Baptized members of the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination on average gave more in 2008 than in 2007, continuing an upward trend that began in 2000.
"Despite the challenging economic times that began in 2008, ELCA members continue to be faithful stewards of the resources that God has provided," commented David D. Swartling, secretary for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Notably, however, the number of baptized members in ELCA dropped by 76,069 to 4,633,887 and the number of ELCA congregations dropped by 52 to 10,396 congregations in 2008. more >>
A group of Hispanic pastors from Florida released an open letter to members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pleading against adopting changes to the denomination's positions on homosexuality.
"When the Assembly votes on these matters, your vote will not simply decide on possible changes to ELCA policies but will also be a vote on whether or not Holy Scripture will be the final authority for our faith and life in the ELCA," the pastors state in the letter, released Friday.
Already several groups of Lutheran scholars and church leaders have released similar open letters urging votes for and against changes. Their pleas come ahead of the denomination's Churchwide Assembly, which convenes in Minneapolis starting Aug. 17. more >>
The head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) said this week that he has “deep confidence” that the unity within the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination will not be lost amid concerns that a “church-dividing decision” might result from next month’s churchwide assembly.
Furthermore, unity will not be won or lost at the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in a plenary session vote, clarified ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson ahead of the Aug. 17-23 gathering in Minneapolis.
“Sometimes, when I hear concerns about division in the ELCA, I worry that they express a fear that unity depends on the actions of church leaders or assemblies,” Hanson expressed in a statement. “Our unity, however, comes to us because God gives it freely and undeservedly in Jesus Christ. more >>
The head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is asking for members of the nation’s largest Lutheran body to devote more time to prayer and the study of Scripture over the 50 days leading up to its 2009 assembly.
The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, which convenes every two years, is the denomination’s highest legislative authority and is scheduled to meet in Minneapolis starting Aug. 17.
This year’s gathering will be particularly significant as the denomination is expected to adopt its first statement on human sexuality based on proposals that conservative Lutherans have rejected as ones that would liberalize the denomination's stance on homosexuality. more >>
The head of the largest Lutheran denomination in the nation has written a letter to 14 U.S. Jewish leaders, expressing his “sadness and concern” over the fatal shooting inside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
“It is reprehensible that such an attack occurred at this place of solemn remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust,” commented the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
“Our prayers are with the families of the guard who was killed, as well as with all those present or who work at the Museum and who will remain traumatized by this terrible event,” he added. more >>
One of the Evangelical Lutheran Church's regional synods voted on Saturday to uphold the denomination's policy banning non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy.
The South Dakota Synod voted 362-233 during its annual assembly against changing the ELCA's current ordination policy and social statements on sexuality.
The vote is a recommendation to the denomination's highest governing body which will consider proposals on homosexuality at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August. more >>