Saturday, September 4, 2010

INTERVIEW - UK archbishop says pope not fishing for Anglicans

From Reuters-

The leader of the Catholics in England in Wales rejected accusations that Pope Benedict was fishing for converts and said "delicate and difficult" issues existed between his church and the Anglican Communion.

His comments come two weeks before Pope Benedict's four-day trip to England and Scotland, the first papal visit since John Paul II's pastoral visit in 1982 and the first-ever official papal visit to Britain.

Relations between the two churches have been tense since the pope offered disaffected Anglicans opposed to their church's ordination of women and homosexual bishops the chance to convert to Rome while keeping some of their traditions.

"There are delicate, difficult issues between our two churches at the moment," Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, head of the 5.2 million Catholics in England and Wales, told Reuters.

More here-

Church's 'Undie Sunday' a success

From CT-

At first, the idea of "Undie Sunday” unsettled some members of St. Mary's Episcopal Church. Tighty-whiteys and the Lord's house, after all, are not a natural fit.

"Some of the older people were saying, 'How can you talk about underwear in church?' But once they realized there was such a need, everyone got around it,” church member and collection organizer Lelia Druzdis said.

Billed as "a project we can get behind,” the collection of new briefs, boxers and panties took off, and laundry baskets in the church narthex quickly filled. By the end of July, St. Mary's members had collected about 1,200 pairs of underwear for homeless and needy men, women and children, Druzdis said. People also gave other items, including bras, and the Manchester BJ's Wholesale Club and Target store donated gift cards.

At the annual Cruisin' on Main event Aug. 1, the church — touting the theme "What's under the hood?” — made a high-profile handover to Manchester Area Conference of Churches Charities.

Read more:

MARYLAND: Bishops issue call to welcome the 'other' in pastoral letter on immigration

From ELO-

The bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland have issued a pastoral letter addressing the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

The Sept. 2 letter, titled Welcoming the Stranger, is intended to be posted or read in Episcopal congregations in Maryland "to remind all of us of the biblical values and imperatives that should guide our treatment of newcomers and sojourners," the bishops say.

In a summary of the formal document, the bishops said, "In a world on the move, we need to learn to welcome the stranger, to embrace the 'other.' The moral principles of the Episcopal faith lead us to value every individual, to value family ties and seek to preserve families, and to cry out for justice for all people."

Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton, in a Sept. 2 statement supporting the pastoral letter, said: "My brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, Jesus is in our midst today. Jesus is working in our fields, cleaning our houses, emptying our bedpans and mowing our lawns. He's also excelling in schools, attending colleges and universities, doing groundbreaking research in laboratories, transplanting our hearts and kidneys, and paying our taxes. And by the way, he's sitting in our pews, and partaking of the Holy Eucharist with the whole community of faith. What should we do with this immigrant Jesus ... this stranger? Welcome him ... welcome him ... welcome him."

More here-

Friday, September 3, 2010

African bishops split over ‘ambushed’ agenda, but together on development

From The Church Times-

AFRICANS must take their destiny into their own hands and address their own problems, bishops of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) declared at the end of their week-long conference about effective leadership for sustainable development (News, 27 August).

The world must listen to the Churches’ unique voice, they say, in the first of two communiqués. One deals with the continent’s ills; the other, from the CAPA Primates, addresses the internal affairs of the Anglican Communion.

This second document, with its ringing endorsement of the conservative Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), provoked a strong reaction from the provinces of Central Africa and of Southern Africa, which said that the majority of the provinces at the conference were being “ambushed”.

The 400 bishops, meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, acknowledged in their communiqué that, while “the centre of gravity of Christianity today appears to be shifting” to Africa, “the Church’s relevance and impact on global mission and to social, economic and political trans formation of the continent remains a challenge.”

They said: “The Anglican Church in Africa must join the global movement that refuses to stay silent about the current socio-economic and political state of affairs. We should stop agonising over the de­plorable state of African under development and start organising towards a proactive, practical engagement with good governance and infra-structural development.”

More here-

How Religious Diversity Enriches Our Lives

From Newsweek-

The atheist son of nonpracticing Jews, I’m about as far from a Christian as you can get this side of paganism. And yet I love churches.

