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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Wisconsin church divides

A struggle for control of a building and a sizable endowment led to a split congregation, lawsuits and a lockout in Eau Claire, Wis. Two factions of Grace Lutheran Church have been in conflict for two years. When a proposal to leave the ELCA failed to garner the necessary two-thirds vote, the majority decided to affiliate with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. A Wisconsin judge ruled the property and endowment belongs to the minority that stayed with the ELCA. Grace's leadership, including both pastors, sited the ELCA's "theological drift" (specifically Called to Common Mission with the Episcopal Church and the 2009 sexuality votes) as their reason to leave the ELCA.


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