From the presiding Bishop

God’s irresistible call - March 2, 2018

When first elected presiding bishop, I was often asked what it meant to be the first woman entrusted with this call. I didn’t like that question then. I’m still ambivalent about it now. Why, in the 21st century, did my gender matter? Why, in 2013, was the election of a woman historic? I didn’t understand […]

A valentine gift from God - February 2, 2018

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry” (Love Story). “Forgiveness guaranteed. Repentance optional” (sign in front of a Lutheran church).   This year Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same date. It seems like an odd pairing—Ash Wednesday, a day of solemn repentance and honest reckoning of our brokenness, and Valentine’s Day, […]

Church speak - December 29, 2017

A colleague at the Lutheran Center related this story. An unchurched friend of hers was visiting and noticed her Advent calendar. “What is Advent?” she asked. A simple question. But my colleague soon discovered it wasn’t that easy to explain Advent to someone who had never heard of it, but who also had no frame […]

Disengage the autopilot - December 1, 2017

I was driving to work one day thinking about my schedule—the meetings I needed to attend, reports I needed to finish, preparations still to be completed for upcoming travel, email I needed to answer, phone calls I absolutely had to make, and compiling a grocery list in my head so I would pick up what […]

Living in a broken world - October 27, 2017

As I write this the Gulf Coast and Florida are starting the long recovery after hurricanes Harvey and Irma; Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are mostly ­­without electricity and running low on water, food, medicine and gasoline after Hurricane Maria. All of us are reeling from the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas. There […]

Oct. 32 and beyond - September 29, 2017

This is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. For the past year it has been “All Reformation All the Time!” Everything Martin Luther. The really observant have branched out to Philipp Melanchthon and Johannes Bugenhagen. True believers will dress their children up as Martin and Katie for Halloween, or if they tend toward the fear […]

At the table together - September 1, 2017

Old recipes are precious things. They give instructions about how to prepare a dish, but they are so much more. They are filled with memories. They connect families as they are passed from one generation to the next. They bring events and people from long ago right into the present. I am looking at a […]

The laborers in the vineyard - July 28, 2017

Just before Jesus entered Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, Jesus told a very interesting parable. It’s sometimes known as the “Laborers in the vineyard” (Matthew 20:1-16). You remember how it goes: A landowner hires laborers for his vineyard at 6 a.m., promising them that he would pay the usual daily wage. Then he hired […]

Living in the freedom of Christ - June 30, 2017

Recently I discovered Google Earth. I know, I’m a little late to the dance. But this is fascinating. You type in an address and up pops a photo. You can zoom in on places all over the world. And you can zoom out for, literally, a 35,000-foot view. I invite you to give it a […]

Serving the neighbor in charged times - June 2, 2017

These are politically charged times. This very sentence in the presiding bishop’s column is likely to raise eyebrows. Across this church I’ve heard stories of parishioners disturbed by the Gospel read on Sundays, believing the pastor chose the passage as a critique of the current administration. The Beatitudes seemed to provoke the most attention. In […]