Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Glance Back

The house is quiet.  Toni is gone until Tuesday, Daniel and Jonathan are working at Okoboji and Naomi is living and working in the Cities.  I have some projects to take care of here at home but what I've been doing for the last few hours is reading--specifically reading online about what's been going on recently in my former denomination, the ELCA.  I've got a book to read too--a memoir by Carl E. Braaten--a Lutheran Theologian who, as far as I know, is still an ELCA pastor.

There are many pastors, including Braaten, who have stayed within the ELCA while being disenchanted with the general direction of that church body.  Braaten has stayed even while being a fierce critic, one of those who has said that the ELCA is becoming a "liberal protestant" denomination rather than a "confessional Lutheran" one.

I, however, finally took the official leap and resigned from the ELCA clergy roster on May 3, 2011. I'm not alone in this.  I wasn't the first to leave and won't be the last.  Over 500 pastors have moved from the ELCA to affiliate with other Lutheran church bodies (such as the LCMC) and others are either currently unaffiliated or are still considering their options.

The reasons for my resignation are complex and are completely known only to God.  Maybe someday I'll write a book, though I'm not sure who would read it, partly because there are so many others who could write books on the same subject.  Each of us would have our own local and individual story to tell.  My own story is VERY local and personal... maybe only interesting to me and a few close friends.

I tend not to say much anymore about the ELCA.  I didn't mention it once in this blog from mid January through mid May, though I see since then I've mentioned the ELCA three times (including this post).

I think the reason I've done some looking back recently is that the time is upon us at Crossroads where we're going to need to be clear about who we are--how we relate to the other local churches, Lutherans in general and, specifically, to ELCA Lutherans--because most of the people at Crossroads have, like me, come out of that denomination--and I believe we've had very good reasons for doing so.

All that being said, there is going to be a lot going on in the ELCA this summer.  The ELCA churches of the "Southwestern Minnesota Synod" have their assembly in June and the whole ELCA has it's so-called "churchwide assembly" in AugustIf you're interested you can do some reading too... just look in google news for "ELCA"It's up to you.

If you are curious about my deeper perspective on these things or anything else, just ask.  Right now, I need to get back to my chores--and to what is ahead.

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