ELCA Newshttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/Bishop Eaton and Rick Steves host ELCA World Hunger virtual fundraiserhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8065https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8065<div class="ExternalClass7F24AFE8F0944AE0A32FC08420E0C8CE"><p>​CHICAGO — The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), along with Rick Steves, guidebook author and travel television host, and the Rev. Shelley Bryan Wee, bishop of the ELCA Northwest Washington Synod, will host &#160;&quot;Hunger in the Time of COVID-19&#58; Life for Today, Hope for Tomorrow&quot; to benefit ELCA World Hunger.</p><p>This virtual fundraising event — the first of its kind — is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. Central time. </p><p>During this pandemic we are witnessing an alarming increase in hunger around the world, and ELCA congregations are hard at work responding to the needs in their communities. The United Nations World Food Programme warns that acute food insecurity could almost double due to COVID-19. In the coming months, as many as 265 million people could face hunger extreme enough to put their livelihoods or lives at risk. &quot;Hunger in the Time of COVID-19&#58; Life for Today, Hope for Tomorrow&quot; is an opportunity for the church to come together to respond to this global crisis. </p><p>ELCA World Hunger is uniquely positioned to reach communities in need to help people secure long-term, sustainable change. This is accomplished by connecting people with resources to produce food and gain access to clean water, education, health care and sources of income.</p><p>&quot;Hunger in the Time of COVID-19&#58; Life for Today, Hope for Tomorrow&quot; will feature messages from ELCA World Hunger partners on the front lines of the hunger crisis and discussions about the root causes of hunger and poverty addressed in Steves' recent TV special <em>Hunger and Hope&#58; Lessons From Ethiopia and Guatemala</em>. </p><p>ELCA World Hunger has received a fundraising match of up to $250, 000. </p><p><a href="https&#58;//community.elca.org/online-registration/sept-24-rick-steves-virtual-hunger-event?fbclid=IwAR2LuCQ7OFQIF85-TXyxhqW85Ghv-zZ3wz4t53cQRF9C3RmJnqnfsCChdEE">Register</a> for the event.</p><p>&#160;- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.</p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> <br></p><p><br></p></div>09/21/2020Presiding Bishop responds to gross disregard for human life and dignity at private detention facilityhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8064https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8064<div class="ExternalClassEB7D5489A802413D928F1756F03BA81F"><p>​<em>&quot;As Christ on the cross did not lose his dignity, but in fact revealed himself fully in vulnerability, every human who is being mistreated retains the image of God that confers dignity. A society should not deny a person's dignity for any reason.&quot; —ELCA social message&#160;&quot;Human Rights,&quot; p. 4</em></p><p>On Monday,&#160;Sept.&#160;14,&#160;I learned of the very disturbing account of human rights violations against immigrant women in custody in the privately run Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga.&#160;The&#160;center is run by LaSalle&#160;Corrections under a contract with&#160;U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.&#160;The whistleblower complaint that was filed on Monday by a&#160;licensed nurse practitioner&#160;revealed a pattern of medically unnecessary hysterectomies and medical neglect that violated women. Too often, the Christian community has given its tacit or explicit consent to acts of gender-based violence.</p><p>God holds&#160;each of us&#160;responsible for the welfare of our neighbor.&#160;We therefore&#160;condemn these acts of&#160;coerced sterilization as a form of&#160;gender-based violence. This is especially true when the perpetrators wield significant power and control over women&#160;who are&#160;at elevated risk of injustice, abuse and violence.</p><p>The ELCA&#160;acknowledges&#160;that&#160;&quot;migrants, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers often suffer more when they are women, girls, or gender non-conforming&#160;people&quot; (ELCA social statement&#160;<em>Faith, Sexism, and Justice&#58; A Call to Action</em>).&#160;Further, the&#160;ELCA urges support for legal reforms, humane policies, and adequate services for migrants, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, especially those who experience intersecting forms of oppression.</p><p>This&#160;statement affirms previous ELCA teaching and policy that stress fairness and generosity in responding to newcomers in the United States&#160;through the biblical&#160;instruction to &quot;welcome the stranger.&quot;&#160;The ELCA's commitment to U.S. legal and policy reform includes several social-policy resolutions anchored by compassion, justice and wisdom. Those resolutions prioritize addressing the root causes of mass migration, the unification of families, and just, humane enforcement.</p><p>As a member of Christ's body, I share in the anguish and outrage evoked by these revelations of abuse and violence. Since Monday, we have learned that at least 17 women have come forward with stories of unwanted medical procedures, including sterilization, which itself carries a significant history of sin in our country against immigrants, people of color, Indigenous women, people with disabilities and many others.