The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


May 1999 Worldscan

  • Two groups of the ELCA Commission for Multicultural Ministries will hold community gatherings this summer. The African American Lutheran Association will gather June 23-26 in Chicago. The event will center around discipleship and leader discovery, congregational ministries, social justice, pastoral education and churchwide programs. African American rostered leaders and seminarians will meet June 21-23. For more information, call (877) 232-2252. The Association of Lutherans of Arab and Middle Eastern Heritage will hold its general assembly July 9-11 in Brooklyn, N.Y. The event includes discussions and presentations on topics such as Arab Lutheran ministry in the United States and Alemeh's role in the ELCA. For more information, contact Khader el-Yateem at (718) 748-4024 or salamch@aol.com. The Association of Asians/Pacific Islanders meets June 17-20 at Augsburg College, Minneapolis. A one-day training session on social ministry is June 16. For information call Cherian Puthiyottil, Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, (612) 870-4416, Ext. 621, or cputhiyottil@centralmpls.org.

  • Welfare limits and work requirements meant to create self-sufficiency often discourage it instead. A report by the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania signals an alarm that managed care, new federal regulations and cuts in federal social service block grants impede programs run by Lutheran social ministry agencies at the same time the government needs churches to fill in the gaps in human services.

  • The ELCA and the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas developed "A Lutheran-Orthodox Common Statement on Faith in the Holy Trinity," which explains both traditions' emphasis on the Nicene Creed and draws attention to a one-Latin-word addition that has divided the churches. The creed dates to A.D. 381 and doesn't include the word filioque, which means "and the Son." Bishop Donald J. McCoid, ELCA Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod, said, "Lutheran members of the dialogue recommend the use of the Nicene Creed without the Western filioque addition. The many years of serious dialogue to understand the history and theological issues that have divided us has led to this strong statement about our common faith in the Holy Trinity."

  • Roanoke College, Salem, Va., announced the school's largest planned gift in its history — $2.8 million. Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, N.C., received $3.4 million from Hansel and Bernice McCrorie for the McCrorie [Allied Health] Center.

  • Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D., set a school record for most applications received, rising from 1,311 last year to 1,400 for fall 1999. At Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, a $22,000 grant from Aid Association for Lutherans will be used to implement personalized applications (the prospective student's name, address and other basic information is already printed on the form) to help the school increase its annual number of applications.

  • Waldorf College Arizona, an extension of the Forest City, Iowa, school, graduated its first student. Cheri Pint, who juggled a 30-hour-a-week job, raising two teenage daughters and school, received her bachelor's degree from the school's Glendale campus. Waldorf, which also has an extension campus in Tanzania, held a surprise ceremony for Pint minutes after her last class ended. "It was a surprise, all right," she said.

  • ELCA Region 6 held its first service of consecration for a diaconal minister. Karen S. White was set apart in a service led by Callon W. Holloway, bishop of the Southern Ohio Synod. White was called as the director of admissions of Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio.

  • Members of the ELCA Department for Communication, Division for Church in Society and Office of the Bishop participated in a segment of 60 Minutes II. The story involves Michael Bray, a pastor of Reformation Lutheran, Bowie, Md., a church of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations. Bray, who is not on the clergy roster of any Lutheran church, advocates the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions. He holds an annual banquet honoring those who firebomb abortion clinics or shoot doctors who perform abortions. 60 Minutes II also interviewed Richard Dowhower, pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church, Bowie, and several parishioners, who are trying to distance themselves from Bray.

  • Kjell Ove Nilsson, director of theology for the Christian Council of Sweden in Stockholm, is the first Pearson Distinguished Professor of Swedish Studies at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kan.

  • Immanuel Health Systems, affiliated with the ELCA Nebraska Synod, received the Gold Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Council of the Midlands, which serves as a national accreditation process to recognize employers for their health promotion programs. Well Workplace encourages and rewards health promotion activities wherever people work.

  • Three Lutheran seminaries — Gettysburg, Gettysburg, Pa.; Southern, Columbia, S.C.; and Philadelphia — that created a formal partnership last fall have been urged by 75 church leaders from 20 synods and the three seminaries to focus on faculty collaboration.

  • The Brossman Charitable Foundation, Ephrata, Pa., gave a $250,000 grant to the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.), to aid a campuswide telecommunications network. The grant will help integrate voice and data wiring to resident housing, provide access to the Internet, implement distance education and expand the library user services.

  • Cable station HBO shelved a documentary about hazing, shot at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa. The film, Frat House, depicts graphic and sometimes violent hazing of pledges at the school's Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. But fraternity members say the film was fictionalized and that the directors asked them to stage incidents. The filmmakers deny the charges, but HBO decided not to run the film.

  • Pornography and prostitution is an ever-increasing problem in the country. The Alliance for Speaking Truths on Prostitution, a nonprofit group directed by Al Erickson, an ELCA pastor, developed a course to teach youth how their faith calls them to respond. For more information about the six-session course, titled Wise as Serpents, call (612) 872-0684.

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