Wednesday, March 23, 2016

See you in Louisville!

It's now less than a month to go until the annual meeting of LEIRN at the National Workshop on Christian Unity. Check out our schedule below. The early-registration discount expires on March 28, so register soon at nwcu.org. If you would like to share a room, email your name and contact info to erinfo@elca.org.

We anticipate the possibility of vacancies on the LEIRN board. If you are currently appointed by your bishop as the ecumenical and inter-religious representative in your synod, you are eligible for election to the board. Please consider the possibility of serving a three-year term. Nominations are scheduled for Monday afternoon.



Monday, February 29, 2016

Annual report for members of LEIRN

Dear Members of LEIRN,

Again this year we are asking all Bishop's Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Representatives to complete a short report about ministries and happenings in your synod. The report provides information that is not systematically collected by other means, offering valuable data about the ecumenical and inter-religious life of the ELCA. I encourage you to schedule a time to speak with your bishop soon to discuss the information requested in the report.

The link below will open the report form in your browser. Simply answer the questions and click "submit" when you are done. There is no need to print and email a copy to anyone. The form is even more streamlined than previous versions, so it should not take long to complete. I know it is a full time of year, especially for those in parish ministry, but if you can complete the report by April 1, it will be appreciated, as it will allow us to discuss pertinent insights at the National Workshop on Christian Unity.


Also remember that registration for the National Workshop is now open at nwcu.org. If you would like to share a room to help reduce your expenses, send your name and email address to erinfo@elca.org.

Thank you for your leadership in ecumenical and inter-religious work!

Sincerely,

Rev. Chris Olkiewicz
LEIRN President

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Register today for NWCU!







































As promised, the full brochure and schedule for the 2016 National Workshop on Christian Unity is now available here . . .  Registration is also open at nwcu.org. Register soon!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

"Engaging Others, Knowing Ourselves" resources now available







Dear Lutheran Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Representatives,

In 2016 and beyond, as we engage in the ongoing Reformation, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton is inviting the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to participate in an ongoing conversation about our church’s inter-religious calling and commitments. The publication, Engaging Others, Knowing Ourselves: A Lutheran Calling in a Multi-Religious World, is provided as a resource. http://www.lutheranupress.org/Books/Engaging_Others_Knowing_Ourselves

As you know, LEIRN is being called upon to provide leadership in partnership with your bishops and synod leaders in lifting up this resource, and helping our churches and ministries engage with it in their settings. A PDF of the manuscript, which is currently being published, has been sent to all LEIRN members via email. Please do not share this with others; it is intended for your preparation for this leadership. You will receive your complimentary hard copy of the book at the National Workshop on Christian Unity in Louisville in April if you are present, or shortly thereafter by post if you are not.

We invite you to become familiar with the book and with the attached PowerPoint templates, which will be discussed in depth at the annual meeting of LEIRN during the National Workshop. One provides an introduction to the book, including its background, content, and ideas for engaging with the text in a variety of settings. This will be a helpful tool for you or others to provide leadership at synod assembly workshops and other settings where groups are being introduced to the resource as they consider its possible use in their ministry settings. The second provides an in-depth review of the content and discussion questions for each chapter. This will be a helpful tool for groups that are reading the book together. Together with the specific recommendations on pp. 180-185, regarding “Ways to Use this Book,” this second template can be used to develop a thematic and/or multi-session approach. Both PowerPoint templates are also available under the resource tab above.

If you have not already done so, please then reach out to your bishop to make yourself available for leadership of workshops or other educational sessions in 2016 and beyond. Synod Bishops have been kept up to date, and they will be receiving an introduction as well as a hard copy of the book at the Conference of Bishops meeting in early March.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. Our emails are listed below. You can also find a link suitable for sharing with others at http://www.elca.org/en/Faith/Ecumenical-and-Inter-Religious-Relations/Inter-Religious-Relations/Case-Studies This webpage includes the PowerPoint and the link to online ordering through Lutheran University Press. Thank you for participating in this important ELCA-wide conversation. We invite your continued prayers and leadership along the way.

In Christ,

Kathryn M. Lohre
Assistant to the Presiding Bishop and Executive, Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations
Kathryn.Lohre@elca.org 

Rev. Chris Olkiewicz
President, Lutheran Ecumenical and  Inter-Religious Representatives Network
revchris@whlc.org

Thursday, February 4, 2016

NWCU registration now open



Join us for the National Workshop on Christian Unity and annual meeting of the Lutheran Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Representatives Network in Louisville, KY -- April 18-21. Registration is now open. A brochure with the full workshop schedule is coming soon. More info at nwcu.org.

Monday, December 21, 2015

An important resource for members of LEIRN

Dear LEIRN Members:

No doubt many of you already have read Presiding Bishop Eaton's open letter to the Muslim American community. Now an additional resource has been compiled by the ELCA Consultative Panel on Lutheran-Muslim Relations and their academic and staff colleagues. The Panel is a group of Lutheran professors and pastors who advise the Presiding Bishop and periodically offer educational resources for this church.

The resource is intended to provide background for understanding terrorism--as well as for responding to the violent reactions and harsh anti-Muslim public speech evoked by recent terrorist attacks. The document and its linked resources draw very clear distinctions between the perpetrators of such attacks and the vast majority of Muslims around the world, including refugees, and certainly including our friends and neighbors in the U.S.A--many of whom are speaking out against these attacks, and doing so from the heart of their Islamic faith.

The document's cover page is designed also to be a stand-alone handout as needed. The remaining pages offer article digests and links to statements from leaders and groups--Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and non-religious. Members of the Panel will plan to send brief updates when appropriate.

Links to this resource document and to Bishop Eaton's letter are now included in the "Other resources" section of this blog. The material is being shared with the Conference of Bishops, seminary deans, and campus pastors.

The LEIRN Board encourages all appointed Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Representatives to be in touch with their bishops in coming days to make sure they have received the Panel resource, to ask if they have any questions about it, and to inquire whether you can be of service in making the resource available to the members of your synod. Now is the time for us to mobilize our resources as a network to mitigate anti-Islamic hate speech and violence in our communities. Please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the Panel resource and to commend it to your bishop.

Sincerely,

Chris Olkiewicz
Board President

PS -- As the Panel adds additional resources to the document, updates will be reflected here.

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