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ELCA news releases are detailed accounts describing events and ministires of the ELCA 

ELCA News
  • ELCA issues declaration to American Indian and Alaska Native people

    ​CHICAGO (Oct. 11, 2021) – As the United States pauses to honor and celebrate the Indigenous people who first settled on the land thousands of years ago, the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA) has released "A Declaration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to American Indian and Alaska Native People." The declaration is a direct result of the social policy resolution "Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery," which was passed by the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

    In the declaration, the ELCA acknowledges the theological and Christian foundation of the Doctrine of Discovery, which has codified colonialism and religious intolerance as societal norms for more than 500 years.

    "The Doctrine of Discovery created a theological framework that supported racism, colonialism, and the annihilation of Indigenous people," the declaration states. "Today it continues to support these evils and injustices found in our church, U.S. law, and legal interpretation. The Doctrine of Discovery has been pervasive throughout the world and has benefited the Church and ELCA Lutherans in every way."

    Included in the statement is a confession to American Indian and Alaskan Native communities in the ELCA and in the United States. To those in the ELCA, the church declares, "We have devalued Indigenous religions and lifeways and have not challenged the invisibility of Indigenous people in American society." Among other things, it confesses to treating these communities as a minority group rather than as sovereign nations and failing to do more to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery after the formal repudiation was passed in 2016.

    To American Indian and Alaska Native communities in the church and in the United States, the church confesses its role in diminishing the importance of the land and acknowledges the complicity of the ELCA and its predecessors in accepting the benefits of the land stolen through numerous colonial measures and broken treaties. It further confesses to its failures in combating white supremacy and in treating Native peoples as equals, listing the many ways in which the church needs to learn more about its harmful roles.

    To the non-Indigenous communities of the ELCA, the church confesses that it has benefited from, and not acted against, the Doctrine of Discovery and has failed to proactively support the church's American Indian and Alaska Native Lutheran Association.

    The declaration concludes with a pledge to all three groups — Indigenous ELCA communities, Indigenous communities in the U.S., and non-Indigenous ELCA communities. Each pledge focuses on doing more to understand the doctrine, the church's role in perpetuating it and how to partner with Native organizations to end the harmful effects of the doctrine and become stronger advocates for Indigenous communities throughout the U.S. The declaration ends with an understanding that accomplishing its goal to actively and fully repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery will take more than words; it will take tangible action to undo the damage created since the late-15th century.

    To read the full text of "A Declaration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to American Indian and Alaska Native People," click here.

     

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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 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 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:
    Jocelyn Fuller
    Sr. Director, Strategic Communications
    773-380-2547
    Jocelyn.fuller@elca.org 

  • Presiding Bishop Eaton urges humane treatment of Haitian and other migrants

    "When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien" (Leviticus 19:33).

    In a matter of weeks, the number of migrants arriving at the Del Rio, Texas, sector of the U.S.-Mexico border has reached unforeseen levels. The majority are Haitians seeking a better life after having fled multiple crises in their native land. There are also Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan nationals. U.S. treatment of these Black migrants and others at Del Rio has been deeply problematic. As a matter of humane treatment, I urge that the administration vigorously pursue actions to grant them protection and ensure that responsible actors are held accountable through a serious investigation into allegations of abuse.

    For many Haitians, Del Rio is only their latest destination—many have lived and traveled throughout Central and South America as far back as 2010. They have converged now at the international bridge between Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, after sweeping pressures pushed them to make the harrowing migrant journey anew. Upon their arrival, they endured harsh conditions and even harsher treatment, including limited access to essentials such as food and shelter. Reports show that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responded by increasing personnel, closing the Del Rio Port of Entry and accelerating removals back to Haiti. This has been done utilizing a controversial policy, known as Title 42, that avoids due process. Some migrants, mostly families, have been allowed to pursue their asylum claims in the United States, but hundreds, including families with young children, have been expelled.

