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Dear Members and Friends of LEIRN:

The National Workshop on Christian Unity fast approaches. During our LEIRN meeting on Monday afternoon we will be reflecting on the significance of the year past during which we commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. You are invited to bring something for show and tell! It might be an image, the worship folder from a local liturgy, the brochure or poster from a lecture or symposium — any physical item from a local event to give us a sense of the breadth and richness of activities from this significant year. If you prefer, you may email me a photo or file prior to the Workshop, and I will incorporate it into a slideshow to be projected during our meeting. Send any items to me at We will also ask you to say a brief word about your event.

If you are planning to register for the NWCU, be aware that registration fees and room rates increase after March 23. Act soon to take advantage of these discounts. I hope to see you n…
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Annual Meeting Preliminary Agenda

The proposed agenda for the LEIRN annual meeting is below. Anyone is welcome to attend. When we come to any items requiring a vote--board elections, for example--only appointed representatives may vote. Please note:

Board Elections The network may elect up to three new board members this year. We strive to have all regions of the ELCA represented and currently lack board members from Regions 2 and 3. Board members serve a three-year term and are eligible for reelection to a second term. Because of our shortened time for LEIRN business this year, please consider your interest in serving on the board now, and let President Chris Olkiewicz ( know before April 16, if possible. Members from all regions, not just 2 and 3, are eligible.

Annual Report We ask all LEIRN members to complete a brief online report before coming to NWCU. You may access the report at this link -- . If you are not able to come to NWCU, you are encouraged still t…

Register today for NWCU 2018

Register now for the 2018 National Workshop on Christian Unity. The Workshop is the largest gathering of its kind. Presentations and working sessions on more than a dozen current topics and issues - including moving into communion, advocacy, ministry to refugees, confronting racism, civil dialogue. Speakers include several national church body leaders: J. Herbert Nelson (Presbyterian Church USA), Bishop Ken Carter (United Methodist Church), Bishops Denis Madden and Mitchell Rozanski (Roman Catholic Church), Jim Winkler (U.S. National Council of Churches), Alyson Barnett Cowan (Canadian Council of Churches). Lisa Sharon Harper (Evangelical Covenant Church) is the 2018 Theologian-in-Residence. Take the opportunity to engage with others committed to lifting up unity in carrying out Christ's mission.

Excursions available to sites in Washington, DC, including the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. Immediately following the Workshop, plan to stay for …

Staff Report to the LEIRN Board

January 2018
…and just like that, 2017 is now in the past. We can see clearly in hindsight how the joint commemoration service and stadium events in Sweden on October 31, 2016 set the stage for a remarkable year of public acts of ecumenical relations, reconciliation, and cooperation globally, and in our local settings. Thank you, LEIRN, for your significant role in all things 2017. You have been instrumental in planning, prodding, supporting, promoting, participating in, and leading various initiatives, events, and long-term efforts. You helped this anniversary to be markedly different, and in doing so you greatly enhanced our church’s ecumenical self-understanding and witness for the future as we seek to walk together with our sisters and brothers in Christ and neighbors on the way to unity, justice, and peace. In Conflict to Communion, we are reminded that, “In view of 2017, the point is not to tell a different history, but to tell that history differently.”…
Draft Inter-Religious Policy StatementA Declaration of Our Inter-Religious Commitment: 
A Draft Policy Statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 
Invitation to Respond  You are invited to participate in responding to the Draft ELCA policy statement, “A Declaration of Our Inter-Religious Commitment.” The six-month comment period on the Draft is open from Friday, January 12, 2018 through Saturday, June 30, 2018. To participate, please download the draft document here, and respond to the online survey here. You are welcome to participate as individuals or groups. Background In 1991, the second Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted, “A Declaration of Ecumenical Commitment: A Policy Statement of the ELCA.” This document provided a common theological basis and framework for this church’s ecumenical relations. Acknowledging the important distinction between seeking unity amongst Christians and “the responsibility of the Church to enter into con…

Reformation 500 Commemoration Events

We are now posting sermons and bulletins from Reformation 500 commemoration services and events in the Reformation 500+ section above. If you have a sermon manuscript, a bulletin, or other material that you would like to share, email it to me at Let us see what you did and inspire us with your witness to Christian unity!

With thanks,

Chris Olkiewicz

Summer 2017 update

Ecumenical & Inter-Religious RelationsStaff Report to LEIRN BoardAugust 2017

Reformation Day Public Witness EventOn Reformation Day, Tuesday, October 31, Presiding Bishop Eaton will join Conference of Bishops’ Chair Bill Gafkjen, Vice President Bill Horne, and Metro DC Synod Bishop Dick Graham in co-hosting a day-long public witness event concluding with worship at Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill, DC. 

The event, “Looking Back & Called Forward: ELCA 500” will provide an opportunity to consider 500 years of Reformation through the lens of 50+ years of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, and look to the future to which Christ is calling us. Bishop Denis Madden will be among the ecumenical and inter-religious guests featured in the program. Lutheran-Jewish and Lutheran-Muslim relations will also be spotlighted, as will partnerships with the Historic Black Churches and within the ELCA toward racial justice and reconciliation.

The event is free and open to the …