In this Season: Light in the Darkness

Colleagues,That was the caption for the Christmas message sent to USA Episcopalians last week by their new presiding bishop. Here’s the text that one of you Episcopalian readers passed on to me. Episcopal News Service December 19, 2006″In this Season: Light in the Darkness” One in a series of occasional reflections from the Presiding Bishop [ENS. Note to readers: With …

Mortality at the Manger 2006

Colleagues, This week’s post is a sequel to last week’s. It too links the terms cancer and Christian–and Christmas. This time not among children in Shanghai, but in the flesh of a dear colleague of mine in N. Mankato, Minnesota, Dennis Ahl. Two months ago the diagnosis came in for him: pancreatic cancer — already metastisized.That immediately brought to mind …

A Window to Heaven–When Children See Life in Death

Colleagues: Dean Lueking, pastor emeritus at Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest, Illinois is on the same graduation picture as I am–Concordia Seminary, Class of 1954. He married well, became Jaroslav Pelikan’s brother-in-law. Nowadays he and wife Beverly are working on a book. Something to do with what Lutherans around the world think Lutheranism amounts to in that particular piece of …

Theology Befitting a Bishop–a Proposal, an Offer

Colleagues Elizabeth Eaton was elected Bishop of ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod last Saturday. I do not know her. But I do know one who was on the ballot–and so do you from reading ThTh posts in the past. Jerry Burce, Crossings board member and pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in that synod was also nominated As successive ballots reduced the …

Singing Around the Advent Wreath

Colleagues: A decade or so ago our church musician at Bethel Lutheran here in St. Louis, Stephen C. Mager, came to Marie and me with the German text of an “Advent Wreath Hymn” that he had found on some recording. He’d written down the text from what he heard, did likewise with the tune. His request: “Could we render the …

Thanksgiving — with a Biblical Hebrew Accent

Colleagues On the second Thursday of each month here in St. Louis the Lutheran Professional Church Workers Conference gathers for worship, program, conversation. I was slotted for the November program segment. “Something on Thanksgiving” was my assignment. But the mini-stroke intervened, and someone else presented on another topic.Yet I had the presentation worked out before my affliction struck. So you …

“God Loves You” or “Christ Forgives You” — Which One is Gospel?

Colleagues, Timothy Hoyer, ELCA pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Lakewood NY, is not a timorous Timothy. Though you might get the opposite impression upon meeting him. Perhaps a clone of “Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for The Daily Planet,” you might think. Not the full Timothy. He has been featured on ThTh posts before–often in response to some less-than-Gospel mantra …

Images of Home

Colleagues, With one eyepatch–as double-vision persists–I can peck at the computer keyboard, but not always at the right keys.Pastor Robin Morgan (presently interim at Peace ELCA, Washington MO) offered to give me a rest. So she sent something for this week’s ThTh posting. Thank you, Robin. She and husband Hal have been providing home hospice care for Hal’s father, who …

Insiders / Outsiders at the Lord’s Supper

Marie here: Ed’s health is improving, but there’s still a way to go. Headache is gone, nausea gone. Double vision persists (ergo computer incompetence), and weakness. He suggests we send to you Brian Heinrich’s “Street Ministry” newsletter we just received. Brian’s been on these pages before — Ed’s TA from Seminex days, Canadian Lutheran, street priest for Lutheran Urban Mission …

Luther’s Theology of the Cross is Not a Theology of Suffering

Marie here. Medication for Ed’s symptoms–headache, nausea–are working pretty well., But the double vision persists, and overall weakness and wobbliness too. We appreciate greatly the cards and e-mails we’ve been receiving. You are a “great cloud of witnesses.” Ed talking now, Marie at the computer. For this Reformation Day posting we have dug back into the “barrel” and come up …