Change usually doesn't come easy or without a few surprises. Our cover story reports that more than one-third of the world's Lutherans live in what is called the Global South. Does this global context challenge our understanding of ourselves? Ponder the study guide questions, particularly this:
"Martin Luther was German, and Lutheranism took root in Germany. When Sweden adopted Lutheranism in 1593, was it a less-authentic expression of Lutheranism because it wasn't in Germany? ... Are the younger Lutheran churches in Africa and Asia less authentic because their people aren't of European heritage? How does each country, ethnicity and language group take a common tradition and make it their own? ...What can we learn from them?"
And a few days before the deadline for this issue, two letters arrived. One came from a retired ELCA pastor in Indiana. After a few months of white-hot letters over the sexuality decisions of the Churchwide Assembly, his missive featured a card with a cross and the phrase: "You are appreciated." Inside, the note said the enclosed check of $50 for the magazine "is a token of my appreciation for your ministry at this difficult financial time ...."
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