At recent synod assemblies, we celebrated the collective work we have done as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Two videos were shared with each assembly, and now we offer these same resources for you to share in your congregation. We hope these videos will inspire our ministry moving forward.Read More
In her July column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton asks: “How do we live as people of Truth in a time of spin?” In deep humility, profound gratitude and real joy. Read her column in English at https://bit.ly/2NrsO6H and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/2JaSfDS, or download the column as PDF or as a Word doc.Read More
A letter from Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA and Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President & CEO of LIRS. Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The gospels recount the story of Jesus as a migrant, in need of welcome and reception. And Jesus identifies with every wanderer, every displaced person, every refugee, asylum seeker and migrant, when he tells the crowd, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matthew 25:35). Since 1939, LIRS (Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service) has led the Lutheran movement to welcome vulnerable migrants and refugees in America. Meanwhile, as part of the AMMPARO strategy, the ELCA has committed to offering accompaniment to migrants in their communities.Read More
In this season of Pentecost, as we open ourselves anew to the work of the Holy Spirit, the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), commends to this church the Arusha Call to Discipleship from the World Council of Churches.Read More
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has convened ELCA ecumenical and inter-religious partners in a statement addressing concerns over the well-being of children who cross the U.S. border seeking safety from danger and threats in their home countries.
“Children coming to our nation for safety and protection are dying at our southern border while in U.S. detention. As U.S. religious leaders representing diverse faith perspectives, we are united in our concern for the well-being of vulnerable migrants who cross our borders fleeing from danger and threats to their lives.” Read the full statement »Read More
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has released a letter addressing states recently passing or considering legislation to restrict access to legal abortion. “Talking about abortion has never been easy in this country, and the same holds true in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The members of this church have divergent beliefs and opinions about whether or not abortion should be legal,” the letter read in part.
“I commend you to study and discuss the ELCA social statement ‘Abortion.’ Through this social teaching and policy statement, this church seeks to travel a moderating path by supporting abortion as a last resort.”Read More
In her June column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on why we worship: “[Liturgy is] a discipline Lutherans willingly undertake because it helps individuals and the entire community express our connection with other Christians throughout the world and across the ages.”Read More
Children coming to our nation for safety and protection are still dying at our southern border while in U.S. detention.
I am deeply dismayed by the deaths of these children, made in the image of God, who came to our southern border as refugees and asylum seekers to ask us for protection. As a nation we denied them that safety, instead placing them in detention facilities, sometimes for months.Read More
In her May column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth takes time to reflect on one of “The Questions”—what is a life worth living? She reflects on the cruciform life, which delivers us from our constant striving to make our lives have meaning through our own efforts.Read More
In her April column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us that “we—all created things—are family.” As Earth Day nears on April 22, we should be “especially mindful of the gift of creation and our place in it.” Read her column in English at https://bit.ly/2Un8jdj and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/2FNJYW5.Read More
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has released a pastoral message addressing the mass shootings that occurred Friday at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“Together with our ecumenical and inter-religious partners, we stand shoulder to shoulder in condemning hatred, bigotry, racism and violence whenever and wherever it occurs. We do so because all people are made in the image of God,” the statement read in part. Read the full message here.Read More
In her March column for Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on prayer. She reminds us that prayer is not about the technique—the how or why we pray. Prayer is an invitation to divine love. Prayer is about relationship with God. Prayer is God seeking us. Read her column in English at https://bit.ly/2TdwTh7 and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/2TcUiPG.Read More
In this episode of the Three Sides podcast we hear from three women from within the ELCA who hold leadership positions in three different fields – religion, business and the nonprofit world.
In the three segments of Three Sides, we’ll introduce you to ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton; Dr. Sylvia Sloan Black, a retired professor and now an executive coach; and Wendy Davidson, president of US Specialty Channels at the Kellogg Co.Read More
What is to be done? Our congregations are growing older and smaller. At least 40 percent of our congregations have an average weekly worship attendance of 50 or less. ELCA membership decreases by 70,000 people a year, or roughly the loss of a synod per year. Clergy retirements outnumber new candidates for ministry. Financial pressures and building maintenance create stress. There is a dearth of people in their 20s and 30s in our pews. How do we change this? How do we reverse the trends?
These are anxious questions that come from anxious people across this church. We aren’t the only ones asking them—just about every mainline denomination, including the non-Latino population of the Roman Catholic Church, is in the same boat. Even some megachurches are showing signs of plateau or decline. And this is not exclusive to the Christian community. I once attended a national conference of Muslims where one workshop was titled “Un-Mosqued to Mosqued: How to Get the Young Muslim Back to the Masjid.”
Some now see the decline of the church in general, and the ELCA in particular, as inevitable. The response can be to turn our churches into bunkers with our congregations sheltering within the walls or to try every new program that breathlessly promises to attract people to our congregations. Neither is an effective or faithful long-term strategy.
I think we are asking the wrong questions.
The questions we are asking have to do about us: “What can we do?” They express loss and grief and fear—loss and grief for what we were and fear about what we will become. Not only do these questions not lead to productive answers, they also don’t point to hope. It’s as if the church’s one foundation rests on us and our efforts.
I think we need to ask: “What is God up to?”Read More