Question: How do you talk about Jesus’ crucifixion at an open mic show with spiritual- but-not-religious types, many of whom have been badly burned by Christians and the church? Answer: It’s a trick question. You don’t talk about it – you embody it. The idea first occurred to me during the winter of 2008 after […]
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.
What’s the difference between “communion” and “community”? The two words come from the same root and suggest the connections we so quickly draw. But there are important differences that we easily overlook. Communities are all around us, formed by various boundaries—racial, geographic, ideological, etc. One community is those people whom the Holy Spirit gathers to […]
How do we let people say “No”? In tandem with many churches, Lutheran and otherwise, my own parish has moved toward a wider, more explicit, and less qualified invitation to Holy Communion. This development has been more pragmatic than principled, at least as far as my own role is concerned. I am generally persuaded by […]
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has recently launched a significant churchwide discussion: Table and Font: Who is Welcome? An Invitation to join the conversation about Baptism and Communion. A number of resources and perspective papers have been published to seed and orient the conversation.Some themes of this conversation have become familiar to many of […]
The ELCA is having a conversation about “radical hospitality” in the practice of Holy Communion. This means that the Table is open not only to all baptized Christians, but to all worshipers, even if they are not baptized. I can only assume that we are having this conversation because some pastors and congregations are issuing […]
“This bread we have baked represents each one of us in this family,” says the prayer we recite after baking the prosphora, or communion bread. Every time, this sort of shocks me. Fascinates me. Mildly appalls me. How can it be that altar bread represents us–how can something so sacred and central to our faith and […]
At synod and churchwide assemblies and in many parishes the communicant is presented a menu with a variety of options: broken loaf or wheat wafers or gluten-free wafers, wine drunk from a common cup, a cup for intinction, or wine in individual containers, or a non-alcoholic beverage. The institution narratives of the Lord’s Supper in […]
Food justice is a bit of a touchy subject for me. By day, I am a mild-mannered PhD student studying Agricultural & Resource Economics. By night Sunday morning, I don a mask and cape choir robe and masquerade around as a Lutheran. Around my economist colleagues, I generally avoid discussing where I go on Sunday […]
“So, why are you vegan?” I am asked this question frequently and I dodge it almost every time. “It’s a long story,” I’ll say, or “It’s complicated,” or “Do you really want to know?” They almost never really want to know. For the persistent acquaintance, there’s a second buffer of deflecting responses. “For the same […]
As one about to go on a final ministry internship and then on to ordained ministry, I see the topic of food justice with kind of a grim awe. The words, when they stand next to each other, food and justice, force me to realize that the food I enjoy each day comes at more […]
What resources can we, as Christians (and specifically Lutherans), access to help us address hunger or food justice issues? By resources I mean models or tools that inform a response. It may help to first recognize that people respond to need from various motivations. We may do so out of charity or humanitarian response. We […]
Coffee is the most traded good in the world behind oil, due to the fact that most coffee is grown in developing countries but consumed in developed countries1. Although coffee is part of many people’s ‘daily grind,’ most do not realize that before reaching their mug or their church coffeepot their coffee has been grown, […]
The Missing Ingredients Trinity Lutheran Church, Nampa, Idaho’s journey with food preparation and preservation began in the kitchen. In 2010 we, like so many community gardens in Southwest Idaho, were distributing thousands of pounds of fresh produce to food banks and food pantries, our own pantry included. Looking from our cupboards full of canned and […]
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.1 Food is medicine. When you are not properly nourished you cannot think, reason, or behave normally. When you are properly fed you have the ability to operate at your full physical and mental potential. Many in our communities are not operating at their full potential […]
In the realm of human life, hunger is omnipotent. It can level a city, throttle a kingdom, halt an army, empty a countryside, stunt a growing body, shrivel a grown one, and wrench God out of our heaven. Images of hunger are terrifying, largely for the suffering they portray but also, I think, because they […]