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JULY 2018

International Women Leaders seminars unite women as modern reformers
One year ago, 22 women from nine nations gathered in Wittenberg, Germany, to take part in the sixth International Women Leaders seminar. Since 2014, almost 100 women from 40 countries have participated in these opportunities to exchange ideas and perspectives on their culture and faith, a platform where collective ideas can grow and flourish. Learn more about how you can support the International Women Leaders program today.

International youth from companion churches attend ELCA Youth Gathering

In June, the ELCA was excited to welcome youth from eight global companion churches who attended the ELCA Youth Gathering and visited their companion synods through the International Companion Program. They represented churches in Namibia, Hungary, Tanzania, Peru, Chile, Serbia, Brazil and Suriname. Learn more about ELCA companion synod relationships.


IWL scholar from Luther College receives grant from the Davis Project for Peace
Sthela Gun Holly Hanitrinirina, an ELCA International Women Leaders (IWL) scholarship recipient studying at Luther College, recently received a grant from the Davis Project for Peace for a project to promote gender equality and youth leadership in her native Madagascar. Learn more about Sthela’s project and the motivation behind it on the “He for She Madagascar is a hope for many” blog.


Why send missionaries to Australia?
In 2016, the ELCA launched a site in Australia for the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program in partnership with the Lutheran Church in Australia. In this Living Lutheran article, read about the transformative experience young adult missionaries are having through the program and how it is challenging traditional notions of mission.


LWF welcomes three new churches
At the 2018 Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council meeting, the council voted to welcome three new-member churches into the LWF: the Christ Lutheran Church (India), the United Evangelical Church en Cuba – Lutheran Synod and the Augustinian Lutheran Church of Guatemala. With these additions, the LWF now has 148 member churches in 99 countries. Read more about these new-member churches.


2017-18 YAGM cohort completes service
The 2017-18 YAGM cohort has begun their return home after completing nearly a year of service that began last August. In their final newsletters and blog posts, they have been reflecting on this challenging transition. Read one reflection on the heartbreak and hilarity of goodbyes.


Interested in having a YAGM participant visit your congregation?
This fall, three returning Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) participants will work with the ELCA to share stories of the global church and the ministries supported by Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA with congregations in their areas. If you are a congregation in or near Wisconsin, Nebraska or the Carolinas and are interested in a visit, please email


Outreach in Malaysia
The ELCA is accompanying the Lutheran Church in Malaysia in its efforts to provide food, training and education for leaders and community members of the Orang Asli villages, the indigenous communities of Malaysia. Malaysia is a majority Muslim nation, and the government withholds many rights and benefits from those who are not Muslim. Normally, anyone born in Malaysia is considered Muslim, and as such they have greater access to basic amenities, but the Orang Asli people and other first-nation communities are not included. They are not born Muslim and thus are denied basic things like access to clean water and electricity. Supporting our Orang Asli neighbors in Malaysia helps give them access to these amenities, while respecting their right to religious freedom. Learn more about this outreach initiative and donate.


Help a YAGM member reach their goal!
In mid-April, over 80 young adults were called to serve through the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program, which sends people ages 21-29 into a year of faith formation, relationship building and transformative service with our companions in 14 countries. On average, the total cost for the ELCA to support one young adult in the program is $15,000, of which the young adult is asked to raise $5,000. If you or your congregation is interested in supporting someone from your synod or who is serving with your synod’s companion church, please contact Supporters receive newsletters throughout the year of service, and it may be possible for the person to visit your congregation before service begins in mid-August.


Make gifts to the global church through your IRA
If you are 70½ or older, you can make gifts to the global church from your IRA that will help change lives all over the world. According to, “Your required minimum distribution is the minimum amount you must withdraw from your account each year. You generally have to start taking withdrawals from your IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or retirement plan account when you reach age 70½. Two important reminders: You can withdraw more than the minimum required amount; Your withdrawals will be included in your taxable income except for any part that was taxed before or that can be received tax-free (such as qualified distributions from designated Roth accounts). Contact with questions or for assistance.


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