A Maryland church building belonging to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) may soon become a landmark.
St. Mark's Lutheran of Baltimore was deemed a candidate for landmark status due to its elegant sanctuary, which was designed by famous American architect Louis Comfort Tiffany. Lauren Schiszik, preservation planner and landmarks coordinator with Baltimore's Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, told The Baltimore Sun about the rarity of the site.
"St. Mark's is one of only a few intact Tiffany-designed interiors left in the world… a glorious example of Tiffany's vision, and it's all there," said Schiszik. more >>
Four Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregations in Iowa have opted to become a single parish, citing in local media the improved ability to carry out missions and ministry.
St. Luke Lutheran Church of Nora Springs, Rock Creek Lutheran Church, and St. John's Lutheran Church of rural Osage; and Faith Lutheran Church, Mitchell formed Cross Roads Lutheran Parish earlier this year.
The four congregations opted to become one parish in January and the process was officially started on April 16. The Revs. John Gannett and Joel Dahlen serve as the two part-time interim pastors for the four congregations. more >>
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has forged a partnership with a major family genealogy website in which the denomination will have hundreds of reels of microfilm containing church records between 1793 to 1940 digitized.
Archives.com, a website boasting 2.1 billion historical records, announced the partnership on Tuesday. The site will be digitizing the microfilm donated by ELCA, which includes millions of records on baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and funerals. These records will later be made available at Archives.com for people to search.
Julie Hill, spokeswoman for Archives.com, told The Christian Post that the ELCA was the first religious denomination to make such a partnership with the family history site. more >>
The state of Rhode Island is experiencing a decline in church attendance and an increase in church closings, according to researchers.
Although growing disaffiliation with organized religion is a nationwide trend, in Rhode Island this trend is more pronounced. According to the Pew Forum on Religious Life, Rhode Island is one of the least religious States in the Union and Gallup found that only about 30 percent of the population attends church weekly.
Juliet Bongfeldt, pastor at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Kingston, is dean over the Rhode Island Conference for the New England Synod of the ELCA. In an interview with The Christian Post, Bongfeldt said that there were many reasons for this decline. more >>
An openly gay Atlanta pastor previously removed from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and later reinstated has now been voted in by an overwhelming majority to the role of senior pastor at the biggest Lutheran church in Saint Paul, Minn.
The Rev. Bradley Schmeling, who in 2007 admitted he was in a committed same-sex relationship with Pastor Darin Easler, a former minister at the United Redeemer Lutheran Church in Zumbrota, Minn., was removed from ELCA's official clergy roster that year. His St. John's Lutheran Church in Atlanta, however, decided to keep him on as pastor despite the ELCA's decision, and he has served there since 2000.
Schmeling and Easler were reinstated in 2009 when the ELCA voted to permit gay and lesbian ministers in monogamous relationships to be on the roster. The 559-451 vote created a split within the Lutheran church, as a fraction of member churches left to start the North American Lutheran Church, which rejects openly gay clergy. more >>
While some Protestant churches deal with divisions within their congregations, one Wisconsin church will be taking its affiliation dispute to court.
About 70 members of Grace Lutheran Church of Eau Claire are asking a judge to declare their church exclusively affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
An initial vote taken by the congregation to disaffiliate from the ELCA and join the more conservative Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ failed, but in April Grace Lutheran’s church council then decided to have their church be affiliated with both groups. more >>