The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Thriving in a pluralistic world

ELCA is evangelical, missional in its witness

When I hear the Christmas Gospel this year, I will pause to reflect upon all the varied contexts in which it is being read—from the diminishing number of Palestinian Lutheran Christians who will gather in Bethlehem to those who will worship in the rapidly growing Ethiopian Evangelical [Lutheran] Church Mekane Yesus to the millions who will gather in the ELCA’s 10,440 congregations. The story of Jesus’ birth is a reminder that God in Christ gives us the gift of unity.

Unity, however, is not only God’s gift but also our task. The ELCA seeks in its faith and life to “manifest the unity given to the people of God by living together in the love of Christ and by joining with other Christians in prayer and action to express and preserve the unity which the Spirit gives” (ELCA Constitution 4.02.f.).

We bear witness to our unity in Christ in varied ways ("Toward church unity"). Gathering with other Christians for Bible study, prayer and conversation nurtures faith as you experience a spiritual ecumenism. Joining with local churches in a neighborhood food pantry, housing project or community organization expresses Christian unity in service to the neighbor.

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February issue


Embracing diversity