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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Study guides
2/1/2016
February 2016:

Embracing diversity

North America is becoming more diverse and multicultural all the time, and yet many of our congregations continue to embody only one culture—and usually it’s white. What keeps the ELCA homogeneous? What are the barriers to becoming a multicultural church, and how can we overcome them?

Your download includes three pages of exercises and discussion questions, plus a copy of the article from The Lutheran.

Exercise 1: One in Christ
Exercise 2: Strength in diversity
Exercise 3: Your neighbors
Exercise 4: Segregation
Exercise 5: Barriers
Exercise 6: Comfort zone
Exercise 7: Fear
Exercise 8: Cultural attraction
Exercise 9: Missing in action
Exercise 10: Racial justice

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2/1/2016
February 2016:

A life laid down

What is the nature of living, dynamic faith? Is it merely intellectual agreement with a prescribed set of belief statements? Scripture tells us that faith goes deeper when our belief in God’s love becomes infused with who we are and is expressed in self-giving, sacrificial love. Could this be the witness that our 21st century church needs?

Your download includes three pages of exercises and discussion questions, plus a copy of the article from The Lutheran.

Exercise 1: Show and tell
Exercise 2: The cross
Exercise 3: Take up your cross
Exercise 4: The two 3:16s
Exercise 5: Love
Exercise 6: Sacrifice
Exercise 7: Decline

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1/1/2016
January 2016:

4 resolutions for financial well-being in your congregation

Who doesn’t like the new year? It offers a clean slate, a new beginning, a fresh start as our planet begins another 365-day journey around the sun. How will this year be different for you and your congregation? How will new resolutions on leadership and stewardship pave the way for greater financial well-being for your congregation?

Your download includes three pages of exercises and discussion questions, plus a copy of the article from The Lutheran.

Exercise 1: Your new year
Exercise 2: Your church's new year
Exercise 3: Count your blessings
Exercise 4: What's stewardship
Exercise 5: Year-round stewardship
Exercise 6: Financial well-being
Exercise 7: Giving options
Exercise 8: Leadership
Exercise 9: Resolutions

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1/1/2016
January 2016:

Starting fresh

Accumulation. Clutter. It’s when things grow old, wear out or become obsolete, yet we keep them around. They take up space in the attics, closets, basements and garages of our homes and congregations. But our hearts and minds can also become cluttered with ideas that no longer work, and our congregations can become bogged down with outdated ideas. From time to time our physical spaces need a good cleaning, and so do our mind-sets.

Your download includes three pages of exercises and discussion questions, plus a copy of the article from The Lutheran.

Exercise 1: Clutter assessment
Exercise 2: Accumulation
Exercise 3: Give 'stuff' away
Exercise 4: A 'buying' fast
Exercise 5: Bigger barns
Exercise 6: Sharing
Exercise 7: New attitudes
Exercise 8: Renewed minds

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12/1/2015
December 2015:

Our favorite Bible characters & stories

There’s a reason that figures and stories from the Bible endure over generations and centuries: They give us insight into who we are as children of God who live in a world that so desperately needs God’s love, care and mercy. In the end, the stories and figures we encounter in the Bible are about how God equips and accompanies men and women like us to engage the world.

Your download includes three pages of exercises and discussion questions, plus a copy of the article from The Lutheran.

Exercise 1: Your favorite
Exercise 2: Figures of character
Exercise 3: Role models
Exercise 4: Bible heroes
Exercise 5: Enter the story
Exercise 6: Motivation
Exercise 7: Your life

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12/1/2015
December 2015:

Congregations respond to gun violence

More than 100,000 people are killed or injured by guns each year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. What can we do about it? As people who follow Jesus, we can teach, preach, love, care and raise our voices to make a difference, save lives and make our communities and nation safer.

Your download includes five pages of exercises and discussion questions, plus a copy of the article from The Lutheran.

Exercise 1: The peacemakers
Exercise 2: Deadly statistics
Exercise 3: Uneven prevalence
Exercise 4: Gun laws
Exercise 5: Attitudes
Exercise 6: Local impact
Exercise 7: True killers
Exercise 8: Family access
Exercise 9: Mental health
Exercise 10: Our response

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11/1/2015
November 2015:

Young adults & giving: From myths to ministry

When it comes to younger adults—say, those in their 20s and early 30s—they certainly have something in common with every other age group, especially when it comes to stewardship: they defy categorizing. In an effort to follow our commission to “make disciples of all ages” (apologies to Matthew 28:19), a wise church will be aware of the many ways people engage and process the world, and then pattern church life to reach a broad spectrum.

Your download includes three pages of exercises and discussion questions, plus a copy of the article from The Lutheran.

Exercise 1: Mythbusting
Exercise 2: Millennial myths
Exercise 3: Demographic diversity
Exercise 4: Stewardship plan
Exercise 5: Ageless ministry
Exercise 6: Church update
Exercise 7: The digital divide
Exercise 8: Digital donations

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11/1/2015
November 2015:

Jesus on the brain

When Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them” (Luke 18:16), he obviously wanted to teach us that an encounter with him would do them good. Medical science now backs him up on this. When our children are in church and receive positive exposure to the sounds, sights, smells, touch and movements of faith, the sensory data can make a lasting imprint in the brain. In other words, it can hard-wire them to the faith.

Your download includes two pages of exercises and discussion questions, plus a copy of the article from The Lutheran.

Exercise 1: Faith formation
Exercise 2: Feelings
Exercise 3: Memories
Exercise 4: Children in worship
Exercise 5: Sensory cultivation

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10/1/2015
October 2015:

Women and the Reformation: Then & now

Against the backdrop of historical events, including the Reformation, the struggle for women’s rights and equality has endured. There has been notable recent progress in developing nations, but violence, injustice and oppression still mar the lives of many of the world’s women. As Christians, we can and should speak up.

Your download includes four pages of exercises and discussion questions, plus a copy of the article from The Lutheran.

Exercise 1: Gospel women
Exercise 2: Paul and women
Exercise 3: Modern women
Exercise 4: Women voters
Exercise 5: Women pastors
Exercise 6: Clerical equality
Exercise 7: Equal pay
Exercise 8: Women in poverty
Exercise 9: Women in power
Exercise 10: Women in the world

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10/1/2015
October 2015:

#kellyonmymind

What is just punishment for a crime? Is it different for someone who has no remorse and is unrepentant than for someone whose life evidences deep sorrow and a dramatic move toward compassion and rehabilitation? The story of Kelly Gissendaner challenges our culture’s assumptions about criminals and asks us to think about what would be a Christian response to crime and punishment.

Your download includes five pages of exercises and discussion questions, plus a copy of the article from The Lutheran.

Exercise 1: Miracles
Exercise 2: Confession and forgiveness
Exercise 3: Repentance
Exercise 4: Joy in heaven
Exercise 5: Work together
Exercise 6: Jailhouse conversion
Exercise 7: Bearing fruit
Exercise 8: A chance to live
Exercise 9: A life corrected?
Exercise 10: Join the effort
Exercise 11: For action
Exercise 12: A four-pronged approach

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February issue

FEBRUARY issue:

Embracing diversity

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