Check one:

□ The Lutheran Church in America is moving toward greater unity with other Lutheran bodies in the United States.

□ The LCA is rapidly pulling away from its more conservative sister Lutheran churches in this country.

□ The LCA is moving toward greater unity with Roman Catholics and certain liberal, non-Lutheran Protestant denominations.

Answer: Probably all three are correct, judging from action taken at the LCA’s fifth biennial convention in Minneapolis June 25–July 2.

The 695 delegates representing the 3.2 million members of the nation’s largest and most liberal Lutheran church: shattered a tradition in American Lutheranism by overwhelmingly voting to allow the ordination of women; appeared by mid-convention to be moving toward the adoption of a liberal position statement on sex, marriage, and the family that would be the first such document officially approved by a major denomination acknowledging that under exceptional circumstances sexual relations outside legal marriage may not be sinful; became the first of the three major Lutheran bodies in the United States to approve a far-reaching report on confirmation that departs from tradition by allowing communion for children before the rite of confirmation; and heard a report endorsed by a team of ten Lutheran and ten Catholic theologians expected to signal a breakthrough in ecumenical relations because it could lead to intercommunion between the two faiths for the first time since the Reformation.

Further, in authorizing a commission to analyze the function of the LCA’s structure, the convention provided that the study is to be coordinated with similar studies in the Lutheran bodies. (The Church Council of the American Lutheran Church, meeting the week before the LCA ...

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