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to raise funds for Lutheran Social Services of Illinois; $2,700 was received at the assembly.


Upstate New York, June 7-8, Rochester, N.Y. • Endorsed the Uniting American Families Act. • Supported legislation prohibiting employment discrimina- tion on the basis of sexual or gender identity. • Proclaimed the message of hope through a talk series titled “Imagining Mission,” led by four mission leaders who encouraged more than 130 participants to share their faith stories.


Lower Susquehanna, June 6-8, Grantham, Pa. • Affirmed the five principles for comprehensive immigration reform presented by Lutheran Immigra- tion and Refugee Service (www. lirs.org), requesting that the ELCA contact lawmakers about supporting “meaningful immigration reform” based on those principles. • Encour- aged a peaceful and just resolution to the conflicts in Israel and Palestine by calling for specific action on the part of Congress, including a clear plan to facilitate a return to the nego- tiating table a U.S.-backed proposal for a final-status agreement that would end the occupation and cre- ate a two-state solution, and provide


incentives to help the governments of Israel and Palestine act to address the abuse of human rights and inter- national law.


Allegheny, June 6-8, Altoona, Pa. • Requested that the Churchwide Assembly direct the ELCA’s eight seminaries to “explore the possi- bilities of partnering with Portico Benefit Services to extend their health-care ministry by developing more affordable, adequate insurance coverage” for seminarians.


Western North Dakota, June 7-8, Minot, N.D. • Internalized the national gun debate by responding to the require- ments of North Dakota House Bill 1283 and establishing “Gun Free Zones,” prohibiting individuals from carrying concealed weapons within synod churches.


Northwestern Minnesota, June 7-9, Moor- head, Minn. • Endorsed the Uniting American Families Act. • Supported all legislation prohibiting employ- ment discrimination on the basis of sexual or gender identity. • Cel- ebrated surpassing the halfway point of the ELCA Malaria Campaign (www.elca.org/malaria) in the synod, raising $160,137.51 thus far.


Southwestern Minnesota, June 7-9, St. Peter, Minn. • Championed the spirit of the ELCA social statement “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” by asking the Churchwide Assem- bly to call upon Congress to pass legislation prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual or gender identity, and by extending ministry, comfort and support to same-gender couples and their fami- lies. • Called for conversation on ministering to same-gender couples and their families. • Encouraged immigration reform and offered prayer for those experiencing injus- tice in the current system.


Southeastern Minnesota, June 7-8, Rochester, Minn. • Demonstrated a pas- sion to care for creation by requir- ing congregations to complete an environmental audit and to provide places to study the care for creation. • Established a task force to discern how congregations can provide


Voting members of the Lower Susquehanna Synod get to work during their assembly June 6-8. Along with discussions of resolu- tions, the assembly elected James S. Dunlop, pastor of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Littlestown, Pa., as bishop (see page 38).


August 2013 37


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