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Church will stay to reclaim ELCA

by Doug Bahr, M.D. (New Braunfels, Texas, WordAlone board member)

August 5, 2005

Recently, two area churches held their first votes to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. These churches probably will join Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. In Pastor David Chancellor’s sermon to Zion Lutheran Church on June 19, he stated “by joining LCMC, Zion would be affirming its desire to get back to the Lutheran basics of scripture alone, faith alone, grace alone.” He also has said that there are “many like-minded Lutherans who have concluded that the ELCA cannot be repaired.” Sadly, he may be right.

However, my church, St. Paul Lutheran Church, New Braunfels, Texas, has decided to take a different approach to the problems within the ELCA.

During our June congregational meeting, we voted to affirm The Common Confession of faith and join the newly formed association of confessing churches within the ELCA. It is our hope that by yoking together with other ELCA congregations we will be able to have a greater influence. Together we will strive to preserve traditional Lutheran teachings. Despite our ineffective efforts as a single church, we will continue to work at both the synod and church-wide levels.

We believe that the reclamation, renewal and reformation of the ELCA will take the efforts of many congregations. We encourage you to have your church council study the common confession and join us in this association.