The smaller the group, the more grandiose the name. And so, here also, in this case, there is a “church body” that consists of less than fifteen micro-congregations, if that many, and because they have some micro outpost in the Caribbean and in Africa and/or elsewhere, they have decided to use the name “Lutheran Church—International.” To my knowledge, no group of Lutherans have ever taken such an arrogant step and claimed “international” status.It certainly is an unusual name. After glancing at its web site, however, I must say that, even though it is a small group of churches, mostly in the eastern United States, it does have several churches in other countries. I guess, just putting myself in someone else's shoe for a moment, if I were a member of a church in Venezuela, I'm not sure it would sit well with me for the church body to be of another country. So maybe the Lutheran Church-International isn't being arrogant so much as it is simply being accurate.
Also, I admit that the LC-I is a micro-synod, but I don't see why it is necessary for McCain to emphasize that its churches are "micro-congregations." More than once in my life (and my whole life-since infant baptism-has been LC-MS) I have been a member of a numerically small church, and I don't think I would appreciate the claim that I was merely part of a "micro-congregation." This line of thinking seems frighteningly akin to the idea that in the LC-MS structuring, the megachurches should have more political representation.
Finally, the umbrage McCain takes at the arrogant and unprecedented step of claiming "international" status is kind of funny coming from one who is part of the bureaucracy of a church whose headquarters is called The International Center.