Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hooray For The ELCA!

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 Choir

The People of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church with their Bishop (that's the Lovely Mona over there on the left).

Lunch Time!

Everyone enjoying lunch except for some anti-social dork with his iPod


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good pictures.
Glad you two could visit our church.
Jim hahn

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Boy do we react alike. I´ve attended All Saints Redding (by the Sacramento River) and found it absolutely uninspiring (although it a stunning/modern building and once a lovely woman came up and greeted me as I signed the guest book, which I did semi-annually for years)...furthermore, my Father died at the rest home right next door to All Saints (which is a gorgeous wooded area of Redding) and I had requested (and made a cash ¨offering¨ in person with the Church secretary for the Priests discretionary fund) for him to be occassionally visted and given regular Communion as he was indisposed the last few months of his life. As I understand it, from my sister and the Rest Home management...nothing happened (my Dad was Baptised in the Church of England but had attended many different denominations during his lifetime).

David |Dah • veed| said...

I am glad you both found sanctuary with friendly Lutherans from the unfriendly Episcopalians!

Your experience kind of puts the lie to All Saints mission statement on their homepage.

Why were you playing with your iPod? Was someone else waiting upon you, hand & foot?

jasonbradyut said...

This is just appalling. If Luther, the late German Christian protester, would still be here…where the denomination “Lutherans” derived from, he would be stunned and completely disappointed in this horrible abomination to the Word of God and the Gospel. I totally am against this election. When God created “man” he created Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and STEVE!!! Hello people. This is a direct form of disobedience to God. And this is happening in a Church, a denomination that professes to know the Word of God???? Please, God will have to deal with you guys…and it won’t be pretty.

David |Dah • veed| said...

God will have to deal with you guys…and it won’t be pretty.

Flame on girlfriend, because Jason, that sounds so gay!

::to no one in particular::
How do these freaks find us?

Padre Mickey said...

Well, Jason; there is probably nothing we can say to change your mind; I'll just pray that you have a change of mind and heart. It seems that your God worries about sex, but the God David and I serve is more interested in what we do to bring about God's Reign. We believe that includes helping our GLBT brothers and sisters serve God in the manner God calls them.

Thanks for dropping by.

toujoursdan said...

The same bloke spammed my blog with the same message.

IT said...

Yes, he posted on every blog he could find that was positive about the ELCA (I figured this out because he got to FoJ from a Google blog search on this topic).

Sad. Perhaps he should deal with his own eye-logs.

Brad said...

Comfort yourself with this fact: the ELCA is declining faster than any other mainline Protestant denomination-down 10% in average attendance in only the past six years. Once the old Oles and Lenas in the pictures die off, you'll be down to about 2 million and shrinking and you'll only be a memory for Garison Keilor.
Face it: the fastest growing group in American religious life is "None of the Above": one fourth of those 18-30 and growing all the time.

Padre Mickey said...

David, let's be fair: we haven't visited the church in Redding in years. Perhaps they've seen the light.

I was playing with the ipod because the church had WiFi and I was trying to catch-up on emails.

Brad, as always, you're presence lights up the place! When you point out our foibles and failings, you become even more dear to everyone here. Thanks for stopping by!

Padre Mickey said...

That's your, not you're. You are many things, Brad, but you are not Presence.

Brad said...

Do the math: there are at least 45 people in the group picture-I count four under 18 years old. At least half have gray hair/glasses.
What conclusions do you draw from these facts?

Brad said...

You're right; I'd hate some idiot hanging a red light around me wherever I went.

toujoursdan said...

What conclusions do we draw? That older people convert.

33% of my parish are ex-Catholics and ex-fundies. They are picking the TEC for a reason.

Brad said...

True-but this has been going on for a while now; ex-catholics divorced/remarried and ex-fundies who've been educated/socially upscale joining your church. There was even a book about it "From Pentecostal to Episcopal" written at least 35 years ago.
Unfortunately, you're not keeping nearly enough of the children of those who join to grow, your decline just slows down.
The Anglican Church in Canada, by its own statistics, will have disappeared by 2062 if membership trends from the past 30 years are maintained. They're not leaving in horror (as Fundamentalists claim), just drifting away with indifference, returning just to get buried or married.
Basically, Anglicanism is the English-speaking world's version of Shinto: interesting historical rituals with a great deal of resonance with one nation but with little actual doctrinal content or member participation.

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