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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Little theologian

The children played outside while Grace Lutheran, Grace City, N.D., held its congregational meeting. A boy burst into the room crying and muttering about a stick. When his father and I checked things out, we found him and his brother going at it again. A girl observing the chaos, her hands folded in front of her, smiled and said, “This is why God had to raise Jesus from the dead.” I told her mother she may want to start saving for seminary training because she has a little theologian on her hands.

Wayne Gallipo
Watertown, S.D.

“Then Mrs. Noah said, ‘The next time
“Then Mrs. Noah said, ‘The next time we go on a cruise, we’re going with my friends.’ ”
Did you Noah this?

My son, Randy, told me what he had learned in Sunday school: “this guy” built a boat for his family and some animals. I asked him what the man’s name was. He replied, “Well, I can’t remember his name, but I do know he was a Lutheran.”

Jane Clemenson
Des Moines, Iowa

I told the third-grade church school class that Noah—looking for dry land after the flood—first sent out a raven and then sent out a dove. Jacob, 9, piped up: “He should have sent a duck.”

Monica Eshelman
Lindsborg, Kan.

Watch your pew

A pastor was pointing out the obvious increase in age among members of our congregation. “This whole section of the church won’t be here in 10 years,” he said with a broad sweep of his hand, including the pew where my dad normally sat. I repeated the pastor’s words to my mother who said, “Then I’m telling your father to sit on the other side of the church.”

Lynne Rief
San Dimas, Calif.

“During this sabbatical, let’s concentrate
“During this sabbatical, let’s concentrate on separating our identities from what we do.”
Jewelry speaks

My godmother wore a pin, with a heart formed by the letters G-O-D, while teaching first grade Sunday school. One student told her he liked the pin and after she showed him how the letters spelled God, he immediately brought his father into the classroom, pointed at her and exclaimed, “Look, Dad, God is here!”

Karen Jezierski
Carbondale, Ill.

When my 2-year-old, Zoe, and I rearranged her room, I brought out some things that I now trusted she wouldn’t swallow. I told her stories about their significance, including a silver bracelet—a gift for her at her baptism. I explained what baptism was, who her godparents were and that she was part of God’s family—loved and watched over. Later my husband asked her, “Where did you get that [bracelet]?” He expected an answer involving mommy’s jewelry drawer but instead was told quite simply, “From God. He loves me.”

Darlene Johnson
Monument, Colo.


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November issue

NOVEMBER issue:

The ELCA's aging clergy wave

More...