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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Healthy churches

Use gospel and sacraments for diagnosis

Regarding your "In focus" section on "Healthy churches" (March, page 7, page 12, page 13, and page 14) your diagnostic criteria were all sociological, psychological, political, economic. ("Community Church is thriving. It is only 8 years old and already in its third building program.") Whatever became of a congregation's health in terms of meeting together to present and receive the gospel and sacraments? These are the main, if not the only, theological criteria for the health of a congregation, as per the Augsburg Confession, Art. 7 and 8. I'm a lay member of a "big" church that possesses all the latent illness of a "bleeding" church. I served as pastor of two "dying" churches, so here I am. Who's to say that the 25 or so attending did not receive the gospel and sacraments?

John K. Bispala
Minneapolis, Minn. (via Internet)


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April issue

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