One of the largest social service networks in the United States, working in areas ranging from adoption to disaster relief, faces a shakeup because of Lutheran divisions over the Bible and homosexuality.
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a theologically conservative denomination, said Wednesday that direct work with its larger and more liberal counterpart, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has become “difficult if not impossible,” because of doctrinal conflicts, including the 2009 decision by liberal Lutherans to lift barriers for ordaining gays and lesbians.
Neither denomination would discuss the potential financial impact Wednesday. Many Lutheran-affiliated agencies receive substantial state and federal grants that would not be directly affected by any split. However, similar to Catholic Charities, Lutheran agencies are some of the biggest service providers in their communities.
Just one of the joint Lutheran agencies, Lutheran Services in America, said on its website that it encompasses more than 300 health and human services organizations with a combined annual budget of more than $16 billion.Continue Reading on www.washingtonpost.com