ELCA and Rural Evangelism

10/25/1996 12:00:00 AM


Rural congregations can grow both spiritually and numerically,
said the Rev. David Poling-Goldenne, director for education and
evangelism in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
"Mission Possible," a one-day seminar, gathers rural congregation
leaders to examine methods for effective outreach in rural and
small town communities.  "The seminar offers the opportunity to
look at evangelism and worship trends in rural ELCA
congregations," said Poling-Goldenne.  Participants devise a
"back-home" action plan for rural evangelism.  More than 20
percent of all ELCA congregations are in rural farming areas, and
an additional seven percent are in rural non-farming areas.  "A
Profile of Rural Congregations in the ELCA," a publication of the
ELCA's Department for Research and Evaluation, highlights the
experience of rural congregations and contrasts it with that of
non-rural congregations in such categories as location and size,
worship practice, evangelism and congregational identity.  "As
with all ELCA congregations, rural congregations cluster in the
Upper Midwest and in the Northeast," said Poling-Goldenne.  The
seminar has been held in four rural Midwest cities: Freeland,
Mich.; Barneveld, Wis.; Tripoli and Pomeroy, Iowa.  Seven
"Mission Possible" seminars are scheduled for 1997.  This event
was supported in part by Aid Association for Lutherans, a
fraternal benefit organization based in Appleton, Wis.

For information contact: Ann Hafften, Dir., ELCA News Service,
(312) 380-2958 or AHAFFTEN@ELCA.ORG; Frank Imhoff, Assoc. Dir.,
(312) 380-2955 or FRANKI@ELCA.ORG


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