The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



* Theodore Fredrickson, president of Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, announced his retirement after a career of nearly four decades in higher education. Fredrickson, a native of Northfield, Minn., was selected Capital’s 14th president in November 2001, after serving as dean of the Graduate School of Business at St. Thomas University, Minneapolis. Denvy Bowman, Capital’s provost, was named interim president.

* N Street Village Inc., a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that serves the needs of homeless and low-income women, raised a record $350,000 at its March 29 gala, “Building Bridges, Saving Lives.” Founded in 1973 by Luther Place Memorial Church, N Street receives support from more than a thousand volunteers each year from all faiths and secular traditions. The organization awarded Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, McLean, Va., with the Hospitality Award for its volunteer commitment, including operating eye and dental clinics, providing members to serve on boards of governance, participating in the Help the Homeless Walkathon, and collecting food from Virginia vendors.

* Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, Ill., will partner with the Ogle County Hospice Foundation to build a hospice home on 10 acres of the ELCA camp’s 650-acre property. In 2008, the eight-bed unit will reportedly become the second residential hospice in Illinois and the first in a rural area. The two nonprofits plan to share resources of people and land. “Although our missions are quite different, we find that they are compatible in many fundamental ways,” said Russ Senti, the center’s executive director. The center hosts programs for youth, adults, families and congregations, as well as outdoor education events for schools.

* John Sladek was named the sixth president of California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, effective Aug. 15. Previously he was vice chancellor for research and professor of psychiatry and nueroscience at the University of Colorado at Denver. Sladek succeeds Luther S. Luedtke, who resigned to accept a position as president of the Education Development Center, Newton, Mass.

* Holy Trinity Lutheran, an inner-city congregation in Erie, Pa., received a yearlong gift of $52,000 from McLane Church, a nearby nondenominational congregation inspired by Holy Trinity’s mission. In 2000, Holy Trinity made a commitment to better serve its needy members and others in the community. Since then, the church’s deeds have included running a food pantry, working with a homeless shelter and sponsoring after-school programs. But the poverty level of Holy Trinity’s members had been an obstacle in meeting operational costs. McLane’s pledge to cover the church’s operational deficit for the entire year allows Holy Trinity to continue its mission and ministry.

* Lawrence J. Clark, associate to the bishop of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, was elected to serve as executive director of the Lutheran Theological Center, Atlanta. The center is an extension of all eight ELCA seminaries, but Clark will be considered a staff member of Lutheran Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C. A 1995 graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio, Clark serves on several national and organizational boards, including the African American Lutheran Association; Chicago’s Trinity Hospital; and Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa.

* To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Mount Cross Lutheran Church in Camarillo, Calif., distributed more than two dozen hundred dollar bills at worship on June 11—but they were challenged to creatively multiply that money. That’s what 20 Mount Cross children did last fall with $5 bills, raising $1,200 for pastors and their families who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina. John Soyster, one of the pastors, said he hopes 40 households participate and raise $40,000 to help Peace Lutheran Church in Slidell, La., rebuild from the hurricane.

* Insurance coverage was re-established for 66 congregations in the hurricane-prone Florida-Bahamas Synod (July, "Florida-Bahamas Synod encounters insurance difficulties"). After the churches received cancellation, premium change notices or high deductible increases under carrier Zurich Insurance, the synod and the ELCA Mission Investment Fund agreed to underwrite a large portion of “named wind” insurance coverage to make costs more affordable. MIF also provided a one-time grant, matching one from the Florida-Bahamas Synod council, to reduce premiums from Lexington Insurance, which has agreed to cover the 66 congregations. The agreement resolves the insurance crisis that had threatened the Florida congregations for the past two months. Ken Aicher, assistant to the bishop for administration, said 24 out of 25 insurance carriers sought out by the synod had declined primary layer coverage of $5 million for the congregations at risk. “We are extremely grateful to MIF for this partnership in the midst of a significant crisis for our congregations,” he said.


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February issue


Embracing diversity