    Forcibly returning Haitians disregards the human consequences of their return and the human rights of individuals and families. Haiti is contending with the aftermath of back-to-back crises: a 7.2 magnitude earthquake occurred on Aug. 14, Tropical Storm Grace made landfall soon afterward and multiple landslides have devastated a country already reeling from political and economic turmoil. Recognizing these pervasive issues, the secretary of DHS recently granted Haiti Temporary Protected Status (TPS), thus allowing certain Haitians present in the United States since at least July 29, 2021, to remain and work in the U.S. for a period of 18 months. This recognition conflicts with the sometimes-violent response we've seen over the past few days.

    Our church teaches that, as a matter of dignity for all people, the U.S. has an international and moral responsibility to honor the human rights and dignity of migrants, and to not be silent in the face of racial injustice against people of African descent ("Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent," 2019). Migrants should have access to humanitarian protection, including asylum; this can be accomplished by applying the public health recommendations of experts, lifting Title 42 and seeking civil society partners for a compassionate whole-of-society, whole-of-government response. This rapid expulsion of Haitians, back to Haiti and to other countries, is not a responsible or humane migration-management strategy.

    As Christians, some of us see our own stories reflected in the faces of these newcomers. Immigration has always been a contentious issue, but new challenges, such as climate change, call for renewed attention to just and humane migration policies. People must be able to migrate—to escape violence, reunite their families and seek work—in a way that is safe and acknowledges national borders and security. The ELCA recommits itself to seeking just, wise and compassionate immigration reform. Remembering the ELCA's "Churchwide Blueprint for Action on Central America and the Caribbean Concerns," we reaffirm our commitment to promote mutually supporting relationships with the peoples of this region and to work for justice and peace.

    Our church has resources for this purpose, and I invite you to engage in deeper discernment on the plight of migrants by visiting elca.org/ammparo. There you can learn more about how the church accompanies migrant children and families across the Americas through a strategy that includes 54 synods and 202 welcoming and sanctuary congregations.

    Together in solidarity,

    Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA

    "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."

    —ELCA social message "Human Rights," p. 4


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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 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 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:
    Jayne Shimko
    Director, Content Strategy
    773-380-2675
    Jayne.shimko@elca.org  

  • Telling and Teaching the Truth: The Church’s Obligation to Education about the Ongoing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery

    ​From Churches Beyond Borders: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 

    As another school year commences, we are reminded that the educational systems we have handed down to our children often teach national narratives that perpetuate white supremacy by deleting and ignoring the histories and contributions of Indigenous People and other marginalized communities and peoples in both Canada and the United States. The ongoing legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery and the sinful acts of racism in North America are rarely if ever taught in our school systems or churches with the fullness and import that is necessary and just.

    When Christians engage history with honesty, humility and a spirit of confession, it is clear that the church was and is complicit:

    • In the hunting and killing of Indigenous Peoples,
    • In the dishonorable breaking of thousands of treaties that federal governments made with First Nations and Native nations,
    • In the forced removal of Indigenous Peoples from their original homelands,
    • In the relocation of Indigenous Peoples into reserves and reservations where poverty, starvation, desperation, missionization, addiction, and suicide were allowed to become the rule for generations of Indigenous people,
    • In the making of long-term federal policies that enforced family separation,
    • In the stealing of Indigenous children away to brutal assimilation camps known as Indian boarding schools in the US and residential schools in Canada,
    • In the ongoing plight of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,
    • In the coverup of all of these evils, including through systemic efforts to erase Indigenous Peoples from our collective memory.
    Scripture reminds us that the truth is costly. In Proverbs 23:23 we read, "Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding" (NRSV). Our churches' work to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery begins with the costly work of telling the truth.

