1.04.2012

tabernacle coup

If you were lucky enough to spent any time with me this past holiday, I probably engaged you in a discussion on how a disproportionate of bloggers are mormon.  Almost without fail, if I find a blog that is trendy, happy, encouraging, inspiring, filled with pics of beautiful people and to-die-for homes, that blog will have a little LDS button somewhere.

Over the holiday, one of my favorite bloggers used some language that leads me to believe that she is also mormon.  UGH.  While I respect their beliefs, this kinda pisses me off... in a jealous kind of way.

They've got a few things figured out and I'm racking my brains trying to think of how I can catch my ELCA religion up (that's the cool Lutherans.  in a nut shell:  we (you too) are saved by God's grace and faith is a gift).

I did a little googling and I'm not the first nonLDS blogger to notice this phenomenon.  Some of the reasons this is occuring is/may be because mormon women marry young, have husbands who hold down solid jobs, have their adorable kids while still young and energetic and need a creative outlet while staying home.  Also, they are encouraged to focus on beauty, in a non-shallow way.  So, having an Anthropologie catalog home, stylish clothes, and whipping up cool crafts is actually a manifestation of their religion.  It seems that journaling is an important aspect of their daily life, so I guess I'm not the only one who views this as their personal journal.  Finally, their church elders have ENCOURAGED them to be into social media... BRILLIANT!

There are a few Lutheran bloggers out there.  Though I've only discovered ONE who I don't rub shoulders with in real life.  I'm frustrated by this fact.  To make matters worse, of the cool, hip mama Lutherans I know, many of them are attending nonLutheran churches.  While on one level, I respect that and encourage people to connect with God in whatever way works for them.  On another level, this ticks me off (I'm fiesty this morning).  Being a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church is SO much more than attending my local church every week.  Nope, we're conquering world hunger, sending in aid workers where they are needed, teaching tolerance and hope, taking care of our neighbors (though they rarely know where we worship), etc.  It's not just one building, it's a network around the globe that is making a huge difference.

So, when people leave this network because another church has better musicians or a better youth program, I get it.  I'd love more guitars in my church.  I'd love a larger youth group.  However, I believe in the mission of the ELCA church too much to ditch.

We need to buckle down and make these things happen.  We need our church leaders to encourage social media.  Not to evangelize... we suck at that... because we're so respectful of other's faiths.  However, we need to be more visible.  We need to support each other more so that we can be stay-at-home-moms-who-blog, instead of a network of young families too busy to take the time to enjoy each other.  We need to RECOMMIT TO OUR CHURCHES and build them into the type of facility that attracts others.  What we have is so awesome, but if we don't share and grow, we will wither and die.

I was raised in my church, it is my home, my family.  However, if I was a newbie, what would entice me to stay?  Sure, people smile at me and shake my hand, but would I stick around long enough to understand the beauty and simplicity (and complexity) of the Lutheran faith?  Would I be excited about the money I give knowing how it will be used at home and abroad?  How long would I have to attend until I understood the richness of the liturgy and didn't think everyone was being robotic and/or wierd?  Though, I'm sure I would sample the fair trade chocolates and coffees we Lutherans are so addicted to (yup, most Lutheran churches have it for sale at cost).

*personal note to my mormon and non-Lutheran-church-attending-Lutheran friends:  I hope hope hope I haven't upset you.  I'd love to hear your point-of-view on all I've said.  Above all, we each need to do what is best for us and for our families.  I love you and value your friendships!

7 comments:

  1. Yes!! Thank you for saying it, but don't cheapen it all by adding "above all, we each need to do what is best for us and for our families." Because-- as a Lutheran, you know that that is NOT what is "above all. That's why the Lutheran church continues to struggle, AND that's what makes it so awesome.

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  2. And another thing: I had a conversation with some folks the other day about going to a bigger church because it has young adults. They said that half of the young adults at that church make fun of it because of it's superficial doctrine, but they continue to attend because there are young people there. Whhhhy don't they all leave together and look for somewhere more consistent with their beliefs?

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  3. Can you tell that you struck a nerve here?

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  4. Pastor says that it is a high calling to be the church! I understand your frustration. But God is in control. Lutherans are thinking, faithful, outreach people. They know that they are saved by grace and that faith is a gift of God. Even the desire to want faith is given by God! So, as Johann Sebastian Bach kept saying, "Soli Deo Gloria!" To God alone the Glory. Not us. Not the family. God alone!

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  5. As one of your "non-Lutheran-Church-attending-Lutheran Friends" I am not offended and I think your blog is excellent. Actually, I agree with everything that you wrote. I am in a situation where I do not get to go to worship with my family all of the time because of work so my husband gets to have a bigger say in that decision than I do (since he is the one taking the kids by himself when I am working). Sadly, the Lutheran church has not done a good job at making him want to go to a Lutheran church. After visiting MANY Lutheran churches we have yet to go somewhere that was family-friendly, felt like people were worshiping (instead of just reciting lines they memorized years ago), didn't expect me to start leading things right away, and showed any sort of outward focus. I know ALL of the wonderful things that the ELCA is doing around the world. Why don't most ELCA members know? I agree that I should tough it out and be a part of the solution.... honestly.... I just don't have it in me right now. 30 years of heavy church involvement and 15 years of being expected to be "up-front" leading things and teaching.... I am tired. Is it really better for my kids if I spend more time away from them because of church obligations??? That has been the expectation projected on me by Lutheran churches. We go to a big church... no one knows who I am and no one is asking me to do anything. Is this horribly wrong... YES. I know it. I am just too worn out and frustrated with the ELCA to care right now. I will come around eventually.

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  6. I'm loving these comments! THANKS!

    I meant the "above all" statement to mean, above my opinions, do what's right for you. Definitely I agree that God is above family!

    Deb, thanks for your input! I totally get what you're saying! The fact that I have to run (sprinting/dragging kids upstairs in time to sing with the choir) the nursery and/or beg others to share the duty is so frustrating. I often get home and say "why did I even bother". Plus, you do need a place to worship and be part of the family, not always a leader. I hope you find a place that recognizes that!

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  7. Thanks for your blog. We need more real life, ELCA boggers out there. As a father of five (my wife says mother of six :)), our life stories have important messages.

    Thanks for your pushing! We need more!

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Oh how I L.O.V.E. comments! Thanks for taking a walk on the (koskersidle)WILD side :)