The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Scarce & sacred water

Pastor asks returning vacationers: 'Did you bring me some water?'

Even the unchurched in Boulder, Colo., know that water is sacred.

Nestled between the high plains desert and the foothills of the Front Range, Boulder is known for its environmental awareness and outdoor sports. Joggers, bicyclists and in-line skaters in the city join hikers, rock-climbers, kayakers and skiers in the nearby mountains — all enjoying the 300 days of sunshine each year.

In Mark Twietmeyer's office is a collection
In Mark Twietmeyer's office is a collection of water from around the world used for baptisms at Trinity Lutheran Church, Boulder, Colo

But lots of sunshine means little rain. Boulderites know all about water conservation and that summer lawn-watering restrictions are tied to winter snowfall. Water is scarce — and sacred.

Maybe that's why it isn't surprising that Mark G. Twietmeyer, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Boulder, is obsessed with water. When parishioners return from a vacation, he doesn't ask them how they enjoyed their trip — his first question is: "Did you bring me some water?"

In his office he keeps vials and flasks of water, each labeled with the source. Many — but not all — are biblically significant: the Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Red Sea. But water from anywhere is treasured just as much.

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February issue


Embracing diversity