ELCA Newshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/Interfaith coalition galvanizes action on climate emergency http://elca.org/News-and-Events/8006http://elca.org/News-and-Events/8006<div class="ExternalClass521F9C833B384B44A1F240EA1C31350E"><p>NEW YORK<span class="normaltextrun"><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;line-height&#58;107%;font-family&#58;calibri, sans-serif;"><em>&#160;— </em></span></span>Building on the momentum of the United Nations Climate Change Summit 2019 in New York on Sept. 23, a coalition of more than 45 global interfaith organizations will join the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) for a faith-based civil society consultation on Tuesday, Sept. 24, to address the current climate emergency. The consultation will meet under the theme &quot;Climate Emergency&#58; Faith-based Organizations Raising Ambition — Leaving No One Behind.&quot;&#160;&#160;</p><p>&#160;</p><p>A global, Interfaith group of leaders is coming together for the consultation to share experiences, commitments and perspectives. Their goal is to produce plans detailing how the interfaith community can galvanize global movement. This watershed moment requires action by all, and faith voices of recognition and hope are imperative.</p><p>&#160;</p><p>&quot;The negative impacts of climate change and pollution are shouldered disproportionately by the most vulnerable, who have often contributed the least to the problems and are not equipped to implement response measures or build resilience,&quot; said Ruth Ivory-Moore, ELCA program director for environment and corporate social responsibility. &quot;All of creation is interlinked. We are compelled to comprehend our commonalities and value the worth and dignity of all life. We must find ways to reach across political, sectoral and functional lines, and work together with all of our global neighbors.&quot;</p><p>&#160;</p><p>Special reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2018 and 2019 expressed the urgency of taking rapid action over the next decade to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in order to avoid the risks associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes to the global environment.&#160;The consultation will focus on climate emergency declarations by faith groups; climate justice; climate migration, loss and damage; and actionable plans for 2019 and beyond.&#160; </p><p>&#160;<br></p><p>To speak with a participating leader or learn more about the event, please contact Karen Krueger at 202-626-3844 or <a href="mailto&#58;karen.krueger@elca.org">karen.krueger@elca.org</a>. </p><p><br></p><p>- - -<br></p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;</p><p>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></p><p><br></p></div>09/19/2019ELCA presiding bishop issues pastoral message on racism and white supremacyhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/8005http://elca.org/News-and-Events/8005<div class="ExternalClassD9248C5B38D244D9A6E787AE83D6146D"><p><em>September 13, 2019</em></p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em>&quot;There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, </em><em>there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus&quot; </em>(Galatians 3&#58;28).<em></em></p><p><em>&quot;Racism — a mix of power, privilege, and prejudice — is sin, a violation of God's intention for humanity&quot; </em>(<a href="https&#58;//www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Race-Ethnicity-and-Culture"><em>Freed in Christ&#58; Race, Ethnicity, and Culture</em></a>, 1993).<br></p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em>Dear Church,</em></p><p>Centered in Christ, the 2019 Churchwide Assembly was significant in many ways&#58; worship, thoughtful deliberation and prayer led to the adoption of memorials and resolutions that will shape this church for years to come. Among these decisions, this church was called to address the deadly power of racism and white supremacy. Martin Luther's clear exposition of the gospel — that God justifies, that we are redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus, and that grace is a gift — not only makes it possible to engage in this work but gives us a framework in which to do it. The doctrine of justification is a great leveler. It acknowledges that no one group of people can claim supremacy over others. We are all deeply in need of grace, and God gives this gift to all. Standing equally under the judgement and promise of the gospel, we, as a church, can recognize the overt and covert ways that a culture of white supremacy denies full humanity to all people, and we can work to dismantle it.&#160;<br></p><ul><li>We offered a <a href="https&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Slavery_Apology_Explanation.pdf?_ga=2.72216273.354622509.1567534383-706161550.1552512868">public apology</a> titled &quot;Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent.&quot; In the context of the quadricentennial remembrance of American slavery in this country, we acknowledge that racism and white supremacy are deeply rooted in that history, and that the church is complicit. This apology &quot;means working toward a deeper understanding of slavery and its legacy, of institutional and structural racism, of white privilege, and of attitudes and foundations of white supremacy.