When I was a child, it was a Roman Catholic church—St. Augustine’s, the massive jumble of stone and wrought iron that takes up half the city block adjacent to that of my parents’ house in Brooklyn—that anchored my sense of place. On the return leg of car trips, St. Augustine’s spire appearing on the horizon told me we were almost home. The fence provided an outfield wall for Wiffle-ball games, and the bells chiming on the hour reminded me to get out of bed (not that it did much good).

The summer after my freshman year of college, I was showing off my neighborhood to a friend from out of town when she asked whether I had ever been inside the church. I was ashamed to admit that I had not. “Ben!” she exclaimed, with genuine horror at my lack of curiosity toward such a beautiful building that I passed every day. Ever since then I have made a point of ducking in every few years. I have stumbled upon masses in Creole for Haitian-American parishioners, and services in Spanish. I have yet to actually witness one in English, although they do occur.

More here-

San Francisco CHEFS Program Helps Homeless Learn Job Skills In The Kitchen

From Huffington Press (California)

At a San Francisco nonprofit, the word 'chefs' stands for Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Service. The culinary program run by the Episcopal Community Services trains homeless and unemployed students so that they can find stable jobs at restaurants across the city.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports groups of 40 homeless people participate in the program at a time -- undergoing an intensive three month training session, before moving on to three month internships.

"I've always loved cooking," said [graduate Steven] McDaniel, "but I never wanted to do it for a job because I always kept it for myself. Once I went to prison, I realized I had to do work I loved."
A recent graduate of the program, McDaniel has now found stable employment making bread and serving brunch at a local restaurant. He is proud to show off his new dental insurance card -- a reminder of everything he accomplished through the CHEFS program.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ronnie castigates Anglican priest

From The Daily Mail- Zambia

CHIEF Government spokesperson Ronnie Shikapwasha has castigated Anglican Priest Richard Luonde for allegedly issuing disparaging remarks against President Banda.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that President Banda has the interest of all Zambians at heart regardless of their standing in society.

Father Luonde was yesterday quoted as accusing President Banda of defending thieves and attacking donors.

The priest was quoted as saying posterity will judge President Banda harshly as it has allegedly become clear that he is more concerned about the welfare of former President Frederick Chiluba.

But Gen. Shikapwasha said Father Luonde’s statement is shocking to say the least as the church has always been known to be partners with Government.
He said it is surprising that a man of God can utter such a statement without substantiating his claims.
Gen. Shikapwasha said it is not true that President Banda is shielding Dr Chiluba.

More here-

Blessed be the tweeters, for they shall overwhelm the earth

From National Post and Canada

A Nova Scotia Anglican church is offering its congregation a chance to have members’ cellphones, laptops and other mobile technology blessed.

On Sunday, parishioners at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church in Hatchet Lake, outside Halifax, are encouraged to bring in the devices they use to conduct business and to stay in touch with the world.

Rev. Lisa Vaughn admits, however, that the powers of the blessing may be limited.

“One never knows the power of the holy spirit, but don’t count on me to fix your computer problems,” she said. “That’s why I have a husband. We’re not just blessing inanimate objects and hoping the hard drive doesn’t crash, we’re also blessing the hands that use it.”

The church tries for a modern flair. Every Sunday night, the church has live rock music as well as slide shows and video presentations. It currently has a Facebook page and hopes to join the realm of Twitter in the near future, continuing its effort to stay relevant in a technology-heavy world, Rev. Vaughn said.

“People are really busy and Sunday mornings are tough … but that doesn’t mean people don’t want to stay connected [to the church], so we try in as many ways as possible to stay connected to them,” she said. “Yes, [gadgets] can be a distraction. Yes , they can cause difficulties in families, but I think they’re wonderful tools.”

Read more:

Solar cookers to empower women of poverty and their communities

From Minnesota-

Do you want to learn about an important way to put love into action?

One way to start is by attending the fourth annual Millennium Development Goals dinner sponsored by Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, according to organizers.

Members of Holy Trinity Church chose to raise funds to purchase solar cookers for women of poverty with this year’s dinner. Last year the dinner raised money for the International Falls homeless shelter called Servants of Shelter.

