Article: What Was I Doing in Chicago?

I am back from Chicago where I attended my first Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Church Council meeting.

I now am on the church council for the entire ELCA. I am honored to fill this role for the next two years.

The Lutheran Center in Chicago, IL
The Lutheran Center, Chicago, IL

I am happy to report that it is good that Community Lutheran Church is a part of the ELCA. We are in alignment on a lot of different issues and ideas.

During the council meeting, we discussed and acted on various items including:

  • A report on the diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility audit of ELCA governing documents. This will ensure our governing documents for the ELCA are fair to all and not biased.
  • A prayer vigil for peace in the Holy Land hosted by the Association of Lutherans of Arab and Middle Eastern Heritage. We also heard a report from two Lutheran pastors serving in Jerusalem on behalf of the ELCA.
  • An update on the work of and a listening session on the Commission for a Renewed Lutheran Church. The ELCA is working diligently to be a more engaging church in the near future.
  • An update on and discussion of churchwide organization priorities, including the Future Church: God’s Love Made Real initiative. Our churchwide office is doing the hard work to reorganize to be more effective in the coming years.
  • Reports and updates from home areas and teams of the churchwide organization. We heard from every department within the ELCA.
  • A report from the Conference of Bishops. All of our bishops meet regularly and we heard about their work together.
  • An update on the ELCA’s Peace Not Walls Campaign that impacts the Holyland
  • An update on the 50th anniversary of ELCA World Hunger in 2024. Our church has been engaged in combating hunger issues and famine for almost 50 years now!

As you can see, a lot is going on and our national church is actively engaged in the world and being responsive to the needs of others. The ELCA is keenly focused on tasks that we as a local congregation cannot do. They represent us nationally and in the world. I am proud of their work on our behalf.

God bless,
Pr. Ben