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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Schism in Lutheran church raises scriptural, financial concerns

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For the Elderton Lutheran Parish, the national church's 2009 vote to permit some gay clergy appeared to be a final sign that the denomination had pulled up its biblical roots. Last winter it left the 4.5 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for a new Lutheran body, as have seven other congregations from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod. Another four are in the process of voting to leave.

"There is no hostility toward the ELCA. Yes, it was difficult, but it was a matter of understanding who we are as children of God," said the Rev. Joyce Dix-Weiers, pastor of the two linked congregations in such a remote part of unincorporated Armstrong County that the mailing address is Shelocta, Indiana County.

"The ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people was the tip of the iceberg. The question of how the church understands scriptural authority was the crux of the problem."

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