ELCA NEWSApril 29, 201414-25-CHBCHICAGO (ELCA) – Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are offering prayers and support for survivors and communities impacted by tornadoes and severe weather that struck the Midwest, southern and eastern parts of the United States. To date, 28 people are confirmed dead, and thousands have been impacted by storm systems since April 25. There are no reports of any ELCA congregations with property damaged by the severe weather. "Our prayers are with those in our synod and in all of the places impacted by yesterday's (April 28) tornados and severe weather,” said the Rev. H. Julian Gordy, bishop of the ELCA Southeastern Synod. “The Southeastern Synod staff and the synod’s disaster response team are monitoring the storms and forecasts for today and tonight and have begun the initial work of responding in areas in need of assistance." Lutheran Disaster Response will provide assistance to those affected by the storms through local affiliates, social ministry organizations and ELCA synods. Lutheran Disaster Response provides assistance to survivors of natural disasters and humanitarian crises throughout the world. This support is carried out, both domestically and internationally, in coordination with local affiliates – social ministry organizations, agencies, partners and international companion churches – in the disaster-affected communities. “As in the past, Lutheran Disaster Response will be involved in the long-term recovery for as long as necessary to help people restore and rebuild their lives,” said the Rev. Michael Stadie, director for Lutheran Disaster Response in the United States. Lutheran Ministries of Alabama is working with the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency to help coordinate and manage volunteers who will help with recovery efforts in northern and western Alabama. Ron Turney, who manages disaster response for Lutheran Ministries of Alabama, said the agency is working with county officials to determine the extent of the damage before they request help from volunteers. “We are trying to let the spontaneous volunteers, such as local churches and city workers, do their thing with tree removal to make sure everybody is OK and to get as many tarps on roofs because it’s coming again tonight,” said Turney, referring to severe weather forecasts through April 30. Turney said he has received calls from ELCA congregations offering to send volunteers to help, but because of the additional weather threats he said the agency “will not be able to put people to work until at least next May 5.” Worship resources and information about Lutheran Disaster Response is available at http://www.elca.org/ustornadoes.
ALL TENNESSEE 2018
122 youth and adults met November 10 & 11 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hixson, Tennessee for All Tennessee. During the event youth from across Tennessee gathered to learn more about the "GODISNOWHERE" theme by participating in different activities throughout Saturday afternoon. Youth looked at where God was through an interactive Stations of the Cross activity, they also got to ask Pastor Ed Myers and Pastor Katherine Museus any question they wanted to ask, they learned about how we can be God's hands in the midst of disasters through the work of Lutheran Disaster Relief and put together hygiene kits for Lutheran World Relief. To finish out their service that day they moved mulch on to the church's playground. Worship started with a group of youth from Christ Kiswahili Lutheran Mission leading in song and during the confession participants were invited to take a piece of string to represent their confession and tie it on nails that formed "GODISNOWHERE" - a powerful way to see that God comes to us in the midst of our brokenness and as we communed together we saw God come once again in the body and blood of Christ. Special thanks to the volunteers of Trinity Lutheran Church for their hospitality and meals, as well as the ALL Tennessee planning team for their hard work putting it all together.