From the presiding Bishop

Love your neighbor - May 3, 2016

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On […]

Can we answer the question ‘why’? - April 5, 2016

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. […]

Holy Saturday - February 24, 2016

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 […]

Time to get to know each other - January 24, 2016

Sometimes I just don’t get us. We are the least likely of all people to speak enthusiastically about our church. I don’t know if it is some cross-cultural Lutheran modesty that compels us to hide our light under a bushel, but the effect is that the ELCA is one of the best kept secrets — […]

The promise, hope of Christmas - December 23, 2015

God comes to us, finds us and gives our restless hearts rest.

Putting the pieces together - December 22, 2015

It has been just more than two years since I began this call. I’m often asked what has been the greatest surprise. Certainly the amount of travel has been a surprise, but the greatest has been the complexity and scope of the ELCA. As bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod, I had a pretty good […]

The unsettled season of Advent - November 22, 2015

O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, 257). Advent. We were just here it seems. It’s a season of preparation and anticipation. It can become exhausting and relentless. The commercial run-up to Christmas has certainly gotten longer. Sometime […]

Coming to grips with happiness - October 19, 2015

In her book Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World, Barbara Ehrenreich wrote about the relentless pressure she faced to be upbeat while undergoing treatment for cancer. Any lapse in positive attitude would give aid and comfort to the cancer cells attacking her body and she would somehow be responsible for […]

What is ‘Lutheran’? - September 21, 2015

For the past two years, I’ve organized my work around these four emphases: we are church, we are Lutheran, we are church together and we are church for the sake of the world.  I want to spend a little time thinking with you about what it means to be Lutheran in the 21st century. What […]

If God is enough - August 26, 2015

From time to time I am invited to celebrate congregational anniversaries. It’s wonderful to see the church in action and to meet members from all across the country. It is also interesting to see the variety of sizes and architectural styles our buildings come in. Looking at building additions in churches is like studying growth […]