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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Work moves ahead to define ELCA, mission

Research turns up divergent views of lay leaders, clergy

The ELCA's effort to define itself and its mission — the so-called LIFT initiative — is striving to not only make the church relevant but to forge closer ties among the churchwide organization, synods, partners and, most of all, congregations.

"I think we will see a stronger commitment from the wider church to strengthening the relationships within the church between congregations and synods and among congregations and synods and the churchwide organization," said Kenneth W. Inskeep, director of ELCA Research and Evaluation.

Dee Pederson, a pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran, St. Cloud, Minn., and LIFT task force chair, said since its first meeting in January the group has focused on engaging "the whole church" in a conversation about "what God is calling us to be and do in the future" amid changes in global and national society.


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