Home > Leadership, Oysters on the Half-Shell, Sanctification, Sexual Issues, Slightly Off-Topic > Centre Daily Times: New Lutheran Church denomination turns to local pastor

Centre Daily Times: New Lutheran Church denomination turns to local pastor

24 August 2010

From the Centre Daily Times, where there is more

STATE COLLEGE — The Rev. Paull Spring’s beliefs have endured more than four decades of cultural influence since his ordination in 1965.

But last August, the 72-yearold’s tolerance for change hit a tipping point when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s highest governing body voted to ordinate homosexual pastors and “recognize, support and hold publicly accountable” same-sex relationships.

Spring said the decision, which never mentions the word “marriage,” culminates a debate over human sexuality that, since the 1990s, has pressured the ELCA to reinterpret 2,000-year-old Christian doctrines.

“What is the final authority of our faith,” asked Spring, of State College. “Is it the mood of the times or is it the Bible?”

A year later, Spring holds the sole nomination for bishop, or head, of the North American Lutheran Church, a new denomination of Christianity forming in resistance to the ELCA’s decision.

For 14 years, Spring served as bishop of the ELCA’s Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod before joining the pastoral staff at Grace Lutheran Church in State College, where he worked from 2001 to 2004.

For the past five years, Spring chaired the steering committee of the Minnesota- based Lutheran CORE, a coalition established in 2005 to propagate traditional values on marriage and sexuality.

The group meets this week in Columbus, Ohio, to elect leaders and draft a constitution for the new church, which, so far, includes about 20 congregations and $1 million in startup funds, Spring said.

By the end of next year, Spring predicts membership will exceed 200 churches…

If I understand this correctly, CORE is a group of conservative Lutherans who yet remain within the mainline Lutheran Church, the ELCA.  It appears as though the NALC is in fellowship with CORE, though one remains outside and the other inside  (Hmm… we Anglicans dropped the ball on that one, imho). 

I do not know what separates the NALC from the AALC.  Perhaps it’s the woman-priest thingee.  

– Elder

  1. KarenR
    19 September 2010 at 10:52 PM

    I’m responding rather late to this, but I happened to drop by to this blog after a long abscence and I just had to comment on this Rev. Spring, who is on the pastoral staff of an ELCA church in my town, a church of which I was a member for a few years 20 some years ago. I don’t know Rev. Spring, but it pleases me that someone from that church would take such a stand. I remember it as a very liberal church, and it might just have the largest membership of any mainline Protestant church in town, so this is a heartening development. I wish the NALC the best of success, and also the more orthodox who still remain in ELCA.

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