9/12/2020 8:10:00 AM
CHICAGO — The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is conducting a survey to collect the experiences and needs of the church for ministry in a multireligious world. The survey is a first step in the development of guidelines for the church as outlined in A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, adopted by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. The declaration reflects the longtime inter-religious commitments of the church.
The policy statement acknowledged that "there are many pastoral considerations beyond the scope of this declaration, for example, the common reality of multireligious family life. Therefore, the church recognizes the need for the ongoing development of appropriate pastoral aids, including guidelines for inter-religious marriages, pastoral counseling, religious education, and joint prayer services." Recently, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton appointed an ad-hoc committee to undertake the development of such guidelines.
In the survey, issued Sept. 12, respondents are asked questions about their participation in pastoral situations such as inter-religious prayer services, responses to tragedy, social ministry work with partners, and pastoral care for inter-religious couples and families.
"In these challenging times of COVID-19, racism and injustice, our inter-religious partnerships have been as important as ever," Eaton said. "As we seek to live out our inter-religious commitments, all of us are encountering new areas of pastoral need. Participation in this survey will help us to grow as we serve Christ's church together in a multireligious world."
One version of the survey will be emailed directly to active rostered ministers. Another version is available online for participation from ELCA laity, retired rostered minsters, and ecumenical and inter-religious partners. The intention of the survey is to learn from all who participate in ELCA ministries in a multireligious world what their experiences have been, and what guidance and resources they need for the future. The survey will be open for one month, from Sept. 12-Oct. 12.
Click here to participate in the survey. Active rostered ministers should take the survey emailed to them.
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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 nearly 3.5 million members in more than 9,100 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