A new year brings hope mixed with uncertainty. There's no reason for 2010 to be any different for the ELCA and The Lutheran.
Consider Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson's case for trusting in God's generosity when we pray with confident hope, "Give us this day our daily bread" ("Addressing our restlessness"). He doesn't ignore the reality that hunger still haunts much of the world even as "an enormous sense of hope" pervades efforts to address the scourge, as evidenced in our cover story.
Likewise, the three expressions of the ELCA — congregations, synods and churchwide offices — put forward ministry plans for 2010 in the face of a trifecta of scary economics. Hanson and other leaders are spot on when they attribute deteriorating financial situations to a U.S. economy reeling from a major recession, a decades-long trend of withering mission support, and some members and congregations withholding funds as a response to 2009 Churchwide Assembly actions involving sexuality.
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