&quot; It was accepted by the African Descent Lutheran Association with a call to accountability. You can watch the video <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=QofnGzsZaas&amp;list=PLNDmVwhz-M37BgSvvnv3FwfsqYlXfBkRf&amp;index=31">here</a> and utilize this <a href="https&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Slavery_Apology_Explanation.pdf?_ga=2.72216273.354622509.1567534383-706161550.1552512868">explanation</a> as a resource. In June the Council of the Lutheran World Federation, our global communion, also adopted a <a href="https&#58;//www.lutheranworld.org/sites/default/files/2019/documents/council_2019_-_resolutions_advocacy_and_public_voice_-_2_slavery.pdf">resolution</a> commemorating the quadricentennial.</li></ul><ul><li>We adopted a <a href="https&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Condemnation_of_White_Supremacy_and_Racist_Rhetoric.pdf?_ga=2.84302681.1596997779.1568039162-1659417820.1551734397">resolution</a> condemning white supremacy. Through study, prayer and action, we call &quot;all congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to engage in communal study of the structures and rhetoric that empower and fuel racism and white supremacy and to take to heart the teaching of Scriptures, so we may all be better equipped to speak boldly about the equal dignity of all persons in the eyes of God.&quot; Whether our churches and communities are racially diverse or predominantly white, this is work for all of us. We have several existing racial justice <a href="https&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Racial-Justice-Ministries?_ga=2.131065805.354622509.1567534383-706161550.1552512868">resources</a> available to support this work.</li></ul><ul><li>We adopted a <a href="https&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Establishing_June_17th_as_Emanuel_9_Commemoration_and_Day_of_Repentance.pdf?_ga=2.84302681.1596997779.1568039162-1659417820.1551734397">resolution</a> to establish June 17 as &quot;Emanuel 9 Day of Repentance,&quot; commemorating the martyrdom of Clementa C. Pinckney, Cynthia Marie Graham-Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel L. Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson by a violent white supremacist, Dylann Roof, who grew up in the ELCA. The resolution calls for June 17 as a day of repentance, grounded in prayer; worship resources are currently in development. It also calls for deepening conversations with the African Methodist Episcopal Church on matters of racism and white supremacy, and building upon the long-standing relations between our two churches. A letter I received from the senior episcopal leadership of the African Methodist Episcopal Council of Bishops noted that &quot;Martin Luther was the 'Great Reformer.' Richard Allen started the AME Church to reform the racially divided American Christianity he experienced in his lifetime. It is appropriate that Churches birthed by these two persons who sought more authentic and true expressions of Christianity engage in conversations that will lead to 21st Century reform, justice, and reconciliation.&quot; In response, I have acknowledged the significance of their willingness to engage in deeper conversations with us, as an affirmation of our striving to be accountable in and through authentic relationships. I shared my hope that our talks since 2015, as well as previous rounds of dialogue between our two churches, will enable us to develop new models that move us from <a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/The_Vision_Of_The_ELCA.pdf?_ga=2.89001755.1088686117.15680XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.1552512868">dialogue to diapraxis</a>, or dialogue in action, for the sake of our witness to our unity in Christ in these divisive and deadly times. As you think about possibilities in your local context, I commend to you the congregational resource we co-published in 1996, &quot;<a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Understanding_One_Another.pdf?_ga=2.58599400.354622509.1567534383-706161550.1552512868">Understanding One Another</a>.&quot;</li></ul><p></p><p>These recent developments build upon the continuous work we are doing as the ELCA and in ecumenical partnership. Through bilateral work, such as our joint <a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/ELCA_AMEZ_Statement_Of_Mission.pdf?_ga=2.17004209.981393104.1566490244-706161550.1552512868">Statement of Mission</a> with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and in councils and coalitions, especially the National Council of Churches and its <a href="http&#58;//nationalcouncilofchurches.us/resources/">A.C.T. Now to End Racism</a> initiative and the cross-racial dialogue of the <a href="https&#58;//www.thecnbc.net/">Conference of National Black Churches</a>, we are doubling down on our work, witness and advocacy with other Christians against racism and white supremacy.</p><p>You, in congregations and synods, are identifying new and renewed possibilities for engaging in this difficult but life-giving work and witness. We take the next steps together assured that there is no longer that which divides us, for we are one in Christ Jesus.