An Interesting (and not-slightly-off-topic this time) Article Regarding NALC (Lutheran breakaway denom)
The best estimate for the eventual membership of the NALC doesn’t top 200 parishes until the end of 2011. Five hundred congregations over the next six years is also tossed around. Compare that to the 10,000 parishes with a combined membership of 4.8 million remaining in the ELCA and in any tilting contest, the windmill wins. Still, 200 parishes—that figure would make the NALC the fourth largest Lutheran synod in United States (depending on whether you are counting “associations” or “synods”—never mind, Lutherans know the difference). Fourth place prompted at least one wag to suggest a synodical motto: “Not Your Smallest Lutheran Church.”
Micro as it is, the NALC, was formed in direct response to ELCA actions a year ago voting to permit the ordination of pastors in homosexual liaisons—albeit liaisons characterized by mutuality, same-sex monogamy, and lifelong commitment. Though the first ordinations included one or two self-identified bisexuals and at least one transgendered individual (all in San Francisco this past July), the ELCA neglected to provide for any rite of union or blessing or marriage suggesting any sort of accountability for the gay clergy admitted to the ELCA roll. As for the transgendered person, best as I can dope that out, this is a guy who wants to be a woman attracted to other women. Or woman; that monogamy thing, remember?
But it isn’t all about sex. That is a hard thing to remember and it doesn’t much help when the media report only that, nor does it help when Herb Chilstrom, the first ELCA presiding bishop, says it must be about sex and traditionalist hang-ups. But as I posted a year ago, approval of homosexuality …
There’s an interesting bit of news about the ACNA and NALC towards the end of the blog article.
The NALC’s formation brought Tanzanian Bp. Benson Bagonza, Kanagwe Diocese, to Columbus, who participated in Spring’s installation. Several bishops of the new Anglican Church in North America attended as observers, along with Fr. James Massa, executive director of the USCCB secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. Also present, several pastors of the Ethiopian Lutheran Mekane Yesus Church. African Lutherans might be best described as incensed by ELCA actions. The Lutheran World Federation just completed a recent international assembly where acrimonious debate on human sexuality and the rule of Scripture was barely avoided; Africans see the NALC as someone they can do business with.
Bp. Benson Bagonza is bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania’s Karagwe Diocese.
Veddy interestingh. Be sure to read it all.