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Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities issues statement condemning hate threats
CHICAGO (Sept. 21, 2016) – The board of directors of the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities has issued a statement condemning hate threats made against Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., and its president, William Jones.
Earlier this month, racist messages written in chalk were discovered on the Bethany campus. Following the incident, Jones received threatening phone calls from someone claiming responsibility for the messages and drawings.
The Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities comprises the 26 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America-related institutions of higher education. The network’s board of directors is made up of the institutions’ 26 presidents and an executive director.
The statement said:
“The Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities has watched with grave concern recent incidents at Bethany College. As the association of the twenty-six institutions of higher education related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), we are compelled to speak in support of Bethany College, our member institution in Lindsborg, Kansas.
“We have learned that threats from a hate-group appeared earlier this month in chalked messages on campus walkways and in messages conveyed by telephone. These racist messages focused on the family of Bethany College’s new president, William Jones, and the two bi-racial children of the president and his wife. An increased presence of persons of color in the student body was also the target of this hate speech.
“We are diverse institutions in the Lutheran tradition, but we stand as one against these threats. With President Jones, we deplore these despicable actions that are, as he has shared, ‘disgusting and completely contrary to our core values and intellectual identity.’
“The ELCA Network of Colleges and Universities condemns the racist attacks and threats of violence made against the president, his family, and members of the Bethany College community. Such behavior is antithetical to human, Christian and American values. All people of good will should stand with us against the racism, bigotry and hatred that is at the root of these recent attacks.”
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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
ELCA presiding bishop issues statement in observance of 15th anniversary of 9/11
CHICAGO (Sept. 9, 2016) – The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has issued a statement in observance of the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.September 11, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea” Psalm 42
September 11, 2001. Like many of you I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news that the United States had been attacked. I remember the confusion, fear, helplessness and anger of those days immediately following the attack and the deep sadness for the thousands of people who died.
That was fifteen years ago. A lot has happened in our nation and in the world. We have been at war. We have become habituated to terrorist threats and TSA security checks. We have adjusted to a new normal. We feel less secure.
This year “God’s Work. Our Hands Sunday” falls on September 11. We should take time to remember where we were on that terrible day fifteen years ago. But we should also take a look at where we are now. There are voices that clamor for suspicion and division. There are voices that promise that, by our own effort, we can guarantee our own security, by force if necessary. The sense of unity that arose out of the ashes of the Twin Towers has disappeared. This is not a good place to be, nor is it the place to which God has called us as a church.
Stephen Bouman, executive director for the ELCA Domestic Mission unit and former bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod, tells this story about one of the events of September 11, 2001. A pastor in the synod also served as a chaplain to the fire department. The pastor saw the first plane hit the first tower and ran to the site. When he arrived the firefighters were putting on their gear. The pastor gathered them together, marked the cross on their foreheads with oil and prayed. Then the firefighters ran into the building. The people who survived said they could see the crosses shining on the firefighters’ foreheads. In that great darkness and suffering the light of Christ appeared.
In baptism we have been marked with the cross of Christ. And we are sent into the dark places in the world. That is where we are and must be on September 11, 2016. God has given us God’s work of reconciliation. When we show up for our day of service in our yellow T shirts in our communities we must give witness to the love of Christ that is stronger than hate and the life of Christ that is stronger than death. May we, joined to the death and resurrection of Christ through baptism, be light for the world.
In God’s peace,
Elizabeth A. Eaton
What happened at the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly? The Rev. Chris Boerger, ELCA secretary, outlines key actions and outcomes
Pastor John Dietz, candidate of choice.....
From the Bishop:
Pr. John Dietz was recently named candidate of choice by a congregation in our synod. That information has been shared publicly in the congregation in anticipation of the congregational vote to call him. We are now sharing that with you, even as this discernment process unfolds.
John is grateful for having had the experience of working on synod staff, but he is also looking forward to a return to Word and Sacrament ministry in the parish. He and his wife Ashley and daughter Livia are excited for this new chapter in their life.
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
Meet ELCA Vice President Bill Horne
Fall Theological Conference
September 25-27 2016 .....For more information click here.
Ever wonder where your gifts to the church go?
The Church and Election Time
As we head into another hotly-contested election season, we tend to see a rise in questions about permissible versus impermissible political activities. Here are some helpful resources:
Being a Public Church
Politics and the Pulpit
Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations (See pg 7-19)
A letter from The Rev. Chris Boerger
September 6, 2016
Dear colleagues in ministry,
This letter is to inform you of the changes to the rosters of ministers of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that were adopted by the 2016 Churchwide Assembly. The major change is that on Jan. 1, 2017, the current rosters of associates in ministry, diaconal ministers and deaconesses will be merged into one roster of “Ministers of Word and Service.” Anyone currently on any of the lay rosters will automatically be listed on the new roster. We will be working to update the website and online records by Jan. 1, 2017. It may be that this part of the transition will continue into early January.
