• Bruce Nicholson, president and CEO of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, will assume the additional responsibility of chairman of the board when current chair John Gilbert retires July 31. The change is part of a three-year transition from an institution with dual executives, which was instituted when Aid Association for Lutherans and Lutheran Brotherhood merged to form Thrivent.
• Gudina Tumsa, an Ethiopian Lutheran pastor who was executed in 1979 after being abducted, was posthumously honored with the Christus Lux Mundi (Christ, the Light of the World) Award at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. Tumsa attended Luther from 1963 to 1966. Darrell Jodock, his roommate in 1963 and now professor of religion at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., accepted the award on behalf of Tumsa’s family. Tumsa served as general secretary of the Ethiopian Evangelical [Lutheran] Church Mekane Yesus. “Early on, he was one of the few willing to criticize the stratified society of the emperor and, later, one of the few willing to say ‘no’ to the revolutionary government,” Jodock said.
• Mark Erickson was named the 13th president of Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, effective July 1. He is currently vice president for administrative and government affairs at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.
• Mississippi’s Episcopal and Lutheran churches created a joint mission organization to minister statewide. Lutheran-Episcopal Services in Mississippi is the first group of its kind in the nation involving the ELCA, the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi and the Southern District of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. For the past three years, the groups have worked together on several projects, including disaster response, literacy programs for inmates and their children, and summer educational and cultural programs for at-risk children.
• What Joy Lutheran Church, St. Charles, Mo., does to reach out to the community could find some appreciative recipients this time of year: They handed out free stamps on tax day.
• High schoolers at Trinity Lutheran Church, Frankfort, Mich., decided to raise one dollar for each person killed in the tsunami ($225,000). With a church membership of 700, it is a lofty goal. They established www.rebuildinghope.org, where virtual bricks can be purchased in increments of $1, $5 or $10 (or more). Thrivent will match the earnings.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers