November 12, 2022 – ORWELCA – Business Meeting!

Nominations for can be found HERE.

Join us October 14th-16th! Register by clicking on this post!
This one-day virtual event is for ALL of us, not just rostered leaders.  This event will be: A day of restA day of learningA day of delighting in what God can do in us when we come together to take seriously Christ’s call to love our neighbor as ourselves, and scripture’s challenge to heed the wisdom of the eloquent and of the “least of these” 
Our keynote speaker, Randy Woodley, PhD, is an activist/scholar, distinguished speaker, teacher and wisdom keeper who addresses a variety of issues concerning American culture, faith/spirituality, justice, race/diversity, regenerative farming, our relationship with the earth and Indigenous realities. His expertise has been sought in national venues such as Time Magazine, The Huffington Post and Christianity Today. Dr. Woodley currently serves as Distinguished Professor of Faith and Culture and Director of Intercultural and Indigenous Studies at George Fox University/Portland Seminary. Randy was raised near Detroit, Michigan and is a legal descendent of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. Randy co-hosts the Peacing it all Together podcast with Bo Sanders. Dr. Woodley and his wife are co-sustainers of Eloheh Indigenous Center for Earth Justice/Eloheh Farm, a regenerative teaching center and farm in Yamhill, Oregon. 

Keynote address: The Doctrine of Discovery and What it means for Faith in Christ Today.  Noon-2:00 pm.
Tell your friends and invite your congregation!September 199:00 am-5:30 pmSession topics include: Innovative and Online Worship IdeasOregon Synod Horizon, Values, and Stepping Stones for the FutureHealth Care and Racial Equity: What COVID-19 has RevealedAnd more!Only $25 per screen for adults over 21; under 21s are free!
The registration deadline has been extended to
12 pm September 18
New to Zoom?  Register to join a short practice session by choosing a date below!September 13th at 3pmSeptember 15th at 6pm
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds;
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Teach them to your children,
Talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,
When you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 11:18-19

September 10, 2020

Siblings in Christ’s Love,

If you haven’t been evacuated yourself, I expect most of you have a personal connection to someone who has been affected by the wildfires in Oregon, California, Washington, and Idaho (not to mention the fires in the rest of our beloved West).

Like you, I spent some of the day yesterday on the phone with colleagues and loved ones, checking in, scrutinizing fire maps, and asking, “Really? There’s fire there?!” What a great and unfortunate reminder for us all to be always ready for disaster.  Such an incredible example of our neighbors and communities looking to our church buildings and church people in time of real need!Many of you know that one of our families in Oregon Synod key leadership, Pastor Christine Core and her husband John Core, lost their home along the McKenzie River Monday evening. Please hold them in the light of Christ as they move out of shock into the reality of all that this means, along with all others who are now displaced, on alert, fighting fires, sheltering and serving others, or at risk or at work in some related, life-giving way.

Whether or not we are directly affected, we are breathing the smoke, watching the strangely beautiful-terrible sunsets, or feeling the doom of a red sky. If you are not in harm’s way, as you close your windows against the smoke, use it as a reminder of your connections to our loved ones in the midst of the fires. Or as you breathe in the smoky air, breathe in God’s love and presence and as you breathe out, send that love to the world or to others you picture in your mind. We are all held in a lap of divine love that envelopes us like the atmosphere we can now clearly see.If you are one who has been evacuated, please stay safe and feel our prayers and love holding you.

We can’t help but know we’re in this together.If you or your church are offering housing, parking lot space or direct service of any kind, please email Jan Wierma and the Oregon Synod Disaster Preparedness Team. They will be well served by learning what is the reality on the ground where you are, and how you are helping to meet the need. Even knowing a ballpark number of volunteer hours will help that team help Oregon access much needed funds with FEMA and elsewhere.

I’ve been asked by a few people where they should send money. Thank you so much for your generosity! Region One of the ELCA is creating a link to a direct support fund as we speak. You will receive more information on that very soon.

For now, I ask that you take collections in your home church, and hold onto the money until we can discern where it can be best used. Your spirit of generosity and love matters tremendously in times like this. Your prayers are being felt by our loved ones throughout the synod. Your texts and phone calls and emails mean a lot. We are Light for one another in the smoky haze.

Stay safe. Stay strong.

The Beloved is our refuge and our strength, 
a loving Presence in times of trouble. 

Therefore we will not fear
though the earth should change, 

though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 
though the waters roar and foam, 
though the mountains tremble  with its tumult. 

Psalm 46:1-3


Bishop Laurie

Resources for talking to children about racism:
Anti-Racism For Kids 101: Starting To Talk About Race
Here’s How W. Kamau Bell Talks About Race With His Kids
100 Race-Conscious things you can say to your child to advance racial justice
Article on Raising Race-Conscious Children
4 Things We Should All Teach Kids About Racism Right Now
Find more here.

