Last week I highlighted an excellent local story about how one North Dakota congregation was helping people who are looking for work in their town. Apparently I wasn’t the only person who loved the story, as the congregation was also highlighted by CBS Morning News on July 3. I can’t find that broadcast, but I did appreciate that they put some additional footage from that bit on the web.
If you watch the video, you see it features Pastor Jay Reinke, a Lutheran pastor. You see his Lutheran church and when they get inside the building, you see signs for the Lutheran Malaria Initiative and a Luther’s Small Catechism on the table.
I really enjoyed the video and I went to post it on Facebook and noticed that the automatically generated text read:
Local Pastor Jay Reinke of Concordia Baptist Church opens his doors every night at 9pm
And when I went back to the video I noticed that the caption said:
Local Pastor Jay Reinke of Concordia Baptist Church opens his doors every night at 9pm to help Williston’s new workers. Sometimes he’s able to offer a cot, the floor or just a parking space.
Now, it’s certainly true that there are a few Baptist congregations that go by the name Concordia, but this isn’t one of them. Concordia is a very common word in Lutheranism, used and appreciated by Lutherans for 500 years. Our confession of faith is found in the Book of Concord (con=with/together; cordia=heart so it means something like “with one heart”).
It’s not really a big deal that this reporter made the mistake, although someone first pointed out the mistake on July 5 and I sent an email (although perhaps not to the right place) on July 8 and it’s still there.
And it’s certainly not as if CNN is alone in making these mistakes.
It really might not seem important to some reporters if Andy Murray is Scottish or not or if the indicted Congressman belongs to a particular party or not or if Tripoli is in Lebanon, but one of the ways we show readers and viewers that we care about getting the story right is by being accurate about the details.
Of course, I feel almost silly pointing out this error, although it’s important to me and other Lutherans who are so grateful that Pastor Reinke and Concordia Lutheran Church in Williston, North Dakota, are able to show Christ’s love to people in need.
As Pastor Reinke ends the video, though, “Everybody’s got issues, we all do. The new arrivals and the people that are here. it would be my hope that we could say — please let’s — it sounds almost corny — but let’s love each other. But why not love each other. I mean, why not?”
And this is also why I never mind when people point out my spelling, grammatical or factual errors in my writing. We can all use a helping hand when it comes to getting the details right. So thanks to our careful readers for serving that function.