The publication Stories of Faith in Action and the resources that go along with it are designed to share how important your weekly offering in your congregation is in sustaining and growing Godâs mission. The portion of your offerings that support the ELCAâs synodical and churchwide ministries is called Mission Support. The publication helps explain and answer questions about Mission Support and tell the story of those gifts in action.
LUTHERAN WITNESS, GLOBAL REACH
The ELCA is a church of three expressions: the churchwide organization, synods and congregations. However, Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director for ELCA Global Mission, maintains there is another relationship that binds us togetherâthe ELCAâs connection to the global Lutheran church through its membership in The Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
To help support the ELCAâs outreach on global social issues, the church maintains an office at the United Nations in New York City, in partnership with the LWF. Called the Lutheran Office for World Community (LOWC), it is the voice of the ELCA and the LWF at the United Nations. Its work is funded through Mission Support.
LOWCâs director is Dennis Frado, a member of St. Peterâs Lutheran Church in Manhattan, who is assisted by Christine Mangale, program director, who is from the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church in Africa. They often attend the U.N. General Assembly when itâs in session from September to December and Security Council meetings.
âOur main objective is to convey the social policy views of the ELCA and The Lutheran World Federation to the U.N.,â Frado said. âOn the other hand, we keep ELCA [congregations] informed about what the U.N. is doing on those issues. Beyond that, we bring to their attention emerging global issues.â
LOWC works, in large part, on issues related to fundamental human rights, justice, respect for international law and better standards of living for all people. It has focused recently on global migration problems.
Earlier this year, it sponsored a panel discussion on âPerspectives on Migrants: Lived Realities in Different Contexts,â which featured three experts from countries dealing with migrant issues.
LOWC monitors issues of concern to the ELCA, LWF and their partners. One of the most gratifying projects, Frado said, has been working with the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, which is dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Formed in 1973, the LOWC is rooted strongly in the ELCAâs heart for humanity, working closely in regions where human rights have been violated.