Posts in ELCA
Hear My Voice: A Prison Prayer Book

Imagine yourself suddenly, unexpectedly arrested and put in jail. You find yourself locked in a cell, perhaps with multiple strangers or perhaps all alone, staring at cracks in the concrete block, wondering what has just happened and what’s going to happen next.

The church wants to stand beside you and to pray with you and for you in that dark night, whatever it may be. Hear My Voice: A Prison Prayer Book (Augsburg Fortress, to be released July 2019) has been written for anyone who is incarcerated or imprisoned in any form.

Read More
Second Chances: A Migrant Story

In 2013, Juan began the journey to the United States, spurred by extreme poverty and lack of opportunities in El Salvador. He attempted to get on “La Bestia” (The Beast) – a network oftrains used by migrants to travel towards the U.S. border. During his attempt to climb aboard, his legs were trapped by the wheels of the train, causing him to lose both his legs. He almost died.

A block from Juan’s home is Our Redeemer, a congregation of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church (ILS). The pastor, Francisco Aguilar, heard about Juan’s story. Read the full story »

Read More
I'm a Lutheran: Nickolas Butler, Novelist and short-story writer

I believe in being good to other people, in making art, in trying to be patient, in seeing beauty in the world, in leaving the planet better than I found it.

Having my first novel, “Shotgun Lovesongs” (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2014), become an international best-seller and receive positive reviews from the New York Times, among others was bewildering. It was a dream come true in the best and most surreal ways. It was basically like I woke up from one life and began living in another, and that second life was my dream. Imagine waking up into a dream.

Read More
Together in Welcome: A letter encouraging accompanying refugees and migrants

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). For 80 years, Lutherans in the United States have joined together to respond to God’s call to love the neighbor who comes to us as stranger and sojourner. 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, 128 welcoming and sanctuary congregations in 35 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have committed to offering accompaniment to migrants in their communities. 

Read More
Celebrating Juneteenth: Remembering the Past While Looking Forward

On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation freed 3.1 million of the nation’s 4 million enslaved people. On June 19, 1865 enslaved Africans in the state of Texas and parts of Louisiana received word of their emancipation 2.5 years later. The celebratory date is known as Juneteenth (June plus nineteenth).  The date is honored by remembering the legacy of enslaved African ancestors, worship services, family gatherings and speaking out against racial injustices.

Read More
Three Sides Podcast: Walking Together

In the ELCA there is no mission “to,” only mission “with” and “among” as its missionaries walk together with those they serve. In this episode of the Three Sides podcast, we hear from ELCA missionaries and ELCA Global Mission staff who talk about what it means to “bear one another’s burdens” by walking together and sharing God’s love in communities throughout the world.

Watch We are one in the Spirit to learn more about Rev. Kirsten Fryer’s journey.

Read More
A Call to Discipleship

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
ELCA presiding bishop, faith leaders issue statement on children in detention

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
Perspective: Experience Pentecost in every worship service

The Day of Pentecost has come, and we as a church continue to gather in community. Suddenly come the sounds of organs, pianos, guitars, drums, percussion, strings, brass and woodwinds, filling the sanctuaries. People sing, full of the breath of God, in languages, rhythms and melodies from around the world, ancient and new.

In worship, we give shape to our communal image of God. If you only ever worship using one musical style, you limit your capacity to paint a full image of God. Each song, instrument and rhythm has the capacity to reveal a new aspect of God to the worshiper.

Read More
Congregation serves community six months after Camp Fire destruction

People fleeing for their lives, surrounded by walls of flame. The fury of Mother Nature tearing through everything in its path. That was the scene in Paradise, Calif., on the morning of Nov. 8, 2018.

One week prior to the fire, the congregation of Paradise Lutheran had completed the renovation of old classrooms into housing quarters and a communal living space. Although the church’s parsonage, garage and toolsheds burned to the ground, the church building itself was mainly spared.

Read More
A 60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence

The ELCA is saddened by the all-too-frequent occurrences of gun violence in the U.S. We invite you on a journey of prayer, scripture, stories and church teachings with this resource, "A 60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence."

Together through daily observances, it calls us to work toward the prevention of gun violence as people of God who strive for justice and peace in all the world. It may be used for individual reflection, group Bible study, adult education sessions, and congregational daily devotions. Your journey is intended to start on June 16th, but this resource can be used at any time.

Read More
June Update: Advocacy Connections

ELCA Advocacy has provided their June 2019 update, with advocacy action updates from: U.N. | California | Colorado | Kansas | Minnesota | Nevada (news from LEAN!) | New Mexico | Ohio | Pennsylvania | WashingtonWisconsin

William Ledford, Lutheran Engagement and Advocacy in Nevada (LEAN) writes in part: “LEAN has been very active this month given that our legislature only meets for a few months every two years and that we are currently at the end of the last month of the session.”

Read More
Prayers for synod assemblies

Please hold the following Bishops and Synods in your prayers as they gather for their synod assemblies on the following dates:

  • Bishop Mark Narum, Western North Dakota Synod, June 6-8, 2019

  • Bishop Roger Gustafson, Central States Synod, June 6-8, 2019

  • Bishop Wayne Miller, Metropolitan Chicago Synod, June 6-8, 2019

  • Bishop John Roth, Central/Southern Illinois, June 6-8, 2019

  • Bishop Tracie Bartholomew, New Jersey Synod, June 6-8, 2019

  • Bishop Jim Dunlop, Lower Susquehanna Synod, June 6-8, 2019

  • Bishop Pedro Suarez, Florida-Bahamas Synod, June 6-8, 2019

  • Bishop Richard Jaech, Southwestern Washington Synod, June 7-8, 2019

  • Bishop Jon Anderson, Southwestern Minnesota Synod, June 7-8, 2019

  • Bishop Suzanne Dillahunt, Southern Ohio Synod, June 7-8, 2019

  • Bishop Robert Humphrey, Virginia Synod, June 7-8, 2019

  • Bishop Larry Wohlrabe, Northwestern Minnesota Synod, June 7-9, 2019

  • Bishop Terry Brandt, Eastern North Dakota Synod, June 9-10, 2019

Please pray for the Central States Synod, Metropolitan Chicago Synod, New Jersey Synod, Lower Susquehanna Synod, Southwestern Washington Synod, Southern Ohio Synod, and Northwestern Minnesota Synod as they elect a bishop.

Read More
Faith Lens: Transformative Changes

Sobering news was released in May by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations. Using a team of 455 authors from 50 countries, IPBES spent three years reviewing 15,000 government and scientific sources to come to the assessment that one million species of plants and animals (roughly one in eight species in the whole world) are threatened with extinction, many within decades. Read the full blog post »

Read More