Heins to the ELCA's The Lutheran. While I was praising the reinvigorated monthly journal for our church body, I had occasion to peruse some back issues of The Lutheran only to find it a less than salutary experience.
Perhaps the article that stands out most in my mind was one subtitled The Most Real Church I Know and it was written by Kaethe Schwehn, a summary of her year as a 20 something coming to terms with her floundering faith..." I cannot tell the state of her heart but if her article is any reflection of the state of her faith today, it still seems to be floundering to me.
She describes Vespers at Holden Village as a requirement for all who live there "whether or not God is your thing." Schwehn calls it a quiet time together, with either feigned or artificial but unison liturgical conversation. I agree with her, "to practice a religion is, in some ways, to take responsibility for it. This is why it is easier to be spiritual than religious..." But then things got dicey. By remaining aloof from religion, "you don't have to deal with the idiots who still think God is a man [I hope she would agree Jesus was/is], who still think marriage is just about men and women [I guess that position is so over for folks of her age], who want to preach the tomb without the resurrection [what about those who want to preach the resurrection without the tomb?], or damnation instead of grace [but no problem with preaching grace without consequences]..." Anyway, if this represents the caliber of The Lutheran, I cannot recommend it, and, apparently, many within the ELCA agree with me because I am told subscriptions are dropping precipitously....
Let me leave you with one more choice statement: "I go [to Vespers] because I love the space where we worship. . . with its acid trip ceiling and altar standing just to the left of the free throw line, is the most real church I know..."