&#160;</p><p>In peace,</p><p>The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton<br>Presiding Bishop, ELCA</p><p>- - -<br></p><p><strong>About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America</strong>&#58;</p><p>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;</p><p>Candice Hill Buchbinder<br>Public Relations Manager<br>773-380-2877<br>Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org</p><p>&#160;<br></p><ul><li>&#160;<br></li></ul><p><br> <br><br><br>&#160;<br><br>&#160;<br><br>&#160;</p><p><br></p></div>09/13/20192019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly summary of actionshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/8003http://elca.org/News-and-Events/8003<div class="ExternalClassCCF51BDA935E435A879D895FD374416A"><p>​CHICAGO — Gathering under the theme &quot;We are church,&quot; voting members of the 2019 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) made a number of key decisions to further the mission and ministry of this church. The assembly, the chief legislative authority of the church, met Aug. 5-10 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. </p><p>More than 900 voting members&#58;</p><ul><li>Reelected on the first ballot the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton to a six-year term as ELCA presiding bishop.<br><br>&#160;</li><li>Elected Deacon Sue Rothmeyer to a six-year term as ELCA secretary. Rothmeyer, currently serving as executive for administration with the Office of the Secretary, was installed during the assembly's closing worship on Aug. 10 and will begin her term Nov. 1. <br><br>&#160;</li><li>Approved the social statement <em>&quot;Faith, Sexism and Justice&#58; A Call to Action&quot;</em> and its implementing resolutions. The social statement, in part, names patriarchy and sexism as sins and calls the church to action on a range of issues, including gender-based violence, workplace discrimination and economic inequality.<br><br>&#160;</li><li>Adopted &quot;A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment,&quot; which will serve as church policy for inter-religious relations. The policy statement was adopted with the witness of 39 ecumenical and inter-religious guests in attendance.<br><br>&#160;</li><li>Approved the triennium budget for 2020-2022, which includes a current fund spending authorization of $68,378,325 for 2020, a current fund income proposal of $68,442,034 for 2021 and $68,507,018 for 2022; and an ELCA World Hunger spending authorization of $21.5 million 2020, and an income proposal of $21.5 million for 2021 and for 2022.<br> <br></li><li>Adopted the &quot;Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity in the ELCA,&quot; which consists of a report and recommendations on how the ELCA exhibits authentic diversity and formulates goals for racial diversity and inclusion.<br><br>&#160;</li><li>Witnessed the presentation of the &quot;Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent,&quot; which was accepted by the Rev. Lamont A. Wells, president of the African Descent Lutheran Association (ADLA), and members of ADLA. <br><br>&#160;</li><li>Adopted 26 memorials en bloc, ranging in topics from gun violence to engagement in the Holy Land and gender identity to seminary tuition. <br><br>&#160;</li><li>Adopted a memorial that affirms the ELCA's long-standing commitment to migrants and refugees and declares the ELCA a sanctuary church body. <br><br>&#160;</li><li>Adopted a memorial that calls for the development of a social statement and social message on the relationship of church and state.<br><br>&#160;</li><li>Adopted a memorial to encourage all synods and congregations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ELCA's ordination of women in 2020, the 40th anniversary of the ordination of women of color in the Lutheran tradition and the 10th anniversary of the ELCA's decision to remove barriers to ordination for people in same-gender relationships.<br><br>&#160;</li><li>Adopted a memorial to support the vision and goals of the Poor People's Campaign that align with the ELCA's social teachings. <br><br>&#160;</li><li>Adopted a series of amendments to the &quot;Constitutions, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,&quot; including one that makes ordination the entrance rite for ministers of Word and Service, and an amendment to no longer count deacons as laypeople for representational principles. <br><br>&#160;</li><li>Adopted a resolution that committed the ELCA to support the World Council of Church's &quot;Thursdays in Black&quot; campaign toward a world without rape and violence. <br><br>&#160;</li><li>Adopted a resolution to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance in the ELCA for the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9—the nine people who were shot and killed June 17, 2015, during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.<br><br>&#160;</li><li>Adopted a resolution to condemn white supremacy, calling all ELCA congregations to engage in a &quot;study of the structures and rhetoric that empower and fuel racism and white supremacy and to take to heart the teaching of Scriptures, so we may all be better equipped to speak boldly about the equal dignity of all persons in the eyes of God.&quot;<br><br>&#160;</li><li>Celebrated the end of <em>Always Being Made New&#58; The Campaign for the ELCA</em>, which concluded June 30 with nearly $250 million raised in cash, multiyear commitments and planned gift commitments. At the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, voting members approved the $198 million campaign to help sustain and grow ministries of the church. <br><br>&#160;</li><li>Elected members to serve on the ELCA Church Council, churchwide committees and churchwide boards, including Portico Benefit Services, the Mission Investment Fund and 1517 Media.