The 8th ELCA Churchwide Assembly, our church's highest legislative authority, gathered 1,030 voting members in Milwaukee, Aug. 10-17, under the theme "For the Healing of the World." But by midweek it was clear that the ELCA itself needs prayers for healing. The biennial event began to resemble certain family reunions of my youth.
At those midsummer gatherings, conversation was bright and convivial as we broke bread and passed the potato salad. But as the afternoon wore on we again realized that there were reasons we didn't get together more often.
We shared some DNA, but that mysterious code of identity had taken quirky twists as it interacted with other genes and histories. We recognized each other but occasionally exchanged sideways glances, wondering, "Are they family?"
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