The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Praise rings for traditional liturgy, hymns

Articles on inactive members, use of language draw criticism

From a retired Air Force chaplain (30 years), followed by five interim assignments, I wish to express my appreciation to The Lutheran for publishing Charles Gilmore's insightful article "Not so fast" (May). Finally, a comprehensive, cogent expression of support for the historic identity of our Lutheran church. Thank you, Dr. Gilmore, for stating what many silent seniors believe. Mea maxima culpa.

The Rev. J.F. Wilson
Beaufort, S.C.

Tradition not bad word

Thank you for publishing the article by Gilmore ("Not so fast"). I love the liturgy, old hymns and order of the Lutheran service. Tradition isn't a bad word. I grew up Presbyterian. But now when I go back to a Presbyterian church, the thing I miss most is the beautiful liturgy.

Louanne Isernhagen
St. Francis, Kan.

Think about it

The cover story on inactive members ("Inactive members," April) offered psychological, relational and situational reasons that church members drop out of active participation in church life. No mention was made of intellectual reasons. Some members may have thoughtfully concluded that they no longer find the truth claims of Christianity credible. For that segment of "the lapsed," expressions of concern and warm invitations may be ineffective, even offensive. We live in an age and society shaped by scientific critical thinking. Perhaps churches that encourage honest, searching and non-defensive appraisal of the tenets of our faith tradition will better retain some of their most thoughtful members.

Gary Pence
Oakland, Calif.

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