Foundation

What would your congregation do if you unexpectedly received a large bequest?  While your first thought might be that this would the best thing that could happen to a congregation, experience has shown that without a plan, gifts like this can derail a congregation’s mission faster than the problem of lack of funds can. Or […]

FTS17

Rostered Ministers of the Northeastern Iowa, Southeastern Iowa and Western Iowa Synods gathered in Des Moines to reflect upon the theme “The Reformation: What’s at Stake.” The speakers were Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Bishop Guy Erwin, Bishop of the Southwest California Synod, and the Rev. Dr. Anna Madsen, director of OMG: Center for Theological Conversation. […]

AbdelKader

You wouldn’t think of Elkader, Iowa as a center for fostering interfaith dialogue and a better understanding of Islam. And yet, in 1845 its founder, land developer Timothy Davis decided to name the town after Abd el-Kader, a religious and military leader who led the fight for Algerian independence. Although his story is not well […]

Disasters

The earth and her creatures are besieged by storms and fire in our own country and around the world.  Those who are dealing with disasters directly are overwhelmed either with preparing for coming storms or fires, or cleaning up and recovering from storms and fires.  Those safe from disasters are also overwhelmed by images of […]

Ammparo

God’s call to neighborly love for the sake of those in need is unequivocal. Migrants and refugees are our neighbors. Exodus 22:21 – “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien; for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” and Romans 12:13 – “…Extend hospitality to strangers…” are two of many exhortations to […]

RosteredMinistersGathering

ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton likes to quip that she’s had three good ideas since being elected to her position:  The Grace Gathering (a time for all ELCA members to meet at the same time as the Churchwide Assembly to observe plenary sessions and participate in other activities), studying the Small Catechism together as a […]

racism

Although the ELCA and its predecessor bodies have always held racial justice as an important value and issue for members to be aware and committed to, events of the last few years have made us even more aware of the work we still have to do. Finally, seeing white supremacists in Nazi uniforms marching down […]