The sixth and final day of the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly began Aug. 10 with worship at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee.

The service featured youth and young adult leaders and was presided over by Ben Hogue, a pastor of Lutheran Church of the Reformation, Washington D.C. Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, delivered the sermon. Sue Rothmeyer, a deacon and executive for administration with the office of the secretary, was installed as secretary.

In the last plenary, voting members and guests heard a personal story from Desta Ronning Goehner, director of congregational relations at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks. On Nov. 7, 2018, a shooter murdered 13 people at a bar where university students regularly gathered. Cal Lutheran graduate Justin Meek was among those killed. Ronning Goehner lifted up the church’s commitment to ending gun violence and caring for those who grieve. Following her testimony, the assembly participated in a litany lamenting gun violence.

The assembly adopted a substitute memorial regarding healthcare benefits for churchwide employees. Remaining resolutions were deferred to the ELCA Church Council.

Those gathered gave thanks for the service of outgoing bishops and Church Council members and rejoiced in the election of new bishops. It was announced that the host city for the 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly is Columbus, Ohio. Eaton dismissed the assembly with the sending: “Go in peace! Share the good news!”

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