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Get in the game

by Mark Chavez (Director, WordAlone Network)

February 10, 2004

photo of Pastor ChavezThe Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will be making important decisions in the next few years and it is essential that ELCA members get in the game. While many ELCA members don’t even know this decision-making is in progress, those who do know need to participate and tell the others. Too often we have sat on the sidelines, talking amongst ourselves, and only occasionally calling out to the players and coaches. Let’s take part in the game.

There is much that we can do to prepare for the 2005 Churchwide Assembly. Make yourself available to be a nominee to become a delegate to the Aug. 8-14, 2005, assembly in Orlando, Florida. All expenses are paid by the ELCA. If that is not an option for you, there are still many ways for you to get in the game and participate in the decisions regarding sexuality and new worship materials. Here are ways that you can be an active player in the ELCA:

  • Pray
  • Be informed and inform others – many do not know what is happening in the ELCA. Get involved in the ELCA decision-making process.
    • Be a nominee for election to Churchwide Assembly. Synods use two basic systems: Conference/clusters nominate or synod nominating committee submits names. Spring 2004 synod assemblies elect all 2005 Churchwide Assembly members.
    • Seek other leadership positions – synod council, synod committees, candidacy committee, conference leadership.
    • Volunteer in your congregation to attend your synod assembly.
    • Volunteer to be a conference or congregational point of contact for WordAlone
    • Introduce resolutions and memorials in your congregation, conference and synod
  • Respond to ELCA studies and proposals
  • Communicate with ELCA leaders [For addresses and phone numbers of ELCA leaders see or call ELCA churchwide office for information: 1-800-638-3522]
    • Bishops – Presiding and synodical
    • ELCA Church Council
    • Department of Ecumenical Affairs (Called to Common Mission)
    • Division for Church in Society (Sexuality)
    • Division for Ministry (Called to Common Mission and Sexuality)
    • Division for Congregational Ministries (Worship)
    • Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee
  • Communicate with churchwide assembly members that you know in your synod or other synods from spring 2004 to August 2005.
  • Form or join a WordAlone chapter in your area – Information packet on how to form a chapter is available from WordAlone office.
  • Encourage your congregation to join WordAlone – Information on how to introduce a congregation to WordAlone is available from WordAlone office.
  • Pray