Seeds for the Parish – July 2016

Freed and Renewed in Christ

2016 Churchwide Assembly
Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will gather Aug. 8-13 in assembly in New Orleans. Meeting under the theme “Freed and Renewed in Christ: 500 Years of God’s Grace in Action,” the assembly’s business will include preparations for observing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. The assembly — the highest legislative body of the ELCA — will be composed of 980 voting members serving on behalf of the 3.7 million members of the ELCA.

People not attending the assembly can follow #ELCAcwa on social media for updates and access live video of plenary sessions at

Proclaiming God’s Love: From Cambodia to Costa Rica

Tanzania has many more Lutherans than the ELCA has members. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania has 6.5 million members compared to the ELCA’s 3.7 million. As the ELCA looks to its future, what can it learn from the global Lutheran church? Read more in Living Lutheran’s July cover story.

You can also watch a video of Rahel Mwitula-Williams, a third-generation Lutheran, who tells about growing up in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.

A study guide to accompany the article on the global Lutheran church is also available.

Rick StevesI’m a Lutheran: Rick Steves

Rick Steves, travel writer and TV host, was recently the featured ELCA member in Living Lutheran’s monthly profile, “I’m a Lutheran.” Steves says he’s a Lutheran “because it fits my personality—pack light; keep it simple; embrace life; celebrate diversity; jettison needless rules; stand up to authority when the truth needs a hand; and dance through the blessing of life on Earth like a child in God’s eyes.”

Read the rest of Steves’ profile and if you’d like to nominate someone for “I’m a Lutheran.”


Synod Assemblies Confront Racism



Freed and Renewed in Christ.

500 years of God’s grace in action.


Registration opens.

Save the date.


Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry and Eucharist

This ecumenical document marks a pathway toward Christian unity between Catholics and Lutherans.


ELCA Today

Check out this web page for information on who we are as a church and some ELCA fast facts.


“God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday worship resources

Use these resources to help plan a worship service for your congregation’s day of service.



These snippets are available for you to copy and paste into your bulletins.

Lutheran World Federation preaching contest
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is offering a young pastor the chance to preach at the Twelfth Assembly, which will be held in Windhoek, Namibia, in 2017. A preaching contest is now open to eligible contestants: ordained Lutheran pastors in LWF member churches who were born after May 1984. This sermon will be delivered at the closing worship of the assembly from May 10-16, 2017. It will be one of the highlights of the assembly. Learn more here.

ELCA Facebook page reaches 100,000 followers
The ELCA’s Facebook page recently celebrated a milestone of 100,000 followers! Have you liked our page? Join thousands of other Lutherans by engaging in this ministry of social media. We are church together! Find news, stories and photos from the ministries of the ELCA at

Color with Women of the ELCA
Women of the ELCA has joined the adult coloring book craze and now has coloring resources that encourage prayer and reflection. Visit to download a free series of five devotions that are connected to the “All Anew” theme for the Women of the ELCA’s 10th Triennial Gathering. The five devotionals that accompany the coloring verses were written by Melissa Bills, a pastor at First Lutheran Church, Decorah, Iowa.

Thanks to all who participated in our 2016 Lenten initiative, ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving! Launched on Ash Wednesday, the initiative kicked-off ELCA World Hunger’s annual theme year withinAlways Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA with a fundraising goal of $2 million between Feb. 7 and April 15.

In total, 449 congregations officially registered for the initiative with nearly 10 percent exceeding their fundraising goals. As of May 20, gifts to ELCA World Hunger during Lent totaled $3.1 million, with nearly half (approximately $1.5 million) contributed by congregations. Once again, thank you for your generosity!