I am sure the folks at CORE can give you a much better one than I can but I can give a few impressions, others in attendance might want to add details and thoughts of their own.
First of all the attendance was great, around 250 showed up from every region in the country, which is quite excellent considering that many traveled at their own expense for this 6 hour meeting. The speakers were both inspirational and realistic (not that the two have to be mutually exclusive certainly), both diagnosing the problem of the ELCA’s continuing drift towards mainline Protestantism while hopeful that the confessional movement within the ELCA can more actively engage and counter this trend. There was a clear call to not give up the ship, but also a recognition that the revisionist side has money and resources and much support among many of the Bishops. There was some concern that in their opposition to revisionism the Confessionalist side not become too uncharitable in dealing with the other side, who were referred to by Rev. Erma Wolff as “our worthy opponents.”
It was noted that there needs to be much more concern for electing members to Synod Council and the next Church-wide Assembly, and to having a confessional presence in each synod, conference, and congregation. This will necessitate much more organization among the confessional groups and their expansion into dormant and or hostile areas.
Networking was one part of the event, during lunch we met with other confessional folks in our region including folks form ELCF, and from Maryland, we hope to hold a regional meeting as a result of making these contacts.
Upon Leaving Lindenhurst I felt very thankfully that we were well represented among those in attendance and thank John Douglas, Bob Kitchen, and Paddy Rooney for being there from Lutherans Reform! I believe that as we get more organized and get the word out about the challenges facing the ELCA that we will encounter considerable opposition but also find considerable support as we have recently from new folks who have come aboard. I am not personally convinced that the ELCA has much of a future or that it can be changed around but I am willing for now to put up the good fight and promote the reform of the ELCA. In the course of networking with others, and working to create a strong bond between congregations which think confessionaly it is inevitable that a church within a church will be created to some extent.
Whether or not this movement will stay in the ELCA in part or in whole is I think still an open question. The call of Lindenhurst was clearly to persevere even in the midst of suffering and a very good case was made for that. I am not convinced the mission of The Church (the one holy catholic and Apostolic Church) will be promoted by endless internal battles in this church (The ELCA), but Lindenhurst certainly gave momentum for rallying the troops together for the long haul.