The roast pork dinner with all the trimmings will be offered from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Bob Walls Memorial Union Hall in downtown International Falls. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at City Drug, The Coffee Landing, The Coffee Lane, and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Call 283-8606 to reserve tickets before the dinner. To support the cause with a gift, send it to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 170, International Falls, MN 56649. Email to and our web page is

All money collected from the dinner effort minus the cost of food will be sent to Episcopal Relief and Development — the national relief agency of the Episcopal Church of America. It provides relief and development funds to people of poverty globally and in the United States. ERD will determine where solar cookers are most needed.

More here-

Episcopals (sic) sue for Stockton Church

From The Modesto Bee-

The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin has filed its ninth and final lawsuit against self-incorporated parishes that turned their backs on the national church in 2007.

This one, filed Monday, is against St. John the Evangelist church in Stockton, which is insured for $7.5 million.

St. John was one of about 40 parishes in the San Joaquin Diocese that left the Episcopal Church over issues of scriptural interpretation, such as whether Jesus is the only way to God, and whether gays should be ordained as priests and bishops.

That move set up parallel dioceses — the original diocese, headquartered in Fresno under Bishop John-David Schofield, is under the oversight of the Anglican Church in North America. The Episcopal diocese, headquartered in Modesto under Bishop Jerry Lamb, filed a lawsuit in 2008 against the the Anglican diocese and its parishes. The additional lawsuits, filed this year, were necessary to claim the property of self-incorporated parishes.

Read more:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Central Valley’s church lawsuits spread to Stockton

From California-

The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin has filed a lawsuit against the former members of St. John the Evangelist, Stockton. It’s the ninth such lawsuit the diocese has filed against its former congregations that split from the national church to align with a more conservative Anglican order.

Like the others, the Stockton litigation seeks return of property to the Diocese and its congregations that is currently occupied by former members of the Episcopal Church who have sought to affiliate with a different denomination.

Similar cases are currently pending against the former members of St. Francis, Turlock; St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest; St. John’s, Porterville; St. James, Sonora; Redeemer & Hope, Delano; St. Columba, Fresno; St. Paul’s, Visalia; and St. Paul’s, Bakersfield.

CVBT has written more than 30 stories on this topic since 2006. To access them, just click on the “search” button that’s right above our masthead and type in “Episcopal” in the search box.

Africa Report: Kenya, Conflicts at Uganda Anglican Conference

From Life Site News-

The same day, 27th, was the closing day of a one-week conference in Entebbe, Uganda's old capital on the shoes of Lake Victoria, attended by 400 bishops of the Anglican Church throughout Africa, the Indian Ocean, Singapore and south-east Asia.

The Anglican primate, Rowan Williams, was present, which brought the issues of homosexuals, and women prelates, to the fore, ahead of a host of social problems ailing Africa. Archbishop Williams was under courteous and brotherly but persistent attack from the other delegates for his "gay" stand.

Uganda's Anglican head, Archbishop Luke Orombi, compared Williams's situation to the father of a house with stubborn kids (gays) who would not allow him to sit down peacefully and eat. "Homosexuality is evil, abnormal and unnatural, as per the Bible," he said, "It is a culturally unacceptable practice, and although there is a lot of pressure, we cannot turn our hands to support it."

The Nigerian Anglican archbishop said it was a matter which takes precedence - an alien culture or biblical teachings? The provincial head of the church in the Indian Ocean said they could not afford to keep lurching from one crisis to the next; action has been taken to irrevocably shatter the Anglican Communion -which will have financial implications for the church in developing countries; and its existing structures have been unable to address the need for discipline.

The provincial heads said they were under attack by an imposed interpretation of Scripture and a foreign culture that has hindered the growth of an authentic church which could respond to the people.

More here-

Randall Giles, Episcopal missionary and ethnomusicologist, dies at 60

From ELO-

Randall Giles, composer, ethnomusicologist, and an Episcopal Church missionary in India, died Aug. 27 at a hospital in Pondicherry following a brief illness and a heart attack. He was 60.
Since July 2000, Giles had been serving as director of the Institute for Indian Christianity and the Arts, a center that he helped to found.

