ELCA Church Council approves measures addressing sexism, embracing authentic diversity

The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) met at the Lutheran Center in Chicago April 4-7.  The council, which serves as the ELCA's board of directors, took action on a variety of matters designed to help move the church's mission and ministries forward. 

Council members voted to recommend to the 2019 Churchwide Assembly adoption of the proposed social statement "Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action" and the related implementing resolutions. They expressed appreciation to the task force and churchwide staff for their six years of service in development of the social statement. The ELCA 2019 Churchwide Assembly will meet in Milwaukee Aug. 5-10.

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Bishop Hutterer: Border Reflections, part 2

At La Roca, the shelter I visited last week, children, women and men went to the border and stood in line. Once they received a number they could stay at La Roca while they waited for their number to be called. Cruzando Fronteras (a Lutheran-Episcopal ministry) supports this shelter.

Refugees who have been processed in the U.S. and await their court date are released. In Phoenix last week about 200 were released each day. With ICE lacking the capacity for growing asylee numbers, families have been released to churches in Phoenix for temporary and transitional shelter until they are capable of traveling to their final destination. Currently, there are not enough churches to accommodate the increasing numbers of asylum-seekers, and these families are being released on the street and at bus stations, with no means to continue their journey. Many would label this a humanitarian crisis, and as God’s people we can step in make a difference.

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Moving graffiti from the streets to the steeple

From the Marana News: “Michael Schultz’s family was surprised he didn’t burst into flames when he walked into church. 

As a graffiti artist, Schultz estimates he painted 60 boxcars by the age of 17. Now, as an adult, his days of covert canvassing are behind him. Schultz, along with Pastor Lars Hammar, organizes Open Space Church, a location promoting a crossroads of art and faith for the Tucson community.” Read the full article »

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Lutheran Social Services of Nevada Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Fundraiser

Lutheran Social Services of Nevada invites YOU to our annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Fundraiser on May 8th, 2019! Join us for an evening of wonderful appetizers and wine tastings, exciting silent and live auctions, and, most importantly, fun as we join together to support the empowerment-centered, hunger-fighting mission of LSSN.

Tickets are $75 per person and are available for purchase on our website at www.lssnv.org/shop. Sponsorships may also be purchased on www.lssnv.org/shop, or you may contact Tristan Hightower at tristan@lssnv.org for more information.

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Portico Recognized for Innovating to Improve Health, Rein in Costs 

Portico Benefit Services recently received a 2018 Church Benefits Association (CBA) Innovation Award for adding initiatives that have delivered impressive member health improvements, higher member satisfaction scores, and notable health plan savings. 

The CBA includes about 50 member organizations, like Portico, that manage retirement and health benefits for a total of 250,000 churchworkers of various denominations. Twenty-one CBA members vied for one of four inaugural Innovation Awards. Read the story.

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Bishop's Letter regarding Trustworthy Servants of the People of God document

Dear Church: This past weekend the ELCA Church Council met in Chicago. They decided not to consider for adoption a document entitled, “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God,” which had been recommended to them by the Conference of Bishops. Instead, they chose to refer this document back to the Domestic Mission Unit of the Churchwide office for further work and redrafting in alignment with the social teachings of the ELCA. In addition, the Church Council asked that a process be used by Domestic Mission which intentionally includes more diverse voices, especially those who perceive they were most harmed by the misuse of the current document, Vision and Expectations in the past.

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Rev. Rebecca Boardman is the new Campus Pastor at U of A

The Lutheran Campus Ministry Board at the University of Arizona is pleased and happy to announce that the Grand Canyon Synod has called the Rev. Rebecca Boardman as the new Campus Pastor at the U of A. Rebecca will be relocating to Tucson in early June and plans to join us at the synod assembly. Please keep Pastor Rebecca and the LCM at U of A in your prayers as we continue the transition into this new era of ministry.

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Prayers for Susan Fohs and family

We pray for Susan Fohs and family as they grieve the death of Rev. Walter Fohs who passed away on March 2, 2019. Pastor and Mrs. Fohs transferred to the Grand Canyon Synod in 2014 after retirement from service at Lamb of God Lutheran Church in the Florida-Bahamas Synod in 2012.

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Brian FlatgardComment