Posts in Letter
Bishop Hutterer: Border Reflections, part 2

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.

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Bishop's Letter regarding Trustworthy Servants of the People of God document

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.

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Bishop's Letter: Who is Like God?

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. 

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Bishop's Letter: Come With Me

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.

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Bishop's Letter: Church and conflict

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.

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Bishop's Letter: Living Your Vocation

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. 

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Bishop's Letter: What does Christmas really mean?

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.  

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Bishop's Letter: 4 Weeks of Hope

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. 

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Bishop's Letter: Honoring Veterans

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.

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