Seperate but equal??

Last week we spent time with the principal of the private Lutheran school we are considering for Haven. The time started off well. The school is really great…small, teacher has 24 years of experience, lots of family input. Everything was going so great until… We asked a few questions about the Lutheran church’s teaching on baptism and communion and how much of that was presented in the curriculum. Seems like none of the specifics we were concerned about would be presented directly in the class room, but there was suddenly this separation. It popped up between us and suddenly I found myself totally ticked off. It’s like we were on the same page, then we weren’t. Kathleen Norris has some great thoughts on this in her book Amazing Grace, in her chapter on Orthodoxy.

I don’t know what else to write. I really want to make some sweeping generalizations about Lutherans, and “closed fellowship”,  but I know about enough to make me very dangerous. I’ve been reading, and trying to inform my thinking.

In other news, I’ve decided that no one who cleans as much as I do should have such a messy house. I’m not bragging – but I enjoy cleaning, generally. I feel like it takes up a large part of my day – everyday. But, on the weekends I tend to take a break. I don’t like to clean when Ben has down time, so I let it go and boy does it go and go fast. After just a few hours of slacking the bathroom stinks, dishes are all over the kitchen, there is a huge new stain on the couch, and my foot keeps sticking to the floor. Slacking for 4 hours = 8 hours of house work just to get back to ground zero??? This is so UNFAIR!!

6 thoughts on “Seperate but equal??

  1. Madison Megan says:

    So is that why it takes 3 days for me to recover from 1 day of slacking? Or 3 eternities to recover from this one? Wow… the hardship of being a “P”. Quick, come over while my house (at least 2 floors of it!) is clean!
    Oh, and about knowing just enough to be dangerous? Try being a doctor’s wife!!!

  2. Bill says:

    To me, you make a substantial leap from “presented directly in the class room” to “but there was suddenly,” and I sure wish you would elaborate a bit – especially because whatever transpired in that room seems to have set you on the brink of making “some sweeping generalizations about Lutherans.”

    It seems to me that you had maybe an hour-long discussion with a single person, who is affiliated with a single school, which is affiliated (probably) with a single synod of the Lutheran church. And your reference to Norris’ work and the “sweeping generalizations” comment leads me to believe that you left this conversation believing that Lutherans in general may have somehow lost track of what is really important. Is this true?

    I agree with the previous comment. How did you get from talking about communion and baptism to wanting to make broad generalizations?

    I know that some Lutherans can be pretty stuffy, stern, and opinionated, and maybe this is what you ran into at that private school. But I think you would be making a terrible mistake if you put all Lutherans in this camp.

    Please elaborate!!

  3. jessdager says:

    It would be “a terrible mistake to put all Lutherans in this camp” – especially since I was baptized and confirmed in a Lutheran church and have very fond memories of those years. To elaborate – I was feeling a bit rejected by the person I spoke with at the school. Being a person with a strong gifting in mercy, I was upset that if there were a time when my family and I attended the church we would be excluded from sharing in the Lord’s supper with the teachers and other parents. (The church practices closed communion, so only members are allowed to particpate.) I’ve since read quite a bit on the reasoning behind the practice of closed communion. I understand it a lot better now. What really saddened me initially about the conversation though was the reality that the person I was speaking with and I could agree on 85-90% of all aspects the Bible, salvation, etc. but the 10% or so where we didn’t see things exactly the same way caused there to be this seemingly huge seperation. It caused us to have to take refuge from each other in a sense to our different denominations, where we are safe with people who see things just like we do. Again, for someone with a strong sense of mercy, I’m bothered by things that cause disagreement and seperation. I’m also an idealist, so I spent a few days trying to figure out how I could get everyone to agree on everything… Ha! As I’ve chewed over it though, I’m at a different place now. I’m actually just marveling at how effective and united we are as the body of Christ despite our diversity. So, in case I offended anyone with my emotional blog – please know there are many treasured “Lutherans” in my sphere, who I’m so happy to be sharing this journey with. We are looking forward to our daughter attending the school.

  4. Lynne says:

    Jess, thank you for your clarification. When I read your first post, it bothered me, because even though you didn’t make “sweeping generalizations,” you certainly implied them! I’ve been thinking about how to respond — actually, this matter has been on my mind quite a bit.

    I can appreciate, and I hope you do after your additional study, that Lutherans who practice closed or close communion come by this practice sincerely from their interpretation of scripture. It is not meant to be unwelcoming. You may be interested to know that the issue of open fellowship is a major point of contention between two of the Lutheran synods in the U.S.

    It’s lovely you have come to such a gracious place regarding the body of Christ. It is generally too easy to focus on the differences!

  5. jessdager says:

    Just wondering…do I know you Bill and Lynne? And if I don’t – how did you find me? Oh, and thanks for visiting.

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