ELCA Church Council meets under Future Directions 2025

CHICAGO – The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) met at The Lutheran Center in Chicago April 5-8. The council, which serves as the ELCA's board of directors, convened under the framework of ELCA Future Directions 2025.

In her report, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton emphasized that the work of the churchwide organization, including that of the council, is guided by "ways to live into and implement the five goals that we set as a church together in Future Directions 2025."

"This church spent a good deal of time and invested in heartfelt conversation and prayerful conversation trying to discern what God has been calling us to do," said Eaton. "As we look at those goals, how are they lived out, (how do they) enhance and support our two foci of vital congregations and leadership?" she asked.

Eaton went on to say that the council will play a significant role in helping the church determine how to make vital congregations and leadership a priority and will also play a role in discovering ways to build on these efforts.

Related to the fifth goal of Future Directions 2025 that states "a well-governed, connected and sustainable church," the council approved a proposal from the board development committee to create an ELCA governance policy manual. As a first step in the process – and to help build consensus around their shared understanding of roles and responsibilities – the council discussed ways to strengthen governance of the ELCA in order to provide for clarity in roles and authority, strong relationships and shared leadership, and a culture of willing accountability. It also appointed an ad hoc committee to oversee the development of an ELCA governance policy manual.

In further conversation around Future Directions 2025, the council continued a discussion on sustainability and church structures that began during the November 2017 meeting.  

In other business, the council:

The council also received:

The council also shared congregational vitality learnings.

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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.5 million members in more than 9,400 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder