ELCA NEWS SERVICE
June 2, 2011
ELCA rebuilds lives, restores hope after storms, says presiding bishop
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- In the wake of a series of storms and floods throughout the United States this spring, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) reminded members who may feel overwhelmed and anxious that they are not alone.
"God's promise is clear: Nothing in all creation will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus," the Rev. Mark S. Hanson wrote in a June 2 pastoral letter to members. "Trusting in God’s promise and the power of the Holy Spirit, we respond by joining together in God’s work of restoring community."
Floods and torrential rains have washed out communities and crop land, and tornadoes have leveled neighborhoods and businesses in several locations this spring. ELCA church buildings in Cullman, Ala., and Joplin, Mo., were destroyed by tornadoes. Members of Peace Lutheran Church, Joplin, met May 29 in the parking lot for worship "in the strong name of the risen Christ," Hanson wrote.
Hanson said the ELCA's members are committed to prayer, standing together and working with partners to rebuild lives and restore hope, giving generously to ELCA Disaster Response, staying until the work is done and witnessing "to our living faith in Christ Jesus as we join together to do God's work with our hands."
"May we be about God’s healing and restoration in a time of despair. May we bring God’s message of hope in the wake of spring storms," Hanson added.
The full text of the Presiding Bishop Hanson's pastoral letter is at http://www.ELCA.org/bishop/messages on the ELCA website.
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with approximately 4.5 million members in more than 10,000 congregations 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:
John Brooks, (773) 380-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org