The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Offering experience hits stride monthly

Readers zero in on Wittenberg tree, roundtable, poll, John Q. Nones

The good, and the bad
I enjoy Peter W. Marty's "Elements of the Lord's day," however, I somewhat disagree with "The offering experience". I served for many years as volunteer secretary and treasurer in a small rural church. Analysis of the yearly data showed that those making an offering once a month gave more than those giving only when attending a service. Hence, I always pointed out in my reports: "The person not putting an envelope into the collection plate may be making a larger offering than you."

Carl Fritsch
Lutsen, Minn. 

Wrong but good idea
The article about the ELCA Wittenberg Center and its "tree for Wittenberg" campaign referenced a statement attributed to Martin Luther, that even if he knew the world were ending tomorrow, he would plant an apple tree today. Historians agree that Luther likely never said this, since the earliest record of the saying dates only to 1944. I like to think of it as an expression of hope that arose at a time when it surely seemed to German Lutheran Christians that their world was falling apart. It's a saying that's authentically Lutheran in its sentiments.

Kit Kleinhans
Waverly, Iowa

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March issue

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