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Recent News Stories

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

ELCA News
  • ELCA presiding bishop joins NCC leaders in letter to vice president, Cabinet and Congress

    ​CHICAGO — The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), joined leaders from the National Council of Churches (NCC) in an open letter to Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and the Cabinet, calling for the removal of President Donald Trump from office.

    The letter states: "Our faith instructs us to take seriously positions of leadership, not to lead others astray and to be careful about what we say and do.

    "For the good of the nation, so that we might end the current horror and prepare the way for binding up the nation's wounds, we, as leaders of the member communions of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC), believe the time has come for the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, to resign his position immediately."

    Read the letter.

    - - -

    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:
    Candice Hill Buchbinder
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org

     

     

     


  • ELCA presiding bishop post-election video message

    ​ELCA presiding bishop Elizabeth Eaton speaks to the church about healing and unity in this post-election video message

    The transcript follows:

    Dear church,

    Elections are an opportunity to remember that no matter the outcome, we belong to God whose love is steadfast and whose grace is with us always. No human candidate can guarantee our life or our future – that is work already done by God through the death and resurrection of Christ. As Lutherans, we care about government because it is a gift from God intended for the safety and flourishing of human life.

    We take to heart our social teaching that energetic civic engagement is part of our baptismal vocation, both as individuals and through the church's public witness. I have seen this vocation lived out by so many of you in the 2020 election. ELCA members have canvassed, marched, served as poll workers and election monitors, and run for various offices.

    We celebrate these things, even as we acknowledge this has been a long and contentious election season, marked by deep partisan rancor heightened by disinformation and social media echo chambers. Amid this division, we are called to ministries of bridge-building in the name of Jesus, who frees and heals us to seek the well-being of our neighbor. What does God want us to do now?

    I believe God calls us after this election to seek healing in several places. One place must be healing as a church that understands that our unity is a gift and goal of God in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit enlivens us in this work as a community of mission and witness that seeks to be serviceable to the in-breaking of the reign of God. What can you do now to encourage your Lutheran neighbors to reach out and engage each other despite political disagreement, thereby giving a glimpse of God's reign? What doors can you open in your congregation to build relationships, promote listening and support understanding? How will you do so while digging deeper into our faith-informed values of justice, equity and inclusion? I commend to you our new social message, "Government and Civic Engagement in the United States: Discipleship in a Democracy," as one way to start this conversation.

    Our attention to the partisan divide does not stop with our own congregations but must extend to our communities. Our nation needs our action so that the inclusiveness practiced by this church in the midst of divisions in society shines forth as our testimony to God.

    Elections are not an end, but a beginning. God calls us to be agents of healing and unity while at the same time standing firm in our basic understanding. We know unity requires justice, especially for those who have been disenfranchised, and it requires our sustained efforts to shape governmental systems that work for all.

    We have a role to play in forming an ever-more perfect union. We will pray for our newly elected officials as they lead us through these and other challenges. We will, in the words of our new social message, accompany and evaluate these leaders by asking one simple but all-encompassing question: "Is the neighbor being served?"

    - - -
    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:
    Candice Hill Buchbinder
    Public Relations Manager
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org



  • ELCA presiding bishop and ecumenical partners address racism and white supremacy in Advent message

    ​CHICAGO — The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and leaders of The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have joined together to offer the following Advent message:

    Churches Beyond Borders 
    Advent Call to Address Racism and White Supremacy

    John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Mark 1:4). 

    In the wilderness and in the river, on the margins of society, John the Baptizer offered faithful witness to the ongoing work of God. People went beyond the borders of their familiar lives to hear the words of a prophet, to seek renewed faith, to begin new journeys and to be transformed through baptism.   

    What does it mean to offer faithful witness today? As we ponder this question together as national church leaders, we experience shared challenges, new insights, mutual encouragement, deeper faith and common callings. Our common witness is bound not by ecclesiastical or national borders but by our common baptism. As leaders of four churches on a shared continent, and with shared complicity in the legacies of the Doctrine of Discovery, the enslavement of Black people and the mistreatment of all people of color, we hear the prophets and the Spirit speaking clearly when we listen together.  

    This Advent, we feel called to name the truth that the sin of racism and white supremacy is ongoing. People continue to be subjected to and oppressed by these systemic evils, even within our own churches and the ecumenical movement.     

    For the sake of our common mission and witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we share a commitment to dismantling racism and combating white supremacy, and we actively seek opportunities to engage more deeply. We bind ourselves together in this work, even as we are bound together by a common history of complicity with evil. We look forward to meeting with members from the Black, Indigenous and other communities of color within and beyond our churches to help us develop specific goals and actions. We know this will not be easy, but it is essential. It happens only by moving beyond the borders of the familiar, encountering the truth, trusting God's grace and being transformed. We have much to learn from and with each other.   

