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.

Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld elected bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin! 

The Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld, Beloit, Wis., was elected May 6 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

The election was held during the Synod Assembly May 5-6 at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells where over 500 lay leaders and rostered ministers gathered to do the work of God’s church, participating in learning, fellowship and important voting matters.

Thomas-Breitfeld was elected on the fifth ballot with 224 votes to 150 votes for the Rev. Steven Kottke, assistant to the bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.

While we recognize that this is an historic moment in the life of the ELCA in the election of the second African-descent synod bishop, (see full story in Living Lutheran – https://www.livinglutheran.org/2018/05/bishop-elects-reflect-on-historic-votes/), we also recognize that the bishop-elect brings many gifts to her new leadership role and ministry.  She currently serves as interim pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Beloit. She served as pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wis., from 2010 to 2013 and Good Shepherd in Wausau, from 1992 to 2010.  Rev. Thomas-Breitfeld earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1974 and she received her Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 1979.  A full biography can be found on the synod website:  https://scsw-elca.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Thomas-BreitfeldBio.pdf

Learn more about Bishop Elect Thomas-Breitfeld

Biographical information from Bishop Election

ELCA “Bishop-elect Reflect on Historic votes”

ELCA News 5/9/2018

Wisconsin State Journal News Article

 

2018 Synod Assembly 

Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6, 2018 
Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells

 

View more information on the 2018 Assembly Page