“We are not leaving the ELCA. The ELCA has left us...”
Doesn't that sound familiar? Substitute T.E.C. for ELCA and you have what many Episcopalians have been saying for years.
As an outside observer, I am not familiar with this Lutheran CORE group, but a little snooping shows that the steering committee at this time is made up of ten (8 male/2 female) "The Revs," and one "Mr.", so they are clergy top-heavy. I don't yet know if this is a good or bad thing.
I can see from the following letter from the steering committee that it does not appear that they have had any more success in their attempts at "inside strategy" than people and clergy have had in the Episcopal church.
"Over the past three years Lutheran CORE has worked for the reform of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Our chief goal has been to serve as a voice for the Word of God within the Lutheran CORE - Coalition for Reform ELCA. We have sought to maintain the Christian doctrine of marriage and the normative use of the Biblical names for the persons of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Within the ELCA we have sought to uphold both Biblical authority and Lutheran identity. To effect these reforms, we have used the constitutional structures of the ELCA – synod assemblies, churchwide assemblies, and the election processes for synodical and churchwide leaders. The results of our efforts to reform the ELCA have thus far been uneven."
"Uneven" would be an understatement.
What interested me about this meeting is the number of participants, and the fact that it appears to be more of a national gathering. I do not recall a similar large gathering by concerned Episcopalians crossing diocesan borders since the current troubles in our denomination began.
Could a large group of reasserting Episcopal lay leaders ever dare to gather together in their own convention? What good would it do?
While it is doubtful that the "inside strategy" will help rescue ELCA from it's current path, it might be good to observe their approach to the problem. We might learn something.