Photograph by Julie Fletcher
Fresh from the election of a new presiding bishop, voting members approved (671-242) a 25th anniversary campaign to raise an additional $77 million that leaders said will move the church into the future. It's the first campaign of its size and scope in the history of the ELCA.
The five-year campaign came as a recommendation from the Church Council, but there were questions among voting members if it had proper support and timing.
Jeff Otterman, a pastor in the South Dakota Synod, called the campaign "a top-down piece instead of a bottom-up piece."
However, Presiding Bishop-elect Elizabeth A. Eaton was the first to speak to the campaign motion, calling it "an exciting step for the ELCA" and saying "it makes it possible to encourage people to give where their heart is calling them to give."
She said she's grateful it doesn't start until 2014, which gives "my brother and sister bishops and I a chance to go to our synods to talk to deans and synod councils and congregations about where their passions lie ... even though I'm going to be inheriting it, I'm saying let's go for it."
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© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers