Local Lutherans attend global mission event Morris and Edith Ellison of Dalesburg Lutheran Church were among hundreds of mission-minded Lutherans who attended the Global Mission Event (GME) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) July 29-Aug. 1 at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, under the theme "Walking Together into the Next Century."
The event provided opportunities for people to learn about global and local mission, participate in Bible studies, attend a variety of workshops, hear inspirational speakers and enjoy music and food from around the world. The events are sponsored by the ELCA Division for Global Mission with the support of other ELCA units. Local volunteer committees working with the division help organize the GMEs.
Featured speakers and workshop leaders included the Rev. David M. Beckmann, an ELCA pastor who is president of Bread for the World, an ecumenical advocacy organization concerned with hunger issues, Washington, DC; Dr. Mercy Amba Oduyoye, professor and founder, Institute of Women in Religion and Culture, Trinity Theological College, Accra, Ghana; and Pauline Nygard, a young missionary who grew up in Cameroon. Nygard's parents, the Rev. Mark L. and Linda Nygard, are now missionaries in Senegal.
The Rev. Rub�n Duran, executive for congregational outreach, ELCA Division for Outreach, Chicago, led workshops and preached at the Sunday worship service.
The Global Mission Event emphasized Jubilee 2000/USA, a coalition of U.S. religious organizations � including the ELCA and Lutheran World Relief � as part of a worldwide movement to cancel the crushing international debt held by impoverished countries by the new millennium.
In addition to the plenary sessions and worship, several workshops and seminars, known as the "Global University," were highlights of the Global Mission Event. Topics at the "Global University" included Jubilee 2000/USA; the plight of refugees around the world; the changing face of Lutheranism; international volunteer opportunities; how Christianity and Islam can work together; mission work in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America; mission in the 21st century; and the "multicultural church."
GlobalFest was another highlight of the GME. It featured interactive exhibits, stage presentations, music, dance and dress from various parts of the world. GlobalFest was led by missionaries, international students and others in mission work for the church.
ELCA Global Mission Events were held in two other locations this summer: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, July 15-18 and the Marriott World Center, Orlando, FL, July 23-25.