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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Just when I thought I'd done it all ...

Every so often our pastor asks us, “What is God calling you to do?”

I thought I had done almost everything in church in my 80-plus years: Sunday school and vacation Bible school teacher, Luther League adviser, parish education director, council member, Women of the ELCA officer, quilter, Bible study leader. Now God wants me to do more when I can’t see very well anymore?

So I got to thinking about what I’m already doing and what more I could do. I like to write to the young people, but it’s not so easy anymore. I like to go to early church and greet people. I can pray for the people listed in the bulletin.

When I began to think about how I get lonesome when no one calls me and I’d like to talk to someone, God spoke to me: “Instead of waiting for someone to call you, why don’t you call someone from church who can’t get out anymore?” I asked a few other retired people about it, and we formed a committee of Faith and Care Callers. With the help of our pastor, we chose names of shut-ins, people living alone and those living in nursing homes. We also included the caregivers.

We’ve had positive results already. One lady was surprised that anyone would be concerned about her! She was 92 and living in her own house. Another who had helped take care of many older people by taking them to the doctor or working at the nursing home found that she needed help herself. It was awfully hard for her to sell her car and move into assisted living. She was very happy when I called and we talked about old times. Yet another person in a wheelchair wants me to visit her too.

It’s important to talk and listen to them and hear about their life now. It also keeps them connected to the church.

So even if we can’t hear or see so well there are things we can do. Christ asks us to love everyone but also to be his hands, feet and voice here on earth. I’m glad that I listened to that call. I think it will be a healing ministry for both the callers and the people who are called upon.

This week's front page features:

Our interreligious world: What does it mean to be Lutheran, to appreciate Judaism and Islam? (Image at right.)

Not all talk: Book club takes ecumenical action.

Journey for a missing friend: Coach completes marathon.

The surprise of peace: We might discover it.

Also: Dana, Midland to discuss collaboration.

Also: Living in a diverse world.

Also: Our walk with others.

Read these articles on our front page > > >

This week on our blog:

Amber Leberman again asks Web users to take our survey.

Julie Sevig blogs about books that build community.

Sonia Solomonson weighs the advantages of honey and vinegar.

Andrea Pohlmann (right) anticipates summer camp.

Check out our blog > > >

Discuss fasting and feasting:

Join L. Shannon Jung (right), whose most recent book is Sharing Food: Christian Practices for Enjoyment (Fortress Press, 2006) to discuss how fasting and feasting, together, can lead us to true celebration.

The conversation begins today and goes through March 13.

Consider reading "Fasting & feasting" before joining in.

Discuss the fasting and feasting > > >


Use our Web site? Take our survey:

Do you use The Lutheran's Web site?

We'd like to know more about who you are, how you use our site and how we can improve the experience for you.

You can also tell us about your other favorite religion Web sites, and let us know what other features you'd like to see at www.thelutheran.org.

Take our survey > > >


Share your evangelism tips:

Reader George C. Weirick challenged the staff of The Lutheran: "Tell us about programs that work, or unusual or new evangelism methods."

Send us your tips via email, with a brief description (two or three paragraphs), along with contact information for those wanting more background.

The staff reviews submissions and publishes the best as a regular item on the “Currents” pages.

Members: Respond online > > >


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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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October issue

OCTOBER issue:

Older adults: Assets to our church

More...