Faith moves, stays
Posted Online: May 01, 2010, 12:00 am
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By Leon Lagerstam, firstname.lastname@example.org
MOLINE --Faith Lutheran Church, 1611 41st St., Moline, recently voted for a second time to sever its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The 195-to-51 vote on April 18 completed procedural requirements dictated by church constitution. An earlier vote passed in mid-January, but a second vote was required after a 90-day period.
Members also approved a new constitution and by-laws, that ''other than removing synodical references, didn't really change anything,'' spokesman Bruce Dalfonso said. ''We still have the same services, committees, programs, staff and mission mindedness.''
Meanwhile, a segment called ''Saving Faith'' has gone its own way.
In a statement earlier this week, Bishop Gary Wollersheim, of the ELCA's Northern Illinois Synod, said, ''we are saddened at Faith's decision to leave the ELCA, but through Christ's love, we respect the bound conscience of those persons, who, through study and prayer, have reached different conclusions.
''Despite our differences, we remain brothers and sisters in Christ,'' he wrote. ''The congregation of Faith and its leaders have been, and will continue to be, in my prayers.
Members who decided to remain in the ELCA formed a Synodically Authorized Worshipping Community under the leadership of the Rev. Joe Robb, the bishop said in the release. "This group, Saving Faith, offers the continued presence of an ELCA worshiping community for all those who desire one.''
That group has been meeting in the multi-purpose room at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1330 13th St., Moline.
The counterpart group, named ''Moving Forward WithFaith,'' says it's time to do just that, Mr. Dalfonso said.''We're now in charge of our own church, and that means we will have to do a better job of managing it ourselves.''
The church is affiliated with an organization known asLutheran Congregations In Missions for Christ, but that doesn't change the church's regular day-to-day operations, Mr. Dalfonso said.
Church leaders plan to launch a new stewardship drive soon, and are planning worship services, church education programs, vacation Bible school, confirmation classes, benevolence and 60th anniversary celebrations.