Issue 1 | January 2024

CORE Voice Newsletter, Issue 1,

January 2024

In This Issue

  • Influence of Critical Theory on the ELCA's Commission for a Renewed Lutheran Church
  • The ELCA's latest display of hypocrisy
  • Young men make up majority of new reform group
  • Rest as the antidote
  • Review of Does the Bible Support Same Sex Marriage?
  • Only 15% of Americans are part of mainline Protestant Churches
  • Purpose of worship
  • Passive euthanasia versus withholding unnecessary medical treatment
  • Mark your calendars for the annual March for Life!
  • Video book review on church administration
  • Pastors can preach in Wittenberg ...

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CRL and Critical Theory

by Pr. Ryan Cordle, ELCA Pastor in Ohio

In the September and November editions of CORE Voice, Dennis Nelson analyzed the activist constituency of the members of the Commission for a Renewed Lutheran Church (CRLC). The fact that there are a number of activists on the Commission is not surprising, since the Churchwide Assembly’s directive to the ELCA Church Council was to create a commission to recommend restructuring the church being particularly attentive to the church’s commitment to “dismantling racism.” In other words, whatever recommendations the CRLC makes must take steps to dismantle racism within the denomination.

For many members of the ELCA, the question of racism in the church is confusing. In this instance, why is there a move to restructure the whole denomination around dismantling one particular sin?

To answer this question, it is important to understand the chief philosophical assumption of ELCA policymakers, namely, Critical Theory.  [...]

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Is This What You Want?

by Pastor Dennis D. Nelson, Lutheran CORE Executive Director

We all remember with horror the ways in which traditional views on such matters as human sexuality were rejected and belittled at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering. Here is a link to an article in the Summer 2018 issue of CORE Voice newsletter about that event, including the way in which ELCA public theologian Nadia Bolz-Weber led 32,000 young people in a chant rejecting Biblically faithful views as a lie from Satan. I think it is very interesting that as of the time of my writing this article, the website for this summer’s ELCA youth gathering – taking place in July in New Orleans – does not yet include the names of the keynote speakers. However, in the information for churches that will be sending their youth, there are more than enough reasons for congregations that take the Bible and the historic Christian faith seriously to stay far away. […]

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Operation Reconquista: An Affirmative Response

by Pr. Kevin Haug, ELCA Pastor in Texas

Can mainline denominations be reconquered from theological liberalism? A group named Operation Reconquista has emerged to attempt such a thing, and they are offering tactics on just how to proceed.


I had never heard of the group until asked to write about them and offer some thoughts. To get the full scope of what they believe and what they are attempting to do, please click here to visit their website. In a nutshell, their methodology is this: 1. Identify a moderate to conservative mainline congregation. 2. Attend there and become involved in leadership. 3. Work to strengthen that congregation in the orthodox Christian faith. 4. Resist any attempt to inject secular liberalism/progressivism. 5. Let the more liberal/progressive congregations die–as they will invariably do. 


They believe this reconquest is necessary given the [...]

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Rest, Inc., Part 2

by Pr. K. Craig Moorman, Member of the Board of Lutheran CORE

 Finding Rest in (and for) a Restless World


As your colleague, I’m simply inviting you to re-evaluate your own personal pattern of building rest into your daily schedule. Many years ago, I became intensely aware of my own unhealthy pattern of not taking time to rest and choosing instead to live out my ordained calling through the obligatory production of parochial reports [...]! It was about then that I bumped into Acts 6:1, 2 where it reads, “ ... the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should give up preaching the Word (and later in v. 4, “ ... we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”) to serve tables.’” For many reasons, this passage spoke volumes to me in how I would “do” ministry henceforth. I would stop [...]

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Book Review: Does the Bible Support

Same-Sex Marriage?

by Mr. Spencer Wentland, former ELCA missionary

Sprinkle sets two foundational premises he wants his audience to be aware of and informed by before he moves speedily through twenty-one commonly made arguments for a [gay] affirming position. Firstly, people don’t usually have a real open mind to ideas, rather ideas usually are manipulated to serve what people already believe to be true, so he wants us to take a full stop and have an open mind. Secondly, the Bible’s vision of marriage is rooted in sexual differentiation ala male and female as revealed in the opening chapter of Genesis, affirmed by Jesus directly in his own understanding of marriage.