    Only then will we be able to start making good on our promises as churches and, together across borders, to seek truth and healing for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples by:
    • Providing educational opportunities for all of our churches' people,
    • Leading advocacy efforts for legally mandated inclusion of accurate and truthful history and narratives of Indigenous people in our educational systems at all learning levels,
    • Standing in solidarity with residential and boarding school survivors and their descendants,
    • Doing the necessary research to reveal as much truth about this shameful part of our churches' histories.
    As a sign of our cross-border commitments to the work toward truth, healing, justice and accurate education, we invite all members of our churches to commemorate September 30, 2021 (www.orangeshirtday.org) as a day for truth and healing. We encourage you to learn about residential and boarding schools, honor survivors, and remember those who never made it home from the schools. On September 30, we invite you to wear orange as a sign of remembering, solidarity, and commitment to seeking healing. You may also choose to wear orange to Sunday worship on September 26.

    Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 

    National Bishop Susan C. Johnson
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada   

                                 
    Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry
    The Episcopal Church

    Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls
    Anglican Church of Canada

     

    Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
    ELCIC Resolution on the Doctrine of Discovery 2015
    A Renewed Call to Reconciliation 2021
    ELCIC Resolution on Encouraging Right Relationships with Indigenous Peoples 2011

    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Repudiation_Doctrine_of_DiscoverySPR16.pdf (elca.org)
    March 2017: Doctrine of Discovery - Journal of Lutheran Ethics (elca.org)
    Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery | Rocky Mountain Synod (rmselca.org)

    The Anglican Church of Canada
    Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen lands, Strong Hearts - The Anglican Church of Canada

    The Episcopal Church
    Doctrine of Discovery Archives – The Episcopal Church


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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 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 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:
    Jayne Shimko
    Director, Content Strategy
    773-380-2675
    Jayne.shimko@elca.org  


  • Bishop Eaton joins other church leaders at White House meeting on pending economic legislation

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 22, 2021) – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and other members of the Circle of Protection coalition will meet today with senior officials at the White House. Eaton and other heads of Christian denominations and organizations are working together to urge passage of the economic bills the U.S. Congress is considering now, along with voting rights legislation this fall. Today's meeting will focus on the family support bill currently being debated in Congress.

    In a letter the Circle of Protection is presenting to President Joe Biden and Congress today, the coalition affirms that these pending bills "would strengthen the physical and social infrastructure of our society, cut family and child poverty more than any time in our lives, and ensure the precious right to vote for all people made in God's image."

    As the final version of the family support budget bill is being negotiated, Circle of Protection members are urging Congress to retain the bill's anti-poverty provisions and to tax corporations and high-income people to pay for them. "The Bible is clear in its opposition to the concentration of wealth amid neglected human need," they noted.

    "At this moment of historic decision, we are urging the people in our churches and organizations to pay attention to what the President and Congress are doing and be active in advocacy that reflects biblical priorities," the letter states. Churches and organizations in the Circle of Protection are communicating with grassroots members and sending out action alerts about poverty-focused programs such as the child tax credit. Circle members in West Virginia met with Sen. Joe Manchin last week about extending the child tax credit changes.   

    According to economic studies, congressional changes to the child tax credit and earned income tax credit last spring played a significant role in reducing the percentage of Americans in poverty this summer to below pre-pandemic levels. Notably, these credits were extended to low-income families and individuals. But this year's reduction of poverty will be short-lived unless the tax-credit changes are extended in the family support budget bill. The Circle of Protection letter specifically urges that the provisions benefiting low-income Americans be made permanent and fully refundable. 

    Circle of Protection members have worked together over the last decade to resist repeated government shutdowns and massive political pressure to cut safety-net programs. The coalition has opposed balancing the federal budget on the backs of people in poverty and strongly believes that budgets are moral documents. They have now come together in support of an unprecedented national effort to finally reduce poverty and make it possible for struggling families to get ahead.

    The organizations in the Circle of Protection represent all the main branches of Christianity. They include the ELCA, Catholic Charities USA, the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Council of Churches, the National African American Clergy Network, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Church, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Bread for the World, Sojourners, and the Georgetown University Center on Faith and Justice.

    The Circle of Protection letter, including the full list of signers, can be read here.


