The Metropolitan Chicago Synod will host the 2007 Churchwide Assembly Aug. 6-11, welcoming some 2,000 participants to Chicago’s Navy Pier. Voting members—about 1,071 people chosen by the ELCA’s 65 synods—will elect a presiding bishop and secretary.
Mark S. Hanson, selected presiding bishop
in 2001, is available for re-election. Lowell G. Almen, ELCA secretary
since 1988, is retiring.
As the ELCA
’s highest legislative authority, the Churchwide Assembly
also will consider:
• A proposed social statement on education, “Our Calling in Education
• A proposed five-year initiative, “Book of Faith: Lutherans Read the Bible
,” which encourages members, congregations, synods, institutions, agencies and churchwide ministries to engage the Scriptures. The Web site
states that one of the main goals is to raise “to a new level this church’s individual and collective engagement with the Bible and its teaching, yielding greater biblical fluency and a more profound appreciation of Lutheran principles and approaches for the use of Scripture.”
• The Blue Ribbon Committee on Mission Funding’s proposals for stewardship education and mission funding.
• More than 120 memorials or resolutions from synods, as well as proposals from Churchwide Assembly
voting members. Memorials center on issues ranging from the discipline of an Atlanta pastor living in a same-sex relationship to hunger and support for youth ministry.
• Deepening the ELCA
’s commitment to help end HIV/AIDS.
• Reports on multicultural ministries and justice for women.
The assembly will also:
• Elect members to the Church Council and several boards and committees that relate to the ELCA churchwide organization.
• Receive greetings and reports from representatives of ecumenical partners, other church bodies and church organizations.
• Celebrate anniversaries—100 years of Lutheran Campus Ministry
, 60 years of the Lutheran World Federation
(see "LWF celebrates 60 years of 'making a difference'
") and 20 years of the ELCA.
Under the theme, “Living in God’s Amazing Grace: Thanks be to God!” the assembly will offer daily worship, prayer and Bible studies focused on Galatians and Martin Luther’s “Freedom of the Christian.” In addition to voting members, each ELCA
congregation can send an official observer to the assembly.
Prior to the assembly, “Worship Jubilee 2007” will take place Aug. 3-6 at Navy Pier
to celebrate the renewal of worship in the ELCA
. Other gatherings scheduled during or before the assembly include “Affirming Young Leaders: Thanks be to God!
” that brings together young pastors, associates in ministry, diaconal ministers and deaconesses; convocations of youth and young adults; and a Lutheran Men in Mission