In 1983 in Vancouver, the Assembly of the World Council of Churches articulated a “eucharistic” vision which …unites our two profoundest ecumenical concerns: the unity and renewal of the church and the healing and destiny of the human community. Church unity is vital to the health of the church and to the future of the […]
Beginning in February 2020 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 wear masks, maintain social distance, and stay at home except for essentials. 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, talks given to members of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, or articles from other pastors and theologians, not limited to ELCA. Send submissions in Word docx. to email@example.com.
“Thee, thee and thee, but not me,” Dr. Kubler-Ross used to say about death and dying.It happens to everyone else but not to me. So it is with tragedy and lament in the ministry. Things happen in other communities, but not here; things happen to other pastors but not to me. And then it happens. […]
In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, there has been renewed attention to the role of lament in public and private life. Lament involves the recognition that we are not in control. It is a healthy corrective in a culture which focuses on success (presumed to be attainable) and on being in control of our […]
by Walter Brueggemann Minneapolis: Fortress, 2002. 75 pp. $6.00 Reviewed/excerpted by Joyce M. Bowers Walter Brueggemann is the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. He is a prolific author; many of his books have been published by Fortress Press, notably Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy […]
The theme of this article is “The Law-Court Pattern of Prayer.” This pattern is used by the poets in accounts about Abraham, Moses, and Elijah, and is present in about fifty Psalms, in Jeremiah and in Job. In all of these texts the poets wrestle with the experience of innocent suffering. We will look at […]
I. We lament death. We grieve and we mourn. “Blessed are those who mourn,” said Jesus, “for they shall be comforted.” In this beatitude many people take refuge. I have heard people call this the principal beatitude of their lives. What are we lamenting? We lament death. Death means change. Death disrupts what we have […]
Gerald L. Lundby responded to Frank Senn’s column “As I See It … The Need to Observe the Rubrics” in Volume 7, Issue 2 as follows: Pastor Senn’s comments on the proper use of the liturgy were scholarly and appreciated. I sometimes find that the “contemporary liturgies” popping up all over our synod congregations leave […]
This is off the beaten path for me, but the situation in the Holy Land has been an interest of mine since I was privileged to travel to Israel and Palestine in the summer of 1998 in the Christian Clergy Traveling Seminar sponsored by the Chicago Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. I’m grateful that […]
Faithful Conversation: Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality, ed.James M. Childs Jr. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003. viii + 132pp. $9.00. A Commentary by way of a Review I had intended to write a review, not a commentary flowing from a review. Furthermore, the review taking shape in my head was negative. I now begin this review fully aware […]
ALPB Conference on Christian Sexuality, Ruskin Heights Lutheran Church, Kansas City, MO, October 2002 Report and Reflections by Wayne R. Cowell They came to the heartland from every state except Hawaii, and some from Canada. Conference organizer Russell Saltzman had been clear about what they should expect. In his announcement (Forum Letter, Vol. 31, No. […]
So far, I have been very dissatisfied with the discussion of the proposals for same-sex holy unions and ordination of sexually active homosexual clergy in the ELCA. The discussion keeps being presented as a debate between “liberals” and “conservatives” or between “progressives” and “traditionalists,” with the former supposed to be in support of the radical […]
Ross Merkel is the pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Oakland, California. Saint Paul, an ELCA congregation, is a growing, joyful church with outstanding worship, education, fellowship, and service to the community. I have been a member of St. Paul’s for five years. About a year ago, in the middle of a dialogue sermon, […]
In 1991 the ELCA voted to welcome all people regardless of their sexual orientation into membership in their congregations. This was reaffirmed in 1995. In 1993, the Metropolitan Chicago Synod became a “Reconciling in Christ” Synod, by affirming that “gay and lesbian people share with all others the worth that comes from being loved and […]
Writing in First Things (“While We’re At It,” April 2003, pg. 84), Richard John Neuhaus probed issues raised by Keith Forni in Let’s Talk (“The Allure of Catholicity: Latino Lutheran Ministries in the Crosshairs,” Vol.7.2, Christmas 2002). Readers will recall that Forni was responding to an article in the Chicago Sun Times: “Are Lutherans pretending […]
Analyses Supporting Union Blessings and Ordination Issue Boswell, John. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980. Brooten, Bernadette J. Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Countryman, […]