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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Heard at the hearings

“I’ve been struck by the importance of bridge-building, or perhaps, standing on the shore and shouting that we need a bridge.”

Chip Larson, Sierra Pacific Synod, on his experience with Lutheran-Jewish Dialogue and the proposed Arab and Middle Eastern Ministry Strategy.

“I like the red color.”

Bryan Anderson, Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, at the Renewing Worship hearing in response to the unveiling of the worship resource color.

“I lobbied for an orange book and I failed.”

Michael Burk, ELCA director for worship and Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa) “Go Orange!” alum, during the Renewing Worship hearing.

“Is this a Lutheran gift or is this just a Lutheran quirk? A weird little deal we have been doing for a long, long time.”

Susan Briehl, Renewing Worship panelist, responding to how some decisions were made in the new liturgy.

“The United Methodist Church brings to us a rich heritage of hymnody.... [The UMC] is bold and prophetic in justice and has something to teach us about being a public church. And I have been stretched and challenged to think about sanctification [in Southern Seminary’s relationship with United Methodists].”

Fred Reisz, president, Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C., during the hearing on interim eucharistic sharing with the UMC.

“Twenty-four percent of ELCA clergy are women, and an important group among them are ordained women of color. The Commission for Women has been the primary advocate in our church for women clergy of color. Where will that advocacy come from in the future?”

Gwen King, New England Synod, during the restructuring/governance hearing.

“I came out to my father [a Lutheran pastor] after trying reparative therapy.... He told me, ‘I just don’t understand.’ I asked, ‘Do you want to understand?’ And he told me, ‘No.’ I would hope you [at this assembly] would want to understand.”


Tim Mumm, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin at the Sexuality Studies hearing.

“People are asking me if recommendation two passes, will the ELCA bless the blessing of same-sex unions—unofficially?”

Phillip Nielsen, Nebraska Synod at the Sexuality Studies hearing.


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Older adults: Assets to our church

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