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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Hard times & disappointments

The 20th century has not seen progress in every area for American Lutherans.

The period of World War I was a time of prejudice, discrimination and violence toward many U.S. Lutherans, who were put out of homes, jobs and churches because of their ethnic heritage.

Midcentury hopes for a merger of most U.S. Lutherans, including the Lutheran Church­Missouri Synod, weren't fulfilled.

Lutherans have lost ground in some areas. One of these is parish education. While excellent exceptions exist, most congregations don't have strong enough teaching programs to prepare members for discipleship in a world that is largely indifferent to faith.

The opportunities of the media revolution--film and television--have not yet been seized. Our church has only recently begun to explore these, which accounts for our marginal presence in this vital area that shapes our culture.

Lutherans have only tentatively embraced multicultural outreach as a major priority and God-given opportunity for renewal. I hope a future historian might list it among the accomplishments of our time.


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October issue

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