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A note on Churchwide from Bishop Laurie:
What a week your Oregon Synod team had in Columbus, Ohio! Thank you for your prayers and curiosities. Together we and others in the body of 900 ELCA Lutherans discussed and adopted a Land Back memorial submitted by our synod assembly, inviting learnings, relationship and steps toward healing and reparation with tribes near our almost 9000 ELCA congregations; worshiped with the stunning and more diverse new hymnal supplement, All Creation Sings, including one service led by indigenous Lutheran leaders; offered a much needed in-person apology to the members of Iglesia Luterana Santa Maria Peregrina for real harm done, (more information on that here); elected Imran Siddiqui to serve as the first Southeast Asian vice president; debated our memorial to the assembly on reducing carbon emissions and passed it overwhelmingly, challenging every congregation to perform an audit of their environmental practices and much more; passed the Oregon Synod's memorial on gun violence and its invitation to more public engagement on the dangers of our nation's current gun laws, especially for our children; and prayed, sang, laughed, shared meals, and discovered the beauty and deep welcome of Columbus, Ohio and the Southern Ohio Synod of the ELCA. 
The week of August 8-12, representatives from all 65 ELCA synods, gathered in Columbus, Ohio for Churchwide Assembly. Joining Bishop Laurie Larson Caesar and Vice President Greg Shea were:
  • Rev. Lorin Darst, on leave from call
  • Solveig Nilsen-Goodin, Salt and Light
  • LaVeta Gilmore Jones, Salt and Light
  • Carter Poole, St. Paul, Portland
  • Pablo Ramirez, Hope, Klamath Falls
  • Diane Bernklau*, Zoar, Canby
All representatives were elected at our 2021 Assembly, except Diane Bernklau who went as a substitute for Christie & Kate Bernklau Halvor who were unable to attend.
2022 Assembly sent three memorials to Churchwide and they all passed!

2022 Reparations and Land Return Memorial - PASSED with additional amendments
This memorial encourages all ELCA members, organizations, and partners to become educated about local Indigenous peoples, and to support creative programs resulting in reparations for stolen lands in partnership with Indigenous peoples, including returning land (and any structures built on it) to Native tribes. This memorial is a direct result of the work of the Oregon Synod Reparations Taskforce that was created through a resolution passed in the 2020 Oregon Synod Assembly.


2022 LEVO Support of IP17 & IP18 - PASSED with minor amendments in a group of memorials concerning gun violence.

This memorial calls on Churchwide Assembly to join in the call to ban the sale of assault style weapons and large capacity magazines and call for a national background check database while equipping our congregations to act locally on this issue.

2022 Just Transition to 50% Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2030 Memorial - PASSED with minor amendments

This memorial calls on the Churchwide Organization, congregations, synods, and associated ministries to call upon the leadership of the United States of America to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030, generate 100% of its power from clean renewable sources by 2035, and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

You can find more details about the amendments by reading the ELCA legislative update.
Churchwide Highlights
Imran Siddiqui was elected vice president, making him the first Asian American elected to the highest office a layperson in the ELCA can hold. Imran grew up Muslim and converted to Lutheranism in 2011.
Bishop Laurie highly recommends watching the following two videos of presentations from Churchwide.  She also invites you to consider using one or both of them as part of your congregation's adult education.
Bishop Patricia Davenport of the Southeast Pennsylvania Synod, gave a powerful sermon on the final day of Churchwide. 
Rev. Dr. Anthony Bateza, associate professor of religion; department chair of race, ethnic, gender and sexuality studies and director of race and ethnic studies at St. Olaf College, presented a theological reflection on the Churchwide theme "Embody the Word." 
Interested in more? Read the Religion News Service article, "5 things you need to know from the ELCA Churchwide Assembly." Number three is our reparations and land return memorial!
Want to submit a memorial for consideration at 2023 Oregon Synod Assembly? Memorials (and resolutions) are accepted on a rolling basis until the deadline before Assembly. Learn how to draft and submit a memorial or resolution. You can also learn more on the ELCA office of the secretary page.

Want to go to the next Churchwide as an Oregon Synod voting member? At our 2024 assembly, we will be electing representatives for 2025 Churchwide Assembly in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Oregon Synod
2800 N. Vancouver Ave., Suite #101
Portland, OR 97227

(503) 413-4191
Bishop Laurie Larson Caesar- BishopLaurie@OregonSynod.org
Bishop's Associate Juan Carlos La Puente- juancarlos@OregonSynod.org
Bishop's Associate Pr. Melissa Reed- pastormelissa@OregonSynod.org
Synod Office (Jemae McCanna)- office@OregonSynod.org 
Disaster Preparedness Team (Jan Wierima)- beprepared@oregonsynod.org
 






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Oregon Synod, ELCA · 2800 N Vancouver Ave, Suite 101 · Portland, OR 97227 · USA