Based in Chennai, India, Giles "shared his love for music and liturgy in India and other parts of Asia" as a missionary of the Episcopal Church from the Diocese of Western Massachusetts for more than 10 years, explained the Rev. David Copley, mission personnel officer for the Episcopal Church.

Copley described Giles as "a faithful servant and a passionate musician [who] will be missed by all those whom he touched throughout his ministry."

Giles was involved in a project for the Episcopal Church's former department of Anglican and Global Relations to record music from various provinces of the Anglican Communion. Titled "Throughout All the World," the series explored little-known Anglican music from places such as south India and the Church of Melanesia (in the Solomon Islands).

More here-

Taylor Swift brings 'Mine' back to Maine

From Maine-

Taylor Swift rocked the Kennebunks for three days last week, filming scenes for a Country Music Television special, enjoying time out at local restaurants with her family and crew, and finally premiering the video for her new single Friday night at St. Ann's Episcopal Church on Ocean Avenue.

The premiere, which aired as a half-hour live special on CMT, was followed by a mini-concert for more than 800 fans who gathered to hear one of country music's biggest stars.

Among the concert-goers were York Police Chief Doug Bracy and his wife, Brenda, an administrator with the town's Parks and Recreation Department.

"It was awesome," Brenda Bracy said Tuesday of Swift's outdoor show. "It was quite an experience. It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing ... I couldn't believe how many people were there."

Both Brenda and Doug said they are huge country music fans who were delighted to have the chance to see Swift on a summer's evening.

The couple was about 20 feet away from the star during the show, according to Doug, who was struck by Swift's poise and her graciousness toward the people of Maine.

"She hasn't lost her compass," he said. "She gave her all, in a sense, for her fans. It was just a perfect night."

More here-

New Episcopal bishop consecrated Saturday

From Alaska-

The new Episcopal bishop for Alaska, the Right Rev. Mark Lattime, will be consecrated at a 2 p.m. ceremony Saturday at the First United Methodist Church, 725 W. Ninth Ave. The public is invited.

Lattime will be the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Alaska, which includes 50 parishes and missions, according to the diocese.

He has been the rector of St. Michael's Church in Geneseo, N.Y., since 2000 and has served as chaplain at Canterbury Fellowship and as associate rector of R.E. Lee Memorial Church in Lexington, Va.

The Alaska diocese office is in Fairbanks and that's where Lattime will be based, the diocese said.

The chief consecrator on Saturday will be the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Read more:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Glorying in the Cross

From The Living Church-

By James M. Stanton

In an age when the significance and centrality of the individual seems to be taken for granted, preaching of the cross may seem to be not only counter-intuitive but also counter-productive. It is easy to pillory or caricature the biblical story as follows: God sets up impossible commandments; his human creation cannot fulfill these commandments; God’s divine honor is thereby insulted and his honor requires vindication; because God is infinite the insult is infinite; human beings are finite and cannot pay the debt of the insult; so God sends his “Son” to die a horrible death in order to pay the debt which he himself has imposed.

Many, apparently, are trying to remove the cross from the Christian story. We are instructed by the enlightened today that Jesus is no “savior” and that humanity is not in need of saving. A whole band of New Testament scholars even questions whether Jesus died on the cross at all, claiming that there is evidence of alternative views in the early Church that do not include his death as of any significance, and that offers versions of these other — sometimes called “lost” — gospels and their implications for Christian living.

More here-

An Open Letter to the People of the Episcopal Church, the People of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, Bishop Charles E. Bennison, ...

From Good Samaritan Paoli (PA)

August 30, 2010

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

With sadness and concern we learned of Bishop Bennison’s decision to return as Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. We mourn with any young or vulnerable person; we mourn the fear and anxiety in our own diocese; we mourn damage to the proclamation of the good news; we mourn for those whose faith is shaken and for those who may not arrive at faith. We mourn that his actions, past and current, and decisions in this case bring scandal to the Church and hinder the proclamation of the good news of Christ crucified and resurrected.

