The 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly began its fourth day on Aug. 8 with a greeting from Agnes Abuom, the first woman and first African to serve as moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee. Speaking about the WCC campaign “Thursdays in Black: Toward a World Without Rape and Violence,” she told the assembly, “The time has come, and now is, for us as the church to reclaim our prophetic role in speaking truth to power on behalf of the victimized and vulnerable.”

Following her address, the assembly approved a resolution to endorse the WCC Thursdays in Black campaign.

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton then gave her report to the assembly, which focused on the five goals of Future Directions 2025: A thriving church; an equipping church; a welcoming church; a visible church; and a well-governed, connected and sustainable church.

Eaton told the assembly, “The church’s unique mission is to preach the gospel purely and to administer the sacraments rightly. No other institution has been called by God to this ministry. The church is God’s creation. The church is not what we do, it is not the organization we have created and maintain. The church is what God has made us: Christ’s body in the world.”

Read about the other key actions taken and considered by voting members on Aug. 8 here.

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