The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Celebrating freedom

Where I’m headed this week (a Minnesota lake), church attendance could be down a bit. In my family, the July 4th weekend is holy family time at the lake.

Those who gather to worship in their congregations, visit other churches, or worship at a local campground or Bible camp (as we often do) will hear two remarkable stories packed into one in Mark 5:21-43.

The text begins with synagogue leader Jairus begging Jesus to save his young daughter who’s on the brink of death, and the action is interrupted by the woman who has hemorrhaged for 12 years.

The stories are intertwined yet stand in sharp contrast to one another: a 12-year-old girl, a flow of blood for 12 years; a named synagogue leader, a nameless woman; a man bold enough to speak to Jesus, a woman who approaches him from behind simply to touch his cloak; a daughter surrounded by those she loves, an unclean and untouchable woman whom Jesus calls “daughter.”

Both are desperate for a cure. They’ve run out of options and Jesus is their last chance.

For many of us in this country, the approaching weekend is about family, parades and fireworks. Just when you think you’ve had enough potato salad or enough of an annoying relative or the nerve-racking sound of firecrackers, rest in these stories that stretch our notions of family and freedom.

Oh, to be free from 12 years of bleeding. And imagine the exhilaration and joy of being free from grieving a dead child. Both seemed impossible, both were made possible with this lake encounter with Jesus.

Now that is something to celebrate.

This week's front page features:

More than a one-band man: Rock star Peter Mayer plays songs of faith. (Photo at right.)

It's about Scripture: Reform-minded groups argue authority.

Trading Graces nets $62,000 for social ministry organizations.

And the answer is .... Students respond to Sunday-school questions.

Also: An eye on goodness.

Also: The write stuff.

Also: A way to live my faith.

Read these articles at our front page > > >

This week on our blog:

Andrea Pohlmann blogs about her upcoming trip to India, where she'll join others in celebrating 300 years of Lutheran ministry in that country.

Michael Watson (right) shares one of his "wedding season" photographs and explains why all the effort involved in freelance wedding photography is worth it.

Kathleen Kastilahn congratulates this season's graduates and anticipates the centennial of Lutheran campus ministry.

Daniel Lehmann invites readers to see for themselves what makes ELCA colleges and universities the jewels they are.

Julie Sevig asks, "Who's Craig?"

Check out our blog (and leave a comment) > > >

The Lutheran staffer Andrea Pohlmann blogs from India.

Andrea Pohlmann (right), The Lutheran magazine’s editorial production manager, will be on assignment in India starting this Friday. She’s keeping a blog about her journey, along with other members of the ELCA delegation. You can keep up with her travels at http://lutheransinindia.blogspot.com/ (and look for her occasional entry on The Lutheran’s blog, as well).

Are you in the call process? Check The Lutheran’s classifieds.

If you’re a pastor seeking a call or a congregation looking for a pastor, be sure to check out The Lutheran’s expanded classifieds section at www.thelutheran.org/classifieds.

Even if you read the print version of The Lutheran, some opportunities are posted only in our Web classifieds.

If you’re a congregation looking for a pastor, you may post an ad in The Lutheran’s Web classifieds for $150 per month. (Congregations should check with their synod office about how to handle inquiries.)

Also, The Lutheran now offers congregations and individuals the opportunity to post announcements about anniversaries, church anniversaries, birthdays, deaths and reunions. Web prices start as low as $75 per month. Visit www.thelutheran.org/classifieds or e-mail advertising@thelutheran.org to learn more.

Check out our on-line classifieds > > >

This week in our discussion forums:

Readers are welcome, as always, to start a discussion about the articles in the most recent issues of The Lutheran in our discussion forums.

Join the already lively discussion about the "Lutheranism 101" cover story from the June issue.

Or tell us what else you liked (or disliked) about the June issue.

Join the discussion > > >

Tell us! The big goodbye.

For a future story in The Lutheran, share your opinion(s) of today’s funeral/memorial service trends:

1. What’s most important to you for your funeral? (200 words)

2. What’s the oddest, or most meaningful, thing you’ve experienced at a funeral? (100-200 words)

Send your responses to either or both questions to Julie Sevig or The Lutheran, 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago, IL 60631, by Aug. 1. Be sure to include your name, congregation, city and state.

Or respond on-line > > >

E-newsletter on vacation.

There will be no e-newsletter next week because of the Independence Day holiday.

Subscribe to The Lutheran magazine:

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For only $15.95 you'll receive 12 issues of The Lutheran magazine in your mailbox. You'll also receive access to back issues' articles since 1996 and unlimited study guide downloads (regularly $3.50 each) at www.thelutheran.org.

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Subscribe to The Lutheran > > >

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