Posts in ELCA
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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Lenten Stories: With women in power, malaria doesn’t stand a chance

It is easy to think of malaria prevention as simply providing mosquito nets for prevention and medicine to those who have fallen ill. But there’s much more to it than that.

Burure is in the Gokwe Region of Zimbabwe, bordered by rivers that are notoriously difficult to cross during the rainy season. It is an area that has been plagued by outbreaks of malaria in the past. It is one of the most remote areas served by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ).

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ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grants open April 15

In 2019, ELCA World Hunger is proud to be partnering with 77 ministries across 63 synods and 33 states (plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.) through its Domestic Hunger Grants program. Domestic Hunger Grants are again available to groups that are working through and with ELCA congregations to address the root causes of poverty and hunger.

The application window for 2020 ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grants will open April 15! Visit ELCA.org/domestichungergrants to learn more about the grants and how to apply.

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Lenten Stories: One lifeline that never goes away

St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church’s Lunchtime Ministry offers a warm meal, hospitality and community to neighbors in Hoboken, N.J.

The ministry serves about 65 people per day. In addition to meals, they offer free haircuts, music and a sense of community. Stanley Enzweiler, the program manager, said while different things bring people there, the only requirement is respect for the space and the people around them.

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Lenten Study: Week 5

Lent carries us with the Hebrews in search of the promised land, with Jesus into the wilderness and, ultimately, to the cross at Calvary. It is a somber season in the church year, so somber, in fact, that by the end, Christians will have gone 40 days without hearing “Alleluia” during worship. There is no other time during the church year when language in worship is so circumscribed as this. Many congregations even practice the tradition of “burying the Alleluia” at the start of the season, a ritual with ties going back to the Middle Ages by some estimates.

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Applicants needed for Central Europe Teachers' Program

If you know anyone discerning their next life steps, Global Teach has many teaching ministry opportunities. Specifically, applicants are needed for the Central Europe Teachers’ Program. Visit the personnel link for more info.

For more information, you can view all current job listings, download a Global Teach brochure, visit the ELCA Global Service page, or contact ELCA Global Mission’s Johanna L. Olson, Manager for Relationships – Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, at johanna.olson@elca.org.

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Lenten Study: Week 4

At St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church’s Lunchtime Ministry in Hoboken, N.J., about 65 people each day come through the doors for a warm meal, extra clothing, a listening ear and a brief respite from the streets many live on each day. On Mondays, volunteers provide free haircuts. On Wednesdays, Chef Bill makes special “bill-ritos” from scratch. Every day, visitors are welcomed like honored guests, treated with the respect and hospitality that can be hard to find when you are experiencing homelessness.

Hoboken is a long way from Calvary. But for people who face the threats of homelessness, hunger and poverty, the shadow of the cross looms large. The jeers of the crowd that greeted Christ on that lonely hill are echoed in the derision and dismissal so many of us and our neighbors face when living in shelters, in cars or out on the street. The threat of a legal and political system tilted against Christ is felt still today, as laws that criminalize poverty and homelessness make the challenges our neighbors face seem almost insurmountable.

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Updates from Lutheran Disaster Response

Lutheran Disaster Response brings God’s hope, healing and renewal to people whose lives have been disrupted by disasters in the United States and around the world. Read their situation reports on Midwest Storms and Flooding and Cyclone Idai for the ELCA’s responses to this ongoing flooding. When the water recedes and the headlines change, we stay to provide ongoing assistance to those in need.

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Lenten Stories: Hatching a reliable protein source

In the remote and mountainous community of Llano de las Piedras, Cochoapa el Grande in Guerrero, Mexico, poverty and lack of opportunity can make healthy food hard to come by. As a result, children can suffer from malnutrition and slowed growth and development. Marcelina and her daughters, Imelda, 12, and Esmeralda, 10, were among the families who had a tough time affording enough healthy food.

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Lenten Study: Week 3

“And the book says, ‘We might be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.’”

So says the character Jimmy Gator in the 1999 film Magnolia. At its best, the past can evoke nostalgic memories of years gone by. At its worst, the past can seem like a burden, weighing down our prospects for the future. By faith, we look forward to God's promise of “a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). The sin that separates us from trust in the promise of God, though, needles the soul with the stark reminder: “the past ain’t through with us.”

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ELCA presiding bishop responds to Christchurch mosque shootings

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.

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YouTube Tuesday: Missionary Kirsten Fryer

“There is a safety and refuge in that is in this place that is so, so very holy,” proclaims Rev. Kirsten Fryer in this video. Fryer is an ELCA missionary serving as the pastor of an English-speaking congregation, St. Andrew’s United Church of Cairo. St. Andrew’s houses several ministries including St. Andrew’s Refugee Services, which serves 25,000 refugees annually. You can support Kirsten and the over 240 ELCA missionaries serving around the world by visiting ELCA.org/missionaries.

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Lenten Study: Week 2

In the previous session, we learned how Martin Luther wrote that repentance consists in two things: contrition for sins and “taking hold of the promise.”

The “promise” here is the gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the promise of new life in the fullness of God’s reign. It is the promise of the gospels and the prophets, the promise our ancestors in the faith clung to, and the promise that carries the people of God today into communities around the world, accompanying neighbors amid staggering challenges of poverty, hunger and injustice.

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Lenten Stories: Dare to Love More

DLM Food and Resources at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Akron, Ohio, is a place where families find nourishing food, warm clothes and an equally warm welcome.

“At first glance, it’s not much different from any well-run, client-choice food pantry,” said Deacon Marla Wood Kay, director of congregational ministries at Holy Trinity.

But, Wood Kay said, “the idea for this ministry was born in a hospice room,” where Holy Trinity member Debra Manteghi was dying of cancer.

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