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Topics - GalRevRedux

Your Turn / Howdy and Happy New Year
January 04, 2024, 11:30:51 AM
Every three or four months I like to pry into the Forum to see how you boys are doing. I see a few new names but mostly the same old gang. Reassuring and satisfying. (I am satisfied that staying away is the right decision!)

This year I celebrated the 40th anniversary of my ordination. I am still in the same part-time interim I have served since 9/15/19. No, I had not planned on staying so long. I have announced my retirement for July of 2024. I am ready and would like to enjoy, to the extent I can, whatever days of decent health are left to me.

Wishing you all a wonderful year ahead. Blessings to you.


Your Turn / Remote ashes???
February 17, 2021, 12:18:47 PM
Well, we have all heard of "remote communion." Now, "remote ashes?" This was forwarded to me. (Identifiers are redacted.)

Given the forecast for tomorrow, we are changing our plans.  Instead of a drive-in Ash Wednesday service at 6 p.m., we are inviting you to a 'Zoom-in' service instead - still at 6 p.m.  The link is in the attached document.

This abbreviated service will include imposition of ashes and Holy Communion; the full recorded non-communion service will still be available on our website and youtube channel at 5 p.m.

If you would like to participate in the Zoom-in service tomorrow, you may either pick up ashes and communion packets at the church from 4-6 p.m. today (2/16) or from 10-12 tomorrow (2/17).  You may also choose to provide your own communion elements (bread or cracker/wine or grape juice) and ashes - burnt palms from last year or simple household dust will do.  (If you need instructions on burning and preparing palm ash, please email  (If you need to have ashes and communion sets dropped off for you, please contact xxxxxx at

Hope to see you online tomorrow for Ash Wednesday and the beginning of our Lenten journey together.  Today - stay warm and safe and enjoy your pancakes/fastnachts/donuts/or whatever your Shrove Tuesday tradition might be.

In Christ,


"Simple household dust?"


Your Turn / The Forum is a success!
September 26, 2020, 09:24:33 AM
Yes, I am being sarcastic. I no longer see posts from female participants with any regularity.

I have long felt that female voices are not much welcome here. Without naming names, there is one longtime poster who is constantly browbeaten into silence. Eileen of blessed memory has moved on to a more elite forum, but stood her ground well and persistently. There is one poster who is more acceptable for a variety of reasons, but does not post often.

My more liberal sisters pop in and leave rather quickly.

I stop by and lurk, posting on occasion.

It seems to me that my brother pastors might be concerned at managing to alienate one entire group of potential participants. But I think instead that this was always meant to be a boys' club anyway, so we females had best stay away.

Had any of you even noticed the absence of female voices in this forum? Does it actually not matter, as I suspect?

Just curious on this chilly grey morning.

Your Turn / The Babylon Bee stings again!
July 02, 2020, 05:47:05 PM
I tried to find the existing thread but could not. My apologies.

The Bee takes a jab at the ELCA:

Your Turn / Letter from former Papal Nuncio Vigano
June 09, 2020, 12:08:08 PM

Has this already been discussed? It arose in our local pastors' group this morning.

I apologize if this is old news.

Your Turn / "Lent in the Age of the Impossible Burger."
February 26, 2020, 12:23:29 PM
I can't read this article because I have used my quota of freebies from the Tribune, but I thought someone might appreciate this!
Your Turn / "The Idiosyncratic Pope Francis"
November 25, 2019, 10:50:57 AM
Thanks to a recent post on this board by Dave Benke, I have been reading "The Catholic Thing." It is a daily mailing of provocative essays and blog posts which I have, so far, found stimulating. Today's entry is relevant, I think, to us as Lutherans also.

I would quote a couple of the early paragraphs in the article to allow you to see if you fund it intriguing:

"What do we make, then, of Pope Francis's constant insistence, recently repeated here, and in his conversation with the bishops of Japan this past Saturday that in an evangelical encounter with those who do not know Christ we must witness to Christ but "not with convictions, not to convince [or persuade], [and] not to proselytize.

I have always found this claim idiosyncratic, not to say inconsistent with the Catholic tradition's emphasis on the interdependency of faith and reason (from Leo XIII's 1879 encyclical Aeterni Patris to John Paul II's 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio). Inexplicably, Francis thinks that evangelical witness excludes not only the power of persuasion, reason, and arguments, but also claiming that one asserts, affirms, and holds certain beliefs to be true."

I am still chewing on the content but, as I feel so many here to be my intellectual superiors, I would be interested in reactions from other readers.


A new article in Living Lutheran magazine online reflects on the ecumenical efforts on a grassroots level by ELCA congregations.  I place the link below, hoping it is workable for all.

