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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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We have to try

Although we used the same vocabulary to talk about multiculturalism and diversity in 1988-89, we didn't have a consensus on what those terms mean — churchwide, regionally, synodically or congregationally.

In the flush of optimism and brotherly feeling that came with the birth of the ELCA, no one wanted to engage in the confrontational dialogue needed to arrive at a working definition. Instead, we established goals for the decade ahead that kept shifting, depending upon whose definitions you used.


For some, multiethnic and multicultural are interchangeable. And if you agree with that, 3 percent non-European membership makes us multicultural, however minimal the scale.

That doesn't work for me.


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August issue

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