So, we already know this book is somewhat of an apologetic against the affirming position. […]

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Considering the Challenge of Transitioning from Clergy-Led to Lay-Led Congregational Ministries

by Pastor Don Brandt, Congregational Lay-Led Initiative (CLI)

This article is written especially for smaller congregations that are either 1) already experiencing a pastoral vacancy, or 2) know that their solo pastor will be retiring within the next one or two years. If your congregation fits this description it is essential that you understand the full scope of the challenges you will face, or already are facing, when it comes to finding and calling your next pastor.


You might be hesitating to read further. After all, you might be convinced that the “right” pastor is out there, and the Holy Spirit will undoubtedly lead him or her to your congregation. But know this: The current shortage of Lutheran pastors is unprecedented. Moreover, this shortage is unprecedented in my lifetime […]

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Resentful Faith

by Pr. Douglas Schoelles, Member of the Board of Lutheran CORE

While visiting another Lutheran church in the area as the gathered worshipped the LORD through the prayers and praised God through the songs, across the pews I saw a man, arms folded, a closed lip face saying, “I dare you.”

How can you be resentful in worship when we should be joining the angels in singing and celebrating the glorious grace of God?

If you say to yourself that you won’t sing louder; if you argue within your spirit against the invitation to give yourself to worship - Right there! Right in that thought of your rebellion  [...]

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Aging and End-of-Life Decisions

by The Rev. Dr. Alden W. Towberman, The NALC Life Ministries Team

Among the important “Aging and End-of-Life Issues” presently being confronted in both the church and in our North American secular culture is euthanasia. A recent article in the Washington Post Newspaper stated that the number of Americans over the age of 65 continues to be rising quickly. “In the past century, it’s grown five times the rate of the rest of the population and is now approaching 60 million people.” While this is welcome and good news for people who are enjoying happy, healthy golden years, for many others the “golden years” are not so golden. [...]

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March for Life and Y4Life Conference in January!!

by Pr. Dennis Di Mauro, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (NALC) in Warrenton, VA.

The NALC Life Ministries team is once again preparing for the March for Life in Washington D.C. this January, but our plan is a little different. Instead of holding a life conference, NALC Life has decided to team up with [...]

On Friday, January 19th we will be once again participating in the March for Life under the NALC banner, and I hope you can join us [...]

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Video MinistryJanuary 2024

by Pastor Dennis D. Nelson, Lutheran CORE Executive Director

Many thanks to Aaron Heilman for this review. Aaron is Worship Leader for Pointe of Hope Church, Blue Springs, MO (LCMS). A link to Aaron’s video can be found here.  A link to our You Tube channel, which contains nearly four dozen videos, can be found here.

Pastoral Helmsmanship is a collaborative effort between three well credentialed authors.

In summary, a large part of administrative work is preparing and planning for storms. A ship’s helmsman is second-in command to the captain. In a church, the pastor is the helmsman. The captain is Jesus. The helmsman’s primary role is to help navigate the ship through [...]

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Preaching in Wittenberg

by Pr. Dennis Di Mauro, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (NALC) in Warrenton, VA.

Want to preach in the "Luther" churches in Lutherstadt Wittenberg? Wittenberg English Ministry (WEM) is looking for pastors who want the experience of preaching the Castle Church and the Town Church in Wittenberg. You commit to two weeks, preaching 8 times. There are six 20 minute devotional services and two full length worship services during the two weeks. WEM does not offer any financial assistance, but we do have a contract with a hotel that gives you a greatly reduced rate. If you itemize your taxes, you can deduct the cost of your transportation, lodging and a portion of the cost of your meals. Depending on the time of year, whether you go with your spouse or alone, the cost can range from 2500 to 4500. If you take day trips or trips before/after your two weeks in Wittenberg, that is not figured in the above cost numbers.

If you want more information, please write Pastor Bob Flohrs at Also, you can check our website Wittenberg English Ministries: English Worship in Martin Luther’s Churches | Experience English Worship in Luther’s Churches of Wittenberg, Germany.

Coming Events
  • Y4Life Youth Conference--Hilton Crystal City Hotel, Washington, DC. Jan. 18-20, 2023. Click here.
  • March for Life w/NALC banner. Meet at noon on Jan. 19th at 12th and Madison Sts., in Washington, DC. 
  • Pro Ecclesia Conference - Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, AL. June 10-12, 2024. Click here.
  • NEXUS 2024 - Grand View University, Des Moines, IA. July 21-27, 2024. Click here.
  • NALC Online Convocation. August 9, 2024. Click here.
  • LCMC 24th Annual Gathering & Convention - Marion, IA. September 29 - October 2, 2024. Click here.
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