The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


More assembly actions

A brief look at additional actions by the 2007 ELCA Churchwide Asssembly

Full communion with Moravians

The assembly extended the ELCA’s full communion relationship with the Moravian Church in America to its East Western Indies and Alaska provinces (999-23). Full communion with the Northern and Southern Provinces was approved by the 1999 assembly.

Musimbi Kanyoro, general secretary
Musimbi Kanyoro, general secretary of the World YWCA, in her keynote address urged the ELCA to value justice for women.
Council members elected

Eleven members were elected to the ELCA Church Council to replace those whose terms have expired. Nominees are submitted by synod assembly action on a rotating basis among the synods. The 33-member council serves as the legislative body between Churchwide Assemblies.

Justice for women urged

Mary Streufert, ELCA director for justice for women, reported on activities in all churchwide units that promote justice for women and urged the entire church to educate, advocate and lead in response to sexism.

LCMS president greets ELCA

Gerald B. Kieschnick, president of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, asked that the ELCA ground all its decisions in Scripture, saying God’s word must also guide the cooperative work done by the two church bodies: Lutheran Services in America, Lutheran Disaster Response, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and Lutheran World Relief (see "Almen: ELCA, LCMS must 'work together'").

HIV/AIDS strategy

Voting members approved (925-22) a resolution calling for prayer, advocacy, education and $1 million to be used to implement an HIV/AIDS strategy and for Lutheran World Federation efforts to fight the pandemic. Two voting members said the proposal lacked sufficient financial support, so three days after the first resolution, the assembly encouraged the Church Council to commit another $1 million to the strategy (586-13).

Results of war

Iraqis constitute the fastest growing group of refugees in the world, Ralston H. Deffenbaugh Jr., president of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, told the assembly. In the U.S., the resettlement of refugees has dropped to 50,000—half the number of those settled from 1975 to 2000.

The assembly voted (874-78) to declare its opposition to “any escalation of the [Iraq] war” and called upon the U.S. government to “take immediate and comprehensive steps to end the violence and establish a peaceful, stable and just society in that country.”

Criminal justice statement

The assembly approved (957-68) an initiative that grew out of memorials from three synods that will result in a social statement on criminal justice to be considered by the 2013 assembly. The statement will likely deal with the prison system, rehabilitation for those convicted of crimes and the cost of incarcerating criminals.

Darfur advocacy urged

The assembly passed (976-11) a resolution urging Lutherans to study and ask officials to seek an end to the killing in Darfur, Sudan. There are 4.2 million people who may be in danger of starvation in Darfur, said Lisa C. Anderson, New England Synod. As many as 10,000 might be dying each month, she added.

LWF anniversary

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Lutheran World Federation, worshipers contributed an offering of $11,500 at the closing service Aug. 11 at which Mark S. Hanson was installed for a second term as ELCA presiding bishop. He also is president of the LWF, which includes 141 Lutheran church bodies. Earlier in the week Ishmael Noko, LWF general secretary, thanked the ELCA for its leadership.

Recommits to justice

The assembly passed (637-105) an Israeli-Palestinian strategy that calls for examining investment activity of the ELCA but excludes the option of divestiture.

For more information on assembly actions, see the ELCA assembly news Web site.


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February issue


Embracing diversity