“It’s all up to God, as far as what we do with our growth.... There’s a niche that hasn’t been filled. There’s a need to fill that void in Rapid City.”
"Niche" - a nice marketing term, which sounds awfully optimistic, and cute, to describe a group of Christians [sic] whose primary motivation for gathering is to exclude others.
As we have come to expect in this most ironic of cities, the same cast of characters appears to be involved. A leader of the group quoted in Mary Garrigan's (excellent) article is Jerry Behnke, general manager of Fischer Furniture, along with the standard retired pastor or two:
The Rev. Evelyn Johnson, a retired ELCA minister from Hill City who is no longer comfortable
in the ELCA,serving people she doesn't approve of has agreed to serve as Genesis [Lutheran's] interim, part-time pastor.
"Genesis Lutheran" is apparently taking inspiration from the Creation story where it says:
And God said: "let us [sic] separate the Us from the Them.
Their lead pastor Rev Evelyn Johnson (whose call is rejected, based on her inferior gender status, by the conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod) unfortunately missed the memo that all this homophobia is really thinly veiled misogyny. (Sorry for the big words, Bob, but sometimes I need to accurately call them as I see them.)
From the RCJ:
Johnson believes God is as disappointed with the ELCA as she is, and showed it by sending a selective tornado to the 2009 assembly. The tornado blew down a cross at a nearby ELCA Lutheran church as the assembly began its deliberations. Johnson recalled someone commenting at the time that “it was like God was saying you could have your little social club, but don’t put my name on it.”
Somehow I don't remember reading that in Scripture, but I do remember hearing this from Isaiah on in *my* church last week:
You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight.
You fast, but you swing a mean fist.
The kind of fasting you do
won't get your prayers off the ground.
or as God himself said it in the "real" (King James) Bible:
Behold, ye fast for strife and debate,
and to smite with the fist of wickedness:
ye shall not fast as ye do this day,
to make your voice to be heard on high.