At the beginning of August, the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly convened. A number of decisions were made at that forum. Bishop Eaton was elected to a second six-year term. Patriarchy was declared a sin, and a sin in the Church, with the approval of the social statement, “Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Call to Action”. The ELCA declared itself to be a sanctuary body. A memorial was passed encouraging congregations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ELCA’s ordination of women in 2020.
The ELCA adopted the “Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity in the ELCA”, which consists of a report and recommendations on how the institution integrates racial diversity goals and outcomes. The ELCA declined to join the Poor People’s Campaign. The ELCA adopted a resolution supporting the World Council of Church’s “Thursdays in Black” campaign working to combat sexual violence. June 17th will be observed as a day of repentance in the ELCA for the martyrdom of the Emmanuel 9.
What I’d like to draw our specific attention to as a congregation is the Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent. On June 27th, 2019, the Churchwide Council of the ELCA adopted this declaration.
God’s Agent of Change conjures up images of a mighty band of superheroes with secret missions. When we take on the mission of being God’s agent of change in the world, we must be ready to be transformed – individually and together.
RELC has provided a meal delivery team for the Arlington County Meals on Wheels program since the 1970’s. Meals are delivered to the homes of participants (typically elderly or disabled) who are unable to prepare meals for themselves. The amount charged for the meals is determined on a sliding scale based on the recipient’s ability to pay.
RELC’s delivery team handles 4 routes on the 2nd Thursday of each month. Every 3rd month, on the 5th Thursday of the month we also have a 5th Route. On delivery days drivers meet at Arlington Presbyterian Church in Ballston at 11:00 a.m. to pick up meals. It typically takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours to complete delivery and return coolers to the Church. Current delivery team members are Ed & Anita Nolen, Randy Brooke, Dave & Melody Zeigler, and Steve Sapp. Our substitute drivers are Charlie and Judy Hughes, Heidi and Rosalie Dech and Cindy Reese.
We’re always looking for new or additional drivers, or substitute drivers to handle a route when a regular driver is unavailable. If you’re interested either in handling a route or being a substitute driver please contact Steve Sapp at 703–943-0459.
THANK YOU to all the RELC members who volunteered for this year’s Rebuilding Together project. We had a very successful effort. The homeowner is very happy with the work we did for her. We filled a dumpster with old furniture, construction debris, and other material that had been accumulated over many years. We cleaned the gutters and installed gutter screens. We built new concrete steps for the front and side entrances to her house, removed a dead tree stump, painted her porch floor and four sets of wrought iron hand rails, and several other small projects to clean up her yard.
Many thanks to the following RELC team members:
- Debbie Andre
- Doug Andre
- Lou Curran
- Pastor Anteneh
- Ted Mortensen
- Lee Nesbit
- Edd Nolen
- David Oaks
- Tristan Oaks
- Clark Person
- Claire Smith
- Carole Smith
- Mike Smith
Thanks also to Jim Dillon, Lou Wood, and Ben Smith, who have worked with our team for many years. Special thanks to Alfred Baumgast who is here from Germany and works with David Oaks. He was an enthusiastic volunteer and we thank him for his participation.
Thanks to St. Ann’s Catholic Church for providing breakfast for the volunteers. Their members, Matt Doyle and Bill Fernando have worked closely with us for many years.
Special thanks to Anita Nolen and the Social Ministry committee for providing and delivering lunch for the volunteers. Thanks to Mike Smith for organizing all the details. This was a very successful project!
Every three years, 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gather for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering. Through days spent in interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service and fellowship, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives.
The 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering is being held in Houston, TX (June 26—July 1) and the theme is “This Changes Everything.” Our primary scripture will be Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”