From the presiding Bishop

Grace is a gift - May 17, 2024

As I write this it is early May. The leaves on the trees are still that new green that comes with spring. The lilacs are blooming with their intoxicating scent. The birds greet the dawn in the morning after a cold silent winter. The days are longer and there is sunlight. Baseball season is in […]

Easter message 2024 - March 28, 2024

“So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid.” That’s where the Gospel of Mark originally ended. And it just seems so odd to me. It’s so abrupt. I mean, the women had seen the angel. He’d announced […]

Our real and truest hope - December 1, 2023

There is a curse of unknown provenance that says, “May you live in interesting times.” In November we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, counting our blessings and giving thanks for the bounty of the land. It’s a time for families to gather and renew the bonds between generations. It’s a holiday open to all people of faith […]

One body, one spirit, one hope - September 1, 2023

As I write this the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is preparing to gather in Kraków, Poland, for its 13th assembly. Delegates, observers, guests and staff from the 149 member churches in 99 countries representing 77 million people will gather for worship, Bible study and deliberation. We will sing and pray in hundreds of languages—a veritable […]

Who is a “real” American? - June 30, 2023

My husband and I live in Skokie, Ill., a diverse community. Our neighbors to the west are an octogenarian Taiwanese Evangelical couple who regularly order meals from Kosher to Go. Our neighbors to the east are a Ukrainian and Russian multigenerational family. Our grocery stores have both kosher and halal departments. As I drive past […]

A time of renewal - May 5, 2023

At the 2022 Churchwide Assembly, the decision was taken to establish a Commission for a Renewed Lutheran Church to “reconsider the statements of purpose for each of the expressions of this church, the principles of its organizational structure, and all matters pertaining thereunto, being particularly attentive to our shared commitment to dismantle racism.” This is […]

Holy Saturday, holy space - April 7, 2023

They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because […]

The blurring of law and gospel - January 6, 2023

Martin Luther once said, “I felt that I had been born anew and that the gates of heaven had been opened. The whole of Scripture gained a new meaning. And from that point on the phrase ‘the justice of God’ no longer filled me with hatred, but rather became unspeakably sweet by virtue of a […]

God is with us - December 2, 2022

Sometimes the world just seems so solid. Reality is uncompromising and immutable. Literally, what you see is what you get, and our sight, our perception, is limited. So we forge on with all the obligations of daily life—family and work and taxes and deadlines. Our scope of existence becomes closed in, and our world gets […]

Healthful words of life - November 4, 2022

In September I had the beautiful privilege of preaching at a combined meeting of the Conference of Bishops and the inaugural gathering of the 2022-23 Fund for Leaders class. It was an amazing meeting of those beginning their call to public ministry and those who have served for decades—and, in some instances, were ready to […]