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Letters to the editor

A church without tradition is doomed Civil War, tolerance, new bishop spark viewpoints, plus two oldies

JULY 2013 • • $2.50 ® Creationcare Story 20, study guide 26

Spirit makes hearts sing 14

Theology of sand 16

Alternative community for young adults 28 New key in worship 30

My father was one of 500 German Lutheran pastors who came to America to serve immigrants. Eventually these ethnic groups spoke English and coop- erated through the National Lutheran Council. They engaged in world relief and resettlement programs. Refor- mation rallies attracted thousands of people. Many new congregations were established, and they were liturgical. We had the respect of others. One of our leaders was on the cover of Time magazine. Then came the merger. The motto was that we are a new church and we can do new things. Winter tourists from the North would say, “The only thing Lutheran about our church is the sign out front.” One of our nearby churches had 1,200 mem- bers, a school and excellent facilities. Two pastors later, it closed. It was the failure to recognize the importance of tradition as one of the foundations of

the church (January, page 22). The Rev. Paul F.W. Pieper St. Petersburg, Fla.

To be clear Just a note on Texas Lutherans before,

48 The Lutheran •

during and after the Civil War (June, page 28). At its 1861 convention, the Texas Synod confessed loyalty to all Lutherans, North and South, resolving, “Our duty is not to preach politics but the gospel.” Throughout the Civil War the Texans asserted membership in the General Synod, and expressed hope to attend meetings shortly. After the war, the Texas Synod joined the General Council in 1868, never the General

Synod, South /United Synod South. The Rev. Russell Vardell Dallas

Foundation firm The Lutheran has been in my home all my 95 years and the May issue was the “winner.” I miss the old hymns I grew up with. Some of the changes in the church disturb me, but I’m still on that

“firm foundation.” Margaret Fluke Blue Ridge, Va.

All about tolerance I would like to respond to the woman who said people are leaving the ELCA because we’ve gotten away from the teachings of Jesus (May, page 49). She objects to the sexuality issue, by which I assume she means accepting gays into pastoral positions. If she wishes to follow the teachings of Jesus, she might begin by remembering how tol- erant and accepting he was. Tolerance

is the backbone of his teachings. Richard Albright Aurora, Ill.

Count me out

Upon hearing about one of our new bishops (July, page 39), I had to write. In my seven decades I have watched a lot of changes in our world. Tak-

ing the Bible out of political offices was wrong. Removing the Bible from schools was devastating. When we decide to take the Bible out of our church, that is the last straw. Please

remove me from your mailing list. Don Andersen Wessington Springs, S.D.

More simmer the better I just read Nelson Rivera’s article on evolution (April, page 18). What a wonderful piece. We as humans can- not begin to understand the power God possesses. The Bible says he created in seven days. But he could have created everything as quickly as the snap of a finger. I like the idea of evolution. Like a good soup or a good pasta sauce, the

longer it simmers the better the taste. Dottie Longerbeam Colona, Ill.

Face-to-face with God Traveling in Sweden two years ago, I was strolling through the grounds of a Lutheran church. I found these words printed (in English) on a small sign: “The Jesuit priest Gerard Hughes has reflected on what will happen when his life is over and he meets God. He does not think that God will blame him for anything at all. Not even blame him for things that he has done wrong. God will only ask him one question. With a twinkle in the eye and full of curios- ity and expectations he will lean for- ward and ask Gerard: ‘Did you enjoy my creation?’ ” A grace-filled vision of

where God places God’s emphasis. The Rev. Avis R. Anderson Glendive, Mont.

Blasts from the past Editor’s note: Following are letters





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