Comment by Pastor Les LCMC ex ELCA on September 12, 2019 at 12:55 pm. In its statement, the Sierra Pacific Synod specifically requests: [T]he Office of the Presiding Bishop provide materials to facilitate education among ELCA members so as to build awareness of the broad varieties of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation among God’s people, as well as to provide pastoral care insights regarding concerns and issues of the transgender experience and gender nonconformity; and to request that the Church Council consider authorizing development of a social message on gender identity and gender expression. The Greater Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is asking members to prayerfully consider service as a voting member of the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. The old line ELCA seminaries are captured by the spirit of the age and will not be around in any sense of being a seminary in a decade or less. LCMS membership has declined 2% per year during Harrison’s administration. Dr. Ron Letnes on November 8, 2019 at 7:21 am. ELCA membership decreases by 70,000 people a year, or roughly the loss of a synod per year. Yet Luther Seminary professor Dwight Zscheile recently concluded that, if current trends continue, the ELCA … The first plenary session of the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) 2019 is off to a predictably politically inoffensive start as Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton paused to “honor the nation tribes” and “celebrate the many people who first called this land home.”, The 927 voting members from the ELCA’s 65 synods gathered this week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin were invited by Eaton to “remember the tragedies” endured by Native Americans and “find inspiration in their resilience in overcoming challenges today.”. People are leaving for non-denominational churches. “The ELCA has no authority to discipline congregations; that process starts at the synod level,” a spokesperson said. The ELCA (now down to 3.4 million members from 5.2 million when they were formed just 31 years ago), wraps itself in the “it’s for the family” defense … Image credit: Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash. To say otherwise is throwing out an important part of the Gospel message. As Isaiah 40 says, “The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of our God stands forever. As does Leviticus 18 and 20 and the Sodom and Gomorrah account in Genesis, as well as Roman’s (chapter 13 to be exact) and most of the Epistles. Point 3- The Ordinantion of Women: While I think there are women that could make good pastors, again, God’s word says that is not their office to have. Comment by JR on August 8, 2019 at 9:28 am. 2 Timothy 4 is showing itself right in front of us. We must pray for our children and support our families. Votes are cast during the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee, Wis., on Aug. 8, 2019. How can we state that we will disobey law. Thus we hear about “clericalism” and we have a cover of The Atlantic calling for the abolition of clergy. It begs the question of whether hierarchical denominations can even work. A recent study from the Pew Research Center shows that spirituality and faith fall fourth in the list of sources of meaning for Americans, after family (69%), career (34%), and money (23%). Marching on a government building. My in-laws left a non-denominational mega-church in Central Illinois when it became just showing up to an auditorium and watching a video of a sermon by the head at another church. About to lose one more. The Disciples of Christ blew the rest of them out of the water, now being officially below 1.0M members. For all the energy spent on trying to turn things around over the past 40 years, there is little to show. The projection for 2050 is that membership will be only 67,000! The church needs to learn how to listen to its own members’ spiritual stories and experiences in order to help connect them with the stories of scripture and the theological tradition. We need to rediscover and reclaim the simple practices that Christians have always done–prayer, scripture study, service, reconciliation, Sabbath, hospitality, etc.–and make these the center of congregational life. ELCA Paper Projects Drastic Decline in Membership. We need to take this journey together, not in isolation. We should be encouraging them to come into our country legally and not blame ICE for doing their jobs. Many families leave after 5 years over disagreements with those pastors and their views. Mainline clergy needs to be more accountable to their congregations; they can either figure out how to make that happen or they can go extinct. The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states, Caribbean and U.S. Virgin Islands. Faith is not a priority as it once was in American culture. Comment by Scott Willi on September 1, 2019 at 11:15 pm. Encouraging breaking laws? Comment by Gordon on October 19, 2019 at 10:28 pm, My beloved ELCA has abandoned me. by Pr. We’re all supposed to discover our own meaning, purpose, identity, and community. Regional Grant Application. New projections forecast just 16,000 in worship across the entire ELCA by 2041. Divine presence and agency seem implausible for many people, even as we are haunted by echoes of transcendence. Another memorial from the Sierra Pacific Synod notes society’s “paradigm shift as it regards its understanding of biological sex, gender, identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation” and recommends the development of a social statement on gender identity and gender expression. There aren’t many young people replacing those who are passing away in the UMC & I suspect it’s probably the same in other mainline Protestant denominations young people either don’t attend church anymore or they attend non-denominational churches which don’t liberal lunacy, but instead teach The Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. Chapter 3 goes on further still about the roles of deacons. Evangelical Lutheran. Point 1- Homosexuality: 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 10 speak clearly about the consequences of homosexual behavior. Among the most notable measures are memorials addressing gun violence and gun policy, immigration, and gender identity. Key insights from leading scholars and practitioners. You’re the NRA’s chaplains. The assembly received greetings from several ecumenical and interreligious guests prior to considering—and adopting—“A Declaration of Inter-religious Commitment.” Voting … I trust the critical folks above will be in conversation so we can heal the divide. Thanks for covering this. For a long time, the church has been out of practice at telling a story to its own members and to its neighbors that sets it apart from other organizations. The dismantling of the inherited congregational and denominational structures may be the work of the Holy Spirit, the work of the devil, or just the byproduct of the end of the Age of Mobilization (when Americans organized themselves into voluntary societies to get things done) and the rise of the Age of Authenticity (when Americans looked inward to discover and express their true self). The figures reflect the downward trend that had plagued the majority of American mainline … ... December 2019. So pathetic. The ELCA leaders are leading their flock over the cliff. We proclaim forgiveness of sin and demand discipleship. The irony- if the gospel of Jesus Christ and the whole of scripture were exposited from the pulpits of churches that proclaim a Christian foundation, God would be at work in the hearts of many. As one who left the UMC in April the attendance is no better. Christian communities need to harness skills of agile leadership, stewardship, social entrepreneurism, and management. Copyright ©2020 Luther Seminary. Children are a gift from God. I am a clergy in the ELCA. The ELCA might as well throw in the towel and simply become party precinct committees and give up the pretense of being churches. One pastor, stood up and correctly used John 14 citing that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Point 2 -The Virgin Birth: Again, rather than following what Scripture says,the ELCA takes a liberal position in letting people believe what they want. 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