From the presiding Bishop

Connected, generous, free to serve - January 8, 2021

Dear church, We have been living with this pandemic for nearly a year. So much has changed. Bubbles, personal protective equipment, social distancing and one-way grocery aisles are part of our lexicon and everyday experience. Who knew, a year ago, that face masks would be advertised as ideal stocking stuffers? Our homes have become offices, […]

We are never alone - December 4, 2020

The room was spare and dimly lit. We sat on folding chairs in a circle—young Honduran women and some of us from the ELCA. We had come to Honduras to observe the work of AMMPARO (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities). This is the ELCA’s strategy to help youth who have been […]

At the table together - November 6, 2020

Editor’s note: In keeping with this month’s theme issue, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton is sharing her favorite food and faith story, which originally appeared in her September 2017 column. 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 […]

Set free - October 2, 2020

A colleague of mine once pointed out that Martin Luther wrote far more about freedom than he did about reform or reformation. Liberation in Christ through faith was the freedom that transformed Luther. This freedom is what he wrote about most frequently and most passionately. In The Freedom of a Christian, Luther makes the case […]

Uncertain times - September 4, 2020

Between 1527 and 1529, Martin Luther wrote and composed his famous hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” He based the text of this hymn on Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (verse 1). Luther knew about trouble. He had been excommunicated by the church and declared […]

God’s beautiful dark works - July 31, 2020

Perhaps one of the best-known verses in the New Testament is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” It comes toward the end of a deep conversation between Nicodemus, a leader of his […]

Witnesses to the transcendent - June 5, 2020

An amazing thing happened in March. Churches were closed but more people came to church. Millions of us were complying with shelter-in-place and physical distancing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local officials to stop the spread of the coronavirus. In a matter of days our lives were […]

United in baptism - May 1, 2020

There is an Irish saying: “It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” I am writing this at the end of March. I don’t know what the world will look like when you read this at the beginning of May. COVID-19 has the world sheltering-in-place. We’ve learned new concepts such as […]

Freed to serve - April 3, 2020

Lutherans have an appreciation for the complexity of life. It’s a certain willingness to meet the world and then go deeper into what is immediately present. It is the ability to understand that reality has room for being two things at once. Paradox. We know that we are saint and sinner. We know the word […]

Take and eat - March 6, 2020

At the end of the book of Acts there is the story of Paul’s journey to Rome. Paul had taken many journeys that were arduous and dangerous, but this last one was especially severe. Paul was being taken to Rome to stand trial. He would be placed under house arrest and finally executed. While he […]