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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Do life

African word reminds youth: 'I am because we are. We are because Christ is.'

Get that slogan off of your T-shirt and under your skin! That was Barbara Lundblad's challenge to more than 40,000 young people and adults at the 2003 ELCA Youth Gathering in Atlanta.

It was her final Bible study of the week, and she wanted to make sure the theme, Ubuntu, was more than something a spirited dome crowd shouted from bleacher seats.

"How do we get Ubuntu off of our T-shirts and under our skin? Into our hearts? Our hands and feet?" asked Lundblad, associate professor of preaching at Union Seminary, New York. "We have borrowed a word that already had meaning before we brought it to Atlanta. We don't want to go home with it just as a slogan."

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