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Bishops focus on planning and studies

"We are undertaking [a major strategic planning effort] so we may more fully and boldly participate in God's mission in the world," Charles Miller, ELCA executive for administration, told the ELCA Conference of Bishops at its March 7-12 meeting in Vancouver, B.C. "This is an essential enterprise for this church in its adolescence."

Miller described an 18-month timeline during which ELCA synods, boards and committees, colleges, seminaries, social ministry organizations and others will consider the church's mission, vision, values, context and strategic directions for its structure and budget. Those directions will be presented to the August 2003 Churchwide Assembly, with the ELCA Church Council set to implement changes in the churchwide structure and budget that November.

ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson asked the 2002 synod assemblies to set aside 50 minutes over two days to focus on two questions: What are the three most important factors in society affecting the ELCA's ministry as a whole? And what are the three most essential things the ELCA must do to move effectively into the future?



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