Commission for Women steering committee. Chicago, Feb. 26-28.
* Asked the Church Council to support the Nobel Peace Prize laureates' appeal for a "Decade for a Culture of Nonviolence" and a "Year of Education for Nonviolence."
* Called upon the ELCA to continue affirming the goals and purpose of the 1988-1998 Ecumenical Decade: Churches in Solidarity with Women.
* Received the proposed response to the 1997 Churchwide Assembly action regarding homosexuality and approved the commission's response (see DCM meeting below).
* Urged all ELCA members to sign petitions protesting the repression of women in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule.
Board of Pensions trustees. Minneapolis, Feb. 6-7.
* Increased the maximum lifetime benefit to $2 million, up from $1 million, retroactive to Jan. 1 pending ELCA Church Council approval.
* Heard that ELCA funds fell short of investment goals even though stock funds returned more than 18 percent net of expenses during 1998. Balanced and bond funds returned more than 12 percent and 7 percent respectively.
* Heard that systems will be Y2K compliant by midyear.
* Met the new vice president for customer outreach, Ronald Glusenkamp, former pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church, St. Louis.
* Quote: John Kapanke, board president, "Unfortunately our long-term investment strategy that emphasizes fund diversification was not suited for what occurred in 1998, when only a small portion of stocks were responsible for the strong market performance."
Division for Congregational Ministries board. Chicago, Feb. 26-28.
* Approved an introduction to the response to the 1997 Churchwide Assembly action on homosexuality. The introduction, to be forwarded to the ELCA Church Council with reports from DCM, the divisions for Church in Society, Ministry and Outreach, and the Commission for Women, calls for continued "engagement in the matter of homosexuality." Board members suggested word and tone changes that portray homosexuality less as an issue and more as an ongoing ministry to gays and lesbians.
* Asked the Church Council to forward to the Churchwide Assembly a "Resolution of Recommitment" to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal in recognition of its 25th anniversary.
* Approved "Stewardship at the Heart of the Church," a congregational stewardship strategy.
* Endorsed This Far by Faith, the soon-to-be-published African American worship book and hymnal.
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