Saturday, August 09, 2008

Breaking Faith

From the current Chapter News page of Lutherans Concerned/Los Angeles:
Faith Lutheran, Canoga Park Votes Unanimously to Join RIC Program

In a wonderful new development for the reconciling and welcoming ministries in the Los Angeles region, Faith Lutheran Church voted unanimously at its July 6 congregational meeting to adopt an Affirmation of Welcome to LGBT people and to join the Reconciling in Christ program of Lutherans Concerned.

Pastor Wayne Christiansen is overjoyed, having worked very hard for this step for years. The congregation, which owns and operates two campuses in Canoga Park, is heavily involved in growing a new Spanish language mission, with the able ministry of Pastor Cesar Arroyo. Along with Angelica Lutheran Church in downtown Los Angeles, Faith becomes the second Latino-oriented Lutheran ministry in our region to unequivocally open its doors to lesbian and gay people. Congratulations, people of Faith!
I mentioned Faith Lutheran at the conclusion of this post a couple of months ago, though not by name. I figured that, between my homepage and the linked list of Lutheran churches whose pastors would perform a legal same-sex marriage, you could figure it out for yourself.

Meanwhile, for what's it's worth, at both of the congregations that merged into Faith Lutheran Church in the year 2000, Resurrection (where I was baptized, confirmed, and ordained) and Epiphany, homosexual Christians had been finding open doors and hearts for years before Pastor Christiansen came on the scene. But RIC isn't about "welcoming" gay and lesbian people. It's about excluding those who take seriously what the Holy Scriptures (in both Old and New Testaments) and the Church catholic have had to say about marriage and relationships -- and thus continue to ask for the theological case for the blessing of homosexual relations to be made.

Just about 3 years ago, Los Angeles Daily News staff writer Holly J. Andres opened Five Decades of Service: Congregation Plans Special Celebration for Sunday writing, "Proud to say, 'This is your grandmother's church,' Faith Lutheran Church will mark 50 years of spiritual and outreach ministry on Sunday with a special service and celebration." Frankly, even then I was no longer sure that it was "your grandmother's church" any more. ("Ghandi Day" at a Lutheran church?) Now, sadly, it is clear that it is proud to have become something else.

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