God often surprises me. I believe it was Anne Lamott who said, “God can be such a showoff.” Indeed.Read More
When I attended the Bishop’s Academy this January, the featured topic was care of creation. Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda and Dr. Larry Rasmussen shared their brutal facts, resources for hope, and the reminder of our baptismal call to strive for justice and peace throughout all the earth. I was awakened to the urgency of their message.Read More
In her May column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth takes time to reflect on one of “The Questions”—what is a life worth living? She reflects on the cruciform life, which delivers us from our constant striving to make our lives have meaning through our own efforts.Read More
I am flooded with joy thinking of the special traditions and celebrations that have just taken place across the Synod this past Holy Week. Thank you for proclaiming the new life and hope of life in Jesus into the hearts and spirits of so many.
I am also reminded that the very first Easter was something much different. As they went to the tomb, the followers of Jesus might have felt that they were abandoned by God and that death had the last word.Read More
At La Roca, the shelter I visited last week, children, women and men went to the border and stood in line. Once they received a number they could stay at La Roca while they waited for their number to be called. Cruzando Fronteras (a Lutheran-Episcopal ministry) supports this shelter.
Refugees who have been processed in the U.S. and await their court date are released. In Phoenix last week about 200 were released each day. With ICE lacking the capacity for growing asylee numbers, families have been released to churches in Phoenix for temporary and transitional shelter until they are capable of traveling to their final destination. Currently, there are not enough churches to accommodate the increasing numbers of asylum-seekers, and these families are being released on the street and at bus stations, with no means to continue their journey. Many would label this a humanitarian crisis, and as God’s people we can step in make a difference.Read More
This last Monday, I and a few others—Pastor Christine Stoxen, Pastor Miguel Gomez-Acosta, Pastor Mateo Chavez—visited the border at Nogales. The GCS and Episcopal Church share a ministry, Cruzando Fronteras. Deacon Rodger Babnew is the director. This ministry provides welcome and assistance to those seeking asylum. Here’s some of what I saw, heard, learned and experienced.Read More
Dear Church: This past weekend the ELCA Church Council met in Chicago. They decided not to consider for adoption a document entitled, “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God,” which had been recommended to them by the Conference of Bishops. Instead, they chose to refer this document back to the Domestic Mission Unit of the Churchwide office for further work and redrafting in alignment with the social teachings of the ELCA. In addition, the Church Council asked that a process be used by Domestic Mission which intentionally includes more diverse voices, especially those who perceive they were most harmed by the misuse of the current document, Vision and Expectations in the past.Read More
In her April column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us that “we—all created things—are family.” As Earth Day nears on April 22, we should be “especially mindful of the gift of creation and our place in it.” Read her column in English at https://bit.ly/2Un8jdj and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/2FNJYW5.Read More
Mitch was at the lowest point of his life. From the age of 15, he had struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol. He was involved in crime, unable to hold a job, and had reached the point that even his loyal wife had given up hope. His cycle of recovery and relapse had continued year after year to the point that he was alone.Read More
One of my favorite Lenten memories is as a little girl growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota. My congregation, Arlington Hills, hosted a weekly 6:30 a.m. breakfast and bible study to nourish body and soul. On Friday mornings, I would walk to my friends homes to pick them up.
Looking back on these memories has caused me to ponder the different ways that we invite others to come to Christ’s community.Read More
In her March column for Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on prayer. She reminds us that prayer is not about the technique—the how or why we pray. Prayer is an invitation to divine love. Prayer is about relationship with God. Prayer is God seeking us. Read her column in English at https://bit.ly/2TdwTh7 and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/2TcUiPG.Read More
I’m an avid hiker. I’ve hiked many Arizona trails, as well as a portion of the Camino de Santiago and the Dales Way in England. I have a pretty good sense of direction. But sometimes, I do get lost.Read More
Back in 1994, before I attended seminary, I was working at a church in the Midwest as the parish life coordinator. In many ways, it was a dream job. I felt called to do this work.
Toward the end of my first year in the position, conflict began to brew. Some church leaders did not agree with how the pastor and staff (of which I was a part) were going about the work of the church and outreach efforts. It was ugly. It felt personal.Read More
What is a vocation? I used to think that a vocation was some big thing. A one true grand calling in life with which we are somehow anointed. But as I reflect on this quote from Martin Luther during this season of Epiphany, I am reminded that this is not the case.
Any work done in faith can be a vocation. We are all made holy through baptism in Christ to do holy work.Read More
I wonder what Simon, a professional fisherman, thought when he received this command from Jesus. Was he inspired and eager? Or petulant and cynical? He was probably tired from working all night. He might have been discouraged and sad that he didn’t catch anything.Read More
I was having coffee with a hiking friend the other morning and we were talking about Christmas. My friend recently joined an ELCA congregation after many years of questioning her faith in the Gospel.
She shared her joy at re-discovering Christ's birth this Christmas. In the midst of shopping, parties, and festivities, she has valued the quiet times and pausing to gaze upon the Christ-child in the manger.Read More
The days are surely coming. This week we begin a season of waiting and anticipation. 4 weeks to prepare ourselves and get ready. Waiting for promises to be realized. 4 weeks of hope.
We live in a world where justice and righteousness are not always present. But hope grows in the soil of possibilities with God, not the dirt of life’s present circumstances. Hope is the deep conviction that God is working powerfully in our lives and in the world. It is not based on what we can do or see. Hope is anchored in the faithfulness of God.Read More
After my husband Gary was diagnosed with ALS in 2010, it was hard to feel grateful.
We went home, questioning how we would get through this. We prayed that God would give us what we needed, and the eyes to see that God had provided. Each day we thanked God for being with us even when we couldn’t recognize all that had been provided.Read More
One hundred years ago this Sunday, November 11, the most terrible war the world had ever known came to an end.
Sadly, Armistice Day did not mark the end of all wars. Human affairs among nations fail and natural disasters strike. Violence, cruelty, and injustice overwhelm us. And God raises up people who are willing to put their lives in harm’s way on behalf of their country.Read More