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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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'Do not ... be afraid'

These days call us to cling to God's promises

We are three weeks away from Churchwide Assembly as I write this, my first column as interim editor. Our staff is knee-deep in transition with a change in editors, upcoming assembly decisions related to restructuring and governance, and several strategies to strengthen the magazine and rebuild circulation. The staff’s anxiety is palpable, but we won’t let fear cloud our creativity and vision.

As assembly approaches, heightened anxiety shows itself in ELCA discussions (and our letters to the editor). Voting members face an array of topics (see August, page 50 in the print edition) with implications for this church and its partners. Many people are afraid.

The world, too, presents us with dailyreminders of events out of our control. July’s London bombings heightened fears already deepened since the word “terrorism” became such a part of U.S. lexicon. Many people would play on our fears, using them to sell products (remember the run on duct tape?) or to remove trust and civility from our daily affairs.

In a backdrop of fear, this verse is all the more stunning: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John 14:27).


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