Message from the Presiding bishop on Christchurch mosque shootings

ELCA presiding bishop pastoral message on Christchurch mosque shootings

3/15/2019 12:55:00 PM

Dear Church,

 Today we awoke to the devastating news of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. We join in mourning for the people who were killed and wounded, for their families, for the first responders and grief counselors, and for all whose lives have been shattered today. We know that God is present in the midst of their suffering.

 We know that our own Muslim neighbors here in the U.S. are also experiencing grief and fear. Many will wonder whether it is safe to attend Friday prayers today. These are not the kinds of questions that any of us should have to ask ourselves as we seek to live out our religious commitments. Yet, devastatingly, this is also a reality that binds us together as people of faith. As I wrote last November in the wake of the Tree of Life shooting: “Hate-filled violence knows no bounds – whether a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, a Christian church in Charleston, a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh” – and now these mosques in New Zealand.

 Together with our ecumenical and inter-religious partners, we stand shoulder to shoulder in condemning hatred, bigotry, racism and violence whenever and wherever it occurs. We do so because all people are made in the image of God. Therefore, as an act of neighborly love, I urge you to reach out to your Muslim neighbors today and in the days to come to ask how you might offer solidarity and support – joining whenever possible with other ecumenical and inter-religious neighbors.

 I leave you with the words of Psalm 16:1: “Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.” This is my prayer – for our Muslim neighbors, for the people of Christchurch, and for all who mourn and are afraid. May we see in this devastation the possibility to be Christ’s presence with our neighbors in this world – to be present in their suffering and to be partners in God’s justice and peace.

 In peace,

 

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton

Presiding Bishop, ELCA

 

The ELCA provides resources that address safety in congregations:

https://www.elca.org/Resources/Risk-Management

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has compiled this list of active shooter resources for congregations:

https://disciples.org/resources/active-shooter-information-congregations/

Synod Assembly: Nominations and Resolutions for 2019

Nomination and Resolution forms are available by emailing Robyn Zimmerman, Director of Operations and Executive Administrative Assistant. Forms must be submitted by March 14, 2019.

Office Assistant (Madison)

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All Anew Campaign for Katie’s Fund

Katharina von Bora Luther was a practical and bold woman of faith. In 1997, the Women of the ELCA established Katie’s Fund to honor the legacy of Katharina von Bora Luther, to raise up bold leaders for the churchwide women’s organization, and to support bold and creative ministry for generations to come.

The total goal of the All Anew Campaign for Katie’s Fund is to grow the fund from its current total of about $1.5 million to $4.5 million by July 2020 (11th Triennial Convention). As an endowed fund, the money held in Katie’s Fund is invested carefully to generate income. That annual income, which is generally about 4 percent of the amount invested, may be used by the churchwide women’s organization for leadership development, living theology and global connections.

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