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“Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is also going to work with our Miami Lutheran churches on a fundraiser for the families,” Imhoff said.

Haiti work continues Louis Dorvilier, an ELCA staff mem- ber who is also serving as the Lutheran World Federation’s Haiti representa- tive, said reconstruction in the coun- try still moves at a slow pace after the earthquake in 2010. It’s been “a very, very difficult year,” he added. Though camps for the displaced remain crowded and people still lack work, Dorvilier is hopeful that Haitians will be given opportunities to drive reconstruction efforts. Haiti must build its wealth and develop a middle class, he said, adding, “I don’t think the Salvation Army, or the Luther- ans or the Methodists can do that by themselves.”

Prayers for Egypt After demonstrations grew against President Hosni Mubarak and more than 300 people were killed, ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson issued a Jan. 31 statement urging Egyptian leaders to respect human rights and asked ELCA members to pray for “an end to the violence and for a peaceful solution that will ben- efit all people living in Egypt.” Ten ELCA missionaries serving in Egypt were evacuated to St. Paul, Minn. Eight students and a professor from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, also left Egypt the end of January.

Bishops won’t support repeal U.S. Roman Catholic bishops said in January they won’t join efforts to repeal the federal health-care law, even though they opposed the bill last year after concluding it permits fed- erally funded abortions. Instead of pushing repeal, the bishops said they will devote their energy “to correcting serious moral problems in the current law,” according to a letter sent to Cap-


Celebrating Finnish heritage Folk dancer Linda Mayo (left) straightens the costume of Margo Kinseruik at the

January 2011 Finnish Celebration at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Waukegan, Ill. Before the singing and dancing ensued, attendees remembered the church’s Finnish heritage over pannukakku (oven pancakes), beef soup, pickled herring and more. The annual event raised funds for St. Mark’s travel club.

itol Hill. The position lets the bish- ops avert another clash with Roman Catholic health-care workers and nuns, who had bucked the hierarchy by publicly backing the bill, disagree- ing with the bishops’ interpretation of the abortion provision.

Pakistani Christians worry Churches in Pakistan held special prayers to remember Salman Taseer, the Punjab governor assassinated Jan. 4 because he opposed a law that pun- ishes alleged insults to Islam by death. At a Jan. 16 service at Lahore Cathe- dral, Bishop John Alexander Malik condemned the assassination, saying, “It seems that raising voices against extremism is getting harder.”

Bombing denounced Speaking at St. Tatyana’s Church in Moscow, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I denounced the January terror- ist attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport and addressed growing ethnic tensions. Kirill called the attack “a

barbaric distortion of human nature,” and said acts once condemned even in war “are today becoming a form of protest.” In the square next to the church, ethnic tensions boiled over last December when nationalist soc- cer fans attacked passers-by from the Caucasus. Before that incident, a Rus- sian soccer fan was killed in a street fight with Caucasus migrants. Some 12 

Tell us!

High pastor hopes. What do we expect of our pastors these days? Members: What’s the most impor- tant characteristic/skill you look for in a pastor? Pastors: How did seminary prepare you for members’ expectations? Send us stories of the profound—and far-fetched— expectations you’ve encountered in the pastor-member relationship. Send a maximum of 300 words to by April 15.

March 2011 11

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