The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


For unity, look to fonts and chalices

Losses, Palestine, evolution, chaplaincy, Bible and theology stoke responses

Somewhere between "A God bent on relationship" (September, "10 Bible stories that breathe life") and "Unity: Will we ever find it?" (September, "My view") a message has been lost. I understand and lament with Steven L. Beumer over the brokenness of the church, yet I think it's a question that has been answered by the God described in Peter W. Marty's article. We may never experience true harmony in an eternal chorus of kumbaya with each other, but we have already been given the gift of unity and simply need to look in our fonts and chalices whenever we think otherwise.

The Rev. Mark T. Peterson
Brockton, Mass.

Lingering effects

The 2009 Churchwide Assembly and its controversies may be history for some, but for my congregation the effects still linger. Being a relatively small congregation, our loss of four or five families severely struck our stewardship goals. We went from black to red, and 2009 played a pivotal role in that. We have chosen to remain with the ELCA. Luckily for us, the controversy that has caused such turbulence has subsided. Yet we have not been able to replace the emptiness in the pews and the stewardship contributions of those families that left. The Lutheran's Twitter feed recently noted: "Resources strong in spite of congregation withdrawals" based on the report of the ELCA secretary. Given the focus on "bearing each other's burdens" that was a catchphrase in 2009, I'm wondering what the ELCA has done, is doing or will do for congregations in a similar position to ours.

Curtis Lanoue
Miami, Fla.

Error of omission

"Investment for positive change in Palestine" (September, "Assembly acts on memorials from synods") summarized the very balanced action taken by the Churchwide Assembly that members can be proud of. While mentioning the encouragement to "seek a deeper understanding of the conflict" and make "positive economic investments" in Palestine, the summary omitted equally important points such as the rejection of divestment and listening to the "perspectives of other faith communities."

The Rev. Karl-John N. Stone
Mifflinburg, Pa.

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February issue


Embracing diversity