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Chicago (ELCA)-MR — Heather L. Feltman has been named director of Lutheran Disaster Response, a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), and director for ELCA Domestic Disaster Response, effective July 1.
"Our ELCA Domestic Disaster ministry is an intricate piece for living into the full expression of the ELCA's plan for mission. It is a great expression of being the public church at work," said Feltman.
Lutheran response to a disaster is often carried out by a local team providing emergency supplies, offering pastoral care and counseling, coordinating volunteer efforts in relief and rebuilding, and providing grants to survivors of disasters. Response is often coordinated with other interfaith and community efforts.
"Heather brings a wealth of experience and personal skills to this task, which will significantly enrich the life and ministry of the ELCA," said the Rev. Rebecca S. Larson, executive director, ELCA Division for Church in Society.
Feltman, 40, is a diaconal minister and serves as director for Lutheran Advocacy and Public Policy of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C., and director of congregational and community partnerships, Lutheran Family Services of the Carolinas, Columbia.
She has served Lutheran Family Services since 2000 and Lutheran Advocacy and Public Policy of South Carolina since 2002. From 1996 to 2000, Feltman was a director of the South Carolina State Council of Churches. She served as a board member for the ELCA Division for Church in Society, an advocacy consultant for the division from 1997 to 1999, and as preschool director of Hephatha Lutheran School, Anaheim Hills, Calif., from 1988 to 1990. Hephatha is a school of the LCMS.
In 1986 Feltman earned a bachelor's degree in social work from Illinois State University, Normal, Ill. She earned a master's degree at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, in 1999, and studied marriage and family counseling at California State University, Fullerton, Calif., in 1990. She will earn another master's degree in nonprofit management at Regis University, Denver, later this year.
Feltman and her husband, the Rev. Ron W. Feltman, a pastor of the ELCA, have one son, Seth.