Ministry in Context

Our Turning World

My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
And the world is about to turn.

Even as the sidewalks are still frozen here in St. Paul, and the ground is way too stiff and snowpiled to even think about planting and harvest, we are in a season of flux. This should come as no surprise to people in our line of work. We know the rhythms of liturgical years as well as program years. Like the slow rotation of the earth, even now

Save the trees!

The CL office is running out of file space—and you can help. Once you've submitted your mid-year and final evaluations online, all we need from you are the signed signature pages that accompany them. There's no need for you to print and submit the entire evaluation form; we can access that portion online ourselves. So please think of our files (and consider the trees) when you go to print your evaluations—and just go for the signature pages.

Here's an idea

At Bethany-Elim in Ivanhoe, MN, where Steve Rasmussen and Julie Anderson are the pastors and Kent Krumwiede is the intern, some wonderful veteran members of the congregation were "present" virtually for worship on the Sunday after Christmas. For a Lessons and Carols service on that day, elderly and shut-in members of the congregation were videotaped reading the lessons, and the videos were played at worship as part of the service.

When one of those members died a few weeks later, she had “just

The undertaking

by Ingrid Arneson Rasmussen

“A good funeral gets the dead to where they are going, and the living to where they need to be.” –Thomas Lynch

During theology school, I took a preaching course on death and dying with Tom Long. Long assigned Thomas Lynch’s book entitled The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade. Lynch, a poet and a funeral director in Michigan, shares Long’s abiding interest in the way that the living treat the dead.

Unless your internship congregation

Taking a longer look

I was in my bank, a supermarket branch, sitting down and doing some simple business. Next to me an elderly woman (even older than me) was conducting banking business. She was the very picture of the elderly lady: a tiny thing with carefully coiffed grey hair, precise make-up, neat clothing, wrinkled skin, a pleasant smile on her face. I could see her baking cookies, drinking tea, watching “Downton Abbey” with a cat on her lap, giving generous gifts to grandchildren and maybe even great

Photo Album

Are blue Priuses the official vehicle of choice for ELCA Lutherans these days? Maybe they are in the state of Washington. These four lined up side by side at the ordination of Annette Andrews-Lux at Trinity Lutheran in Freeland on January 19. (Jim Lindus, Luther Seminary Board Chair, is the senior pastor at Trinity.) Word has it that three of these cars belong to ELCA pastors, and the fourth is driven by a person from the NW Washington Candidacy Committee. (photo by Julie Josund)