The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Losing Lutheran

Some congregations leave denomination out of name

Is "Lutheran" a beacon that compels people into the pews? Or is it a burden, with connotations of stuffiness, aging and fast-fading connections to Northern European ancestry?

It can be either.

Just ask Dale Brand, pastor of Shepherd of the Valley, Brownsville, Texas. The church's telephone answering machine message tells the story. In English, it's called a "Lutheran church." In Spanish, it's called "iglesia cristiana," or "Christian church."

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