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Mathew Block is editor of The Canadian Lutheran magazine and communications manager for Lutheran Church–Canada. He also serves as editor for the International Lutheran Council. He tweets @captainthin.

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ELCA Has Lost Half a Million Members

From First Thoughts

Sarah Pulliam Bailey has a comprehensive article over at  Religion News Service on the election of the first openly gay bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As she notes, the election comes four years following the events of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly when a narrow margin of . . . . Continue Reading »

Religion in Canada: The New Numbers

From First Thoughts

New figures released yesterday by Statistics Canada suggest the increasing ethnic and religious diversification of the Canadian population. But, as Statistics Canada itself warns, the numbers (based on the 2011 Census) should be taken with a grain of salt, especially when compared to previous . . . . Continue Reading »

Death of a Canadian Icon: Rita MacNeil

From First Thoughts

Yesterday, media was buzzing with news that Canadian music icon Rita MacNeil had passed away after complications following surgery. She was, as The Canadian Press put it , “a singer-songwriter from small-town Canada whose powerful voice explored genres from country, to folk, to gospel.” . . . . Continue Reading »

The Curious Case of the German Church

From First Thoughts

Two days ago, the Catholic Herald posted a story about Pope Francis meeting with Rev. Dr. Nikolaus Schneider. The article is entitled “Lutheran pastor meets Pope Francis in Rome,” and the text of the article also refers to Dr. Schneider as a Lutheran pastor. There’s just one problem, . . . . Continue Reading »