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Women and justice draft released The draft of the ELCA social statement on women and justice, authorized in 2009 by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, was released Nov. 15 for a public comment period (elca.org/womenandjustice). The ELCA Task Force on Women and Justice: One in Christ is taking feedback through a response form found at bit.ly/womenandjusticedraft until Sept. 30, 2018, and then will edit the draft accordingly. The proposed social statement will be presented for adoption at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.


New LWF officers meet with Pope Francis The new officers of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council met with Pope Francis (right) Dec. 7 at the Vatican. Among them was ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, who is the federation’s new vice president for North America. Referring to the commitment made by the LWF and the Roman Catholic Church during the Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017, Musa Panti Filibus (left), LWF president and archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, said, “We have begun our irreversible journey from conflict to communion and we do not wish to let it cease ever again.”


Presiding bishop responds to embassy move On Dec. 6, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton issued a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement that he intended to move the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “As my brother in Christ and colleague Bishop Munib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land has often said, the security of Israelis depends on the freedom of Palestinians and the freedom of Palestinians depends on the security of Israelis,” Eaton said in the statement. “This proposed action would make both more insecure.”


Eaton co-signs letter on national monuments On Dec. 4, President Donald Trump signed presidential proclamations to diminish the size of Bear Ears National Monument by more than 85 percent, and reduce Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by about half. On Dec. 5, religious leaders, including Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, sent a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke urging him to listen to the Bears Ears Commission of Tribes’ recommendation to uphold the monuments. The letter stated: “We recognize the complexity of this matter, but as God’s children we must honor and respect our Native American brothers and sisters, their culture and their heritage.”


New ELCA treasurer elected Lori Fedyk, a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Libertyville, Ill., was elected to a six- year term as ELCA treasurer by the ELCA Church Council at its November meeting, effective Feb. 1. Fedyk currently serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Lutheran Life Communities in Arlington Heights, Ill. “Lori Fedyk not only brings professional skill and experience, but she is also deeply committed to the mission and ministry of the ELCA,” said Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.


RELIGIOUS NEWS & SOCIAL ISSUES • LIVINGLUTHERAN.ORG 9


Photo: LWF/A. Danielsson


Photo: Will Nunnally


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