The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Naysayers miss the positives

Child sponsorship, justice for women, diversity, Xmas, ad spark comments

Too much negativity
I was saddened by all the negativity in the “Letters” of the February issue. As a graphic designer and seminarian, I love the new flag/logo, fonts and paper upgrade. I also continue to appreciate the quality and diversity of the content. It was hard to read the negative opinions, whether finding fault with the use of certain theological words in an article or the removal of the cross incorporated in previous flags. Instead of looking for the positives in the work that The Lutheran produces, too many choose to focus on what is negative to them.

Scott Nellis
Columbus, Ohio


A good gift
In an age in which one rarely finds substantive discussion of faith matters in the larger media, The Lutheran is a welcome infusion of salt and light. Your articles about our living faith and tradition have been bold and deeply thoughtful. Thank you for inviting us into biblical fluency, for examining the work of the church, and for the wonderful February edition centered around a call for justice for women (page 16). Finally, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton’s columns have been frank, delightful and filled with sparkling prose. Thanks for all you are doing to provide this gift to the church.

The Rev. Donna Simon
Kansas City


Yes to sponsorship
The article on child sponsorship (February, page 24) showed exactly why someone might prefer to sponsor a child, as I do. Words like “accompaniment” and phrases like “we uphold values of mutuality, inclusivity, vulnerability, empowerment and sustainability” mean virtually nothing to the average person. Sponsoring a child is a very personal and tangible experience. The tone of the article is every bit as distant and uninspiring as meeting a sponsored child face to face is intimate and life-changing. Charitable giving is and should be a personal experience.

Carl Korfmacher
Evansville, Wis.


It doesn’t work
The article on child sponsorship was on target. A child is part of a child-parent unit, family, neighborhood, community and society, not a freestanding person. I am the U.S. coordinator for Canyon Scholars, a program in the Copper Canyon of Mexico that provides scholarships to help the kids learn how to manage money and supports their families through community meetings, gardening, sustainable agriculture and water containment, the latter is critical in the current drought. ELCA Global Mission operates in the same way and has our full support. Although the face of a needy child has great emotional appeal, the “save the children” movement spawned in the early 1900s did not work in the U.S., and it does not work in the rest of the world.

Jack Westman, M.D.
Madison, Wis.


Something missing
There was no mention in any of the “Justice for women” articles (February, page 16) of the pioneering work done by the predecessor communities of the Lutheran Deaconess Community of the ELCA. The deaconess community is alive and well and changing the world in myriad ways.  We are not simply a photo of quaint old women in odd dress (page 5). Those women were breaking molds before any of us were born. We hold dear the work and vision of our ancestors in community. But please, do not make an icon of us to be reverenced and ignored. Honor the past, name the names, and join our quest into the future with ministry that touches the bodies and souls of many.

Sister Davia Evans
Carlisle, Pa.


Don’t worry
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton made some good points in her February column (page 50), but she fails to understand the tribal nature of religion. I am a Lutheran but I am also a member of a larger church, the Christian church, which is very diverse. We can’t bemoan the fact that Christians of other sects don’t flock to our congregations. In my town of 8,000 people there are four ELCA congregations and nearly all members are of European (white) origin, but we all would welcome anyone who would want to join us. The Christian church is worldwide and diverse. The ELCAby itself is not, because we all hang with our ancestral tribes. That’s just the way it is.

Phillip J. Reitan
Decorah, Iowa


It’s all Greek
The February issue contained a letter (page 48) chastising the magazine for publishing a cartoon that spelled Christmas as “Xmas.” X stands for the Greek letter chi, the first letter of the Greek spelling of Christ. X has been a symbol for Christ’s name for thousands of years. Using the X is in no way taking Christ out of Christmas, but keeping him right where he’s always been, at the heart of our remembrance of when God became man. 

Carol Sturz
Clifton, Va.


Thanks for the help
Was the February letter writer (page 48) intimating that Lutherans may/should only utilize an organ during worship services? I, too, am an organist, was raised a Lutheran and am now proud to be a clergy spouse. It is wonderful that some congregations can afford a beautiful organ and a talented musician to play it. Sadly that is not the case for all. Thanks to The Lutheran for providing us with ads/resources that can help struggling congregations worship in ways that are meaningful to them.

Christine La Croix
Cape Coral, Fla.


Prayer makes a difference
I agree that God is not to blame for all things that go wrong or for all things that go right. Yes, that is nonsensical (January, page 3). Part of it is that’s just the way it goes. On the other hand, prayer makes a difference. I do believe that God does intervene in response to prayer, otherwise why bother to pray? Peter W. Marty’s column does not lead one to believe that prayer does any good. Didn’t he leave this part out?

J. Sweeney

The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.

text size:

this page: email | print

March issue

MARCH issue:

All are welcome