News and Updates
LUTHERAN IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE SERVICES CHANGES NAME
From the e-mail announcement: As Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service enters its 85th year, we are excited to share the beginning of an impactful new chapter in the history of our organization. On January 17, 2024, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is becoming Global Refuge. Our decision to rebrand is rooted in the massive worldwide need for compassionate support of those seeking safety. With more than 100 million people displaced by war, famine, climate change, and persecution, our mission of providing the "long welcome" is more crucial than ever. Our Board knew we needed to build a bigger table of supporters. The Global Refuge brand fittingly conveys our mission of providing safety and support to refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants from across the world. As our new identity makes us more accessible to clients, partners, and supporters, it leaves unchanged our core vision: to foster a world of just and welcoming communities, informed by our Lutheran heritage and decades of experience.
LISTENING SESSION INVITATION
At our 2022 Synod Assembly, we forwarded a memorial to the Churchwide Assembly which resulted in the Commission for a Renewed Lutheran Church (CRLC) being formed. The CRLC has been meeting and working toward outcomes outlined in the memorial. Now, they want to hear from you. The Allegheny Synod has scheduled a Listening Session on Tuesday, January 30. There are two times scheduled: 11:00 am and 7:00 pm. The Listening Session will be held via Zoom and the link will be sent to anyone who registers. This is free and open to any member of the Allegheny Synod. Register by clicking this link: https://forms.gle/SizoALuVQgBZHt91A
DRAFT SOCIAL STATEMENT AND MESSAGE OPEN FOR FEEDBACK
A draft version (Civic_Life_and_Faith_Draft.pdf (elca.org)) of the ELCA social statement on civic life and faith is now available for study and discussion. You can give feedback by filling out a survey, found here: Draft of a Social Statement on Civic Life and Faith Survey (surveymonkey.com), or by participating in a hearing. Hearings are public gatherings where participants share specific affirmations or concerns. The feedback period will be open until Sept. 30. Learn more.
A draft version (Microsoft Word - SMGVT PostedDraftText-final.docx (elca.org)) of an ELCA social message on gun-related violence and trauma is available and open for feedback until Jan. 31. Please take the time, alone or with a group, to study the message draft and share your affirmations, concerns, and suggestions via this survey form: Draft of a Social Message on Gun-related Violence and Trauma Survey (surveymonkey.com).
ELCA WORLD HUNGER LENT STUDY GUIDE AVAILABLE
ELCA World Hunger's 2024 Lent study guide expands on the Lent readings for this year, includes information about ELCA World Hunger at work in the world, and is perfect for individual study or with a group. Find the study and other resources from ELCA World Hunger here: ELCA World Hunger - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America .
SPRING CONFERENCE MEETINGS
The Allegheny Synod Deans have met and set dates for our Spring conference meetings ahead of the Synod Assembly on June 14-15. Please publicize the date, time and location of your conference meeting and ask lay people to attend. The conference meetings are open to any member of a congregation in the conference and we specifically hope that the voting members from your congregation will attend. These are the dates. Locations and times will follow soon.
April 8: Bedford Conference
April 10: Clearfield Conference
April 16: Johnstown AND Laurel Highlands Conference (Combined meeting in same location)
April 17: Blair-Huntingdon Conference
April 22: Nittany Conference
As we start to form the agenda for the Assembly, the following items will be part of the business: Election of people to serve on Synod Council, Consultation Committee and Discipline Committee; election of Churchwide Assembly voting members for the 2025 gathering; and election of a Synod Secretary. You will hear more about nominations in the coming weeks. The Synod Assembly will be held on Saturday, June 15 at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona. Friday, June 14 Synod worship will be held at Zion Lutheran in Hollidaysburg.