- More than 200 ELCA pastors, including 32 synod bishops, were in New York City April 6-7 to support the work clergy and congregations have done there since Sept. 11. It was part of the Metropolitan New York Synod's "Solidarity Weekend," which also allowed more than 130 ELCA congregations in the area to have a guest preacher that Sunday.
- Lutheran Disaster Response-New York is helping support a community center in Manhattan for volunteers who spontaneously came together to provide assistance following Sept. 11. The World Cares Center: September Space fed workers at ground zero, organized supplies to coordinate with other agencies and counseled bereaved families. LDR is helping with funds from Aid Association for Lutherans/Lutheran Brotherhood.
- The ELCA's Eastern Cluster (Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg, [Pa.]; Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia; and Lutheran Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C.) will sign a partnership agreement with Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Conn., May 1. The agreement allows students at Eastern Cluster seminaries to spend an "ecumenical year" studying at Yale. It also allows Yale students who plan to be ordained by the ELCA to take courses at a Lutheran seminary. Under the agreement, Eastern Cluster schools will help identify visiting professors of Lutheran studies for Yale's Lutheran Studies Program.
- Ryan Hudson, 21, and Bryan Starkey, 20, students at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, drowned when they were trapped in the backseat of a submerged car March 9. Hudson, Starkey and two other Capital students were on their way home from a fraternity outing. They got lost on a dark road that ended in a boat ramp and drove into a reservoir. Police said there are no warning signs for the reservoir and alcohol and drugs weren't a factor. When the driver and front passenger tried to rescue their friends by opening the doors, the car submerged more quickly, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Hudson, a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Canal Fulton, Ohio, was an orientation assistant for new students at Capital. More than 150 students filled the school's chapel for a memorial service later that day.
- Students attending Youth Day at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., got a sneak preview of Questioning Faith: Confessions of a Seminarian, which will air on HBO/Cinemax in June. The documentary was used as a discussion tool at the college's annual Youth Day, helping young people explore and discuss challenges and issues relevant to them. The film's creator, Macky Alston, was on hand for the discussions. Alston teaches courses on documentary film and issues of spirituality and social justice at Union Seminary, New York.
- THIS obedience, a documentary, was scheduled to be shown in April at St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church, St. Paul, Minn. The weekend celebrated Anita Hill's ordination (which is not recognized by the ELCA) a year ago and was an effort to propel the church toward further discussion of ordaining gay and lesbian people in committed relationships. Mel White, author of Stranger at the Gate, preached. Soulforce, an ecumenical network committed to nonviolent resistance, provided training.
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