The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) may adopt a new “primary book of worship” to be used in its 10,657 congregations. The board of the Division for Congregational Ministries (DCM) forwarded a report entitled, “Renewing Worship in the ELCA,” to the Church Council of the ELCA for consideration at the 2005 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
The DCM report reviewed the process of developing new worship materials, listed a series of steps to renew worship in the ELCA, and included a rough outline of what would be in the worship book. The report also listed a “constellation” of worship materials that have been produced to supplement the new worship book.
In presenting the report, Dr. Michael Krentz, a board member from Bethlehem, Pa., noted that the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod also approved a new worship book during their July 2004 convention. Krentz presentation was made during the DCM board meeting in Oct. 15-16 at the ELCA headquarter in Chicago, Ill.,
In other business, the DCM board reviewed a draft of several international ministry strategies. The first strategy, entitled, “Many Voices, Tell the Story, Create the Vision: Build Our Future,” applied to the ELCA ministry in African Descent, African American, African National and Afro-Caribean communities.
"We are writing for the whole church, inviting the whole church to help us strengthen and grow the 240 African Descent congregations in the ELCA," said the Rev. Julius Carroll IV, director for African American ministries, in proposing the draft.
The board although reviewed the draft of “Bridges Across History, Lands and Culture” – a ministry strategy for Arab and Middle Eastern communities.
"It all started with us way back in Jerusalem," said the Rev. Bassam J. Abdallah, CMM consultant for Arab and Middle Eastern ministries. "Many in the ELCA do not know we exist," he said.
"This strategy will be very important to link our resources, so we can provide our leaders with the resources they need to lead this church," added the Rev. Khader N. El-Yateem, pastor, Salam Arabic Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, N.Y.