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Wednesday, August 15, 2007


ELCA Churchwide Assembly - four more items

Four more items relating to the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Chicago last week:

1) My friend, the Rev. Dr. Munib Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), addressed the assembly on Thursday. Melissa Ramirez Cooper's ELCA news release captured many of the quotes which I wrote down and have now lost. Here are a few examples:
* "I call on all religious leaders -- Christians, Muslims and Jews -- to become our allies for justice and humanity. No religion has a monopoly on hate or extremism. It is time that religion become part of the solution rather than part of the problem."
* "It is time that the US government recognized that it would be in its best interest to become an honest broker" for peace in the Middle East.
* "the Lord and Savior himself taught us to speak out on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized, to care for humanity and to speak for justice."
* "Working for justice is not political ... it is biblical and spiritual."

2) If you go to www.elca.org/assembly/photos, you will find two of me and one of Trinity's Joe Kovatch. They are all on Wednesday, August 8 - go to www.elca.org/assembly/photos - Wednesday, August 8. For Joe's photo try this URL - http://photos.elca.org/gallery/3166816#181779815 and for my photos try try these URL's - http://photos.elca.org/gallery/3166816#181881854 and http://photos.elca.org/gallery/3166816#181877294 . That may or may not work since I believe the photos come up in somewhat different order each time they are viewed. Joe's photo was on the first page of Wednesday photos and mine were later in the day, pages 9 & 12, but that may have changed. Tuesday's photos include several of Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Bishop Claire S. Burkat who preached at noon worship that day.

3) The news media have reported the assembly's actions on homosexuality fairly accurately, I believe. Print media have done a better job than television, partly because they have the space to explain the assembly actions which were not simply a yes or no. The article in Sunday, August 12, "Chicago Tribune" newspaper, "Lutherans ask bishops to keep gay clergy in ministry - Vote urges bishops to avoid discipline," appears to be quite accurate in reporting the nuances of the assembly's actions. You can find that article online at www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-lutheranaug12,1,1736466.story?ctrack=3&cset=true .

4) Before the assembly, I attended some of the ELCA Worship Jubilee, www.elca.org/worship/jubilee . Unfortunately, I tried to save money by not staying at the assembly hotel downtown and by staying in the suburbs at a much cheaper hotel and taking public transportation. This sounded like a good idea until I took public transportation and found that the journey took nearly two hours each way! That also meant that I could not attend evening activities at the Jubilee because the last buses left Navy Pier too early. I did attend one wonderful worship service and four workshops ("Worship in the Emerging Church," "Mission-Connected Worship," "Paradigms of Hospitality - Beyond Strategic Friendliness," and "Gathered for Worship in a Wounded World"). I brought some good materials back from those workshops.

One more assembly-related posting is coming.

Living in God's amazing grace,


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