From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ELCA Council Endorses 'Living In God's Amazing Grace' Tag Line

Date Thu, 22 Apr 2004 13:12:32 -0500


April 22, 2004

ELCA Council Endorses 'Living In God's Amazing Grace' Tag Line

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America (ELCA) endorsed "Living in God's amazing grace" as the
tag line for the churchwide organization.  The phrase is intended to help
build the church's identity with both member and non-members.
     The council requested that the tag line be used broadly in print and
electronic materials from the churchwide organization.
     The Church Council is the ELCA's board of directors and serves as the
legislative authority of the church between churchwide assemblies.  The
council met here April 17-18.  Assemblies are held every other year; the
next is Aug. 8-14, 2005, in Orlando, Fla.
     Work done by a task force on mission funding and a mission-funding
"roundtable" proposed development of a comprehensive communication and
marketing strategy for the churchwide organization.  The Office of the
Presiding Bishop asked the ELCA Department for Communication to begin work
on the strategy which included the tag line, said the Rev. Eric C. Shafer,
director.  The department cast a "wide net" for tag line suggestions, he
      Some 350 ideas for tag lines were submitted for consideration, said
Kristi S. Bangert, director for internal church communication and
marketing, Department for Communication.  She said "Living in God's
amazing grace" was chosen because of its strong baptismal reference.  The
word "living" is dynamic and gives the phrase a "here and now feel," she
said.  "Amazing grace" was incorporated because it gives grace a context
for which people can understand it, and grace is a word that is familiar
to Lutherans, Bangert said.
     The tag line should always be used with the ELCA emblem, she said,
adding that it will be placed on many pages within the ELCA Web site.  A
specific logotype for the tag line is to be developed soon, Bangert said.
      "This is so good," said the Rev. Diane H. "Dee" Pederson, council
member, St. Cloud, Minn.  "Is there any way for congregations to embrace
this tag line as a way of showing our unity and interdependence?"
      The tag line can be used immediately by congregations on such things
as stationery, Sunday bulletins, advertising, Web sites and more, Shafer
      "I was delighted to read that.  I love the tag line," said Janet
Thompson, council member, Eagan, Minn.
      In addition to the tag line, the council was given a draft of a
"case statement" for review.  Also a part of a comprehensive communication
strategy, the statement -- or case for support -- is still in development,
Bangert explained.
      The statement is intended for use with individual donors, synod
councils and others who may be able to give significant financial gifts to
churchwide ministries, Bangert said.  The draft booklet highlights a
variety of churchwide ministries and giving opportunities for each, she
said.  Bangert said it is based on research that shows what members want
from their church and on the ELCA's strategic directions: support
congregations; grow in evangelical outreach; step forward as a public
church; deepen and extend global, ecumenical and interfaith relationships;
and develop leaders.
      Bangert said the case statement will emphasize how the church
"together" can make an impact in the lives of others. The statement will
be completed soon, she added.
      "The people in the Department for Communication keep telling me that
one of the things we have to do is keep repeating, repeating, repeating,"
said the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop. "In this statement,
we are trying to put the mission we share in common language.  It will
build interdependent unity around mission, not structure."

For information contact:
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