ELCA Churchwide Assembly

Part of our ministry at WCC is a “ministry of presence”. We attend various judicatory gatherings as representatives of our ecumenical relationships. On August 5-10, members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) gathered in Milwaukee for their Churchwide Assembly, a gathering of the the primary decision-making body of the church. WCC staff Rev. Kerri Parker and Rev. Breanna Illéné attended several days of the gathering along with members of the ELCA from various synods across Wisconsin. See below for highlights of what happened throughout the week.

Monday kicked off the week with a Ministry Innovation Tour visiting Alice’s Garden and Redeemer Lutheran Church Click Here for photos

Tuesday featured the Churchwide Assembly’s Declaration to People of African Descent and a Response from African Descent Lutheran Association National President Rev. Lamont Wells.  Click here for photos and copies of the statements

On Wednesday afternoon 700 people marched to ICE offices in protest of US immigration actions. Link to a news story here. The ELCA also declared themselves a “sanctuary denomination”. Click here to learn what that means.

Bishop Katherine Finegan’s pastoral statement in response to the Sanctuary Denomination declaration.

On Thursday, The ELCA Churchwide Assembly passed a social statement “Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Call to Action,” among a number of other business and program items dedicated to gender justice. Click here to link to the text of the statement.

On Thursday, a large number of interfaith representatives and ecumenical officers attended the Assembly in preparation for the afternoon discussion of the ELCA’s Declaration of Inter-religious Commitment. Among those in the room for lunch with the Presiding Bishop were the WCC’s Executive Director Rev. Kerri Parker, retiring ED of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee Tom Heinen & their incoming ED Pardeep Singh Kaleka, and former Unity & Relations Commission member the Rev. David Simmons, representing the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee.

On Thursday the Assembly passed a Declaration on Inter-religious Commitment. Click here to read the text of this statement.

On Thursday the ELCA also endorsed the World Council of Churches’ Thursdays in Black campaign resisting attitudes and practices that permit rape and violence.

Bible Study on Friday was led by a pastor from the East Central Synod of Wisconsin, Pastor Niveen Sarra of Immanuel Lutheran in Wausau. Click Here for photos from Bishop Gerald Mansholt.

Executive Director Rev. Kerri Parker ran into former WCC intern Claire Embil, who was representing with the Youth and Young Adult ministries of the ELCA, and was one of Saturday’s worship leaders.
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