The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


February 1998 Worldscan

  • The ELCA Board of Pensions trustees stopped development of a pension administration computer system. The trustees' executive committee halted work after staff determined the board would face additional delays and unacceptable costs to complete the system, which was already behind schedule and over budget. The board will continue exploring ways to provide members with more flexibility in the future.

  • Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, N.C., is guaranteeing students enrolled by 1998 tuition hikes of no more than 3 percent in each of the next four years.

  • Lutheran Social Services of the South Inc. has placed its 5,000th child into a home. The agency began its international adoption program in 1944, when it began placing German children orphaned by World War II with American families.

  • Myrvin Christopherson , president of Dana College, Blair, Neb., since 1986, was appointed Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog by K.E. Tygesen, Danish ambassador to the United States. Tygesen presented the award on behalf of Danish Queen Margrethe II.

  • About 850 ELCA clergy and lay leaders gathered in Pittsburgh for a conference called "Making Christ Known: Congregations in the 21st Century ", sponsored by the ELCA Department for Communication and the Division for Congregational Ministries. The event offered 35 workshops with topics ranging from designing a congregation Web page to telemarketing as a means for reaching the unchurched.

  • Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa., received a $6.5 million gift from an anonymous friend of the school. The gift, the largest in Muhlenberg's history, will be used to expand the Dorothy H. and Dexter F. Baker Center for the Arts, to build an academic facility, for athletic field renovations and for facility improvements.

  • State Sen. John Marty , 41, son of Lutheran scholar Martin Marty, will seek the office of Minnesota's governor. He ran for state governor in 1994 and was defeated.

  • Aid Association for Lutherans offered a $50,000 challenge grant to write, test and publish a confirmation curriculum, Wise as Serpents, created by Al Erickson, an ELCA pastor. The curriculum, designed to prevent youth from being exploited by the sex industry , will be used with junior high youth who are vulnerable to peer pressure and to exploitation. The curriculum has six sessions, each with a Bible passage, group and individual activities, discussion outlines and stories about youth who are faced with sexual exploitation. A video with 10-minute segments shows a survivor of prostitution talking about her life and what youth need to know so they don't get deceived by the sex industry.

  • The Greater Milwaukee Synod invited nine leaders of various faiths to meet with local and national ELCA officials to discuss how the church can meet society's needs. The main focus of conversation was on the needs of children. Judy Mann, the former executive director of the Milwaukee Jewish Council, said issues around sex and morality are critical. Children need to work more with other groups to help youth reach adulthood before they become parents, she said.

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