The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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January 18, 2006

Two pastors of different opinions about homosexuality featured in the Kansas City Star

In his most recent column, Tom Roberts of the National Catholic Reporter has a summary of an interview given by two Lutheran pastors of different opinions about homosexuality and the church.

The article refers to an interivew the two pastors, Russell Saltzman and Donna Simon, gave Kansas City Star columnist Bill Tammeus earlier this month.

An excerpt from the Kansas City Star article:

Many faith communities are in long, often bitter battles over human sexuality issues, such as whether to ordain gays and lesbians to be clergy or to bless same-sex unions.

The 4.9 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America considered those questions last summer at its annual Churchwide Assembly. In effect the ELCA left in place rules forbidding both, though it continues to welcome homosexuals into church membership.

To better understand different perspectives on these matters, The Kansas City Star recently interviewed, together, two local Lutheran pastors on opposite sides of these issues, the Rev. Russell Saltzman, pastor of Ruskin Heights Lutheran Church, and the Rev. Donna Simon, pastor of Abiding Peace Lutheran Church.

Simon is openly gay. Lutheran officials have recognized her ordination but don’t allow her to be on this Lutheran region’s official roster of clergy. The ELCA sanctioned Abiding Peace for calling an unrostered pastor but is allowing the congregation to remain in the denomination.

Read the entire article at the Kansas City Star's Web site > > >

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January 11, 2006

Family plans memorial service for hostage

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that the sister of Ronald Schulz, a North Dakota man taken hostage in Iraq, believes her brother is dead.

An excerpt:

BISMARCK, N.D. - The sister of Ronald Schulz, a North Dakota native taken hostage in Iraq, says his family believes he is dead, and a memorial service is planned.

Schulz's sister, Julie of Jamestown, said Tuesday night that U.S. officials have not confirmed Schulz's death. But she said the family identified him from two videos released earlier.

The Islamic Army of Iraq claimed last month that it had killed Schulz, 40, who was working there as an electrical contractor.

The article goes on to report that the family is planning a Saturday memorial service at St. John Lutheran Church in Jamestown, N.D.

Read the entire article at www.mercurynews.com > > >

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January 9, 2006

Eucharistic sharing featured in the Plain-Dealer

The Cleveland Plain Dealer today features a local story about Lutheran-Methodist eucharistic sharing.

An excerpt:

They sang together. They prayed together. And then several hundred Lutherans and United Methodists on Sunday shared a Communion meal together in an historic sign of unity for the region's largest mainline Protestant churches.

Lutheran Bishop Marcus Miller and United Methodist Bishop John Hopkins stood on either side of the Communion table at First United Methodist Church in Cleveland as members of their flocks approached in silent reverence.

Read the entire article at the Plain Dealer's Web Site > > >

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January 6, 2006

Twins left at Lutheran church placed with foster family

The Chicago Tribune and www.abc7chicago.com are reporting that abandoned newborn twins found at North Austin Lutheran Church on Dec. 21 have been placed with foster parents.

An excerpt from the www.abc7chicago.com story:

The newborn twins abandoned a few days before Christmas are now in the care of a foster family. Mary and Joseph were found at a church on Chicago's West Side.

The foster parents who are caring for the twins asked for help. They got it and now they need some peace. We're told the babies are on different feeding schedules, meaning the foster parents are exhausted keeping up with them and a 4-year-old. This is the story of how they got help when the babies suddenly arrived.

Read the entire article at www.abc7chicago.com > > >

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January 3, 2006

Muhlenberg College ornithologist says birds can't see windows

Ornithologist Daniel Klem, a professor at Muhlenberg college, an ELCA school in Allentown, Pa., was interviewed today on National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

An excerpt:

No one knows what birds see when they look out at the world, says ornithologist Daniel Klem, but he's sure they don't see glass. He estimates that at least 1 billion birds are killed by flying into windows every year in the United States.

"It's a very common phenomenon," said Klem. "Birds are deceived. They just don't see glass as a barrier and this is a problem for them."

Read (or listen to) the entire article at NPR's Web site > > >

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February issue


Embracing diversity