Division for Church in Society board Chicago, March 14-16.
Accepted the "Common Report for the ELCA Churchwide Studies on Sexuality" for submission to the Church Council.
Appointed task force members for the Studies on Sexuality.
Discussed the first report from the task force on the Health, Healing and Health Care social statement.
Urged the Church Council to express the ELCA's concern for U.S. treatment of refugees since Sept. 11 and for the decline in refugee admissions and the increase in the number of unused resettlement places in the last decade.
Accepted recommendations related to faith and science and the mission of the church, including a possible staff position.
Women of the ELCA board Chicago, March 14-17.
Elected Linda Post Bushkofsky, 43, Chaska, Minn., as executive director of Women of the ELCA, effective Aug. 1. Since 1997, Bushkofsky has been associate executive for communication and interpretation for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Bloomington, Minn. She succeeds Catherine I.H. Braasch, who leaves office Aug. 31.
Commission for Multicultural Ministries steering committee Chicago, March 15-16.
Adopted a resolution in support of Arab, Middle Eastern and Muslim people detained in the United States, asking the Division for Church in Society to work with the U.S. government and its agencies to "either release all detainees or bring them before courts of law." The resolution decries the practice of law enforcement agencies targeting Arab, Middle Eastern and Muslim people for searches, arrests and harassment.
Asked Division for Outreach staff to help the commission start five to seven Asian and Pacific Islander ministries in the United States without reducing the number of other ethnic-specific missions.
Reaffirmed its commitment to increase the number of ELCA members who are of color or whose primary language is other than English.
Division for Global Mission board Chicago, March 14-17.
Adopted a resolution acknowledging sacrifices of U.S. military personnel and their families; commending contributions made by Lutheran World Relief and other humanitarian aid agencies to the people of Afghanistan; calling on ELCA members to urge the U.S. government "to address terrorism through multilateral collaboration and in consultation with the United Nations," but to use strategies that result in minimal civilian casualties and destruction to a country's infrastructure; and calling for an increase in "development aid to address the root causes of hunger and violence."
Asked ELCA congregations to pray at worship services for "peace with justice" in the Middle East. Also asked that the ELCA presiding bishop and churchwide units urge parishioners to encourage their elected representatives "to press both parties to the conflict to cease their hostilities and restart negotiations" for peace.
Adopted a human rights document for the division. The unit will express solidarity with churches and other groups that try to hold governments accountable for upholding human rights and will challenge ELCA members to express concerns about human rights violations.
Conveyed "pastoral concern and Christian solidarity" to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia on the escalating violence in that country, urging ELCA members to pray for peace there and asking the ELCA to work through the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, Washington, D.C., to "mediate in the crisis in Colombia, enabling peace talks to resume."
Division for Higher Education and Schools board Chicago, March 15-16.
Thanked the Division for Church in Society for its report on science and technology. Affirmed the recommendation of that unit's board to explore a full-time staff position on faith and science, with the request that the church in society unit consult with the Division for Higher Education and Schools in the process.
Accepted an amended recommendation regarding the process and criteria for a college or university to become affiliated with the ELCA.
Division for Ministry board Chicago, March 15-17.
Approved the Grace Institute for Spiritual Formation, Decorah, Iowa, as an ELCA Lifelong Learning Partner. The institute will be listed among more than 35 other lifelong learning centers and seminary programs in the ELCA Yearbook, can claim the designation in its publicity, can publicize its mission and programs in ELCA publications and list its events at www.faithandwisdom.org.
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