Craig Settlage, former director for ELCA Mission Support, dies

10/22/2015 4:00:00 PM

            CHICAGO (ELCA) – The Rev. A. Craig Settlage, former director for Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Mission Support, died Oct. 21 in Bradenton, Fla. He was 73. A memorial service will be held Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Venice, Fla.

            As director for ELCA Mission Support, "Craig traveled across this church encouraging synods and congregations to be generous. Not always an easy task. Craig did this in the conviction that all of life, including our financial resources, is a gift from God. We entrust our brother to God's never-failing care and love and give thanks for the gift that was Craig," wrote ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton in an Oct. 21 email to staff of the ELCA churchwide organization.
            Settlage began his work at the ELCA churchwide organization in 1988, serving as director for candidacy and later as associate executive director for the former ELCA Division for Ministry, and director for rostered and authorized ministries in the former ELCA Vocation and Education unit. In 2007, Settlage became director for ELCA Mission Support and retired from that role in 2012. He moved to Florida and served as interim pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Venice, Fla., from 2013 to 2014.
            "Craig was a very special colleague and friend who served this church with faithfulness and joy. He was one who called us all to be strong partners in stewarding the gifts of this church for ministry. I am deeply grateful for his life and witness so generously shared for the sake of the gospel," said Christina Jackson-Skelton, executive director for ELCA Mission Advancement.
            Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Settlage earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theology and sociology from Valparaiso University in 1964; a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary in 1968; and a Master of Sacred Theology degree from Yale University in 1969. After attending Yale, Settlage served as a parish pastor in Palos Hills., Ill., from 1969 to 1987.
            Craig is survived by his wife, Rachel. Memorial gifts may be directed to the ELCA Fund for Leaders at
            The Rev. Robert G. Schaefer, bishop of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod, will preside and the Rev. Mark Bernthal will preach at the memorial service.
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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 3.7 million members in more than 9,300 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.

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