The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


In search of unity

Divisions demand effort by all

This month’s issue contains several examples of how Lutherans can be of different minds on major issues yet live together. On the edge, however, looms a red state-blue state mentality replete with bombast that challenges our church.

After some two millennia of church practice, our liturgy—whether that handed down by preceding generations or contemporary alternatives—yokes us as one in the faith ("Our common work"). Then and now, in ways we may not be aware of, we share our faith with many unlike us during worship.

In Wittenberg, Germany, a recent conference took at least one unexpected turn in breaking down dividing walls ("Mighty fortresses: Visible and invisible walls"). An exchange between Palestinians and Germans on the Holy Land situation was obviously painful, yet led to a new understanding if not total agreement.

In the months and years ahead the ELCA will tackle “Book of Faith: Lutherans Read the Bible,” a consultation that grew out of a 2005 Churchwide Assembly initiative. In materials used by denominational staff in preparation for the event and letters to this magazine, the seeds for potential conflict are obvious.

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February issue


Embracing diversity