The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A carefully unplanned life

During his younger life in the church—from seminary through a succession of Lutheran calls and secular but religious-oriented jobs—James Wind didn’t see a clear path that linked them together.

alban institute<BR><BR>ELCA pastor
ELCA pastor James Wind says “remarkable grace” led him to serve as president of the Alban Institute, Reston, Va.
But looking back now, it’s as if his opportunities were—as the ELCA pastor puts it, thanks to “remarkable grace”—opening up his passions and providing important knowledge that prepared him to be the president of the Alban Institute, Reston, Va.

And just as Wind wasn’t fully aware of how each new turn played an important role in his development, so are most ELCA members unaware of the impact the Alban Institute has on the health and growth of congregations. Founded in 1974, the Alban Institute is an ecumenical, interfaith organization that supports congregations through book publishing, educational seminars, consulting services and research.

It sprung from a need to deal with rapid changes in congregations due to social, economic and theological beliefs. Wind was experiencing firsthand the fallout of those changes when in 1970 he entered Concordia Seminary, a Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod school in St. Louis.

The upheaval eventually propelled Wind out of the denomination, and it left him without clear direction.

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February issue


Embracing diversity