Most people know that Pacific Lutheran University is a religious college. However, it is much less well known that the Bishop of the Southwestern Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Richard E. Jaech, and his staff have an office at PLU’s  Trinity House.

Pastor Kim Latterell, assistant to Bishop  Richard E. Jaech
Pastor Kim Latterell, assistant to Bishop Richard E. Jaech

Assistant to the bishop, Pastor Kim Latterell (pictured) said that Trinity Church offered the synod staff the building in the 70s. “They’ve [the synod] been here for 30 years, and if the building doesn’t fall down we’ll be here another 30 years,” Litterell said.

“I think they like the idea that they’re close to PLU,” Latterell said. “The Lutheran church puts a high emphasis on education. We think the church relates really well to college and university situations.”

Latterell said Martin Luther was a university professor and pastor himself, and Lutherans across the world have placed a high value on education.

“We have a decent relationship to PLU, but there’s not a whole lot of overlap between what we do and what the university does,” he said.

The ELCA is known for a liberal stance on topics ranging from homosexuality to its interpretations of the Bible. In particular, the church allows people in same-sex relationships to be pastors.

“We don’t scream and yell and condemn from the pulpit,” Latterell said. He said he thinks other churches are going to wake up and see that this is the way society is going to be.

“Our perspective is on being known by a gracious God,” Latterell said. “God in Christ has acted in a way to work forgiveness and healing to the whole world, not just a select group of people.”

“God’s attitude toward the world is one of healing, and wholeness, and restoration. We’re called to live out that Gospel here on the earth,” Latterell said. ◼︎

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