Many in the ELCA perceived a shift in mood and outlook at the 2011 Churchwide Assembly following two tough years of debates, congregational votes to leave the ELCA, and significant membership decline ("Report shows church giving down $1.2 billion in 2010"). Conversations shifted to getting on with the business of what it means to be a church in the 21st century.
There certainly were and still are members disturbed over the sexuality decisions of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, as well as other denominational actions. For example, William R. Korwatch of Bremen, Ala., wrote: "You write feel good articles when there are underlying issues in the ELCA that are not being properly addressed. There is little talk of the churches that have left. ... There is little talk of the loss in donations. There is little talk of the reduction of pension benefits to retired clergy."
The magazine has covered those issues and more, from a cover story in April 2010 ("Sexuality issue causes division, sadness — and hope" ) to an initial meeting between ELCA and North American Lutheran Church leaders last month ("ELCA, NALC leaders meet"). What we haven't done is fixate on the negativism inherent in controversy. We still acknowledge hard news, however.
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