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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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LYO discussions questioned

Readers don't like direction youth took on sexuality, ethnicity

LYO's discussions questioned

Your recap of the Lutheran Youth Organization meeting in Atlanta (September, page 37) set a new standard for disturbing. Am I to believe the entire delegation was in lockdown as the result of a nasty comment from one individual? What kind of childish organization is this? Then the LYO supported the "blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of noncelibate individuals of all sexual orientations in committed relationships." This group has reached the pinnacle of nonjudgmentalism. The most scary aspect of this meeting is that these young lost souls are most likely the ELCA's future leaders. Move over, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There's a new trinity moving forward: diversity, multiculturalism and nonjudgmentalism.

Michael Durkin
Leechburg, Pa.


The lockdown stands as a wake-up call to all of us in the ELCA. In the constitution of virtually every ELCA congregation (model constitution C15.01) and in the ELCA constitution (20.41.02), we've been given specific instructions about dealing with individual and community conflict. The church has generally interpreted Jesus' teaching in Matthew 18:15-17 to involve three steps that begin with the opportunity for an individual to come forward privately. Secondly the individual may come before two or three of the faithful, and, finally, come before the council. The primary emphasis in this text isn't on discipline but on repeated opportunities for reconciliation. Let's not forget how to handle our conflicts as brothers and sisters in the faith.

Steve Qualben
Temple, Texas


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