Saturday, August 13, at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly

As I’ve noted in a previous blog post, I volunteered at this assembly to help in the “security” team with Kathie Bender-Schwich and David Swartling, among others.  I had to leave the assembly on Friday.  David sent me this wonderful quick unofficial summary of Saturday’s assembly activities:

“Miraculously, the Assembly ended almost exactly on time, perhaps because of the boisterous recessional hymn at worship, “When the Saints Come Marching In”!  The last plenary began with small group discussion of “Called Forth Together in Christ.” Having worshiped and conversed on Gospel, the Assembly turned to law in the form of remaining resolutions and memorials. And, these involved provocative and far-teaching topics.  Following up on earlier discussions on inclusivity and diversity, a motion calling for anti-racism training every two years for rostered leaders in synods was adopted. Several memorials addressing peace and justice in Israel and Palestine also were passed, including one calling for development of an investment social screen addressing human rights issues.  Another memorial called upon the ELCA Church Council to initiate a conversation on the effects of war on returning veterans and their families.  In conclusion, the Assembly expressed its appreciation to the officers, staff, and assembly planners, as well as to the City of New Orleans for its gracious hospitality.  Many voting members expressed appreciation for the upbeat and positive sense of the Assembly.”

Looking at the final session’s legislative updates online, David summed up the assembly action on Saturday morning quite well:  Memorials/Resolutions were approved including:

  • Toward a Responsible Energy Future
  • Justice in the Holy Land through Responsible Investment
  • Call to Discernment on U.S. Foreign and Military Policy
  • Supporting Military Personnel, Veterans and their Families
  • Resolution (reform) on (the) Call Process (for pastors and deacons)

There were also a series of resolutions of thanks to churchwide officers (Presiding Bishop, Secretary, Vice President, Treasurer) and churchwide staff and to all of our New Orleans area hosts and volunteers.

You can find a complete list of all assembly memorials, resolutions and elections here.  The ELCA’s summary of the assemblies’ “Key Actions” can be found here.

My column in the Reading Eagle Newspaper was used in their Saturday, August 13, edition.  You can read it here.  My second column in the Reading Eagle newspaper was used in their Saturday, August 20, edition. You can read it here.  My column in the Santa Monica Daily Press  newspaper was used in their Thursday, August 25, edition.  You can read it here.

I close with gratitude to the churchwide staff who all welcomed me warmly into their assembly “family” for this week of long but wonderful volunteer days!  Thank you.

The assembly is now over and I am still at it…


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