More here-

Anglican Bishops in Africa Issue Communiqué

From Christian Post-

Conservative bishops in Africa issued a communiqué on Sunday, expressing concern over "progressive developments" in the West and committing themselves to tackling the social ills of their continent.

The statement came at the conclusion of a weeklong conference in Uganda, where bishops from more than 400 dioceses met to discuss the crises they face within the church and outside the church.

The bishops agreed in their communiqué that "in order to keep the ethos and tradition of the Anglican Communion in a credible way, it is obligatory" of all provinces in the global Anglican Communion to continue to observe and honor the moratoria on the ordination of partnered homosexuals, the blessing of same-sex unions, and cross-border interventions.

As previously expressed, the conservative bishops said they were "very saddened" with the recent action of The Episcopal Church in the United States to consecrate a partnered lesbian in Los Angeles. The Rev. Mary Glasspool was the second openly homosexual bishop to be consecrated in the U.S. body despite calls for restraint by the wider Communion.

Two Anglican provinces were sympathetic to the hurt and anger felt by most of the bishops in Africa. But they urged against severing ties with The Episcopal Church.

More here-

Monday, August 30, 2010

African Anglican bishops in Uganda draw a line in the sand in their final conference statement


Four hundred bishops from Africa announced today that 'business as usual' was no longer an option for the Anglican Church there and that Africans should "take their destiny into their own hands".

On the sixth and final day of the All Africa Bishops Conference in Uganda, the bishops issued a communiqué filled with commitments contesting the status quo in areas including politics, poverty reduction, violence against women, theological education and conflict.

The five-page statement was a clear challenge from the Anglican bishops of Africa to the Church, the continent and the rest of the Anglican Communion, and it pulled few punches: "While we will always be prepared to listen to voices from other parts of the global Communion, it is pertinent that the rest of the world listens to the unique voice of the Church in Africa," wrote the bishops.

"The Anglican Church in Africa has continued to witness growth so that the centre of gravity of Christianity today appears to be shifting to the continent. Nonetheless, the Church's relevance and impact on global mission and to social, economic and political transformation of the continent remains a challenge."

It was to these last items that most of the document's 'commitment' statements referred. The Church, the bishops said, needs to address the causes and effects of poverty and injustice on the people of Africa.

"We must be actively involved in working with partners at all levels to ensure equal access to medical care, food security and the promoting of good health practices to prevent the major causes of death on the continent, with particular attention to primary health care for African families, especially mothers, children and the elderly.

More here-

Apolitical Inclusion at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Hollywood

From The Living Church-

Using a two-sides-of-the-coin approach — traditional liturgy and social outreach — St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Hollywood, has found success in a transitory neighborhood and an often anti-religious culture. In the process, it has become a model for catechetical training, new-member retention and fundraising.

“If you want snobby ‘privileged at prayer’ go to Beverly Hills,” said longtime parishioner Michael Ensign. “We’re a funny little outpost at Hollywood and Gardner; a real ship of fools. But we’re clear about who we are. We’re messy and very human, but in messiness is God.”

Ensign has been at the church for 22 years. He is a career actor and veteran of too many movies and television series to list (including Big Love, CSI, and Boston Legal).

“It doesn’t feel like every other place,” Ensign said. “The incense is thick, and everybody loves to sing. We pray like Catholics and sing like Baptists. But it’s not just some esoteric Sunday morning show. St. Thomas is active. We figure, if we don’t do it here, it won’t be done. We find people are looking for what we do.”

The Traditional

St. Thomas proudly declares itself the only Anglo-Catholic parish of any size in Los Angeles. The otherworldly quality of traditional liturgy — including weekly Latin Mass with Gregorian chant — appeals to parishioners’ dramatic side. The rector, the Rev. Ian Elliott Davies, restored the altar to an eastward-facing position and celebrates Mass with his back to the congregation in lieu of “the bartending position.”

More here-

Church split follows years of infighting

From South Dakota-

Fierce fighting among some Lutherans culminated in Friday's formation of the North American Lutheran Church, the nation's newest church body. The church has strong ties to a little-known ministry in the Twin Cities and a new seminary in Brookings.

The battles have included scorching accusations of blasphemy, "devilish" behavior and the leader of a reform group declaring that last year's vote on gay clergy amounted to the biblical sign of the beast: 666.

