I recently received a letter from a pastor explaining that the congregation he serves is withholding benevolence from the ELCA because "we can't agree" with Called to Common Mission, the proposal for full communion with the Episcopal Church. It's one of four such letters I've received.
That same day I interviewed Ambrose Moyo, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe. Fatigue marked Moyo's face, but he is less weary than the 45 pastors who serve the church's 100,000 members. They lead eight to 12 congregations each, giant parishes extending 30 to 35 miles. Transportation is by foot or bicycle.
But their fatigue has less to do with distance than with the strain of ministering to a grieving nation. Zimbabwean pastors each perform three or four funerals a week. Then they scramble to find care for the orphans of the AIDS plague that infects one in four of Zimbabwe's 12 million population.
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