<br><br>- - -<br><br><strong>&#160;</strong><br><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><br><br>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> Public Relations Manager<br> 773-380-2877<br> Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br> <br><br></li></ul><p><br></p><p><br></p></div>08/14/20192019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly declares the ELCA a sanctuary churchhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/8004http://elca.org/News-and-Events/8004<div class="ExternalClass8B280ADADAC94B2E81912848C722DC02"><p>​CHICAGO — The 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted Aug. 7 to approve a memorial that affirms the denomination's long-standing commitment to migrants and refugees and declares the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) a sanctuary church body. The ELCA is the first North American denomination to declare itself a sanctuary church body. &#160;</p><p>As a sanctuary church, the ELCA publicly declares that walking alongside immigrants and refugees is a matter of faith. This declaration does not call for any person, congregation or synod to engage in illegal activity. </p><p>The ELCA has developed <a href="https&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/ELCA_SanctuaryDenomination_TalkingPoints.pdf">talking points</a> to address what it means for this church to become a sanctuary denomination. In defining what this means for its congregations, the ELCA states that a sanctuary church will look different in the different contexts across the ELCA. The church cannot mandate or direct ELCA congregations and ministries to respond in certain ways.</p><p>The 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly passed the strategy to Accompany Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO). Through the strategy, the ELCA invites its churches to become &quot;welcoming congregations,&quot; which means to commit to spiritually and physically accompanying migrants in their communities, pray for migrant children and families, and advocate for a just and humane immigration system. More than 100 congregations and five synods across the ELCA identify as sanctuary. &#160;</p><p>- - -<br><strong>&#160;</strong><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><br>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> Public Relations Manager<br> 773-380-2877<br> Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br> <br></p><p><br></p></div>08/14/2019ELCA Churchwide Assembly receives presiding bishop report and takes key actionshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/8002http://elca.org/News-and-Events/8002<div class="ExternalClass17A4F354D2A04A3184DF0DD80502A210"><p>​MILWAUKEE&#160; — The 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly began its fourth day on Aug. 8 with a greeting from Dr. Agnes Abuom, the first woman and first African to serve as moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee. Speaking about the WCC campaign &quot;Thursdays in Black&#58; Toward a World Without Rape and Violence,&quot; she told the assembly, &quot;The time has come, and now is, for us as the church to reclaim our prophetic role in speaking truth to power on behalf of the victimized and vulnerable.&quot;</p><p>Following her address, the assembly approved a resolution to endorse the WCC Thursdays in Black campaign. To commemorate the vote, a photo was taken of the assembly, most of whom were dressed in black to observe the campaign.&#160; </p><p>Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton then gave her report to the assembly, which focused on the five goals of Future Directions 2025,&#58; A thriving church; an equipping church; a welcoming church; a visible church; and a well-governed, connected and sustainable church.</p><p>Eaton told the assembly, &quot;The church's unique mission is to preach the gospel purely and to administer the sacraments rightly. No other institution has been called by God to this ministry. The church is God's creation. The church is not what we do, it is not the organization we have created and maintain. The church is what God has made us – Christ's body in the world.&quot;</p><p>Recalling what the ELCA constitution says about how this church participates in God's mission in the world, Eaton said, &quot;This church shall respond to God's love 'to meet human needs, caring for the sick and the aged, advocating dignity and justice for all people, working for peace and reconciliation among the nations, and standing with the poor and powerless and committing itself to their needs.' Luther put it this way, 'The church that preaches the gospel in all its fullness, except as it applies to the great social ills of the day, is failing to preach the gospel.'&quot;</p><p>Eaton also lifted up examples of &quot;what God is up to in the world and in this church,&quot; including, The Neighborhood Church in Bentonville, Ark., a growing mission congregation; the Youth Leadership Summit that brings together youth leaders from each synod to share God's love and grace and learn about the needs of the world around them; the Welcome Church in Philadelphia, a worshiping community that welcomes all to join, especially those who are experiencing homelessness; the ELCA's AMMPARO initiative, where the church helps returning migrants discover meaningful work and hope in their communities; and the &quot;Hope in the Heartland&quot; event in South Dakota that connected more than 100 congregations of 100 members or fewer for ongoing collaboration to share ways to help build a sustainable and connected church. </p><p>The assembly also took action on the policy statement &quot;A Declaration of Inter-religious Commitment,&quot; which underscores the ELCA's long-standing commitment to inter-religious relations and provides a framework for common application and theological reflection across the varied contexts of this church.