It's not the sort of thing typically seen among Lutherans, the low-key Christians that Garrison Keillor jokes about on his radio show. They prefer to sit in back pews and project an image of grace and peace.

But the infighting has been ongoing for years among some factions within the 4.5 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the nation's largest Lutheran denomination. It's also the state's largest Protestant group, with about 115,000 members in 240 congregations in the South Dakota Synod.

Disputes within the ELCA became evident more than a decade ago, long before the denomination last year approved its policy allowing noncelibate gay clergy in committed relationships.

More here-

Katrina Volunteers Call Mississippi Home

From Fox-

Five years after Hurricane Katrina, many of the volunteers who responded to the Mississippi coast for temporary relief projects have become permanent residents.

"When I first came down, it was right after the storm," said Matt Walenciak, who originally came as part of a college volunteer project. "People have lost everything -- their houses, their cars, their jobs, even family members. And they would just welcome you with open arms. They'd scrap together whatever money they could to buy food to feed the volunteers that were down there."
The hospitality, gratitude and self-reliance exhibited by Mississippi residents in the wake of Katrina also inspired Andrew Thompson to stay on the coast, where he eventually met his wife Kathryn, a fellow volunteer.

"Seeing people who we've helped build their house turn around and want to help us with other people's houses, that was really a turning point," Mr. Thompson said. "Instead of everybody (needing) help, they're starting to help each other."

Thompson and Walenciak have been rebuilding and repairing storm-ravaged homes through Mission on the Bay, a joint program by the Episcopal and Lutheran churches to coordinate volunteers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It was one of the last remaining volunteer camps in the area. But over the weekend, Mission on the Bay will be closing its doors as well.

Read more:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Imam behind NYC mosque faces divisions over center

From AP-

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has long worked to bridge divisions, be they fissures between interfaith husbands and wives or political chasms separating the United States and the Muslim world. The 61-year-old clergyman is now in the midst of a polarizing political, religious and cultural debate over plans for a multistory Islamic center that will feature a mosque, health club and theater about two blocks north of ground zero.

He is one of the leaders of the Park51 project, but has largely been absent from the national debate over the implications of building a Muslim house of worship so close to where terrorists killed more than 2,700 people.

Though Rauf has said the center, which could cost more than $100 million, would serve as a space for interfaith dialogue, moderate Muslim practice and peaceful prayer, critics say it will create a base for radical, anti-American Islam. Some critics have also asked where the funding for the center might originate and whether it may come from sources linked to Muslim extremists.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, called the backers of the project "radical Islamists." "They're trying to make a case about supremacy" with the center, he said.

The American Jewish Committee has said that while Park51's leaders have a right to build their center, they must "fully reveal" their sources of funding and "unconditionally condemn" terrorism inspired by Islamist ideology before they can obtain the organization's support.

More here-

A no-big-deal church split

From Get religion-

I always find it curious how the media cover the Episcopal Church so differently than other denominations in America. Remember all of the stories in recent years about dioceses and parishes leaving, the property disputes and realignments? Well, another church group is facing something similar, and for related reasons. Last year the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to roster gay clergy who are in committed sexual relationships.

Not just the vote but the reasoning behind it — which more traditional Lutherans viewed as an unacceptable rejection of Scripture as the source and norm of doctrine — led a similar exodus of parishioners and congregations. At least I think it was similar, but the coverage is making me wonder if it was wildly different.

Just for example, the Minneapolis Star Tribune downplayed the departures. Here’s the headline:

Gay clergy debate: Lutherans bowed but not broken

A major fracture in the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination over gay clergy hasn’t materialized, though painful spiritual wounds remain.

So I guess I’m curious why the Episcopal Church story was such a big deal and this isn’t. Maybe it’s the numbers.

The ELCA is a much larger denomination than the Episcopal Church, even if it gets only a tiny fraction of the news coverage. The ECUSA has just over 2 million members while the ELCA has over 4.6 million. The Episcopal Church has 110 dioceses and 7100 parishes. The ELCA has only 65 synods (subdivisions) but around 10,300 congregations.

More here-