The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Embracing honesty can be transformative

God language, first calls, cover art, reporting prompt comments

Thank you for the introductory column and cover story (June, "All the news fit to print — or not" and "10 trends to watch"). I especially resonate to the emphasis on "reality" in honestly dealing with situations, both positive and negative, and addressing possibilities. I have served some 22 congregations as an interim pastor (trainer and consultant for our synod). Saying "the truth in love" has always gone over well, even in difficult, conflict-oriented situations. In the midst of reality we are challenged to go forward strengthened by the power of the Spirit, even when it may mean closing a congregation, letting staff members leave, or expressing love in divorce or separation situations. Resistance comes when people don't address reality. It represents a lack of faith that we aren't equipped to deal with "what is." When we embrace honesty, there can be transformation — through God's empowerment.

The Rev. Paul L. Michaelson
San Carlos, Calif.

Nothing but the facts

Barbara Jurgensen misrepresents those of us who are concerned that the Commission for a New Lutheran Church nearly voted to remove "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" from the ELCA's confession of faith (June, "The way it really was"). We have done nothing more than report the facts: that the commission nearly voted to remove God's name — the name in which we baptize — from the ELCA confession of faith. I would ask that she not misconstrue those of us who are concerned for the ELCA's doctrinal integrity.

The Rev. Paul C. Koch
Wannaska, Minn.

Getting it straight

The theology, doctrine and structure of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints aren't easy to describe. An article titled "Mormons delaying marriage" (June) described the General Conference of the LDS church as all male. The reporter apparently confused the regular all-male priesthood meeting (an important part of the General Conference) with the General Conference itself, which is open to all.

Barry Saunders
Salt Lake City, Utah

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February issue


Embracing diversity