A delighted thank you

Thank you for the wonderful magazine. I especially loved the article “Class on the current” about the students spending a semester on the Mississippi. As a Lutheran, river runner and former park ranger (on the Colorado River), I was delighted to see these students connect to God’s beautiful creation. Thanks for your hard work bringing us hopeful articles.

Elysha R. Iversen
Seaside, Calif.

Editor retires

Daniel Lehmann, thank you for your faithful and steady hand at the helm of The Lutheran this past decade. Our church has sailed through tumultuous waters, especially during your time as editor. Thanks for reminding us again and again of the fundamental nature and mission of the ELCA.

The Rev. Herbert W. Chilstrom
St. Peter, Minn.

Keeping informed

We are longtime readers of The Lutheran, all of 28 years! We read every word and are inspired and informed every month.

Bob and Jo Rod
Ames, Iowa

Exploration of faith

For quite some time I have appreciated the series “Deeper understandings” in The Lutheran as serious explorations of faith. The topics have been far-ranging but always worth reading for their depth and new insights. Even though written by seminary professors, they are understandable and interesting. Sometimes I go back to the articles when I have time to think things through again. I began saving back issues with the “Deeper understandings” pages turned outward, just in case I had a good time to reread them. Please keep those features coming.

Clare Gordon
Concord, Mass.

Successful sermons

The article “168 hours in a week … Preachers: Use your time wisely” was spot on. We are blessed to have two excellent pastors who frequently follow the recurring themes mentioned. The one barometer I use for a “successful sermon” is when the sermon is over, I feel like the pastor was talking specifically to me. Too many public service announcements, commercial messages or homework assignments during the sermon detract from the message.

John L. Adair
Ventura, Calif.

Cleaning church clutter

I enjoyed “Starting fresh,” having been through the process of cleaning out our church. One issue not mentioned is that of people bringing unwanted items to church thinking that maybe they can use it at church. These “donations” usually fall into one of three categories: kitchenware (including food), craft supplies and old books. We have limited storage space and really don’t want that gift assortment of exotic tea that you received for Christmas.

Jill Knuth
Stanford, Calif.


How’s this for a definition? “Grace” is something good that comes your way that you weren’t expecting and didn’t deserve, but you got it anyway.

The Rev. Roland Zimany
Urbandale, Iowa

Showing compassion

I greatly agree with Bill Robbins in “Letters” about sojourners and showing some compassion to immigrants. When one thinks about it, we almost all come from immigrants. All except for Indians and other native people. Let us all reach out to people in need.

Earl Finkler
Medford, Wis.

Calling for tolerance

The issues raised in the “Meaningful advocacy” letter should be the front page of the next edition. Thank you, Tom Wenstrand, for your comments. It would seem sometimes those most vocal (fierce advocates of something) in calling for tolerance are the least willing to give it. The “Membership decline” letter also highlighted leadership that’s not in tune with members.

Mark Habedank
Twin Valley, Minn.

Dedicated pastors

In “Membership decline,” it distresses me that David Moe and his family have experienced two significant incidents that left him with such negative opinions regarding Lutheran clergy. I’ll admit that I’m biased because I’m the spouse of a Lutheran pastor who was ordained nearly 45 years ago. My children and I will attest to the fact that not every Lutheran pastor serves their children and family in the way Mr. Moe experienced. I can’t say that every pastor is as dedicated as my husband, but our family has delayed vacations so he could preside at a funeral and returned early so he could be present for a hospitalized member in ICU. It’s my hope that Mr. Moe and his family have been able to find a congregation that they feel has the leadership that fits the needs of their family.

Christine La Croix
Fort Myers, Fla.

The ‘real presence’

The article “Pope on Lutherans”  (January, page 6) states that a crucial condition for Protestants to receive communion is that they genuinely believe in the “real presence” of Christ in the eucharist. Lutherans and some Episcopalians believe in the “real presence,” but most Protestant denominations do not.

The Rev. Larry Gardner
Honolulu, Hawaii

Seeking clarity

I look forward to reading The Lutheran each month. Referencing the article “Courageous conversations,” I am German with some English and have been Lutheran all of my life. I don’t understand why white police officers are always gunning down or directly murdering black children, especially [those who wear] black jackets with hoods up. I was in Florida for the winter, one town away when Trayvon Martin got gunned down for no reason whatsoever. … A security guard killed him. This makes absolutely no sense to me.

Marilyn Melvin
Canonsburg, Pa.

God’s children

I noticed that a popular feature called “Youngchurch” in The Lutheran was removed. “Youngchurch” was my favorite column growing up. I want to share with you my favorite “Youngchurch” article. In the late 1990s, I came across children’s drawings on people who they help or something similar. The title of the article was “I walk grandpa.” A young child drew him or her pushing her grandfather who was in a wheelchair. God gave us our young ones, and I thank the authors of “Youngchurch” for showing the connection between our Lutheran congregations, church activities and God’s children.

Marissa Pitts
Brockton, Mass.

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