In January's column, I wrote about how the story of Jesus’ incarnation shared in the Christmas Eve service reminded me to lift my eyes from focus on the church to notice God’s love for the world.
God so loved the world -- John's Gospel tells us -- that God became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth (1:14).
I am committed to trying to lift up ways God is at work loving the world, and to notice where our staff, students, and partner congregations are getting involved in
I had a revelation Christmas Eve. Yes, yes, I know. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It's not that. It was during the 10:30 service, near the end, at the part where the lights go down and we all begin to light individual candles, one by one. For liturgical reasons I’ll spare you at the moment, at this juncture of the service we read a second Gospel lesson, here from the first chapter of John’s gospel. It fits here in a way, with all the talk of light shining in the darkness.
So what was
A Family Practice
Our family is a “sit at the table together” family. As Lutheran Christians, we own the fact that we are often thought of as the branch of Christians ‘prone to excessive singing,’ as one Episcopalian friend puts it. And our family is no exception. Rarely a day goes by that we don’t join in song at breakfast and dinner, giving thanks to God for good gifts and recalling our connection and duty to those who scrap by with little or nothing. We have small
A short update and a book recommendation.
Thank you for the many responses to my column last month on the issue of interns and administration of the sacraments. I have had (and continue to have) lively conversations with interns, former interns, pastors and bishops. I've drafted a letter to our partner bishops in Regions 1 and 3 seeking their wisdom. I'll report back with a more complete response in due time.
For now, just know the conversation is rich, about central aspects of
Not Quite a Pastor
A number of conversations--both with interns finishing and beginning their experience--pushed me to write down some questions about how we negotiate the tensions around interns presiding at the sacraments. I am increasingly sure we’re unhelpfully confused on this issue, and I’d like to just try out my thinking for your deliberation and response.
First, two stories about how this came to the front burner for me.
One intern, just getting started, wrote
I've been praying for and thinking about the many new students headed out into various ministry contexts. Of course, I'm thinking of interns, supervisors, lay committees, and congregations getting started together just now. Also, I think of Teaching Congregation students, new to Luther and to theological education, trying to find a learning context to accompany them during years of classwork.
Many of you, dear readers, are NOT connected to a new internship. You might be tempted to skip this
This month I have a specific invitation to interns who will be returning to campus at Luther Seminary. Over the past few years we've developed a pattern of welcoming returning interns by listening to your stories (and inviting you to listen to each other's stories) about internship. This year we'll do this on
Wednesday, September 4, from 1:30-5:00 p.m
As we said in an email to you earlier this summer, we know the return to campus can be rough. We know you've grown in your leadership, and have lived
This is the last in a series of posts drawing from a little book by George Mason titled
Preparing the Pastors We Need: Reclaiming the Congregation’s Role in Training Clergy
(Alban, 2012). The book could be described as practical guidance for congregations and clergy interested in supporting excellent "in context" learning for clergy in training. This applies to many contexts, not just the particular sort of pastoral residency Mason has led at Wilshire Baptist, the church he leads in Dallas.
As we turn to summer, and all the changes the turn of the seasons offer, this beautiful reflection by poet Mary Oliver encourages us to linger, to pay attention, and to wonder what God would have us do with our one wild and precious life!
The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth
May’s issue of Ministry of Context
I began a series of articles drawing from a little book by George Mason titled Preparing the Pastors We Need: Reclaiming the Congregation’s Role in Training Clergy (Alban, 2012). Pr. Mason has led Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas since 1989. For the past 12 years, Wilshire has hosted a pastoral residency program focused on mentoring young pastors in their first years after graduation from seminary.
In the last post I discussed the crucial feature