"On Wednesday, August 19, an unexpected tornado appeared and touched down in downtown Minneapolis. The following account was from an eyewitness:
On a day when no severe weather was predicted or expected...a tornado forms, baffling the weather experts-most saying they've never seen anything like it. It happens right in the city. The city: Minneapolis.
The tornado happens on a Wednesday...during the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's national convention in the Minneapolis Convention Center. The convention is using Central Lutheran across the street as its church. The church has set up tents around its building for this purpose.
This curious tornado touches down just south of downtown and follows 35W straight towards the city center. It crosses I-94. It is now downtown.
The time: 2PM
The first buildings on the downtown side of I-94 are the Minneapolis Convention Center and Central Lutheran. The tornado severely damages the convention center roof, shreds the tents, breaks off the steeple of Central Lutheran, splits what's left of the steeple in two...and then lifts.
The timing was significant! At 2 PM, the 5th session was to begin. The main item of the session was "Consideration: Proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality." The social statement was the prelude to a vote scheduled for Friday to decide whether practicing homosexuality is a behavior that should disqualify a person from the pastoral ministry. It was shortly before the vote that strong winds toppled trees outside the convention center and damaged the steeple of the church next door, prompting a speaker to quip, "We trust that the weather is not a commentary on our work.""
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