The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


'I bequeath you Earth ordinary, extraordinary Earth'

I will you Earth that carries the seasons you will live: the moods of quiet winter, deep colors and emotions of autumn, expectation and unfolding of spring, and richness and yield of summer. Cold frost, parched heat, fragrant spring, crisp autumn. Earth will give blossoms; Earth will tell you when it’s time to plant, to go to the park, to gather in; Earth will rest the woods and gardens. Walk on Earth as though it is yours for a while. Do not miss this day. You have inherited a living Earth. Feed it, for it feeds you. When you pray, look into the sky and over hills and valleys, down at the earth on which you stand. It is true as God said: “Behold, the Earth is very good.” So are you. ...

It is a sacred piece of property, this Earth you have been given, and only for a while, it is your treasure. Walk gently across it, look twice, be still, listen, make an echo, kiss it, dig it, grow in it, share it. Bless the Earth.

Heaven came to Earth, to earth. You know the song “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come,” Jesus did not live long on Earth, but he lived fully. He prayed, “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” For me, heaven and Earth are not far apart. You will know more of heaven as you make Earth a friend. In my mind, earth is a means of grace, for earth holds the water, the wine, the bread. Earth held the Way, Truth, Life. Everything came from earth, and all will return to earth. I bequeath you this Earth.

This week's front page features:

One month to work, learn in Tanzania: Wartburg College students see the impact of AIDS firsthand. (Photo at right.)

Delicious demos: Chef’s class delivers for homebound elderly.

Dramatic experiences: Youth send a message through plays, musical.

'We have to take the church to them': Chaplains greet ships' crews.

Also: On the money.

Also: ELCA sees rise in number of ministry candidates.

Also: 'Precious' and platinum.

Read these articles at our front page > > >

Discuss ministry among seafarers:

Gary Grindeland (right) is director of Seafarers and International House in New York City.

Join him for a conversation already under way about ministry among merchant ship crews today through Nov. 7.

Consider reading Charles Austin's article, "'We have to take the church to them'" before joining the discussion.

Join the discussion > > >

This week on our blog:

It's Halloween, and Andrea Pohlmann writes about "hell houses" and scare-tactic evangelism.

Elizabeth Hunter blogs about listening evangelically.

Kathy Kastilahn (right) asks those who stood up for "Stand Up Against Poverty" to remain standing.

Julie Sevig blogs about $100-a-pound coffee.

Sonia Solomonson blogs about visiting Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Seattle.

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

Tell us! Literacy outreach:

If your congregation reaches out to the community by offering a literacy program, tell us about it!

Include joys and struggles of your congregation’s program.

Send responses by e-mail to Julie Sevig.

Members: Respond online > > >

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