As the season of Lent approaches, a time for reflection and contemplation, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has introduced a new resource that invites members to reflect on how this church makes a difference in the world.
“Claimed, Gathered, Sent – A Guide for Conversation,” is a five-part resource developed by ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton and the ELCA Ecclesiology of a Global Church Task Force. According to the resource introduction the goal is to “invite reflection, conversation and discernment about what being the church means today” and “strengthen the mission and ministry of congregations and the ELCA as a whole by going back to our spiritual roots.”
The first four sessions focus on the four emphases Eaton has identified for the ELCA: We are church. We are Lutheran. We are church together. We are church for the sake of the world.
The fifth session addresses the ELCA’s relationship with its global and ecumenical partners, particularly The Lutheran World Federation – a global communion of 144 churches representing more than 70 million Christians in 79 countries. The ELCA is the communion’s only member church from the United States.
“I’m eager to share with you the resource ‘Claimed, Gathered, Sent – A Guide for Conversation.’ You may remember my earlier invitation for conversation and engagement during a five-week period about the very nature and purpose of our church,” said Eaton in an email message to ELCA members. “Please consider joining in this timely conversation about the life of our church. I believe your engagement will lead to a deeper understanding and a clearer sense of our identity, our mission and our calling to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to be agents of God’s love in the world. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel.”
Congregations are asked to send feedback about their experiences using the resource to Faith@elca.org.
“Claimed, Gathered, Sent – A Guide for Conversation” is available at www.ELCA.org/faith/.