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Welcoming the stranger? Rethinking our language of hospitalityHow can we reframe our language and experiences to create a community of justice and welcome? In this essay, the author looks at Christians across the rural Midwest to explore questions of immigration and what hospitality can look like in everyday life.
A pastoral reflection of congregational response during a family separation crisisWhat are some of the issues that arise when a congregation member is affected by deportation? In this article, a pastor describes a church’s response when one of their own experiences a family separation – including raising legal fees, money for travel, and having representation at court. Using scripture as well as pastoral experience, the author discusses how a congregation spanning the political spectrum responded to an immigration issue in their midst.
Learning from the Barmen Declaration of 1934 : theological-ethical-political commentaryWhat can the Barmen Declaration teach us about theological, ethical, and political implications for the political responsibility of Christians in response to the flight, migration, and integration of displaced persons also in our own time? This essay examines each of the six articles of the Barmen Declaration using a contemporary theological-ethical-political lens.
Faith, science, and climate change building with AND and CHANGE : an invitation to inclusion"Sitting down on a cold winter afternoon with my dog vying for the larger portion of the couch at my side, I glance at the theme of this issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics: Faith, Science, and Climate Change. Being committed to the Christian contemplative practice of lectio divina, I am always listening-- listening for a word or a phrase that catches me and invites me to go deeper. God uses this invitation to build me and all things. I am most drawn, most compelled not by the words “Faith,” “Science,” or “Climate,” but by the words “and” and “Change.” Truth, as I hear it, as I see it, is that God is at work in all things! And is the operative word that I hear today. Faith builds a house. Science builds a house. My neighbor builds a house. The bird builds a house. The bee builds a house. The doctor builds a house, and so does the musician. And, and, and…God is the builder of all. Everything is included in the house of God, the builder of all things."
Considering global warming as a hyperobject with definitive presence"The mid-day skies darkened as an acrid-smelling cloud of haze rolled in over the city of Kota Kinabalu this past September. The haze is generated by the burning of rainforests in the region, particularly in Borneo and Sumatra. The burning is done primarily by farmers clearing the land for agricultural use, particularly planting oil palm trees. As highlighted by a recent CNN Special Report, these fires not only destroy the jungles and fill the air with pollution, they also destroy the underlying peatlands, which are the earth’s largest terrestrial carbon sink. Meanwhile, between August and October 2019 the Borneo fires alone released 626 megatons of carbon dioxide. These fires, then, not only deforest an ancient rainforest, they are also intimately linked to issues of global warming. Yet they are not global warming itself. They are a visible component of a complex system of land use, commercial interest, economic systems, and environmental issues, to name but a few elements. Together, the fires are a component of the larger phenomenon that goes under the name 'global warming.'"