An Edmond, Okla., church voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to cut ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America over the denomination's liberal direction.
In a 110-5 vote, Peace Lutheran Church agreed to leave the ELCA – the largest Lutheran denomination in the country with around 4.5 million members. This was the second and final approval needed to leave. The congregation also determined in a separate vote to affiliate with the newly formed conservative body, the North American Lutheran Church.
Peace Lutheran joins hundreds of other congregations in withdrawing from the ELCA following the body's vote in 2009 to let non-celibate gays and lesbians serve as clergy. more >>
So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. -- Matthew 28:8
Mary Magdalene and Mary walked to Jesus' grave, expecting to find death. It's understandable. Images of violence filled their minds. Thoughts of their vulnerability and mortality deadened their spirits. Death had become the defining story of their lives.
Instead of death, the women met a resurrection messenger who said, "He is not here: for he has been raised, as he said." As they hurried to tell others, the risen Jesus met them. They were changed. Now resurrection, not death, would define their lives. more >>
A retired military chaplain reminded hundreds of people at the 87th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington, D.C., on Thursday about the reason for the season.
The Rev. Darrell D. Morton, assistant for federal chaplaincy ministries to the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, delivered the invocation at the lighting in President’s Park. During the first half of the start-studded affair, he prayed, “This night as the Christmas tree is lighted, we are reminded of the light which has come into the world through your son.”
During his prayer, Morton also highlighted the plights of the homeless and the poor. more >>
Religious leaders are lending their voice to a newly launched video project, joining celebrities and political figures who assure young bullied gays and lesbians that "it gets better."
In a video message added Thursday, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America told victims of bullying that God loves them.
"I've listened with pain and shock to reports of young people taking their lives because they've been bullied and tormented for being different, for being gay or perceived to be gay, for being the people God created them to be," the Rev. Mark S. Hanson said. more >>
Three lesbian ministers were received Saturday on to the official clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Anita Hill, Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart, who were ordained at least a decade earlier, beamed wide smiles after the "rite of reception" was complete.
The three are not newcomers to the church, noted the Rev. Peter Rogness, bishop of the St. Paul synod. They are long-distance runners who have been part of the ministry for years. Only now, the ELCA is opening the door more widely and "drawing the circles of welcome more broadly," he said before hundreds of people at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul, Minn. more >>
WASHINGTON – Christian and Jewish leaders are standing with the Islamic community to condemn anti-Muslim bigotry.
At an "emergency interfaith summit" on Tuesday, a broad group of prominent religious leaders expressed deep distress and sadness against recent incidents of violence and the desecration of Islamic houses of worship.
"In recent weeks, we have become alarmed by the anti-Muslim frenzy that has been generated over the plans to build an Islamic community center and mosque at the Park 51 site near Ground Zero in New York City," the group told the media. "Our concern here is not to debate the Park 51 project anew, but rather to respond to the atmosphere of fear and contempt for fellow Americans of the Muslim faith that the controversy has generated." more >>