Pastor’s Blog

Don’t Bear False Witness

“What’s an Edsel?” asked one of my students in Confirmation class. The question pleased me; the student proved attentive. Then I realized my imagery wouldn’t work on this young crowd. For those of my ilk, Edsel was a symbol of “over-promise.” Ford Motor Company began...

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Are Guns a Health Hazard?

Two years ago the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary of Maryhurst, Oregon purchased shares in several gun manufacturing companies including shares in the Strum Ruger & Co. Their intent was to influence the manufacturer’s gun safety policies. The sisters...

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Watching from a Distance

Our ten have returned from Houston where they attended the ELCA’s tri-annual Youth Gathering. From all accounts it was an inspiring spirit-filled week. Our ten joined 30,000 other teens from every state and more than 2700 congregations for days of learning, service,...

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Because of You . . .

Because of you….twenty one from LCM will explore their faith, pray, worship and study the Bible in a setting far from Carol Stream over the summer with mentors and new-found friends. On Wednesday, June 27, eight left from the LCM parking lot for O’Hare to fly to...

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History Repeats Itself

History Repeats Itself: The Polarizing Issue of Immigration Egypt has a new king, we read in the first chapter of Exodus, a new king who has grown fearful of the foreigners living in his midst. He says to “his” people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and...

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The Counterproductive Nature of Revenge

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious,” said Oscar Wilde. Judging comes so easy; time and again we compare and contrast, separate the wheat from the chaff, the good from the bad, the charming from the tedious. Many...

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The Trinity Explained to a Ten-Year-Old

Alan Foster was riding home after playing baseball with his friends. It was a warm spring day, and he stopped as he rode past the church. The doors and windows were wide open, the lights were on and the choir was rehearsing. They were singing “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Alan...

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Who, Me?

“Who, me?” blurted both Adam and Eve upon getting caught eating the forbidden fruit. “It was the snake’s fault,” they insisted.  From the beginning of time we pass blame to another, enjoying temporary release only to discover, eventually, long term self-destruction....

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I was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me

We’re going to have some explaining to do come judgement day when St. Peter greets us at the pearly gates asking us about all the walls we built fearing strangers. Jesus was clear. “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the...

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Happy Ascension Day

The Ascension Day cards have been signed, addressed, stamped and taken to the Post Office. Ascension decorations sit atop both the fireplace mantle and the dining room table, and Ascension Day desserts of blue Jello with clouds of whipped cream interspersed have been...

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Come, Follow Me

Our theology professor in seminary explained faith by creating a grid on a blackboard. Along the top of the grid he listed various Christian faiths: Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Mennonite, Episcopal. Down the side of the grid he listed...

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God Always Finds a Home

A realtor sent notice of a “classic” Northwest Side Chicago Church building for sale described as “a charming and beautiful church” in a “prime location.” A tear formed and slid down my cheek as I read of yet another church family soon to be homeless. It’s true, the...

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April 22 is Earth Day

Two of our grandchildren are sixth-generation San Franciscans, growing up in “The City by the Bay.” Their mother’s great-great grandfather left Ireland around 1850 in search of California’s gold, settling in the city all America loves or loves to hate. Across the Bay...

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See You in Church!

For several years in the early 80’s, Roy Larson, the religion editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, would visit a church on Sunday morning, write a review and publish his review in the Monday morning paper. Clergy trembled, fearing a visit from Mr. Larson. Every Pastor...

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Honoring MLK’s Legacy

Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fifty years ago on April 4,1968, breaking news over the radio reported the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He had been assassinated while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. It...

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Good Friday

Eastbound traffic on North Avenue just past Kuhn Road slowed Sunday after church as cars braked for a lone Canadian Wild Goose aimlessly wandering along the far right lane. Opposite on the west bound middle lane was the mangled body of Canadian Wild Goose that had been hit and killed by a car.

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Why Fast?

“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites….But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father…” Matthew 6:16-18 NRSV.

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Thoughts and Prayers

I often write the words “thoughts and prayers” to friends facing sorrow and tragedy to express empathy and to tell of my request of God to bring solace and comfort. But the phrase has been ridiculed by many claiming it is too little, too late. Or critics accuse us who...

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When You Give Alms

One of the ways my father-in-law prepared to meet God was by downsizing. By the time he met his Maker, he had but two shirts, two pair of pants, a Bible and a rosary. He had given everything else away, leaving this world empty handed, the same way he came into the world. He was imitating Jesus who, empty handed at death, knew in dying he would be fulfilled.

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