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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Assembly stands with Africa

After hearing sobering statistics and seeing photos of Africans who are victims of HIV/AIDS, the assembly voted 913-8 to "stand with Africa."

Stand With Africa: A Campaign of Hope is a three-year effort of the ELCA World Hunger Program, World Relief of the Lutheran Church­Missouri Synod and Lutheran World Relief.

The campaign calls on individuals, congregations, synods, churchwide organizations and others to learn more about Africa, fight HIV/AIDS, work for peace and reconciliation, end hunger and work for economic justice.

Kathryn Wolford, LWR director, said Stand With Africa is a response to the biblical call: "You and I may never know the names of the 5,500 people who will die in Africa today because of AIDS, but chances are that through this network you will have provided love and comfort."

Bishop Gary Hansen, North/West Lower Michigan Synod, told the assembly that members of the Conference of Bishops had agreed to make a special monetary gift from their households to help lead the way.

Lita Brusick Johnson, director for world hunger and disaster appeals, said, "Our commitment to end world hunger is not a sprint, it's a marathon."

Stand With Africa challenges congregations to increase their giving to world hunger. Annual hunger giving stands at $2.50 per ELCA member, Johnson said. The campaign will also encourage advocacy for greater government aid for African poverty and AIDS.


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