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Lutheran pastor apologizes for praying with other faiths

Published February 7, 2013 12:46 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Many Utah clergy and congregations are in the midst of celebrating Interfaith Month with an array of joint activities — just as a Lutheran minister in Newtown, Conn., is apologizing for his involvement in a similar event in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.

The Rev. Rob Morris, pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church, was reprimanded by his denomination for praying at a December vigil alongside other Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Baha'i clergy.

Such an interfaith appearance, apparently, is a no-no in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Religion News Service reported.

The St. Louis-based Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod is "the smaller of the two largest branches of Lutheranism in the U.S., with almost 2.3 million members," RNS notes. "The denomination's constitution prohibits ministers from participating in services with members of different faiths."

So Morris has written a letter of apology for his participation in the vigil.

Meanwhile, in Utah, clergy from various faiths have united for multiple activities, including church visits, workshops and lectures. The monthlong series, sponsored by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable, reaches its zenith on March 10, with a joint musical tribute, which typically includes prayers and readings from various faith traditions, held in the historic Mormon Tabernacle on Salt Lake City's Temple Square.

Wonder if the Missouri-Synod Lutherans would be OK with that.

Peggy Fletcher Stack