The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A ministry of reconciliation

What does that mean for our church, post-assembly?

Another Churchwide Assembly is history. The 8.4-pound workbooks carried by voting members are resting on shelves, and resolutions long since have been approved or defeated.

In news releases, the WordAlone Network says it feels voting members went too far in approving two of the three recommendations that grew out of the ELCA Studies on Sexuality. Many supporters of goodsoil.org express disappointment and pain that nothing really changed. And between those two poles exists a continuum of strong feelings, disappointments and hopes.

Other issues (worship resources and a strategy on the Middle East, for example) also showed division within the church, which can cause anger and lack of trust.

This leaves the ELCA where we’ve always been: called to be ambassadors for Christ. Called to a ministry of reconciliation. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself. ... So we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

The assembly theme, “Marked With the Cross of Christ Forever,” reminds us that we are in this together. We are all children of the same God, loved equally and lavishly, not one more than another. Because we are marked with the cross forever, we are reconciled to God.

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