The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Still seeking peace

I write this piece acutely aware that one week ago most Americans recalled the terror of five years ago—Sept. 11. Some of us also remembered an event that occurred 100 years ago: Mahatma Gandhi’s first public use of nonviolence. On Sept. 11, 1906, 3,000 people in South Africa responded to his call, and the world has not been the same since.

In much the same way, the International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sept. 21 invites people of faith worldwide to acknowledge both the destructive price of violence and the power and promise of God’s peace. This is the third year that the World Council of Churches has invited member churches to observe through prayer and witness the International Day of Peace, which the U.N. declared in 1981.

This year, following the 9th Assembly of the WCC in Porto Alegre, Brazil, ELCA staff will use the prayer created by our sisters and brothers in South America and engage in prayer, alone and in groups, all day long.

Led by Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson at noon on the lawn outside the Lutheran Center in Chicago, they will offer intercessions, remembering as they do that it is God’s “will that peace should shine on all people everywhere.” And at 3:18 p.m., many may pause for a couple of minutes to meditate on the biblical verse: “When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice” (James 3:18, Contemporary English Version).

So this Thursday, join in the prayers. Wherever you are, take a few moments to pray with millions of Christians worldwide in the spirit of this year’s theme: “… and still we seek peace.”

For background information and events, see www.overcomingviolence.org. Under “Resources” you will find prayers for use on the International Day of Prayer for Peace.

This week's front page features:

'God allows the universe to create itself—and evolve': A perspective by Mark Hollabaugh. (Photo at right.)

A new hue in the pew: ELCA introduces new hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

How to beat the 'freshman 15': Luther College student writes guide to healthy living.

Cruzando: Journey with Jesus. Remember the Alamodome.

Also: 'ID remains a legitimate gray area between random evolution and God.'

Also: 'Religion and science are both about knowing and wondering.'

Also: Gay pastor in Atlanta faces charges.

Discuss your ELCA Youth Gathering experience:

Were you at this year's ELCA National Youth Gathering in San Antonio? Whether you were a high school participant, a presenter or a chaperone, we want to hear about your Cruzando experience.

Our reporter Nicole Adamson (right) was there. If she's able, she'll be leading a discussion about the experience today through Sept. 26. Anyone who attended the Youth Gathering is welcome to share their experience.

Consider checking out Nicole's articles about the gathering before joining in:

Join the discussion > >>

This week on our blog:

Andrea Pohlmann asks: "Are we getting too competitive?"

Elizabeth Hunter blogs about what she overheard at a Nebraska truck stop.

Amber Leberman (right) writes about Detroit's City Lutheran Bowling League.

Sonia Solomonson reflects upon life and death five years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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

New free resources:

Check out our new “church resources” page, where you’ll find our "Lutheranism 101" series available for download. Consider using it in your new-member or confirmation classes. It’s free!

You’ll also find out how you can order free contribution envelopes, bulletin inserts and promotional materials to use in your congregation.

Check out our church resources > >>

Take our 2007 topics survey:

Help decide the topics for The Lutheran’s cover stories in 2007 by taking our survey. Last year, readers like you decided what we’d cover this year.

Now it’s your turn. Tell us which 10 topics you’re most interested to read about in The Lutheran. The survey deadline is Oct. 15, and results will appear in the January issue.

Take the survey > >>

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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