Christian Living, Discipleship, and/or Spirituality

Take a Cruise on the Ship of Fools

[1] I wonder if church can be “church” if you are not face to face with other people gathered to be together as a believing community. I wonder if being together, physically together is mandatory for “church”? If your first reaction is to say being physically present is mandatory, then is not church. [2] […]

Vocation: The Crux of the Matter

But yield who will to their separation, My object in living is to unite My avocation and my vocation As my two eyes make one in sight. Only where love and need are one, And the work is play for mortal stakes, Is the deed ever really done For Heaven and the future’s sakes. Concluding […]

Considering the Gospel in a Culture of Fear

[1] “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he […]

From Ashes to Alleluias

[1]The two texts for the meditation this evening have each held significance for me for years. First, Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Second, II Corinthians 5:19: […]

Journey Together Faithfully at First Lutheran Church, Duluth, Minnesota

[1] Journey Together Faithfully: The Church and Homosexuality is the study series offered by the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality. The primary text provided is a study guide with instructions for six study sessions, plus appendices of pertinent ELCA documents, a list of resources, and frequently asked questions. The study is intended as […]

What Sort of Claims Does the Bible Have Today?

[1] Last summer my home church was shaken out of its life-as-normal routine when one of its church council members was arrested for sexually abusing both his daughter and his niece. The following weeks were particularly fraught for the pastor, as he tried to minister to both the abuser and the victims. His difficulties were […]

The Passion According to Mel

[1] The latest film by Australian film-maker and actor Mel Gibson, The Passion of the Christ, has kept people busy both at the box office and at the computer. Biblical scholars scramble to assess the scriptural authenticity of the dialogue. Theologians of all stripes sift scenes for implicit theories of atonement. Jewish leaders register appropriate […]

Vulnerability and the Role of the Churches

We all learned, that terrible morning, that we could die while reaching for a piece of toast at breakfast. Pete Hamill God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:27 [1] We are still searching for a language to interpret the complexity of reactions and challenges following […]

Christianity and Human Rights

[1] The historic relationship between Christianity and human rights is an ambiguous one. For hundreds of years the Christian Church actively promoted religious intolerance and persecuted those who failed to accept its moral values and customs. Many of these values and practices are today rejected as contrary to a human rights culture and moral decency. […]

Pastoral Counsel concerning The Passion

A letter from Pastor Tillberg to her congregation, published in the church newsletter. [1] I’ve just returned home from seeing Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ. Here’s some pastoral counsel concerning the movie: [2] 1. If you choose to see it, be warned, it is the most violent movie – with respect to […]