Division for Outreach board Chicago, Sept. 17-18.
* Discussed the proposed redesign of the churchwide organization, expressing concern about its lack of detail regarding responsibilities for starting congregations and developing young Lutheran leaders.
* Reviewed the African Descent Ministry Strategy and the Arab and Middle Eastern Ministry Strategy that are being developed by the Commission for Multicultural Ministries.
* Adopted its own African American/Black Outreach Strategy, asking the ELCA Church Council to attach it to the commission's African descent strategy and forward to the Churchwide Assembly.
* Asked the Church Council to "grant a delay of any review" of the division's request for "independent Lutheran organization" status for Lutherans Concerned/ North America until the council's legal and constitutional review committee "determines a position on the category of acknowledgement of independent Lutheran organization and/or Churchwide Assembly action on the policy decisions to be made in 2005."
* Approved the division's 2005 budget of $15,339,181, earmarking 49.5 percent for new congregations.
* Adopted and transmitted to the Church Council the Mission Investment Fund's 2005 capital budget of $168.25 million.
Division for Higher Education and Schools board Chicago, Sept. 24-25.
* Heard progress of the development of an ELCA social statement on education and received the table of contents from the task force's forthcoming study, due to be released early in 2005.
* Accepted the affiliation of LeHigh Valley Lutheran School in Bethlehem, Pa.
* Recommended that the ELCA director for schools draw up guidelines and age-appropriate standards for
establishing and maintaining ELCA schools, with a working outline to be presented at the board's spring 2005 meeting.
* Responded to the draft of the proposed restructuring of the ELCA churchwide organization with a document that begins: "The current restructuring and governance proposals is a step in the right direction. Although the comments to follow list the concerns that were raised during our discussion, most people felt that the overall structure moves this church into a more focused and inclusiveministry."
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