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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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August 12, 2005

'It's a small world ...'

The refrain from the popular Disney attraction has been turning round in my head during this week of Churchwide Assembly, where we’re so close to Disney World that we can see the nightly fireworks from our hotel balconies.

I’ve got to thank (?) Mary and Frank Anderson for starting that, as they dropped in the newsroom of The Daily Lutheran with a goodie bag of Mickey Mouse-themed snacks to keep our strength up during long days and nights. Now serving Incarnation Lutheran Church, Columbia, S.C., Mary Anderson was my beloved pastor for many years at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Evanston, Ill.; Frank Anderson begins as campus pastor at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, later this month. It was great to see them, to hug and to catch up on our lives.

How many more of the 2,000-plus people here have hugged and laughed and loved as they met old friends and colleagues in the halls every day! In fact, watching this meeting and greeting is the best part of being a registration volunteer, said Ann Frederick, Lamb of God Lutheran Church, Haines City, Fla. We 5-million ELCA Lutherans really do live together in a wonderfully “small world.” But even this week as so many of us have been blessed by reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, too, that we’ll look forward to meeting again in years to come, in our deliberations we’ve also considered the needs of the many we don’t know—from the 22,500 people who die each day from hunger to Christians in the Holy Land who live in daily danger.

We know the real world is a big world and one we’re called to love and serve. That’s the responsibility Jesus gave us when said to love our neighbor as ourselves.

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