From the presiding Bishop

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 […]

A common witness - October 14, 2022

One of the distinct privileges of this call as presiding bishop is seeing the church at work at home and around the world. The Lutheran movement is alive and well, speaking the gospel in a distinctive voice. Sunday after Sunday the good news is proclaimed in accordance with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. In hundreds […]

We are woven together - September 2, 2022

He was a young man. In his early 20s. He had cancer. His mother and stepfather cared for him to the point of weariness. The family was unchurched, but a friend was a member of our parish and asked if I could visit them. That’s how I came to walk with them in the last […]

Can we answer the question ‘why’? - August 5, 2022

Once for continuing education I signed up for an introduction to philosophy course at the community college. I was a music education major in college and never had any philosophy courses. Since philosophy and theology are so closely related, I thought it was about time that I became better acquainted with the Western philosophical tradition. […]

The good Samaritan - July 11, 2022

I have been thinking a lot about the parable of the good Samaritan lately (Luke 10:25-37). Parts of it are so familiar—the unfortunate victim, the robbers, the priest, the Levite, the Samaritan—that I miss points of deeper meaning. We all know the compassion and generosity of the Samaritan has become the standard by which we […]

We have a choice - May 6, 2022

Browsing through my work journal recently, I noticed the date when my entries stopped: March 19, 2020. The next week the Chicago-based churchwide staff began sheltering in place. I remember moving the magnets on the Office of the Presiding Bishop’s attendance board to “out” for all of us, wondering when or if we would all […]

The way back to our center - April 7, 2022

587 B.C.E. was not a good year. The siege of Jerusalem ended with the destruction of the city, its walls and Solomon’s temple. Many died of starvation during the siege. The Babylonians, at the direction of King Nebuchadnezzar II, brutally removed the population of Jerusalem to exile in Babylon. For three generations Judah lived in […]

A time for a reset - March 4, 2022

In the first seven chapters of Genesis, we move quickly from the glory of creation to disobedience, expulsion from the garden and fratricide to the wickedness of humankind. We read, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only […]

What masks do we all wear? - January 7, 2022

Getting ready to leave the house—for work or errands—takes a couple extra steps during a pandemic. Do I know how crowded my destination will be? Did I remember to take a mask? Of all the annoying things about this pandemic, I find remembering to take and to wear a mask is one of the most […]