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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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ELCA Scan

Women from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod learned from women in an Appalachian community about the difference grass-roots projects can make. The synod women participated in an eight-week training course on women's leadership and organizing. They visited an after-school tutorial computer center for children and an evening adult learning center in Ivanhoe, Va., as well as other community projects. They engaged in role plays and discussions with women from Ivanhoe to learn from each other how to solve community problems and make shared decisions.

New Jersey Synod Bishop E. Leroy Riley and Elizabeth Fenton Pryor were married April 13 at Miller Chapel, Princeton Seminary, Princeton, N.J. Michael Merkel, pastor of Bethesda Lutheran Church, New Haven, Conn., and former bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, performed the ceremony.

The ELCA Hunger Appeal received more than $1,600 thanks to the strong legs of Larry Strenge, pastor of Living Waters Lutheran Church, Sauk Rapids, Minn. Strenge finished 9,846th out of 38,907 competitors in this year's Boston Marathon, and his supporters donated money for the hunger appeal. The hunger fund also received a boost from Carl Nielsen, pastor of Bethani a Evangelical Lutheran Church of Solvang, Calif., and his friend, Bob Jensen, backed by Resurrection Lutheran Church in Redondo Beach, Calif. The two men — with the help of a tail wind "supplied by God" — finished in the annual 100-mile California bike rally, raising $7,500 for the hunger appeal and Lutheran World Relief.

The lawsuit against the ELCA and its Board of Pensions continues to wind its way through the judicial system. In late April the 48 plaintiffs asked the U.S. Supreme Court to examine a Minnesota court ruling that dismissed the suit on First Amendment grounds. The suit charged that social and political criteria were used in pension investments. In early May the Rev. Thomas Basich, who has spearheaded the legal action, announced that a news suit with different plaintiffs would be filed in Ohio. He charges that the court's action in the first suit "suppressed our civil rights." A similar suit in New York courts is also under consideration, Basich said.

Dairy farmers in Tillamook County, Ore., who were hit with severe flooding earlier this year, are unable to produce enough hay to feed their cows. Norene Goplen at Lutheran Family Services of Oregon is the on-site coordinator for Lutheran Disaster Response. Anyone with sources for hay or funds for transportation can contact her at (800) 819-7107. Or money can be sent marked "Feed A Cow" to ELCA Domestic Disaster Response, P.O. Box 71764, Chicago, IL, 60694.

The ELCA Advisory Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility has resolutions for eight U.S. corporations to address at their annual stockholder meetings. The issues of concern are equal employment opportunity, divers ity of board directors, global corporate standards, the environment and U.S.-owned factories in Mexico. The eight companies are American International, Cooper Industries, Federated Stores, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, International Paper, Sprint and United Technologies. Not all resolutions reach annual meetings, but some initiate serious conversations between corporations and religious organizations on social issues. The filer may withdraw a motion when satisfied the topic is being addressed.

More than 800 religious leaders from several faith groups, including several pastors from the ELCA Southeast Michigan Synod, signed an appeal not to buy the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press to protest management's attempt to permanently replace striking workers. More than 2,000 workers have been on strike since last July, protesting what they have called unfair labor practices.

A new Spanish worship book is on its way. " Liturgia y Cancion" is projected to be available to ELCA congregations in December 1997. The 640-page book will contain liturgies, rites, new services and hymns from South American, Central American, Mexican and Caribbean traditions, says Evelyn Soto, ELCA director for multicultural and multilingual ministries. Soto says she knows of about 160 congregations that have at least one worship service in Spanish. The ELCA has about 27,000 Hispanic members. Currently congregations who want to worship in Spanish "must create their own resources or pull them together from a number of different places," Soto says. Cassette tapes will be available to help introduce the worship book.


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