After 1 percent of ELCA churches elected to cut
ties with their denomination, Immanuel Lutheran
Church in Crosby followed suit.
The August 2009 Evangelical Lutheran Church of America decision to allow non-celibate gay ministers to fill lead pastoral roles in ELCA churches created a major stir in ELCA churches nationwide. Congregations in many cases were set at odds over the change including Immanuel Lutheran Church in Crosby.
After 1 percent of ELCA churches elected to cut ties with their denomination, the Crosby church, pastored by the Rev. Paul Mattson, was left with a decision to make.
Last spring, the church held a series of formal meetings to allow its members to discuss their viewpoints on the ELCA decision. The congregation elected to move forward with a formal vote to decide whether Immanuel Lutheran would remain part of the ELCA or join another Lutheran body of churches.
After a final meeting with Bishop Tom Aitken, head of the Northeast Minnesota Synod in Duluth, to discuss Immanuel’s impending decision, the church voted on May 23 to terminate its affiliation with the ELCA.
Since the May decision the church has changed its affiliation to the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.
In November, Immanuel Lutheran Church member and retired ELCA Pastor Jim Walth led a series of conversations with Lutheran church-goers to discuss the possibility of starting a LCMC Church in Brainerd. With interest building, Walth moved forward in seeking help from Immanuel in launching the new Brainerd church.
With the full support, including financial sponsorship, of Immanuel Lutheran in Crosby, the Brainerd church held its inaugural service on Dec. 12 at the Brainerd Hotel on South Sixth Street.
SARAH NELSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5879.