<br></p><p>In its greetings from ecumenical and inter-religious guests, the assembly heard from Bishop W. Darin Moore, presiding prelate of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and senior vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism. </p><p>&quot;We heard with hope your declaration to people of African descent, including the repudiation of complicity when the church has been silent in the face of racial injustice,&quot; Moore said. &quot;It is noteworthy that a church whose membership is 94% white, and a church whose membership is 95% black are in continuing conversation one with the other, building trust and deepening our relationships.&quot; </p><p>Pesner said, &quot;I am so honored to stand with you and this Churchwide Assembly as you ratify your commitment to public policy, to overcoming white supremacy, to interfaith relationships even deeper. And we need you now, oh Lutheran family, more than ever. We can only beat back racism with justice. And we can only do it when we come together.&quot;</p><p>In key action, the assembly voted to adopt &quot;A Declaration of Inter-religious Commitment.&quot; Following the vote, Bishop Patricia Lull, chair of the task force that developed the statement, said, &quot;Our church has just declared that, because we are Lutheran, we are called to the work of inter-religious relations. As we are called, so also are we sent.&quot;</p><p>In other action, the assembly&#58;</p><p>• <span style="line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;">Approved the triennium budget proposal.</span><span style="line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"> <span lang="EN">It includes a current fund spending authorization of </span></span><span style="line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;">$68,378,325 for 2020, a current fund income proposal of </span><span style="background&#58;white;color&#58;black;line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;">$</span><span style="line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;">68,442,034 </span><span style="line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;times&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;">for 2021 and $68,507,018 for 2022; and an ELCA World Hunger spending authorization of $21.5 million 2020, and an income proposal of $21.5 million for 2021 and for 2022. </span><span style="line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,serif;font-size&#58;12pt;"></span></p> <p>• Voted to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance in the ELCA for the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9—the nine people who were shot and killed June 17, 2015, during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. </p><p>• Adopted a resolution to condemn white supremacy, calling all ELCA congregations to engage in &quot;study of the structures and rhetoric that empower and fuel racism and white supremacy and to take to heart the teaching of Scriptures, so we may all be better equipped to speak boldly about the equal dignity of all persons in the eyes of God.&quot;</p><p>• Cast a second ballot for secretary. There was no election. </p><p>&#160;Live video of the plenary sessions is accessible at <a href="https&#58;//www.elca.org/cwa">elca.org/cwa</a>.</p><p>&#160;<br>- - -<br><strong>&#160;</strong><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><br>For information contact&#58;<br> Candice Hill Buchbinder<br> Public Relations Manager<br> 773-380-2877<br> Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org<br> <br></p><p><br></p></div>08/09/2019ELCA Churchwide Assembly elects new secretaryhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/8001http://elca.org/News-and-Events/8001<div class="ExternalClassFFFAFCB9826B463C9EDD5C2D0EE6EE6F"><p>​MILWAUKEE&#160; – Sue Rothmeyer, a deacon who serves as executive for administration with the Office of the Secretary, was elected secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. She is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Chicago, and lives in Oak Park, Ill.</p><p>Rothmeyer was elected on the fifth ballot with 509 votes to 402 votes for the Rev. LaMont Wells of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Roosevelt, N.Y.</p><p>&quot;Thanks to this assembly for entrusting me with this new sense of vocation, and I will covet your prayers and your support, and the ways in which we can work together in the days ahead in this role,&quot; Rothmeyer said to the assembly following her election.&#160; </p><p>The Rev. Wm &quot;Chris&quot; Boerger, was elected secretary in 2013 and will retire at the end of his current term. </p><p>The assembly – the highest legislative authority of the ELCA – is meeting Aug. 5-10 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. Gathering under the theme &quot;We are church,&quot; the assembly participates in worship, Bible study and plenary discussions to decide how to go about God's work as a church.</p><p>- - -</p><p><strong></strong><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><p><br></p></div>08/09/2019