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Topics - John_Hannah

Your Turn / Francis
May 20, 2024, 11:02:22 PM
Francis is concluding his interview with Norah ODonell. For these many years, I have been impressed by his "home town" pastoral approach to the whole church and the whole world. That attitude stood out throughout the interview. I think we can give thanks for such a prominent Christian leader.

Peace, JOH;
Your Turn / The Synod on Synodality at the Vatican
October 02, 2023, 04:29:53 PM
As I suggested. This meeting promises to be interesting. I would be surprised if some Lutherans don't take sides.

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Ash Wednesday
February 22, 2023, 08:44:17 PM
I see from the news that President Biden received ashes today. (That is unless he fell or got hit on the center forehead leaving a bruise. :D)

This would have happened somewhere in Europe right in the midst of his busy schedule of international meetings. Refreshing to see a public figure openly demonstrate his faith in Christ.

Most Lutherans (both kinds) in this part of the world impose ashes on our members; it is Ash Wednesday after all. I wonder how common that is becoming in other areas of Lutheranism.

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Benedict XVI +
December 31, 2022, 09:37:05 AM
Pope Benedict has died. Remarkable in many ways he was.

o   A brilliant theologian. -rare among episcopal figures.
o   German. -the first in many centuries.
o   An accomplished musician.
o   Thoroughly conversant with Lutheran theology. -highly respectful of us; longed for reunion with Lutherans; crucial for the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.
o   First to "resign" papacy in many centuries. -perhaps set a healthy precedent.
o   And much more. . . .

May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Triduum 2022
April 15, 2022, 08:12:09 AM
Your Turn / American Lutherans--Where Are We?
April 14, 2022, 11:04:42 AM
I just now read in the latest Pro Ecclesia Carl Braaten's review of Paul Hinlicky's book, Lutheran Theology: A Critical Introduction. (I haven't gotten it yet.) Braaten cites Hinlickty:

"As Hinlicky surveys world Lutheranism

he observes a decadent and dying post-Christendom Lutheranism in Eastern and Western Europe,

he sees the younger churches planted by the nineteenth-century missionary movement developing indigenous theologies of their own,

he sees American Lutheranism divided between pseudo-orthodox evangelical fundamentalism and ecumenically oriented evangelical Catholicism, and both of them being challenged by a resurgence of liberal Lutheranism blending with various liberationist and feminist theologies."

Seems a most apt description to me.

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Valentine's Day
February 13, 2022, 07:54:10 AM
Should Valentine's Day be on the liturgical calendar? Maybe. Maybe not. Here's a winsome essay by a Christian theologian:

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Persecution in India
December 23, 2021, 08:14:15 AM
A chilling NY Times report of Christian persecution:

Lord, have mercy.

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / ALPB Appeal for Donations
December 15, 2021, 08:05:11 PM
Today I received the annual letter from Delhi, NY where the ALPB is headquartered. This one is from our own participant here, Dave Benke. (It is the first time in many years that it was not my own letter.)

Dave makes a winsome appeal based upon Luther and his beautiful hymn, Von Himmel Hoch/From Heaven Above to Earth I Come. At his signature block he idetifies only as "Pastor;" not Bishop, not President but Pastor. That demonstrates his intent and the intent of the ALPB to be of service to pastors and their congregations as we have been for more than one hundred years.

Please give this appeal your prayerful attention and give generously.

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Two New York Times' Reports
November 30, 2021, 09:05:08 AM
Christian flag defended by the ACLU:

"Worship Wars" (but not by Lutherans):

Enjoy a respite from the endless political chatter.

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Living As a Minority
November 26, 2021, 06:56:07 AM
David Brooks on being a minority in America today. Interesting; something to think about.

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Christian Hostages
October 22, 2021, 08:38:49 AM
Impressive devotion and discipline by Anabaptists.  Lord have mercy.

I did not know the affiliation of these hostages before reading this report.

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / One Year Lectionary?
October 18, 2021, 01:16:13 PM
My Circuit will be discussing the Advantages and Disadvantages of the One Year Lectionary at its next monthly conference. Can anybody here speak to that?

