Category: ELCA

Emanuel Nine Martyrs Honored on June 17

On June 17, 2015, Clementa C. Pinckney, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Lee Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson were murdered by a self-professed white supremacist while they were gathered for Bible study and prayer at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (often referred to as Mother Emanuel) in Charleston, South Carolina.

Pastors Pinckney and Simmons were both graduates of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. A resolution to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance for the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine was adopted by the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on August 8, 2019.

Congregations of the ELCA are encouraged to reaffirm their commitment to repenting of the sins of racism and white supremacy which continue to plague this church, to venerate the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine, and to mark this day of penitence with study and prayer.

An ELCA Prayer Service for Commemoration of the Emanuel Nine will be available for online viewing at 12 noon Eastern Time on June 17, 2020 at

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Lutheran World Federation’s Augusta Victoria Hospital Needs ELCA members’ help

9/8/2018 1:20:00 PM

Media reports say the United States will not continue to fund the Lutheran World Federation-operated Augusta Victoria Hospital (click here for more info) in Jerusalem. The ELCA urges members to please call the White House hotline (202-456-1111) or write a comment (Click Here to Access the White House Comments Submissions Area)  to urge them to ensure there is no interruption of assistance for children and others in need of treatment for cancer and additional life-threatening diseases. This funding represents dollars already promised as part of the 2017 budget.

Another way to help is to give today. Your gifts will be used over-and-above our church’s ongoing, annual support in order to prevent interruptions to the life-saving, critical care provided to children and other patients. Click here to Donate today.

Prayer of Intercession:

Look with mercy, gracious God, upon people everywhere who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death. We remember before you today the Palestinians who come for healing to East Jerusalem hospitals, including the Lutheran Hospital on the Mount of Olives. As these hospitals struggle now with keeping their doors open, send your Holy Spirit upon us and all government authorities to provide the support needed for your healing work to continue in Jerusalem; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Link to Article at

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ELCA: Declaration of Our Inter-Religious Commitment

Dear partners in ministry, 

From now until the end of June, individuals and groups across the ELCA are invited to participate in responding to the draft ELCA policy statement, “A Declaration of Our Inter-Religious Commitment.” 

Please consider how you might take the lead in sharing this invitation and in convening people to participate in the process in your particular ministry setting. 

You can download the draft policy statement and participate in the online survey. On page 5 of the statement, you will find tips and ideas for participating.

The draft policy statement was developed by an inter-religious task force appointed by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton in 2016 and chaired by Bishop Patricia Lull. The draft presents a common, theological basis and practical framework for this church’s inter-religious relations, taking into consideration our varied ministry contexts, challenges and opportunities. 

The input shared across the church over the next six months will inform revisions to the document before it goes to the ELCA Church Council for possible recommendation to the 2019 Churchwide Assembly. If adopted, the policy statement would complement “A Declaration of Ecumenical Commitment: A Policy Statement of the ELCA,” adopted by the second churchwide assembly in 1991. 

For more information, visit the website above or write to

In partnership, 

Ecumenical & Inter-Religious Relations 
Office of the Presiding Bishop

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ELCA: Women and Justice Social Statement

From the ELCA Task Force on Women and Justice: One in Christ

Greetings in the name of Christ!

When we began our work in 2012, we were charged to foster church dialogue around issues of sexism. We had no idea those issues would be dominating the headlines when we scheduled the publication of the “Draft Social Statement on Women and Justice” for 2018! We invite you to join this timely conversation about the draft because we need the voices of everyone from across our church.

Click for PDF

How can you join the conversation?
You can read the draft and respond. Just as talking together has helped our task force to think about these issues, we encourage you to get together with a group. You also may choose to attend a hearing in your synod. Click here to learn more about all of these options. The comment period is open through Sept. 30, 2018.

What will you find in the draft?
Among many important theological themes, the draft stands upon the Lutheran emphasis that we are justified by grace through faith. It explores how this marvelous gift urges, even empowers, us to challenge the structures of patriarchy and sexism because they prevent all people from living the abundant lives God intends.

Some of the issues the draft explores include:

  • how Lutherans understand Scripture;
  • restricted access to health care and economic resources;
  • objectifying portrayals of women and girls in the media and popular culture; and
  • gender-based violence.

It has been an immensely humbling and gratifying experience to be part of the Task Force on Women and Justice. We invite you to the table as the Spirit moves you. We invite you to be a part of advancing this social statement process and to contribute to what will be a living guide for our church.

Yours in Christ,  

The Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld
Intentional Interim Pastor, Wisconsin
Professor Brad Wendel
Cornell University School of Law


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