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 >>
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is seeking to market its "brand" in a new advertising campaign.
Amid falling membership numbers, the ELCA launched television ads on Monday to spread awareness about the denomination and the hope and care it's offering to the world.
With the tag line "God's work, our hands," the television spots are being aired on national cable channels, including the Fox News channel, and other selected television markets. more >>
Three members of a task force in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have released a statement, expressing their dissent against recommendations the panel made regarding homosexuality.
"Because we firmly believe the current polices of the ELCA, when enforced, are consistent with the biblical witness, Christian moral tradition, and the view of the vast majority of Christians in the world, we refused to sign off on both the social statement and the recommendations and are submitting our dissent," the Revs. Dr. Scott Suskovic, Corinne Johnson, and Carol S. Hendrix stated, according to their post in the Lutheran Forum.
The three described themselves as the "minority voice" among the other 27 members and advisors of the ELCA Task Force on Human Sexuality. Last month, the task force released a long-awaited report acknowledging that there is neither a consensus nor an emerging one in the denomination on homosexuality while at the same time recommending that individual congregations be allowed to choose whether to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to be ordained. more >>
The nation's largest Lutheran denomination will consider allowing individual congregations to choose whether to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy, an attempt to avoid the sort of infighting that has threatened to tear other churches apart.
A task force of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recommended that course Thursday in a long-awaited report on ministry standards. The panel, however, said the church needs to clarify a number of questions before overhauling its gay clergy policy.
The report, issued at the same time as a broader church social statement on human sexuality, seeks balance on an issue dividing many Protestant churches. Both documents will be considered in August in Minneapolis at the biannual convention of the 4.7-million member denomination. more >>