for the ELCA Churchwide Organization
Claimed, gathered, and sent by God's grace for the sake of the world, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in and through its churchwide expression will:
- Accompany congregations as growing centers for evangelical mission; and
- Build the capacity of this church for evangelical witness and service in the world to alleviate poverty and to work for justice and peace.
To this end, the churchwide organization can continue to play a significant and pivotal role in the life of this church by working with its local and global mission partners to build, support and extend the mission of this church.
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In April 2003, the ELCA Church Council adopted five strategic directions to guide the churchwide organization through 2012:
- Support congregations in their call to be faithful, welcoming, and generous, sharing the mind of Christ;
- Assist members, congregations, synods, and institutions and agencies of this church to grow in evangelical outreach;
- Step forward as a public church that witnesses boldly to God's love for all that God has created;
- Deepen and extend our global, ecumenical, and interfaith relationships for the sake of God's mission; and
- Assist this church to bring forth and support faithful, wise, and courageous leaders whose vocations serve God's mission in a pluralistic world.
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These strategic directions are offered with profound gratitude for the outpouring of gifts the Holy Spirit gives to members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
In the course of implementing each of these strategic directions, the churchwide organization must and will:
- Encourage, welcome, and depend upon the lively and creative exchange of resources and ideas throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America;
- Recognize and encourage the vital contributions and deepening relationship with institutions and agencies of this church and with Lutheran, ecumenical, and interfaith partners;
- Confront the scandalous realities of racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, age, gender, familial, sexual, physical, personal, and class barriers that often manifest themselves in exclusion, poverty, hunger, and violence; and
- Pursue ardently the ELCA's commitment to becoming more diverse, multicultural, and multi-generational in an ever-changing and increasingly pluralistic context, with special focus on full inclusion in this church of youth, young adults, and people of color and people whose primary language is other than English.