I had a truly lovely day riding my bicycle around town. It’s funny–just a few days riding other places and I feel like I’m tracing New Orleans all over again. The weather was perfect for a ride too–surprisingly mild (i.e. heat index under 100 degrees) and slightly breezy. I rode around, running errands and and going to Jazzercise class. No, really. Jazzercise. Anyway. I zipped happily down to the Treme tonight, listening to a catchy song with a terrible message (or not–depends if I’m feeling generous). Out of town a few days, and nobody told me the Lutherans were back! There are thousands of teenagers and their chaperones all with lime green backpacks on, clogging the streets and not heeding pedestrian signals in their attempts to stay together (hint: you cannot stay together if there are thousands of you). The Lutherans were here last year, for Jesus Justice Jazz. But these are different Lutherans. Those were the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This is the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. I thought there was something different about these folks. The ECLA kids didn’t coordinate backpacks. I was surprised to see so many of them still out when I rode home after midnight–don’t they have a reasonable bedtime–and managed to snap this photo of a couple chaperones turning the corner in front of me. When I got home I did a little research. Turns out it’s not just the backpacks that makes them different–LCMS believes the Bible is without error in all it says. ECLA thinks when it comes to history and science, it might not always be accurate. LCMS thinks homosexuality is against god’s will and that women cannot be ordained; ECLA, not so much. LCMS’s theme is “We Believe,” and ECLA’s was Jesus Justice Jazz (nope, no commas–don’t blame me). ECLA will be back in 2012–not sure yet what the theme is. Lutherans are not just Lutherans. Another day of learning, inspired by the bike. Good to be home.