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E.L.C.A. Celebrates 50 Years of Ordained Women

“The Church of Christ in every age, beset by change but Spirit-led, must claim and test its heritage, and keep on rising from the dead”
(Fred Pratt Green, 1969).

Dear church,

Words matter. Words matter in our Scripture, in our hymns, in our governing documents, and beyond. Fifty years ago, on June 29, 1970, the Lutheran Church in America voted to change the word “man” to “person” in its bylaws and opened the door for the ordination of women. The American Lutheran Church achieved the same thing by resolution a few months later. The church was led by the Spirit to change. At the time it was scary for some. Fifty years later, it is now part of our heritage.

March 20, 2020- A Message from Hope Council regarding Hope’s response to COVID-19, including practices and worship alternatives. Click HERE to read the full release.


Lutheran office of Public Policy has an opportunity for our members to meet virtually with federal California lawmakers about immigrant rights and COVID-19 relief. Details will be discussed in a training on April 24, 2020. Meetings with members will take place over April 27-May 1, depending on scheduling. We are partnering with the Dolores Huerta Foundation and GRACE to conduct these trainings with the support of ELCA Advocacy.

Please email if you want to participate. 

Dear church,
The idea of government was already very much in focus because this was an election year, and the pandemic has focused it more so. But what does the ELCA teach about the nature and function of government in relation to God’s purposes? What is a faithful Lutheran response regarding citizenship and civic engagement?
To help guide our church on these questions, the 2019 Churchwide Assembly asked for the preparation of a social message. At this time, the message is in draft form. Through May 27, you are invited to provide feedback on how to strengthen the message.
I invite you to click here to read “A Draft Social Message on Government and Civic Engagement: Discipleship in a Democracy.” To offer feedback, please fill out the survey. You may also choose to email comments to The comment period ends May 27. To learn more about what social messages are, click
Take the survey here
In light of the feedback, the message will be revised and presented to the ELCA Church Council for a vote in June. Upon its adoption, the message and a study guide will be released over the summer, along with a Spanish translation.
To learn more about this social message and the process of its creation, please visit its webpage, which features “Frequently Asked Questions.
Thank you for taking the time to participate in this project—it’s through the wisdom of the full church that a strong message will be created.
God’s peace,
Rev. Roger A. Willer, Ph.D.Director for Theological EthicsOffice of the Presiding Bishop

COVID-19 Response from Bishop Eaton

March 28, 2020- COVID-19 Response from Bishop Eaton: The ELCA has released an announcement regarding steps they are taking to continue operations and help during the COVID-19 outbreak. Click HERE to read the full story

Dear partner in ministry,

Weeks may have passed since you last walked in the doors of your congregation and worshiped, face-to-face, with your community of faith. To be sure, being the body of Christ looks and feels differently than it ever has before.

Despite all of this, we are called to be church — together. The ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) looks different now, but it has not stopped. Nor have the needs of our communities and the world. Our church and its leaders continue to minister to its members, to those who are hurting and searching for peace, and to those in need.

The congregations and ministries of this church rely on your weekly offerings and gifts. Without in-person worship services for many weeks or even months, the financial impact could be devastating.

Please continue to give to your congregation and give regularly. Your congregation and its leaders continue to minister to your community of faith. This ministry relies on your weekly offerings. Find out how you can continue your pledge or regular offering though online giving, automatic monthly giving or mail.

I know that, for many of us, this is a time of uncertainty and financial hardship. However, for those of you who are in a position to do more, the needs are great.

In the United States, unemployment has soared. We are already seeing rising demands on our food pantries, homeless shelters and social services. Around the world, millions of people living in poverty are facing this pandemic without reliable access to sanitation and health care.

With congregations and ministries across the country, and a network of companion churches and partners in over 70 countries around the world, we anticipate this crisis will affect us all. Your gifts to the ELCA’s COVID-19 Response Fund will provide funds to the ministries of the ELCA most in need and best positioned to help. This includes our congregations as well as local and churchwide ministries capable of reaching and assisting those in need. If you are able, please help with a gift today.

I have been reflecting on the words of Peter: “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received” (1 Peter 4:10). Now is a time when we need one another. Now is a time to live and act as faithful people of God.

Be of good courage, dear church, and remember that Christ is with us now and always.

In Christ,
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America