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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 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 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:
    Jayne Shimko
    Director, Content Strategy
    773-380-2675
    Jayne.shimko@elca.org  


  • 2021 Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge announced


    CHICAGO (September 17, 2021) — Some people may hope for a return to normal after the world-changing events of the last 18 months, but sociologists tell us our future will revolve around living into a "new normal." Presented by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the 2021 Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge will probe this new normal. Under the theme "Imagining Scriptural Encounters in the New Normal," four online presentations by ELCA seminary students will help participants deepen their encounters with Scripture and strengthen their relationships with God in a time of extreme and continuous change.

    The annual Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge is an endowed theological lecture series that seeks to enliven the biblical engagement of the whole church by encouraging the development of faithful, innovative and effective ways to teach and learn Scripture. The event is sponsored by the seven ELCA seminaries, the Hein-Fry planning team and the ELCA Book of Faith Initiative. 

    Every year, one student from each seminary is invited to develop and present a class or series for people both familiar and unfamiliar with biblical texts. The students are then invited to report their findings.

    This year the challenge will comprise four online events:

    • Kaylie H. Ines from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, Calif., will present "Hope Remains: A Creation Care Faith Study" on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 1 p.m. Pacific time.
    • Aneel Trivedi from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, will present "Return to Baptism, Return to a New Normal" on Friday, Oct. 22, 2 p.m. Central time.
    • Katrina Steingraeber from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago will present "Looking at Today's World Through the Psalms" on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 10 a.m. Central time.
    • Melissa J. Harris from United Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa., will present "Environmental Stewardship: Reconsidering the Creation Narratives in the 21st Century" on Friday, Oct. 29, at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

    The Rev. Dr. Diane Jacobson will serve as online host.

    The public is invited to attend these free online events, but registration is required for each of them. Registration information is available here.

    The Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge was established after the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) merged into the ELCA in 1988. The series combines the ALC's Dr. Carl Christian Hein Memorial Seminary Lectures and the LCA's Franklin Clark Fry Theological Lectures.


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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 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 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:
    Jocelyn Fuller
    Sr. Director, Strategic Communications
    773-380-2547
    Jocelyn.fuller@elca.org  



  • Torrison Medical Scholarship awards announced

    CHICAGO (September 13, 2021) – The Dr. George and Emma J. Torrison Scholarship Fund makes scholarships available to students who intend to pursue careers in medicine. An endowment in memory of George and Emma J. Torrison makes these awards possible, with additional support from the Frederick W. Williams Scholarship Endowment. Both endowments are managed by the Foundation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

    The program was established in the American Lutheran Church, a predecessor of the ELCA. The program is managed by the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities but is not restricted to the graduates of ELCA colleges and universities. The Torrison program is open annually to any member of the ELCA admitted to an accredited medical college.

    Students awarded $5,000 Torrison Medical Scholarships for 2021-22 are: Samantha Engrav, from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., who will attend the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Rochester, Minn.; Glenn Seela, from Concordia, who will attend the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis; Yanick Tade, from Concordia, who will attend the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Neb.; Danielle Karch, from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, who will attend the Medical College of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa; and Austin Thompson, from Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, who will attend the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

    "Lutherans entering medical school are nominated annually to apply for a Torrison Medical Scholarship by ELCA colleges and universities and by campus ministries in the ELCA's Lutheran Campus Ministry Network," said Mark Wilhelm, program director for the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities. "This competitive scholarship program has supported over 200 first-year medical students who are members of this church since 1988." 

    The application process for the Torrison Scholarship Program begins in the fall. The window for applications opens in November, with applications due no later than the end of the following July. Award announcements are typically made by Sept. 1.


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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 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 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:
    Jocelyn Fuller
    Sr. Director, Strategic Communications
    773-380-2547
    Jocelyn.fuller@elca.org 


Sunday
Pancakes 9:00 AM
Sunday School 9:15 AM
Worship 10:30 AM

Worship

10/17/2021     10:30 AM

Church Council

10/20/2021     7:30 AM

Worship

10/24/2021     10:30 AM

Worship

10/31/2021     10:30 AM

Worship

11/07/2021     10:30 AM