The Conference of Bishops of the ELCA held its online meeting March 4-5. The conference, an advisory body of the ELCA, comprises 65 synod bishops, the presiding bishop and the secretary.
During the meeting, the conference reviewed an updated draft of “Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline” from the Committee on Appeals. The document describes the grounds by which officers, rostered ministers, candidates for rostered ministry, congregations and members of congregations may be subject to discipline according to the practice of this church. The document now goes to the Church Council for consideration during its spring meeting.
The conference also welcomed guest speaker Krish Vignarajah, CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), who spoke of the long legacy shared by the ELCA and LIRS in welcoming and caring for newcomers.
A panel of pastor-theologians addressed the topic of the post-pandemic church, and this address was followed by small-group conversation.
In other business, the conference:
- Received a report from Judith Roberts, ELCA senior director for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, addressing synod diversity goals. Roberts spoke of the trend toward an increase in synods that have created anti-racism teams and diversity goals. Roberts also provided the conference with information on resources to help build intercultural competence.
- Received a report from John Weit, ELCA executive for Worship, addressing how worship has been adapted during the pandemic.
- Engaged in conversation about the conference’s role in the ELCA’s Future Church design.
- Received written reports from the secretary, treasurer and other churchwide home areas, and updates from the conference’s various committees.