Lutherans-Only Insurance Company Will Now Serve All Christians

Thrivent Financial drops denominational boundaries for first time in its 111-year history.

With church membership slowly declining, one Lutheran-owned and -operated insurance company will begin offering its policies to all Christians.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans announced recently that members overwhelmingly approved a measure to extend the organization's "common bond from Lutheran to Christian." Of Thrivent's 2.5 million members, 425,000 weighed in–nearly double the expected number of voters–and 72 percent of those voted in favor of the expansion.

Changes will be gradual–more like "a 50-year, (than) a five-year, plan," president Brad Hewitt told Milwaukee's Journal-Sentinel.

In the short term, though, Thrivent, which will not drop the term "Lutheran" from its official name, says "Christian friends and family of Thrivent Financial members who may not be Lutheran will feel more welcome to join the organization" by 2014.

Thrivent has been selling insurance only to Lutherans for 111 years. Considered a fraternal ...

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