Life as a Former Laestadian
I'm not qualified to actually translate this, but it's something to the effect that the poster found your blog interesting. If I understood it correctly, they mention the ALC is more mainstream Lutheran than the OALC, which is more exclusive.I hope someone with better Finnish can give this a crack.
Subject: A few notes concerning ALCApparently also ALC (not 1stALC, GALC, OALC, FALC but ALC (Rauhan sana in Finland)) is doing just fine in USA. There are a lot of congregations and it covers a geographically wide area (including areas where FALC (srk/vanhoillislestadiolaiset in Finland) has completely vanished or has only a few members left).I've been reading those blogs by Americans with a great interest. One such blog (godspeaceblog or sumthin) unfortunately disappeared before I had a change to post a link here.Among the other sites already linked in this thread, there is an interesting site:http://www.extoots.blogspot.com/("Learning to live free as a former Laestadian"). ALC seems to be interesting from the Leastadian point of view because it's been said on the Internet to have both "mainstream Lutheran" congregations and ones with "OALC like" exclusive teachings. According to some posts there are even diffent style of ALC churches in the same area, so that one can kind of choose how mainstream vs. tradiotional Laestadianist he/she wants to be, and still remain within ALC.And keep in mind to be critical on these sources of information in the Internet. Still, those are interesting pieces of information.
Hello! I wrote that message, so let me try to put this message into its context... We've had some discussion about the recent split in the FALC in the suomi24 site. Quite interestingly, the information first came from the yahoo XLLL discussion group (like you cann see in the starting post). I was also able to find some remarks about the split in messages posted to your site, so I linked your site into the discussion, too. Your site is being used as a general information source about other Laestadian groups;-).Did you know that the Grace Lutheran Church is (about) the 20th "major" Laestadian group? (Ok, just change the definition for "major" and you could quote almost any figure;-).
Thank you all for your help. Anonymous above, I'm glad this site is being used for information about other Laestadian groups. Please let me know if there are links that should be added. If the site is in Finnish (or Swedish or Norwegian or?), please write a brief description in English that I can post with the link.It would also be great to list the major groups. What and where is Grace Lutheran?
What is the Grace Lutheran Church? Are you talking about the new church that started in Cokato?
I was wondering if anyone knows what all the reasons were for the split in Cokato? I am married to a wonderful man from that group of Apostolics & have been very interested in that. I was so suprised at the religion they have & what a huge step he took in marrying me. He has siblings in the Cokato area & I have tried to ask them but they stayed with the church & have no real answers. Thanks in advance. In Chist , Boys in Heaven
free2beme, I'll be checking if I could find a good listing of the different Laestadian groups in existence. I am myself a member of the SRK/LLC group with ~100.000 members worldwide (I would say there are more, but this is the figure people are using and which everybody can accept), and even if my interest in the other groups is of academical rather than ecumenical nature, I am still thrilled by the fact that the Laestadian movement has been able to produce all this variation.(Of course, this is not in any way to deny your negative experiences in OALC, which does seem to have a number of problems which I am not recognising in the conservative Laestadian group). About the Grace Lutheran Church - it looks like a group which was more liberal in teaching and life style (than FALC), left the church. Everything I know is coming from a couple of web sites, so please don't regard me as an expert in this question. To boys in heaven..., I am certainly not an expert in the different Laestadian groups in US and especially because I am a conservative LAestadian (SRK/LLC) myself, and regard the other branches heresy, my comment is not necessarily a very objective one. However, while in Finland, the conservative Laestadian group has kept the Laestadian tradition and doctrine (e.g. we don't accept family planning, and are a bit more exclusive in our doctrine than many other groups), we are not that isolated from the rest of the society. We participate in the life of the local society just like anybody else. Also, our appreciation of good education has led into the current situation where conservative Laestadians do have a very good education level compared to the rest of the population. (No scientific studies have been made about this, but empirically, looking at my age class, it could be that more than 50% of younger generation conservative Laestadians obtain univrsity level education, the percentage being a bit higher among women than among men). So, while we are certainly considered quite pecualiar by many others, we are still very much a part of the society. (And nobody would consider us a sect).I do not know how this works in the US, especially with the smaller groups. Could it be that they are, not even taking my SRK/LLC understanding of them being heresies, developing to an unhealthy, cult-like, direction?
free2beme, have you seen http://lestadiolaisuus.info? It is a very extensive information package about the different Laestadian groups. It used to have English language texts as well, but I am not sure about it now. It also looks like it is not very actively maintained any longer, as it has a lot of broken links.. The google also finds a better working version at a different address.
Thanks for the translation. The comment about the ALC being diverse from church to church is true. Of the areas I'm familiar with, all the ones with a sizable population of ALCers have multiple ALC churches. There are a couple of reasons for this situation. In the Copper Country of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, many of the congregations started in the day before easy transportation by car was widely available, so congregations had to be close to each community. These separate churches continued into the era of easy transportation. As such, there are churches in Atlantic Mine, Painesdale, Tapiola, Chassell, South Range, Toivola, Laurium, and Hancock. These churches each have their own histories and flavor of liberal/conservative church culture.Additionally, ALCers come in many stripes from evangelical to charasmatic to old-style Laestadian. It's not possible to accommodate that much variation within one church, so the churches split and form new congregations. In Greer, SC and in the New Ipswich, NH areas, you will find at least three or four if not more ALC-related churches, largely based on the differences between congregations.I'm less familiar with MN, ND, and the west coast, but from what I hear, these two factors are responsible for multiple churches in many of those areas as well.
To Anonymous: God's Peace and welcome to the blog. It's exciting for me to see LLC members and ex-members participating in the discussions here. I'm not exactly sure what you where trying to ask in your previous post. If you asking if the other branches of laustadenism have developed into a unhealthy, cult-like direction, I would say yes, some of them. But it depends on what you consider cult-like. Some branches of laustadienism are more conservative and strict then the LLC(like the OALC). While others are more liberal then the LLC. They dont have so many rules, and are not as exclusive.(like the ALC)