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ELCA Church Council focuses on future


Meeting March 30-April 2 in Itasca, Ill., the ELCA Church Council spent much of its time focused on the Called Forward Together in Christ process that will determine goals and priority areas for the ELCA. Among actions taken, the council designated Milwaukee as the site of the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly; affirmed the direction of the ELCA Foundation Task Force on Structure and Governance to move toward a structure that transfers the ELCA Foundation’s deferred giving programs to the Endowment Fund of the ELCA; and designated 5 percent of the 2018 fiscal year churchwide seminary grant for a project among all seminaries to increase the number of people of color preparing for rostered ministry in the church.


Fund for Leaders surpasses $50 million


For the first time, the ELCA Fund for Leaders’ endowment has passed $50 million. As the Fund for Leaders celebrates 20 years of ministry, the endowment is supporting approximately 250 future church leaders through ELCA seminary scholarships. The program’s vision is to eventually support every candidate for rostered ministry with full-tuition scholarships to ELCA seminaries. Learn more at elca.org/fundforleaders.


Young adults called to serve


More than 85 young adults (below) accepted the call in April to serve as part of the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission program, an international mission opportunity for 21- to 29-year-olds. Calls were extended as part of the program’s Discernment-Interview-Placement event, which matches young adults with service opportunities in one of 10 countries. In August they will embark on a year of service with ELCA companion churches and organizations around the world.


Church Council member receives Wentz Prize


The Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic has announced the winner of its 2016 A.R. Wentz Prize in American Lutheran History. Hans Becklin, a Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago student and member of the ELCA Church Council, won for his paper “Herbjorn Gausta’s Good Shepherd (1895) at First Lutheran Church, Decorah, Iowa: Printed American Visual Culture as Painted Norwegian-American Propaganda.” The society awards the prize annually for papers addressing Lutheranism in North America.


ELCA pastor to close out LWF Assemby


At presstime, Lydia Posselt, pastor of Family of God Lutheran Church, Buckingham, Pa., was scheduled to deliver the closing worship sermon at the Lutheran World Federation 12th Assembly May 16 in Windhoek, Namibia. Posselt, 32, was selected from a pool of 10 young finalists by an international jury as well as online voters. Nearly 800 participants, including approximately 400 delegates from the 145 LWF member churches in 98 countries, will participate in the assembly.


RELIGIOUS NEWS & SOCIAL ISSUES • LIVINGLUTHERAN.ORG 9


Photo: Stephanie Berkas/ELCA


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