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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Texas suit raises more questions

How is troubling information about ministry candidates handled?

The settlements and verdict in a Texas lawsuit brought against several ELCA entities may have raised more questions than it answered. Specifically, how is troubling information about ministry candidates shared among parties involved in training, examining and approving them? 

The case left leaders of one party, the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod, feeling "disappointed" and "betrayed" by Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio.

The civil suit stems from the actions of Gerald Patrick Thomas, a former ELCA pastor. In 2003 Thomas was convicted of possession of child pornography and 11 counts of sexual abuse of minors. He is serving five years in federal prison to be followed by a 397-year state sentence.


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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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