Catherine and Greg D. had the chance to attend the 2014 Metro D.C. ELCA Synod Assembly as delegates. They got to hear many people speak on the current issues facing the church and heard the prayers being asked for by the assembly. Here is a brief overview of the Synod assembly gathering:
There was a resolution calling upon “the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod to stand in prayerful solidarity with those suffering under current immigration laws” and specifically said the following prayer in English as well as Spanish, Oromo, and Tamil:
“Loving God… bless Latino, Oromo, Tamil speaking and all members of our church and community who suffer fear and isolation under current immigration laws. Provide and inspire leaders and legislators to see your image in every child of God and to enact laws that clearly and fairly treat our immigrant brothers and sisters. Help us to persistently stand with them in Christ as long as it takes for just and fair laws to take root and blossom. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer!”
Supporting our fellow churches of: La Sagrada Familia, Iglesia Luterana San Marcos, La Comunidad de Santa Maria, Oromo Resurrection Evangelical Church, and In Christ Washington Congregation
If you are interested in learning more or participating, please consider looking into pray4reform on their website (http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/pray4reform/) and Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/697342870322680/) as well as Lutheran advocacy as a whole: (http://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Advocacy).
There was a presentation about the Mission Investment Fund which describes itself as:
“A ministry of the ELCA with faith and finance at its core, MIF aspires to be a premier financial services choice for ELCA ministries, partners and church members…Lending to ELCA congregations, synods and related ministries, and providing a vehicle for ELCA congregations, synods, related ministries and individuals to invest in the work of this church.” (http://www.mif.elca.org/who-we-are)
This presented an interesting alternative to traditional savings that would invest in church projects.
February was designated as “I Love Camp Month” to highlight the opportunities provided by camp and retreat centers like Mar-Lu-Ridge Camp and Retreat Center (http://www.mar-lu-ridge.org/) and Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center (http://www.carolinefurnace.org/), whose purpose is to, “provide an intentional Christian communal experience where one meets God in God’s awesome creation.” (http://www.carolinefurnace.org/gen_info/gen_info.htm) They hold retreats, camps, conferences at their facilities.
The D.C. Synod reviewed and reported on the current status of all church websites in the synod. A brief overview of the results was shared with the assembly. The information given to Good Samaritan will help us develop a better and more useful website for our church community.
ELCA World Relief and Development
We learned about some of the ELCA world relief projects. In addition to the Domestic Hunger Grants that gave more than $800,000 in domestic projects, the ELCA World Hunger works in more than 50 countries around the world (look here to see the map: http://search.elca.org/Pages/WorldMap.aspx), and the ELCA Malaria Campaign has been preventing death from malaria by providing “mosquito nets, education, testing, medication and more.”