Synod assemblies began in April with a celebration of the ELCA’s 25th anniversary, a service day and actions on resolutions. Topics debated included employment rights, immigration and safety measures for church workers.
Eastern Washington-Idaho, April 19-21, Boise, Idaho • Defeated a memorial to rescind the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly’s actions on the rostering of noncelibate gay clergy. • Asked the Churchwide Assembly to call on Congress to pass legislation to “prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity while providing for religious exemptions.” • Memorialized the 2013 Churchwide Assembly to call upon the government to press for passage of the Uniting American Families Act, which would give binational same-sex couples the same immigration rights afforded to heterosexual couples. If an immigration bill is passed without UAFA or its equivalent before the August assembly, the synod asked for its reintroduction. • Called for adequate safety measures for those who serve and carry out ministries on behalf of the church.
|Bishop Martin Wells greets worshipers at the closing service of the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod April 21.
Eastern North Dakota, April 20-21, Jamestown, N.D. • Called for conversations about ministering to same-gender couples and families. • Supported legislation prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. • Voted down a memorial in support of the Uniting American Families Act.
Alaska, April 25-27, Anchorage • Supported a state law to make workplaces 100 percent smoke free to protect workers and visitors from secondhand smoke. • Called for adequate safety measures for those who serve and carry out ministries on behalf of the church.
Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana, April 26-28, Temple, Texas • Called on the U.S. government to pass legislation prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. • Supported the Uniting American Families Act or its equivalent as a component of comprehensive immigration reform. • Advocated for compassionate, just and wise immigration legislation.
• Called on the Texas legislature and governor “to implement the opportunity for expansion of Medicaid offered by the Affordable Care Act” passed by Congress.
La Crosse Area, April 26-28, La Crosse, Wis. • Ended its 22-year companion relationship with the Central Synod of the Ethiopian Evangelical [Lutheran] Church Mekane Yesus in response to the EECMY’s decision to sever ties with the ELCA, which ordains people in committed same-sex relationships. • Continued its Generous Love/Generous Lives emphasis with a service day — 74 congregations did everything from providing community meals and collecting for pantries to cleaning up parks, trails and the yards of their neighbors.
Elected: Rodger C. Prois, 60, as bishop of the Western Iowa Synod, effective July 1.
When: April 27 on the fifth ballot with 160 votes. Peter Soli, synod director for evangelical mission and assistant to the bishop, received 153 votes.
Bio: Interim pastor of St. Mark (Sioux City) and New Life (Sergeant Bluff) Lutheran churches in Iowa. Associate director of ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal. Served congregations in Minnesota and Utah.
Replaces: Michael A. Last, who has served since 2001 and was ineligible for re-election.
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