The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Good, bad news needed for reality check

Passion Play, blessings or privileges, sin articles spark divergent responses

I thank The Lutheran for publishing articles about harsh realities in our ELCA churches. While such news isn't popular and some wish to avoid it, it needs to be shared so members can deal with the issue faithfully. I also commend the magazine for reporting many instances of good news in congregational life. Often the good news stories come from churches that have honestly faced up to daunting problems. They have positive leaders who set boundaries, call people to accountability, and maintain a positive spirit of working together to serve the Lord and God's people. I serve a small rural parish that has long faced negative circumstances, but which still strives to share the hope of Christ with its members and community.

The Rev. Charles M. Horn
Dola, Ohio

Life-changing impact

During one of my group visits to Oberammergau, Germany (May, "The Passion Play"), a man returned to tell his pastor, "Something happened when I witnessed this (Passion Play). I have never been baptized and now I'm ready." I had a chance to return to Oberammergau later that year. I visited with the sister of Christian Stunkel, the play's director. My parting words: "Please tell your brother to remind the cast that they are not only doing 111 plays. They are literally changing lives."

The Rev. Lester W. Hoffmann

Count me out

Am I the only person not enthralled at seeing the Passion Play last year? It is a six-hour performance in German. I received an English translation but soon realized that if I'm reading the script I'm not seeing what is happening on stage. There is a dinner break between the two acts, but each act is about three hours. I started to envy the woman a few rows in front who passed out and was carried out on a stretcher.

Robert Mellen
Peru, Ill.

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