The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Home visits by pastors push right bell

Worship style questioned while issues involving women cause a stir

Thank you for the reminder of the importance of pastoral home visits (August, "My view: Forfeiting opportunity"). It brings to mind three things: 1) Mission pastors' refusals to call on people because "only second-class salesmen go door to door"; 2) a great preacher of two generations ago who said, "I cannot preach when under 1,000 visits a year"; and 3) my own experience as an interim pastor calling in members' homes and often being told that I was the first pastor ever to be in their residences.

The Rev. Lawrence Ruegg
Walworth, Wis.

Personal contact works

Finally, someone knows. How can you be my pastor if you don't call on me? Why do you sit at your desk and wonder what to do? Is that ministry? Is yours a profession with tasks or a community with sacraments and fellowship? If you call on people all week it takes two hours or less to craft a sermon — there's plenty to say on Sunday. Visitations can short-stop problems. Telephone and electronics won't do it.

The Rev. J. Roderick Rinell Sr.
East Hampton, Conn.

Out of step

The Lutheran regularly lifts up liturgical practices that should cause most folk in the pews to scratch their heads, and cause anyone who loves and cares about the dignity of our common liturgy to be baffled, even scandalized. "Spiritual nomads" (August) presents not only a picture of a "step kick liturgical dance around the altar," but instructions as well. Instead of mercifully burying this nonsense in a back file in a closet somewhere, you put it front and center in the magazine. I honestly thought this was satire, then I realized this is The Lutheran, not The Onion. The Lutheran has a thoroughly different theology of worship than anyone who might consider himself/herself to be an orthodox Lutheran.

The Rev. Christopher L. Seamon
Hobbs, N.M.

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February issue


Embracing diversity