</p><p>The sin of violence&#160;against&#160;the bodies of women cannot continue. People of all nations suffer violence inflicted upon them by others for gender-based reasons. We all have a responsibility to speak out against&#160;gender-based&#160;violence, to ensure that women and men, boys and girls, are safe in worship, at home, in the care of the state—in all places in our societies.&#160;That is why the ELCA&#160;is actively participating in&#160;#ThursdaysinBlack, the World Council of Churches'&#160;global ecumenical campaign&#160;to&#160;end and prevent gender-based violence.<br><br> As the ELCA we strongly condemn&#160;gender-based violence and violations of human rights wherever they&#160;occur.&#160;We pray especially for the courageous&#160;women&#160;who have come&#160;forward. We look ahead to the expeditious investigation&#160;of these reports&#160;by the Department of Homeland Security&#160;as&#160;urged&#160;by&#160;members of Congress,&#160;to be completed by&#160;Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.<br>&#160;</p><p>In Christ,</p><p>The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton<br> Presiding Bishop<br> Evangelical Lutheran Church in America<br>&#160;</p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.</p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> <a href="mailto&#58;Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org">Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</a><br> &#160;</p><p><br></p></div>09/18/2020Laura Barbins elected bishop of the ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synodhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8062https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8062<div class="ExternalClass53A96305918243E597CCFBF633E8817B"><p>​CHICAGO — The Rev. Dr. Laura Barbins, Mentor, Ohio, was elected Sept. 12 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during an online synod assembly.</p><p>Barbins was elected on the fifth ballot, with 171 votes. The Rev. Angela Freeman-Riley, pastor of Bethesda on the Bay Lutheran Church in Bay Village, Ohio, received 148 votes.</p><p>The bishop-elect has served as pastor of Celebration Lutheran Church in Chardon since 2001 and adjunct faculty at Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, since 2018. Trinity is one of seven ELCA seminaries. Barbins served as interim pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Fairview Park, Ohio, from 1999 to 2000 and associate pastor for youth at Holy Trinity Lutheran in Nashville, Tenn., from 1995 to 1997. </p><p>Barbins received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Roanoke College in Salem, Va., in 1990 and a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (now United Lutheran Seminary) in Gettysburg, Pa., in 1994. United is one of seven ELCA seminaries. Barbins received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville in 2004. </p><p>The Rev. Abraham D. Allende has served as bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod since 2014.</p><p>Information about the Northeastern Ohio Synod is available at <a href="https&#58;//neos-elca.org/">neos-elca.org/</a>.<br></p><p>- - -<br><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> 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 &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.</p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br> &#160;</p><p><br></p></div>09/16/2020Survey to assess pastoral needs for ministry in a multireligious worldhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8061https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8061<div class="ExternalClass618B75CCA9D449E3AF2CC2B1F6427A64"><p>​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 href="https&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Inter-Religious_Policy_Statement.pdf?_ga=2.136485047.665547517.1598447979-913428262.1552064320"><em>A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment&#58; A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran</em> <em>Church in America</em></a><em>, </em>adopted by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. The declaration reflects the longtime inter-religious commitments of the church. </p><p>The policy statement acknowledged that &quot;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.&quot; Recently, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton appointed an ad-hoc committee to undertake the development of such guidelines.</p><p>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. </p><p>&quot;In these challenging times of COVID-19, racism and injustice, our inter-religious partnerships have been as important as ever,&quot; Eaton said. &quot;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.&quot; </p><p>One version of the survey will be emailed directly to active rostered ministers. Another version is available <a href="https&#58;//www.surveymonkey.com/r/PastoralGuidelines_Weblink">online</a> 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.</p><p><a href="https&#58;//www.surveymonkey.com/r/PastoralGuidelines_Weblink">Click here</a><strong> </strong>to participate in the survey. Active rostered ministers should take the survey emailed to them.