Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Living Lutheran Post: The Weary Traveler

Over the past couple of years I have been traveling around the country to preach or present at conferences and to learn about the ways ELCA congregations have been responding to the poverty they find in the communities where they live and worship.

Everywhere I’ve visited I have been inspired by the creativity, gospel-centeredness and the risks congregations have taken to care for their neighbor and to tangibly pass on the grace they have received.

Some of the greatest risks these congregations have taken happened by inviting people inside their worship spaces and home lives.

Read the rest at LivingLutheran.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New Cafe Article: Advocacy - Faith in Action

When most people think of the 2009 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ameria's Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis, they think of the votes cast to allow openly gay people to serve as pastors. Some advocacy-minded folk might also think of the launch of the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

I think of tornadoes.

It felt strange to me that my beloved Lutheran church, in the midst of the biggest economic crisis since the great depression, would spend such little time talking about domestic hunger and economic issues. Particularly at a time when the church seemed like it might be on the verge of splintering, it seemed like we should be talking about what Lutherans are best at: responding to poverty and advocating for hunger relief.

Sleepless in Minneapolis

Following in the footsteps of the great Civil Rights leaders who dramatized struggles in order to bring much needed attention to them, I decided to sleep on the streets of Minneapolis during the assembly. Since I had been on more than eight street retreats in San Francisco and lived with the poor in Nicaragua, I felt confident heading to Minneapolis.