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Study guides
4/1/2015
April 2015:

Restoring creation with faith

The environment is arguably the most important issue humanity will face in the next generation. Climate change, projected expansion of fossil fuel use, pollution and a population explosion will tax the Earth’s resources as never before. Many scientists wonder if our planet will be habitable for our descendants unless we change course. What is a Christian response?

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

Exercise 1: God's creation
Exercise 2: Lifestyle changes
Exercise 3: Green church
Exercise 4: Activism
Exercise 5: Worldview change
Exercise 6: Love our neighbor
Exercise 7: Population explosion
Exercise 8: Hope

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3/1/2015
March 2015:

Our malaria moment

Thanks to Lutherans across North America, the ELCA is on target to reach its Malaria Campaign goal of  $15 million. But it means much more than just a benchmark fulfilled. It means lives saved and communities preserved; global partnerships strengthened; and brothers and sisters across the globe working together for the sake of our neighbors.

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

Exercise 1: Neighbors
Exercise 2: Local efforts
Exercise 3: Malaria minded
Exercise 4: Stunning toll
Exercise 5: Children's toll
Exercise 6: Wiped out where?
Exercise 7: Stronger together
Exercise 8: Success story

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3/1/2015
March 2015:

'The best conversation ever'

At least for our journey on earth, death presents a common destiny for all of us—rich or poor, powerful or weak, good or bad, Christian or atheist. And yet many don’t plan for it, talk about it or even think about it. Advance directives can help ensure that we think through how we want to spend our final days, that we let our wishes be known, and that our loved ones won’t have to guess.

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

Exercise 1: Culture of avoidance
Exercise 2: Peaceful passing
Exercise 3: Bitter ends
Exercise 4: A good end
Exercise 5: Quality of life
Exercise 6: Decisions
Exercise 7: Legal issues
For action

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2/1/2015
February 2015:

It's all about that grace

Ever look around on a Sunday and wonder what brought everybody to your church—and what keeps them coming back? As the cover article tells, everybody has a story, and although there are similarities, no two are the same. Why people first came and why they keep coming back reveals some of the biggest strengths of our ELCA.

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

Exercise 1: What's your story?
Exercise 2: ELCA's welcome mat
Exercise 3: Saved by grace
Exercise 4: Collect stories
Exercise 5: Our church welcome
Exercise 6: 'Invitation evangelism'

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2/1/2015
February 2015:

Finding faith tracks

It’s one of the pressing faith issues of our time: How do we pass on the traditions of our faith to a new generation that is culturally so different from their parents and grandparents? As with most challenges, it requires diligence, intentionality, patience and creativity.

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

Exercise 1: Your faith
Exercise 2: Key issues
Exercise 3: Whose job is it?
Exercise 4: Faith knowledge
Exercise 5: Faith formation
Exercise 6: Faith practices
Exercise 7: Goals
Exercise 8: Bible stories

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1/1/2015
January 2015:

Lutheran mythmaking

It’s not surprising that a few misconceptions and larger-than-life legends would persist around the person and work of Martin Luther, who stands tall as one of the most important figures in Christian history. But getting to the truth means more than just fact-checking and “setting the record straight.” It means discovering anew the genius of Luther’s insights and his lasting influence in the world.

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

Exercise 1: 'My myth'
Exercise 2: Myth and truth
Exercise 3: Fact and fiction
Exercise 4: Myth-making
Exercise 5: Our myths
Exercise 6: 'Bar song' bunk
Exercise 7: The 95 Theses
Exercise 8: Instruction for all
Exercise 9: Plant a tree

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1/1/2015
January 2015:

Take your EQ temperature

Cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships in a congregation full of people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives is probably a congregational leader’s biggest job—and one of the most challenging as well. Some folks just naturally seem to have good people skills, whereas the rest of us need to work on them. Emotional intelligence (EI) serves as a model to help us learn to deal with our neighbors more effectively.

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

Exercise 1: Three skills
Exercise 2: Emotional manager
Exercise 3: Emotion vs. behavior
Exercise 4: Biblical EI
Exercise 5: EI in your experience
Exercise 6: EI in your congregation
Exercise 7: Church conflict
Exercise 8: IQ vs. EI
Exercise 9: Developing EI
Exercise 10: Jesus, EI teacher
Exercise 11: Jesus, EI master

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12/1/2014
December 2014:

Wait, it's Advent

North Americans hate to wait for anything—as evidenced in the avalanche of advance orders for the iPhone 6, blockbuster midnight releases of Hollywood movies and the popularity of takeout dinners. So for our culture, Advent provides an especially countercultural corrective and a reason—and method—of experiencing a different flow of time and way of life.

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

Exercise 1: Winter rhythmns
Exercise 2: Day by day
Exercise 3: Slow-lane living
Exercise 4: Advent adventures
Exercise 5: 12 days of Christmas
Exercise 6: Not Christmas
Exercise 7: Lectio divina
Exercise 8: St. Nick vs. Santa

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12/1/2014
December 2014:

Truth in advertising

As an undercurrent in all the media we watch, hear or see all around us, advertising asserts an enormous cultural influence in our lives. It shapes how we view ourselves, our neighbors, our money and our relationship to the world. As Christians called to allow God’s words to be the primary influence in our lives, how can we cope?

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

Exercise 1: Television ad log
Exercise 2: Ad messages
Exercise 3: Push my buttons
Exercise 4: Values clash
Exercise 5: La dolce vita
Exercise 6: Motivation
Exercise 7: Programmed unhappiness
Exercise 8: 'I shall not want'
Exercise 9: Human 'buy-ings'
Exercise 10: Advertising tally

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11/1/2014
November 2014:

Get set for clergy retirement wave

Our church is changing, and the leadership of the church is changing with it. In the next decade thousands of our pastors will retire. It may present short-term difficulties in finding people to take their places, and our church may suffer from the loss of so many experienced clerics. But their retirements may open the door for younger clergy with new ideas to lead our church.

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

Exercise 1: Pastoral experience
Exercise 2: Retirement loss
Exercise 3: Retirement gain
Exercise 4: New leaders
Exercise 5: Elijah's retirement
Exercise 6: David's selection
Exercise 7: Judas' replacement
Exercise 8: Pastoral history

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September issue

SEPTEMBER issue:

Youth, Detroit come together

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