<br>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> 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 &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.<br> <br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br> &#160;</p><p><br></p></div>09/12/2020 ELCA congregations participate in annual day of service https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8060https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8060<div class="ExternalClass77C08FFACD644E1997CFA6B589E65764"><p>​CHICAGO – On Sunday, Sept. 13, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will observe &quot;God's work. Our hands.&quot; Sunday. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, ELCA members will mark the annual day of service by helping make a positive change in their communities, building and deepening relationships and sharing God's love.</p><p>Although the pandemic has forced congregations to cancel in-person worship and move to virtual services, ELCA members have continued to support ministries that assist vulnerable people in their communities. &quot;God's work. Our hands.&quot; Sunday<strong> </strong>will mark the work that congregations participate in on a daily basis.</p><p>Projects to safely support communities in the time of a pandemic can include sewing masks; writing thank-you notes and assembling care packages for emergency care workers, teachers and other essential workers; helping with yard work for members who need assistance; delivering meals and groceries; and packing hygiene and personal care kits.</p><p>Service offers the church an opportunity to explore one of the most basic Lutheran convictions&#58; that all of life in Jesus Christ – every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life – flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God's grace. For more than 30 years, the ELCA has been a church deeply rooted in faith and in sharing its passion for making positive changes in the world. &#160;</p><p>More information about the &quot;God's work. Our hands.&quot; Sunday is available at<strong> </strong><a href="https&#58;//www.elca.org/dayofservice">elca.org/dayofservice</a>.</p><p>- - -</p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> 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 &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.<br> <br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br> <br><br>&#160;</p><p><br></p></div>09/11/2020A Labor Day message from ELCA presiding bishop Elizabeth Eatonhttps://elca.org/News-and-Events/8057https://elca.org/News-and-Events/8057<div class="ExternalClassB0DB2F2EDE3840A69BD47340D7E1782D"><p> <br> </p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"> <em>Our calling from God begins in the waters of Baptism and is lived out in a wide array of settings and relationships. Freed through the Gospel, we are to serve others through arenas of responsibility such as family, work, and community life. Although we continue to be ensnared in the ambiguities and sin of this world, our vocation is to seek what is good for people and the rest of creation in ways that glorify God and anticipate God's promised future.</em><em>&#160; </em></p><p style="text-align&#58;center;">—ELCA social statement<em> Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All, </em>page 7.</p><p>&#160;</p><p>The origins of Labor Day, established as a federal holiday in 1894, lie in the labor movement's persistent organizing for the rights and recognition of American workers. This year's impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the heroics and faithfulness of the many we now know to be essential workers.&#160; </p><p>While all workers are essential, especially during this pandemic, we give special thanks on this Labor Day for those workers who, despite challenges and dangers to their health, plant and harvest and deliver our food, keep store shelves stocked with essentials, nurture and teach our children, and care for the sick. In honor of their contributions to our country's well-being, they deserve our support and accompaniment so they can do their jobs safely with dignity and respect.</p><p>Our church's social teaching reminds us that work is a way we serve God and our neighbor. The ELCA social statement <em>Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All</em> states&#58; &quot;In Genesis, work is to be a means through which basic needs might be met, as human beings 'till and keep' the garden in which God has placed them (Genesis 2&#58;15). Work is seen not as an end in itself, but as a means for sustaining humans and the rest of creation&quot; (page 8). </p><p>Labor Day, like many holidays, marks the passage of time, the change of weather, the return to school, the end of the growing season. It also marks our eighth month of collectively facing the challenges of this time together. Dear church, we need to also acknowledge the extra labors these last months have required in what is turning out to be a marathon with a long way to go. The multiple hardships of this year have touched every one of us. </p><p>We know this crisis has been disruptive and destructive — as it has been elsewhere in the world — with so many suffering and facing uncertainty through a staggering loss of millions of jobs and no end in sight. The coronavirus also has exposed the inadequacy of an economic