The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Churchwide Assembly: 'Keep your eye on the horizon'

Lowell G. Almen
Lowell G. Almen
In his assembly report, ELCA Secretary Lowell G. Almen reminded voting members to “keep your eye on the horizon because that remains steady. A long history of faithful confession precedes us to this place. The pilgrimage of faith will continue long after our years of witness and service. We are charged in our time with being good stewards of the faith and conscientious disciples of our Lord.

“The past, present and future provide a wide perspective,” he said, recalling the 1991 Churchwide Assembly, also held in Orlando. “We had a very ‘hot’ topic ... before us. A ‘social statement on abortion’ was being submitted to that assembly.” Almen spoke of the high anxiety but said people “maintained hearty awareness of our foundations—of our being joined together in the body of Christ ....”

Almen then noted significant issues faced by subsequent assemblies and said the ELCA’s commitment to interdependence guides our life together and “will help us keep our eyes on the horizon.”

Excerpting his 1993 assembly report, Almen concluded: “We as members of the [ELCA] have sought to take seriously our biblical understanding of the church as the body of Christ. We have sought to do so in nurturing and affirming the variety of gifts among our members within our congregations. We also have sought to do so in the way in which we have organized ourselves as a church body ....”


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