ELCA Presiding Bishop Tells Orion Samuelson ‘Farming is God-Given Call’

In an interview with agricultural journalist Orion Samuelson, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) said “farming is a God-given call and that farmers are exercising that call as they feed the hungry in the world, as they care for creation, as they provide for their own families and communities,” according to an ELCA press release.

Samuelson interviewed Hanson about the church, its relationship to agriculture, and portions of a proposed ELCA social statement, Genetics, Faith and Responsibility, for Samuelson’s weekly television program, “This Week in Agribusiness,” on the satellite network, RFD-TV. The interview is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lFKqaedtFo on the Web.

Read the full release.

Record-Level Giving to ELCA World Hunger in December 2010

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) set a record for World Hunger giving in December, according to an ELCA press release.

“The generous response by members and congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to a World Hunger appeal resulted in gifts of $3.3 million in December 2010, the highest ever recorded for that month,” the release states.

Read the full release.

President to appoint ELCA bishop Hanson to serve on council

ELCA Bishop Mark Hanson

President Barack Obama will appoint Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Bishop Mark Hanson to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, an ELCA press release said.

The advisory council brings together religious and secular leaders, as well as scholars and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations, to make recommendations to the government on how to improve partnerships, according to a White House news release.

Read the full ELCA release.

Read the White House press release, which includes names of other appointees.

Read more about the council.

Press release on Hawley Lutheran Church vote to exit the ELCA

The Forum’s Marino Eccher reported today that the Hawley Lutheran Church voted Sunday to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Read that story here. Talk about it here.

Below is a press release sent by Rev. Jeff Teeples, pastor at Halwey Lutheran.

“At a special congregational meeting on Sunday December 19 Hawley Lutheran Church has voted to disaffiliate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Our final vote passed by a 80% majority (239 for and 60 against). We are confident that God has led us as a congregation to this outcome for the sake of our mission. We are a group of sinners saved by grace and we are not perfect or even close. It grieves us that people have associated our decision to leave the ELCA with intolerance, contempt and bigotry, because these attitudes are not the attitude of Jesus who we follow and love and not the attitudes we teach or would want to exhibit. The decision to disaffiliate from the ELCA unites us to stand upon the Bible as the final authority in all matters of our faith and life and to proclaim Jesus as the Savior of the world. We look forward to being part of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ and to serving our Lord, community and world into the future as we have in the past.”

BarlowGirl coming to Fargo as part of PULSE multi-media Christmas concert event


From www.reachout.org

PULSE Outreach presents a Christmas concert event featuring Christian rock act BarlowGirl at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at Bethel Church, 2702 30th Ave. S. in Fargo.

The multi-media event also features music by Reilly and worship artist Dave Lubben, and PULSE Dir. Nick Hall will share a message. Tickets are $10 and available at www.TheReasonChristmas.com, local Christian bookstores, Bethel Church or at the door.

PULSE is a student-launched organization from Fargo that “exists to bring a message of hope in Jesus Christ to this generation.”

ELCA leaders applaud Congress’ passage of child nutrition bill

From www.elca.org“Leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) applauded the passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of federal legislation that invests $4.5 billion in child nutrition programs,” according to an ELCA press release. “The legislation was approved Dec. 2 during the lame-duck session this week, as Congress prepares to adjourn for the holiday season.”

“ELCA members across the country were part of a coordinated effort to pass the bill. Top leaders of several Christian denominations, including the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, wrote to U.S. House leaders earlier this week, urging the legislation’s adoption. Hanson also spoke about the legislation in a Nov. 1 meeting faith leaders’ meeting with President Obama in Washington.”

“‘This bill is an exciting victory for hungry children. After a largely gridlocked year, passage of this bill is a positive sign that Congress can work together in the best interests of Americans,’ Hanson said.”

Read the full release: http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx?a=4686

Fargo, Bismarck dioceses launch TV campaign to bring people back to church

A scene from the national TV advertisement, "Epic."

“The Bismarck Catholic Diocese will unveil a multifaceted welcome mat soon for those who have drifted away from the church,” according to an article from The Bismarck Tribune printed in today’s Forum.

“The ‘Catholics Come Home’ TV commercials will air statewide from Dec. 17 to Jan. 30 for both the Bismarck and Fargo dioceses; they are financed separately by each diocese.”

Read more: http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/300828/publisher_ID/1/

Talk about it: http://topics.areavoices.com/2010/12/05/fargo-bismarck-dioceses-launch-tv-campaign-to-bring-people-back-to-church/

Dickinson City Commission wants policy on religious symbols

The Dickinson City Commission is considering a policy regarding the display of religious symbols on city property, reports The Dickinson Press.

Read more: http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/300839/group/homepage/

Talk about it: http://topics.areavoices.com/2010/12/06/dickinson-city-commission-wants-policy-on-religious-symbols/

Christian Post: Petition Asking Apple to Reinstate Christian App Gains Steam

 “A petition launched Thursday to protest Apple’s decision to remove an iPhone app opposing gay marriage is quickly gaining steam,” reports the “Christian Post.”

“The Manhattan Declaration app, which allowed Apple users to add their name to the ecumenical document in support of the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty, was pulled from the App Store over the Thanksgiving holiday after a group of activists charged the app as anti-gay.”

Read more: http://www.christianpost.com/article/20101203/petition-asking-apple-to-reinstate-christian-app-gains-steam/