July 19, 2016

Invitation To Prayer For Law Enforcement

Bishop Burkat invites you to join her in prayer for law enforcement officers after the horrific killings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge. In your personal devotions and congregational prayer, please remember the officers who were killed and wounded, their families and colleagues; the officers working to protect the conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia;...

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June 13, 2016

Bishop’s Prayer for Orlando

rainbow candles On Sunday night, June 12, Bishop Burkat shared this prayer following the nation’s largest mass shooting early that morning in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida: This is my prayer tonight… God of peace, mercy and justice. The suffering on this day is inconsolable, the tears overflowing, and the fear palpable. The slaying of your...

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May 13, 2016

‘A New Dawn for Christ’s Church’

When Martin Luther seized the changes made possible by the printing press, he couldn’t have begun to imagine the exponential changes of our Internet age, Bishop Claire Burkat said in her address to the 2016 Synod Assembly. Despite the stresses posed by constant connectivity, racing schedules and financial pressure, “the Holy Spirit is bringing a...

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May 7, 2016

In the Midst of Fear, Love Prevails

What shapes our lives and ministry? How do we respond to the formidable forces that threaten to pull us into the whirlpool of fear that has formed around us, reflected in public debate and in how people are treating each other? In her sermon at the assembly’s opening worship, Bishop Claire Burkat pulls together threads...

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September 18, 2015

Bishop Participates in World Meeting of Families

Bishop Burkat will join other Christian and interfaith leaders in participating in the opening ceremony and Mass for the World Meeting of Families on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput extended the invitation on behalf of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Many Lutherans are helping to welcome Catholics from all over the world to Philadelphia...

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June 29, 2015

Bishop’s Reflection on Marriage Equality

Bishop Burkat Last Friday’s Supreme Court decision striking down bans against same-sex marriage “knocks the power out of long-standing assumptions that most but not all people are equal,” Bishop Claire Burkat writes in a pastoral message. “For our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, as well as all those who have worked for marriage equality here in...

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June 25, 2015

A Day of Repentance and Mourning

“As we mourn and remember” the six Christian martyrs murdered at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston last week, “it is also a time to repent of the sin of racism that continues to plague our nation and our church,” Bishop Burkat wrote in a pastoral message June 25. She joined Presiding Bishop Eaton’s call...

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June 19, 2015

PA Bishops Support Anti-Discrimination Bill

Harrisburg, PA — The seven Pennsylvania bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America released a letter June 18 in support of legislation that would amend the Pennsylvania Public Relations Act to prohibit discrimination in areas of employment, housing and public accommodation on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity or...

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May 12, 2015

Bishop: Embrace Our Shifting Culture

Bishop Claire Burkat is excited about the sense of excitement and renewal she is hearing all around the synod. She is excited about what we are building together and the response to the Forward Together in Faith campaign. She feels refreshed that we are becoming less attached to bricks and mortar and more to building...

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November 30, 2014

Keeping Watch After Ferguson

Bishop There are no easy solutions to the inequalities that fueled the rage and despair that erupted in Ferguson, Mo. last week, Bishop Claire Burkat writes in a pastoral message to the Synod. Christians are called to find a third way between our cultural impulses to fan the flames of discord or trivialize others experience. “We...

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November 21, 2014

Bishops Address Immigration

“As people of faith and leaders of the church, we support public policy that protects children, reunites families, and cares for the most vulnerable, regardless of their place of birth,” the ELCA Conference of Bishops wrote in a Nov. 20 statement on immigration. “Each day in our congregations and in our service to the community,...

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June 15, 2014

Pastoral Letter: Same-Gender Marriage and the Church

Bishop In a pastoral letter to the Synod, Bishop Claire Burkat addresses the implications of the recent court decision lifting Pennsylvania’s ban on same-gender marriage, and the Corbett Administration’s decision not to appeal it, which makes same-gender marriages legal in the commonwealth. As congregations may choose to perform such marriages legally, the bishop writes, “I believe...

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May 13, 2014

Assembly OKs Mission Advancement Campaign

The Assembly voted unanimously to continue work with Kairos and Associates on the development of a Mission Advancement Campaign to develop resources to reshape the Synod for the work of equipping leaders and congregations to engage their communities and deepen discipleship of their members. Prior to presenting the resolution from Synod Council, Vice President Tracey...

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May 8, 2014

Join the Conspiracy

“I want to invite you all to join a new Christian conspiracy,” Bishop Claire Burkat challenged the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod in her address to the 2014 Assembly. “What does it mean to in the 21st Century to conspire with Christ and one another to heal and bless the world in whatever ways God is leading...

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May 4, 2014

Videos from 2014 Assembly

Video coverage of Synod Assembly presentations are available online at the links below: Complete 2014 Synod Assembly video playlist Friday Rev. Mark Hanson Sermon Rev. Mark Hanson Keynote Treasurer’s Report ELCA Representative Presentation by Ms. Judith Roberts Recognition of Approved Candidates   Saturday Bishop Burkat’s Sermon Kairos & Associates/David Lose presentation Moments with our Missionaries Bishop...

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April 19, 2014

‘The Best Gifts of Easter are Unseen’

After this incredibly dreary, cold and snowy winter, I found myself craving spring more than I can remember for a long time.  I yearned for longer light, warm sun, buds, blossoms, and birds singing again. Thankfully we are seeing all the signals of spring now, signs of the abundance to come. But the miracle of...

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March 12, 2014

In Palestine, A City of Hope

Bishop Burkat In February Bishop Burkat joined an interfaith delegation to Israel and Palestine to learn about the various narratives complicating peace efforts and thwarting a two-state solution. In this letter she reports on an exciting sign of peace: the construction of Rawabi, a city that would restore economic, educational and secure living opportunities in this new suburb of...

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September 10, 2013

Bishop’s Letter to Coptic Christians

Bishop Burkat send a letter of solidarity and prayerful concern to the saints of St. Mary and St. Mercurius Coptic Church, many of whom have family ties to Egypt, Syria and other dangerous places in the Middle East. The congregation worships at St. Luke, Devon, and the letter is to be read at a joint...

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August 20, 2013

ELCA Always Being Made New

The ELCA’s theme, “Always Being Made New,” was lived out at the Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh Aug. 12-17. The Assembly elected a new Presiding Bishop, the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton; Bishop Burkat says that our new bishop “will lead us with courage, wisdom, wit, and a deep and faithful engagement with the witness of the ELCA...

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June 25, 2013

Bishop’s Tanzanian Visit

Bishop Burkat and Joanne Carlson have just completed a visit to Tanzania, including five days on the territory of our companion North-Eastern Diocese and then a gathering to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. The festive anniversary celebration included tree-planting, gift-giving, choirs and greetings from Lutheran representatives from the ELCA...

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