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14-Aug-2019 to 14-Aug-2019 Download this bulletin-insert summary of the highlights, meaningful moments, and important actions that took place at Assembly. 

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A group of 22 pastors, deacons, lay leaders, synod staff, and guests traveled to Milwaukee to discuss and make decisions about how to go about God’s work as a church.

— Meaningful Moments —

Those at Churchwide Assembly advocated for migrant children and families as they marched to the local office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while at the same time at our synod office in Pennsylvania, a prayer vigil took place on behalf of separated families, asylum seekers encountering unsafe conditions on both sides of the border, and those who are denied access to justice.

Daily communion services incorporated diverse and multilingual expressions of Lutheran identity. The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women was also observed in worship with a joyful procession of women ministers, including pastors and candidates for ministry from our Synod.

The Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment was passed In the presence of more than 20 interfaith and ecumenical speakers and guests as our Southwestern Pa delegation represented our region in “stronger than hate” t-shirts.

—Actions of Assembly —

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton was re-elected presiding bishop. She was elected on the first ballot with 81.19% of the vote. 

Deacon Sue Rothmeyer was elected Secretary of the ELCA. She currently serves as executive for administration with the Office of the Secretary.

Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent expresses a confession of this church's bondage to the sins of slavery, racism, discrimination, white supremacy and quietism, and begins the work of repentance. A strategy toward authentic diversity within the ELCA was adopted. June 17th was established as Emanuel 9 Feast Day of Repentance to condemn white supremacy.

To reaffirm the long-term and growing commitment of this church to migrants and refugees and to the policy questions involved, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America declares itself a sanctuary church body and requests the ELCA Church Council provide guidance for the three expressions of this church about what it means to be a sanctuary church body and provide a report to the 2022 Churchwide Assembly.

All synods and congregations are encouraged to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ELCA’s ordination of women in 2020, and the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the ordination of women of color in the Lutheran tradition in the United States and the 10th anniversary of the ELCA’s decision to make ordination possible for people in same-gendered relationships in 2019.

The social statement Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Call to Action was adopted, guiding that the Church’s commitment to neighbor justice compels us to expose how patriarchy and sexism are woven into individual, social, and religious life, causing harm to all people. All three expressions of the church are encouraged to participate in the #ThursdaysinBlack Campaign of the World Council of Churches for advocacy and solidarity against rape and gender-based violence by wearing black on Thursdays. 

The ELCA constitutions’ language was changed to make ordination the entrance rite for Ministers of Word and Service.


The 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly will be held in Columbus, Ohio