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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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You've got mail at assembly

Melody Eastman checks her email.
Melody Eastman (right), Metropolitan Chicago Synod, and others check their e-mail between sessions at the Churchwide Assembly. Located in the hallway outside the plenary hall, the e-mail center has 26 computer terminals plus several ports for laptops. The center is open today through Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
What’s the most happening place between sessions at the Churchwide Assembly? The computing center, of course, where voting members and visitors can check in with their families, friends and congregations.

“My dad always said, ‘Yesterday’s luxury is today’s necessity,’ ” says Linda Lovell, Delaware-Maryland Synod, who is one of the center volunteers. “That’s what e-mail has become. Today it’s a necessity.”

Linda Thomas, Metropolitan Chicago Synod, uses the center to receive daily e-mails from her son and regular messages from her sister. But she draws the “staying connected” line there. “I’m not checking work, I’m on vacation,” she says. “Well, I’m working here, but I’m not checking in with my job.”

Christopher Frye, Lower Susquehanna, is checking in with his family as well, using the center to send reports to his synod’s Gettysburg Conference. “I’ve had a couple e-mails from them, they’re trying to stay in touch so they’re up to date,” Frye says.

Frye also sent Churchwide Assembly e-postcards to his conference dean and his children.

The center also has 26 computers, including two that are accessible for attendees using wheelchairs or who are able to use the standing stations.

The computer center, as well as live Web streaming, is funded by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans as part of its general Churchwide Assembly grant.


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