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ELCA delegates consider budget cuts

Voting delegates to the biennial national assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America this week in Minneapolis will consider proposed cuts in the 4.6-million-member church's budgets for the next two years.

Voting delegates to the biennial national assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America this week in Minneapolis will consider proposed cuts in the 4.6-million-member church's budgets for the next two years.

Half of the approximately 2,000 people attending the assembly are voting delegates.

Besides deciding the controversial proposal to change clergy rules to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to be pastors, the delegates also will vote on several other issues, including funding the church's work.

The proposed ELCA current fund income for 2010 is $76.7 million, down 6.4 percent from the 2009 proposed budget, according to an ELCA news release. The assembly also will vote to decrease the fund income even more for 2011, to $75.8 million. The entire 2010 budget is proposed at about $95 million.

The income goal for ELCA World Hunger for next year to be voted on is $18.7 million, down from the $20 million in 2009, which was set by the 2007 assembly. The delegates in Minneapolis also are expected to set the 2011 World Hunger goal at $19 million.

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More than two-thirds of the ELCA's 65 synods have decreased giving to the national church over the past year, the ELCA reported this week.

For more information, including live video feeds from the assembly, log on to www.elca.org .

Reach Lee at (701) 780-1237; (800) 477-6572, ext. 237; or send e-mail to slee@gfherald.com .

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