Thursday, August 5, 2010

The State of the ELCA

It is a weird, weird time to be in the ELCA, and even stranger to be in seminary. It's not something that is very popular to say, but the whole denomination is in a lot of flux right now. Money is extremely tight, individuals and congregations are leaving for any number of other smaller, alphabet soup Lutheran "denominations", others are staying and waiting for better options. There's not a lot of leadership within the denomination - for those inside or outside the seminaries. This adaptation of Luther's "my conscience is bound to the Word of God" to "my conscience is bound to me and my personal opinion" has, in my personal opinion, left a lot of people scrambling.

Everybody has to say that what everybody else thinks or says is okay, even though no one actually thinks that anything other than their own opinion is, in fact, okay. There is miscommunication, distrust, suspicion, and rudeness on all sides. Seminary students and professors have to guess at each other's opinions from classroom vibes or campus rumors. Seminarians and candidacy committees play footsie with each other, trying not to talk about the thing that everyone is talking about and no one is talking about, all at once.

As a new friend of mine has been prone to say, "It all comes down to authority." Who is in charge, who is leading this bandwagon of crazy ELCA-ers, and where is that person (people?) leading us?  I wish I knew...

2 comments:

Brian said...

While you know how I feel about the whole situation, perhaps the elca's goddess can take lead of the denomination.

if you are looking for a leader, try Jesus. While he may have ascended and everything, you have the Word to guide you.

Peter Loux said...

Elizabeth of Hungary, I like your blog. Where I come from is somewhere generations ago when my people were persecuted by the Catholic church under the Edict of Nantes... Luther got it right, when the church starts promoting its business interests over the good of the scripture, all you end up with is more political garbage, and in a way, the ELCA top brass are doing the progressive religious rhetoric rather than sticking with the basics. Keep working on a solution for new leadership at the top...

Post a Comment

My Comments Policy: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23