Grace Lutheran Church to close next year
The Grace Lutheran Church in Los Angeles is ending its 10-year run in December, with the church’s senior pastor saying the church needs to “reevaluate its mission.”
The church’s pastor, Rev. Grace L. L. Lutheran, who was born in Washington, D.C., and moved to Los Angeles from Kansas in 1978, said the church had faced challenges in recent years and needed to find a “sustainable path forward.”
She cited “unsettling” changes to the mission statement and the fact that some congregants were uncomfortable with church members openly discussing the sexuality of the leaders of the church, but also cited a lack of commitment to the faith’s core values.
Lutheran, a former pastor of the First Baptist Church in Chicago, said she is also exploring other options, including a partnership with the Lighthouse Ministry, a nonprofit that provides pastoral care to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Los Angelenos, as well as the American Psychological Association.
She added that a new mission statement, including references to homosexuality as a sin, will be submitted to the church by mid-December, and a final decision will be made in May.
In a statement, Lighthouse ministry said that it “will continue to support the church in all of its endeavors and will continue to help our members through these difficult times.”
Lutherans comments came days after a prominent conservative evangelical group, The Family Research Council, released a report titled “A Vision for Evangelical Christianity.”
The report said that the church “has a unique role to play in the church community” because of its “history and cultural heritage” and that it was important for the church to “develop a culture of biblical love.”
The Family Research Center, which is part of the Southern Baptist Convention, also said in the report that the Grace church “is at odds with the larger evangelical community,” and it called on the church and the conservative movement to work together.