The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


July 1998 Churchscan

  • An interfaith religious leaders forum in Michigan, which includes the ELCA Southeast Michigan Synod, signed a letter against the use of physician-assisted suicide as an acceptable means of confronting end-of-life decision-making. "We call for calm reflection and prayer, within the disciplines of our faith traditions, to come to knowledge of what is required of us as stewards, not owners, of human life," the letter concluded.

  • Seven denominations, including the ELCA, Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ and Reformed Church in America, are co-sponsoring three identical Evangelical Connections events. Each two-day program will include 10 workshops focusing on evangelism-strengthening aspects of church vitality. Speakers include pastors of rapidly growing congregations. For more information on the two remaining conferences (Los Angeles, July 17-8 and Cincinnati, Nov. 6-7) call (806) 762-8094.

  • A power failure didn't keep 50 Lutherans and Roman Catholics from holding a discussion on "Dialogue on Justification and God's Transforming Grace." Participants talked about the two churches reconciling their differences. Robert Mattheis, bishop of the ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod, and Sylvester Ryan, bishop of the Monterey Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, exchanged ritual books of the Gospels and other seasonal lessons to visibly demonstrate the churches' growing unity.

  • St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., is undertaking a series of cutbacks during the next three years that will eliminate the school's hockey and wrestling teams and withdraw several majors. The college will counter these cuts by building on its strengths, including biomedical science and international studies. Officials cited economic pressures involving student financial aid and faculty costs as one reason for the cutbacks.

  • Students in Lutheran Campus Ministry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Va., participated in the program's first Alternative Spring Break. Instead of lying on the beach, nine students joined two campus ministers in a 165-mile bicycle trek from Ormond Beach to Vero Beach, Fla., to work on Habitat for Humanity houses in several communities.

  • The James R. Crumley Jr. Archives of Region 9 is locating, collecting and making accessible for research personal papers that document the history of missionaries and missions related to the Lutheran church in the South. Retired missionaries or their descendants who have letters, reports, diaries or journals of missions can contact: Missions Project, James R. Crumley Jr. Archives, 4201 N. Main St., Columbia, SC 29203. A similar plan, the Mission History and Research project, is currently in progress through the cooperation of the ELCA Division for Global Mission and the ELCA Archives. It is an all-inclusive project for the ELCA and is sharing information with the Crumley Archives project.

  • Aid Association for Lutherans is the principal sponsor of The Joy Leadership Center in Phoenix, which is committed to the professional development of effective Lutheran clergy and lay leaders. The center and its parent organization, The Joy Company, are affiliated with Community Church of Joy, an ELCA congregation in Phoenix.

  • Carthage College, Kenosha, Wis., received an $11 million gift from Mrs. Newton E. Tarble to begin construction of a 122,000 square-foot athletic and recreation complex. The donation is the largest in the school's history and the second largest ever received by a Wisconsin private college or university. The facility is to be named in honor of the donor's late husband, Newton A. Tarble, co-founder of Snap-on Inc.

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