The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


What('s) going on?

Name changes on the church sign stir conflict

Our church's new sign reads St. John Lutheran Church rather than St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church. Omitting the 's has stirred up long-simmering turmoil, but leaving evangelical out does not seem to matter. The church council approved the order for the sign, but the pastor is being blamed. People are staying away from worship. What about that apostrophe?

It's not the apostrophe's problem. No self-respecting saint would want to own a congregation. Apparently some members do. The church belongs to God, not to any saint or member. But the 's is not the issue. Scapegoating the pastor is a diversion. Your congregation's long-simmering turmoil needs to be dealt with — and directly.

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February issue


Embracing diversity