system for workers who live paycheck to paycheck, many of whom are disproportionately people of color. It has pulled back the veil of long-held racial disparities in income and opportunity and within the health care system. Communities of color have borne the brunt of death and illness in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Racial and economic injustices deprive people of the fruits of their work (Proverbs 13&#58;23), which benefits our economy more than the workers' sustainable livelihoods. </p><p>Furthermore, gender discrimination has placed women of color in low wage, front-line positions at heightened risk. Many vulnerable women of color work as personal care aides, nursing assistants, cashiers and retail salespeople. In addition to their vulnerability, these front-line workers are disproportionately underpaid for their work. The average woman earns 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. Black women, Native American women and Latinas earn 62 cents, 57 cents and 54 cents, respectively, for every dollar earned by white men, according to the <a href="https&#58;//nwlc.org/issue/equal-pay-and-the-wage-gap/">National Women's Law Center</a>. </p><p>These systemic issues continuously challenge and obstruct the well-being of many and deny God's desire for us to execute justice for the oppressed (Psalm 146&#58;7). As church together, God calls us to accompany our neighbors who have lost livelihoods or income, supporting our siblings through prayer, service and advocacy. Our nation's leaders must not forget that responding to the needs of those who have lost jobs or income is now critical. Our accompaniment also must take shape as we prayerfully heed God's call to build economies that enable life in all its fullness; dismantle disparities in health, income, racial equality and privilege that trouble human community; and act together toward a more just society where all can live out their vocations and sustain their families with dignity. </p><p>This Labor Day remember that God is at work in our economic life, which &quot;is intended to be a means through which God's purposes for humankind and creation are to be served&quot; (<em>Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All</em>, page 3). Throughout this pandemic, we have risen to many challenges. We have reimagined almost everything in our lives and churches, including worship, workplace, education, child care, vacations, communication, service, advocacy, faith formation and much more. God's sustaining love for all of us is even more abundant than our imaginations and is providing us with the creativity and grit to try, try again so that Christ is proclaimed and our communities are served. Together, we can solve what seems unsolvable. Together, we can strive for each person's dignity to be recognized and treasured, remove disparities in health care, achieve racial equity, defeat poverty and work together with all people to overcome this virus.&#160; </p><p>As you take time to observe this year's Labor Day, may you find time to rest and renew yourselves for the work ahead. As is stated in this church's economic life social statement&#58; &quot;Our vocation is to seek what is good for people and the rest of creation in ways that glorify God and anticipate God's promised future&quot; (page 7). Below you will find information and resources to advocate for our neighbors and communities to build a just economy for all&#58;</p><ul><li>ELCA social statement<em> </em> <a href="https&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Economic_LifeSS.pdf?_ga=2.9415349.1261538503.1597615122-1405880136.1553551681"> <em>Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All</em></a></li><li> <a href="https&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Hungering_For_Justice_Study_Guide.pdf?_ga=2.175835426.1261538503.1597615122-1405880136.1553551681"> <em>Hungering for Justice</em></a><em>, </em>a study guide on Martin Luther and the economy</li><li> <a href="https&#58;//support.elca.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=1236">Action Alert</a> on COVID-19 response</li><li> <a href="http&#58;//www.iwj.org/">Interfaith Worker Justice</a>, an ELCA partner organization<br><br></li></ul><div><p>A prayer from <em>Evangelical Lutheran Worship</em>&#58;</p><p>God of justice, we remember before you those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. Guide the people of this land so to use our wealth and resources that all people may find suitable and fulfilling employment and receive just payment for their labor; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.<br></p><p>In peace,<br></p><p>The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton<br>Presiding Bishop<br>Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</p> <br> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"> <iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/embed/5uwNgZVjtxg?rel=0"></iframe> &#160;</div> <br> <p>&#160;<br><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;<br> 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 &quot;God's work. Our hands.,&quot; 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.<br><br></p><p>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> 773-380-2877<br> Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br></p> <br> </div><p> <br> </p></div>09/03/2020