Author Archive

October 18, 2011

Synod Contributes to Local LDR Efforts

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod has made a special $3,000 grant to Lutheran Disaster Response in Eastern PA to help with organizing and equipping volunteers to assist with the extraordinary needs in our area in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. You can still help by making a contribution to the local LDR, volunteering to help with ongoing cleanup, and by praying by those still affected.

September 26, 2011

Synod Welcomes Yvonne Curtis

Mrs. Yvonne Curtis is now serving the Synod as Interim Director of Operations. Yvonne brings a wealth of experience to this position. From 1994-1999 she served as executive administrative assistant to Bishop Almquist and more recently served as Executive Assistant in the Region 7 office. She is also completing a master of science degree in organizational development and leadership.

June 9, 2011

Commemorating 9/11, Ten Years After

ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson encourages congregations to reach out to ecumenical partners, including Muslims and Jews, to plan local 9/11 commemorations. In a May 24 letter to the church, Bishop Hanson noted that the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, just four months away, still evokes deeply personal pain for many. "Our words of healing must speak to the grief that still remains," he wrote. Bishop Hanson urged congregations to participate in inter-faith commemorations to counter the "fear of Muslims (that) all too frequently shows up in our society as public suspicion of an entire religion."

February 8, 2011

City Couple to Serve in Tanzania

It is with great joy that we announce that Tom and Susan MacPherson, members of St. John's, Philadelphia, have been confirmed for placement as volunteeer mission personnel with our companion, the North Eastern Diocese of Tanzania. The MacPhersons will serve at the Irente Childrens Home, located in the village adjacent to Lushoto where the diocesan office is located. Please pray for Tom and Susan as they prepare for their assignment and for those who are preparing to receive them.

February 4, 2011

Companion Synods: Blessed to be Church Together

Through teaching, learning, praying and worshipping, the people of our synod have been blessed to journey together as companions with the North Eastern Diocese in Tanzania and with the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic. Joanne Carlson, Assistant to the Bishop for Global Vision and Events, writes in an update on SEPA's global companionships. The Tanzania partnership continues to grow and deepen. Unfortunately, the Silesian church, the only one of the ELCA's 135 companionships to do so, terminated the relationship in response to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly actions on sexuality.

December 22, 2010

Connect with

The new is live! This is your place for fresh, daily content and conversation on what it means to “live Lutheran.” Read exclusive blog entries by ELCA Lutherans with a wide variety of viewpoints and opinions. Find your favorite articles from Seeds for the Parish. Watch videos that amuse and inspire. Meet fascinating ELCA members, and join the conversation on topics that matter most to you. We’re probably being a bit presumptuous, but we like to think that Martin Luther would approve.

September 24, 2010

Synod Council approves congregation leaving ELCA

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Council “with sadness and regret” unanimously granted approval Sept. 22 to action by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Abington, to terminate its relationship with the ELCA. “I want to say on behalf of all of us that we love you, we bless you to God, and your ministry,” Bishop Claire Burkat said to about 15 representatives from Holy Trinity after the announcement of the 24-0 vote. “We know that you are being faithful to where you need to go.” St. James, Philadelphia, has held a first vote to leave.

June 22, 2010

A Philly Story: Faith on the Avenue

An ongoing study of congregations along the eight miles of Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia examines the changing and growing role of religious communities in urban life. The study by Dr. Katie Day of LTSP featured in Duke Divinity School's Faith & Leadership website offers interesting insights: Even though the city’s population has dwindled from its peak in 1950, the number of congregations along the Avenue has tripled over that time. A small number of mainline congregations remain and thrive by adapting, Day says, while the former buildings of other mainline congregations have been revitalized by independent churches. With everything from storefront outposts to megachurches, the Avenue offers a glimpse at how congregations are providing needed services and community cohesion, even as that role is overlooked by politicians, developers and even denominations.

April 27, 2010

ELCA aids Mississippi tornado victims

Lutheran Disaster Response has issued an emergency grant of $10,000 to seed relief efforts after a massive tornado touched down and traveled for more than 100 miles across the Southeast, leaving at least 12 people dead and hundreds of homes destroyed.

January 28, 2010

Lutherans join faith groups urging healthcare reform

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has joined with other faith groups and leaders in writing to President Obama and members of Congress urging completion of comprehensive healthcare reform. "Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose their homes, thousands who would otherwise live will die, and countless people will continue to go without needed care if Congress does not pass health reform," said a Jan. 27 letter to the president signed by 23 leaders including Rev. Andrew D. Genszler, ELCA director of advocacy.

December 19, 2009

Churches help seafarers have brighter holiday

People from eight area churches helped the Seamen's Church Institute throw an annual Christmas party for seafarers in port in Philadelphia. St. Luke, Ferndale -- whose Pastor, Rev. Bill Rex, is a chaplain with SCI -- joined a number of local Episcopal parishes in hosting the party.

December 18, 2009

Box city raises awareness of homelessness

About 70 teenagers and several adults slept out as part of the 6th Annual Box City held Friday, Dec. 4 outside on the lawn of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Lower Makefield Township. The youth raised awareness of the issue of homelessness and raised over $6,000 for the American Red Cross Homeless Shelter.

December 14, 2009

SEKUCo sees challenges due to rapid growth

The Sebastian Kolowa University College (SEKUCo), the college of our Tanzanian companion synod, now has 824 students. Most of those enrolled are in the special needs education program, which is the only one of its kind in Tanzania. Rapid growth, while welcome, poses some challenges for the new college, with many students needing off campus housing and the libraries and classrooms requiring expansion.

December 11, 2009

Lutherans open shelters for Code Blue

Trinity, Lansdale and Emmaus Road, Levittown are among the area churches responding to the homeless community by serving as shelters on nights when officials call a "Code Blue," with temperatures and wind chill below 20 degrees, including last night and tonight.

September 28, 2009

The Welcome Church installs pastor

The Welcome Center, a new church without walls in Center City that extends a special welcome to people experiencing homelessness, installed the Rev. Violet Little as pastor on Sunday afternoon in Rittenhouse Park.

August 26, 2009

Philadelphia joins ONE anti-poverty campaign

Philadelphia is now a ONE city, committed to raising awareness of the global anti-poverty campaign launched here in 2004 by U2 singer Bono and other co-founders. Mayor Michael Nutter signed a proclamation designating the city as a “ONE city” on Aug. 25. “This is Philadelphia-style ‘brotherly love’ at its finest,” Pr. Matt Staniz of Temple, Havertown, said at the City Hall signing ceremony.

January 25, 2009

Lutheran bishops reflect on Holy Land visit

In their travels in the Holy Land, Bishop Burkat and other ELCA bishops felt the appreciation of the people, learned the details of limitations on human rights in the region, and "saw partnerships among Christians, Jews and Muslims that offered hope that our shared Abrahamic tradition can lead to a shared land and a shared Jerusalem."

October 16, 2008

Bishop Hanson’s pastoral letter on election

"Let us maintain a level of discourse worthy of this important moment in our nation's history and the pressing issues demanding our attention," ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson writes in a pastoral letter to the church in the 2008 Presidential Election.

October 8, 2008

Bishops release pastoral letter on economic crisis

Lutherans are called to pray for and care for "those who are already vulnerable and struggling to survive" in the midst of the anxieties raised by the current global financial crisis, ELCA bishops said in a pastoral letter released Oct. 7.

May 12, 2008

It’s always God’s mission!

"Let;s not be afraid, and together let's imagine a revitalization of our beloved ELCA," Bishop Claire Burkat challenged the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Assembly during her address Saturday morning, May 3.