembly meets Aug. 12-17 in Pittsburgh.
The 25th anniversary campaign would expand 2014-2018 ELCA fundraising goals from $121 million to $190 million, growing support for new congregations, leadership, global mission and more. For campaign expenses, the council allocated $5 million in council-designated funds derived from a 2012 income overage.
Council members voted unanimously to recommend the 2013 assembly adopt “The Church and Criminal Justice: Hearing the Cries,” a proposed criminal justice statement with implementing resolutions. They extended consideration of a proposed social statement on justice for women until the 2019 assembly.
In other action, the council:
• Authorized creation of a Theological Education Advisory Council, with members appointed by the Church Council’s executive committee. Over the next two years, the advisory group will regularly meet with seminary presidents, board chairs and bishops to consider how ELCA theological education can “address in a holistic manner issues in leadership development, theological education, candidacy and call, and the rosters of this church,” the action stated.
• Approved the concept of an ELCA Philosophy of Benefits with medical plan and pricing options for churchwide workers to address changes due to U.S. health-care reform beginning January 2014. Portico (formerly the ELCA Board of Pensions) will bring a final proposal for consideration by the council at its August 2013 meeting.
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