Your Grandfather's Church: ...may soon be on display in a museum in St. Louis. In July of this year, the Concordia Historical Institute will open a Lutheran museum on the second floor (across from the chapel) of the synod headquarters at the International Center, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road St. Louis, MO.
Museum exhibits will be organized around five themes: Martin Luther and the Reformation, Immigration to America (tracing the emigrants and missionaries who helped form the Synod in 1847), Growth in the 19th century,Global and domestic mission efforts past and present, and Challenges of the 21st century (including new media, developments in higher education, sociological factors, and ecclesiastical trends).
In addition to artifacts and writings of C.F.W. Walther, who served 17 years as the Synod's president during its early years, the museum also will feature a life figure and audio of Dr. Walter A. Maier, who helped begin KFUO radio and served as speaker for The Lutheran Hour radio program.
The museum will be open weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is open to the public. There is no admission charge, and the museum is handicapped accessible.
In Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) circles, Synod President Gerald Kieschnick has put forward the tagline "This is not your grandfather's church."

Lesbian Pastor Elected to Episcopate: On May 26, by a margin of 413 to 365, the Diocese of Stockholm in the elected Rev. Eva Brunne to the office of Bishop. Rev. Brunne will succeed The Rev. Caroline Krook who will retire in November. She is the fifth woman and the first lesbian to be elected to the episcopate in the Church of Sweden. She lives in a registered partnership with another woman and the couple has a three-year-old son.
Commenting on her election, Rev. Brunne said:
I know what it is to be questioned. I am in the lucky situation that I have power, and I can use it for the benefit of those who have none.
The May 26 ballot was the second round of voting. After the first ballot on April 21, three people lodged
appeals of the election process noting that some voters missed the opportunity to vote because polling place rules were vague. In Swedish church polity, the appeals can only be heard after the election is complete.

Ordination of First African-American Female Rabbi: On June 6, at 9AM in Cincinnati's Plum Street Temple, Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) will ordain Alysa Stanton, the first African-American woman to be ordained a rabbi.
Raised in a Pentecostal Christian family, Rabbi Stanton began her own spiritual quest at an early age and converted to Judaism during college. In 2002, Rabbi Stanton left a career as as a licensed psychotherapist in trauma and grief to enter HUC-JIR’s rabbinical program. She completed first year studies at HUC-JIR’s Jerusalem campus and completed her training at HUC-JIR’s Cincinnati campus.
On August 1, she will become the rabbi of Congregation Bayt Shalom in Greenville, North Carolina. Congregation Bayt Shalom is a Conservative congregation that is dually affiliated with the Reform movement. Rabbi Stanton is the proud mother of an adopted 14-year old daughter, Shana.

Ever More Celebrity Endorsements: As of June 3, more than half of the ELCA's sixty-five (or is it sixty-six?) synods have held their 2009 assemblies. Nevertheless, celebrity endorsers and detractors continue to come forward to express opinions of the ELCA's proposed, recommended social statement on human sexuality

Extravagance (Luxuria): Who says Lutherans don't know about Luxury? When you want to indulge yourself, nothing else says extravagance as boldly as the Official BASEBALL CAP!

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Pr. Sophie is all a-Twitter. Again.
Pr. Sophie's Tweets:

    Hot Dish Hotline: "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." What have you seen or heard that other people really need to know about? Use the Hot Dish Hotline to submit your item online.

    and its accompanying policy recommendations.
    In an item dated May 29, Betsy Carlson writing for Word Alone called our attention to a petition put forward by 5 ELCA seminarians at Luther Seminary: Petition Upholding Current ELCA Ministry Standards.
    The petition itself is a letter of protest addressed to John Brooks, Director of the ELCA News Service taking issue with the ELCA's May 6 news release Lutheran Seminarians Support Task Force Recommendation.
    To date, we have not mentioned one prominent, putative celebrity endorsement because, strictly speaking, it is not about the social statement and recommendations at all: Reconciling Lutherans is an initiative of Lutherans Concerned North America (LCNA) that encourages people to make a public commitment to help the Lutheran church to extend a genuine invitation for full acceptance and inclusion to all people. The commitment takes the form of a Covenent of Welcome which reads in part:
    As a Reconciling Lutheran, I call on the Lutheran church to extend God's extravagant welcome and a genuine invitation for acceptance and full inclusion to
    People of every age, class, color, and ethnic origin….
    People of all sexual orientations and gender identities….
    People who are single, married, divorced, separated, blessed or partnered….
    People who are temporarily-able, disabled, or of differing abilities….

    2466 people (as of June 3) have made that commitment. When we inquired, we were told that signers were "certifiably Lutheran."
    If you're worried about the polarizing effects of all the endorsing and renouncing of recent weeks, the Reconciling Lutherans might be your cup of tea.

    Lutherans, Anglicans Talking in Sweden: The third Anglican - Lutheran International Commission (ALIC) held its fourth meeting in Lilleskog, Sweden, May 20-27 under the leadership of the Most Reverend Fred Hiltz, Primate of Canada, and Reverend Dr. Cameron Harder, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon, Canada. The commission was established by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) and The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) to continue the worldwide dialogue between Anglicans and Lutherans. ALIC continues the tradition of Lutheran - Anglican dialogue begun in 1970.
    The meeting was hosted by The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), in cooperation with the Church of Sweden and the Diocese of Skara.
    The commission's previous meetings have been in Tanzania, Canada, and India. Sweden was chosen as the venue for this meeting in order to allow sustained engagement and deepening theological reflection on the theme of diakonia (service), which has emerged as the central theme for the commission's relections. The commission believes that a renewed and full understanding of diakonia will strengthen the mission and unity of the Church at every level.
    Members of the commission had numerous opportunities to work with the host church. On Ascension Day commission members joined in a traditional outdoor Swedish worship service on a hilltop in the nearby town of Alingsås, celebrated by Rev. Thomas Lundblad and accompanied by the local brass band. In the evening, there was a Eucharist in the Lutheran tradition in the Lilleskog chapel; the Rev. Dr. Christopher Meaken, who directs the Theology and Ecumenical Affairs Department of the Church of Sweden, preached and presided. Afterwards Bishop emeritus Lars-Göran Lönnemark from the Skara Diocese presided at a dinner hosted by the Church of Sweden.
    The Anglican Communion will host the next meeting of the commission in Columbus, Ohio April 17-24 2010.At that next meeting the commission will identify conclusions and recommendations for its final report.

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    Disclaimer: is not affiliated with the any other organization,and particularly none of the following: American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC), American Lutheran Publicity Bureau (ALPB), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS), Extraordinary Candidacy Project (ECP) (now defunct), Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM), Fellowship of Confessional Lutherans (FOCL),, International Lutheran Council, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), Lutherans Concerned / North America (LCNA), Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), Lutheran Lesbian and Gay Ministries (LLGM) (now defunct), Lutheran Ministerium and Synod (LMS-USA), Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML), North American Lutheran Church (NALC), Queer Lutheran Liberation Front (QLLF), Societas Trinitatis Sanctae (STS), Wingspan, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), or Word Alone.