Church Constituencies?

According to a recent Synod newsletter referring to the upcoming Synod Assembly: “Congregations with members who are persons of color or persons whose primary language is other than English: Send one additional lay voting member from each constituency.”

Huh? Did I miss something in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”? Or maybe I misread something in 1 Corinthians 12:13: “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”

We Lutherans seem bound and determined to model the world. As an issue of justice in the world at large, we should support those with less voice or no voice, those who are marginalized and maligned, but to bring the concepts of constituencies and the politics of interest groups into the church?

In keeping with the spirit of generosity, I imagine this is being done because historically Lutherans churches, in America, anyway (not Africa), are not exactly full of mixed ethnicity. It is a good thing to try to find ways to minister and welcome all.

However, this is not a vision conference. They clearly want varied representation in the voting, which seems to imply that congregations with people of color or who are not native English speakers somehow need mandated help to find a voice in their own home churches. It’s almost as if the thinking is, “We have to enable them to come or the representatives their churches do send will not represent them adequately.”

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