Lutherans help set world record by "Standing Up" against povertyOkay, the ELCA reports 4,850,776 baptized members, 2,256,700 of whom are "communing and contgributing" members of her 10,549 congregations.
by Annie Lynsen, ELCA Washington Office
More than 1,500 members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) were among the 110,332 U.S. citizens and 23.5 million people worldwide who stood up during worship Oct. 15 to fight global poverty. The "STAND UP" event set a national and global record in the Guinness World Records for the largest number of people to stand up for a cause.
Lutherans across the United States participated in the event organized as part of "ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History," in cooperation with the United Nations' Millennium Campaign. People stood together to ask their governments to take action to end poverty and inequality and meet the Millennium Development Goals. "Participation of Lutheran congregations in the STAND UP event reflects the new energy and commitment that the ONE Lutheran Campaign has generated at the local level. Our commitment as Lutherans to fighting poverty and disease in the world is part of a global movement with a common goal to end the scandal of poverty that kills," said Kim C. Stietz, ONE Lutheran Campaign coordinator, ELCA Washington Office.
More than 400 people stood up at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, and 250 stood up at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Hinsdale, Ill. Around the world, Lutherans and members of other faith traditions also organized STAND UP events. At Solor Lutheran Church in Webster, Minn., 52 people stood for a moment during worship, 14 of whom participated in a house party later that day. "At the house party, we called our representative, our senators, and our candidates and left messages asking what they've done or what they plan to do about hunger and the Millennium Development Goals," said Carrie Young, a member of Solor Lutheran Church. "We also watched the ELCA World Hunger Video, 'For Such a Time as This,' and we talked about the ONE Campaign." ONE Lutherans across the country joined with other volunteers, students and community members as a part of this movement.
In case you're wondering, the ONE Lutheran Campaign is about eradicating poverty in the world, though with this kind of "new energy and commitment," those who make up the campaign will soon be one Lutheran.
Meanwhile, in the 10 ELCA congregations of Peoria County (including Peoria, Bartonville, Chillicothe, Glasford, and Trivoli), more than 1600 people stood up last Sunday to confess the Apostles' Creed. Stop the presses!