By Frank C. Senn For years I wrote an opinion column for Let’s Talk at the invitation of the editorial board called “As I See It.” Even though Let’s Talk has adopted a blog format rather than an issue number format, I feel the need for another one as our states begin opening up society […]
Beginning in February a new reality began to dawn on the world, a novel Coronavirus outbreak that quickly became a global pandemic named COVID-19. Suddenly we are told to maintain social distance and stay at home and events and group gatherings are canceled, including public worship. Churches are closed. We are connecting through online technology like Zoom and social media like Face Book. How do we maintain worship and pastoral care in a situation in which we can only communicate virtually?
We invite pastors and theologians to submit sermons and articles that address the COVID-19 pandemic from theological, liturgical, spiritual, and pastoral perspectives. It is precisely in crisis situations that we must draw deeply from the well of the theological tradition. Share how you are doing this.
We invite submission of papers and talks from members of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the ELCA OR talks given to members of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod. Send submissions in Word docx. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Maxwell E. Johnson What will become of the centrality of the Eucharist in Lutheran worship as a result of the current pandemic? I have been thinking about this question ever since many of our congregations moved rather quickly to Zoom and You Tube liturgies with an increased emphasis upon the oral proclamation of the […]
Sermon preached at St. Augustine’s Episcopal (Zoom) Church26 April 2020 Easter 3A: Acts 2:14a,36-41 & Luke 24:13-35 I want to start my reflection here with an observation:Today’s readings show us two pretty different ways of telling the resurrection story. In Acts, Peter is all confidence. He gives this powerful speech. Full of conviction, and with […]
The following is the pastor’s column appearing in the May Grace Notes newsletter of Grace Lutheran Church, Dodgeville, Wisconsin Breaking Our Fast from the Lord’s Supper: Sharing Communion from Home One of the hardest things about our suspension of in-person gatherings since mid-March has been the related hiatus on celebrating Holy Communion together. Numerous bishops […]
By John A. Lang When the religious leaders saw the outrageous things He was doing, and heard all the children running and shouting through the Temple, “Hosanna to David’s Son!” they were up in arms and took Him to task, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” Jesus said, “Yes, I hear them. And […]
Pastor David R. Lyle offers his Palm Sunday sermon. He is senior pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, IL. Together with Pastor Michael Costello they have been live streaming services from the sanctuary of the church. There is social distance between the chancel and the organ loft. We thought that the sermon brings together the context of the at home congregation, the COVID-19 social context, and the readings for Palm/Passion Sunday.
A question has been raised about whether virtual communion is a possibility. This question is addressed negatively by Professor Paul R. Hinlicky of Roanoke College in an article entitled, “Why Virtual Communion Is Not Radical Enough.” He draws on the Lutheran insistence on bodily eating and drinking and the eucharistic fellowship (koinonia). But he also suggests that we should be preaching about the wrath of God in this situation. Dr. Hinlicky gives a Pauline and Lutheran understanding of the wrath of God.
Johann Sebastian Bach Gwen GotschMark Bangert Edited by Frank Senn On November 24, 2019 (what for us contemporary Lutherans was Christ the King Sunday, a twentieth century Roman Catholic festival we adopted in 1978, but for the old Lutherans the Last Sunday after Trinity with its eschatological theme of the last judgment) the Bach Cantata […]
Pastor Benjamin Dueholm Preached at Lutheran Church of the Messiah, Wauconda, IL on September 17, 2019. Sisters and brothers, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. I found some lost sheep this week as I cleaned out my office. Lots of them, actually, lost and hiding in […]
Frank C. Senn We all need dedicated times to be present to God and to our bodily selves. In both we address our soul, that which makes us uniquely who we are. I could just say: you should have a time for personal prayer, maybe first thing in the morning using a good prayer […]
Richard O. Johnson It is my pleasure and my joy to be with you this evening for this event, and to contribute in some way, I hope, to “refreshing the hearts of the saints” here in the Metropolitan Chicago area. My thanks to Pastor Keith Forni for inviting me, and for being such a splendid […]
Maxwell Johnson December 12, 2016 Professor Johnson invited Let’s Talk to use a version of his talk published in Church Life Journal. A journal of the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame. Tim O’Malley, the director of the Institute, immediately gave us permission to republish this article. For some Christian […]
From Conflict to Communion – The First Joint Commemoration of the Reformation – Lutherans and Roman Catholics Together PDF of figures referenced in text PDF of this entire article: Historic Medallion Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation – Schumacher It is widely known that had it not been for the invention of the printing […]
The Eucharist as a propitiatory sacrifice offered by the priest on behalf of the living and the dead was at the center of medieval ecclesial life.[i] The biblical scholar and later evangelical reformer will sharply critique the mass as a sacrifice and ex opere operato work in light of the doctrine of justification by faith […]
We have used Lucas Cranach’s portrait of Martin Luther in a silk screen version as the logo for this Reformation 500 Jubilee issue of Let’s Talk. So much of the portraiture of the reformers and scenes of early Lutheran worship comes from Cranach that I thought he deserved some recognition in his own right. When […]