Letter from Elizabeth Goodine

Dr. Gerald Kieschnick, President

The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod

1333 South Kirkwood Road

St. Louis, MO  63122- 7295

September, 17, 2009

Dear President Kieschnick,

As you will recall, in 2005, seven LCMS women met (at our own expense) with you, four synodical Vice Presidents and Dr. Nafzger in St. Louis.  We requested assistance in bringing about action to implement Resolution  3-10 which was at that time a 10-year-old resolution that called for a comprehensive Bible study of the relationship between man and woman. We asked not only that the study would take place but also that women be included as full participants in the discussion.  It was from that meeting that the consultations followed.

With the permission of Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, a copy of the study prepared through the consultations, “The Creator’s Tapestry,” was made available to the members of our original group of women. While it saddens me to say so, this study on which precious synodical resources were spent, does not meet the criteria that were initially set out by Resolution 3-10. First, it does not address the basic issue of the relationship between men and women under God in the Church and second, it is not a new study — rather, it reiterates the findings of old documents which led to the confusion and dissension which the consultations were intended to resolve. Indeed, the very notion that the “threads” are “distinct” and thus create a “tapestry” is an assumption and should have been questioned as part of the beginning of a new study.

No less troubling than the above is the tone of the paper. While it may not have been the author’s intent, the language used throughout is offensive to women (and to men also) who are concerned with truly studying this issue. Non-inclusive language is used throughout and the overall tone is condescending and patronizing. I believe this could have been avoided had the actual study and the writing of the report included a group of both women and men.

President Kieschnick, “The Creator’s Tapestry” is an affront to women and to men of the LCMS. It will not result in a resolution of the discord that the Synod has felt in this matter. Rather, it will create further dissent and division. I ask that you would recommend, along with those seven women who met with you four years ago, that this study not be published.

May the Lord bless your work and our Church!

In Christ’s service,

Elizabeth Goodine PhD

cc Dr. Joel Lehenbauer

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