WBEZ | lutheran http://www.wbez.org/tags/lutheran Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Minister haunted by decades-old domestic dispute http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/minister-haunted-decades-old-domestic-dispute-110524 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/sc.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Carl Johnson&rsquo;s parents weren&rsquo;t around much when he was a kid.</p><p>He was an only child and he was very inquisitive. &ldquo;There were three things I said I wanted: I wanted peace. There was so much chaos in my life. I wanted hope. And I wanted love. And that&rsquo;s what I found in the church.&rdquo;</p><p>This year, Johnson celebrates 50 years as an ordained member of the Lutheran clergy.</p><p>He came to the StoryCorps booth in the Chicago Cultural Center with his children, Matthew Moy Johnson and Bethany Kaufmann, to talk about his experiences as a minister.</p><p>He was ordained in 1964 in Granite City, Illinois, near St. Louis. &ldquo;When I became a pastor I realized I had a responsibility and that I needed to be very much aware of what I said and how I lived my life,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The main thing was to find a deeper meaning.&rdquo;</p><p>As he reflects on his five decades as a clergy member, Johnson remembers small moments: Helping a husband and wife through the loss of their teenage son. Teaching people about God and watching them teach each other. Being an advocate for issues of social justice.</p><p>One experience that shaped him as a young pastor was talking to a couple going through a domestic dispute with a loaded gun. He&nbsp; felt like, as a minister, it was his responsibility to counsel them no matter what the circumstances.</p><p>Looking back, though, he says entering such a volatile fray - with an angry spouse and a loaded weapon - could almost be considered reckless. He successfully counseled the couple, but said, &ldquo;Today I would be more cautious.&rdquo;</p><p>Johnson says he is humbled and grateful for everything that&rsquo;s happened in his life. But, he adds, I still have &ldquo;so much more to learn.&rdquo;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/6250422&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/minister-haunted-decades-old-domestic-dispute-110524 Handful of Illinois churches leave Chicago-based ELCA http://www.wbez.org/story/clergy/handful-illinois-churches-leave-chicago-based-elca <p><p>Three more central Illinois churches have split from the Chicago-based Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.</p><p>So far, six congregations in the Springfield area have left the ELCA. About a half dozen others are voting whether to stay or go.</p><p>An ELCA spokesman says they're among 291 churches nationally who've left the denomination over a decision to allow gay clergy. That's out of more than 10,000 congregations.</p><p>Bishop Warren Freiheit, who oversees the ELCA's churches in the region, says the adjustment period is painful.</p><p>&quot;There's an emotional impact in that relationships will be severed, friendships will be severed. In some instances, communities where there are relatives in one community related to those who have left, there is even some family discord,&quot; Freiheit said.</p><p>Freiheit says he'll miss the pastors who have left, and he hopes it's possible someday to keep doing mission work with them, even though many have joined some break-away denominations.</p><p>Financially, his synod's already felt the impact. It's too soon too say how big the financial blow will be. But the bishop says many of these churches stopped passing along contributions after the clergy vote last year, so the synod's been making adjustments all along.</p><p>It's not all losses -- Freiheit says 130 congregations are staying, and the vote to leave failed at seven other churches. He adds that some people who felt the denomination made the right decision are joining the church.</p><p>The bishop says now, he hopes they can concentrate on the church's mission to serve and do outreach work rather than on discord. He says the number of congregations may be smaller, but expects they'll be even more dedicated to the mission.</p><p>Until the vote in August 2009, the ELCA required gay clergy to be celibate. Under the new policy, clergy and leaders in committed same-sex relationships can serve. The vote leaves it up to each church to decide if it wants a gay pastor or not.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 12 Nov 2010 22:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/clergy/handful-illinois-churches-leave-chicago-based-elca