Division for Ministry board Chicago, March 12-14.
* Affirmed a vision statement for the division. Based on the ELCA's strategic directions, the statement reorganizes division staff into three areas: invitation and discernment, theological education and servant leadership.
* Honored Norman E. Wegmeyer, retiring founder and director of SELECT (www.elca.org/ministry/), an ELCA continuing theological education program based at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio.
Division for Global Mission board Chicago, March 19-21.
* Asked the ELCA Church Council to join the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches in calling for an end to the construction of a security wall between Israeli and Palestinian territories.
* Requested that the unit, the Division for Church in Society, the Office of the Presiding Bishop and other relevant units work with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service to prepare for the board's October meeting a report on the construction of a barrier along the U.S.-Mexican border near San Diego and Tijuana.
* Asked the Church Council to "walk with the Lutheran Church in Liberia" as it helps rebuild that country after a 14-year civil conflict, to ask ELCA members to pray for and help Liberia through mission support and the ELCA World Hunger Appeal, and to advocate for the United States to monitor the peace and reconstruction process.
* Urged ELCA members, congregations, synods and church-related institutions to continue support of Stand With Africa, a three-year campaign to raise awareness, advocacy work and funds for HIV/AIDS victims.
* Learned the division had to reduce its budget by $2.2 million in 2003 and 2004. Rafael Malpica Padilla, division executive director, said the unit tried to "minimize insofar as possible the impact of reductions on companion churches, not recall missionaries currently serving and apply resources to areas of greatest needs." He said the reductions will "cause a significant erosion" in the church's ability to deepen global, ecumenical and interfaith relationships.
Division for Higher Education and Schools board Chicago, March 26-27.
* Re-elected Leonard Schulze to a four-year term as unit executive director.
* Sent a resolution to the Church Council and presiding bishop acknowledging that churchwide restructuring may not allow Schulze's term to be completed and recommending that he be considered for director of the future structure for educational ministries.
* Directed that ELCA churchwide grants to ELCA colleges and universities be distributed in these categories: undesignated, to strengthen Lutheran identity and to institutions with the greatest need.
* Heard that National Lutheran Campus Ministry Inc. gave $436,000 since September 2003 in capital improvement grants and loans for Lutheran campus ministries in Maryland, Minnesota and Texas.
Commission for Women steering committee Chicago, March 12-13.
* Invited the Commission for Multicultural Ministries steering committee to join in conversation in October about topics on sexuality now under discussion in the ELCA.
* Thanked the Sexuality Task Force for its leadership and its invitation to the church to engage in the sexuality study.
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