My interest was tickled by the title of the article which I have used for this thread. Personally, I find it unfortunate. (The title, that is)

The article is part of background for a draft inter religious statement to be presented at the 2019 Assembly.

Your Turn / What happened when artists dropped the haloes
December 23, 2016, 04:34:11 PM

Thoughtful and thought provoking. Sorry if others already posted this, I didn't see it.

Blessed Christmas!

Your Turn / PCUSA Assembly lifts up prayer to Allah
June 27, 2016, 07:08:38 AM
Not sure I would have believed it, except that there is indeed a video included in this report.

The text of the prayer, from the Assembly opening session, is quoted as follows:

"Allah bless us and bless our families and bless our Lord. Lead us on the straight path – the path of all the prophets: Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Peace be upon them all Amen. "In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful, let us praise the Lord. The creator of the universe, the most merciful, the most compassionate and the Lord of the universe who has created us and made us into nations and tribes, from male and females that we may know each other, not that we might despise each other, or may despise each other. Incline towards peace and justice and trust in God, for the Lord is one that hears and knows everything and the servants of God, the most compassionate, the most merciful, gracious are those who walk in the earth in humility and when bigots and hateful and Islamaphobes address them, they say peace. Peace be upon them and peace be upon Allah." 

I find this troubling.

Your Turn / "The Challenge of Easter"
March 26, 2016, 03:17:46 PM
An article in today's Wall Street Journal by Father James Martin. I found it quite marvelous, especially as I was wrangling the last details of my sermon for tomorrow. I hope you can view it.  Blessed Easter all.

Your Turn / "All Are Welcome"
February 26, 2016, 08:48:58 AM
I still subscribe to "The Lutheran" magazine, even though I am 5 years out from the ELCA. I like to keep in touch with my former church body and, I confess, to see the memorial lists to watch out for classmates and acquaintances who have moved on to the Church Triumphant.

The cover article this month is about being welcoming and hospitable. I would like to preface this excerpt by saying that I found some good stuff there. The stuff about making websites and buildings more welcoming and hospitable made some good sense.  But I did find one passage rather provocative:

"If you want to welcome the community, then welcome it. On our church exterior sign we acknowledge other religious holidays. That kind of action says who we are to the world. We put up Ramadan messages, Jewish New Year's greetings and Diwali signs for our Hindu friends. It says we're an open and welcoming church. We send blessings to our neighbors. That's a part of getting people in the door before they come in the door."

"Our Saviour also avoids fellowship or coffee hours, which, "to quote Dickens, 'are the best of times, the worst of times,'" Fritch said. "One thing I've found is that a coffee hour for an introvert is bad. An introvert doesn't want attention drawn to him. And never ever make people stand at the end of service and say who they are or why they came — or wear a name tag. It's horrible for a newcomer. They'll never come back; we have not welcomed them."

Maybe this is no big deal, and I am not trying to do the "AHA!" finger-pointing thing. Just wondered what you all thought. "Avoiding" fellowship or coffee hours sounds almost sacrilegious!!  ;)

The article can be found at

Last night, while many of the devout were dozing, TV Land debuted two new sitcoms.

The first is "The Jim Gaffigan Show." Gaffigan is a stand up comedian well known for his "Hot Pockets" routine. Gaffigan's comedy is generally Pg-13 level, and the interesting angle on this show is that the family's Roman Catholic faith is part and parcel of their life and conversations. This is worth trying.

Now the edgier show ---

The second, "Impastor" is described as follows on "Buddy Dobbs is in a rut. The slacker has a gambling debt that he's trying to escape, which leads him to a bridge that he is getting ready to jump off. Before he does, however, a reverend shows up and talks him down. Things take a turn after the reverend slips off the bridge and falls to his death, leaving Buddy the opportunity to steal the man's identity. Buddy begins to settle in to his new life as a pastor in a small, tight-knit town with the help of his preppy new assistant, Dora, alluring church treasurer Alexa and enthusiastic secretary Russell. He takes to the new gig quickly, because curing sex-crazed teenagers and stealing weed from young people are right up his alley. Despite Buddy's quick assimilation into the role, church president Alden Schmidt senses something isn't right. Back home, Buddy's ex-girlfriend, Leanne, is forced to clean up the mess he left behind."

Strangely, this summary omits the plot point that the actual pastor was openly gay and the church was proud to call a gay minister. And yes, the church sign prominently describes the church as Lutheran (no affiliation listed). It is supposedly in New Hampshire.

Did anyone else watch either show? Just curious about reactions.

Your Turn / Big trouble at Episcopalian Seminary
October 02, 2014, 12:35:40 PM
Anyone else familiar with this? I assume our NY folks might be.
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