Posted by: smstrouse | March 30, 2013

Hanging on to Easter: from “a flailing, dying parish”

It has been a lovely, meaningful Holy Week. And I’m looking forward to a beautiful Easter Sunday. This in spite of being told that my is not only a “flailing, dying parish,” but is also “in schism . . . quite possibly from the Christian faith in general.” Funny, being told that my faith isn’t Lutheran, let alone ‘Christian,’ since the center of every worship service is – well, Christ.

I shouldn’t be either surprised or distressed by opinions, such as the one expressed in a review of Jeff Chu’s new book, “Does Jesus Really Love Me?” in which there is a whole chapter about First United’s expulsion from and return to the ELCA. The reviewer took exception to quotes by myself and our music director. I (probably mistakenly) responded to the comment, and the reviewer shot back with a critique of that. Since the exchange took place amid a book review, I decided it was inappropriate to take the issue any further. Besides, I also know that the divide between orthodox and progressive Christianity is getting ever wider. There’s really no point in arguing about it.

What I  can do is continue to be solid in my theological grounding, not  in order to “ignore it so that you may opt out of it when it serves your purposes,” but to continue in the spirit of the Reformation to bring the message of resurrection to people who might not otherwise hear it. And I mean resurrection, not just as a one-time historical event, but as something that happens all the time – in my life and everyone’s life.

I will celebrate that fact this Easter, along with Christians of all persuasions, even the ones who disagree with me and believe that my way of thinking diminishes the Church. This year, when the people of First United Lutheran Church joins together with the people of St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church for joyful worship and a bountiful Easter brunch, we will do so because we share in the same gospel of Jesus the Christ.

If my position makes me look “silly,” so be it.  Alleluia!!!



  1. […] posted March 30, 2013 by Pastor Susan […]


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