Of outward signs, inward grace and Pastor Nadia’s prayer for a time of pandemic when the sacraments can’t be celebrated

Sometimes you find exactly what you need at exactly the right moment, and you don’t know why. Serendipity? Coincidence? The Holy Spirit at work? In 12-step recovery meetings, sometimes you’ll hear the old-timers say a coincidence is what you call it when God prefers to remain anonymous. Whatever it is, I’ll take it. Here’s what … Continue reading Of outward signs, inward grace and Pastor Nadia’s prayer for a time of pandemic when the sacraments can’t be celebrated

Futures file (Notes & Quotes): Iowa’s nativist ban on foreign languages during World War I

Some first-rate quotes below, from a post on Patheos by a biographer of Swedish-American aviator Charles Lindbergh, on the anti-German hysteria that spilled over and left some Swedish, Norwegian, Czech and other immigrant churches unable to communicate with their parishioners during World War I and its immediate aftermath. I presented a paper on the hysteria, … Continue reading Futures file (Notes & Quotes): Iowa’s nativist ban on foreign languages during World War I

Reflecting on Ezekiel’s vision of God (and Cyndi Lauper’s) prompted by an email newsletter from America magazine

… by an author from whom I have a lot more to learn A reflection from America magazine landed in my inbox this morning (Mon, Aug 8, 6:33 AM, to be exact) that was thought-provoking, gave me a couple of new images of God and introduced me to a writer I really want to study. … Continue reading Reflecting on Ezekiel’s vision of God (and Cyndi Lauper’s) prompted by an email newsletter from America magazine

Caring for creation in a time of environmental crisis: Stewardship, sacrament and Laudato Si’

In my inbox today, by coincidence when I’ve been doing keyword searches for ecumenical resources on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, a copy of Richard Rohr’s summary of this week’s daily meditations on the theme “A Sacramental Reality.” One of those coincidences we’re reminded to look for in 12-step recovery? Sure looks like it. The … Continue reading Caring for creation in a time of environmental crisis: Stewardship, sacrament and Laudato Si’

Connecting the dots between a gospel reading from Mark, the historical Jesus, St. Francis and monarch butterfly eggs

Mark 7 [NRSV]. Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands,[a] thus observing the tradition of … Continue reading Connecting the dots between a gospel reading from Mark, the historical Jesus, St. Francis and monarch butterfly eggs

Notes & quotes — Augustana Synod and ecumenical relations

Two very useful articles on the subject: Allan Pfnister, “Augustana College and Theological Seminary: A Brief History,” AHA, Spring 2002, 6-9 http://augustanaheritage.augustana.edu/aha_spring_2001.pdfvery clear on help Esbjorn got from president of Knox College, Passavant, p. 7-8  2. Derek R. Nelson, “Unity, Ecumenicity, and Difference in the. Augustana Synod,” Lutheran Quarterly, 24 (2010) http://augustanaheritage.augustana.edu/Nelson_on_Unity.pdf This same theme, that of affi rming the validity … Continue reading Notes & quotes — Augustana Synod and ecumenical relations

What Luther said about the presence of God in his cabbage soup and why it matters

Seen on the unofficial ELCA discussion group’s Facebook page, an allusion to Luther’s comment “that God is [present] in his cabbage soup.” I’d never seen it before, and I loved the quote! Hence this blog post, so I’ll know where to look for it. Maybe even what to do with it. Also so I can … Continue reading What Luther said about the presence of God in his cabbage soup and why it matters

Notes & quotes: ‘How Our Lady of Guadalupe Became Lutheran’

Luisa Feline Freier, “How Our Lady of Guadalupe Became Lutheran: Latin American Migration and Religious Change,” Migraciones internacionales [Tijuana], 5, no. 2 (July-Dec. 2009) http://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1665-89062009000200006. xxx [Luisa Feline Freier is a Professor in the Department of Social and Political Sciences at Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, Peru. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from … Continue reading Notes & quotes: ‘How Our Lady of Guadalupe Became Lutheran’

Krister Stendahl’s ‘holy envy,’ who gets to go to heaven and Luther’s dear angels in 19th-century Chicago: New perspectives on an ongoing research project

D R A F T As I move on from my presentation on 19th-century Swedish immigrant churches for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, I’ve been cleaning my office — sort of like clearing the decks for a sea battle in the old Horatio Hornblower movies. Since my next project (I hope) will be … Continue reading Krister Stendahl’s ‘holy envy,’ who gets to go to heaven and Luther’s dear angels in 19th-century Chicago: New perspectives on an ongoing research project

Augustana Synod outtakes — cut during final edit, paper for ALPLM on ‘Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden’

CUT FROM CONCLUSION: In quite a different context, folklorist James Leary suggests the multi-ethnic dance bands of the 1940s and 1950s in the upper Midwest created a “creolized, regional repertoire” out of Norwegian, Swedish, German, Slavic and “Scandihoovian” musical licks. “Here,” he proclaims, “reside North Coast creoles.” I am sure that L.P. Esbjörn, Paul Andersen … Continue reading Augustana Synod outtakes — cut during final edit, paper for ALPLM on ‘Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden’