Issue: October 2003

Volume 3 Number 10

Crafting an Ethic of Place: The Columbia River Pastoral Letter Project

1. Conflict [1] Throughout its history, conflict and contentiousness have characterized efforts to make public policy in the American West. Ours is a “legacy of conquest” as Patricia Nelson Limerick writes, in which Westerners with diverse interests and backgrounds engage in an “ongoing competition for legitimacy – for the right to claim for oneself and […]

Farm Financial Crisis – Challenges for Ministry among Small Town and Rural Communities, Congregations, and Individuals

[1] The challenges for small town and rural America continue to be significant, as they have been for some time. In particular, small town and rural America faces financial stress in many sectors, especially in those communities financially dependent on the agricultural industry. The presence of financial stress has affected these communities, and these effects […]

Land-Use Planning and the Quest for Shalom

[1] Thoreau once quipped, “what is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” Middle- and upper-income North Americans enjoy larger private dwellings and more spacious lots than their counterparts in the rest of the industrialized world. Yet, increasingly we are coming to question the health of […]

Mickey Love at the Magic Kingdom

[1] At the close of the 2003 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, a video introducing the site of the 2005 Assembly in Orlando invited Lutherans to attend by using images drawn from Walt Disney World. This may have been an innocuous enough bit of marketing. In American popular culture Walt Disney is practically synonymous with “innocence,” and […]

On Facing a War against Iraq: Four Theses for a Forum at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

[1] The current threat of war against Iraq is very troubling and possibly very ill-advised. Religious communities are right to be questioning this course of action for the United States. However their ability to play a helpful role will depend especially on making that case without dismissing the possible threat from Saddam Hussein and his […]

Patriotism and Attachment to Place: A Commentary on Joseph Sittler’s “The Grace Note,” April 1951

[1] The year 1950 has been described as the “crossroads of American religious life.”[1] It was a paradoxical time of oppressive anxiety and intoxicating prosperity. Anxiety was fed by events and situations that had thrust Post-World War II America into a frightening new world: the Cold War and threats of Communist espionage and subversion; atomic […]

The Grace Note

[1] A remembered chapter-title from a now all but forgotten high school history text lives in my mind with the vitality of a banner whipped by the wind! This is the title, “The Promise and Hope of American Life”. Phrases have a way of sticking, or gathering up into themselves over the years multitudes of […]

The Thunderbolt of God

[1] One of the fruits of the 1997 North American Lutheran-Reformed Formula of Agreement was its development of the concept “mutual affirmation and mutual admonition.” Given a common core of shared belief, each brings to the other a fresh charism and a corrective of reductionist tendencies. The Journal’s request for a Reformed perspective on Lutheran […]