We have also changed the title of the rosters. Previously, one roster was referred to by its entrance rite. Now we will use the rosters’ primary functions to describe them: “Ministers of Word and Sacrament” and “Ministers of Word and Service.” Those on the roster of Ministers of Word and Sacrament will still be called pastors. Those on the roster of Ministers of Word and Service may be called deacons.
The issue of what entrance rite will be used for the new roster has been deferred to the 2019 Churchwide Assembly for final decision. In the interim, the rite of consecration will be used for this new roster while the whole church engages in conversation on this issue. Ordination continues to be the rite used for ministers of Word and Sacrament.
The impetus for this change has come from those on the current lay rosters and from the Word and Service Task Force, which was formed by the ELCA Church Council to study the way in which this church recognizes and implements the ministry of the diaconate. Those involved with this change hope that the discussion of the role of diaconal ministry will be enhanced in all of the expressions of this church.
A significant number of constitutional changes will need to take place to facilitate this new roster. The Churchwide Assembly adopted changes to the Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Synod constitutions have been modified by the certification of the required sections of the Constitution for Synods. The non-required sections will need to be acted upon by synod assemblies. All of the amendments in the Model Constitution for Congregations will need to be adopted at a congregational meeting.
The entrance rite and questions about the place of the new roster in the representational principles of this church are being studied by the Entrance Rite Discernment Working Group, which will have a series of Bible studies and FAQs available shortly. I want to encourage you, your congregation and other groups to participate in these discussions so the proposals to the 2019 Churchwide Assembly will reflect the best thinking of this church.
God be with you as you continue in your call to serve in Christ’s church.
Grace and peace,
Wm Chris Boerger
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Anniversary Celebration -10 years of ELW
In this 10th anniversary year of the publication of "Evangelical Lutheran Worship," you are invited to attend an event focusing on Lutheran worship in our current context.
Pastors, musicians, lay leaders, and worship committees: whether you have extensive experience with ELW, are exploring it for the first time, or use other materials for your community’s worship, you will find a place at these gatherings.
We will open anew the gifts of God at the strong center of worship in word and sacrament. We will explore how to open more widely the doors that welcome the world to these gifts and the doors that send us with these gifts into God’s beloved and needy world.
Events will include:
· Introduction – for those engaging ELW for the first time.
· Deeper Exploration – for those who know the treasures well, but long for renewed energy or a deeper understanding.
· Newer Resources – for those interested in the many print and online resources in the ELW family that have been produced since 2006.
· Foundations – for those who want to connect with the core principles of worship in the ELCA while engaging the culture, gifts, and practices of a local community.
· Synodical Leadership – for those who want to offer ELW introductions and/or refreshers in their synod.
…plus worship, singing, networking, creative brain-sailing, and more.
The locations for this event will be:
October 7-8, 2016 Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hillis Village, CO
October 14-15, 2016 Zumbro Lutheran Church, Rochester, MINN
November 4-5, 2016 Trinity Lutheran Church, Lansdale, PA
For more information and registration, please go to www.elca.org/worship
"In baptism we have all been marked with the cross of Christ and are all called not to run away but to run to those dark places, bringing the light and life of Christ."- Bishop Elizabeth Eaton at the Churchwide assembly in New Orleans 2016.
Honduras Special Announcement!
We are pleased to announce that Rolando Antonio Ortez Martinez will be ordained into the pastoral ministry of Word and Sacrament this Sunday, May 29 at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Pastor Roland is an outstanding leader in our Companion Synod, Iglesia Cristiana Luterana de Honduras. He has spent the past five years in seminary in Brazil, and is currently serving as Pastor of three congregations in Honduras: Luz del Mundo (Light of the World) in La Canada, Cristo Liberador (Christ the Liberator) in San Nicholas, Olancho, and El Senor es mi Pastor (The Lord Is My Shepherd) in Tegucigalpa. Representing the Northeastern Minnesota Synod at the ordination are pastor Jan Mehlhoff and Pastor Joan Gunderman.
Pastors Mehlhoff and Gunderman will also support Kinder Dr. Martin Lutero in La Canada. This is the kindergarten that our Synod supports.
As part of their trip they will also assist Josefina Santos in conducting a water filter workshop, also supported by our Synod.
Thank you for your prayers for our brothers and sisters in Honduras!
Lutheran Social Services Groundbreaking
On our website is a Donation button. it can be found at the bottom of this page. If you wish to make a contribution to the NEMN Synod Mission Support, click on the Donate button and it will take you to Paypal. You do not need an account, it is a secure service that you can pay using a credit or debit card.
If you wish to donate to Mission Support click the donate button