Ancestry.com recently indicated that they had updated their database which used to be titled “U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [ELCA] Church Records, 1826-1945”. It now appears to be titled “U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [ELCA] Church Records, 1826-1969.”
While researchers are always appreciative of additional records being added to a database, it’s frustrating when there is no details of these changes and when titles of published databases are changed. It is also a little frustrating when images are added to a database without any real indication of just what those images are. The ELCA database now includes something referred to as “pastoral acts” which can be accessed from the drop down menu on the main database page.
The description of the ELCA records at Ancestry.com does not appear to address these “acts.” Browsing the digitized images of the microfilmed records, they appear to be from the “Bureau of Service to Military Personnel.”
The “Social Networks and Archival Context” website appears to have information on this same Council at http://snaccooperative.org/ark:/99166/w67q36d7. The pastoral acts generally appear to have (based on my quick look through some images) been performed on or near military bases by military chaplains. The “Pastoral Acts” appear to be sorted by year and alphabetical in nature.
Comments from those who have additional clarifying information are welcomed.