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

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’

Word, sacrament, a Lutheran chorale and reading the bible: Lessons from a Swedish immigrant church in Chicago during a time of cholera

O Gud! ditt ord och sakramentLåt aldrig bliva från oss vändt …— Svenska Psalmbok (1819), No. 412, v. 6 [O God, let your word and sacrament / never be turned away from us …] No doubt it’s just a coincidence, but since I resolved my issues about receiving the sacraments during the coronavirus pandemic, basically … Continue reading Word, sacrament, a Lutheran chorale and reading the bible: Lessons from a Swedish immigrant church in Chicago during a time of cholera

Spiritual journal for August — further thoughts on Word and sacrament in a time of pandemic

Email sent today to my spiritual director, lightly edited. Since it quotes extensively from this blog (and WordPress isn’t letting me do block quotations the way I want to), I am putting my email message in lightface italics and leaving quoted material in Roman type. Hi Sister — [* * *] Not very much to … Continue reading Spiritual journal for August — further thoughts on Word and sacrament in a time of pandemic

Elijah and the word of the Lord: No windstorm, no fire, no earthquake. Just get back to work (Pentecost X)

1 Kings 19:11-13 (NRSV) [The word of the Lord] said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the … Continue reading Elijah and the word of the Lord: No windstorm, no fire, no earthquake. Just get back to work (Pentecost X)