    The birth of Christ to dwell among us holds the hope for our own rebirth. Our faith is in God's ongoing work that establishes God's kin-dom of equity, equality, justice and liberty for all. Our calling is to prepare the way of the Lord by embracing truth, promoting healing and acting in love.  

    As you make your Advent preparation this year, what do you need most? Forgiveness, repentance, healing, renewal of baptismal vocation, time in the wilderness or a word from a prophet? We are confident that God will grant us all that we need to be transformed for faithful witness.  

    Let us pray 

    God of all, form us into churches beyond borders.  
    When we feel stuck, amplify the prophet's word. 
    When we are distracted by privilege, put us in the wilderness. 
    When we need a new way, dunk us in the river.  
    When we are wrong, move us down the path of truth-telling and repentance.  
    When we need healing, sustain us with your love and hope.  
    When we cannot see beyond ourselves, move us beyond arbitrary borders.  
    Bless us with the Holy Spirit, that the good news may be for us a beginning.  
    Amen.  

     
    Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls
    Anglican Church of Canada 

    Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry
    The Episcopal Church 

    National Bishop Susan C. Johnson
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada 

    Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

    - - -

    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:
    Candice Hill Buchbinder
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org



  • ELCA Future Church design affirmed by ELCA Church Council

    ​CHICAGO – The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has affirmed the proposed Future Church design that is focused on a renewed purpose to activate the entire church so that more people may know the way of Jesus and discover community, justice and love. The council, which serves as the ELCA's board of directors and legislative authority for the church between churchwide assemblies, held its electronic meeting Nov. 12-14.

    Future Church is based in the belief that members, congregations, synods and the churchwide organization must work together to share the powerful witness of the gospel in the world and to invite more new, young and diverse people to experience God's grace in action. The new design identifies three priority areas: a welcoming church that engages new, young and diverse people; a thriving church rooted in tradition and radically relevant; and a connected, sustainable church that shares in a common purpose and direction.

    The Future Church structure will be implemented in the churchwide organization on Feb. 1, 2021. The structure will introduce three new home areas: Christian Community and Leadership, led by the Rev. Philip Hirsch; Innovation, led by Ms. Mikka McCracken; and Service and Justice, led by the Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla. Approximately 5% of the churchwide organization staff will be separated as a result of the new design.

    For more than 30 years the ELCA has experienced a rich history of ministry, but the church has also witnessed a pattern of significant decline with aging members and a membership profile that does not reflect the diversity of God's creation.

    ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton told the council that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought into sharper focus the need to respond more quickly to this rapidly changing world.

    "Whether there had been a pandemic or not, we know we need to change. I think the pandemic helped us to see the urgency," Eaton said. "We are presenting this design because we believe that this is the way God will enable us to move more quickly, more faithfully, and reach more people so that more people may know the way of Jesus."

    William B. Horne II, ELCA vice president and chair of the Church Council, said he believes the new design provides the opportunity to be church together, bringing about collaboration throughout the broader church.

    In response to the continuing trends in membership and diversity and the data from an innovation readiness survey, the following new criteria were affirmed for the ELCA: 

    1. Prioritize the engagement of new, young and diverse people.  
    2. Unite all expressions of the church (congregations, synods and the churchwide organization) into one church—together.  
    3. Align decision-making, accountability and leadership where best suited.  
    4. Operate in agile, flexible and speedy ways.  
    5. Act based on data and measurable impact. 
    6. Eliminate silos and divisions.
       

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved a 2021 fiscal year current fund spending authorization of $65,847,000; and a 2021 ELCA World Hunger spending authorization of $21,500,000.

    • Elected Ms. Alyssa J. Cobb and the Rev. Daniel W. Gerrietts to the Church Council for terms ending in 2022.

    • Received an update from the Committee on Appeals about drafted updates to the church's Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline. The document describes the grounds for which officers, rostered ministers, candidates for rostered ministry, congregations and members of congregations may be subject to discipline according to the practice of this church.

    • Deferred the question of developing a document outlining this church's high aspirations for rostered ministers until after spring 2021 when Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline is further redeveloped.

    • Deferred questions of developing a social message on U.S. national drug policy, aging, gender identity or gun policy until the spring 2021 Church Council meeting..

    • Approved reconsideration of the social message on Suicide Prevention (1999) for editorial changes for the sake of accuracy and relevance to the contemporary social context.

    • Encouraged the continuation of research and work toward economic justice and the study of reparations and engagement in anti-racism and racial justice work, and requested a report on the naming of an annual Day of Repentance, including a liturgical resource of lamentation and repentance to accompany this annual Day of Repentance, to the spring 2021 Church Council meeting.

    • Urged this church to continue its efforts to repent the sin of racism and white supremacy and to raise awareness of the Emanuel 9 commemoration.
    • Adopted the Mission Investment Fund Deferred Compensation Plan and the Mission Investment Fund Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan.

    • Approved additional voting members for the 2022 Churchwide Assembly.

    • Approved amendments to the Portico Benefit Services Plan and Trust.

    • Approved amendments to the articles of incorporation of Luther Seminary. Luther is one of seven ELCA seminaries.

    • Adopted amendments to continuing resolutions in the Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

    • Approved amendments to the corporate social responsibility documents to serve as the basis for ongoing corporate social responsibility work in this church.

    • Elected members to the governing bodies of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, United Lutheran Seminary, Wartburg Theological Seminary, and National Lutheran Campus Ministry Inc.

    • Elected members to fill vacancies to the board of trustees of 1517 Media, the publishing house of the ELCA.

    The council also received reports from the church's presiding bishop, treasurer, secretary and vice president, and from the ELCA Conference of Bishops.

    - - -

    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:
    Candice Hill Buchbinder
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org
     


  • Indigenous Peoples Month events

    ​In honor of Indigenous Peoples Month, the ELCA is remembering the National Indian Lutheran Board (NILB) in two separate Zoom sessions, November 9 and 10.  The NILB, a pan-Lutheran organization founded 50 years ago, established relationships between Lutherans and Tribal Nations and Leaders.

    On Monday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. CST (6 p.m. MST) join the screening of "Native Nations Standing Together for Civil Rights," a one-hour documentary exploring the role of the National Indian Lutheran Board and actions taken during the American Indian civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1980s in Indian Country.  ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will comment on the video.
    Hosted by Vance Blackfox and Other+Wise (www.otherwise.red).

    Pre-registration is required for this webinar:

    Register in advance for this webinar:
    https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jVgeVeBQQZi0QEuShv_S8Q

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

    On Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. CST (9 a.m. MST), join the NILB leadership for a virtual panel discussion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NILB. During this 90-minute session, the participants will look back to a unique and treasured time when Indians and Lutherans came together to understand one another, to appreciate each other's cultures, and to join in a fight for justice in Indian Country. In celebrating this milestone of history, many look forward to reinvigorating the relationship between Indians and Lutherans and renewing the commitments to work for justice together.  

    Pre-registration not required.

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2101916871?pwd=dGVtZ1g1RzZpLzRWOVoxcVY2OHBrQT09

    Meeting ID: 210 191 6871
    Passcode: 5201616645

    For more information, contact Vance Blackfox at vance@otherwise.red

     


  • ELCA Presiding Bishop Election Message

    ​ELCA presiding bishop Elizabeth Eaton speaks to the church about the election in a video message.

    Transcript below.

    Today, the uncertainty of this election is causing anxiety and stress for many, not only in our church, but also across our nation and around the world. Even in the midst of a pandemic, voters have done their jobs and turned out in record numbers. And now our election officials are doing theirs, as they have in every previous election. We are thankful the election process has been peaceful. 

    The United States has always held elections and upheld a peaceful transfer of power, even in times of great crisis. We held successful presidential elections during the Civil War, the Great Depression and both World Wars. We honor our nation's legacy by exercising calm and patience while we wait for every vote to be counted while our election system does its work. 

    Regardless of the outcomes of this election, the ELCA will continue to lift up the gospel of Jesus Christ as the basis for equity, justice, and peace for all peoples and creation. As disciples in a democracy, we will hold fast to our commitments to gender justice, to dismantling white supremacy as an anti-racist church, to welcoming the stranger and accompanying the neighbor, to affirming LGBTQIA+ siblings, and seeking economic justice for all.  

    Dear church, this is a time to uphold the integrity of our election process, and it's also time for patience and prayer. Let us pray for election officials and peaceful advocates. Let us pray that all people in our nation will be treated with dignity and respect and not be discriminated against or intimidated during this deliberative process.  

    And let us pray now. 
    Sovereign God, your Son Jesus lived within the structures of society even as he spoke truth to those in power and challenged systems of oppression. Empower us to be courageous disciples and responsible citizens. Grant that our life in the public realm be grounded in the love for our neighbors, care for the most vulnerable in our midst and respect for the common life we share, following the example of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. 
     

    ---

    About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
    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 "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:
    Candice Hill Buchbinder
    773-380-2877
    Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org


     

     

Sunday
Worship 10:30 AM

Men's Breakfast/Study

01/23/2021     8:00 AM

Annual Meeting

01/24/2021     11:30 AM
Sanctuary

Worship

01/24/2021     10:30 AM

Sunday School

01/24/2021     9:15 AM

Men's Breakfast/Study

01/30/2021     8:00 AM