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Colin Powell +
October 18, 2021, 09:50:28 AM
We can all be saddened by the news of General Powell's death. His numerous contributions to our country and to the world are noteworthy and will be repeated often in the next couple of days. I note here that it is also significant that he was a practicing Christian. His parish church, St. Margaret's Episcopal Church is just a couple of miles from where I'm at in the Bronx.

He was due to retire from the Army the same day as I would (1 October 1993). I wrote him asking him for the traditional signed photo and noting that I was headed for a Bronx parish with a school. I thought the photo would be displayed in the school and remind students that opportunities abound in America. He did send me the photo and congratulations on my forthcoming retirement and assuming the pastorate at Trinity Church and School. Later I solicited his donation to the scholarship fund, "Light of the Bronx" that I had helped to establish. He responded with a brief note, again affirming my ministry and remarking with a vague reference that I would be receiving something in the future. About two weeks later I got a letter from some Manhattan group to which he had spoken saying that General Powell had directed his honorarium be sent to "Light of the Bronx." The check was for $3,000.   ;D

May he rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon him.

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / The Ethics of General Milley
September 15, 2021, 01:14:44 PM
This resumes the discussion of General Milley's actions at the end of President Trump's term.

A summary of facts reported from a forthcoming book by Woodward and Costa:

1.  In December 2020 President Trump signed an order to evacuate all forces from Afghanistan by January 15, 2021. Neither the National Security Advisor nor anyone in the Defense Department knew anything about this. General Milley was able to get the order withdrawn as soon as he learned of it. Withdrawal on such short notice would have led to a horrible disaster!

2.  On January 8, 2021 Speaker Pelosi called General Milley expressing her profound alarm at the possibility of arbitrary behavior from the holder of the nuclear codes. General Milley assured her that he would prevent any illegal use of nuclear arms. (The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is not in the chain of command for nuclear discharge. He is by Standard Operating Procedure to be kept informed.)

3.  Gen. Milley learned that the Chinese were fearful that the U.S. President would initiate a war in an attempt to retain his presidency. Gen, Milley called his counterpart to assure him that we would not. (Just as the president and secretary of state meet with and speak to their counterparts, so do official in the Department of Defense. Gen. Milley could speak to the Chinese general as a friend; we were not at war with China at the time.)

I do not count Gen. Milley as having done anything unethical or immoral, however much his behavior might be construed by some as insubordinate and/or treasonous.

1.  General Milley disobeyed no order.

2.  General Milley  did not block the president, who did not (Thanks be to God!) order any nuclear action. He did remind those at the operations center of the expectation that he be kept informed. Presumably he would have blocked any attempted nuclear use.

3.  General Milley did not give aid and comfort to an enemy at war since we were not at war with the Chinese at the time. (Generals prefer peace over war.)

Ethical decisions are not always clearly black or white. This may appear to be disloyalty to the Commander-in-Chief but is justified in view of the abrupt Afghan withdrawal order and the insurrection of January 6, 2021. His higher loyalty is to the U.S. Constitution.

(This is my judgement at this time but is subject to change if the facts understood now are not proved to be correct.)

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Afghan Refugees
September 06, 2021, 09:04:03 AM
Christians (including Lutherans) appear to be taking the lead:

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Dorothy Zelenko +
August 10, 2021, 09:15:18 AM
I have just learned of the death of Dorothy Zelenko, an exemplary Lutheran lay woman who served as treasurer of the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau for a quarter century. She was generous in dedicated service to Christ's Church and graciousness toward its members yet frugal to a fault with the resources given by God. She can be credited with bringing the ALPB from the brink of bankruptcy to the thriving and independent non profit institution of today.

Although her death is no surprise since she has been ailing for quite a while, it is very saddening.

May she rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon her.

Peace, JOHN

Your Turn / Pope Francis Restricts Latin Mass Use
July 17, 2021, 09:13:09 AM
Interesting development. Are there American Lutheran counterparts to the Roman Catholic parties?

Peace, JOHN
Your Turn / Sermongate
July 07, 2021, 08:19:29 AM
From today's Times; I don't know what to make of it, myself.
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