ELCA Churchwide Assembly

from Interim President Dr. Richard Green

ULS President’s Newsletter | Summer Term 2018-19

Volume II, Issue 15

“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Philippians 4:6

Recently, Dr. Martin Otto Zimmann and I were able to attend the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee where we met with regional bishops and several alumni for times of fellowship and conversation. In addition, the seminary presidents were asked to be present at the plenary sessions in an advisory role. Additionally, Dr. Maria Erling was there as a faculty rep. for ULS. The actions at the assembly were as follows:

  • Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was reelected for a second six-year term on the first ballot.
  • A declaration of apology to our siblings of African descent, which was received by the African Descent Lutheran Association, with thanks and a call for accountability and living into the words shared.
  • Approved resolution declaring the ELCA is a “sanctuary church body,” encouraging participation in the ELCA AMMPARO initiative for migrant children, discernment of care for our immigrant neighbors in our context, and the promise of forthcoming resources for this work.
  • Approved support for the World Council of Church’s Thursdays in Black, an awareness movement for a world without rape and violence.
  • Voted to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance, in honor and remembrance of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9.
  • Approved a declaration for inter-religious commitment, reaffirming ecumenical and interfaith partnerships.
  • Approved the recommendations from a strategic task force which has been studying how to work toward authentic diversity in our church.
  • Approved memorials: affirming, but not “endorsing”, the Poor People’s Campaign; care for immigrants and refugees; and other statements.
  • Adopted a new social statement, “Faith, Sexism, and Justice: a Lutheran Call to Action,” and its implementing resolutions.
  • Elected Deacon Sue Rothmeyer as Churchwide Secretary, a full-time position which acts as executive administrator and leader on all constitutional matters and interpretation.
  • Constitutional change for Deacons (rostered ministers of word and service) to be ordained, from the previous practice of consecration.
  • Celebrated the milestones of 50 years of women’s ordination, 40 years since the first woman of color was ordained, and 10 years since full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ clergy.

As you can see, much was accomplished! United Lutheran Seminary is working to rise to the challenges that these actions present. We are especially proud of the fact that Elizabeth Platz, the first woman ordained to a Lutheran church body in the USA, was a Gettysburg graduate. We were blessed to hear from her at a special Friday evening banquet.

God our redeemer and protector, we ask that you bless this church and its members. We acknowledge that we are far from perfect, but you know that we work daily to change the world around us. Give us the strength to live out your word and to accept those who are cast aside by others. Protect the migrant families and help us to be an inviting and loving sanctuary church.


Richard Green
Interim President
United Lutheran Seminary

Significant Events & Updates

Presidential Search

Please see this update from the co-chairs of the Presidential Search committee. The update can be viewed here.

Financial Aid Policy – Clarification

There has been some confusion on the updated Financial Aid Policy for 2019-2020. The clarification can be viewed here.

President’s Cabinet Retreat

The President’s Cabinet, a group of senior administrators at the seminary, and a few additional guests met for a two day retreat last week on the campus of the Lancaster Theological Seminary. We discussed the current state of the seminary, students, and alumni, as well as the exciting future ahead of ULS. Thank you to President Carol Lytch (a recipient of the first honorary degree from ULS) and Rachel Goodrich for allowing us to hold this important retreat on their beautiful campus!

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