The head of the largest Lutheran denomination in the nation has written a letter to 14 U.S. Jewish leaders, expressing his “sadness and concern” over the fatal shooting inside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
“It is reprehensible that such an attack occurred at this place of solemn remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust,” commented the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
“Our prayers are with the families of the guard who was killed, as well as with all those present or who work at the Museum and who will remain traumatized by this terrible event,” he added. more >>
One of the Evangelical Lutheran Church's regional synods voted on Saturday to uphold the denomination's policy banning non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy.
The South Dakota Synod voted 362-233 during its annual assembly against changing the ELCA's current ordination policy and social statements on sexuality.
The vote is a recommendation to the denomination's highest governing body which will consider proposals on homosexuality at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August. more >>
A group of Lutheran scholars and church leaders released an open letter on Tuesday urging members churchwide to reject proposals that would liberalize the denomination's stance on homosexuality.
Ahead of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Churchwide Assembly in August, the conservative group is cautioning voting members against changing the denomination's current position on same-sex blessings and the ordination of partnered gays.
"The proposals to be considered by the Churchwide Assembly this summer from the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality are perceived by some as compromises that will permit the ELCA to live faithfully with internal diversity on controversial ethical questions. The proposals are in fact no compromise," the letter states. "They clearly imply that same-sex blessings and the ordination and rostering of homosexual persons in committed relationships are acceptable within the ELCA." more >>
Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota is a congregation of the more conservative Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. It is not unusual these days to find families leaving the ELCA to join the church. However, a new member’s class at Bethlehem Lutheran is an unusual place to find young men from the ELCA’s Luther Seminary in Saint Paul. Pastor of the Church, Robert Krueger, says that he sees more ELCA students coming to his traditional and liturgical congregation. “They all have expressed a disappointment in the direction the ELCA is going, and its general disregard for the Bible as the Word of God.”
One of those seminary students, Barcon from Madagascar says, “The ELCA’s acceptance of practicing gay pastors and gay marriage would not happen in my region of the world. Even if the homosexual lifestyle is fully accepted by society, how can the Christian Church go against what is taught in the Bible? Even the un-churched know that this is not the teaching of God or of real Christianity.”
This doesn’t surprise Rev. Bill Sullivan, national service coordinator for Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, a young denomination established primarily for Churches leaving the ELCA. “For some time now we have gotten a few calls a day from congregations planning to leave the ELCA, who want to research their options.” These are mostly congregations that are planning to leave regardless of the outcome of the sexuality vote and he hears often from seminarians planning to leave the ELCA too. more >>
Evangelical Lutherans in the Eastern North Dakota Synod rejected a resolution that would allow non-celibate gay pastors.
Delegates at the synod's 22nd annual assembly in Grand Forks, N.D., voted 187-167 on Sunday to narrowly defeat the measure.
The Rev. Rebecca Miller expressed clear opposition to changing ELCA's ordination policy, which currently bans non-celibate gays and lesbians from ordination. more >>
"Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified ... has been raised." Mark 16:6
When Mary Magdalene, Mary and Salome came to the tomb, their hopes and fears intersected. They wondered aloud about the impossibly large and heavy stone that presented an obstacle to their immediate plans. Worse, what they thought lay behind the stone was unspeakably devastating. Jesus, who embodied the hope of God's promise in a fully human life, was not simply dead, but crucified - executed in the most extreme humiliation, a savage mockery of the hope that had lived with him.
But the stone was gone, the grave empty. Where they had expected to hear the silence of death's mockery, they were met by an astonishing message that the crucified one was raised from the dead, that their hope was victorious over humiliation, and that Jesus lives and is leading the way into an unexpected, surprising future with God. more >>