The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Divining right course

Church tested by divergent views

Consider these three articles in this issue of The Lutheran and how they lead to different ways of seeking the best for the church.

Waldorf College, Forest City, Iowa, hit such hard financial times it may sell itself to a for-profit, online Alabama-based university ("Waldorf may partner with for-profit school"). Here’s a 106-year-old ELCA-affiliated school caught up in a great recession with limited options. What had been a two-year college evolved into a four-year institution to remain viable and grow, only to be overtaken by money troubles in recent years that apparently accelerated in the current downturn.

The ELCA’s eight seminaries have already sounded the alarm about shrinking endowments that support their budgets. If that spreads to some of the other 27 ELCA-related colleges and universities, may God be with us and our schools in this hour of trial.

Grace Matters, formerly known as Lutheran Vespers, airs its last radio show on Easter ("Grace Matters canceled"). The 62-year-old public voice of the ELCA and its predecessors succumbed to a fresh look at the “strategic priorit[ies] of the churchwide organization.” ELCA units receiving mission support — donations that work their way up from congregations to synods to churchwide efforts — needed to trim $1.5 million from their 2009 budgets. Further cuts may be necessary if the bleak economic trends continue.

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February issue


Embracing diversity