A North Dakota church recently left the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, expressing concern about the ELCA’s attitude toward biotech farming. There has been concern on the part of some that an ELCA statement on genetics, which is currently in the draft stage,Â condemns GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Â But Bill Rindy of the ELCA says, “The draft does not condemn GMOs.”
The Rev. Roger Grafenstein is the new pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Moorhead. He most recently served as pastor of Hope United Methodist Church in Faribault, Minn., for 11 years.
During the past decade, Grafenstein has served as an adjunct philosophy instructor, chaired the River Valley District Committee on Ministry and served the Faribault Area Chaplains for Emergency Services program.
Grafenstein finished his undergraduate degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1986 and earned his master of divinity degree from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio in 1989.Â
Grafenstein and his wife, Chele, have two children, Amanda, 20, and Anthony, 15.
Relgion News Service offers this Q&A with Joni Eareckson Tada:
Disability advocate Joni Eareckson Tada, long known as an evangelical icon and a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic who paints with a brush between her teeth, has faced a range of challenges since a diving accident left her paralyzed in 1967.
Now sheâ€™s facing another: breast cancer.
Tada, who turns 61 on Oct. 15, is undergoing chemotherapy and recently completed a new book, â€œA Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and Godâ€™s Sovereignty.â€ Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Q: You have gone through a number of medical challengesâ€”quadriplegia, chronic pain, and now breast cancer. What are some basic lessons you have learned about suffering?
A: Itâ€™s good not to simply resign yourself to it. Itâ€™s also good not to submit or yield to it with its overtones of `Oh, poor me. I give up. I give inâ€ and not even coping or adjusting.
“A few weeks ago, Deanna Favre and Florida Pastor Shane Stanford (see video below) published a book about living through tough times.
“Her tough times, she says, included battling breast cancer, prescription drug addiction and difficulties in her marriage to Minnesota Vikingsâ€™ quarterback Brett Favre.”
Read more: http://www.divinityandbeyond.com/?p=2520
Bristol Palin said sheâ€™d like to see her mother run for the White House, calling controversial former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin â€œawesome for this country.â€
â€œI know she’s qualified to do the job,â€ Bristol Palin said in a 15-minute interview webcast live Thursday afternoon at Inforum.com.
She also talked about “Dancing with the Stars,” her work as an abstinence advocate, her son and more.
Palin, who travels to deliver a pro-life, pro-abstinence message, was in Fargo Thursday night as the featured speaker at a fundraiser for The Perry Center, a West Fargo home for unwed mothers.
Read the story and watch the full interview: http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/293976/
The European American Lutheran Association (EALA) will hold its first biennial meeting Oct. 28-30 at the Wyndham Milwaukee Hotel and Conference Center, Milwaukee. The EALA is the newest and one of six ethnic associations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
“The purpose of the EALA is to dismantle racism, white privilege and white power by recognizing and confessing our individual and corporate sin and addressing institutional racism in the church,” said Kathy B. Long, EALA president, Redmond, Wash. “We want to walk with our brothers and sisters of color together.”
Source: ELCA press release.
A mid-year budget reduction of $4.2 million in current fund spending by the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has helped the churchwide organization maintain a balance of income and spending for 2010 through Aug. 31, said Christina Jackson-Skelton, ELCA treasurer.Â However, in a report to ELCA leaders, she expressed concern about continuing declines in mission support income to the churchwide organization, down $5 million so far this year.
Source: ELCA press release.
Ballet Magnificat! tells the story of the Israelitesâ€™ deliverance from bondage in Egypt through dance in their production of â€œDeliver Us!â€ It also offers a â€œglimpse of another deliverer: Jesus Christ.â€
The performance is 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at Bethel Church, 2702 30th Ave. S. in Fargo. Tickets are $10. Children 5 and under are admitted free.
For more information, call (701) 232-4476.
In the current issue of “The Lutheran,” an ELCA publication, its editor Daniel Lehmann writes:
“Page 8 of this issue contains a 203-word article (“Another Lutheran body formed“) on the founding of another Lutheran denomination. No more, no less.
“What we have here is a classic case of schism â€” a formal division or separation in the Christian church …
“So now the NALC becomes, in the eyes of this magazine, one more Lutheran denomination. Just as the staff follows major events in the life of the LCMS, the same will be true with the NALC. The Lutheran won’t give it any special coverage just because of its heritage. This group, like Elvis, has left the building.”
Read the full editorial: http://www.thelutheran.com/article/article.cfm?article_id=9348
In a talk presented at the Sept. 22 Gospel of Life Prayer Breakfast in St. Louis, Mo., Rev. SamuelÂ Aquila, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, said, “There can be no backing away in the public square from the call to proclaim the dignity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death.”
Bishop Aquila addressed “attacks against life” in society today, including legalized abortion, euthanasia, fertility treatments that disregard the dignity of human embryos, embryonic stem cell research, “unjust distribution of resources, rampant promiscuity that diminishes the truth and meaning of human sexual intimacy, human trafficking, drug trafficking” and terrorism. He also spoke of the tragedy of professed Catholics and Christians who say they are personally opposed to abortion yet publicly support the so-called â€œrightâ€ to abortion.
Read the full press release from the Fargo Diocese: http://www.fargodiocese.org/News/PressReleases/10-09-24GospelOfLifeTalk.pdf
Read the full text of Aquila’s talk: http://www.fargodiocese.org/Bishop/Homilies/GospelOfLifeInTheChurchAndWorld.pdf