In 2019, at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, voting members adopted a resolution appointed June 17 as a day of remembrance of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9—the nine people shot and killed on June 17, 2015, during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

Congregations and members of the ELCA are encouraged to use this day of penitence as a day for intentional study and prayer.

As church we are called to confess the sin of racism, condemn the ideology of white supremacy, and strive for racial justice and peace. Beyond statements and prayers, we are called to also act and respond to injustices.

The ELCA has taken this call another step further in light of current national events. In the wake of the unjust murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, conversations regarding systemic racism in our country and beyond have sparked and the ELCA invites you to sign the ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge.

A Letter from Bishop Laurie
June 2, 2020

Dear Beloved of God,

Today is the Tuesday after Pentecost. And Spirit? She is swirling! Now, as then, we stand at a tense moment in history: hearts burn and protesters pray and unexpected preachers preach and a spirit of change blows with hope. Those who serve the status quo watch, smirk, and ask, “Aren’t you just drunk, foolhardy, angry, entitled, or all of the above?”

I am a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American, the whitest denomination in the United States. I serve the Oregon Synod, perhaps the whitest synod in the ELCA. I have been long marinated in my privilege. So as I light a candle and pray for racial justice and the long-deferred dream of wholeness, I have more questions than answers:

How do you kneel on a human being’s neck for nine minutes?

How many precautions are needed before a brown or black bodied person can jog unarmed down a street?

How can the dignity of entire groups of people, in a nation, a church, a region I love so much, be so willfully overlooked for four-hundred years and counting?

How have I benefited from silence, and what does truly liberating action look like?

What would it look like for the ELCA to “take a knee”?

I don’t know. But I do know some things:

White Supremacy reigns, and it isn’t simply about individuals, it’s about systems and institutions which consistently privilege one race above all others.

Racism and white supremacy are sins. Though I am committed to an anti-racist life and learnings, having been marinated in the white supremacy of my culture and, by virtue of the color of my skin, I am racist.All people are God’s beloveds and to be able to see that we need to help center the experiences of those who’ve been marginalized and silenced for eons.  The violence we see all around us is dangerous, and yet is a response to a culture which violates, and has violated, black and brown bodies for centuries.It’s time I learned to listen. It’s time the institutions I love learn to be open to radical transformation.None of this work toward justice, peace, and transformation, which is God’s work, will be easy.

Christ’s redeeming, liberating love will lead the way if we are truly open to its capacity to be a light, set on a hill, making visible what has not been visible – the dignity of black and brown bodies, the sins of past and present racism and the transformational work ahead. Please join me in responding out of that divine mandate to courageous love in difficult times.

I ask you consider giving one month’s worth of your congregation’s mission support which would otherwise go to the Oregon Synod and donate it to a trusted local organization working toward racial justice and the dismantling of white supremacy. (List of possibilities below.) 

This will impact the synod office, yes, but it will also be sacramental; body and blood, given for the world. Pray for your neighbor. Educate yourself. Challenge racism wherever you see it. And believe in the power of Spirit to change this world.

In Christ, 

Bishop Laurie
Organizations Working Towards Racial Justice

The NAACP (The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
United Oregon Dont Shoot Pdx

SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice)Corvallis SURJ– Corvallis, OREmail: info@CorvallisSURJ.orgFacebook

SURJ PDX – Portland, OREmail: info@surjpdx.org Website Facebook

Forest Grove, OR SURJBrenda Zook FriesenEmail: surjforestgrove@gmail.com Facebook

SURJ Eugene– Eugene, OREmail: surj-info@googlegroups.com

Racial Justice in Eastern OregonEmail: saundea@eou.edu Facebook

Clackamas County SURJ-Oregon City, OregonEmail: clackamascosurj@gmail.com

Black Lives Matter
Oregon does not have a chapter yet. You could start one.

Color of Change 

ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)

Women of the ELCA Triennial Convention and Gathering POSTPONED!!!

New dates: August 3-5th, 2021 for convention and 5-8th, 2021 for gathering.

ORWELCA President’s Update

Do you have a prayer request? Contact us, and we’ll add it to our prayer lists! Use the contact us form, or email Stephanie or Dorene directly. You may leave as much or as little information as you would like.
Please know that the contact form requires some information, so if you would like to be anonymous, please choose to email one of us directly.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

It has been really hard not being able to be together with friends and family outside of our own homes during this #stayhomesavelives order.

The ELCA started the #ELCAchurchtogether campaign as a way to encourage churches to share with each other what new and innovative ways they could come up with to keep sharing the Good News!! We want to know what you have been doing at your church to keep in contact with each other.

What have you been able to accomplish while keeping up with social distancing policies? Did you make the switch to online sermons? Have you done drive thru communion?

Send us your #CoronavirusChurchChanges and we’ll share them on our Facebook. Be sure to like us on Facebook to see what everyone else is doing to keep in touch with their congregation too!