I was very happy to read this article this morning and to learn that the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has decided to do the right thing.
The Lovely Mona and I were in the mountains at our place in Lewiston, California for most of June and July. The closest Episcopal Church was in Redding, about an hour away (it's usually less, but there is a lot of road work going on at this time). We didn't want to drive to Redding, and, to be honest, the last time we visited that church they weren't the most welcoming bunch. We learned that there is an ELCA Church in Weaverville, about 20 minutes from Lewiston, so we decided to attend services there.
The people at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church are very warm and very welcoming and we enjoyed worshiping with them. Plus, they have a luncheon every Sunday after services, which (I realize this is blasphemous, but what the heck) is BETTER THAN COFFEE HOUR! The first person we met was Jim Hahn, who was very friendly and welcoming. The Pastor, Reverenda Geraldine C. King, welcomed us and invited me to speak about our ministry in Panamá.
One Sunday Bishop Mark Holmerud, Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA, was visiting Holy Trinity. We enjoyed meeting him and learning about his ministry. That evening we had dinner with the Hahns and Pastor Geri.
Below are photos of the friendly Lutherans who welcomed the Episcopalian missionaries, our church family at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Weaverville, CA. As always, click on the photo to "embiggin".
Revda. Geri and Bishop Holmerud
The People of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church with their Bishop (that's the Lovely Mona over there on the left).
Everyone enjoying lunch except for some anti-social dork with his iPod