ELCA Celebrates 25 Years in 2013

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is celebrating its 25th anniversary beginning January 2013. Under the theme, "Always being made new" the 4.2 million-member church will embark on a year-long reflection on the people and events that have shaped this church and the life-changing ministries across the United States and overseas.

The ELCA is the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States, with about 10,000 congregations, 65 synods and numerous churchwide ministries.

"In 25 years we have started 435 new congregations, ordained nearly 8,000 pastors, sent more than 2,000 missionaries to serve in the world, and contributed more than $350 million toward the alleviation of hunger and poverty," according to ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson.

"We are a church that is deeply rooted -- and always being made new. Our roots are in Scripture, tradition and the Lutheran Confessions, as well as in the vibrant communities and rich histories of our congregations. These roots are an ongoing source of nourishment, enabling us to be a church that is resilient, always reforming and guided by the Holy Spirit," said Hanson.

The anniversary theme is based on 2 Corinthians 5:17: "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!"

For more information about the anniversary and to view a special timeline that chronicles some of the ELCA's most significant events, visit


About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 4.2 million members in 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.