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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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On this day before Thanksgiving

We live with death and birth, building and healing

I was scheduled to officiate at a funeral on the day before Thanksgiving. My father-in-law, Ron, was installing a wood floor in our house. My son, Adam, was scheduled for routine surgery. Miles away, my sister-in-law, Amy, also was scheduled for surgery. But it was not routine: The baby inside her had stopped growing.

"In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

Strangers and friends cross themselves as the funeral begins. The widow dries her eyes. At home sawdust flies as Ron made his first cut on a piece of wood. At one hospital Adam lays flat on his back, attentive only to the cable TV at the foot of his bed. At the other, Amy squeezes her husband's hand as the first contraction comes — and goes.


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September issue

SEPTEMBER issue:

Reinventing Sunday school

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