Lutheran Lay Fellowship of Metropolitan Washington DC
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March Meeting

Thursday, March 7, 2013—12:00 noon

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Saint Luke Lutheran Church
9100 Colesville Road at Dale Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910

The Rev. Dr. Maria Erling
Professor of Modern Church History
and Global Missions
Gettysburg Theological Seminary
Gettysburg, PA

"What Ever Happened to Luther League? - Part 2"

The Rev. Dr. Maria E. Erling is the professor of Modern Church History and Global Missions at Gettysburg Seminary with a special focus on American Lutheranism and the various ways that mission has been understood in the history of the church.

Before coming to the Seminary in 1999, Dr. Erling served parishes in New England: Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester, MA and Christ the King, Nashua, NH, and served as a specialist for urban congregations in the New England Synod, Lutheran Church in America. She also chaired its ecumenical affairs committee from 1991-1999. Her ecumenical involvement currently includes service as an ELCA representative on the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ, and as delegate to the 2010 assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Stuttgart. Parish ministry continues to be a focus for her as she directs the seminary's Teaching Parish program.

As a part of her ongoing interest in the development of American Lutheranism, Erling and co-author Mark Granquist wrote The Augustana Story: Shaping North American Lutheranism, published by Augsburg Fortress in 2008. The fascinating history of American Lutheranism, with its many mergers of separate ethnic churches, and its complex engagement with contemporary American culture, gives her plenty of material to work with as she teaches seminarians how to understand, appreciate, and extend theological and denominational traditions to meet new challenges.

Dr. Erling also has contributed to two Lilly Endowment projects to study the changes in Mainline Protestantism in North America, and has delved into the mystery of the demise of the Luther League, the hidden markers of Lutheran Spirituality, and the improbable strength of Lutheranism as a denomination.

Dr. Erling has become known around campus for hosting an annual fish night and for bringing the noble sport of croquet to the campus for the first time since the storied days of A.R. Wentz, ecumenical pioneer, competitive athlete, and Lutheran Historian. She lives in Gettysburg with her husband John Spangler, who serves on the seminary staff. They have two daughters, Marta and Johanna.

March's speaker received her Bachelor's degree at Augustana College, her Master's of Divinity at Yale and her Doctorate at Harvard Divinity School. We welcome her to our luncheon and await her reflections on the "mystery of the demise of Luther League."

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We invite all Lutherans and their friends to join us for this luncheon meeting of Lutheran Lay Fellowship, scheduled for the first Thursday of each month from 12:00 noon till 2:00 p.m. at Saint Luke Lutheran Church, 9100 Colesville Road at Dale Drive in Silver Spring, one mile south of the Capitol Beltway at Exit 30. Ample off-street parking is available. Interested persons can make reservations for a delicious lunch by sending their RSVP to by contacting Vicki Porter at 301-229-9884 or no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5. The cost of the meal is $9.00, payable at the door.


April 4 — The Rev. Clark Lobenstine from the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington

Click here to read February's meeting minutes

What is the Lutheran Lay Fellowship?

LLF is an organization for women and men, both lay and clergy, active in the Nation's Capital area. “As early as 1936, feeling there was a definite need for closer cooperation between Lutheran laity and clergy, a group of laymen in the Washington, DC. Metropolitan area, organized to hold meetings that would bring pastors and laity closer together. Due to jurisdictional differences as well as ministerial difficulties, very little success was achieved until the fall of 1941. Then the group met and decided to hold a luncheon once a month, invite their friends and bring visitors. The first luncheon was a success, and within three months every Lutheran judicatory was represented…” [From a Lutheran Directory of Metropolitan Washington, DC, published in 1999.]

Today, more than 70 years later, the Lutheran Lay Fellowship of Metropolitan Washington takes pride in knowing that every night, 365 nights each year, more than 700 low income seniors and disabled persons live in safety and friendship in four high rises owned and managed by Fellowship Square Foundation, Inc. By means of annual scholarships and grants, LLF also supports various college and seminary students; it also provides ushering services for major inter-Lutheran events. But most of all, LLF is known far and wide as a place to hear stimulating speakers on timely topics and to make friends from other Lutheran congregations—friendships that last for decades!

Won’t you join us?

Received this notice in error?

Effective August 2011, the previous month's Meeting Minutes will be posted in the ARCHIVE section of our website, and the only hardcopy available will be at the next month's meeting. Meeting Announcements will continue to be mailed to dues-paying members who do not have an E-mail address.

If you are not interested in receiving notices from the LLF, please reply to this note with a subject line of REMOVE and if applicable, specify who in your congregation should receive notices.

An organization for women and men, both lay and clergy, active in the Nation's Capital area since 1936
Lutheran Lay Fellowship of Metropolitan Washington DC |
EVENTS last updated 02/02/2013