It’s easy — and can be watched with streaming capabilities during the various scheduled worship services and plenary sessions.
And, in between those events, the website has a number of informational pages that can be viewed anytime.
Also, there are prayers given so that everyone can pray for the work of the ELCA. As a retired person, I find this is a great way to stay connected to my church and all the issues being discussed and voted upon.
I encourage everyone to give it a try. If you are a working person or someone busy at home with family responsibilities, this web technology makes it possible for you to hear and see what’s going on.
A lot of work goes into preparing for five busy days of Churchwide Assembly. Many staff members, volunteers and dedicated people have put in hours of work so that the business of this church can be conducted efficiently in one week’s time. The local area hosts and congregations also put in a lot of effort.
The Churchwide Assembly began Monday morning, August 15, with open hearings, an afternoon plenary session, and Holy Communion at 4 p.m. Hearing the music, seeing the processional and listening to the sermon gave me a sense of “being there.” The theme is “Freed in Christ to Serve.” (See Galatians 5:1, 13 for the complete theme verses.)
How can you join as an online viewer? Go to the ELCA website, www.elca.org, and you will see a banner announcing the assembly. Click on the green bar that says “Participate now.”
This takes you to all the various segments available for viewing. Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson’s picture and three navigation tabs guide you. “Theme,” “Join Us — with the next live event’s date and time,” and ”Schedule.” These help you find the things you may be interested in watching.
During the first plenary session I noticed that I was one of 196 online viewers. Will there be more of us? I hope so! This is a way to stay informed even though we can’t all fly or drive to be there in person.
Now, if there were a way to enjoy greeting all the voting members and guests and take part in the meals (and Eucharist!), that would be even better.
Thank you to everyone who had a part in making the 2011 Churchwide Assembly available live online.
Susan Herrs Mitchell is a member of Peace Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Las Cruces, N.M.