"It's not the whole show," cried Presiding Bishop H. George Anderson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America prior to the denomination's Churchwide Assembly in Denver. By "it" the bishop was referring to the question of full communion with the Episcopal Church. But his words did nothing to deflect fixation on the issue on the part of voting members, visitors and the media.
The season of denominational conventions is over for 2003, and not a moment too soon. Forty years ago I covered some for this magazine, and from that experience I learned much not only about the vitality of churches working together but also about conflict and combat.